Friday, May 11, 2012

Family Recipe Friday - Meatloaf

Here is another recipe I found in my Granny Conley's handwriting.  It is like so many of my mother's recipes in that only the ingredients are listed.  Good cooks assume the rest of us would know the size pan to use, whether or not to grease it, the temperature and length of time for cooking.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Remembering Daddy on His Birthday

Richard Aaron Robbins was born May 6, 1909 on Salt Branch (near Cherokee) in San Saba County, Texas, the eldest child of James Robert and Josie Lee Hughes Robbins.

He never really liked this picture stating he didn't understand why anyone would take a picture like that.  It seemed to embarrass him that he was wearing only a diaper.  I always have loved the picture and have it framed and displayed beside a baby picture of my mother.

Another treasure I have in my guest room is the bed he told me he was born on.  Although the foot board was broken when he had it in a rental property, the bed is still in good condition.  To use it, I had to have a mattress custom made to fit since a standard full mattress wouldn't quite work. The bed was probably a standard size back then, but seems small for two adults now.  It's amazing to think of all the changes he saw during his lifetime.

He is often in my thoughts, but I especially remember him on this day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Funeral Card Friday - Clarence Martin Richards

This was found in a box of pictures.  I did not know who Clarence M. Richards was but assumed he was a friend of the family.
The notice states he was 29 years old when he died August 29, 1937 in Brady Hospital.  Funeral services were held at the Hanna Cemetery at Cherokee, Texas Monday, August 30 at 2 o'clock.

An image of his death certificate is on  From it I learned he was born 16 Aug 1908 in Cherokee, San Saba, Texas so my parents must have gone to school with him since he was less than one year older than my father.  Clarence was the son of J. B. and Maude Dickson Richards.  He was an employee of a butane gas company.  He died in Brady from a broken neck and basal skull fracture from a motorcycle accident on August 26th on Highway 9 in Melvin, Texas.  It said he was single and a resident of San Angelo, Texas.

 Using my subscription to World Vital Records, I found this article on page 7 of the Galveston Daily News published on August 30.  Unfortunaately it did not provide any additional information about the accident, but I was surprised to find an article in a Galveston paper.  There are no San Angelo newspapers on WVR and none for this date in the San Saba papers on that website.
I've added the funeral notice to Clarence's memorial page on in case someone researching his family doesn't have a copy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Remembering Nora Littie Inman Conley on Her Birthday

Earlier this year I wrote some things about my Granny, Nora Littie Inman Conley.  Since today is the anniversary of her birth on May 1, 1889, I wanted to add a few more of my memories of her.

Her water was pumped by a windmill, next to a grape arbor not far from the back door, and piped into the kitchen sink.  She did not have indoor plumbing for a bathroom until a few years before her death although there was an empty room in her house for it.  That meant having to walk a short distance from the house to the outhouse or use a "chamber pot" at night.  I remember the bucket of ashes used to cover the waste and being afraid the neighbor's chickens or something worse might get underneath the outhouse.  Bathing was often done in a basin using water warmed on the stove.

Granny would walk across the street in the evening to spend the night at Mag Knight's house since they were both widows.  When I spent a week or two with Granny in the summer, I would bathe at Mag's house and watch TV with her for a little while before Granny came over.  Granny would always wake up early and leave without waking me up.  One night, after I was asleep, Mag's little dog started barking because there was a rattlesnake in the back yard.  One of them walked across the dirt road to Mr. Battles' house and he came and shot it.  I didn't see it until the next morning and remember it looked BIG and MEAN even dead.
Highway 16 in Cherokee, Texas
 Mag and Bess Sifford had a dry goods store in town.  She let me sell pot holders I made.  Once her niece and I pretended we were mannequins and stood in the empty store windows while there.  That building was later remodeled and became Cherokee's post office.  It is in ruins now but those front windows are still recognizable.  I was able to get this picture of the building by using Google Earth.

Granny had some ceramic dolls about 2 or 3 inches tall with costumes painted on them depicting the dress from various countries.  I played with those and a sack of empty wooden thread spools that made excellent building blocks.  Learning to sew on her treadle sewing machine was a special thrill for me; I was allowed to use it because it did not have a motor.  I made doll aprons from scraps.  She still had a wood-burning stove in the front room when I was in kindergarten because I remember my new walking doll's white shoe got a black mark on it from the stove.  She also had a wooden telephone and a radio that could only get the San Saba station that played very twangy country-western music.  I still smile thinking about the announcer's monotone voice even when he was announcing, "Hurry! Hurry!  Hurry!  Come to the big sale!" 

Special treats were chocolate milk she made for me and poured in a Coke bottle I kept in the refrigerator.  Getting to carry her coin purse with me as I walked down the dirt street to Clyde Yarborough's store to buy a quart of milk made me feel very important, grown-up, and trusted.  I walked that road often to go to Aunt Violet and Uncle Will Conley's and they always wanted me to cover my face and arms so I wouldn't get brown and freckled.  They wore hats, smocks, and gloves when in the sun because ladies took pride in not having skin that looked like those who had to work in the fields.  No matter how hard I looked, I never found any arrowheads, but my brother told me he had found some around there in years past.

Of course the glass candy dish and the cookie jar made of pink Depression Glass held special treats.  The green Depression Glass displayed in a kitchen cabinet with a glass door was so beautiful.  Although she had a refrigerator, she still kept a few things in her wooden ice box and to me it always smelled like cocoanut.  She had jars of pickled pears and peaches stored on the floor in the corner of the kitchen and let me take home a jar one time because I liked them so much.  Another special treat, that now makes me shudder, was eating a butter and sugar sandwich.

In many ways life was much simpler then.  I'm thankful for all the happy memories I have that mean so much to me now.