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Posts Tagged ‘fordyce’

Silly Little Fool…A Bubba Story

boy  I am a big believer in the power of family stories. I think they help us all remember who we really are and where we came from. You can lose everything from guitars to dogs but nobody can take your history.

Fortunately I’ve been blessed with a very “oral” family. We yammer on and on. For generations we’ve been telling stories. (When I married Alex there was a cosmic hiccup in the universe because he was the first quiet member of our family in 200 years)

So, here’s one of my favorites from my grandmother Bubba.

Bubba, who’s real name was Ruth Ross, was born in Kingsland, Arkansas in 1895. She was the middle child of three and her brothers were named,(I swear I’m not making these up) Egbert and Delbert. When this story took place Delbert was around 12, Ruth was 8 and Egbert was probably 6.

Kingsland isn’t far from the town of Fordyce, Arkansas and one day, when Ruth was eight her father decided she was old enough to ride the train, with her younger brother, alone, to Kingsland, where Delbert would meet them at the station.

Her father, who was a small man with a gigantic mustache, gave her a dollar for the tickets and put them on the train with their suitcases, because they were supposed to spend the week with their Aunt.

Both the children were dressed up of course. Ruth was wearing a puffy yellow dress with a white sash and six year old Egbert had on his suit, suspenders and a cap. My grandmother was 98 the last time she told this story. Nearly blind, she would close her eyes and rub my hand as she envisioned her baby brother. She would lose herself in the memory and I stayed silent.

The conductor, dressed in black, came around and took the dollar from the children. The train started rolling and they waited patiently for him to return with their change. The train began chugging along, faster and faster, and still he didn’t come back with their change.

After fifteen minutes or so, the train began to slow down  to stop at the Kingsland station and still, the conductor hadn’t returned with their change.

Passengers got on and off the train and finally, the conductor appeared with their eighty cents. But the train was already pulling out from the Fordyce station.

So Ruth, grabbed Egbert’s little hand and they both jumped from the slow moving train.

Together they rolled and tumbled down the embankment, their suitcases popped open and all their clothes flew out. A shocked crowed gathered around then oldest brother Delbert appeared. He’s been waiting for them and was obviously annoyed. He pulled Egbert,who was crying, to his feet and as he brushed the dirt and grass off his suit said, “You silly little fool, that’s what you get for following a woman”.

Bubba, Cars and Love in Fordyce, Arkansas

Car1902-1My grandmother,Ruth Ross Stell (aka  Bubba), was born in New Edinburg, Arkansas in 1895.  New Edinburg is right outside of Fordyce in the ‘Big Woods” of Dallas County.(For those of you who live outside of Arkansas I know that tells you absolutely nothing.) If you live in East Texas, you know what the middle of no where is, so this story is for you guys.

She was almost 101 when she died. During her life time Bubba saw the invention of everything from airplanes and electric can openers to televisions and dishwasher . When Bubba was a girl and dating my grandfather he played foot ball for Ouachita Baptist University wearing a leather football helmet.

But one of my favorite ‘Bubba stores” is from 1902 or 1903. Bubba was just seven or eight years old.  One afternoon she and her father took their wagon to Fordyce. There was a great deal of commotion in the center of town.  Everyone lined up along the streets and waited.  Bubba said, “off in the distance I could see a cloud of dust rolling towards us. It was like a little tornado.” And suddenly a car appeared with spoked wheels and no top. The driver was wearing goggles and a duster, the crowed shouted and cheered, in awe of the rolling buggy. The driver smiled and waved at the folks.  And then it was gone.

Bubba didn’t see another car for two or three years, because who drove to Fordyce, Arkansas in 1902?

After watching the automobile pass, Bubba and her father climbed back into their wagon and headed home.

Lots of things have changed, computers, electric shock collars for dog, neon signs and Swiffers are all a big part of our lives.But some things remain the same, somethings have endured the test of time. I just watched Kate and Prince William carry their new baby boy out of the hospital in London. The expressions of parents with a new born baby hasn’t changed. The wonder in a child’s eye when you plug the Christmas tree in for the first time hasn’t changed. The nervous feeling a boy feels when he’s asking a pretty girl out, hasn’t changed. And the desperate, “no holds barred” love I have for my children is just like that of parents for thousands of years. Somethings never change. And these are the important things in life.

Silly Little Fool…A Bubba Story

boyI am a big believer in the power of family stories. I think they help us all remember who we really are and where we came from. You can lose everything from guitars to dogs but nobody can take your history.

Fortunately I’ve been blessed with a very “oral” family. We yammer on and on. For generations we’ve been telling stories. (When I married Alex there was a cosmic hiccup in the universe because he was the first quiet member of our family in 200 years)

So, here’s one of my favorites from my grandmother Bubba.

Bubba, who’s real name was Ruth Ross, was born in Kingsland, Arkansas in 1895. She was the middle child of three and her brothers were named,(I swear I’m not making these up) Egbert and Delbert. When this story took place Delbert was around 12, Ruth was 8 and Egbert was probably 6.

Kingsland isn’t far from the town of Fordyce, Arkansas and one day, when Ruth was eight her father decided she was old enough to ride the train, with her younger brother, alone, to Kingsland, where Delbert would meet them at the station.

Her father, who was a small man with a gigantic mustache, gave her a dollar for the tickets and put them on the train with their suitcases, because they were supposed to spend the week with their Aunt.

Both the children were dressed up of course. Ruth was wearing a puffy yellow dress with a white sash and six year old Egbert had on his suit, suspenders and a cap. My grandmother was 98 the last time she told this story. Nearly blind, she would close her eyes and rub my hand as she envisioned her baby brother. She would lose herself in the memory and I stayed silent.

The conductor, dressed in black, came around and took the dollar from the children. The train started rolling and they waited patiently for him to return with their change. The train began chugging along, faster and faster, and still he didn’t come back with their change.

After fifteen minutes or so, the train began to slow down  to stop at the Kingsland station and still, the conductor hadn’t returned with their change.

Passengers got on and off the train and finally, the conductor appeared with their eighty cents. But the train was already pulling out from the Fordyce station.

So Ruth, grabbed Egbert’s little hand and they both jumped from the slow moving train.

Together they rolled and tumbled down the embankment, their suitcases popped open and all their clothes flew out. A shocked crowed gathered around then oldest brother Delbert appeared. He’s been waiting for them and was obviously annoyed. He pulled Egbert,who was crying, to his feet and as he brushed the dirt and grass off his suit said, “You silly little fool, that’s what you get for following a woman”.