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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1970512-Coldwater-Kansas
Rated: E · Non-fiction · Family · #1970512
Shaping up some memories to organize later for story
These are just small bits and pieces I am trying to recall an old suppressed memory of  my childhood to compile some stories or a story to  be told: This has been a long journey....as well as depressing and tiring. I found myself with writers block or lack of interest I am not  sure which but please bear with me as  I try to unfold some of this....Who knows it could take  a few more years at the rate I  write!



Comments and  Reviews  very helpful  and  thanks for your time:



                                                         
    Brass Ranch: Coldwater Kansas 1966




It is hot, sultry hot, the wind always seems to blow Dust flying on the dirt roads, tumbleweeds blowing across the dirt roads.  The windmill in the yard screeches as we find our way up the broken sidewalk path to the house.  I hear the words of Dad telling us to "get in", For a moment it felt as if my arm was being torn from my body as I heard the windmill screech again as the screen door slams shut behind us. Dad opens the cellar door and we proceed to the small damp crawl space area for safety.the cries of a two year old embark from fear and the rage of a mothers wrath begins.



Although very young two year old I recall not being attached to Mother. Dad always brought comfort, play time, warmth, but he also had to work and provide  a living for this family. He was a ranch hand on the  Brass Ranch. I can still smell the horses and feel the horn on the saddle when I got to ride with Dad.



The floor furnace in the living room always fascinated me. The warm air always felt good. One of my favorite toys at the time to play with was a riding horse on the porch.  His name was  Buck. Buck became a friend,someone to talk to..I know I spent endless hours on that  horse. Another favorite toy was a simple ball. I loved balls.  I am not sure why or how it came to pass other than being a typical two year old a ball hit the  furnace floor and it popped and melted....Imagine how fun that was to watch! Within a few minutes and several small balls later....not only did  I no longer have  the balls to play with  but the house had a terrible odor,and Mother took me to the main bedroom where I received the spanking and shaking of my life.



I hated that bedroom but had to go through it often as the bathroom was off of that room. The bedroom was always  cold. Mom always had Chenille  bedspreads, and I always ran past the bed because bad  dirty things lived under the bed! When I was put  down to rest or nap Mother would always  say....."Shhhh  Reba Ann, Can you hear him?" Always  wide eyes with wonderment and fear, I would sometimes think  I could hear these *things*. Never gave them a name, not sure how many there were, but I knew being quiet would mean they can not  hear me.....



( I still have a cookbook that was given to my mother from the lady of the ranch. I have looked several times in recent years to try and locate this ranch area, to no avail, but I am sure it is because I was so little,  I have no idea which way to even go.But some day I hope to walk the land near by. perhaps near Medicine Lodge area)  I am not sure why they left this ranch , perhaps to make more money, but we moved  South of  Coldwater Kansas.......................





                                                             
Buttermilk Kansas 1967-1968




Another ranch job, haystacks to climb and horses to feed cake to. Chickens to help feed and gather eggs. After a rain small toads to gather  and make little toad houses from sticks and mud, I would check on these toads  daily until they just  disappeared.



Rattle snakes were plenty as well as skunks. I learned very early to fear any snake, if I saw one to scream and run opposite  direction. Indeed I could do just that. After all snakes were Satan, and  Satan was bad, he follows us where ever we go. The best thing in life is not to let  Satan  bite you! 



Chickens!  Chickens are not bad  but roosters are mean and when you are three and faced with such a tyrant in the hen house what do you do? I would toss eggs at them, and of course by nature,the chickens and roosters would gather to peck at the egg which in turn would allow me to gather what  I could. Sometimes  I would have to throw a few more to keep them away from me. Once again as I was baking out of the chicken yard to go through the gate, tossing down eggs to occupy the enemies...my arm was grasped and it felt like every bone in my body broke as I fell to the ground and felt the sting of mothers penny loafer shoes on my hands and  legs. Dirty tear stained face as Dad approached with tractor and wagon of straw or hay, I knew better than to tell what happened and the scream of her being hit across the face  and seeing my father so angry, created a chill of fear through my body. Too young to know what hate was, but I knew I was feeling something not normal.



Bacon and eggs,  Crispy bacon crumbles over and over easy egg was always a favorite. I can still smell Mothers coffee and see Dads hot tea seeping in his cup. Television was not big in our home, but I did get to watch Captain Kangaroo, Sesame street was on but I was never allowed to watch  it. Romper Room....I think her name was Miss Fran...Romper Room was a place  I always  wished I could go to. Captain kangaroo was always kind, and the animals talked!



Bed time was always  a struggle for me. Usually cold,. dark, I would see red dots  floating above my bed almost  every night....sometimes there  would be just a few  and  other times there would be many...always brought me comfort  but I could not talk to them for fear of being heard.



Most of my days on this ranch were spent outside. I would climb haystacks, walk the horses to the end of the driveway. At the  end of the driveway was a cattle guard,  I would try  and teach the horses  how to cross the *gate* Showed them  how easy it was  but pull as I may on the  reins the horse would not budge, In one of the episodes the head  reared back  and I fell through, getting my legs stuck, not strong enough  to push myself up and out. I am not sure which hurt more, my legs or my pride.



The heat went out one evening...I am still not sure if it was natural gas, propane.. but there was a fire, I was already in bed and mom called for me, it was dark out and it was my job to run to the Haas home  and let them know dad was on fire.  I do not recall much of that evening, but I do know that dad was badly burnt and carried those scars all his life.



                                                 
            Pavlick Apartments In Town




Back to town we moved. Small one bedroom apartment . Here I learned to dial the operator and visit with her,  I loved to play dress up and ruined some of moms red lipstick. I learned to ride a trike. Took a liking to a stuffed monkey named Jim Bo that  Jackie Pavlik gave  to me.  ( I still have it)  I am not sure why dad was  gone so much, but he was missing from our lives. I would see him once in a while. But he did not live at the apartment with us. We did not have a phone. No television.  I used to walk over and  visit with Jackie and would ride in her car to take  her son Jay to school. The site of the school scared me,  It was big and so many kids there. But Jackie told me one day soon I would get to go there too and it would be fun!  I was hoping it  would be like  Romper Room! 

           

                                                                       
          Winter 1969


We move across town....If I recall right  the last name was  Hackney. We lived next door to them. Here I made my first friend. Jody T. she taught me hoe to take a piece of  bologna and out cheese on it, roll it up and eat it! What a treat this was! The big winter, we could climb out the window and walk on the roof tops...Everything in Coldwater was had a terrible storm as did most of the Midwest!

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