Good Old Days...Jerry Boy is Born
by Linda Suit
Imagine the year 1930-1931. That's a long time ago! Jerry Boy's grandparents (his Mom's parents) needed a place to live. On a country dirt road in Arkansas, the boys in the family came together, cut logs from the property, shaved the bark, then began the task of building their parents a home. You have all heard of log cabins, but this is a very special one. You see, it was the place where Jerry Boy would be born several years later. The log cabin still stands six miles west of where Jerry Boy, Mommy and I now live.
The house was finally built and the Adams grandparents lived there for several years. In the year 1938, Jerry Boy was born in the front room of this cabin. He had an older brother and would come to have three younger brothers. There was no electricity, no running water. Some would say it was a hard life, but in many ways a simple life is better. Each person had their own chores to do and all pulled together to do whatever it took to keep the family alive and well.
Jerry Boy's family moved over on the river for a while, three more boys were born, then they were off to Kansas. Sadly, his Dad decided he didn't want a family any longer and left them all, a wife and five little boys. Jerry Boy was five years old and had three younger brothers when this happened. They had no way to care for themselves, so they moved back to Arkansas where they had family and bought a place with 40 acres and a house for $600!
His Mom's brothers loaned her the money to buy the property. When Jerry Boy's Grandpa Adams passed away, his Grandma needed help, so they all moved into the log cabin with her. All five boys slept in one room. The cracks in the floor were so big they could see the chickens underneath. In the mornings they would have to get wood to make a fire and haul water from the well so their Mom could start breakfast. If it was really cold the water would splash out on their britches and freeze before they got to the house.
Jerry Boy's Mom was an amazing lady and did what it took to care for her boys. They always knew love and that she would do her very best for all of them. She had the gift of making each one of them feel like they were the most special.
So, why am I calling this "Good Old Days" when their family had such a hard life? Because their Mom was a good Mom; she had a good family that supported her in her time of need. She was strong willed and devoted to her boys. Back in those days, families took care of their own. She had a huge heart in a tiny body. Kind of like me huh?
The Good Old Days were filled with a lot of work, but also times of reading the Bible by oil lamp, praying together, singing together (several of the boys have great musical talent), simple meals were always eaten together. Nope, there weren't any fast food restaurants way back then.
In fact, Jerry Boy said he was 16 before he ever ate his first hamburger! Cows were for milking, not eating. Besides, they didn't have refrigeration, so a whole cow would have spoiled before they could have eaten it. Jerry Boy was about eight when he learned how to plow, as they grew most of what they ate. There was no money for most things that could be bought.
A lot of people now don't have a clue how to plant a garden. Jerry Boy remembers on his tenth birthday Grandma Adams told him to come with her to the field to cut and pile brush. What? On my birthday? He thought it was unfair that he had to go work in the fields that day but there was work to be done. Well guess what he did on his birthday yesterday? He worked in the garden! 72 years later. Mommy made him a special dinner though and they had homemade goatmilk ice cream too!
Jerry's Mom taught school for a while. One day she, Jerry Boy and his older brother rode the school bus home where the three younger brothers were staying with Grandma.
Where is all the smoke coming from? Oh no, the barn is on fire! It seems the three younger lads were amusing themselves striking matches and stomping them out inside the barn. You guessed it, the fire got out of hand and the barn burned to the ground. These boys got their britches warmed a bit that day, and they knew better than to ever play with matches again! A new barn was built across the road, and it just collapsed last year. It lasted a very long time.
The cabin is still in the family and it sure brings back a lot of memories when we ride by. You can see the swirls in the boards inside the house. Those were made by the circular saw used for cutting them.
Many of the things hanging on the wall were used back in the Good Old Days.
So, now we have Jerry Boy born...time for the Good Old Days to begin, right? Let's fast forward a bit. Jerry Boy was 82 years old yesterday, April 10. A lot has happened since then. He has lived in a lot of different states and had a lot of different jobs, one of which was designing airplanes! He even worked in the space division designing a rocket to go into outer space! How cool is that huh?
Well, after living all those places and doing lots of different things, he brought Mommy back to live here in the country (she used to be a city girl, ya know). They love living out here and trying to do some of the things like gardening and canning that people did back in the Good Old Days. Garden season has started this year and Mommy will tell you, it's a lot of work! Once in a while though Mommy says she's gonna apply for her city girl job again.
Do any of you have Good Old Days memories you would like to share? I would love to hear them.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about Jerry Boy and where he was born and raised. I kind of like him as a country boy.
Hope to see you next month when Spunky Tales continues.
Love from Spunky Doodle
About the Author
Linda Suit is a city girl turned country. A travel agent by trade, she and her husband, Jerry, live in rural Arkansas with their animals including an amazing pet squirrel, Spunky Doodle.
Spunky has brightened the lives of many with her stories. She is quite a character and definitely lives up to her name of Spunky.
Linda has traveled the world. Her passion for missions comes alive in her stories from remote areas. She will make you laugh and tug at your heartstrings.
You can read Linda’s “Spunky Tales” column on the 2nd Saturday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.