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Lisa A. Parnell

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The Granny Files: May 7, 1947
by Lisa A. Parnell   

Last edited: Saturday, May 11, 2002
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2002

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A letter from a grandmother's files.



Wanna buy a rabbit? I’ve got more than I want. Raising them is okay and eating them is fine but selling them – with the poor set-up I have, is something else again. I don’t have any way to scout around for buyers – oh, I could sell dressed fryers easily enough but I don’t fancy myself in that business. Certainly not when I can’t even bring myself to kill one and have to depend on Kyle to do it for me. So – I think I’ll cut my flock down to two or three does and a buck. That’ll give us all the rabbit we can eat – and also cut down my chores and expense of feeding. My flock is too small for commercial purposes – and besides I’m not too interested in that end of the deal – and too large for home consumption – which is certainly what I am interested in. By the way – we have just one survivor of the ten orphan rabbits. He’s eating lustily and may pull through – but I’ll be surprised if he does.

I’ve been digging and transplanting flowers again this morning. Today I worked with the pinks and – darn it, I can’t think of the name of the other flower and I know it well – tall things – larkspur. I had to go look at the packet which is still stuck up at the end of one row. I’ve still got others to do but they’ll have to wait.

Dotty is still lonesome but is getting much better about giving milk. I don’t mean she’s giving any more, between four and five quarts yesterday, but she doesn’t jump around and raise so much cain when Happy and Mr. Halford milk her.

I never have told you much about the Halfords, have I? I think I just wrote that some crummy looking people had bought the place to the south of us. Well, I’m sorry I made that remark. They may look crummy over there in their work clothes but they’re no crummier than I am – and really don’t look any worse either, come to think of it. Mrs. Halford is up around sixty I’d judge and her son, Frankie, who I, of course call Mr. Halford, is around forty I suppose altho he looks and acts as old as his mamma. I guess he’s an old bachelor and she, she told me, is a widow. When Ora, my colored friend, came out that Sunday and cooked dinner for me she recognized the Halfords and said she used to live close to them when she was a little girl and had worked for Mrs. Halford a little. She said that before Mr. Halford died they had one of the nicest farms anywhere and that one of the daughters had married a wealthy man in Dallas. Happy has had some business dealings with the girls husband who has a distilled water distributing company. I chat with Mrs. Halford every day and am delighted to have her for a neighbor – she knows a lot of things I need to know and besides, is just nice people. It is really funny how she bosses Frankie around – as if he was no older than Kyle. And he argues with her just about Kyle argues with me. I may be wrong but I sort of think that Frankie is just a little weak in the brain department – certainly he isn’t the go-getter type and seems very timid. But he really does love goats and goat milk. They had planned to buy a goat but for the time being they won’t and Mr. Halford will just milk for me each noon. She told me they had only a limited amount of money to get started on so I guess they are happy with the deal. They plan to raise fryers and hens to make their living. She wanted to buy our big brooder and Happy priced it to them at $42.50. She said that was certainly cheap enough but they’d about decided they’d just have to get along with home-made hovers.

There’s no house on the place but there’s a good small barn and a chicken house. They’re going to live in the barn and remodel it along. They haven’t moved over yet and are having a very hard time going back and forth every day. Well – now you know the Halfords. One more thing – one of the first questions she asked me was whether we were Baptists. I just left Happy completely out of the answer and said that we were Presbyterians. She was disappointed. But I made the mistake once of telling a Baptist church worker that Happy used to belong to the Baptist church and she said she was going to send the preacher to see him – altho Kyle spoke up and told her that Daddy sure didn’t like the Baptist church any more. The preacher never did come but it made Happy mad when I told him about it – he said I could just talk to the man myself if he did come.

Seems there was something I’d had on my mind to tell you about today.

After due meditation I’ve decided that it must have been that I’d made a mental note to correct my first report to you about the Halfords.

The little chicks are doing just fine – but today starts their second week and Happy says this and the next week will be the danger periods. Still have lost only one altho there’s still that other that seems to have piles or maybe it is a ruptured rectum. The turkey poults are doing just as well as the chicks. The White Rocks are getting around five weeks old and darned if some of them don’t look like they’re big enough to eat. But Happy says it’ll be two more weeks before they’re really ready. He’s beginning to insist that I’m planning on saving too many pullets and that I’ll be sick of having so many hens around.

Oh – I was about to forget to tell you something important! Remember those two rows of green beans I hovered over so – the ones I planted so early nobody though they’d do any good? Well, they have beans big enough to eat now and we’re going to have green beans for supper tonight! Isn’t that wonderful?

Another thing. Happy is on a deal that may get us a nine foot Admiral refrigerator with a frozen food compartment that’ll handle 100 lbs of frozen food – and quick-freeze it too. And, if the deal works out so we get it at all we’ll get it at wholesale cost which is around $250 – and it retails for close to $500! It had some scratches on the back when it was unloaded at the dealers and they’re wrangling with East Texas about it. But East Texas hauled it only a small part of the way to the dealer and so the claim agent doesn’t feel they’re wholly responsible for the damage. They’ve offered to either pay their pro-rata part of the damages with the other truck lines that handled it – or to pay the dealer what it cost him. Neither offer has been taken up so far but if he takes up the latter offer Happy gets the refrigerator. I can’t get too hopeful tho.

Now I’ve got to go give those White Rocks some more mash, they’re nearly out and complaining about it. And once I start my feeding rounds there’s no stopping for over an hour – there’s brooders to clean, waterers to clean and re-fill besides all the stopping to admire that I still have to do.

Much love,


Now I know what I intended to tell you. Kyle had a fight yesterday! The bus doesn’t stop right in front of the house in the afternoons and after it passed yesterday I kept wondering why Kyle didn’t show up. It was nearly thirty minutes before he came in reporting that he’d had a fight after he got off the bus. He said that there was a boy standing by the road when the bus stopped and he threw rocks at the kids that got off – about eight of them unload about 300 feet down the road every afternoon. Well, Kyle told him to stop, that he was going to hit somebody. The kid was very smarty about it and asked Kyle is he wanted to fight. Kyle said no, he didn’t – that he didn’t like to fight but he did want the boy to stop throwing rocks. Well, one word led to another and finally the boy put his face up in Kyle’s face and kept saying, “Go on. Hit me. I dare you. I asked him who won the fight and he said he didn’t know – and didn’t seem to want to talk about it. So I figured that Kyle got whipped. Certainly anybody that wanted to fight that badly ought to be a good fighter. But after much questioning Kyle said that the other boy cried – and that he didn’t - - so guess he didn’t take a whipping after all. Kyle didn’t know the boy but thought he’d seen him around in the neighborhood before. Also, Kyle wasn’t any more mussed up than usual when he got home. But he tickled me. About all he wanted to say about it was that he really didn’t like to fight. Of course, I know that’s just my son’s side of the story – but it sounds about in line with his general disposition to me.

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