The teacher at the Liberty School was named Cornell.
Early in the mornings, Felix would get up and build a good fire in the school house. He would have it nice and warm for Mr. Cornell and his daughter. Then he would unhitch Mr. Cornell's horse from the buggy, water it, put it in the barn lot and give it some hay. Mr. Cornell and his daughter thought Felix was the greatest, but for some reason he didn't seem to like me. I had some trouble rolling my r's. When I would count I would say one, two, tree, four, and he took exception to that. It got to the point he would keep me in at recess and make me count. When I got home for lunch mother asked me why I wasn't on the playground and I told her. When I went back to school after lunch, Mother went with me. She had a private chat with Mr. Cornell. I don't know what she told him, but I didn't have to stay in at recess anymore.
Sassafras sprouts thicker than hair on a dog's back
Brother Wix started staying with the Chester Dillman family.
Wix was 17 years old and in the 11th grade at the Garfield High School. That was as far as the Garfield school went until 1932, when they started teaching the 12th grade.
Chester had what he called an egg farm. He had three or four chicken houses and sold eggs to an exchange in Rogers. The Dillmans had three children -- Blanch, Jimmy and Opal. Blanch and Jimmy were in the Liberty School and Opal wasn't old enough to go to school yet. When Choc bought animals from someone, he had a habit of giving the stock names of someone in the family that he bought them from. In the spring he bought two calves from Chester Dillman and named them Blanch and Jimmy. Later on Jimmy got in the cane field and got bloated. Dad called the vet, but the vet said there wasn't anything he could do for Jimmy. Charles had claimed Blanch and Felix had claimed Jimmy. The next day, David, who was too young to go to school, stuck his head in the school house door and said, "Felix, Jimmy died." The irony of the story was that about six months later, Jimmy Dillman became sick with a high fever and died. The event made the Pitts family sad for sometime. This didn't faze Choc, he still named his animals after the people he bought them from.
Grandfather Bob would show up each morning sitting so proud of his new wagon and the new harness on Dan and Ribbon. He always had his water jug, which was wrapped up in burlap, hanging from the harness of one of the horses. His lunch bucket, a gallon syrup bucket, hung from the harness of the other. Before he would go to the field to plow, he would take off the new harness and replace it with an old set-on britching to do the plowing.
Grandfather and Dad had put out a large crop but the sassafras sprouts were thicker than hair on a dog's back. Felix, Charles and Bob swore they would never cut another sassafras sprout. After school was out, Grandfather would take one of the boys home with him each evening. For some reason I was too young and never got to make the trip. On one trip, Felix and Charles went home with him on a weekend. On Sunday they were playing in the barn and saw a big brown dog under the corn crib. They tried to coax the dog out but he wouldn't come. Felix told Charles to stand by the entrance and he would crawl under the crib and shoo him out. When the dog came out he wouldn't have anything to do with Charles. When Charles tried to catch him he bit Charles through the upper lip. He then headed down the railroad track. Charles carried that scar on his upper lip until he died.
Two of Grandfathers' grandsons came down from Wichita, Kan., to spend the summer with him. Their names were Frank and Steve Davis. One day, Grandfather brought Steve to work with him. He told Steve to watch Dan while he was plowing with Ribbon. He told him to let him graze but to keep him out of the corn.
Grandfather asked Steve, "Didn't I tell you to keep him out of the corn?"
Steve answered, "But Grandpa, I called him everything I could think of and he wouldn't come back."
Of course he couldn't blame Steve, he was a city boy.
Just as school was out for the year, we got to move into the better house. The only drawback was that we had to walk about a quarter mile to a spring to get our water. Dad built a sled and got a wooden barrel, so we could hook up Kit, the mare, and haul a barrel of water to do the laundry. But we still had to carry the drinking and cooking water. We liked this house a lot better and Mother didn't have to put up with the cat anymore. An old bachelor moved into the old house and he had about a half dozen old cars that didn't run. We never knew what he was keeping them for. We boys had a lot of fun playing in them.
We had a neighbor by the name of O'Neal. He was Irish, a bachelor and no one could understand what he was saying. He had one daughter and three sons living with him. He had a married daughter living in Kansas. The girl's name was Maggie, and the boys were Jim, Bill and Barney. Maggie married another neighbor boy by the name of Lonnie Dart. Lonnie's uncle was named Frank and he was a watch tinker. He taught Lonnie the trade, and Lonnie became the watch tinker of the neighborhood. I was always amused by Frank when he would ride his highwheeled bicycle. I could never understand how he could stay on the thing. I was also amused by Barney. He was always humming or singing a tune. It went something like this, "I had a piece of pie and had a piece of pudding. I gave it all away to see Sally Goodin. I thought to my soul that I would be a dumb one, then I looked down the road and saw her a comin'."
One evening Wix came home and we saw a big blaze in the east. Mother sent Wix to Garfield to see what it was. When he came back he said that Harry Baker's two-story general store had burned to the ground.