By Dickie Dixon
For Posterity’s Eyes - October birthdays: 19th: Maria (Lopez) Moreno, Carli Bynum 20th: Betty Collins 21st: E. E. (Buzz) Patrick, Annette Lee, Grace Ann Wilson, Michael Allen 22nd: Gay Pruett 23rd: Danylle Michelle Owens 24th: Nancy (Russell) Allen, Dianne (Havard) Amerine 25th: Billie Mims, William Seay 26th: Elaine Chrenee
When Fall Is in the Air - The last few mornings have had that chill in the air, reminding me of the season when I was a boy. Long before the chill would arrive, Para Lee McKnight had sold me some sweaters on layaway at Canon-Parker, and by this time I had paid them out—just in time to wear to one of the Panther games to keep the chill off. Also, on the way to my father’s store, Dixon Furniture Company, on North Chestnut Pete Distefano displayed his sugar cane for sale on the porch at S &S Grocery. As many times as we passed by there in a day, sometimes I would catch a glimpse of him in a white butcher’s apron with an unlit stogie in his mouth. If you passed Sharkey’s on North Timberland, you could also see the sugar cane Bill Windsor had displayed outside. Every year my father bought a few stalks for us to chew some cane.
One of the fondest memories I have of the beginning of the season was getting to sit around the fire in the fireplaces at both my grandmothers’ houses. Granny (Nanny to others) Hinson’s was just a single fireplace; I frequently cut down post oak trees for her and cut them in to firewood with my new red Plumb single bit axe I got for Christmas. At MaMa (Blanche to others) Dixon’s, her fireplace was a double one—one heated the living room and the other their bedroom. My mother said my grandfather Bony could burn more firewood than any one she knew. Although I never had to cut it for them—except for the kindling, which I split—there was lots to do on Sundays to fill up her wood box. During those years, my uncle ran Moore Chair Company over on Lufkin Avenue, and, as a result, he took the oak cut outs from the seats of the chairs and barstools to her for firewood. She also had greener cord wood to stoke the fire with, so I had three kinds of wood to get gathered for her. It made the Sunday afternoons pass faster, when I had nothing to do while my Mom and Dad visited with them and my aunts and uncles. Plus, she tipped me a little bit for my effort, so, not only did I help her, but I also profited monetarily, although it wasn’t much. It was nice to be able to help her, and it was one thing less she had to do. On those colder winter nights, when it was too cold to sleep in the front bedroom, I slept on a cot in front of the fireplace in their bedroom.
There were other things that ushered in the cooler fall season like hayrides and the whoosh you got when you got up in a house heated by space heaters. Until it had the chance to warm up the room, you huddled around the heater just to keep warm. Of course, at my father’s furniture store, we had the ritual of getting the heater radiants down out of storage to get them ready to be replacements for our customers. My father prided himself on the fact that he carried about twenty of them. My Mom told him one time: “I think you would rather sell a heater radiant than a sofa.”
All of these things come together as fond memories of the time of the year when fall is in the air.
Save the Date! The Angelina County Genealogical Society is putting together three strands of topics to honor Pearl Harbor casualties and survivors for its Monday, November 20, 2017 meeting in the Railroad Depot of Kurth Memorial Library on 702 South Raguet Street in Lufkin, Texas at 4 P.M.
For book notices or reviews please send me a complimentary copy to Kissin’ Kuzzins P. O. Box 151001 Lufkin TX 75915-1001.