(History Philosophy/Poem) In My Time — A Odd And Unique Story Of My Life

In My Time—-My First Ever Post Revisited

 

I was just going through some of my data and I went back to my first ever post, I like it pretty well so I brought it up from the grave to you, for your consideration to see what you folks think of it. Basically this is a story of my life, it is a story filled with the good the bad the ugly the odd the strange, the spiritual and the evil. By no means am I perfect, I have had more flaws than I could possibly remember or count. I have tried to put this story into the form of a poem, hopefully it will tweak your interest some, who knows, it may give you a few moments of humor.   T.R.S.

 

O Lord, the things I have seen in the days I have been given

O Lord, the things by your grace to me You have shown me

South-West Virginia and Your beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains

Iron Ridge culture, hard-working poor white trash, 1950’s

 

 

“I’m going to start remembering now”

These, the first words I ever remember

Spoken aloud, words from within my own soul

Inner words, everyone has a soul, I know They speak to us all

 

 

Placed all the rooms in our little home, which I still remember

Outside, counted all the concrete blocks front stoop to back yard

Two years old, friends how do we do and know such things as this

Born with math skills, but look at Mozart what at three he could play

 

 

Summer time, setting on the front porch, my two siblings by my side

Walk across the dirt road to the old dilapidated wood cattle gate

Sunny day, watching the cattle milling around on the other side

Mom gave us each a nickel for us a Coke to buy, a great treat at the time

Walked to the Shell filling station just below this house that sheltered five

 

 

O how hard it was on Mom, alcoholic Dad drinking his wages away

Minimum wage factories, workers just chafe on the rich mans floor

I guess it’s easier on the preschool children, the caste they don’t know

School starts, you see other children, realities you had not seen before

 

 

Mid 1960’s, poor flight to west, a better life you’re hoping for

You trade the Blue Ridge for the Great Sioux’s Black Hills

O Lord, on at trip like this, the things a child’s eyes ingest

Moon light shines, illuminates the beauty of the big rigs

 

 

August Rattle Snakes playing in the sand, 114 degrees in the shade

30 days later, chest high snow in September, O what a strange place

One year later, hoping for better, for a good job toward Windy we ran

When you are so poor, you spend your whole life trying to escape it

But even young, I knew that pain, always present in my Mamma’s eyes

 

 

Life is always hard with an alcohol disease riddled parent in the home

Knowing you are hated as he beats you with glee, innocent meaningless

Even harder on the child when they know other adults know and see

They never ever come to your aid, they always just allowed it to be

Life’s early hardships, good or bad, they help create the person you see

 

 

About fifth grade I walked through the door of Your House Lord

My life long rock, my life many times I know that You have saved

Poor white boy, learning of life in the mid-west, with a Hill Billy mind

With some knowledge of Dakota’s history and beautiful Black Hills

 

 

These life’s lessons, good and bad, always living behind my eyes

Now I am aged with gray beard and store-bought eyes on my face

The projector in my mind plays me many memories of my time

Occasionally I see some of the good I have done in this my life

Though I try to cull these pictures from the corners of my mind

A lofty heart leads to evil, I wish to give ego no quarters to hide

 

 

In my life I have mastered the art of many forms of evils

O how I wish I could say that these thing were  just a lie

But when you have seen and have known pure evil in life

Pay some attention to the news, evil all around us resides

 

 

Demons have no fear of man, they will lie, looking you in the eyes

They will tell you they are Angels, for your best interest they care

Do not be deceived, mainly in the worlds Capitals they often hide

Through time Lord You have shown me many things, good and bad

 

 

Through Your Spirit You have given me sight beyond my dreams

In life it is so easy to become depressed if living without You inside

You have so plainly shown me our planets plight’s and our demise

World leaders and the media so filled with venom to Your light

Evil so blinded and hungry for more power, money, and pride

 

 

I know that by the time Your trumpet sounds Lord

I will once again be dust upon and within the ground

Though I cringe for all our children, and theirs

The battle of the Nations against their Creator

For left behind loved ones, Armageddon lies ahead

 

 

As the Lord and His Angels return to fight from the clouds overhead

The Demons pre-judged, to Hell they will now be thrown in first

Leaving the poor defrauded people to fight God and His Angels alone

They are now like grapes in the press, confused, disillusioned, and dead

Lord I thank You that this event I will not have to see, “In My Time”

Spearfish South Dakota: Great Sioux Nation: The Blood And The Gold

Spearfish Dakota and Blood

What an odd name, ye think of me

But for a lack of good or even bad luck

Maybe my name would be more renowned

In the books of our country’s history books

Black Hills Dakota, land of lore, gold and blood

Deadwood you know, Hickok lying in his own

Crazy Horse, the one who cried when bees touched his blood

The Seventh went down in history, their sins paid with their own

 

My feet have always been planted in the center of timber and gold

All around me is glory and fame and the dried blood of many

The great Sioux Nation and the tears that they paid

Not even the grade school books tell the truth of our story

Come visit Custer’s Last Stand they got what they deserved

Rapid City a main gateway to the great northwest

Four faces carved in stone, a true Rushmore Monument

I stand true to the blood sweat and tears who bore me

Of my name I am very proud though white men gave it

Sturgis now rumbles right next to me loud and proud

Spearfish South Dakota, Black Hills magic then and now

Belvidere

Belvidere

 

Belvidere, the name sounds so peaceful

Is it not a place for our children to grow

Swinging bridge and waterfall

Two scenic parks in which to spend our time

My youth from the time of ten years old

This is the hometown in which I was grown

 

No coal fields, nor mines nor stinky paper mills

Mostly factories are the place people mark their time

From the Blue Ridge of Virginia to Dakota’s Black Hills

Beautiful places we have pitched our tents

Chrysler Corporation, in Belvidere built an assembly plant

 

Chasing a good job trying to escape starvation wages

Belvidere Illinois is where our family went

Belvidere turned out to be a great place to live

Except their winters too much cold and snow

The people good honest hard working folks

But their winters I don’t miss

Mom, dad, and brother Larry

They do sleep in peace there now

 

Sister Jackie who is a wearer of the cloth

With husband Wayne there they do remain

Belvidere, you’re always in my prayers

Your beauty, kindness and your friendliness

Like fresh spring roses, a great place to rest your cares

 

Belvidere, still such a pretty word to me

You always bring a special smile upon my face

My memories of you brings light to my heart

I pray that all the people of the earth

Could have such fond recall

Of the places they were grown

 

After life’s last breath is gone

It is there I wish they plant my bones

In loving memory of the place that I was grown

Such wonderful people upon God’s earth

Belvidere, the place that I called my home

Spearfish South Dakota: The Great Sioux Nation: The Gold And The Blood

 

 

Spearfish South Dakota The Gold And The Blood

 

What an odd name, ye think of me

But for a lack of luck

Maybe my name would be more prevalent

In the books of our country’s history

Black Hills Dakota, land of lore, gold and blood

Deadwood you know, Hickok lying in his own

Crazy Horse, the one who cried when bees touched his blood

The Seventh went down in history, their sins paid with their own

My feet have always been planted in the center of timber and gold

All around me is glory and fame and the dried blood of many

The great Sioux Nation and the tears that they paid

Not even the grade school books tell the truth of our story

Come visit Custer’s Last Stand they got what they deserved

Rapid City a main gateway to the great northwest

Four faces carved in stone, a true Rushmore Monument

I stand true to the blood sweat and tears who bore me

Of my name I am very proud though white men gave it

Sturgis now rumbles right next to me loud and proud

Spearfish South Dakota, Black Hills magic then and now

What I Have Seen: In My Time

In My Time

 

O Lord the things I have seen

O Lord the things you have shown me

South West Virginia, Blue Ridge mountains

Iron Ridge culture, poor white, 1950’s

“I’m going to start remembering now”

The first words I ever remembering hearing

Spoken aloud from within my own soul

Placing all the room’s within our little house

Counting the concrete steps around the outside

From front porch to the back yard I count

In the back yard both parents working

How did I know those steps were concrete

Better yet, how did I know how to count

I know plainly I was just two years old

Setting on the front porch my two siblings by my side

Walking across the dirt drive to the wood gate

Sunny day watching the cattle on the other side

Mom gave us each a nickel, for each a coke to buy

Down the hill to the Shell station just below

O how hard it was on Mom to be so poor

Minimum wage factory workers

The people just chafe on the rich man’s floor

I guess it’s easier on the children

As long as they do not know just how poor you are

Once the school bell rings your innocence dies

Each day reality is something from which you can not hide

Mid 1960’s migrate to the west hoping for a better life

Traded the Blue Ridge for the Black Hills

The things a nine-year old’s eyes ingest

Big Rigs in the moonlight first time for me to see

Mid August rattlesnakes in the hot sand

Chest high snow in September, O what a strange land

Being so poor it’s so hard to escape it

Just a year later we up and move again

Just west of Windy, this time with a plan

Each place so much pain the eyes intake

Cursed with an alcohol disease riddled parent, no escape

Knowing you are hated as he beats you with glee

Knowing that other adults know and see

But no one ever comes to your aid, they just let it be

Life’s early hardships makes you grow solvent inside

About the age of four in the cloud I found you Lord

My life long rock you are always by my side

Without you Lord many times I would have died

Growing up in the midwest, with a hillbilly state of mind

With some knowledge of the Black Hills

These memories always placed deep in my mind

Now my mirror finds me aged

I see the beard of gray, through store-bought eyes

At this age my heart has seen lot’s of memories

I see some of the good I have done in my life

Though I try to forget all of those pictures

I hope to give ego no quarters to hide

In my time Lord you have shown me many things

Through Your Spirit you have given me sight

Through these windows You have given me

I now see the world’s plight and it’s demise

So easy for depression to crush you from inside

Our leaders so filled with deceit Your truths they deny

With enough dollars their power you can buy

I know that by the time the trumpet sounds

I will long since be dust once again

But for my children and theirs I pray each night

The battle of the Nations against the return of God

Poor souls not knowing that this is Armageddon

The Nations fighting against the world’s creator

The Demons that are and that control the world’s leaders

Having been prejudged now into Hell they’re thrown

Leaving the deceived humans to fight God’s Holy Angels alone

They are now like grapes in the winepress of their Creator

Confused, disillusioned, dead, from the face of the earth their gone

Dear Lord I thank you that this is one thing You are holding off

Please give the world’s people more time to find you and repent

I wish that no humans would ever be to Hell’s fire sent

Lord there are many things I would like to thank you for

Like Armageddon, that I will not have to see in my time

The Life And Times Of Blanche Anders Savage (The Cookie Lady) 1930-2000

 

The  Cookie Lady-A True Story of a wonderful person who lived from 1930-2000.

My name is Blanche, I was born into a poor white family in Benson Minnesota in September of 1930. My mother is Sophie Amanda Hanson. She was born here in Benson Minnesota in December of 1905. My dad is Elbert Anders of Galax, Virginia. He was born in September of 1905. I only have one sibling, my brother Lonnie who was born in January of 1936 in Faith South Dakota. But, I won’t speak of Faith just yet. My mom’s parents came here from Norway in the late 1880’s and had more kids than the fingers could count. Mom was just one of many of the Hanson children but in my opinion was the sweetest of all. Mom obtained a seventh grade education, enough to read and write clearly. Dad was a rambler who was doing just that in 1928 when he and my mom met.

Dad seemed to always love two things most in life, horses and women. I don’t blame my dad for all of his faults; after all, we all have some. Dad never had any education at all and never did learn to read and write. It was the late 1960’s before he learned how to sign his name.

Watching my parents struggle throughout my childhood ingrained in me the determination to get an education and to stay in school and get my high school diploma. This was one of the few goals in my life that I was able to accomplish.  My childhood taught me many things; things like the rich had good educations. And that the rich got rich and stayed rich on the sweat off the uneducated poor man’s back. Even as a small child I was always aware that we were looked down upon by those who could afford the nice clothes, fancy cars and big houses.

Mom and dad got married in 1928 in Benson. I never could figure why mom would have married my dad. Maybe it was that she was considered an old maid, going on 23 and still not hitched. I know she was never happy in her life with the cards she had been dealt. You know, uneducated, poor women aren’t anything except slaves to their uneducated ignorant husbands. Even the children that they bare are just an extension of the male’s property.

Shortly after I was born dad moved us to a little town in western South Dakota called Faith. A saying that I remember about Faith was fitting, “Faith South Dakota, a hundred miles from anywhere”. Dad had a couple of brothers that lived out that away. So I guess it was fitting that he would up and ramble toward them next.

I remember our years in South Dakota as being a pure hell, Faith with its dirt streets and water that had to be trucked in. It seems like I was always cold and dirty there. We lived in several one room shacks, some just lean-to’s on the back of peoples’ houses, seems like we were always hungry and cold. There were several of the places we lived that had dirt floors with walls and roofs that you could see straight through to the outside. I guess Faith was the reason I never did like to do any camping, so many of the places we lived seemed almost like we were camping.

To be fair to the town, maybe things wouldn’t have been as bad as they were if dad would have cared more about his family and less about other women, horses and bulldogs. Dad always tried to keep a horse and a bulldog or two. The horse I could understand, we hardly ever had a car, so the horse was his transportation back in those years. The bulldogs, I don’t know why he liked to have them. I guess it was just so he could have something else to beat on. I was always scared of his dogs, yet I always felt sorry for them. They were always kept chained to a stake in the back yard. Looking back, it might have been that he knew the dogs would bark if we had any visitors. The way he was always chasing after women, I guess that wasn’t such a bad idea.

My brother Lonnie was born there in Faith in January of 1936. It was always nice having a brother. Throughout our childhoods we were each others best friends, confidants and play partners. Yet having a brother was difficult too. It wasn’t just having another mouth to feed and back to clothe. It was also the having to see the hardships put upon yet another one that you loved without being able to do anything to correct it, or stop it.

I remember one night it had gotten dark and dad wasn’t home from his job yet and mom was crying real hard. I didn’t understand why mom was so upset because it was normal that dad didn’t come home before dark. I asked mom what was wrong and she told me about the rent being due that night, and dad being paid that day, but he hadn’t paid the rent or come home with his pay.

This was in the summer of 1937 and I was almost seven years old. My brother Lonnie was just about one and a half at the time. Mom said she had to stay home with the baby, but she told me to go through town and look for dad’s horse, find him and ask him to please come home, pay the rent and buy the family some food. It wasn’t long before I found dad’s horse tied up beside a building that had a lot of music and noise coming from it. I noticed a window on the side of the building with some empty wood crates by it. I took a few of the crates and stacked them up to where I could get up on them and look into that window. What I seen shocked me a lot. There was a naked woman sitting on top of my dad in a chair and he was also naked. They were just laughing and seemed to be having a lot of fun. Well, I was so surprised that I stumbled and fell off the crates onto the ground, with the crates falling after me. I made such a noise that the woman and dad both came and looked out the window at me. Dad was sure mad at me and he whipped me all the way home.

When we got home dad was still mad and he hollered at mom for a long time, I know she cried for hours. Dad said that mom and I had embarrassed him something horrible by doing what we had done. A couple of days after that dad sold his horse and his dogs and he pulled up to the shack we were living in, in an old dilapidated 1922 Ford car. Dad and mom took what few things we had, stuffed them and the four of us into the car and we left Faith South Dakota for a place called Galax Virginia.

I didn’t know anything about this place we were headed, I just hoped it was better than the place we had been. I know I prayed that I would never see Faith or South Dakota again for all I remembered of them was hardship. As it turned out I would see both again, but at least it would wait almost thirty years.

The trip from Faith to Galax is about 2,000 miles and in that old piece of junk dad was driving it took us three weeks to make it to Galax. I learned that the reason dad chose Galax was because he had several brothers and sisters living in and around this town he was born in. The three weeks the trip took seemed like forever. At night we would stop alongside the road and we would sleep on the ground beside the car. I remember being so scared and so hungry, hoping that we could make it to our new home.

When we finally made it to Galax we were broke and hungry. None of dad’s folks knew we were coming but none the less they took us in and kept us alive. I know it embarrassed mom a lot as we moved from one of dad’s kin to another over the first two months. But eventually one of dad’s brothers was able to get dad on at the mine he was working at just across the North Carolina line. Mom got a job at the local hospital changing linens and bed pans for the patients.

After a couple of months mom and dad were able to save enough money to rent a house in “the bottom” there in town. The bottom was a place that the working white poor folk lived. But still the house we were renting was like a real home. It had windows and wood floors and you couldn’t see any stars at night while lying in bed. Even though you could feel the cold air in the winter around the windows and doors at least it wasn’t so bad that the snow would come through them when they were closed. A few years later we were able to buy a different house there in the bottom down by the swinging bridge. That was after the war had started and dad was getting to work regular. It was a two bedroom with an inside toilet and a pot-bellied coal stove in the living room that kept us warm in the winter.

With the move to Virginia our scenery got a lot prettier, the weather was a lot nicer, and the people seemed to be friendlier. Our housing situation was much more stable and mom and dad had regular work. So a lot of things were better, more stable for us now, but there was still much heartache. The change of location didn’t change any of dad’s ways. We soon had a bulldog staked in the backyard and dad bought himself a horse and paid a farmer money to keep the horse at his place. Any money he had left was always spent on other women.

By now I was reaching an age to where I wasn’t as blind to the reality I was living in. For years I was required to take this little red wagon I had to a building downtown where I got food twice a month. This place handed out some flour, cornmeal, beans, bread, and cheese. If it wasn’t for Mr. Roosevelt, mom, Lonnie and I would have been very hungry. I guess that is a big reason why I was a lifelong democrat. I grew up believing that to vote republican you either had to be rich or stupid.

At the age of fourteen, I was able to get a job at the soda fountain inside the Peoples Drug Store in downtown Galax. I worked there three hours each evening and all day on Saturdays. I used this money to buy my own school clothes and the cost of my school supplies. I also worked in the school cafeteria serving food so that I could get my meals there for free. That was a lot better than having to run home at lunch, get a sandwich and a glass of milk then run back to school especially on the cold winter days.

I graduated high school in 1947. It was then I started working full-time at the drug store. I still lived at home and remained under dad’s control. I was never allowed to date. I’m sure it was because dad had his view of what women were and he wasn’t about to let me be anything like the women he had always known.

Dad worked with a man named Wayne Savage whom dad admired a lot because he was very strong and a real hard worker. As things worked out, Wayne had a younger brother named Bill who was getting out of the Navy from his two-year hitch in February of 1948. Wayne got Bill a job there at the mine when he was discharged from the Navy. So I ended up with dad’s insistence dating Bill and then marrying him May 29th, 1948. One truth I was always proud of is that I was a virgin on my wedding night.

Bill turned out to be a lot of the things dad was, and a lot of things he wasn’t. I think the reason Bill got married was for the free sex, free housekeeper, free cook and an extra paycheck. In my dad’s defense he was a hard worker and a non-drinker. Unfortunately Bill was an alcoholic and he never found a job he would stick with.

From 1949 through 1956 I gave birth to four children. Our oldest Larry was born in my mom’s home in June 1949 with a midwife. Our second child, Steven Ray was born in a hospital in Winston-Salem North Carolina in May of 1952. I have always been so glad that I gave birth to Steven in a hospital or I never would have been able to forgive myself. The doctors said Steven was born with a hole in his heart. In 1952 they couldn’t save him; he lived three days, never leaving the hospital. We buried Steven in the McKenzie Cemetery just outside of Galax. Our third child was our little girl Jackie; she was born in September of 1954. Jackie and our last child Ted were born in the hospital in Galax. Ted was born in August 1956. He was always sickly and skinny as a rail, at every meal it was difficult to get him to eat. This just made him a target for Bill. I dreaded every meal because you always knew that Bill would start yelling at him and then start beating him. Ted had to put up with that until he was seventeen. He stood up to Bill then and it was plain that Bill got scared, but he never treated Ted like that again. But that was 1973, so I’m getting ahead of myself so I’m going to step back in time to 1961.

Bill and our family had rented many places until we got lucky and was able to get the bank to finance us a small eight acre farm in nearby Woodlawn, Virginia. It was a dream come true for me, our own house. It was a three bedroom, one bath, two-story house with a small detached garage, a full size barn, and a hog house. The property was fenced in so we could have a cow and there was plenty of wild game such as squirrels, rabbits, pheasants and turkeys to keep the freezer full. In 1961 the cost of all this was $8,000.00.

By the time the spring of 1965 rolled around Bill had worked at about every place in the Galax area and none of the employers would have him anymore. That spring one of Bill’s drinking buddies stopped by our house and talked to Bill about the coal mines in Butte, Montana. Telling Bill about the good paying jobs there in the mines and how wonderful Montana was. In less than two weeks Bill was on a Greyhound bus.

The plan was for Bill to go there, get a good job, find the family a place, then in August come back to Virginia, sell the farm and we would move to Butte. Like always things didn’t work out that way. Bill came back on the bus the first of August without a dime in his pockets. He had been living in an apartment and had no place ready for us to move to. He said he had been keeping all his money in his apartment and shortly before he was to come back home someone broke into the apartment and stole all the money.

Bill’s plan was to come back to Virginia, sell the farm, and use the equity money to move with. It was many years later before we found out that the mines Bill was working at had closed down. This explained why he was broke when he came back. This also meant that Bill had no job to move us to.  So he came back, we sold the farm for $8,500.00 netting a clear $800.00 to use for the move. Bill’s plan was to stop in Deadwood South Dakota where I had two uncles and aunts, play sick, say he went to a doctor, lie saying he had black lung and that he would be dead by forty if he continued mining. He was one month away from thirty-eight at that time.

So Bill, with no job to go to, sells our home, and moves his wife and three kids across the country headed to nothing. We stayed with my family for three days while Bill found a job in nearby Spearfish at the Homestake Sawmill. We then found a basement apartment to rent nearby the mill. The jobs in Galax all paid the minimum wage of $1.25 per hour. I found a job in a nursing home for, you guessed it, $1.25 per hour. Bills job at the mill paid $1.90 per hour.

This was August 1965, we didn’t escape there until November 1966. A representative from Chrysler Corporation came out there trying to recruit employees for a new assembly plant in Belvidere Illinois. Seems the local people were too offended that Chrysler was going to pay people more than $5.00 an hour with great benefits while the rest of the town was settled into jobs paying less than $2.00 an hour. I know that makes no sense, but a lot of people from South Dakota jumped on those jobs the Belvidere locals didn’t want.

In the fifteen months we were in Spearfish I was so depressed that we were going to end up stuck there forever. I have to admit we had a few good times while we were there. We did visit a few local parks, and Spearfish is in the “Black Hills”. During this time our oldest son Larry went back to Galax to live. He was sixteen, almost seventeen and he got a job at Vaughan Basset Furniture factory. He stayed there until just before we moved to Belvidere. He came back and helped us with the move then he decided to stay in Belvidere and when he turned eighteen he also got a job at Chrysler.

I remember that while we were in South Dakota we visited Mount Rushmore on our eighteenth anniversary (1966). We also took a trip in the summer of 66 to Faith to watch a big yearly rodeo they held. The roads were still dirt and I still saw water trucks, but they did have a good rodeo. On the Fourth of July 1966 we went to the big rodeo show in Deadwood. During an intermission they put on the Wild Bill Hickock Show, the one where he was shot in the back playing cards in the saloon. That’s pretty much all the good memories I have from there. I was just glad to get out of there in November of 66 as we headed east praying that Belvidere would be better.

When we got to Illinois we rented an apartment in the town of Cherry Valley for three months. The rent was $150.00 per month but after we had been there for three months they raised the rent to $200.00 so we looked around and found a nice old house in Belvidere for $85.00 a month. It was right by the city park, real close to the waterfall. If Bill could have ever quit his drinking and acted like a husband and a dad we could probably have been happy there.

We lived in that house from February 1967 till April 1970. We all survived the big F-4 tornado of April 21st, 1967 unharmed while living in that house. Also during that time frame Bill got hurt at work. Bill’s foreman told him to take a part over to a certain bucket and wash it off. Turns out the bucket had acid in it. Bill had only stuck his right hand down in it thank goodness. The acid really messed up his hand and the nerves with it. He ended up missing several months work and we sued Chrysler settling out of court for $10,000.00. We put $8,000.00 down on a home on the western outskirts of town that was priced at $25,000.00. It set on an acre of land bordering a large county park. Once again, if Bill could have just acted like a man we could have been very happy there.

In February 1974, Bill and I were in a car wreck in Belvidere as a man drove through a stop sign and hit us broadside. I wasn’t injured but Bill broke his left hip and cracked his left ankle. The day after Bill had his hip replacement he had a heart attack while lying in his hospital bed. He ended up having to have a four-way bypass operation. While Bill was recuperating he got a check in the mail from Social Security. Turns out that Chrysler went through the process to get him disabled because he had nine years in with them and at ten years guaranteed lifetime benefits would be coming into effect and they weren’t wanting to have to pay them.

Larry had gotten married in October 1968 to a lady with two kids; I think he married her to get out of being drafted into Vietnam, though I’ve always believed she really loved him. Jackie got married in August of 1971; I believe just to get out of the house and away from Bill. My youngest, Ted, got married in May 1975. Now I was home alone with Bill all the time. Without the kids there Bill was still as hateful as ever.

In 1977 we sold the big house on the west side and bought a nice ranch style house only a couple blocks from my work in town. It was a beautiful house and I really loved it. Also about this time Bill finally quit drinking and I had high hopes for a better life but that was just wishful thinking. Bill stayed just as hateful and self-centered as he had always been. I had always hoped it was the alcohol, it wasn’t, it was just who he was.

I had a bad left hip during this time and it was real painful to try to work with. I had tried for Social Security but got turned down so I had to go back to work after about eleven months off. I had only been back to work less than a year when Bill came up to the office and told them I had to quit because I had gotten my Social Security. When we got home I found that was not true. It had only been suggested by my lawyer to appeal. Well, during this time our income was not enough to pay the bills. So in 1981 we had to sell the house before we lost it. We only had enough money to buy a new, but cheap single wide trailer that because of zoning laws we had to put into a mobile home court. It was the nicest court in town but losing our home because of Bill’s ignorance just made me sick.

Shortly after we got moved I was turned down again on the Social Security. I had to go back up to that hole I had worked at since 1968 and ask for my job back, to my surprise they reinstated me with full seniority. I did end up getting a left hip replacement on my birthday 1992. The month before my oldest son Larry died of an aneurysm in his apartment in Scranton Pennsylvania. Bill’s health was constantly deteriorating and he died just before Christmas 1993 from heart failure. I ended up retiring in February 1994.

Now I was truly alone except for my daughter Jackie who lived locally and was now a Methodist minister. I did have a few people at church that I associated with. My son Ted was a long-haul truck driver who only got to stop in for a night or so about three or four times a year.

My dad died in his sleep in early March 1987. I had a major heart attack on June 1st, 1996 that really set me back physically. But 1996 would only get worse. Mom died all alone in a nursing home in August and my brother Lonnie died that November of brain cancer and heart failure.

The next year, 1997, I had to have my right hip replaced, again on my birthday. It was hard to make do on my own but I made it. Jackie came over and helped me some while I was recuperating and Ted would send me extra money when he could to help me out. He was paying my lot rent for me each month which really helped out. One day when Jackie and her husband were over I got a letter from Ted with a check for $690.00 in it, $190.00 for the lot rent and $500.00 to put up for emergency needs. Jackie and her husband got really mad at me for “taking Teds’ money” like that. So from that point on Ted and I never mentioned anything about him helping me.

In March of 1999, Ted had to have heart surgery after a heart attack and he was out of work with no income for a long time. So in the summer of 1999 I took a job at a local nursing home two hours per night. My job was to help clean up the dining area and kitchen after supper had been served to the residents. It wasn’t much of a job, I hated doing it but it did make my lot rent payment.

That fall an opening came up for an extra half hour per night to go from room to room passing out cookies. I took on the extra work, but I truly enjoyed doing it. I felt sorry for so many of these people who had been discarded and abandoned here by their family members. I enjoy talking with them each evening, trying to cheer them up. It wasn’t long before I became known as “the cookie lady”, I enjoyed that title, it made me feel wanted.

Well, this is Sunday morning August 20th, 2000. I sometimes find it hard to believe that with the life I have had that I would have made it to the year 2000. I just spoke to my son Ted at his home in Florida but I need to get going or I will be late for church. I still need to stop by Jackie’s before church and get her newspaper put in her house because they are on a weekend vacation.

Mom never made it to church. As she slowed down and turned into my sister’s driveway a young man driving a four-wheel drive Dodge Ram pickup thought it was a good time to speed up and pass. He hit mom right in the driver’s door at about seventy miles per hour, killing her instantly. He had hit her so hard that the coroner said the impact tore all the arteries away from her heart.

A bright light put out. A life lived in the darkness of others, seldom being allowed to shine. A life lived in so much sadness, put upon by others. So many joys of life denied her. In so many ways, a light, a life, unfulfilled. But a woman who will always be very much-loved, and missed “The Cookie Lady”, our Mom.

Wagons West

Wagons West

Wagon west from Virginia’s foothills

Six kids in the family

Four wheels of wood and steal

Two mules a straining at the whip

Bluegrass foothills

Ohio and the Mississippi

Cherokee arrows, they all missed

Camping under the arch, evening sun pointing west

Wagon master hollering, everyone get in line

If the weather holds, and no indians attack

Should be at our new home

Spearfish Dakota, in about three week’s time

Mr. Custer says the Sioux

Are running scared of the bugle and the blue

The train, we got six indians riding point

You can see the hate of us in their eyes

Mr. Custer, on your words

Thirty families risk their lives

We had not yet cleared Nebraska

News came, yellow hair and the 7th

Would ride these plains no more

One more week we made the Black Hills

Land of gold, coal, and lumber

O yes and several thousand Sioux on every side

Now my family and I are all six feet under

In this cold ground we had hoped to plow

Spearfish South Dakota: Great Sioux Nation: The Blood And The Gold

Spearfish Dakota and Blood

What an odd name, ye think of me

But for a lack of luck

Maybe my name would be more prevalent

In our country’s history books

Black Hills Dakota, land of lore, gold and blood

Deadwood you know, Hickok lying in his own

Crazy Horse, the one who cried when bees touched his blood

The Seventh went down in history, their sins paid with their own

My feet have always been planted in the center of timber and gold

All around me is glory and fame and the dried blood of many

The great Sioux Nation and the tears that they paid

Not even the grade school books tell the truth of our story

Come visit Custer’s Last Stand they got what they deserved

Rapid City a main gateway to the great northwest

Four faces carved in stone, a true Rushmore monument

I stand true to the blood sweat and tears who bore me

Of my name I am very proud though white men gave it

Sturgis now rumbles right next to me loud and proud

Spearfish South Dakota, Black Hills glory then and now!

Spearfish South Dakota: The Great Sioux Nation: The Blood And The Gold

 

Spearfish Dakota The Blood And The Gold

What an odd name, ye may think of me

Maybe my name would be more prevalent

In our country’s history books but for a lack of luck

Black Hills Dakota, land of lore, gold and blood

Deadwood you know, Hickok lying in a pool of his own

Crazy Horse, the one who cried when bees touched his blood

The Seventh went down in history, their sins paid with their own

My feet have always been planted in the center of timber and gold

All around me is glory and fame and the dried blood of many

The great Sioux Nation with the blood and tears that they paid

Not even the grade school books tell the truth of our story

Come visit Custer’s Last Stand they got what they deserved

Rapid City a main gateway to the great northwest

Four faces carved in stone, a true Rushmore monument

I stand true to the blood sweat and tears who bore me

Of my name I am very proud though white men gave it

Sturgis now rumbles right next to me loud and proud

Spearfish South Dakota, Black Hills magic then and now

(History Philosophy/Poem) In My Time A Odd And Unique Story Of My Life

In My Time—-My First Ever Post Revisited

 

I was just going through some of my data and I went back to my first ever post, I like it pretty well so I brought it up from the grave to you, for your consideration to see what you folks think of it. Basically this is a story of my life, it is a story filled with the good the bad the ugly the odd the strange, the spiritual and the evil. By no means am I perfect, I have had more flaws than I could possibly remember or count. I have tried to put this story into the form of a poem, hopefully it will tweak your interest some, who knows, it may give you a few moments of humor.   T.R.S.

 

O Lord, the things I have seen in my days I have been given

O Lord, the things by your grace to me You have shown

South-West Virginia and Your beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains

Iron Ridge culture, hard working poor white trash, 1950’s

“I’m going to start remembering now”

These, the first words I ever remember

Spoken aloud, words from within my own soul

Inner words, everyone has a soul, I know They speak to all

Placed all the rooms in our little home, which I still remember

Outside, counted all the concrete blocks front to back

Two years old, friends how do we do and know such things

Born with math skills, but look at Mozart what at three he could play

Summer time, setting on the front porch, my two siblings by my side

Walk across the dirt road to the old dilapidated wood gate

Sunny day, watching the cattle mill around on the other side

Mom gave us each a nickel for us a Coke to buy, a great treat at the time

Walked to the Shell just below the house that sheltered us five

O how hard it was on Mom, to always be so poor

Minimum wage factories, workers just chafe on the rich mans floor

I guess it’s easier on the pre -school children, the classes they don’t know

School starts, you see other children, realities you had not seen before

Mid 1960’s, poor flight to to west, a better life your hoping for

You trade the Blue Ridge for the Great Sioux’s Black Hills

O Lord, on at trip like this, the things a child’s eyes ingest

Moon light shines, illuminates the beauty of the big rigs

August Rattle Snakes playing in the sand, 114 in the shade

30 days later, chest high snow in September, O what a land

One year later, hoping for better, for a good job toward Windy we ran

When you are so poor, you spend your whole life trying to escape it

But even young, I knew that pain, always present in my Mamma’s eyes

Life is always hard with an alcohol disease riddled parent

Knowing that you are hated and he beats you with glee

Even harder on the child when they know other adults know and see

They never ever come to your aid, they always just let it be

Life’s early hardships, good or bad, they help create the person inside

About forth or fifth grade I walked into your door Lord

My life long rock, my life many times You have saved

Poor white boy, learning of life in the mid-west, with a Hill Billy mind

With some knowledge of Dakota’s  beautiful Black Hills

These life’s lessons, good and bad, always living behind my eyes

Now I am aged with gray beard and store bought eyes

Now the projector in my mind plays me many memories

Occasionally I see some of the good I have done in my life

Though I do try to castrate these pictures from my mind

A lofty heart leads to evil, I wish to give ego no quarters to hide

In my life I have mastered the art of many evils

O how I wish I could say that this thing was a lie

But when you have seen and have known pure evil

Pay some attention to the news, evil all around us resides

Demons have no fear of man, they will lie, looking you in the eyes

They will tell you they are Angels, for your best interest they care inside

Do not be deceived, mainly in the worlds capitals they hide

In my time Lord You have shown me many things

Through Your Spirit You have given me some site

In life it is so easy to become a manic-depressive

You have so plainly shown me our planets plight and demise

Our leaders and the media so filled with venom to Your light

Evil so blinded and hungry for more power, money, and pride

I know that by the time the trumpet sounds

I will once again be just dust upon the ground

Though I cringe for all our children, and theirs

The battle of the Nations against their Creator

For left behind loved ones, Armageddon lies ahead

As the Lord and His Angels return to fight from the clouds overhead

The Demons pre-judged, to Hell they will now be thrown

Leaving the poor defrauded people to fight God and His Angels alone

They are now like grapes in the press, confused, disillusioned, and dead

Lord I thank You that this event I will not have to see, “In My Time”