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Putting Meat on the Table

Mother had a large garden and worked very hard to prepare the vegetables for eating during summer and prepare the rest for winter. Seemed like Dad spent his time working on the other crops; turning over the small hunting duties to me. Yep - 10 years old and putting meat on the table.

I was the proud owner of a small Stevens 22, single shot, used only short 22 cartridges. Often Mother would give me three shells to hunt for food: cotton tail rabbits or squirrels. Seems like bragging now, but I regularly returned with something for Mother skin and cook.

Squirrel was my favorite! Mother floured and fried everything except the tail. The head was always given to my Dad to crack open and dig the brains out for me to eat. Yeah, I know most of you are saying 'Yuck', but eating those brains put me in hog heaven. (Bet I would say Yuck these days.)

Mother never let the grease and frying residue go to waste, always making gravy. Every meal had home made bread, biscuits or cornbread, sure was good to sop up gravy leavings.

Dad and I would take corn to the mill, giving about half to pay the owner for grinding it up, the rest going to us.

This was in the thirties, some may recall the 'Great Depression' days.

One day Dad and I loaded the old Model T half truck with water melons to sell in Mineral Wells. They were all ripe, both red and yellow meated melons, about 20-30 pounds each. Wonderful tasting and quite delicious, can only describe that taste about half as good as they really tasted.

Dad drove to the 'trade ground' in town, any watermelon could be bought for only five (.05) cents a piece, not per pound, per each! NOT ONE WAS SOLD! After 5-6 hours we took them back home to feed to the hogs.

Yep, money was tight and very hard to come by.


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