LOUIS CLIFFORD MANCILL HISTORY POST #13

WE MOVED BACK INTO THE HOUSE WITH GLENN AND MARIE AND AFTER ABOUT A MONTH THEY MOVED INTO A HOUSE THEY RENTED FOR AWHILE. THEN THEY BOUGHT A HOUSE AT 1710 CHESTON DRIVE IN JACINTO CITY. MY HOUSE WAS 1718 CHESTON DRIVE JUST TWO DOORS SOUTH.

1710 Cheston Drive, Jacinto City, TX 77029

1718 Cheston Drive, Jacinto City, TX 77029

WE BOTH STILL WORKED FOR THE RAILROAD. WE WORKED THE NIGHT SHIFT [12:01 AM TO 8:01 AM.] THERE WAS A MAN THAT LIVED DOWN THE STREET FROM US THAT WAS SELLING ATTIC FANS AND NEEDED SOMEONE TO INSTALL THEM WHEN HE SOLD THEM AND ASKED US IF WE WOULD DO THAT KIND OF WORK. SO WE STARTED INSTALLING THEM IN THE DAYTIME AND WORKED AT THE RAILROAD AT NIGHT. BACK THEN ANYTHING EXTRA HELPED US PAY THE BILLS. SOMETIMES WE ONLY WORKED THREE OR FOUR HOURS IN THE MORNING.AND SLEEP AFTER WE GOT THE EXTRA JOBS DONE.

WE ALSO DID CARPENTER WORK ON SOME HOUSES IN DEER PARK PUTTING OVERHANGS CORNICE AND ROOFS ON TOO. IT WASN’T LONG BEFORE HE SOLD A CENTRAL HEATER AND HE SHOWED US HOW TO INSTALL IT. THEN HE SOLD A HEATER WITH CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING AND SHOWED US HOW THAT WAS DONE AND WE WERE ON OUR WAY TO MAKING A GOOD CAREER FOR BOTH OF US. IT WAS HARD WORK AND LONG HOURS AND A LOT OF HOT PLACES. THE ATTICS WERE HOT IN THE SUMMER AND NOT SO BAD IN THE WINTERTIME.

THERE WAS A MAN BY THE NAME OF BILL KINDRED THAT STARTED AN AIR/CONDITIONING COMPANY AND GLENN AND I STARTED WORKING FOR HIM, INSTALLING UNITS. I WAS WORKING FOR HIM FULL TIME AND THE RAILROAD PART TIME. GLENN WORKED WITH ME SOME BUT NOT ALL THE TIME. I LEARNED TO REPAIR THE UNITS AND MADE A GOOD SERVICE MAN.

GLENN AND I BUILT A 14 FT.BOAT AND PUT A 60 H-P WILLIS CAR ENGINE IN IT (INBOARD)  AND WE WOULD SKI UP AND DOWN THE SAN JACINTO RIVER FROM THE I-10 RIVER BRIDGE TO MAGNOLIA GARDENS AND BACK. WE RAN ALL OVER THAT RIVER WITH IT AND WENT DUCK HUNTING IN IT.

ONE DAY I HAD MY MOTHER, MYRTLE, ROBERT, CARL AND I IN IT AND WAS COMING FROM MAGNOLIA GARDENS WHEN WE HIT A IRON ROD THAT WAS JUST UNDER THE WATER AND IT KNOCKED A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOAT ABOUT THREE INCHES AROUND AND WATER STARTED COMING IN. I KILLED THE MOTOR WHICH WAS WRONG TO DO FOR WE HAD NO LIFE JACKETS. WE WERE FILLING UP WITH WATER FAST. NO ONE COULD SWIM BUT ME AND I KNEW WE WERE LOST IF I STAYED THERE SO I CRANKED THE MOTOR AND IT WOULD NOT START AND I CRANKED IT AGAIN AND IT STARTED. I TURNED IT AND WENT TO THE BANK AS FAST AS IT WOULD RUN. IT WENT UP ON THE SAND BAR AND WHEN IT STOPPED WE WERE IN ABOUT A FOOT ON WATER AND WERE SAFE. I FOUND SOME PLYWOOD AND CUT SOME OF MY SHIRT AND NAILED IT OVER THE HOLE IN THE BOAT AND GOT THE WATER OUT OF IT. WE GOT BACK IN IT AND CAME BACK TO THE DOCK WHERE THE CAR AND TRAILER WAS AND CAME HOME. WE WERE LUCKY EVERYTHING CAME OUT ALRIGHT.

SOME TIME LATER, GLENN AND I WERE SKIING OUT IN LAKE HOUSTON AND WERE ON OUR WAY BACK FROM AWAY UP AT THE TOP END OF THE LAKE WHEN I WAS PULLING GLENN ON THE SKIS AND I HIT THE BUTT END OF A TREE THAT THE TOP END WAS SUNK AND THE BUTT END WAS JUST AT THE TOP OF THE WATER AND KNOCKED ANOTHER HOLE ABOUT TEN INCHES IN THE BOAT AND IT SANK SO FAST THAT ALL WE SAVED WAS TWO SKI-BELTS AND OUR SKIS. WE WERE ABOUT A MILE AND A HALF FROM THE DOCK AND A MILE OFF SHORE. THE WIND WAS BLOWING AND HELPED US TO GET TO LAND. IT WAS LATE IN THE EVENING AND ABOUT DARK WHEN WE GOT TO LAND. WE CAME DOWN THE BANK THROUGH UNDER BRUSH AND ACROSS CREEKS IN THE DARK WITH NOTHING BUT A SWIMMING SUITS ON. IT WAS LATE WHEN WE GOT HOME AND WE WERE ALL SCRATCHED UP EVERYWHERE. WE DID HAVE SOME INSURANCE ON THE BOAT BUT NOT ENOUGH TO REPLACE IT. WE DID FIND OUT THAT THE WATER WAS ABOUT FIFTY FOOT WHERE IT WENT DOWN. WE DIDN’T TRY TO FIND IT AND KNEW WE HAD NO WAY TO GET IT OUT IF WE DID SO WE LEFT IT ALONE AND I GUESS IT IS STILL THERE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE AND THE FISH HAVE A GOOD HOME TO LIVE IN.

MYRTLE AND I WERE NOT GETTING ALONG VERY WELL. I KNOW IT WAS MY FAULT WE WERE NOT TOGETHER VERY MUCH,YET IN A WAY THAT DIDN’T SEEM TO MATTER. WHEN WE WERE TOGETHER SHE DID NOT WANT TO DO ANYTHING LIKE GOING TO A MOVIE OR TO THE BEACH OR GO VISIT SOMEONE OR PLAY CARDS TOGETHER. ALL SHE WANTED TO DO WAS GO TO CHURCH. I WENT WITH HER A LOT AND TOOK HER AND THE BOYS WHEN I WASN’T WORKING.

I KNOW I WAS AT FAULT TOO WITH THE WAY I FELT AND THE THINGS I DID WHEN I MARRIED HER. I TRIED TO GET OVER THE OTHER GIRL AND FORGET HER BUT I KNOW SHE WAS ALWAYS IN THE BACK OF MY MIND. I FOUGHT WITH MYSELF MANY TIMES WHEN I WAS ALONE ABOUT THE GIRL I SAID I WOULD STICK IT OUT AND MAKE THE MARRIAGE WORK NO MATTER WHAT IT TOOK BUT WE GOT FURTHER APART.

WHEN I WAS IN KOREA, I MISSED HOME AND EVERYTHING BUT MY FEELINGS ABOUT MYRTLE DIDN’T SEEM TO BE RIGHT. I FELT THAT WHEN I GOT HOME I WOULD MAKE IT RIGHT AND WE WOULD MAKE THINGS WORK OUT FOR US, BUT THEY DIDN’T.

MYRTLE WAS GOOD TO THE CHILDREN AND TOOK CARE OF THEM AND KEPT OUR CLOTHES CLEAN AND COOKED FAIR AND KEPT THE HOUSE WORK DONE AND STRAIGHT. SHE WAS GOOD IN LOTS OF WAYS AND I KNOW SHE LOVED US VERY MUCH IN HER OWN WAY, YET THINGS GOT WORSE AND WE SEEMED TO BE GOING DOWN HILL FAST.

I STARTED PLAYING MUSIC AGAIN AND HAD A GOOD BAND TOGETHER AND WE PLAYED DANCES ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHTS. I PLAYED THE ESQUIRE BALLROOM FOR A WHILE AND OTHER LARGE DANCE HALLS. ANOTHER ONE WAS IN HIGHLANDS JUST OFF HIGHWAY I-10 ON THE RIVER. I STILL WORKED TWO JOBS THROUGH THE WEEK. MYRTLE NEVER WANTED TO GO HEAR ME PLAY OR BE WITH ME WHEN I DID.

IN 1955, I FOUND A LETTER FROM MYRTLE’S MOTHER THAT SAID SHE WAS COMING TO HOUSTON TO STAY WITH US FOR A WHILE AND THERE WERE OTHER THINGS ABOUT ME IN THE LETTER ALSO. THE LETTER WAS ABOUT TWO WEEKS OLD AND MYRTLE HADN’T SAID ANYTHING TO ME. THAT MADE ME MAD AND I HAD HAD  ENOUGH. I ASKED MYRTLE ABOUT IT AND SHE SAID SHE WASN’T GOING TO TELL ME UNTIL HER MOTHER GOT TO HOUSTON, THEN I WAS VERY MAD.

I HAD FOUGHT OFF THE IDEA ABOUT A DIVORCE BECAUSE OF THE CHURCH AND THE CHILDREN, AND THAT IT WAS WRONG AND AGAINST EVERYTHING I HAD BEEN TAUGHT IN MY LIFE. WE TALKED ABOUT EVERYTHING AND I TOLD HER THE WAY I FELT ABOUT THE OTHER GIRL WHEN I MARRIED HER, HOW I THOUGHT I COULD HELP HER AND HER MOTHER WITH THE HOUSE AND THOUGHT I COULD FORGET THE OTHER GIRL IN TIME. WE AGREED THAT A DIVORCE WAS THE BEST THING TO DO, SO WE BOTH WENT TO A LAWYER AND SIGNED THE PAPERS WITH NO CONTEST OVER ANYTHING. I KEPT THE HOUSE AND LIVED IN IT. MYRTLE WENT HOME TO HER MOTHERS WITH THE CHILDREN. AFTER SHE LEFT I WENT TO THE LAWYER AND DELAYED THE DIVORCE FOR A WHILE THINKING THINGS MIGHT BECOME BETTER IF WE WAITED A WHILE BUT THEY DIDN’T. I WENT HOME TO MOTHERS AND CALLED MYRTLE AND WE TALKED SOME MORE ABOUT OUR PROBLEMS. I TALKED TO MOTHER FOR A LONG TIME WITH NO ANSWERS ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. I CAME BACK TO HOUSTON AND CALLED THE LAWYER WENT ON WITH THE DIVORCE AND IT WAS FINAL SOME TIME IN 1956. I WENT ON WITH MY JOB AT THE RAILROAD AND A/C WORK WITH NORTHSHORE A/C COMPANY AS A FULL TIME SERVICE MAN.

I STOPPED PLAYING MUSIC FOR A WHILE, (JUST SAT IN WITH A BAND SOMETIMES AT DIFFERENT PLACES). ONE NIGHT ON MY WAY HOME FROM THE RAILROAD I STOPPED AT THE PRINCESS DRIVE IN ON WAYSIDE AND MET MILDRED BARTLEY. SHE WAS A CAR-HOP WORKING AT THE DRIVE IN. EVERY NIGHT ON THE WAY HOME I STOPPED BY AND WE WOULD TALK. I HAD BOUGHT A NEW 1956 F-L-H HARLEY DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLE SO ONE DAY I PICKED HER UP AND WE WENT TO GALENA PARK, AND I MET HER MOTHER AND FATHER WHO HAD ADOPTED HER WHEN SHE WAS SMALL. THEY WERE FROM TYLER TEXAS. MILDRED HAD BEEN MARRIED AND HAD A FOUR YEAR OLD BOY BY THE NAME OF BILLY CARL THOMAS. SHE WAS DIVORCED AND WAS STAYING WITH HER MOTHER AND FATHER. MILDRED WAS A LOT OF FUN TO BE WITH. ABOUT A MONTH WENT BY AND WE TALKED ABOUT GETTING MARRIED. I WAS NOT IN ANY RUSH TO MAKE ANOTHER MISTAKE LIKE I DID WITH MYRTLE AND I KEPT PUTTING IT OFF. IT WAS ABOUT TWO MONTHS LATER AND ONE DAY WE WENT TO LIBERTY, TEXAS AND GOT MARRIED. THINGS WERE WONDERFUL AND FULL OF FUN. WE WENT TO MOBILE TO MOTHERS AND THEY MET MILDRED. THIS WAS IN 1956 WHEN WE GOT MARRIED.

WE PICKED UP MY TWO BOYS FROM MYRTLE AND WE WENT OUT TO EAT. WE TALKED AND THE BOYS SEEMED TO LIKE MILDRED AND ACCEPTED HER AND THAT WE WERE MARRIED. THEY WERE YOUNG AND I KNOW THEY DID NOT REALIZE WHAT HAD HAPPENED WITH THEIR MOTHER AND I OR WHY. (HOW DO YOU TELL CHILDREN WHY YOU CAN NOT LIVE WITH THEIR MOTHER ANY MORE?) I DID TRY BUT I FAILED. I KNOW THEY WERE HURT AND I WAS TOO. YOU SAY TO YOURSELF YOU WILL MAKE IT UP TO THEM,BUT YOU CAN’T. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, IT JUST IS NOT ENOUGH.

MILDRED AND I WERE HAPPY TOGETHER AND WE LOVED EACH OTHER. WE WENT TO TYLER TO MEET MILDRED’S MOTHER. HER NAME WAS DOLLY. I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT THE LAST NAME WAS. THEY LIVED IN A HOUSE THAT NEEDED A LOT OF REPAIR AND IT WAS NOT VERY CLEAN. WE LEFT BILLY CARL WITH HER MOTHER, MILDRED WANTED TO GO OUT TO THE OLD PLACES AND BARS WHERE SHE USED TO GO. SHE HAD A LOT OF MEMORIES OF HER EX-HUSBAND HOW SHE LOVED HIM.

MILDRED WAS HIGH-STRUNG AND WAS QUICK TO GET MAD. I FOUND THIS OUT VERY SOON AFTER WE WERE MARRIED AND WHEN SHE DID I WAS ALWAYS THE ONE SHE BLAMED FOR WHAT WENT WRONG. THERE WERE TIMES I KNEW I HAD MADE ANOTHER MISTAKE IN THE MARRIAGE. SHE WAS JUST THE OPPOSITE FROM MYRTLE. SHE WAS FUN TO BE WITH AND TO GO OUT IN A CROWD WITH,BUT WHEN WE GOT HOME I SEEMED TO BE THE ONE THAT HAD DONE SOMETHING WRONG.

WE STAYED TOGETHER SOME HOW THROUGH THE YEARS AND THERE WAS A LOT OF HAPPINESS THAT OUT WEIGHED THE BAD. IN 1961 MICHAEL WAYNE WAS BORN TO US AND THAT SEEMED TO HELP US BE CLOSER TOGETHER. WE WENT TO MOBILE A LOT AT FIRST AND SHE LIKED TO BE AROUND MY FAMILY. THEN SHE BECAME JEALOUS OF THEM AND WE STAYED AWAY FROM THEM AND MOBILE FOR A LONG TIME. SHE BECAME JEALOUS OF GLENN AND MARIE AND DIDN’T WANT ME TO WORK WITH GLENN BUT I DID ANYWAY AND SHE GOT MAD EVERY TIME AND WOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT IT WHEN I GOT HOME. I KNEW SHE WAS THAT WAY AND WE STILL GOT ALONG OK.

I HAD FUN WITH THE BOYS AND WE PLAYED TOGETHER A LOT. MILDRED AND I WENT TO THE BEACH WITH THE BOYS AND ENJOYED DOING THINGS TOGETHER. WE ALL LIKED GOING FISHING AT TURTLE BAYOU CLOSE TO ANAHUAC. WE WENT CAMPING SOME ON THE SAN JACINTO RIVER WEST OF HI-WAY 59. WE DID HAVE GOOD TIMES TOGETHER,BUT THINGS DID NOT LAST. MILDRED WENT TO WORK FROM TIME TO TIME AS A WAITRESS IN A CAFE AND BARS. SHE ALWAYS DRANK SOME AND IT GOT WORSE. SHE HAD BAD HEADACHES AND SHE NEVER GOT OVER HER FIRST HUSBAND. SHE HAD SHOCK TREATMENTS,AND THAT DID NOT DO MUCH GOOD BECAUSE SHE STILL HAD HEADACHES AND MEMORIES OF THE PAST THAT BOTHERED HER.

MILDRED WAS VERY PROTECTIVE OF BILLY CARL AND MIKE, YET SHE WAS OVERBEARING WITH THEM HERSELF. SHE WOULD TELL ME TO CORRECT THEM AND WHEN I DID SHE GOT MAD AT ME FOR DOING IT.

WE HAD GOOD NEIGHBORS AROUND US AND THEY LIKED MILDRED AND THAT  HELPED US A LOT.WE WOULD GO TO THEIR HOMES AND THEY CAME TO OURS. THE JONES LIVED DOWN THE STREET ON THE EAST SIDE ABOUT TWO HOUSES SOUTH OF OURS AND THEY WOULD KEEP BILLY AND MIKE WHEN MILDRED WORKED. THE FREDERICK’S ACROSS THE STREET AND THEIR CHILDREN PLAYED IN OUR POOL IN THE BACK YARD WITH BILLY AND MIKE. I HAD NOT MET THEM AT FIRST, BUT DID WHEN WE WERE INVITED TO A PARTY IN THEIR BACKYARD TO PLAY AND SING FOR THEM. THE JOHNSON’S CAME AND THE CAMPFIELD’S AND THE CHRISTS AND SOON I KNEW ALL THE NEIGHBORS AROUND US. THE MEEKS’ AND THE CUMMING’S ON CHAZEN AND OTHERS.  SALLY FREDERICK WOULD BABY SIT WITH BILLY AND MIKE A LOT AND SHE WAS ABOUT TWELVE YEARS OLD THEN AND SHE SAID SHE LIKED TO BABY SIT THERE BECAUSE WE HAD GOOD THINGS TO EAT. WE LIKED SALLY BECAUSE SHE KEPT THE HOUSE CLEAN.

My Dad, Louis Clifford Mancill,  (Alabama Lou) singing ,  Johnnie Day, & Paul Buskirk, at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor, Spencer Highway,  Pasadena, Harris County, Texas, 1970.

 I NEVER WENT TO SCHOOL FOR A/C AND HEATING BUT LEARNED THE TRADE IN THE FIELD BY DOING THE JOB. THE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES AND DISTRIBUTORS WOULD HOLD CLASSES ON THEIR EQUIPMENT TO SHOW THE SERVICE MEN HOW IT WORKS AND HOW TO INSTALL AND SERVICE IT. MOST OF THE UNITS WORKED A LOT LIKE OTHER UNITS WITH SOME CHANGES IN CONTROLS AND OPERATION. ONE OF THE BEST PART OF SHOWS AND CLASSES WAS THEY ALWAYS GAVE US ALL WE COULD EAT WHEN IT WAS OVER. WE ALWAYS GOT A LOT OF BOOKS AND INSTRUCTIONS SHEETS OF THE EQUIPMENT. I ENJOYED GOING TO THEM AND WOULD LEARN A LOT FROM THEM.

NORTHSHORE A/C (ON MARKET STREET) PUT IN A SHEET METAL SHOP TO MAKE DUCT WORK FOR JOBS WE INSTALLED AND HIRED A MAN TO MAKE IT. I SOON LEARNED HOW TO BUILD THE PARTS FOR THE JOBS WE PUT IN. WE STARTED TO INSTALL BIGGER UNIT IN CHURCHES,SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS. WHEN THE HOSPITAL ON THE I-10 FREEWAY AT WESTMONT WAS BUILT,IT WAS ROCKGLEN HOSPITAL AND I INSTALLED THE AIR CONDITIONING UNIT IN IT. IT WAS A 250 TON CARRIER UNIT THAT USED FREON 11 AND RUNS IN A VACUUM OF AROUND 18 INCHES BELOW ZERO PRESSURE.

I SOON FOUND OUT WHEN I  FIRST STARTED IN A/C WORK THAT YOU HAD TO KNOW MORE THEN JUST ONE TRADE. YOU HAD TO BE A CARPENTER, PLUMBER, ELECTRICIAN, WELDER,DUCTWORK MAN AND KNOW  HOW TO DO REFRIGERATION WORK AND KNOW ABOUT AIR FLOW AND TEMPERATUERE DROP AND HEAT GAIN. EVEN AFTER FORTY TWO YEARS I STILL DON’T KNOW IT ALL.

NORTH SHORE A/C STARTED GETTING CONTRACTS ON SCHOOLS. THE NORTH SHORE HIGH SCHOOL WAS THE FIRST ONE WITH A 250 TON UNIT. I WAS PUT IN CHARGE OF THE JOB AS SUPERINTENDENT. THEN WE GOT OTHER SCHOOLS IN BAYTOWN AND PASADENA, IN ALL. A SCHOOL IN ALGIN,ANOTHER IN FRIENDSWOOD AND ONE IN STAFFORD. THERE WAS ONE SCHOOL ON FONDREN STREET THAT WAS A 400 TON UNIT AND IT WAS THE LARGEST UNIT THAT WE PUT IN. THERE WERE ELEVEN SCHOOLS IN ALL.

ABOUT 1967 MILDRED AND I WERE HAVING MORE TROUBLE AND SHE WAS DRINKING MORE AND STAYING OUT LATE AT NIGHT AFTER SHE GOT OFF WORK. SHE HAD NEVER LIKED THE HOUSE ON CHESTON DRIVE SO WE SOLD IT AND RENTED A BIG HOUSE IN CHANNELVIEW ON NORTH BRENTWOOD. IT HAD A BIG YARD AND A LOT OF BIG TREES ON IT.

IN 1968 THINGS WERE NOT ANY BETTER AT BRENTWOOD THEN THEY WERE ON CHESTON, WE JUST COULDN’T GET ALONG ANYMORE AND SO ONE NIGHT I CAME HOME AND FOUND MORE THINGS WRONG AND I REALIZED THINGS WERE OVER BETWEEN US. I DID LOVE MILDRED BUT WE COULD NOT LIVE TOGETHER SO WE FILED FOR A DIVORCE. I MOVED INTO THE SHOP AT NORTHSHORE A/C AND STAYED THERE FOR AWHILE.

WE WERE TO MEET AT THE JACINTO CITY PARK ON MARKET STREET FOR MIKE’S BIRTHDAY  I WAITED AND NO ONE CAME. I WAS TOLD LATER, AFTER NO ONE CAME, THAT SHE HAD LEFT WITH HER EX-HUSBAND FOR CALIFORNIA WITH THE BOY IN HIS 18 WHEELER TRUCK . ( she was still in love with him)

I WAS GLAD FOR HER AND HOPED SHE COULD FIND HAPPINESS AND THAT THINGS WOULD WORK OUT FOR HER AND SHE COULD BE HAPPY.

SOON AFTER THIS , I  FOUND OUT THAT JEAN AND LEROY HAD ALSO SEPARATED AND WERE GETTING A DIVORCE TOO. THEY WERE BOTH GOOD FRIENDS WITH MILDRED, AND ME WHEN WE LIVED ON CHESTON. WE ALL HAD GOOD TIMES TOGETHER AT PARTIES AT OUR HOMES AND AT DANCES WHEN WE ALL WENT TO TOGETHER.  JEAN AND I HAD TALKED ABOUT OUR TROUBLES AT HOME WE TRIED TO HELP EACH OTHER GET ALONG BETTER.  JEAN TALKED TO MILDRED AND I TALKED TO LEROY. IT HELPED TO HAVE FRIENDS TO TALK TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS WRONG WITH OUR WORLDS.

1709 CHESTON DRIVE, JACINTO CITY, TX 77029~~Frederick Homestead~~1948-1968

AFTER MY  DIVORCE  I  WENT BACK CHESTON DRIVE AND TALKED TO OUR FRIENDS AND  TO SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON. IT WAS NEVER THE SAME ANYMORE. I REMEMBER GOING TO A SHOW OVER AT THE ALABAMA AND JEAN AND NITA WERE THERE AND WHEN I WALKED IN NITA CAMFIELD’S  POPCORN WENT STRAIGHT UP. THERE WAS  POPCORN EVERYWHERE.  SHE DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT US .

JEAN AND I WERE BOTH DIVORCED AND LOST, MIXED UP, IN A WORLD WITH NO WHERE TO TURN TO AND WE WERE GOOD FRIENDS. WE LIKED TO BE AROUND EACH OTHER AND ENJOYED THE SAME THINGS. I HAD EVEN THOUGHT OF GOING BACK TO MOBILE BUT THAT WOULDN’T WORK EITHER.  

LOUIS CLIFFORD MANCILL HISTORY POST #12

I JOINED THE ALABAMA NATIONAL GUARD AT FOLEY, ALABAMA IN 1949 WHILE I WORKED FOR CARLES SUBBLE. THERE WERE A GROUP OF BOYS I KNEW THAT WERE IN IT AND WE HAD SOME GOOD TIMES TOGETHER ON FIELD TRIPS. THE ARMY GAVE ME MY RANK OF BUCK SERGEANT BACK AND ADDED THE YEARS BETWEEN MY LAST TIME IN THE ARMY AT FORT HOOD TO MY RETIREMENT IF I STAYED IN FOR TWENTY YEARS. 

Alabama Army National Guard Eelement,Joint For...

Pacific Rail Society Special from LA to Reno s...
Pacific Rail Society Special from LA to Reno seen at Floriston, CA Feb 1971 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I WORKED AT THE KENNEDY FARM THROUGH 1949 AND GLENN HAD GONE TO HOUSTON AND GOT A JOB WITH THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD AS A CAR CHECKER. HE ASKED HIS BOSS IF THEY WOULD GIVE HIS BROTHER A JOB. HE SAID YES SO IN MARCH 1950 I WENT TO HOUSTON AND GOT THE JOB AS A SWITCHMAN. I WAS STAYING WITH GLENN AND MARIE IN AN APARTMENT OFF WASHINGTON AVE. GLENN WENT TO MOBILE AND RODE MY MOTORCYCLE BACK AND IT HELPED TO HAVE IT TO GET AROUND ON AND NOT HAVE TO RIDE THE BUS. I WORKED AWHILE AND SENT FOR MYRTLE TO COME TO HOUSTON AND  SHE DID AND WE GOT AN APARTMENT ON AVE. H JUST OFF WAYSIDE FOR A MONTH AND THEN I BOUGHT THE HOUSE ON CHESTON DR. THROUGH A VETERANS LOAN. I PAID ONE DOLLAR FOR CLOSING COST TO MOVE IN AND FORTY NINE DOLLARS A MONTH. I WONDERED HOW I COULD MAKE THE NOTES. I WAS MAKING $14.OO A DAY. GLENN AND MARIE MOVED IN WITH US AND WE STILL HAD ROOM ENOUGH FOR ALL.

GLENN AND I WORKED IN THE SAME RAIL YARD AND WE RODE THE MOTORCYCLE TO WORK. ONE DAY WE WERE WORKING AND I GOT OFF BEFORE HE DID AND I WENT TO GET THE MOTORCYCLE AND IT WAS GONE. SOME ONE HAD STOLEN IT. WE NEVER FOUND IT.

IN 1950, THE WAR IN KOREA STARTED AND THE ALABAMA NATIONAL GUARD WAS CALLED UP FOR SERVICE, AND I HAD TO GO BACK TO FOLEY TO JOIN THEM. THE RAILROAD PUT MY JOB ON HOLD TILL I CAME BACK, AND GLENN STAYED IN THE HOUSE AND PAID THE NOTES.

WHILE WE WAITED FOR EVERY ONE TO REPORT WE DID DRILLS AND MARCHED AROUND FOLEY. WE WERE DOING HAND TO HAND COMBAT WITH EACH OTHER AND WHEN I PICKED UP THE MAN I WAS WITH TO THROW HIM. I SPUN AROUND ON MY RIGHT LEG AND MY KNEE JOINT CAME OUT OF SOCKET. THEY TOOK ME TO A DOCTOR AT FOLEY AND HE PUT IT BACK IN AND PUT MY LEG IN A CAST. I WENT TO SOUTH CAROLINA THAT WAY AND IT STILL BOTHERS ME.

I HAVE LARGE PICTURE OF THE TROOPS TRAIN IN FOLEY WHEN WE WERE LEAVING TO GO THE CAMP. DADDY, MOTHER, AND MYRTLE WITH CARL OUTSIDE THE TRAIN AND I WAS HANGING OUT THE WINDOW. IT WAS A SAD DAY FOR ALL OF US FOR ME TO BE LEAVING AGAIN FOR WAR. MY MOTHER TOOK IT THE HARDEST OF ALL.

I JOINED THE ALABAMA NATIONAL GUARD AT FOLEY, ALABAMA IN 1949 WHILE I WORKED FOR CARLES SUBBLE. THERE WERE A GROUP OF BOYS I KNEW THAT WERE IN IT AND WE HAD SOME GOOD TIMES TOGETHER ON FIELD TRIPS. THE ARMY GAVE ME MY RANK OF BUCK SERGEANT BACK AND ADDED THE YEARS BETWEEN MY LAST TIME IN THE ARMY AT FORT HOOD TO MY RETIREMENT IF I STAYED IN FOR TWENTY YEARS. I WORKED AT THE KENNEDY FARM THROUGH 1949 AND GLENN HAD GONE TO HOUSTON AND GOT A JOB WITH THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD AS A CAR CHECKER. HE ASKED HIS BOSS IF THEY WOULD GIVE HIS BROTHER A JOB. HE SAID YES SO IN MARCH 1950 I WENT TO HOUSTON AND GOT THE JOB AS A SWITCHMAN. I WAS STAYING WITH GLENN AND MARIE IN AN APARTMENT OFF WASHINGTON AVE. GLENN WENT TO MOBILE AND RODE MY MOTORCYCLE BACK AND IT HELPED TO HAVE IT TO GET AROUND ON AND NOT HAVE TO RIDE THE BUS. I WORKED AWHILE AND SENT FOR MYRTLE TO COME TO HOUSTON AND  SHE DID AND WE GOT AN APARTMENT ON AVE. H JUST OFF WAYSIDE FOR A MONTH AND THEN I BOUGHT THE HOUSE ON CHESTON DR. THROUGH A VETERANS LOAN. I PAID ONE DOLLAR FOR CLOSING COST TO MOVE IN AND FORTY NINE DOLLARS A MONTH. I WONDERED HOW I COULD MAKE THE NOTES. I WAS MAKING $14.OO A DAY. GLENN AND MARIE MOVED IN WITH US AND WE STILL HAD ROOM ENOUGH FOR ALL.   GLENN AND I WORKED IN THE SAME RAIL YARD AND WE RODE THE MOTORCYCLE TO WORK. ONE DAY WE WERE WORKING AND I GOT OFF BEFORE HE DID AND I WENT TO GET THE MOTORCYCLE AND IT WAS GONE. SOME ONE HAD STOLEN IT. WE NEVER FOUND IT. IN 1950, THE WAR IN KOREA STARTED AND THE ALABAMA NATIONAL GUARD WAS CALLED UP FOR SERVICE, AND I HAD TO GO BACK TO FOLEY TO JOIN THEM. THE RAILROAD PUT MY JOB ON HOLD TILL I CAME BACK, AND GLENN STAYED IN THE HOUSE AND PAID THE NOTES. WHILE WE WAITED FOR EVERY ONE TO REPORT WE DID DRILLS AND MARCHED AROUND FOLEY. WE WERE DOING HAND TO HAND COMBAT WITH EACH OTHER AND WHEN I PICKED UP THE MAN I WAS WITH TO THROW HIM. I SPUN AROUND ON MY RIGHT LEG AND MY KNEE JOINT CAME OUT OF SOCKET. THEY TOOK ME TO A DOCTOR AT FOLEY AND HE PUT IT BACK IN AND PUT MY LEG IN A CAST. I WENT TO SOUTH CAROLINA THAT WAY AND IT STILL BOTHERS ME. I HAVE LARGE PICTURE OF THE TROOPS TRAIN IN FOLEY WHEN WE WERE LEAVING TO GO THE CAMP. DADDY, MOTHER, AND MYRTLE WITH CARL OUTSIDE THE TRAIN AND I WAS HANGING OUT THE WINDOW. IT WAS A SAD DAY FOR ALL OF US FOR ME TO BE LEAVING AGAIN FOR WAR. MY MOTHER TOOK IT THE HARDEST OF ALL.   I WAS THE COOK MESS SERGEANT FOR THE COMPANY AND I DID SOME COOKING BUT MY MAIN JOB WAS TO SEE THAT THINGS WERE DONE RIGHT AND MAKE OUT THE MENU FOR EACH MEAL AND MAKE SURE THE KITCHEN WAS KEPT CLEAN AT ALL TIMES. WHILE I WAS THERE MYRTLE CAME AND WE HAD AN APARTMENT IN TOWN. SHE STAYED ABOUT A MONTH BUT WE RAN OUT OF MONEY, THE THING ALL SERVICE MEN NEVER HAD ENOUGH OF UNLESS YOU LIVED ON THE BASE. I HAD AN OLD CAR AND I TOOK HER BACK HOME TO MOBILE TO HER MOTHER. IN 1951, ROBERT WAS BORN IN FEB. IN THE BROOKLEY FIELD HOSPITAL AND I GOT A WEEK END PASS AND WENT HOME TO SEE HIM. ON THE WAY BACK THE OLD CAR BROKE DOWN ABOUT SEVENTY MILES FROM THE BASE AND I HAD TO LEAVE IT AT A STATION TO HAVE IT FIXED AND CATCH A BUS ON TO THE BASE. I WAS LATE GETTING BACK ON TIME WAS IN TROUBLE AND WAS RESTRICTED FOR TWO WEEKS TO THE BARRACKS. I HAD MY GUITAR AND ALMOST EVERY NIGHT WE GOT A GROUP TOGETHER AND PLAYED FOR HOURS AND HOURS. I HAD CARRIED IT THROUGH GERMANY WHEN I WAS OVER THERE. SOMEONE WOULD ASK ME TO PLAY FOR THEM AND THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO TWIST MY ARM MUCH FOR I LIKED TO PLAY AND I KNEW A LOT OF SONGS. WHEN I STARTED TO PLAY SOMEONE ELSE WOULD GO GET THEIRS AND SOON WE WOULD HAVE A BAND GOING. I HAD FUN PLAYING. I WENT BACK AND GOT THE CAR AFTER IT WAS REPAIRED AND DROVE IT BACK TO THE BASE SOME WEEKS LATER AND USED IT AROUND THE BASE AND TO GO HOME ON A WEEK END PASS. THE COMPANY COMPLETED BASIC TRAINING ABOUT MARCH OR APRIL OF 1952 AND GROUPS OF FIFTEEN OR TWENTY MEN AT A TIME WERE SHIPPED OUT TO KOREA. I WAS SHIPPED WITH THE FIRST GROUP. WE WENT HOME ON A TEN DAY LEAVE IN ROUTE TO SAN FRANCISCO AND ON TO KOREA. WE WERE AT SEA FOR FOURTEEN DAYS BEFORE WE DOCKED AT SOUL KOREA. WE HAD TO ANCHOR OFF SHORE AND UNLOAD INTO SMALLER BOATS TO GET TO LAND BECAUSE THE TIDE WENT UP AND DOWN FIFTEEN FEET AND WOULD LEAVE THE SHIP ON THE BOTTOM AT LOW TIDE IF THE WATER WASN'T DEEP ENOUGH. BILL HAD JOINED THE AIR FORCE IN 1948 AND WAS IN IT WHEN THE WAR STARTED WITH KOREA. HE WAS STATIONED AT SEOUL WHEN I GOT THERE AND HE MET ME THERE. WE RODE UP TO MY OUTFIT [WHERE I WOULD BE STATIONED] ON A TRUCK TOGETHER. I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE HEADQUARTERS COMPANY OF THE THIRD ARMY DIVISION AS MESS SERGEANT.

My Dad, Louis C. Mancill moving out with the troops to Korea in 1950. His Father & Mother, Elliott D. Mancill & Cora Lee (Wilson) Mancill, his wife, Myrtle (Elder) Mancill, and son, Carl Mancill, were there to see him off, from Foley, Alabama. He entered the U.S. ARMY as a Private in World War II, and he also fought in the Korean War and was advanced to Buck Sergeant. He was one of the cooks on the front lines feeding our troops. He told me that sometimes he had to move the mess hall three or four times a day with the fighting. He played the guitar by ear and sung for his buddies. He was a proud World War II and Korean War veteran.

I WAS THE COOK MESS SERGEANT FOR THE COMPANY AND I DID SOME COOKING BUT MY MAIN JOB WAS TO SEE THAT THINGS WERE DONE RIGHT AND MAKE OUT THE MENU FOR EACH MEAL AND MAKE SURE THE KITCHEN WAS KEPT CLEAN AT ALL TIMES. WHILE I WAS THERE MYRTLE CAME AND WE HAD AN APARTMENT IN TOWN. SHE STAYED ABOUT A MONTH BUT WE RAN OUT OF MONEY, THE THING ALL SERVICE MEN NEVER HAD ENOUGH OF UNLESS YOU LIVED ON THE BASE. I HAD AN OLD CAR AND I TOOK HER BACK HOME TO MOBILE TO HER MOTHER.

IN 1951, ROBERT WAS BORN IN FEB. IN THE BROOKLEY FIELD HOSPITAL AND I GOT A WEEK END PASS AND WENT HOME TO SEE HIM. ON THE WAY BACK THE OLD CAR BROKE DOWN ABOUT SEVENTY MILES FROM THE BASE AND I HAD TO LEAVE IT AT A STATION TO HAVE IT FIXED AND CATCH A BUS ON TO THE BASE. I WAS LATE GETTING BACK ON TIME WAS IN TROUBLE AND WAS RESTRICTED FOR TWO WEEKS TO THE BARRACKS. I HAD MY GUITAR AND ALMOST EVERY NIGHT WE GOT A GROUP TOGETHER AND PLAYED FOR HOURS AND HOURS. I HAD CARRIED IT THROUGH GERMANY WHEN I WAS OVER THERE. SOMEONE WOULD ASK ME TO PLAY FOR THEM AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO TWIST MY ARM MUCH FOR I LIKED TO PLAY AND I KNEW A LOT OF SONGS. WHEN I STARTED TO PLAY SOMEONE ELSE WOULD GO GET THEIRS AND SOON WE WOULD HAVE A BAND GOING. I HAD FUN PLAYING.

I WENT BACK AND GOT THE CAR AFTER IT WAS REPAIRED AND DROVE IT BACK TO THE BASE SOME WEEKS LATER AND USED IT AROUND THE BASE AND TO GO HOME ON A WEEK END PASS. THE COMPANY COMPLETED BASIC TRAINING ABOUT MARCH OR APRIL OF 1952 AND GROUPS OF FIFTEEN OR TWENTY MEN AT A TIME WERE SHIPPED OUT TO KOREA. I WAS SHIPPED WITH THE FIRST GROUP. WE WENT HOME ON A TEN DAY LEAVE IN ROUTE TO SAN FRANCISCO AND ON TO KOREA. WE WERE AT SEA FOR FOURTEEN DAYS BEFORE WE DOCKED AT SOUL KOREA.

WE HAD TO ANCHOR OFF SHORE AND UNLOAD INTO SMALLER BOATS TO GET TO LAND BECAUSE THE TIDE WENT UP AND DOWN FIFTEEN FEET AND WOULD LEAVE THE SHIP ON THE BOTTOM AT LOW TIDE IF THE WATER WASN’T DEEP ENOUGH.

BILL HAD JOINED THE AIR FORCE IN 1948 AND WAS IN IT WHEN THE WAR STARTED WITH KOREA. HE WAS STATIONED AT SEOUL WHEN I GOT THERE AND HE MET ME THERE. WE RODE UP TO MY OUTFIT [WHERE I WOULD BE STATIONED] ON A TRUCK TOGETHER. I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE HEADQUARTERS COMPANY OF THE THIRD ARMY DIVISION AS MESS SERGEANT.

Louis Clifford “Cliff” Mancill, Korean War, 1951. A proud Alabama Boy and Patriot!!

THEY GAVE US A COT IN THE OFFICERS TENT AND IT WAS NIGHT WHEN WE GOT TO MY COMPANY AND BILL AND I WERE SITTING ON OUR COTS TALKING ABOUT HOME AND OLD TIMES WHEN ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. WE BOTH HIT THE GROUND BY OUR COTS AND KNOCKED THE CANDLE OUT. WHAT WE DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT DOWN THE HILL ABOUT A QUARTER OF A MILE WAS A BATTERY OF 1055 GUNS AND THEY WERE SHOOTING RIGHT UP THROUGH THE PASS OVER OUR HEADS WHERE WE WERE BUT WE THOUGHT THEY WERE INCOMING FIRE FROM THE FRONT LINES. WE GOT THE CANDLE LIT AGAIN AND WENT ON WITH OUR TALKING ABOUT THE GOOD TIMES TOGETHER WHEN WE WERE HOME. WE WERE ABOUT FIVE MILES OF THE 38TH PARALLEL.

THE NEXT DAY BILL WENT BACK TO HIS OUTFIT, AND I WAS ASSIGNED TO MY JOB IN THE KITCHEN. I WAS THE REPLACEMENT FOR THE OTHER MESS SERGEANT. HE SHOWED ME AROUND AND HOW THINGS WERE DONE AND IN ABOUT A WEEK HE WENT HOME. I MOVED INTO HIS LITTLE SIX BY EIGHT TENT AND HAD A COT TO SLEEP ON.

IT WAS COLD THAT WINTER IN KOREA AND I MADE A LITTLE HEATER (FOR MY TENT) OUT OF A FIVE GALLON COOKING OIL CAN. I PUT ROCK IN THE BOTTOM OF IT AND MADE THE VENT PIPE OUT OF TEN CANS PUT TOGETHER. THE BURNER WAS MADE FROM A PIECE OF BRAKE LINE OFF OF A TRUCK, AND SOME RUBBER HOSE WITH A LITTLE VALVE TO CONTROL THE AMOUNT OF FUEL TO THE BURNER. I USED GASOLINE FOR FUEL AND IT WORKED GOOD AND KEPT ME WARM. I NEVER LEFT IT ON WHEN I WAS ASLEEP AT NIGHT. AFTER I LEFT THIS JOB TO COOK FOR ANOTHER UNIT, I LEFT EVERYTHING WITH THE NEW MAN, TENT, STOVE AND A COT AND ABOUT A WEEK LATER, SOMETHING WENT WRONG AND THE STOVE SET FIRE TO THE TENT AND BURNED EVERYTHING UP THE MAN HAD AND ALL THE FOOD THAT IN THE TENT. HE MUST HAVE LEFT IT ON WHILE HE WAS AT THE KITCHEN.

WE MOVED AROUND A LOT AND I DID ABOUT THE SAME THINGS I DID WHEN I WAS AT SOUTH CAROLINA. WE TOOK FOOD UP TO THE FRONT LINES, ONE HOT MEAL A DAY AND THAT WAS AN ORDER OF EVERY DAY. WE LOST TWO COOKS AND THE TRUCK THAT THEY WERE IN FROM MORTAR FIRE WHEN THEY WENT TO TAKE FOOD TO THE MEN ON THE FRONT LINES.

SOMETIMES I WENT WITH THEM AND I GOT INTO TROUBLE WHEN THE COMPANY COMMANDER FOUND OUT ABOUT IT. HE SAID MY JOB WAS AT THE KITCHEN AND NOT TO FORGET IT. I WENT TO THE SUPPLY DEPOT FOR OUR FOOD SUPPLY TWO TIMES A WEEK. WE HAD A GOOD COOK THAT WAS A GOOD BAKER AND HE COULD MAKE GOOD PIES AND CAKES. OUR STOVES USED WHITE GAS AND DID A GOOD JOB COOKING MOST ANYTHING. ALL OF OUR VEGETABLES AND POTATOES CAME IN A CAN, NOTHING FRESH. ALL OF THE MEAT, CHICKEN AND FISH WERE FROZEN BUT IT WAS TOP GRADE FOOD. WE HAD A LOT OF EGGS, FLOUR AND SUGAR AND MOST ALL OF THE SPICES TOO. OUR SUPPLIES WERE ALWAYS MORE THEN ENOUGH BUT IT NEVER WENT TO WASTE, WE GAVE THE MEN SECONDS IF THEY WANTED IT. THE WAR STOPPED AND THEY WERE TRYING TO SIGN A PEACE TREATY BETWEEN COUNTRIES THAT WENT ON AND ON FOR SOME TIME.

I WROTE A LOT OF LETTERS HOME TO MYRTLE AND MOTHER AND DADDY AND THEY WERE GOOD ABOUT WRITING TOO AND THAT HELPED PASS AWAY A LOT OF LONELY TIMES. I MISSED HOME AND THE ONES I LOVED VERY MUCH. I KNOW I LOVED MYRTLE BUT NOT AS MUCH AS I SHOULD HAVE. I FELT SHE WAS MY WIFE AND THE MOTHER OF OUR CHILDREN BUT OUR MARRIAGE WAS NOT WHAT I HAD THOUGHT IT WOULD BE, BUT I WAS DETERMINED TO MAKE IT BE AS MUCH OF A MARRIAGE AS I COULD.

I WORKED AT THE ASSIGNMENT, AS MESS SERGEANT FOR EIGHT MONTHS AND THEY STARTED A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT GROUP OF ABOUT THIRTY MEN AND FOUR OFFICERS TO RUN SPECIAL RECONNAISSANCE INTO NORTH KOREA. THEY ASSIGNED ME TO DO ALL THE COOKING FOR THEM. I HAD FOUR KOREAN CIVILIAN MEN FOR K.P.TO DO ALL THE CLEANING OF POTS AND PANS. I WAS UP EARLY AND WORKED LATE EVERY DAY WITH SOME TIME OFF BETWEEN MEALS. THEY SPOKE SOME ENGLISH AND I SPOKE A FEW WORDS OF KOREAN AND WE GOT ALONG OK AS TO WHAT HAD TO BE DONE.

THEN I SAW A NOTICE ON THE BULLETIN BOARD THAT SPECIAL SERVICE WAS STARTING A GROUP TO PUT ON SHOWS FOR THE MEN OF ALL COMPANIES IN THE DIVISION. I WENT TO TRY OUT AND MADE THE SHOW. I WAS THEN TRANSFERRED TO SPECIAL SERVICE . THERE WERE ABOUT TEN OR TWELVE MEN IN THE SHOW. WE HAD A LEAD GUITAR MAN, A BASS MAN, AN ACCORDION AND PIANO MAN, A TRUMPET AND A TAP DANCER, AND TWO OTHER MEN THAT SANG VERY GOOD AND I DID COUNTRY SONGS AND PLAYED THE GUITAR AND BASS SOME. THERE WERE OTHERS THAT TOLD JOKES AND DID TRICKS.

My Dad,Louis Clifford Mancill (in middle)in U.S. Army, World War II, about 1944, in France. Identities of other guys only known as “Lem” and “Red”, my Dad’s best buddies.

I ENJOYED MY LAST MONTHS IN SPECIAL SERVICES. EVERYONE HAD TO SERVE A YEAR OVERSEAS BEFORE THEY CAME BACK HOME. I FOUND OUT THAT OUT OF THE GROUP OF MEN THAT I WENT OVER WITH ONLY ONE OTHER MAN AND I WERE THE ONLY ONES TO COME HOME. THE OTHERS WERE KILLED. HIS NAME WAS MAURICE SUBBLE, ONE OF CARLES SUBBLE BROTHERS WHO I WORKED FOR ON HIS FARM. HIS NERVES WERE BAD AND HE DRANK A LOT AND HAD A HARD TIME GETTING OVER WHAT HE WENT THROUGH IN KOREA. I WENT TO SEE HIM A FEW TIMES AND WE TALKED A LOT BUT IT WAS HARD TO FIND HIM NOT DRUNK, SO I STOPPED GOING TO SEE HIM. I WAS AT MOTHERS FOR ABOUT TWO WEEKS,THEN MYRTLE AND THE TWO BOYS WENT BACK TO TEXAS WITH ME. THE RAILROAD GAVE ME MY JOB BACK.

 

LOUIS CLIFFORD MANCILL HISTORY POST #10

I STARTED GOING TO CHURCH WITH MOTHER AND DADDY AND MET MYRTLE ELDER AT THE CHURCH. SHE WAS A GOOD FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN AND WE STARTED DATING AFTER CHURCH AND WOULD GO TO THE SHOWS TOGETHER. SHE WAS TEN YEARS OLDER THAN ME BUT THAT DIDN’T BOTHER ME. ROZELLA WAS ALSO TEN YEARS OLDER. MYRTLE AND HER MOTHER OWNED AND LIVED IN A SMALL THREE ROOM HOUSE ON HOUSTON AVE. IN MOBILE, ALABAMA. IT HAD A LIVING ROOM, BED ROOM AND A SMALL KITCHEN BETWEEN THEM. HER MOTHER WORKED DOWN TOWN IN A DEPARTMENT STORE AND MYRTLE WORKED IN A BEAUTY SHOP ON HOUSTON AVE. EIGHT BLOCKS FROM HER HOUSE.

WE MADE PLANS TO GET MARRIED AND I STARTED TO BUILD A LARGER HOUSE RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE SMALL ONE ON THE SAME LOT. DADDY HELPED ME AND WE SOON HAD IT FRAMED AND CLOSED IN ON THE OUTSIDE.  I LOST MY JOB SO I WORKED ON THE HOUSE MOST OF THE TIME. I HAD IT SEALED ALMOST INSIDE WITH SHEETROCK AND IN 1948 MYRTLE AND I WERE MARRIED AND MOVED INTO THE NEW HOUSE. I WAS 24 YEARS OLD WHEN I GOT MARRIED. I SOON FOUND OUT IT WHAT A MISTAKE IT WAS.

I GUESS I THOUGHT I COULD HELP MYRTLE AND HER MOTHER BY BUILDING THE HOUSE. I WAS WRONG IN BOTH WAYS AND IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG TO FIND THIS OUT. I WAS DIGGING A WHOLE FOR A SEPTIC TANK TO GIVE US A BATH ROOM INSIDE WHEN HER MOTHER TOLD ME I NEEDED TO MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE THERE WASN’T ROOM FOR BOTH OF US. UP TO THAT TIME WE ALL GOT ALONG GOOD TOGETHER. THAT HIT ME HARD SO I MOVED OUT.

CARLES SUBBLES FATHER OWNED A FARM ACROSS THE ROAD AND 1/4 MILE DOWN FROM ANNIE LEE AND HARLOWS. CARLES HAD TWO BROTHERS AND ONE SISTER. HARLOW’S FATHER DIED AND HE SOLD HIS PART OF THE FARM TO CARLES. THEY GAVE ME A JOB, ROOM AND BOARD AND PAID ME 20 DOLLARS A WEEK. I ROOMED IN THE SAME LITTLE HOUSE AS BEFORE WHEN I WORKED FOR HARLOW. I SLEPT ON SACKS THAT WE PUT POTATOES IN WHEN WE HARVEST THEM. THEY ALSO GAVE ME AN ACRE OF POTATOES AND I GOT ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY THE DOCTOR AND HOSPITAL BILL WHEN CARL LOUIS WAS BORN OUR FIRST CHILD. MYRTLE STILL STAYED WITH HER MOTHER IN MOBILE AND CARL WAS BORN IN THE HOSPITAL IN MOBILE.

I WORKED FOR CARLES THE SUMMER OF 1948 AND ALL OF THE SAME GROUP OF BOYS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WERE TOGETHER A LOT. ONE OF THE TRACTORS THAT CARLES AND HIS DAD HAD WAS A FARMALL-H TRACTOR AND IT WOULD RUN ABOUT TWENTY MILES PER HOUR. WE WENT TO THE SWIMMING HOLE ON IT AND GLENN WAS WITH US. I WAS DRIVING AND WE WERE GOING DOWN HILL ON THE DIRT ROAD ON THE WAY HOME, WHEN WE HIT A BUMP IN THE ROAD AND GLENN FELL OFF IN FRONT OF ONE OF THE BIG WHEELS. I PUT ON BRAKES AND LOCKED THE WHEELS BUT WAS SLIDING ON THE ROAD. GLENN WAS SLIDING TOO. THE TRACTOR AND GLENN STOPPED AT THE SAME TIME. WE WERE LUCKY THAT HE WAS ONLY SCRATCHED ON HIS ARM AND LEG. WE WERE ALL LUCKY NOT TO GET HURT MORE THEN WE DID WITH ALL THE THINGS WE DID. WE WOULD TRY ANYTHING.

AFTER THE SUMMER WAS OVER CARLES DIDN’T NEED ME ANY MORE SO I GOT A JOB ON THE KENNEDY FARM IN SUMMERDALE, ALABAMA DRIVING A TRACTOR FOR FIFTY CENTS AN HOUR WITH A HOUSE TO LIVE IN. HIS FARM WAS RIGHT ACROSS THE ROAD FROM OUR OLD FARM. MR. KENNEDY HAD BOUGHT THE OLD PLACE AND THE HOUSE WAS GONE. THE HOUSE HE GAVE ME TO LIVE IN WAS IN TOWN,  JUST ACROSS THE RAILROAD TRACKS FROM HIS PACKING SHED, RIGHT BY THE TRACKS. I THINK I WORKED FOR HIM AT THE PACKING SHED BEFORE I WORKED ON HIS FARM, SACKING POTATOES WHEN THEY CAME OFF OF THE GRADER. WHEN I GOT THE JOB AND THE HOUSE IN SUMMERDALE, ALABAMA, MYRTLE AND CARL CAME AND WE LIVED TOGETHER THERE. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN 1949.

I REMEMBER THE TRAIN ENGINE BECAUSE EVERY NIGHT THEY WOULD PARK IT RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE ABOUT TWO O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING. WHILE IT WAS THERE, THE WATER PUMP ON IT WOULD START UP EVERY FOUR OR FIVE MINUTES AND KEEP ME AWAKE SOMETIME FOR HOURS. I ASKED THEM TO PARK IT DOWN THE TRACK SOME BUT THEY WOULDN’T DO IT AND I GOT USED TO IT AFTER A WHILE.

THE HOUSE THERE WAS TWO STORY WITH A LIVING ROOM, KITCHEN AND A BED ROOM DOWN STAIRS AND ONE BED ROOM UPSTAIRS. THE PROPANE WAS FURNISHED TO COOK AND HEAT THE HOUSE WITH. THERE WAS NO A/C JUST A FAN I PUT IN THE WINDOW.

I BOUGHT A 1947 HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLE AND THAT WAS THE WAY WE GOT AROUND. I WOULD SIT CARL IN A CARDBOARD BOX BETWEEN MY LEGS ON THE GAS TANK AND AWAY WE WOULD GO TO CHURCH AT FAIRHOPE, ALABAMA FOURTEEN MILES AWAY AND TO MOBILE FOR MYRTLE TO SEE HER MOTHER, AND I WENT TO SEE MY MOTHER. I STAYED AWAY FROM HERS.

 

 

GERALD WAS GOING TO COLLEGE AT AUBURN, ALABAMA, AND HE NEEDED TO GET HIS BOOKS AND CAR HOME FOR THE SUMMER. THE CAR HAD A FLAT CRANKSHAFT ON ONE OF THE RODS AND IT KNOCKED BAD. WE WENT THERE ON MY 1947 MOTORCYCLE AND WHILE GERALD LOADED THE CAR WITH HIS THINGS I WORKED ON THE CAR TO FIX THE BEARING BY FILING THE ROD DOWN SO IT WOULD BE TIGHT ON THE SHAFT. THIS WOULD ONLY FIX IT TEMPORARILY TILL WE GOT IT HOME, MAYBE. WE ALSO TIED THE MOTORCYCLE ON THE BACK OF THE CAR. WE SURE HAD A LOAD ON IT. THE FRONT WHEELS WERE ALMOST OFF THE GROUND. SO WE STARTED HOME AND I WAS DRIVING ABOUT FORTY MILES AN HOUR.  WE GOT TO THE OLD SPANISH FORT, [ABOUT THIRTY MILES FROM MOTHERS], AND I TOOK THE MOTORCYCLE OFF TO GO ON TO SUMMERDALE, ALABAMA AND HOME. GERALD STARTED ON TO MOTHERS AND HE SAID,[LATER] THAT THE CAR SOUNDED GOOD AND IT WAS LATE SO HE WAS GOING DOWN THE LONG HILL JUST AFTER HE LEFT ME AND HE LET THE CAR GO FASTER. ALL AT ONCE THE ROD CAME LOOSE AND THE ENGINE STOPPED. HE HAD TO CALL DADDY TO COME TOW HIM HOME. I DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT TILL THE NEXT DAY.

 

 

ONE TIME GERALD AND I WERE AT JOHN’S (JOHN ELLIOTT), WHEN HE LIVED ON ALBA BEACH, JUST ON THE NORTH SIDE OF DOG RIVER , DUCK HUNTING. WE WERE ON THE BEACH ABOUT A 1/4 MILE FROM JOHNS. GERALD AND I WERE ABOUT ONE HUNDRED YARDS APART. GERALD WAS STANDING ON A LARGE LOG WITH THE GUN BUTT ON HIS RIGHT FOOT AND THE TOP OF THE BARREL OF THE GUN IN THE PALM OF HIS RIGHT HAND. THE GUN WAS AN OLD SINGLE BARREL WITH THE HAMMER ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE GUN. THE GUN SLIPPED OFF HIS FOOT AND DOWN THE SIDE OF THE LOG AND HUNG THE HAMMER ON THE LOG AND WENT OFF. IT TOOK OFF HIS RIGHT THUMB AND TWENTY FIVE OF THE BEE-BEES IN THE RIGHT SIDE OF HIS HEAD. I HEARD HIM SCREAM AND I CAME RUNNING TO WHERE HE WAS AND SAW WHAT HAD HAPPENED. I SHOULD NOT HAVE LEFT HIM BUT I THOUGHT THE RIGHT THING TO DO WAS GO GET THE CAR AND COME GET HIM. I RAN TO JOHNS AFTER THE CAR AND HAD TO GO AROUND AND COME IN A ROAD TO WHERE HE WAS. WHEN I GOT THERE HE WAS GONE. I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE STAYED WITH HIM AND CARRY HIM OUT. I GOT THE CAR STUCK IN THE SAND TRYING TO FIND HIM SO I LEFT THE CAR AND WENT TO JOHNS AND THE NEIGHBOR HAD TAKEN HIM TO THE HOSPITAL. I BLAMED MYSELF FOR THE WHOLE THING AND WISH I HAD NOT ASKED HIM TO GO HUNTING THAT DAY. THERE IS A LOT OF THINGS IN LIFE WE WISH WE COULD DO OVER OR CHANGE IF NOT FOR OURSELVES BUT TO SAVE OTHERS.