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Sundown II

Some of my memories seem so distant and some so close and guess even when you write about memories you can get the dreaded "writers block".

Sundown was a good town to grow up in---- it seems so far away----the memories are so distant but still embedded in my mind.

Our little apartment was a gatherin place for the boys that Dad coached and sometimes the girls.  They would come by to visit and more times than not---ask for the gym to be opened for a little basketball. I had access to the gym at all times and spent many an hour developing my over the head 2 handed free throw---got pretty good at hittin them baskets.

Like I said Dad coached both football and basketball---we went to most of the games I'm sure--think we rode with some of the parents of the kids that played. I probably never saw a game---to busy playin' football in the end zone with my buddies---or kids we made friends with at the game. I could always find Mama if I needed a coke or popcorn-----there would be an empty seat in front of her as when she got excited she would beat who ever was in front of her on the shoulders and not even know she was doin' it. People learned not to set in front of Mama.

As I said earlier---coachin and teachin were not the best payin jobs back then---Dad refereed basketball and I think football along with his duties at the school. He was gone a lots of nights during the week and weekends to I'm sure. During  the summer he worked in the oilfield--- company called Magnolia---remember the FLYING RED HORSE signs--now Mobil Oil----he worked as a "roustabout" digging', paintin' laying pipe---whatever roustabouts do.

The oil companies had baseball teams  made up with employees of the company---played other teams all around the area. We would go for I think 2 games--called double headers---just about every weekend during the summer. I don't think I ever saw a game----to busy playin with my buddies. Don't know why--but seems like I remember eatin' our meals at the ball park. I think the wives and Mama would bring food and we'd all get together and par take. Dad pitched and played first base.Dad had a reputation for his pitchin' even in high school--think I remember that he was offered a spot with the Pirate's farm team when he graduated but he got a scholarship to a little college in Abeline called Daniel Baker went there instead. He played pitcher and first base for the oil company team.

Back to the work detail---as I said earlier --- the oil companies would always find work for teachers and coaches during the summer---lots of the parents whose kids went to Sundown worked for the oil companies and made sure the teachers and coaches got jobs. Mama stayed at home and made sure me and Ted stayed out of trouble. A chore in itself, I'm sure.

About this time--I beleive I was in the 2nd grade-- always had colds and bad tonsils---out they came along with the adnoids---got my first Red Ryder BB Gun for being a good patient. Man was I proud---sparrows didn't have a chance. With all the shrubs and trees around the school there were plenty of targets. I had been shooting 22 rifles for a while with Dad's help and was a pretty good shot. You could see the BB in flight sometime and that would help in hitting the target. Man I dusted many a sparrow---seems like there was an endless supply.

January---along came a PIB sister----Pamla Wayne----just kiddin'--- I was quite proud to be a big brother and really enjoyed helpin' Mama with Pam as she was eventually called. Oh she did become a PIB later---HA! Don't remember a bunch about that time---I DON'T---but we had those floor heater vents that got hot---poor kid had waffle burns on her little legs from fallin' on those vents when learnin' to walk. You didn't dare walk on them barefoot. Make a Converse tennis shoe stink--burn--they were so hot.

About this time---I think ---we were introduced to rabbit extermination---we would load up 4 to a vehicle and ride the ranch roads searchin' for rabbits----jack rabbits--cottontails---galore. We looked like a military force ridin' down those ranch roads with a rifle stickin our of every window---well I ddn't have a rifle---but Dad would let me use his to shoot now and then. Times have changed as we all know---and riding down an oilfield road with rifles stickin' out of the windows today, could mean a fine and possibly a jail sentence.----OH!!  "the good ole days". The ranchers welcomed us and we didn't even have to ask permission, they figured 4 jackrabbits could eat as much as one cow. There were plenty---sometimes we would shoot a 100 are more---sad to say we left them for the coyotes and crows or other scavengers that were there---buzzards I'm sure. It was a good way to learn how to shoot and gave me plenty of practice and helped me be a better shot with my Red Ryder.


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