Saturday, November 19, 2011

"More Truth than Poetry" by Norma Shupe Clarkson, Part 1

Norma Shupe Clarkson Crandell wrote this humorous story of her life for a 1974 Clarkson Family Reunion.  The poor grammar is all a fake, she had lovely grammar and spelling.

I was looking through some old letters the other day and found one addressed to Mr and Mrs Ira A. Clarkson, Liberal, Kansas.  I declare it does look like my writin';  It's kinda family history so if you kids will set a spell I'll read it to you.  It begins like 
                                              310 East First Street
                                              Mesa, Arizona
                                              March 15, 1942
Dear Folks,
As I have time 'cause I ain't so busy, I'll drop you a few lines or so to tell you some of the up to date news which is six months old.  We are as well as can be expected for the shape we're in.  I'm feelen' fine but Aunt Millie is dead, hope you are the same.
I 'spose you'll want to hear about us moving from New Mexico way out west to Arizona.  We never started movin' until we left and didn't know where we were goin' till we got here.  Well first, we got to Albuquerque and unloaded our horses, our cows and our chickens, and yes, our pet rabbits too 'cause we planned to stay for a while as Joe had to rustle some frijolly beans and sow belly to fill 6 holler stomachs (guess it was 8 countin' us all).  He also had to get The Break and Indian Boy ready for the races in the fall.  They are our horses, you know.
We found a perty place to pitch camp with grean grass all about.  It was springtime and when the wind wasn't blowin' a gale it was rainin' cats and dogs.  The 4 older kids walked up the railroad track to school countin' the ties as they went.  Joe did some buildin' and plastering of houses while I tended the younguns.
Our Barbara June is getting to be quite an attraction of a young lady and does she ever like to primp?  Christine Elizabeth (Teen as her Daddy calls her) likes to look at herself in the mirror, too, so it's lucky we have a little lookin'glass in the cab of the truck and in the car so they could each have a mirror to see to pretty up themselves.  June got outta sorts with me one day because I hadn't told her about finger nail polish, which was all the go with the younger set.  Well, how could I when I had'nt heared of such a thing myself?  Both the girls are so good to help me though.
Christine worked hard to develop her musical talent.  She had to roll back the tarp off the piano to practice.  You see the piano was on the back of our four wheel trailer with all our other belongins.  You could hear her melodians strains of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" all over the country side as she counted out the time.
Dale and Dean with the short handled shovel came in handy.  You know those boys are smart to be so young.  They had a bright idea as how to keep the milk cool and the butter from melting.  Would you know they burried a box in the wet sand by the Rio Grande River.  We would jar up the food and it worked real fine.  In fact it was the best refrigerator we'd ever owned, but one night the river over flowed it's banks and almost took the truck and us with it.  It would have, too, if Joe hadn't beat it to the move and drove it out to higher ground.  Next morning Dean did some diving and rescued that precious butter I had churned for hours to make.  That Dizzie Dean is quite a boy for a seven year old.  Our little family is our pride and joy, you know.

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