Just Folks Getting By Part 11

farmgirlsewardcountynebraska1930s8x                                      Image from Smithsonian collection

“Did you ever get to go see Daddy in prison, Mama?” Jenny and Lucille were reminiscing over coffee.

“Only once, when your daddy was up for parole.  For him to git out early, I had to show up with my marriage license saying I would take him back. I hadn’t ever asked no time off from work before, so when I talked to Mr. Peabody, my boss, he didn’t give me no trouble.  I was surprised, but he gave me five dollars for my trip, almost a week’s pay. Anyway,  I took two days off and rode the bus down a’gittin’ there about five-thirty.  I walked to the YWCA and got a room, then got the Blue Plate Special at the Woolworth across the street for supper.  I even finished off with a piece of lemon meringue pie and cup of coffee.  It was kind of nice knowing somebody else was a’washin’ my dishes.  They was gittin’ ready to close, but I had time to buy some blue earbobs and a lipstick.  I ain’t seen your daddy in almost four years and wanted to look purty for him.  I felt almost like a bride.  I didn’t hardly sleep none that night.  I was a’waitin’ at the door when they opened at eight.  A trusty brung me to see the warden.  He told me Russ was up for parole, but they had to know he had somebody and something to go home to.  I showed him your picture and my bank book.  He was right surprised I’d managed to save money from my job. I told him about you a’livin’ in the Hope Home and me a’stayin’ in the pantry where I worked.  A year or so before that, I had bargained to make the pies and cakes Mr. Peabody had been a’sendin’ out for.  I even sold ’em to a couple of other places.  That’s how I really filled my pocketbook.  I knowed by that time your daddy had a chance a’ comin’ up for parole and wanted us to have a start.  Anyway, the warden stood up and shook my hand when we was through a’talkin’ and said I was a fine woman.  I ‘preciated that.  He told the trusty to bring your daddy to his office.  I never would a’hoped that.

When he brung him in, it was like I was a’seein’ him for the first time.  I had thought I would a’run and grabbed him, but we was bashful till the warden said we could hug.  When I was in his arms, it was like no time had passed.  We didn’t want to let go, but was embarrassed to keep hangin’ on to each other.  Back then folks was more private-like with their lovin’.  Anyway, the warden give us a minute to talk then sent Russ back.

When I left, the warden said our meeting was confidential and I’d be hearing after the parole board met.  I felt real hopeful as the trusty showed me out.

That was the best day I’d had in a long time.



Doo Doo Bossier


In college, I suppose I was just a bit slow to catch on when Bud and his cousin Freddie kept talking about a guy in one of their classes named “Doo Doo Bossier.” I was always hearing, “Doo Doo did so and so.” or “Wait till you hear what Doo Doo did now!”

As I was walking to class one day, I met, Judy, Bud’s cousin’s wife walking with another girl. She introduced us, “This is Becky Bossier. Her brother has a lot of classes with Freddie and Bud.”

I am friendly, if not too smart. “Oh, then you must be Doo Doo Bossier’s sister.”

She made sure I knew her brother’s name was Gerald. We never became friends.

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I Might Not Be Right but….


Growing up on a farm in the sixties had its bright spots.  Farm life was long on work, but we were at liberty to swim and fish in the pond and ride horses when we weren’t working. My brother and I counted on riding late Saturday afternoons and every Sunday after church with friends, then maybe swimming later in the day in the summer.  It was the high point of our week.  Winter wasn’t so bad because there wasn’t so much work and there were school and friendships to look forward to.  That tells you a lot about how much social life we had, doesn’t it?

When I was a young child, I adored Daddy who was very indulgent and loving, but as I aged out as a small child and became a girl, I felt he withdrew his love.  This was extremely cruel and painful.  I felt as though my heart had been amputated.


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