Mom's brother, Alton, seemed to stay in trouble while they were growing up in the tiny community of Pinebur, Mississippi. It is a blessing that the family lived in the backwoods of Lamar County because Alton could have stirred up a "heap more trouble" if they had lived in the city. Mom's memoirs reflect some of the mischief Alton invented:
Alton was always inventing new games. Breaking bottles was one of them. He and I would get all of the glass bottles that we could find then taking [sic] them down to this deep gully behind the house he would throw them and they would break into many pieces.
Mama and grandma was canning peas on the day he had a brain stroam [sic] to break bottles. So after breaking many bottles which some of them didn't break I was to jumb [sic] down and get these ones so he could throw them again.
So I did what my older brother said to do. Needless to say I was cut real bad. But never fear my brother wented [sic] for help.
Running home to find Mama and grandma sitting on the porch shelling peas he told them that I was bleeding to death and they should go see about me. Of course they came running with Alton telling them that he didn't think that I was stupid enough to jump down there on all of that broken glass. Needless to say what happened to him when we got back to the house.
Alton was good at inventing ways to stay away from work too.
Like the time we were to plow the fields and get it ready to be planted. At this time he was about eight years old and I was four or five. After getting the horse hitched up he would sit under a shade tree and tell me how to plow.
If the plow got hung up on a root or the horse wouldn't go in the right direction it was because I was too stupid to do anything right.
One Monday morning sitting on the front porch waiting for the school bus he made a very bad mistake by telling our little sister Gertie that his badly spranged ankle would feel better if someone would hit it with a piece of wood.
Well she was sitting next to a pile of stove wood. So thinking as a three year old would and wanting to help her brother feel better she picked up a piece and really laid a feel better hit on his ankle. Needless to say he didn't have to go to school that day. But he never did ask Gertie to give him a feel better lick again.
Photo, c. 1945-46