Monday, January 9, 2012

Memoirs of Lula Sue Simmons: Part 3, Crossing the River

Mom spoke often of their adventures in "the river" and of spending summer days at their "swimming holes".  Since the family resided in the Pinebur community of Lamar County, I'm sure she was speaking of Little River.

As Mom aged, she enjoyed sharing stories of her childhood in Pinebur.  I can remember her smiles and laughter when she spoke of the tricks her brother Alton pulled on her and I can remember the breaking of her voice when she spoke of some of the hardships the family endured.  Her story continues....

  As a child we would think and act like children but we would work like adults.  After school we would pick cotton, pull corn, feed the stock and watch over the younger kids until Mama could get home from work.

After moving across little River from grandmaw and grandpaw one of us would have to ride the bus over to their house and get Gertie and Elton in the afternoon and walk back home.   Walking home would be about a mile through the woods and across the river.  By wading the river and carrying one child at a time and then go back and bring the other one and another walk of about half of a mile took time.  

Of course if it had rained and the river was flooded then we would cross down river in a boat.  This was a very tricky thing to do.

There was bob [sic] wire strechted [sic] across the river and we would pull the boat across by holding on to the wire and slowly pulling the boat to the other side.  Alton was always suppose to do this.

But one cold and rainy day he decided it was time for me to learn this.  So with him waiting on the other side of the river watching out for our safety Gertie and I started across.  But with freezing fingers and not strong enough for the current I made the mistake to let go of the wire.  The boat was going down the river at a very fast rate and with Gertie crying and screaming for me to save her.  

And my big brother on the bank rolling with laughter there was one thing to do.  I jumped out holding on to the tie up rope and pulled the boat in.  I got a good case of pneumonia, he got a good laugh he also got something else when Mama got home.

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