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Part III

Billy, the Pony

MY COUSIN, SUSIE, had a pony named Billy in the big barn behind my aunt’s house. Billy looked like a circus performer’s horse. He was cream-colored, very gentle and a really beautiful creature. My cousin could ride him very well, and I remember her riding down the street with her hair flying loose as she rode fearlessly along on galloping Billy.

My Aunt's Home and Surroundings

MY COUSIN SUSIE lived on a street with several pretentious homes. Her parents’ home was a large two-story house with many bedrooms, a library and a large tile bath. I was quite young when her parents purchased this house and up to this time had not experienced an indoor bathroom. When I heard that the toilet was an indoor one, I thought that the effect would certainly be disastrous on the rest of the house.

Greasy Mouth

THERE WAS AN INTERESTING old man who lived in our section and who the neighborhood children called Greasy Mouth. He raised pigs and had a vegetable patch on the hills. He was an honest good old man. To this day, I don’t know why the children called him Greasy Mouth, but the name was passed down with each new set of children.
It was rumored that Greasy Mouth would catch you and put you in a sack. Of course, this was an absolute lie, but children delighted in running from him and giving the appearance to others that they were terribly frightened whenever they spied him.

Fun on the Red Hills

MANY OF THE HILLS behind our house at the time were very great empty spaces. Erosion of the earth had carved gullies ten or twelve feet deep in them. The gullies cut the terrain into separate mounds exposing the red clay sides which made wonderful spots for sliding.


WHEN JACK WAS ABOUT SIX WEEKS OLD, one of our good neighbors brought him to our house and gave him to my younger brother. He was little, almost tiny, with a short white fur covering his fat body. The only break in his white covering was two brown spots, one on his rump and one on his head.

Wash Day

WASH DAY AT OUR HOUSE was nearly always on Monday. Sometimes if Monday was a rainy day, Mother would defer wash day to Tuesday because she wanted to dry the clothes outdoors in the sun. Plenty of sunshine was supposed to whiten clothes and give them a sweeter smell, so housewives were delighted when there was lots of sunshine on wash day.

Billly, Our Goat

BILLY, WHO GREW TO BE an enormous white goat, was a tiny kid when he was given to my youngest brother. He was so small that my brother and I used to carry him around in our arms just as we would carry a baby, a puppy or a kitten.
Billy was brought from a livery stable where the owner kept goats along with his horses. I have never heard the reason, but I know that people frequently keep these animals together, perhaps to keep each other company.