I was born September 3, 1922, on my Grandfather McManus' farm, in the Old Tarrant Community about 6 miles north of Sulphur Springs, Texas. This was not a good year to come into this world! The [Great Depression] was just around the corner, and we seniors in that age group actually draw less percentage of Social Security benefits than everyone else. It's called the [Notch] years. However, I am happy I made it into this wonderful world
I attended school at Old Tarrant, in a 3 room school house....3 grades in the first room, and 2 grades in each of the other 2 rooms. My brother and sister, Mynard & Essie, remember this as a 1 room school because by the time they started to school, all grades were in one room, with one teacher for all of them. I remember we had outside outhouses (toilets) and we got in trouble several times for turning the girl's outhouse over. Murray Irons was the principal and teacher, and his wife Zenna was also a teacher. I had to walk about 2= miles each day to school and back home after school. That seemed okay then because I didn't know any better.
Growing up, I remember hunting squirrel, fox, wolves, quail and turkey. I also remember trapping. There was a huge rock southeast of our house that measured about 5 feet wide, 15 feet long and 15 feet deep. We were sure something very valuable was buried under that rock, but we never got it turned over to see. I recall our Model T Ford. Dad had to drain the radiator every night in the winter, then fill it up with warm water the next morning. The Model T had a crank on the front that we would turn real fast to get it started.
Sometimes it would recoil, or kick, and nearly break your arm. The depression didn't affect us as bad as it did people who lived in town. We had plenty to eat, as we grew and canned all our own vegetables, fruits and meat. About the only items we had to buy was salt, pepper and flour. We ground our own meal from corn, and made our own soap. Those days, we canned in fruit jars so that we could use them over again and again. People in town, who couldn't raise their own food, had a hard time keeping something to eat. One of my earliest memories of the depression was the Government Agent shooting our cows. They bought them from us and then shot and killed them. We could keep one cow to butcher for food. I also remember Daddy riding a stalk cutter and cutting down all our cotton. Again, the Government bought our cotton and paid us an hourly wage of 25" to destroy it.
In about 1933, we were coming out of the depression, and I started getting many odd jobs, milking cows for Claude Palmer who paid me 5", carrying the .Grit. newspaper every Friday and selling it for 5", of which I got to keep 2" for every one I sold. I also sold fox hides for 50", opossum hide for 10", and took chickens to town to sell for 50" dressed. Then Carnation Milk Company built the world's largest milk plant in Sulphur Springs and the town has never been the same since. It was a God send for that area.
I started to High School in 1937, in Sulphur Springs. After graduating in 1941, I enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1942. I married in 1943 and had 2 children, Karan and Ricky. After serving in the South Pacific, I was discharged on February 14, 1946 and divorced in 1948.
While living in Oklahoma I met Jean Wenzel and we were married in July, 1950. To this marriage, 4 children were born, Randy, Debbie, Robin and Ginger. I held numerous jobs in several states, until 1958 when I joined the H. J. Heinz Company and stayed with them for 20 years, leaving them in 1977.