OK, here we go. This is one for all of the “old timers” in the family. I know you have many stories to tell about Mayme & Shy. This is the place to share them with the rest of the family. Let's get them in writing for everyone to enjoy.



 When Mayme was a young girl, she came down with a severe case of the measles and lost her voice. She didn't speak for three years until one day she got so mad at a brother that she spoke loud and clear. The illness left her with a unique, high-pitched voice for the rest of her life.
Beth Brickell

 When she lived in Black Rock, Arkansas, Mayme attended the Baptist church with her family until one Sunday when her best friend, who was the preacher's daughter, sang the same solo in church that she knew Mayme had been practicing for weeks to sing the following Sunday. Mayme asked her mother for permission to change her membership to the Methodist church, saying if that's the way the Baptists were, she didn't want to be one. Her mother agreed and the Methodists thereby inherited what would one day become a very large family.
Beth Brickell

 When Mayme was a young child in Brandsville, Missouri, there was a pond on the edge of town surrounded by the hills of a peach orchard on three sides and a railroad track on the fourth. The kids in town swam in the pond in the summer and ice-skated and sledded on it in the winter. Mayme always claimed that once when she was coming down the hill on to the pond on her sled a train passed by unexpectedly and there was nothing to do but to ride her sled between the wheels of the train to the other side of the track. I've seen the site of the pond in Brandsville and the terrain is exactly as she described it. Undoubtedly a daredevil, she probably did exactly what she said she did.
Beth Brickell

 When I was young, I use to sit on Grandmothers lap. Well, she had this mole on her cheek. Whenever I would reach up and touch the mole, she would instantly go to sleep. She would stay asleep until I would touch it again. Never once did I outlast her. I would always wake her up by touching that mole again, and sometimes I would wait a long time. She never once moved until I touched that mole the second time.
Bill Shryock (Billy Boy)

 Did you ever try and kiss your elbow? Well I tried many times. Grandmother had me convinced that if I were ever able to kiss my elbow, I would turn into a girl. I didn't have anything to worry about because all I would have to do is kiss it again and I would turn right back. She was once a little boy you know. I know that's true because my Grandmother would never lie to me.
Bill Shryock (Billy Boy)

 When Daddy was 91, I went to see him in Malvern and lit up a cigarette. He asked, “Are you still smoking?” I said, “Yes, aren't you?” He answered, “No, I quit.” I asked when he quit and he answered proudly, "When I was 90."
Bettye Shryock Brickell

 When we were children and lived in Clarendon, the city sprayed tar on the dirt streets every summer to combat the dust problem. After the truck passed one summer, Bill, who was about 4 years old, ran out in the street and played in the wet tar. A friend of Daddy's saw him and brought him home, covered in black tar from head to toe. When Daddy answered the door the friend said, “Look what I found in the street!” Daddy took one look at Bill then said to the friend, “Well, you can just keep him. It would be easier to make another one than to clean him up.”
Bettye Shryock Brickell

 Joe and Woodie didn't want to go to school. Joe kept dropping out and in the 12th grade he just wouldn't go. So Daddy told Mr. Howard, the principal, to just let him out, he's not going to go anymore and he's not going to do anything so he might as well just go to work. He went to work in Daddy's store. Woodie was in about the 10th grade at the time, and when he finished playing football that fall, Thanksgiving came, first semester was over, and he took off, left. And he stayed gone until the next fall when it came time to play football again. He did that for two or three years. He went to CMTC Camp one year, which was a military camp. Another year he took off and went to Mobile, got a job on a freighter, and worked on the freighter until football season came around again. The third time he did that, Daddy told Mr. Howard, "It's all over. Tell Woodie he can't play football any more. That's it. And if he doesn't finish school it'll be too bad because he can't play football anyway." Woodie made good grades and studied but he was in the 11th grade for two or three years. So he came home in this old Model T Ford that he had bought, went to school and wanted to go out for football. Mr. Howard told him no, that he couldn't play football any more so he might as well stay in school. So Woodie stayed in school that year and he and Agnes graduated together. If Daddy had let Woodie keep on playing football he would have stayed in the 11th grade for 40 years.
W. W. (Bub) Shryock

 There's more to the story Uncle Bub told about Daddy always leaving home after football season. The last time, he went to Memphis and was working. All he took was his straight razor, strap and mug. At night he'd wash his clothes in the bathtub and hang them up to dry to wear the next day. He got a job as a barber with no experience. Grandmother rode the bus to Memphis to bring him home. He agreed to come home and finish school. He bought an old Model T for $12.00 and he and Grandmother drove it to Clarendon. They had to cross on a ferry at Helena because of the bridge was out because of the flood of '27. West of Helena they had a flat. Daddy rode on the rim on the dirt and gravel roads until they couldn't go any farther. A guy on a motorbike stopped to help. Daddy asked him to call Granddaddy and tell him where they were. Pretty soon Granddaddy came out to get them. He was mad and said, “Mayme, get in.” She said, “No. Give Woodie your spare.” He didn't want to but she insisted so he did. He made Daddy give it back to him as soon as they got home.
Anita Shryock Waterston

 In 1927, the flood was coming. Everybody in Clarendon knew it. The water was up to the top of the levee. Daddy leased the opera house and we took everything we could up there and our family and several of our relatives moved up there. The night the water broke the levee and came into town, there was an old tin roof out over the entranceway leading up to the second floor of the opera house and we all got out on that and watched the water come down the street. A wall of water came down and hit a warehouse building in the main part of town and washed the building away. It was full of all kinds of foodstuff. They had great big cans of lard and all kinds of food in barrels and the water washed it all down toward the railroad track. The next morning all that bunch of river rats that lived down on the river were there with their boats picking up food. They were getting it all for nothing. They picked up food all that day. The water came up and it kept getting deeper and deeper. Then when it got up to the top of the railroad track it stopped rising because it had to fill up a whole new area. But when that filled up, it started rising again. It lacked two steps getting up to where we were in the upstairs of the opera house. So Daddy got a motorboat and we all loaded in it and Bill Owen met us in Kevil between Clarendon and Brinkley. He had one of those old hand cars on the railroad track and we all got out of the boat and got on the handcar and got to Brinkley. Then we got in Mr. Owen's old Ford car and went from there to Marianna. We stayed in Marianna with the Owen's a little over a month. When we went back to Clarendon and rode down the street we lived on, Main Street, there was a great big two-story house sitting right in the middle of the road that had washed off its foundation. We had to drive around it. We got down to our house and a playhouse in the back yard that all of us kids had used had washed two or three blocks away. Daddy had built a platform inside the house and put all the furniture up on it and the water got two feet over the platform. Most of the furniture was either ruined or had to be refinished. Mama took it all as it came. They started cleaning up and getting the mud out of the house. Marie found a dead pig on top of her cedar chest and she screamed and had a fit. It was her hope chest with all of her clothes she was saving and it all got wet. We were in the opera house about two weeks. Daddy and Woodie went down to the house several times to check it out. They went into the store after the water covered downtown. They took out the transom above the door, got the boat in there and picked up watches and rings floating in trays. The water got within three feet of the top of the store's 14-foot ceiling. We had plenty of food. The fellow that had a grocery store downtown got a big barge and put all his groceries on it and did business all during the flood. It was all a big adventure to us kids. They had player pianos up there in the opera house and we got to play with all those. There was a big stage with dressing rooms and costumes and Maria and Agnes would put on shows for us.
W. W. (Bub) Shryock

 We lived across the street from Grandmother and Granddaddy and what I remember the most was that they fished every Sunday. They both loved to fish. Sometimes they'd go with Jane and Doc Wier. All the fish they caught Granddaddy would clean. What they couldn't eat he'd give away. Also they both loved to play bridge. They played bridge every week with Maige and John Cole. Nothing came before that bridge game during the week or fishing on Sunday.
J. W. (Woody) Shryock, Jr.

 Grandmother asked, "Sonny, what do you want for breakfast?" I said, "What about an egg and toast?" She then asked, "Do you want a rooster egg or a hen egg?" I wasn't going to be fooled and answered, "You know roosters don't lay eggs!" She said, "Oh, yes they do, in Kansas." So I said, "Okay, then, I'll have a rooster egg." She went to the icebox, took out a bowl of eggs and exclaimed, "Oh, yes, I do have a rooster egg. You see? It's brown and the rest are all white." So I had my first rooster egg from Kansas.
Cecil (Sonny) Nall Jr.

 Crap-Paw called to me, "It's your turn. Get up on this stool." I did and he put an apron around my neck. He was giving me a haircut. The clippers were pulling my hair (they were not electric!) and I yelled. He stopped and showed me how they worked. You would squeeze them and if you didn't do it just right it would pull your hair. He also had a pair of scissors that he finished off with. Then he took some red-looking stuff, wet my hair and combed it into my hair. Then he took a brush and put powder on it and brushed off the loose hair. I'm not sure what it was all for, but it was the first haircut I can remember ever getting and it was a dandy.
Cecil (Sonny) Nall Jr.

 Once Crap-Paw told me to take off my shoes. I did and he took them into the pantry where he had a lot of stuff. He rubbed the bottom of my shoes with a wet rag with something on it. It smelled good. Then he painted the soles with a stinky, thick, gummy stuff and fanned them until they were dry. Then he found two black flat things. He painted them and fanned them, too, until they were dry. He put the flat things on the bottom of my shoes, trimmed them to fit, nailed a silver crescent on my heels and then said, "Now, Sonny, these will last as long as you will. You'll outgrow them, but you won't have a hole in the bottom of your shoes any more."
Cecil (Sonny) Nall Jr.

 Once Grandmother and Crap-Paw were in the kitchen having a cup of coffee. "Can I have a cup, too?" I asked. "No," Grandmother said, "It will make you black." "No it won't! You're not black!" I said. She wouldn't back down, "I know, but we are older and you are too young. But I'll fix you a cup of teakettle tea if you promise not to look while I fix it. It's a secret recipe and I was sworn not to tell anyone how to make it, so go wash your hands and don't peek." When I returned there was a cup of hot teakettle tea on the table for me. It was sweet and mellow and very good. She fixed it for me several times. I finally found out that it was hot water from the teakettle, sugar and cream.
Cecil (Sonny) Nall Jr.

 Once when I was very small, Alf and Bill were pestering me and I was yelling, "Grandmaw! Grandmaw!" She came in and told the boys to stop tormenting me. She then took my hand and said, "Did you know that I was your mother's mother? I'm also Alf and Bill, Bub and L.G.'s mother. When Agnes – your mother - had you, you were my first grandchild. So that makes me your grandmother, not grandmaw. I don't like to be called Grandmaw. Do you understand?" "Yeah, Grandmaw, I understand." She turned me over her lap and gave me a good slap on the butt. "Not Grandmaw! Never again!" "Yes, Grandmother." And that's what she was called from then on.
Cecil (Sonny) Nall Jr.

 Granddaddy always seemed so stern when I was a child that I had no doubt that he was the boss of the family until an experience I had when I was about eight years old. Granddaddy took a stand on something or did something that was just plain mean. I forget now what it was. Maybe it had something to do with me. Anyway, Grandmother clearly disapproved of whatever it was. But instead of arguing or fussing at him, she just withdrew her usually sunny self to the kitchen and was uncharacteristically quiet. The whole house fell silent with Granddaddy in his chair in the living room and Grandmother quiet as a mouse in the kitchen. I barely breathed as I slipped into a chair in the corner of the living room, took a World Book out of the bookshelf and began tracing pictures through my notebook paper. I could tell that Granddaddy was suffering. He couldn't concentrate on the dictionary he was always reading. He fidgeted and kept glancing toward the silent kitchen. He made little nervous sounds. Finally he couldn't stand it any longer. He got up and went into the kitchen and I heard him take back whatever he had said or whatever position he had taken. And that was the end of the problem. Without comment, Grandmother was immediately her outgoing, sunny self again and Granddaddy was able to come back into the living room and relax and be happy again. And that's when I knew who the ultimate boss of the family was. That was also when I really appreciated Grandmother's brilliance in how she related to Granddaddy to both keep him cordial and to make their remarkable marriage work so well.
Beth Brickell

 In the early twenties when the L. G. Shryock family lived at the north end of Main Street in Clarendon, there was an uneducated family, Pete Corbett, his wife and two children, a boy and a girl, living a few doors down across the street. Their daughter, Peaches, was about Marie's age, and their son, Pot Licker, was a little younger. One day Peaches knocked on the door and Mama opened it. Peaches said, “Whar Maniee?” Mama said, “I can't understand you.” Peaches said, “Whar-or-ittle-dal-Maniee?” Marie came up, understood Peaches perfectly, and she and Peaches spent the day playing with their dolls.
J. W. (Woodie) Shryock Sr.

 In the early twenties they were repairing the levy around Clarendon where the 1917 White River flood had damaged it. They were also raising it a few feet higher. One Sunday Daddy took Bub and L. G. Jr., his two youngest sons at the time, to the corner of the levy where they had about six mules pulling scoops of dirt up on top of the levy. There were quite a few spectators and Bub and L. G. Jr. were having a fit to go up on the levy. Pete Corbett and his son Pot Licker came walking down the levy where Daddy was trying to quiet down his sons when Pot Licker, a little kid of about five years old, said, “Shy, why in the hell don't you let them damn kids come up on the levy?” Daddy had a good laugh - but he still didn't let Bub and L. G. Jr. go up on the levy.
J. W. (Woodie) Shryock Sr.

 Joe and Woodie were always fighting. They were at each other all the time. Daddy had had all he could take so he got the razor strap. He got them in the hallway and said, “All right now, Joe, hit Woodie!” Then he'd say, “Woodie, hit Joe!” Every time they'd stop hitting each other, Daddy would hit them with the razor strap. The younger kids were all crying. We though they were going to kill each other. Daddy made Joe and Woodie fight until they both dropped to the floor. That cured them. I don't think they ever fought after that.
Bettye Shryock Brickell.

 When L. G. was five or six, he called Mr. Strickland's grocery store and said, “This is Mr. Shryock. Please deliver five dollars worth of candy.” Mr. Strickland's store was two doors down from Daddy's jewelry store. He walked down to the store and said to Daddy, “One of your kids called and said to deliver five dollars worth of candy. Should I deliver it?” Daddy said, “Hell, no!” He and Mr. Strickland got a good laugh out of it. Whatever Daddy said to L. G. when he got home, L. G. never ordered candy again.
Bettye Shryock Brickell

 Bub was chasing me and Mama wasn't home. I ran out of the house with him on my heels. Our seamstress, Mrs. Tune, lived on 2nd Street behind our house. I ran screaming to her house, in her back door, and through her house toward her front door with Bub right behind me. When we got to Mrs. Toon's living room, Mama was there! She was mad at us for running through Mrs. Toon's house and took us home and whipped Bub for chasing me. I was already crying because she whipped Bub so she didn't need to whip me.
Bettye Shryock Brickell

 L. G. was the baby and it was Christmas Eve and we were all waiting for Santa Claus to come. I remember that Agnes was holding the baby. Mama was out shopping and Daddy always kept the jewelry store open until about midnight on Christmas Eve so they weren't home. There was a noise in the kitchen. Woodie said, “That must be Santa Claus!” He went into the kitchen and came back with Joe who had a sheet over his head. Joe said, “I'm Santa Claus,” then turned around and left. It almost scared us to death. He looked more like a ghost than Santa Claus, but we believed it was Santa Claus.
Bettye Shryock Brickell

 On another Christmas Eve, we were all waiting for Santa Claus and we were worried that he wouldn't come because there wasn't any snow. The next morning we all ran into the living room and sure enough Santa had come. There were so many toys you could hardly walk in the room. Woodie and Joe told us that since it didn't snow Santa had come in his airplane. They took us outside and showed us oil they had poured on the sidewalk. They said it was oil that had dripped from Santa's airplane and we believed them. After that we never worried again if it didn't snow on Christmas Eve.
Bettye Shryock Brickell

 When I was 5-years-old, I visited Grandmother and Granddaddy in Brinkley and was put in Aunt Marie's front room to sleep by myself in what seemed like a very big bed. That first night there was a terrible electrical storm with lightning and the loudest thunder I had ever heard. As the thunder got louder, I became more frightened until I was scared to death. I got up and went into Grandmother and Granddaddy's bedroom in hopes of sleeping with them. They were sleeping with their heads at the foot of the bed. I tried to climb over the bed post without waking them, but Grandmother woke up and let me in between them under the covers, then she fell right back asleep. Granddaddy was snoring on my left. Then Grandmother began snoring on my right, with snorts in between the snores. They were both so loud that it was as though they were trying to see who could snore the loudest. It was so scary that I decided the thunder wasn't so bad after all. I crawled out of bed and returned to Aunt Marie's big bed, having no trouble falling asleep, happy to have only the thunder to contend with.
Beth Brickell

 After the flood in '27, Mr. Torry gave Daddy some cans of paint. He had the Gulf Oil Agency in Clarendon and Gulf Oil shipped him some of their orange paint to take care of cleaning stuff up after the flood and he gave Daddy several cans of the paint. Daddy had it sitting out there in the storeroom. L. G. happened to be out there and he opened it up and saw it was orange paint. He and Bill were playing and L. G. decided he would paint Bill's hair. So he painted Bill's hair a bright orange. They came in to show Mama what a pretty job L. G. had done on Bill's hair and Mama like to have had a fit. She took Bill out on the porch, poured some kerosene in a pan and she washed his head with kerosene, then with water, then washed it with kerosene again, then water again. Finally she got all the paint out of it. Then she shampooed it. Bill's head was sore for a good while after that.
W. W. (Bub) Shryock

 Mr. Tune lived right behind us in Clarendon, Hugh was his son, and he was driving home one afternoon and Bill was playing out there in the street. He and another boy were holding a string across the street. And as Mr. Tune made the curve there, the car pulled Bill over to the curb and cut the top of his ear off. Mama had a fit. The doctor came out, sewed the top piece of Bill's ear back on, taped it up, and it grew back so that you could hardly tell it after that. But it cut it completely off.
W. W. (Bub) Shryock

 One of the best ones on L. G. was when L. G. kept coming in real late. Daddy told him, “If you don't come in early enough, before 12 o'clock, forget it. Don't come in at all because I'm going to have the door locked because when you come in late you don't ever get up and go to school.” L. G. was one of these kind that didn't go to school anyway if he could avoid it. So a few nights later, L. G. started home about 1 o'clock or 1:30, something like that. He didn't know how he was going to get in. So he sneaked up to the front door and banged on the door and then jumped off and ran back a little ways. Daddy got up and went to the door and turned on the light to see what it was and L. G. came up and he says, “Daddy, who was that? I saw him jump off and run around to the back.” Daddy went and got his pistol and flashlight. They went out the back and went all around looking for who it was, then came back up to the front. Daddy went on in and went to bed, and L. G. went on upstairs and went to bed. Daddy didn't know what had really happened until several years later when L. G. was laughing about slick-talking Daddy.
W. W. (Bub) Shryock

 In 1935, Daddy bought a new Chevrolet. I had a date and I was driving out on the old Highway 70. After I took her home, I was coming back, Paul Miller was with me, and we hit this skunk with Daddy's new car. Daddy tried every way in the world to get the smell out of the car but it stunk to high heaven, no matter what he did. Finally he had to just trade off the car.
W. W. (Bub) Shryock

 Joe was great at making candy. He loved to cook. Nearly every weekend when he'd be home he'd make some kind of candy. Agnes and Marie would make candy, too. They'd make this taffy and we had to pull it until it cooled. And we'd roll it and pull it, then roll it and pull it. But no one would ever eat Woodies. He'd have to eat it himself because every time he'd help us pull the taffy, his was a little dirty. Another time Agnes and Marie made a date loaf. They put it in this wet towel and rolled it up to let it cool and when they tried to cut it, they tried to slice it and it wouldn't slice because it was so hard. They had to take a hatchet and chop it into pieces.
W. W. (Bub) Shryock

 When I was in the first grade, we had a little play at the school. Miss Janie McManus was the teacher. She taught everybody in our family except Alf when they were in the first grade. She taught that class in the old school before they built the little school next door to it. Anyway, we had this play one weekend about sailors and I was supposed to have a popcorn ball on a string to hold up. Different ones were making them for the kids and Daddy said he could make one for me as well as anybody else could. So he made me one. It was supposed to be real pretty and white but mine was yellow looking. He made it with carmel to stick it together and it never did harden. Consequently the string wouldn't stay in it. We sang this little song about sailors and I had to hold both hands under my popcorn ball to hold mine up while everybody had these pretty little white balls dangling on string but me.
W. W. (Bub) Shryock

 In order to raise nine kids during the Depression, Daddy had to be inventive to save money. One of the kids needed to have their tonsils out, so Daddy got Dr. Phil Thomas from Little Rock, who was a good friend of his, to come to Clarendon. He flew in on a plane one weekend and landed out there in the pasture. There wasn't any hospital then, so Dr. Phil took out three or four of the kids' tonsils on the dining room table. Daddy said it was cheaper to do all of them at the same time whether they all needed it right then or not.
W. W. (Bub) Shryock

 Grandmother had sayings that make me feel warm inside to this day. She'd say, “You boys, it's time for bed and the first one that goes to sleep whistle so I'll know who went to sleep first.” And then, “Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!” In the morning she'd say with a straight face, “Sonny, did you slumber in your bed last night? Shame on you.” Or she'd say, “Sonny, what do you mean having garments all over you. Shame on you.”
Cecil E. (Sonny) Nall Jr.

 I'm not sure what year it was, but I do know it was the first time I remember Christmas. All I can remember was sitting on Aunt Marie's lap while Crap-Paw and I think Bill lit little white wax candles all over the tree. When they were lit, all the lights in the house were turned off. It was the most beautiful sight and the most wonderful smell. I'll never forget the smell. Bill showed me how the candleholders worked – kind of like a clothespin except sideways and a small cup to put the candle in. The tree was glowing for about three minutes, then Crap-Paw turned on the lights and he and Bill pinched out the candles. I can still see it now.
Cecil E. (Sonny) Nall Jr.

 Grandmother would let me help her make her wonderful apricot ice cream. She had all the ingredients out on the kitchen table – pet milk in a can, eggs, sugar, and heavy cream. She would put the apricots in a cone-shaped colander. My job was to then take a wooden cone-shaped thing and mash the apricots through the little holes in the colander. I don't know if she cooked this or not. Then she would mix everything together, put it in the metal ice cream container, place the dasher in it and put the lid on. Then that would go into a wooden barrel-like thing that sat in a pan. Then she'd put ice and salt all around the metal container, a folded towel on top and I would sit on it while Bub would turn the handle. He would turn until he got pooped and then Bill would turn it. This went on until it was too hard to turn. Grandmother would then pull out the dasher and we would lick it clean. She would pack the ice cream in more ice until it was time to dish it up. Then we'd sit on the bench in the kitchen and enjoy the wonderful apricot ice cream. This is one of my favorite memories.
Cecil E. (Sonny) Nall Jr.

 I remember that Grandmother and Crap-Paw would listen to “Amos and Andy” on the radio. They really enjoyed them. The program was sponsored by Crazier Water Crystals and the announcer talked about Crazier Water Crystals so much that it pissed off Alf and me. Alf said, “If they say Crazier Water Crystals again I will have a duck fit.” They said it again and we both threw ourselves on the floor and had a duck fit. It was so funny that I peed in my pants. I was five years old.
Cecil E. (Sonny) Nall Jr.

 It was the Depression and you'd see old jalopy trucks piled high with a farmer's belongings and barefoot kids hanging off the back headed somewhere other than where they'd been. One day when I was visiting in Brinkley, Grandmother was going to take a carload of the grandchildren downtown. There must have been eight kids in the car and Grandmother was trying to see through us to back the car out of the driveway with a cigarette dangling out of her mouth with ashes dropping in her lap as they always did. All the kids were carrying on and Grandmother couldn't see what she was doing and she backed out into the street into an old truck passing by that was stacked up sky high with furniture and goods all tied up with rope and a mattress on top with an old, old woman laying on the mattress. We knocked the whole truck over and the old lady and the mattress went flying somewhere on the other side of the furniture and boxes. Grandmother calmly told us to stay in the car, handed her cigarette with the ashes to one of the bigger kids to hold for her, and she got out of the car to find out what had happened. I never knew if the old lady got killed or what. What stood out in my mind from the whole affair was that even this catastrophe didn't ruffle Grandmother who always seemed to take anything that came along as though it was the most normal thing in the world.
Beth Brickell

 Beth's story about Mama backing into the truck reminded me of an experience. We were going to Memphis to buy clothes. Mama was driving and it was Marie, Frances Dailey (Robertson later), seems like Agnes was with us, and me. We were living in Brinkley at the time and were all teenagers. We had to cross the railroad tracks and we got up on the track and the car stalled and the motor died. We saw the train coming! Mama held out her cigarette and calmly said, “Someone hold my cigarette.” One of us took the cigarette. We were all frozen with fear as the train got closer and closer. Mama finally got the car started and we pulled off the track one split second before the train roared past. It didn't bother Mama at all while the rest of us almost died of a heart attack.
Bettye Shryock Brickell

 Daddy didn't get up until about 9 o'clock every day. And every April Fool's morning, Mama would go to the bedroom door about an hour before that and say, “Shy, you're wanted on the telephone.” And he'd go to the phone and say, “Hello? Hello?” Then she'd say, “April Fool!” She did it year in and year out and he fell for it every time. And he never got mad at her.
Bettye Shryock Brickell

 Callie was a cook who worked for us in Clarendon and moved with us to Brinkley. After she got old and couldn't work any more, she came to see us one time and she and Mama were in the kitchen when Daddy came home. Callie jumped out from behind him and slapped him on the back and said, “Hi, Mr. Shy!!!” He almost had a heart attack. I loved Callie more than I loved anybody. She'd say, “Miss Bettye, you're so cute.” And she'd say, “Oh, Miss Marie, you're so fat and pretty.” She played the piano and we'd try to get her to come into the living room and play for us. She'd say, “Miss Bettye, white folks don't want black folks to come in their living room.” Finally one time we persuaded her. She had the prettiest long fingers and could play real well.
Bettye Shryock Brickell



 More stories to come as soon as you tell your experiences. Don't be shy, that was Granddad. Send me your experiences and I'll add them for everyone to enjoy. Just drop me an e-mail and I'll put them up right away.

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