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 #5

DADDY BOUGHT TEN ACRES RIGHT ACROSS THE HIGHWAY FROM THE TWENTY ACRES ABOUT 1933. SOME OF IT WAS NOT CLEARED WHEN HE BOUGHT IT BUT WE CLEARED IT A YEAR OR SO LATER. WE RAISED CORN, POTATOES, COTTON, HAY, BEANS, PEANUTS, AND SUGAR CANE TO MAKE SYRUP. IN THE WINTER WE WOULD STRIP THE LEAVES OFF OF IT, CUT IT DOWN AND HAUL IT TO THE CANE MILL, SOMEONE WOULD START ABOUT 4 AM WITH ONE OLD MULE HITCHED TO THE END OF A LOG THAT WAS BOLTED ACROSS THE TOP OF THE MILL, AND THE MULE WOULD GO AROUND AND AROUND TO TURN THE MILL, AND WE WOULD FEED THE MILL WITH STALKS OF CANE TO SQUEEZE THE JUICE OUT OF IT. THEN ABOUT SEVEN AM DADDY WOULD START THE FIRE UNDER A BIG PAN TO COOK THE JUICE TILL IT MADE SYRUP. THE COOL JUICE WAS GOOD TO DRINK TOO. DADDY WOULD MAKE THREE TO FIVE HUNDRED GALLONS EACH YEAR. ONE YEAR HE MADE SEVEN HUNDRED GALLONS. WE WOULD EAT IT, SELL IT OR TRADE IT FOR FOOD TO MR. HAMMOND’S STORE IN ROBERTSDALE.

SOMETIMES SYRUP AND CORN BREAD WAS ALL WE HAD TO EAT. WE WOULD PULL THE CORN AS SOON AS IT GOT DRY ENOUGH TO SHELL IN LATE SUMMER, THEN WE SHELLED IT AND PUT IT ON THE ROOF OF THE BARN ON A SHEET TO DRY ENOUGH TO TAKE TO THE GRINDING MILL IN ROBERTSDALE TO MAKE CORN MEAL OUT OF IT. SOMETIMES WHILE THE CORN WAS ON THE ROOF TO DRY IT WOULD LOOK LIKE RAIN AND WE WOULD RUN TO GET IT DOWN OFF THE ROOF BEFORE IT GOT WET. MOTHER COULD MAKE THE BEST CORN BREAD I EVER ATE. AT LEAST I THOUGHT SO.

WE ALSO RAISED CATTLE, HOGS, CHICKENS AND DUCKS. WE DID A LOT OF HUNTING FOR RABBIT AND SQUIRREL. THE WOODS WERE OPEN AND WE COULD HUNT ALMOST ANYWHERE. WE CAUGHT A LOT OF FISH FROM THE CREEKS THAT RUN CLEAR ABOUT A MILE AND A HALF FROM HOME.

IN THE SUMMER WE WOULD WORK IN THE HOT FIELDS AND DADDY WOULD LET US GO TO CREEK TO WASH OFF THE DIRT BEFORE DARK. THIS WAS A TREAT FOR US. OUR GOOD SWIMMING HOLE WAS ON A CREEK CALLED POLECAT CREEK. IT WAS DEEP IN PLACES BUT HAD LOTS OF SHALLOW SPOTS ALONG THE BANKS WITH BIG ROCKS YOU COULD PLAY ON OR GET OUT OF THE WATER ON. UP ALONG THE BANKS THERE WAS A LOT OF FLAT ROCKS TO LAY AROUND ON. WE HAD A ROPE SWING TO SWING OUT OVER THE WATER AND TURN LOOSE INTO THE WATER. WE FIXED A 1/4 INCH WIRE UP IN A TREE ABOUT FIFTY FEET HIGH AND STRUNG IT ACROSS AND DOWN THE CREEK TO THE BOTTOM OF  ANOTHER TREE. WE GOT A PIECE OF ONE INCH PIPE TWELVE INCHES LONG AND SPLIT IT OPEN SO IT WOULD GO OVER THE WIRE,THEN WE WOULD GRAB THE PIPE AND DOWN THE WIRE WE WOULD GO AND DROP OFF IN THE WATER. IT WAS FUN TILL DADDY SAW IT THEN HE MADE US TAKE IT DOWN.

fish river_summerdale_alabamaEufaula, Alabama

WE WENT SWIMMING IN THE WINTER TOO. WE WOULD BUILD A BIG FIRE ON THE BANK TO WARM BY WHEN WE GOT OUT OF THE WATER. WE HAD LOTS OF FUN AND GOOD TIMES ALONG THIS CREEK. ABOUT TWO MILES DOWN STREAM FROM OUR SWIMMING HOLE THE CREEK RAN INTO A BIG RIVER CALLED, FISH RIVER. IT WAS DEEP AND ABOUT ONE HUNDRED YARDS WIDE.WE DID A LOT OF OVER NIGHT CAMPOUTS,CATFISHING AT NIGHT AND SLEPT ON THE GROUND, WE SAT AROUND A FIRE AND TALKED ABOUT THINGS IN OUR LIFE AND WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY. WE CAUGHT A LOT OF FISH AND WOULD COOK THEM ON AN OPEN FIRE.THEY WERE SURE GOOD. 

THERE WASN’T A SQUIRREL’S NEST OR A GOOD FISHING OR SWIMMING HOLE WITHIN FIVE MILES OF OUR HOME THAT WE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT. WE WOULD RUN THE WOODS ALL THE TIME THAT DADDY WOULDN’T NEED US TO HELP HIM IN THE FIELDS. WE BROUGHT HOME A LOT OF GAME AND FISH. ANYTHING WE BROUGHT HOME, MOTHER KNEW HOW TO COOK IT JUST RIGHT AND IT WAS GOOD OLD COUNTRY COOKING.

WE WOULD FIND GOPHERS (IT IS A  LAND TORTOISE, LIKE A TURTLE) THAT  DIGS INTO THE GROUND AND MAKE A HOLE THAT IS FLAT ON THE BOTTOM AND ROUND ON TOP ABOUT TWO FEET DEEP AND SOMETIMES FIFTEEN FEET LONG. YOU CAN DIG THEM UP OR PUT A CAN THAT IS FIFTEEN INCHES ACROSS THE TOP AND PUT HOLES IN THE BOTTOM TO LET WATER OUT IF IT RAINS AND PUT STRAWS ACROSS THE TOP WITH NEW PAPER AND DIRT OVER IT AND DIG A HOLE IN FRONT OF THE GOPHERS HOLE LEVEL WITH THE BOTTOM. WHEN THE GOPHER COMES IN OR OUT HE WILL FALL INTO THE CAN AND CAN’T GET OUT. MY GRANDMOTHER AND MOTHER COULD MAKE THE BEST TURTLE SOUP.

ONE DAY WAS HUNTING AND FLOYD FOUND A GOPHER HOLE AND GOT DOWN TO SEE IF HE COULD TELL IF ONE WAS IN THE HOLE OR NOT. HE COULD PAT IN THE MOUTH OF THE HOLE AND HEAR THE GOPHER DIGGING TO GO DEEPER. HE CALLED US AND SAID THERE WAS ONE IN THE HOLE HE COULD HEAR HIM. WHEN HE LOOKED AGAIN HE COULD SEE A RATTLE SNAKE WAS COILED UP ABOUT TWELVE INCHES FROM WHERE HE WAS PATTING WITH HIS HAND. WE GOT A SHOVEL AND DUG IT UP. THE SNAKE WAS SIX FOOT LONG WITH TWENTY ONE RATTLERS ON THE TAIL. IT IS A WONDER FLOYD WASN’T BITTEN. AS MUCH AS WE ALL WERE IN THE WOODS AND SWAMPS FISH AND HUNTING AND KILLED SO MANY SNAKES, WE WERE LUCKY I GUESS.

Louis Clifford Mancill History post #4

THERE WAS A HOUSE ON THE TWENTY ACRES, WITH TWO ROOMS OF ABOUT TWELVE BY TWELVE FEET EACH AND A FAMILY LIVED IN IT, BY THE NAME OF SUNDAY. IT WAS NOT MUCH OF A HOUSE FOR THE WOODEN FLOOR HAD CRACKS IN IT YOU COULD ROLL MARBLES THROUGH, AND THE ROOF WAS TIN. THE WIND WOULD BLOW THROUGH THE WALLS AND THE DOORS. IT HAD TWO WINDOWS, ONE IN EACH ROOM, WITH THE GLASS BROKEN OUT. THE DEPRESSION CAME, OR BAD TIMES, I DON’T KNOW WHICH, AND DADDY LOST THE FARM IN SUMMERDALE, ALABAMA.

THE MANCILL FAMILY WERE VERY DEVOUT CHURCH OF CHRIST PEOPLE. MY FATHER WAS A CHURCH OF CHRIST PREACHER. 

Summerdale, Alabama, Church of Christ

IN 1931 WE HAD TO MOVE INTO THE SMALL HOUSE ON THE HIGHWAY 98 BETWEEN SUMMERDALE & ROBERTSDALE, BUT BEFORE WE DID DADDY HAD TO GET THE LAW OUT THERE TO MAKE THE FAMILY THAT LIVED THERE MOVE OUT. THEY WERE RENTING THE HOUSE FROM DADDY OR HE WAS JUST LETTING THEM LIVE THERE FOR NOTHING. THEY DID FINALLY MOVE OUT, AND WE MOVED INTO IT. THERE WERE TEN OF US AND WE COOKED AND ATE IN ONE ROOM AND SLEPT IN THE OTHER. IN THE NEXT YEAR OR TWO, DADDY STARTED TO BUILD ONTO THE SMALL HOUSE WITH A TWO STORY BUILDING THAT BECAME OUR HOME. IT HAD THE KITCHEN IN THE SAME PART OF THE OLD HOUSE, AND THE DINING ROOM WHERE THE BED ROOM WAS, AND ADDED A LIVING ROOM, BED ROOM AND A ROOM THAT THE HEATER WAS IN. THE UPSTAIRS WAS ONE BIG OPEN ROOM WHERE ALL OF US KIDS SLEPT. HE WAS A GOOD CARPENTER AND COULD BUILD ANYTHING. I REMEMBER THIS HOME MORE THEN THE OTHERS. WE LIVED THERE TILL I WAS ABOUT 18 YEARS OLD.

Robertsdale Church of Christ

WE WERE IN THE ROBERTSDALE SCHOOL DISTRICT, AND I STARTED TO SCHOOL IN THE SECOND GRADE.  WE HAD TO WALK TO SCHOOL ABOUT TWO AND A HALF MILES. THE ROAD WAS RED CLAY AND MUDDY WHEN IT RAINED. THEY DID PAVE THE ROAD AFTER ABOUT FIVE YEARS THEN THEY RAN A BUS TO THE LUCKY-2 GAS STATION THAT WAS A THOUSAND YARDS FROM OUR HOUSE.  I  REMEMBER SOME OF THE THINGS AND SOME OF THE GAMES WE PLAYED AT SCHOOL, MARBLES, BASEBALL, SOCCER, AND RING-AROUND -THE-ROSEY. THE TEACHERS AT SCHOOL WERE GOOD TO US AND DID THEIR JOB WELL. IF YOU GOT OUT OF LINE THEY KNEW HOW TO PUT YOU BACK ON TRACK QUICK.

Marble Time

I REMEMBER THAT WHEN WE PLAYED MARBLES WE WERE ON OUR KNEES ON THE GROUND AND OUR PANTS LEGS GOT HOLES IN THEM. MOTHER WOULD PATCH THEM AND WE GOT TEASED ABOUT THE HOLES AND PATCHES. BUT WE WORE THEM ANY WAY. WE CARRIED OUR LUNCH TO SCHOOL AND OTHER KIDS MADE FUN OF THE BISCUITS AND SWEET POTATOES WE BROUGHT TO EAT, BUT THEY WERE ALL WE HAD AND WERE GOOD.

I REMEMBER MY GRANDFATHER MANCILL, EDMOND “ED” MANCILL, COMING TO STAY WITH US AFTER THE ROAD WAS PAVED. HE WOULD SIT ON THE FRONT PORCH AND WATCH THE CARS GO BY. HE SAID HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THE CARS WENT BY LIKE THEY DID BECAUSE THEY WAS NOT GOING VERY FAR OR STAYING VERY LONG BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL COMING RIGHT BACK REAL SOON. HE LIKED TO PLAY THE GAME OF FOX AND GEESE. HE WAS GOOD AT IT BUT HE WOULD LOSE TO US AND SAY “OH I DIDN’T MEAN TO DO THAT” AND LAUGH. I DON’T REMEMBER GRANDMOTHER MANCILL OR GRANDFATHER WILSON BECAUSE THEY DIED BEFORE I WAS BORN OR I WAS TO YOUNG AT THE TIME.

fox and geese game

THE COLD WINTERS WERE BAD SOMETIMES AND WE HAD TO CUT STOVEWOOD TO COOK WITH AND PICK UP PINE KNOTS TO BURN IN THE HEATER TO KEEP WARM BY. WE WOULD GO TO THE WOODS, THAT WAS OPEN LAND, WITH THE MULES AND WAGON AND USE A CROSSCUT SAW WITH TWO OF US, ONE ON EACH END AND CUT THE PINE TREE DOWN AND SAW IT INTO LONG LOGS AND LOAD IT INTO THE WAGON AND WE WOULD HAUL LOAD AFTER LOAD OF PINE LOGS TO THE HOUSE, THEN SAW THEM INTO BLOCKS OF ABOUT 18 INCHES, AND SPLIT THEM UP TO FIT THE COOKING STOVE. WE USED PINE WOOD TO COOK ON SUMMER AND WINTER.

old cook stove