This writing began in 2005 as the story of my life for my daughter, Alicia Bonnell Bumgarner Foley, and all family members who are interested. I need to make some distinctions before the story starts. I have a combination Family Tree: BUMGARNER and WELLS located inside of http://www.TribalPages.Com/sooner1944 on my computer.
There are many family surnames that I am attached to:
My life began on a cold, frosty morning 01 December, 1944 @ about 0220 in the morning. I, Edward Scott Bumgarner was born in the Wynnewood, Garvin, Oklahoma hospital; and, delivered by Dr. ME Robertson. Wynnewood is a small farming community located approximately twelve miles north of my home town of Davis, Murray, Oklahoma where I was raised, and educated during my formative years. Near as I can tell, I am an eighth generation Bumgarner which started either in Germany, later in Pennsylvania or North Carolina. North Carolina seems to be the “melting pot” for Bumgarners.
Both of my parents were working folks, having been born before the Great Depression of 1930s. My Mother, Florence Geneva Wells Bumgarner was born about a mile south of the old Woodland school, Murray county, which was located about six miles west of Davis. My Dad, Thomas Scott Bumgarner, was born somewhere near Hennipen, Garvin, Oklahoma.
My Mother graduated from Woodland High in 1938, and she and Dad married 02 December, 1940 at County Line, Stephens, Oklahoma. Mother learned to drive while riding with Dad in a bob-tail truck hauling livestock. In the early years, Mother worked as a waitress at the ole 77 Cafe, and Betty’s Cafe in Davis. Later, DO Salter taught Mother how to do bookkeeping which became a new career for Mother at Pete Parker Chevrolet in Davis; and, later at Salter Oil Company of Davis.
My Dad, Thomas Scott Bumgarner, in the early years before he left home to seek his fortune, lived on the high plains of West Texas during the years before the Great Depression. Dad quit school in the eighth grade, and began driving a truck which would become a life time vocation for him.
Dad and his family, purportedly made two trips to Springlake-Earth, Texas in a covered wagon from just west of present day Davis Oklahoma. Dad told that their wagon trail ran somewhat laterally with US 70.
After Mom and Dad married, they bought a city lot located in the extreme southeastern part of the west side of the third block south of main street. This was somewhere in the early to middle 1940s.
My sister, Jakie Sue Bumgarner, was born 18 October, 1946. We lived in an old house just north of the Lot(309 S Second) that Mom and Dad had purchased. In 1947, Dad hired Venus Fullerton to construct a new three bedroom, one bath home on the Lot. I have always contended that we moved into this new home in 1949, a couple of years before I started to school. We were a four member family. This new home cost $6000, a lot of money in those days.
After I was born, at about fourteen months of age, I began running high temperatures, and then my tonsils were removed, and the temperatures dissipated. When I reached sixteen years of age, the high temperatures question would be answered by an Orthopedic doctor in Oklahoma City Oklahoma. He said the high temperature was due to polio.
One of the first things that I noticed about our new home and surroundings, was the huge lawn that Dad and I would be mowing, well I would be taking care of. The first gas-powered mower that Dad purchased was a two-wheeler, self-propelled mower. I didn’t care much for mowing that big old yard then or ever. But……………..
I started school beginning with the first grade in 1951, and Mrs Grace Garrison was my teacher. I made many friends that year who are still my dear friends, with some already having passed. This year 2013, my class will celebrate our graduation that took place fifty years ago, 1963.
Mrs Garrison was a nice lady teacher who didn’t put up with nonsense, and especially cussing. I watched her wash out, with soap, a few mouths during that term, 1951 and 1952.
I became acquainted with kids my age who would become life long friends. People like Don Carter, Gene Deatherage(1985), Rex Hottel(1969), Sharon Digby(2006 cousin), Connie Hunt (cousin), Judy Beck (cousin), Wayne Aaron(2001 cousin), Kenneth Cagle, Kathy Crumb, Anita Coffee(1985), Pat Carter (cousin), William Farris (cousin), Charles Darling(2007), Joe Larry Sartin, Mona Lampkin, Jacky Windham. There were three other girls in my class, but don’t remember their names.
In my neighborhood, I grew up with guys such as: Mike Warren, Bill Smith, Jay Hutchens, Lester (Pee Wee) Hawkins, Gary Dale Fullerton and Roy Webb. All of these guys except Bill Smith, were in the class ahead of me. Bill was in the class of 1961. We will all turn seventy years of age in 2014, with the exception of Bill Smith who will turn seventy-three.
Bill Smith’s parents lived west across the alley from my folks for over fifty years and until they all passed.
My Dad was never around to take me hunting and fishing, when I was growing up, ’cause he was always working to take care of our family. I completely understand that. But, I used to hold it against him; because, what I learned about hunting and fishing, I learned from my friends Dads’ who took their boys hunting and fishing. I was always the “odd” man out, and it bothered me up into my adult life.
In the first grade, I decided that Kathy Crumb was my girlfriend, and I thought this till the seventh grade, until she began dating an older guy, who incidentally, was one of my cousins, Tommy Digby. I had a date one time with Kathy. Uncle Bob and Annie took Kathy and I to the Sulphur drive-in theater with them. Only date I ever had with Kathy. She is still a friend today. I got two spankings in the first grade because of her.
Kathy married before we graduated high school, and moved away. She and her husband Harold Haworth, had two children, and then Harold passed away at an early age, and Kathy moved back to Davis, and lives there today.
A lot of my early, first grade friends have endured to this time. One of them is Donald Wayne Carter who wears many hats. Don is a retired school teacher, a Minister, a Dad, a Brother, and a pilot, and is retired. He still lives in Davis.
Rex Hottel was a best friend, and we lost Rex in the Spring of 1969 from a car accident. Rex, a graduate of Oklahoma State University, was a second Lieutenant in the Air Force, and almost finished with his second year of flight training in jets. The last time I saw Rex was Christmas Eve 1968. I was home for Christmas, and Rex called and asked if I wanted to go flying with him. I jumped at the chance because I had never flown before. We rented a small two-seater, 150 Piper Cherokee at the Pauls Valley Airport in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma for a couple of hours.
We flew above Turner Falls while observing I 35 highway being constructed through the Arbuckle Mountains, at that time. Next we flew over the Lake of the Arbuckles, going down as low as five hundred feet above the water, and then we flew to the Sulphur airport where Rex said he wanted to practice some “touch and go” maneuvers. He scared the begiggers out of me twice when he drug the tail wing on the ground. Man, enough was enough.
After that fun day, I never saw Rex alive again. Him and another pilot were hit by a drunk driver, in a somewhat head-on collision which killed Rex and his pilot friend. The day was 27 April, 1969. Rex brother Bruce lives here in Sherman, as I do.
Another classmate lost was Don Neal. Don died as a result of a motorcycle accident, 1971, while attending college at East Central University at Ada, Oklahoma. That is all that I know about it.
Gene Deatherage passed away on 03 March, 1985 of colon cancer. Curly was forty years of age, and had a grandson. He and Kathy Ryland Deatherage had two daughters. Kathy passed sometime in the 2005 year, I think. They are both buried in Memorial Gardens just south of Edmond, Oklahoma.
Anita Sue Coffee Evans passed on 04 of March, 1985. Anita Sue married early in high school, and did not graduate with us in 1963.
Sharon Kay Digby Hefley passed in 2006. She was a Digby cousin.
My first encounter with death, occurred in the late 1940s when a playmate died. I remember that they brought his casket to his parents home, and set it in the middle of the living room.
I don’t remember his first name, but his last name was Petty. He was all of five years of age.
An African-American lady kept Jakie and I before we stayed with Uncle Bud and Aunt Mert Martin. a couple who lived just across the street from us. They kept us before we started school, and afterwards, when we got out of school. One beautiful sunny day in December of 1949, I was riding my bike and happened to ride down the street on the south side of our home. Looking south, about a block, to the rail road crossing, I could see quite a commotion going on.
I found out later that Aunt Mert and another lady in her Buick, had driven across the tracks to the clothes laundry. When coming back, the Buick had pulled into the path of the Santa Fe Chief, passenger train, and Aunt Mert was thrown out onto the tracks and killed. Sad day. I believe Uncle Bud lived well into his 80s before he passed. Two really good folks.
Mrs Mary Fay Brown was my second grade teacher, and she was a wonderful teacher.
Mrs Ida Thomas was my third grade teacher, and she taught me how to write long hand, and then used to brag on my handwriting. I was in Mrs Thomas class, when I got one of my front teeth knocked out. A lot of us kids were in line to bat next, and the line kept getting closer to the batter, Rex Hottel, who slung his bat around with one hand when he missed the ball. The bat connected with my right cheekbone, and broke off one of my eye teeth.
I spent, what seemed like the whole summer of 1954, in the dentist chair. I ended up with a false tooth, which was screwed into and cemented into the base of the tooth that was lost. I wore this falsey till I graduated high school.
One summer day, along about this time period in my life, my Mother sent me to town to the City Drug Store to pick up medicine for her. She gave me the exact change, and when I got home, I was chewing a piece of bubble gum. She asked me where I had gotten the gum, and I tried to lie about it. She gave me a penny with strict instructions to go back and pay for the gum which I did. Lesson learned.
Blanche Cheatham was my fourth grade teacher, and Ms Melba Montgomery was my fifth grade teacher. I remember in the fifth grade that Donna Dee Buffington, Connie Hunt, and I were all five feet tall which was tallest in the class. Mrs Greer was my sixth grade teacher.
Mr Clyde Hardesty was the grade school principal, and Mr Hardesty was also a brother-in-law to my late friend Rex Hottel. Mr Hardesty passed last year (2011) or year before, and was up in his ninety’s.
Junior High and seventh grade came calling in 1956 and 57. My classes were now in the high school building where one had to walk to different classes after each period. Kinda scared and relieved to have made it to the seventh grade.
My first job became a reality. I worked alongside the school janitors every evening after football practice, pushing a large wide broom sweeping out the grade school class rooms. That first job paid $10 a month. I was fortune enough to play junior high football where I played center. My two partners in this business were Mr Elmer Kelly, and Mr CL Butler.
I forgot to mention that while growing up, Uncle Bob Bumgarner became a somewhat surrogate father to me. Uncle Bob taught me many things, including how to match socks with shirts, and how to dress nice for whatever occasion that came along.
In my early years when I would be staying with Uncle Bob and Granny Bumgarner, he would tease about girls. One morning while sitting at the breakfast table, he made me so mad I threw my fork at him. Uncle Bob is seventy-five at this writing, and if you asked him, he might show you where the fork left its mark in his stomach. He has never allowed me to forget that. In the last month, July 2013, he has successfully gone through aortic valve replacement surgery on his heart.
I didn’t think he was much of a teacher back then, but later he became Teacher of the Year, several times, his name was Bill Springer. In Junior high, I made the mistake of calling him Bill, and he informed me pretty quickly that his name was Mr Springer. I never forgot that, and when I saw him at class reunions, I could never make myself call him anything but Mr Springer. He turned out to be a very good teacher and person. He also grew up across the street where I lived. He was an only child, and his parents names were Gene &^ Lorene Springer.
Another fun thing to do in junior high, was to go on class parties, which meant we usually bused over to Sulphur where they had a place with a little train to ride, ferris-wheel, miniature golf, and a skating rink. Those were fun times back in the ’50s.
Billee Roper was my girl friend in junior high for four months until she dropped me for Johnny Day of Sulphur. After high school, Billee and Randy Moore married, and are retired in Davis at this writing.
In the eighth grade I started at center on the football team, and we won the Washita Valley Conference with only one loss, and that was to Purcell. Coach Roberts was our coach. While playing Pauls Valley that year, I hiked the ball over the punter’s head twice in that game, and got a rather intriguing butt kicking speech because of it, at halftime.
I think we won the conference again, but not really sure. My freshman year, I played junior high ball; and, Gene Deatherage and I played senior high football in the 1959 season. Edd McNeil joined us after junior high season was over. Edd didn’t come to school at Davis until our freshman year. But, I had known Edd since we were both about four years of age.
Mom and Dad used to leave us with Aunt Susie Drennan when they vacationed with Aunt Dott and Uncle Sonny Wells during the summer, and that is how I met Edd. Aunt Susie lived in Hennipen, as well as the McNeil’s. Also, our Mothers went to school together at Woodland.
I made every practice when I was a freshman, and took a beating every day during practice from guys older than me; but, Coach Smith didn’t letter me. Me, Gene, and Edd were the only freshman on that team, and Edd and I didn’t letter. I tore my right knee up during one of the practices, and didn’t play my sophomore year. I was the football manager.
The summer of 1961 between my sophomore and junior years, I had corrective knee surgery in an Oklahoma City hospital where I laid for four days, also with a broken ankle.
That year my football team, the Davis Wolves, reached the State Semi Finals; but, we lost out to Beaver, Oklahoma, and they won a state championship that year, and the next year as well.
Mavis Hutchens, Ag teacher at Davis, died in 1959 on Thanksgiving Day. We heard about it after we had beaten Mountain View, Oklahoma in the State Quarterfinals at Davis. He was also the father of Jay and Janice Hutchens two friends I grew up with in the neighborhood.
Two days before (1961), I was scheduled for knee surgery in an Oklahoma City hospital, St Anthony’s, I broke my right ankle high jumping in the back yard after my Mother had told me to stop. I didn’t listen to her; but, I should have.
I wore a full cast from my right foot to the top of my leg for two weeks with a walking heel mounted on it. Dad took me to Oklahoma City where the full cast was removed, and a “below the knee cast” was applied for my broken ankle. I wore out three of those casts that summer.
Not long after the cast was removed for the last time, Mother and Dad and Jakie and I vacationed at Carlsbad Caverns in southeastern New Mexico. While traveling on this trip, I was picked to do all of the driving. The first big city I ever drove through was Lubbock, Texas. Lubbock was the boyhood home of Buddy Holly who incidentally, was killed in a plane crash just north of Clear Lake, Iowa, in 1959. Nettie and I have visited the memorial in that corn field in Iowa where Buddy’s plane ended up after crashing.
In 1961, I again played high school football with hopes of being the first team center. This did not work out, as Gary Fullerton, a senior, got that job. I lettered that year on a 7 and 3 team, and became a member of the Wolves Letterman’s Club.
We were favored to win the 8-C District title, but Marietta beat us. They had this big bruiser of a fullback who ran over our team and became champs of that district. Bill Carlyle was the name of the fullback who went on to stardom at Oklahoma University as an All American center for the OU team.
I have said for years that Gene Deatherage was the best “pound for pound” football player I ever saw, and our Junior year in high school became Curly’s last time to play football. He was already getting feelers from the Air Force Academy about playing ball for them.
About two weeks before Christmas of 1961, the car Gene Deatherage was driving, crossed over the center line on a curve just north of Davis and hit a pickup head-on fatally injuring the driver of that vehicle. Gene was unconscious for about fifteen days. He sustained a broken left arm, left leg, and both jaws, as well as a swelled brain. Doctors said his top physical conditioning, saved his life.
Although advised against it, he tried to play football our first day in pads our senior season, but got knocked out, and that sadly, ended his football career. He was a great high school player during his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons where he earned: Back of the Year twice, All Conference twice, and All District all three years. He was the type of runner that could run around you or run over you. He was very fast, deceivingly so.
Our senior season was a miserable one, for football. Bad team and bad coaching. I tore up another knee just at the end of my senior season. On crutches for several weeks, and didn’t play basketball, that year.
One of the best women I ever knew passed away on 03 February, 1961. Sue Elizabeth Digby Bumgarner, my Grandmother. Granny and I walked every where we went back in those days. Uncle Bob always had a job, and wasn’t there to take us anywhere. Granny died just after I had gotten my driver’s license. Very ironic, to say the least.
Uncle Bob practically raised himself. His Dad, my Grandfather John Stanford Bumgarner, died the day after Pearl Harbor day, in 1941 of prostate cancer. Wasn’t a known cure in those days. Uncle Bob was about 4 or 5 when he passed. My Grandfather was only fifty years of age.
Another thing worth mentioning, was that in the seventh grade, my Dad and I were about the same size. We could wear the same size clothes. Dad never grew above 5’11” tall, but I grew to 6’4-1/2″ in height. My Dad never weighed over 203 pounds in his lifetime; but, I weighed at most about 175 in high school, and weighed in the neighborhood of 220 to 240 in my middle years, and now weigh in the 350 range. Today I am barely 6’2″.
During a lot of the summers before and including 1960, my Mom, sister, and I spent about two weeks every year with Aunt Olive, Uncle Bus, and Joe David Dickerson in Joplin, Missouri, and Diamond Missouri. Uncle Bus retired at age fifty-seven from Lee Way Motor Freight, Inc, and became a farmer in Diamond, Missouri.
Note: It is funny, but my wife Nettie was born in Joplin, MO in 1949, and my first trip to Missouri was in the back seat of a 1948 Chevy. It is funny, the results of fate.
The day we arrived to visit in 1960, Uncle Bus and Joe were completing a barbed wire fence around the perimeter of their garden. The garden was located below a hill in the east pasture, about a quarter of a mile from the house and barn.
Uncle Bus had just purchased a new Ford tractor, and Joe allowed me to drive it one morning when he and I were going to go down to looi at the garden. As we tractored along, the tractor quit running. Out of gas. I, stupid me, left the tractor in gear on the edge of a high place in the road. While Joe and I were going for fuel, we thought we heard a noise back behind us.
When we got the gas and walked back to where we left the tractor, the tractor was gone. Time to be scared. The tractor had coasted down and into the new fence, scratching the paint and putting a slight dent into the front of the machine. Needless to say, Joe and I patched up the fence as well as we could, and then started wondering what Uncle Bus would do to us when he arrived home the next day.
Uncle Bus hadn’t been home very long, when I made a beeline to him and told him what happened and that it was my fault, and not Joe’s. He put us into this large pea field picking up rocks and loading them into a small cart which we towed behind the tractor. We dumped these large boulders “rocks” into the creek bed so the crossing would be smoother.
Uncle Bus had bought a “past his prime” roping horse for the farm. One morning I rode him for a little while, and while running him fairly fast, I was approaching a corner of the pasture when I tugged on the reins too hard. That horse had been trained to “stop on a dime” and he did, and I sailed completely over his head and hit the ground. Later Joe told me that the horse was an old roping horse. Whew! Nice to know after the fact.
Some days, Joe and I would hide out in the pasture, and try to smoke a pack of his parents’ Old Gold cigarettes which would make us both sick. Uncle Bus would tell us later, that when he came looking for us, and couldn’t see us, he could see smoke boiling up out of the bushes we were hiding in, and he knew what we were up to. If Uncle Bus ever got mad at me for wrecking the tractor and the fence, he never let on about it.
During the summer of 1960, my cousin Joe got his driver’s license. One night as we motoring into Diamond, Missouri; we drove into a swarm of bugs that completely covered the windshield of the 1954 Plymouth we were driving. We had to get out and scrape the windshield more than once.
I remember that summer; because, it was the year after Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash about four miles north of Clear Lake Iowa in a corn field.
My senior year in high school began at football practice in August of 1962. I loved the Friday night games; but, hated to practice through the weeks. We didn’t have much in the way of talent my last year in football as we won three games and were defeated in seven of them. Our most natural athlete was probably Jackie Smith; but, Jackie was quite small, as were the remainder of us. I was six feet three and a half-inch tall, and weighed about one hundred seventy-five pounds.
Edd McNeil was a good athlete who played with a lot of heart; but, was beat up in every game. On the Wednesday of our last practice in pads before our last game of the season, I tore the cartilage in my left knee. This put me on crutches for two days, with a heavy wrap on my knee for the ball game. I played the whole game on offense as center, and defense as the left tackle, essentially on one knee. The knee was never surgically repaired and has arthritis in it so bad that makes it awfully hard to walk sometimes. I never really wanted to go through knee replacement.
The Davis Wolves and the Sulphur Bulldogs have always been enemies in any sports venue; but, were friends some what also. Sulphur defeated us Seniors that year, 1962, worse than they ever had. The score was 44 to 8. I got knocked out three times in that game; because, we were so “out-of-shape” and our coaches only made us practice for about an hour each day, so they could go play golf. Bad coaching, to say the least. Probably the reason both were assistant coaches their whole careers. That September was a very hot Fall.
My best friends in high school were Rex Hottel, Gene Deatherage, Don Carter, Edd McNeil, Randy Roberson, Butch Finley, Kathy Pinkston, Dixie Stone, Donna Buffington, John Jackson, Linda Birch, Roy Webb, and Carl Roberts. I had friends in two different groups: athletics and non-athletics.
I didn’t go out for basketball during my Senior year, ’cause of the knee I had torn up in football. I wasn’t too thrilled with basketball or track; but, to play either, one had to run track. High school didn’t offer golf or baseball in those days.
In 1962 a young girl from Wynnewood, and one of my sister’s class mates, Sammy Williams were killed in a car accident in the front of the Wynnewood High School. This girl and Sammy were in a car with three other guys traveling at a high rate of speed driven by the girl’s boy friend. The car swerved when a two lane became a divided street and this 1957 Tudor Hardtop Chevy wrapped itself around a huge oak tree traveling reputedly about one hundred miles an hour.
The girl sitting in the middle and Sammy between her and the passenger side door, of course were crushed and died before they could get them out of this vehicle. The other three people lived and are still alive at this writing, (2013). This accident happened in May of 1962. I went with my sister Jakie and her boy friend at the time, Jim Fulton of Sulphur, to see what was left of the ’57. Just three clumps of green metal sitting on a trailer.
Some said the engine from this car was found almost a block down the street from this accident. Knocked a hole in one of the valve covers, and some guy bought the engine and installed it into a ’56 Chevy. Was told that the Chevy had over a hundred beers iced down in the trunk of the car; but, no one was drinking when this happened.
It was also said that the kids in the ’57 Chevy were fighting and heading to a party when things got out of control, and then they hit that tree. Worst accident I have ever seen, after it happened. I was a Junior that year.
Just about two weeks later, Jakie’s boy friend Jim Fulton, was killed in a car accident, after a Sulphur Prom. There was lots of high school kids killed in accidents when I was in high school, from driving and drinking.
I bought my first car that year. It was a 1954 Ford, Tudor, with clutch and overdrive. It contained the first overhead cam engine that Ford ever built. Mr Lloyd King of Hennipen Oklahoma overhauled it for Dad and I. During school that year, I worked for Tom Imel Ford pumping gas, and Mr Harold Clary in the local Chevrolet car body shop on Saturdays.
Harold told me if I sanded and primed my old ford, he would furnish the paint and paint the car for me which he did. I found some fender-skirts for it, and later had the loudest glass packed mufflers installed on it. Man, they were loud and sweet. I loved the sound of that Ford.
One summer night, after a date, I decided to drive down to the Tavern at Turner Falls and check it out. No one was there, so I got back into my car and started to leave the park. All of a sudden, the left front wheel just turned and fell flat onto the roadway. A few moments before I had arrived at the Tavern, I had been racing with another ’54 Ford coming down Highway 77 toward the Falls.
As I got out of the car, I noticed that the wheel was lying flat on the ground. I walked over and sat down on this big rock, and couldn’t move. The realization began to filter into my mind as to what had just transpired, and it scared the hell out of me. The night watchman at the Tavern called my Dad who in turned called Lester White’s wrecker service, and they came down and delivered it to our house. Me and mostly Dad repaired it. My Dad, although, a truck driver all of his life, could fix anything mechanical when he had a chance to study it.
My Daddy was not a person who told you “that he loved you”; but did things for you that let you know that he did. I only heard “I love you” twice in my life. What I really wanted to hear was: “Son I am proud of you”; but, I never did. I swore that I would always tell my children that I love them, and I believe Alicia can testify to that fact, as well as my Grandchildren.
My Mother was different in that regard. She could be soft and gentle and loving or she could get in middle of you with that Wells temper which was as bad as that Bumgarner temper. All of us Bumgarners have that terrible temper. I wish I didn’t have it. It has never helped me.
One Sunday afternoon, me and Chico (Carl Roberts) and I were crossing the railroad tracks in Davis, very slowly, in the Ford. This time the right front wheel broke off just as the left wheel had done a couple of months earlier. White’s hauled it home once more. Dad and I repaired it, and then we traded up for a 1960 Tudor Chevy.
This ’60 Chevy had a small V8 in it. It was light blue, and contained a white panel on the side that made it look like a Bel Air; but, was really a Del-ray coupe. I will say that it was one of the best cars that I have ever owned. I am getting a head of my story.
During my Junior year, I dated a gal who was 20 and I was 17. Her name was Jackie Ellis. She was red headed, short and lived up on the Chapman Ranch above Turner Falls. Her dad was the ranch foreman. She and I and Chico and his girl friend Dorothy Cox often double dated on Saturday nights. My Mother did not like the fact I was dating an “older woman”. Dorothy Cox was tall about six feet, great personality, and fun to be around, as I would be in later years. But that is another story for another day.
Uncle Bob and Aunt Annie married during my sophomore year in high school. They celebrated fifty years in 2011.
To Alicia Bumgarner Foley, my beloved daughter:
I will be digressing and regressing trying to write my life story; so, please bear with me.
In the early 1950s, when Grand Dad Wells was still alive, He and Granny Ruth owned filling stations in Hennipen, Garvin, Oklahoma; and Ratliff City, Stephens, Oklahoma. In 1955 Grand Dad Wells had a heart attack and was advised to sell the stations. He did and they moved to Davis. Grand Dad Wells was a stocky built guy about 5’7″ in height, and probably weighed in the neighborhood of one-eighty. He had dark auburn, and black hair.
Grand Dad Wells didn’t believe in piddling around, and he only knew one speed in life, and that was working. After they moved to Davis, Grand Dad got restless, and hired out to the Magnolia (Mobile-Exxon) station and they put him to work fixing a flat. He had a massive heart attack, and died before morning of the next day. This was somewhere in the last of July of 1955. I was ten years of age; but, I remember Grand Dad Wells well. He is buried in the Green Hill cemetery in Davis.
My granddad’s name was James Albert Wells, Sr. He was born in Bastrop County, TX in 1893. They lived on the banks of the Colorado River southeast of Austin, Texas. Albert Wells was my Mother’s Dad. My Dad’s Mother, Sue Elizabeth Digby Bumgarner was also born in Bastrop County Texas.
There were four families living in the Bastrop county area, and in 1902, they put together four wagons and transported all of their belongings along with themselves to the Woodland and Hennipen community’s west of present day Davis, Oklahoma. My Great Great Grandmother, Melinda Summers Wells, died in 1902, and today is buried on private property south across the Colorado River between the City of Bastrop and Austin, TX.
Up until my Uncle Edward Wells died in 1973, the whole Wells family used to gather at Granny Ruth’s for Christmas almost every year. After Uncle Ed’s passing and families were getting bigger such as grandchildren getting married, this Christmas tradition became history. I had been working at Texas Instruments in Dallas for six years when Uncle Ed died. My first name of Edward came from Uncle Ed, and Scott came from my own Dad who got his full name from my great-uncle Thomas Scott Bumgarner or Uncle Scott as we used to call him.
Granny Ruth Clemetine Singleterry Wells died 01 July, 1986; and Uncle Edward “Willie” Wells died on 01 November, 1973. My Mother, Florence Geneva Wells Bumgarner died 16 August, 1984, Aunt Grace Olive Wells Dickerson died on 15 November, 1989, Uncle Robert Lee “Sonny” Wells died 01 January 2006, Aunt Winnie Lucille “Susy” Wells Drennan died in May, 2006, and Uncle James Albert Wells, Jr. died 14 February 2007. Whole family is deceased, and all are buried in Green Hill cemetery in Davis, Oklahoma.
When the families would meet at Granny Ruth’s home on Christmas Eve, the men would gather in the kitchen and tell truck driving stories, ’cause they were all truck drivers. I heard many, many and sometimes the same old stories year after year. Sometimes the men would go outside to who ever had a ‘bottle’ in the car and take a nip.
The women would be in the living room or a bedroom discussing whatever they discussed, and the children would be in a room or outside.
Great Granddad and Great Grandma Wells are both buried in the old time Oakridge Cemetery, on private land, about three miles west of Davis, OK; but, barely in Garvin County, OK. Their names were William and Sara Wells. They were born in Texas, he in Cherokee County in 1856, and Sara in 1857 in Bastrop, TX. Sara’s brother Jim Alexander, and their Dad both fought in the Civil War. G Granddad Wells died in 1923 of a heart attack, and G Grandma Sara died in 1935 of cancer. Their tombstone contains only his name, but she is buried beside him. The name was never chiseled in.
My Grandmother Ruth Clementine Singleterry Wells came to the Hennipen community, with her Mother, my Great Grandmother Grace Olive Howard Singleterry, and Great Granny Singleterry’s family in 1896.
They came in covered wagons from Shaw, Saline, Arkansas, and settled in and around Hennipen, Garvin, Oklahoma. Great Grandmother Olive Grace Howard Singleterry was divorced before the trip to Oklahoma, and she already had three children: Granny Ruth Singleterry, Aunt Zella Singleterry, and Uncle Jim Singleterry.
They all came to Oklahoma with Great Great Grand Father William Henry Matthew Howard, and Great Great Grandmother Rebecca Ann Shaw Howard. They met and married in Saline County Arkansas, sometime after GG Grandfather Howard got out of the Civil War. Great GreatGrandpa Howard is buried in the Hennipen Cemetery according to the Davis News dated 24th July, 1913. Great Great Grandma Rebecca Shaw Howard is buried somewhere in and around Walsenburg, Colorado. She died sometime after 1914.
The 1900 Chickasaw Indian Census says that GGGrandfathers Howards’ father was born in Ireland, and his mother was born in France. That is all I know about that.
When he was old enough, he was sent away to a monastery to become a rabbi. During the trip home for the funeral of his Mother, he was told that his twin sister had died in a house fire. This incensed him enough that when he returned to the monastery, he later ran away and joined up to fight in the Civil War. He was wounded while serving as a fifteen year old drummer boy.
I don’t know when GGGrandfather Howard settled in Saline County AR; but I have found records of him buying land to farm in 1880.
GGrandmother Grace Olive Howard married John Calvin Singleterry in Shaw, Saline, Arkansas in 1890, and they had three children. After the third child was born which was Granny Ruth, her Mother and John C Singleterry divorced. Apparently, John Calvin Singleterry was a roamer, and didn’t want to be married anymore.
I have heard the story that GGGrandfather Howard killed GGrandfather John Calvin Singleterry because he wasn’t any good. It’s been said that John C Singleterry wanted to come back home; but, GGGrandfather Howard would not allow it.
* In August of 2013, I have found that GGGrandfather William Henry Matthew Howard is buried in the Hennipen, OK cemetery which is located about five miles due south of Hennipen, Oklahoma. The cemetery is located in Murray County.
I have also seen where GGGrandfather Howard became a Constable in Hennipen in the early 1900s, with the understanding that he could marry people. GGGrandfather Howard died on 24th July, 1913.
GGGrandmother Howard traveled to Colorado sometime after GGGrandfather’s funeral to live with Thurmond Howard, a son, who lived down below Walsenberg. GreatUncle Jim Singleterry and GreatGreat Uncle Thurmond Howard were trying to build a horse ranch in Colorado. The Great Depression of 1930 came along and wiped them out.
GGGranny Howard died not long after arriving in Colorado; but, no one seems to know where she is buried. Great Uncle Jim Singleterry and Great Great Uncle Thurmond Howard returned to Oklahoma. This is all I know about the Howard Family.
I have been in this old Oakridge Cemetery twice in my life: early 1950s and in 2001. I also have Digby GG Grandparents who are buried in this cemetery who migrated to TX and OK from Alabama. GGGrandDad Benjamin Digby and GGGrandma Lucinda Digby.
My Grandmother Sue Digby Bumgarner’s Dad is buried in the Olton, TX cemetery. His name was James Franklin Digby from Alabama. He was born in 1856 in Alabama, and died in 1947. They lived in Olton, TX. His wife my Great Grandmother, Rebecca Anna Box Digby was born in Alabama or Georgia in 1858, and died in Woodland, OK.
The Washita River west of Davis was flooding and out of its banks while Granny Digby was visiting children in the Woodland Community, and so she was buried at the Oakridge Cemetery. They couldn’t get her to the train station in Davis to ship her body back to Olton, TX. I believe this was in the 1920s.
My Grandfather, John Stanford Bumgarner, came to Oklahoma in the early 1900s from near Hillsboro, Hill, TX. He was born in Itasca, Hill, TX on 13 November, 1891. Some of the Bumgarners settled near Randlett, OK in the southwestern part of Oklahoma just across the river from Wichita Falls, TX. Grand Dad Bumgarner farmed as a sharecropper, and Uncle Scott worked for an oil company. They soon migrated to Murray County. In this family there was Grandpa Stanford, Great Uncle Stanley, and Great Uncle Scott Bumgarner.
My Dad’s parents were John Stanford (1891-1941) and Sue Elizabeth Digby Bumgarner (1898-1961).
I grew up at 309 South Second (late ’40s to middle ’60s) in Davis, Murray, Oklahoma 73030. I still remember the old coal-fired steam engines that ran up and down the railroads owned by Santa Fe. In my early years, there were no jet passenger planes, only buses or the railroads or vehicles. Of course airplanes in those days, had propellers.
My Mother and Dad married on 02 December, 1940, and Dad drove a truck for a first cousin, by marriage, Les Mulkey. I rode shotgun with my Dad for a few years before I started to school in 1951, and we hauled cattle to the Packing Plants at the Stockyards in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma what seemed like every day from Southern Oklahoma ranches. My Mother earned her driver’s license after learning how to drive a cattle truck. She drove this truck for her driving test. I haven’t been to the Oklahoma Stockyards since, probably about 1951, and not sure I could even find them, again.
In April of 1942, Mother and Dad were on their way to New Mexico to get a load of horses. They passed through Crowell, Texas about the same time that a tornado was hitting Crowell. They passed a brick church in Crowell, and when they were loading horses into the trailer, in New Mexico, they found red bricks lying in the trailer. Tornado had hit close to them; but, they didn’t know it till they were loading the horses. My first wife, and the Mother of my daughter Alicia, was raised and educated in Crowell, TX.
I can recall a trucking trip I took with Uncle Ed on my 5th birthday in 1949. We hauled a load of cattle to a ranch near Stringtown, Oklahoma which is located about 55 miles north of Sherman, TX As we approached the ranch, we came to a washed out bridge over a creek, and we had to drive down through the creek bed. When we in the truck started up the other side, the trailer slipped off of the fifth wheel and fell to the ground. It probably fell all of two feet, and didn’t injure any of the cattle.
Someone came along, and alerted the ranch foreman, and they brought another trailer along and backed it up to our trailer and off loaded the cattle. Then a wrecker was brought in and he picked up the front of the trailer and pulled it up to level ground, and set the dollies which hold a trailer up when not hooked up to a truck. Uncle Ed backed under the trailer and hooked up, and we came home.
My Mother enrolled Jakie and I into Sunday school at the First Baptist Church in Davis. I gave my heart to Christ in a Revival in 1954. I was nine years of age.
I began this Labor of Love, for my lovely daughter, Alicia Bonnell Bumgarner Foley, in 2005, by printing by hand. My hands now (2013) become numb and I have arthritis in them; so, I have switched to typing it into my blog under ESB WORDS.
Mother died August 16th, 1984. I never went to visit Curly while he was fighting this cancer; but, have wished I would have done just that a million times. I had watched my own Mother die for two years and just couldn’t see another loved one pass. He was such a great person, grandfather, father, brother, son, and friend. I will never forget Eugene Deatherage. I still see Frank from time to time. He was Gene’s older brother, and I see Gene’s sisters ever few years; but, not in a long time.
Rex Hottel was another special friend. Rex and I attended all twelve years at Davis together. Rex was a farm boy, and a member of the FFA. He wasn’t really inclined toward sports, mostly farming, and he wanted to be a jet pilot. Rex died in a two car accident when he was hit head-on by a car of drunk Mexicans. He had already graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Agricultural Economics.
(Please bear with me if I repeat some of my stories. This is such a large undertaking, that sometimes I repeat myself.}
He had also finished his first year of training in jets at Vance Air Force Base up in Enid Oklahoma. He was now a 1st Lieutenant n the Air Force. Rex was given a full military funeral, but a few of us were pallbearers. The year was 1969. I believe Rex was the youngest in our class, and died first.
Rex never saw “Man walk on the Moon”. He would have been thrilled, and could have become an astronaut in later years. He was a very intelligent young man and was taken from us at the tender age of 23, in 1969.
The Decade of the 1950s was a great time to be living in America. On the other hand, the 1960s were a turbulent time to be alive in these here United States. We put a man on the moon, and we were fighting in Viet Nam, a war we couldn’t and didn’t win. It came at great sacrifice for young Americans. We had Race wars, street wars over this war, hippies and drugs came into our culture, and classmates and young friends deaths. Quite a decade from different viewpoints. Hippies were big in the 1960s’.
I never knew my Grandfather Bumgarner as he died the day after Pearl Harbor day, 08 December, 1941. Prostate cancer took his life at a young age for grandfathers, he was only fifty years of age. This was about three years before I was born.
My Uncle Glenn Bumgarner was killed in a car accident, while traveling through Tatum Oklahoma, 08 October 1941, coming home from a CCC camp with another gentleman. This happened two months prior to the day that Grandfather John Stanford Bumgarner passed.
I was elected Senior Class President to serve 1962 and 1963. Also, was given the Citizenship award along with Gayle Staggs during our senior year.
I graduated high school in May of 1963. Gene Deatherage and I decided we would attend Central State University in Edmond, OK; but, I changed my mind and went to school at East Central in Ada, Oklahoma for as long as I could stand it. I lived off campus with Butch Finley, and I was taking little yellow tranquilizers for nerves. I also drank a little beer and ate a lot of pizzas. Gained a little weight up to about two hundred five pounds. I grew to 6’4″.
The summer of 1963, I worked for Gene Feliciano, Aunt Evelyn’s husband who was a Portuguese born in CA. Gene was a Master of several trades. He bid on tearing down the old Artesian Hotel in Sulphur, Oklahoma, and won the bid. While sitting on and cleaning a thousand bricks a day, which paid a penny a brick, I had a somewhat “heat” stroke.
My temperature for three days running was 106°. I laid in bed for three days, cause I as too dizzy to do anything else. Every day since that happened, I have always had to be careful about becoming dehydrated in the summer months; because, if I got too hot, I would quit sweating and then get sick. I would have to be cooled down with ice and wet wash rags.
Gene set up two brick yards that summer. One just east of Davis, and the other one was east of main street in Ardmore. We also tore down the old Ardmore Sanitorium, and resold the “used” bricks after they were sold. In those days, used bricks were worth more than new bricks, which people bought and used on their new homes. There are several homes in the Sulphur, Davis, and Ardmore areas that contain used bricks from the original Artesian Hotel in Sulphur, and the old Ardmore Sanitorium.
Eventually, my knees retired me from working in the brick yards. Gene Feliciano contracted and built the new hotel in Sulphur in the summer of 1963 before the Chickasaws tore it down, and erected the new Artesian Hotel which was finished in 2013.
(Briefly during my Senior year, I dated Dorothy Cox for about four months. She was the tall blond that had dated Chico, and then I dated her for a very short while. After we broke up, I didn’t see her again for over twenty years. I saw her briefly in the 1982-83 time period.)
I was sitting in an English Comp class at East Central State University, when I was told that President John F Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas Texas. The day was 21 November, 1963. School was let out early to let everyone go home. The nation was in mourning. A couple of days later, I was watching television when Lee Harvey Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby.
At this time, Dr Eggenberg in Davis was kinda acting as my mentor, and because I was somewhat ‘shook up’ all the time, advised me to drop out of school. I dropped out about a week before finals. I ended up with 3 Fs and a B on my transcript, for life. Hell, I wasn’t nervous, I was homesick.
The year was 1963. The Spring of 1964, I enrolled in the Auto Body & Fender program at Oklahoma State Tech to get a two-year certificate. I needed that study to apply for an Insurance Adjuster’s job. I didn’t like the school, and only attended one semester. I did learn how to mix paint for cars, and I learned how to “bump” out dents to fenders.
During the summer of 1964, I went to work for Soil Conservation out of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Uncle Bob secured a summer appointment for me with Bob Blackketter who was a civil engineer with SCS. I worked on the core drill crew where we drilled cores of dirt out of the ground; and then sent these cores to Fort Worth, Texas to be tested.
Core drilling was the first thing done after the Surveyors finished surveying the site for a new farm pond or “conservation lake” to be built as a watershed project. Gosh, we lived mostly out of suitcases in places such as: Chickasha, Perry, Stillwater, Sallisaw, and Mountain View, Oklahoma. I stayed with this job till sometime in August of 1964.
One day in August of 1964, I was approached by Linda Birch and Edd McNeil about a blind date. The blind date was Sue Smith who went to school at Woodland High, same place my beloved late Mother graduated from. Sue was a great gal, and the blind date was just the first of many dates between us for almost three years. We became engaged after Christmas 1966. On a Friday night in April of 1967, Sue mentioned she wanted us to date others.
I said no, took her home, and never dated her again. I was heart-broken, to say the least. Her folks had mentioned to her several times that I should go to college; but, I always said no. I didn’t see her again till April of 1968, when I ushered her and her parents to a seat for Mike & Donna Warren’s wedding in First Baptist of Hennipen, Oklahoma. That remains the last time I have seen her in person. I was crazy about her. I know that she has a son (one of two) who is a metropolitan Opera singer in New York. His name is Toby Scott Guinn. At this writing, I haven’t seen her in 46 years. She lives in Knoxville, TN with a second husband. Her Mom passed in May, 2014. She was a really nice lady.
In September of 1964, I had decided to go back to college. I enrolled at Murray State College in Tishomingo , Oklahoma. I stayed with it till the Summer of 1965, and then worked for Soil Conservation for six months, and then attended the Spring semester at Murray till summer of 1966.
During the Summer of 1966, me and a couple of other Davis guys traveled to Dallas Texas and filled out applications to go to work for Texas Instruments, Inc. in Richardson. Told us they didn’t have any openings, and the next Wednesday, back in Davis, I received a telegram that they wanted me to come back and go to work for them.
I hired on at TI, 12 September, 1966 and went to work in the Float Zone area which was about as strange as any Sci-Fi movie set I had ever seen in the movies. Scared the crap outta me. I slept on Pat & Larry Ealey’s sofa for a few days. Paul Ealey, Conrad Raper, and I rented a three bedroom studio apartment in Richardson, Texas. Man, that was living, and I certainly wasn’t used to anything like that. We had an electric stove to cook on, and a large swimming pool just out the backdoor. The bedrooms and the full bath was upstairs, we had a half-bath downstairs.
I worked on second shift at TI. Paul worked for Boise Cascade in Dallas, and Conrad worked third shift at TI. We never saw each other most of the time. On OU-Texas weekend in October of 1966, I came home and found our apartment running over with Davis folks who were OU fans, partying in our apartment. That night I saw more liquor than I had ever seen at one time.
Next morning when I got up to go to work, everyone was gone to the OU and Texas ballgame, and I had to go back to work.
OU beat Texas 18 to 9 that day in quite an upset. First time Oklahoma had won the game in several years. As of this writing (2013), the games have split mostly with OU winning the last three in a row. Boomer Sooner!!!!! At a OU golf tournment put on by our Grayson County OU Club, I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Warmack who was the quarterback that beat Texas 18-9 in 1966, my first year at TI.
Me and the guys lived in the Town House Garden apartments for about a year and a half just off Spring Valley in Richarson, TX. Paul decided to move back to Oklahoma, and go back to college and get his degree. He did in accounting, and is now a retiree from the IRS and living in Mesquite, Texas. I see him at class reunions.
Conrad and I moved to Plano into a house with David Smith, and Bill Worthington, and then later, Bill and I moved into an apartment complex with three other guys, down on Webb Chapel in Dallas, close to Love Field. Sounded as though those danged planes were landing on top of us every time they landed coming in from the west end to the runways. Conrad soon went back to Oklahoma and finished his college education also. He and family live in Sandy, TX just west of Carrollton, TX.
Alicia, I was living there in 1968, when your Mom came to work at TI. She kinda worked for me, in another cost center. I had to find other jobs for her when she was through with her job. I asked her out on a date, on a dare from another guy. Your Mom and I dated for four months and then we got married, 17 January 1969, on a Friday night.
William Brooks with his wife, and Lloyd and Marilyn Harbison as witnesses, did the ceremony in their home in the Casa View area of east Dallas, actually in the city of Mesquite. We spent our honeymoon on Lake Texoma in Uncle Sonny and Aunt Dott’s trailer house on the lake. Couldn’t get the pilot light lit on the hot water heater, and we almost froze to death.
We lived in the Waterview Apartments in Richardson for a year. We then borrowed money from your Grandfather Denton, and your Uncle David Denton, and bought the equity from a lady, Judy Foster King, in Garland, TX.
When Carolyn Denton and I married, I can’t remember if we took our first vacation the summer of 1970 . Anyways, we stayed a night with Mother and Dad and left the next morning headed for California. Mike Warren whom I had grown up with in the neighborhood and his wife the former Donna Washburn had gotten married in April of 1968. Donna’s family and my family had known each other all of their lives, especially growing up.
I believe we took this trip the summer after the Manson gang in California had murdered Sharon Tate and several other people. Tex Watson was one of the killers, and he was a former football star and good student from Copeville, Texas which is northeast of Wiley, TX. They were all on drugs and reportedly brainwashed by Charley Manson, and most of them are still in prison in California as of now, 2013.
We drove to California to visit with the Warrens’ for a week. On our way out there, we drove Interstate 40 and then turned north just before Flagstaff Arizona , and drove up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyons. After leaving the canyons, we came to a place offering helicopter rides down into the canyon for $17 a piece, and we took it. Once in the copter, we few out over the edge of the canyons and were suddenly eight-thousand feet up in the sky. We flew down inside to the Phantom Ranch sitting down on the bottom. It was a fun and scary time. Didn’t have a camera.
We drove to the Hoover Dam, and crossed it, and stopped and got out and took some photos of it. Next we drove through Las Vegas and stopped long enough to buy gas, and it was 115°. We drove 200 miles in Nevada parallel with the border of California, and then drove west about seventy-five miles on what seemed like an old cattle trail and entered the state of California over a cattle guard through the Inyo Forest.
We spent the night in Bishop, California. The next day we drove up to Lee Vining and entered Yosemite Park on the east side. It was about seventy-five miles across the Park, and the speed limit was 35 MPH in most places. I guess the east entrance was pretty high as there was some snow on the area.
We drove all the way to the canyon floor where we saw the really high waterfalls in the park. That is where I saw my first Hippies. Later we followed the Merced River into the City of Merced and found Mike and Donna’s apartment.
The next day they drove us down to Anaheim to Disneyland. It took us all day to drive down there. We spent the night in a motel across the street from the Park. While in Disneyland the next day, the sun didn’t break through the smog till about 2:30 in the afternoon, and stayed out about two hours, and disappeared.
When we left there, Mike drove us to Long Beach, and that was all of the Pacific that we got to see that time. We drove back to Merced arriving sometime during the night. We stayed with them for a couple of days, and then headed back to Texas via Carson City, Nevada. We drove completely across the middle of Nevada, due east. Nothing to see except old wasteland type scenery. We did see two jets drop bombs on a target, out in the middle of nowhere. Took all day to cross Nevada, and we spent that night in Cedar City, Utah.
The next day we drove across the northwestern to east part of Arizona, and all the way to Farmington, New Mexico. Took us about two days to get home to Garland, Texas.
We lived at 812 Piedmont for four years to the date and then traded that house for a new house in Allen, Texas on Grassy Glen Drive. In the first home, David lived with us till he got married. After he left, your Aunt Kathy moved in with us till we moved to Allen in 1974. Our marriage didn’t have a very good chance to succeed, but we tried.
In the summer of 1974, we drove your grandparents Alison and Lou Denton to Greenville, South Carolina, traveling via I 20 through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and up into South Carolina. While your grandfather Denton was in the US Army during WWII, they stayed with a Mr & Mrs Slaughter in Greenville, and were living there when your Mom was born. After the war, they traveled back home to Crowell, Texas area where they raised their children.
We stayed in South Carolina for about four days, and then we left and drove up through Ashville North Carolina before driving up and over the Smoky Mountains and into Tennessee. We drove to Nashville. Next day we put your grandparents on an airplane for Dallas. Your Mom and me headed home the next day via I-40 through Memphis, Little Rock, and Oklahoma City spending the night with Mom and Dad in Davis Oklahoma.
We moved to Allen while attending the Brooks’ church in Dallas, and I didn’t want to drive over thirty miles, each way to church, so we tried a couple of churches in Allen but found none to our liking. We began attending South Side Assembly in McKinney, TX. I dropped out because I thought I couldn’t be a Sunday morning Christian, and a sinner during the week.
In 1974, I began seven semesters straight at Richland College in Dallas where I graduated in 1977 with an AAS degree in Business. In fact, I was on campus checking on my degree when the radio announced that Elvis Presley had died of a heart attack that day. Jill Dudley was born in Feb of 1977. My cousin Jim Bumgarner who lives in Richland, WA today, and his wife Lois, had a daughter Brook, and she was born in April of 1977.
Our marriage was beginning to be rocky about this time. Look, I was too young and immature when I married your Mom, and I wasn’t quite past Sue Smith back then. I was still angry over it, and probably never gave your Mom much of a chance to be my wife. I tried some, but your Mom and I came from two “very different” worlds, and probably should have never gotten married.
We argued all the time, and never forgave each other for it. In the last five years, I have asked your Mother’s forgiveness about our unhappy union. Probably would do it again if I knew you were gonna be a gift from God as you were, and I believe that with all of my heart.
The Summer of 1977, your Mom and I drove up to Davis and spent the night, and then headed for the State of Washington the very next day. We drove to Raton Pass, New Mexico the first day, and then through Denver to Golden where we spent the next night. Next day we drove to Ogden Utah via Salt Lake City, and spent the night. Next day we drove through the southwestern corner of Utah through Boise, across the northeastern part of Oregon, and crossed the Columbia River just slightly northwest of Pendleton, Oregon and into Kennewick, Washington, and to Uncle Ralph’s home and his family.
At this time we were driving a brand new 1977 Cutlass Brougham Oldsmobile. It was solid blue and loaded. It had T-Tops in it which was fun to take out and be almost a convertible. It was a nice automobile. We parked it in Prosser Washington for almost a week. Jim and Lois and baby Brook took us to Seattle for a few days. We rode a ferry across Puget Sound, and we rode the elevator up to the top of the Space Needle which was built for a World’s Fair. My only regret was not seeing Mount Rainer; because, it rained the whole time we were in Seattle. Jim did take us up to the base of Mt Ranier where it was snowing in June. That was funny.
We saw a lot of Seattle and rode across the pontoon bridge that crosses Lake Washington by the campus of the University of Washington. From the Cascade Mountain range westward, Washington is beautiful. At the end of the first week, we drove back across the Columbia and headed west, to the center of Oregon and then drove down to Klamath Falls and spent the night.
Next day, we drove into Weed California where I was able to make contact with a cousin, Kathy. Spoke with her for about thirty minutes. Johnny was working, and Becky was gone, and so was Uncle Hermit. At that time, I hadn’t seen either Kathy or Becky in almost thirty-five years.
In the early 1950s, Uncle Hermit and Aunt Mary Bumgarner lived out west of Hennipen, OK, and their home burned. They moved to Davis, and built a home just north of Granny and Uncle Bob’s place. After living there a couple of years, Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary and Becky, Kathy, and Johnny moved to Weed, California. A few years later, Aunt Mary became mentally ill and was placed into an insane asylum in California. Out on a furlough, she became pregnant and delivered another child, Penny Bumgarner Dilbeck. Penny was raised by Aunt Evelyn Sulcer, and Penny has two boys, Scott and Matt, and lives today near Springer, OK, and it set to celebrate her 60th birthday in 2013. Scott and wife and baby live in Las Vegas, Nev where Scott is a lawyer, a graduate of OU; and, Matt lives in Denver, CO.
Aunt Mary Bumgarner drowned in this insane hospital in 1956 or 57. I remember, that Uncle Bob and his ’55 Chevy drove Granny, Tom, and Mother and Dad to Weed California for her funeral. Today, Johnny and family, and Kathy and her family, and Becky and Eldon live in and around Weed. Uncle Hermit passed in 1997, I believe and is buried in Weed.
We left there and spent the night some where on I-5, and then the next day we drove to Hayward California. We spent two days with Uncle Dale and Aunt Marlene and cousin Shawn. The next evening, Uncle Dale and Aunt Marlene drove us to San Francisco where we witnessed the first Gay Day parade in Frisco’s history. funniest thing I have ever seen.
They took us to Fisherman’s Wharf where we had a fine meal, and then drove us over the Golden Gate Bridge and in to Sausalita where the rich folks live.
When our trip began again, we left Hayward and drove to Salinas California where we got onto Highway 101 and drove by Monterey, and into Carmel California where Pebble Beach golf course is located, and drove around it. We spent the night in Santa Barbara. Next day we drove to Hollywood, down Hollywood and Vine. We stopped and looked at the Stars on the sidewalk. We saw the Chinese Theater, and then we took a tour through Universal Studios. We went into the Set where the Five Million dollar man was produced, and we saw Jaws.
Spent the night in San Bernadino the next night, and got up and began travel on I 10. In Desert Center California we stopped for gasoline. We had the T-Tops out on our car, and found out it was 115° in the shade. We put them back in for fear of getting sunburned. After we left there, we turned south and drove down and through Palm Springs. We drove down Bob Hope avenue, and then headed back east and tied back into I 10 just before entering into Arizona.
We spent the night in Tucson, Arizona. The next night was Friday, and we spent the night in Pecos, TX. The next night after driving all day, we arrived home in Garland Texas. We were gone sixteen days, and drove 5500 miles, and the car sat still for almost a week in Prosser Washington. One of the best vacations I have ever been on. Had to go back to work on Monday.
You don’t remember, but I moved from 815 Grassy Glen, 26th day of December, 1979, to apartments down on Midpark in Dallas, across from TI. Our divorce was final, 27th March, 1980. You weren’t quite a year old. In 1980 I was working as a loaner to the Engineering Department at TI Sherman, when I was offered a job in Sherman doing paper work for the R&M Department and Larry Halford.
I moved to Sherman, Texas in September of 1980 where I moved in with Dale Lefevre in the Camelot Apartments in the southern part of Sherman. I was about four miles from work. After about six months, Dale moved out, and a young Chem E (chemical engineer) from the Dallas TI plant moved to Sherman, and we became roommates. His name was Scott Warner and he was from Hammond, Indiana, originally. Scott was my supervisor in Dallas before I transferred to Sherman TI.
Scott was laid off at the end of 1982, and he apparently moved back to Indiana, and I moved to the Regency Circle studio apartments, just north of Wilson Jones Hospital, on the little creek that flooded some what.
My Mother got sick in 1982, with a recurrence of cancer, and as you know we lost her, 16 August 1984, right after your fifth birthday. I hope you still remember Mother, somewhat. Next month, it will be 29 years since she passed.
While living at Regency Circle apartments, I had a couple of different roommates. The first one was Robert O’Rear, a guy that I worked with at TI. Robert lived there a few times, and when he wasn’t living there, Betty Pittman lived with me some, and at other times with her sister Barbara Via who lived a few doors down from me. While I was living there, I lived through two floods that actually got into my apartment.
I became a chemical operator in October of 1982, and worked on C shift till June of 1983, and then I went to A shift where I worked for the next nineteen years in three or four other jobs at TI. I worked every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and every other Wednesday till I was laid off in 2001.
The day of the first flood, Dad was on his way down to visit with me, and when he arrived, the flood waters had receded back to the creek, and the Courtney family that owned the apartments, were there tearing out the carpet due to the soaking flood waters. The Courtney’s’ paid for a couple of nights at a local hotel for Dad and I. That happened in October of 1984, a couple of months after Mother had passed away.
First time, I received a check for flood damage; but, not the second time. The second flood was in June of 1985; and, shortly after that I moved to the Park Place Apartments.
NOTE: Your Uncle David died in September of 1987, and Robert O’Rear died of lung cancer in April of 1988, and he was only thirty-five years of age. Dad died in July of 1988.
Nettie moved in with me in June of 1985, and her divorce was final at the end of October, and we married on 01 November, 1986 in Buford Sauceman’s home down in Howe, Texas with Dad, and DeeAnn attending. You were my best person, and Vanna was Nettie’s best person. We traveled to Dallas and spent the night in the Hilton Hotel down on south central expressway. My good friend, Rev Homer Turner, married us.
In May of 1990, Nettie and I flew out to Hayward California where we spent the weekend with Uncle Dale Bumgarner and his children. We enjoyed a good trip. We went to Fisherman’s Wharf where we had Dinner. That dinner cost over a hundred dollars, and I paid for it. The first time back in 1977, Uncle Dale had paid for our dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf, so I thought it was my time to oblige him.
In 1991, after Homer Turner had retired from TI, he got sick in the summer and passed away of stomach cancer. He was a wonderful friend, and was there for me after your Mother and I divorced. He lived in Allen, Texas.
After Nettie and I married, we moved into a two bedroom apartment at Park Place, and lived there till the end of 1988, and then we rented a duplex on south Highland. We lived there till we bought the house at 209 Iowa in March of 1992.
Dad got sick in September of 1987, along about the time your Uncle David passed. In later years, after David moved out of our home, he and I became pretty close. I know that hindsight is twenty-twenty; but, I always felt as though David was the brother I never had, in life. As you know, we celebrated your ninth birthday at Dad’s home on 3 July 1988; and then I had to put him back into the Ardmore Hospital where he died on 13th July, 1988. Dad would have been 70 on his birthday of 1 October, 1988. Today is 16 July, 2014, and I am the same age that Dad was when he died, 69. Never thought I would see 70 years of age, but will reach it in a few months, if the good Lord is willin’.
During this time I dated Betty Pittman of Whitewright, and then in June of 1986, Nettie entered my life. We moved in with each other, and got married, 01 November 1986. AS of this writing, Nettie and I have been married almost 27 years.
I was working at Texas Instruments in Sherman, TX and Nettie was working for Dr Tom Shea, Ophthalmologist , of Sherman. We lived in the Park Place Apartments till the end of 1988. We moved to a duplex down on South Highlands, and then in March of 1992, we bought our present home at: 209 Iowa Sherman, TX 75090.
I worked in the Poly Silicon Plant in Sherman, till TI shut it down at the end of 1987. I worked in the West Building till December of 1988. I became the only QC (quality control) person in the Epitaxial Department at TI for a few years and covered both A and B shifts.
I had you almost every weekend till you started to school. Sometimes every other weekend, till you graduated Junior High. When you graduated high school in ’97, I knew my life was gonna change, as far as seeing you, not as often as in the past.
I met Vanna Kay Tate the Summer of 1986. Vanna is Nettie’s daughter. She graduated high school at Howe, TX in 1987. We moved from the Park Place Apartments to the duplex down on south Highland at the end of 1988.
(Note: When we moved into the duplex, we bought an ice box from Knight’s Furniture, and used it till right before the Summer of 2013, when Debbie Tatchio purchased a new one for Nettie.)
In November of 1993, Vanna K Tate married Darren C Foster of Plainview, Texas in Plainview Texas. Darren graduated from Texas Tech in 1993, and Vanna lacked a few hours which she finished up at West Texas State University in 19__.
Darci Elizabeth Foster was born in Lubbock, Lubbock, Texas 13 February, 1998. While Vanna was in labor, a friend in Sherman flew Nettie and I to Lubbock trying to get there before Darci was born. We got there ten minutes later. Rod Tatchio and I flew back to Sherman later up in the morning leaving Nettie to be with Vanna and Darci and Darren for about a week. That was the last time I have flown.
The lady who raised Nettie and her siblings, Dorothy their stepmother, died in Pampa Texas on Mother’s Day of 2000.
On Father’s Day of June of 2000, Dylan Chandler Foster arrived in Lubbock, Lubbock, Texas via the stork. 28 December, 2005, Mr Daxton Lee Foster made his entrance into the world. He was a large, little guy at birth, and was born in Wilson Jones Hospital here in Sherman, Grayson, Texas.
Nettie and I liked to dance and party, and we began running around with Jimmie and Larry Simpson in April of 1994.
We met the Simpsons’ at Munster TX during the annual Beer Festival held the third weekend of April every year. Bumgarners were having a family reunion in Weed, California the first weekend of August 1994. Nettie and I purchased tickets from Delta Airlines to Reno, Nevada. Larry told me they were going with us, and he had already bought flight tickets for him and Jimmie and Kevin. We arrived in Reno on a Thursday night. Nettie and I rented a Cadillac the next day and drove about 350 miles up to Weed, California and checked into a Motel for the weekend.
We met with Uncle Bob and John, Uncle Hermit, Cousin Jim, Uncle Ralph, Cousin Bobby Dale, Cousin Johnny and Snookie his wife, Uncle Dale, and his ex-wife Marlene, Cousin Shawn and future wife Bobbie Ann, Cousin Becky and Eldon, Cousin Kathy and Frank, and lots of other cousins. All of us first cousin Bumgarners were there except three or four. I wished we had taken Jimmie and Larry with us; but, didn’t. Kevin just stayed the weekend.
Nettie and I arrived back in Reno on Monday evening. The four of us drove to Virginia City that was featured in Banazna with the three brothers and their Dad, and we also visited the site of the Pondarosa ranch house up in the mountains above Lake Tahoe on the Nevada side. Lake Tahoe sits on the eastern border of California, and the western border of Nevada. We also drove to Carson City for a little while.
On Thursday morning, Nettie and I were packing, and decided to go downstairs and eat breakfast in the Casino. While sitting in a booth, this really short lady and a tall lady came into the cafe and sat right behind us in a booth. The short lady was Brenda Lee, and Nettie and I shook hands with her and talked to her for a bit. The Simpson’s were still getting ready and they missed meeting Miss Lee. Brenda Lee is exactly 14 days younger than me.
We all got on a Delta jet headed to Dallas, non-stop. It was a great vacation.
Nettie and I with the Simpsons’ have been on many vacations to Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, and California. One time the four of us were in Pigeon Forge Tennessee, and Nettie got on the elevator at our hotel, with Neal McCoy a country western singer.
Another time in Branson, I shook hands with Conway Twitty. In Sherman several years ago, Nettie and I stood right behind Buck Owens to get his autograph but some guy had him signing about thirty albums and we gave up and went somewhere else. Another time at South Fork, Nettie and I stood about three feet from Hank Thompson.
We have met Maria Elena Holly twice in Lubbock. She was married to Buddy when he died in the plane crash in 1959. We have seen Carl Perkins, Johnny Tillotson, the Drifters, the Crickets, the Coasters, Freddie Cannon, Tommy Allsup, and John Mueller aka Buddy Holly, and Johnny Allison aka Buddy Holly.
In my life I have also seen Roy & Dale Rogers, Roy Orbison, Johnny and June Cash, and Rex Allen, Sr., Ricky Van Shelton, Emmie Lou, and others. I have met Coach Barry Switzer, Coach Merv Johnson, Coach Bob Patton, and I have autographs of Coach Bob Stoops, Coach Switzer, Coach Johnson, Billy Sims, Jason White, Sam Bradford, Steve Owens, and Cal Ripkin, Jr. and have seen Rev Billy Graham. I met Coach Eddie Crowder who was an OU footballer and eventually became the Head Coach of the Colorado Buffs; and I met George Nigh, Governor of Oklahoma.,
Nettie and I and Jimmie and Larry used to frequent Joe Texas in Southmayd, Texas until Robert Joe Vandygriff closed it down and sold it. I met Garry P Nunn at Joe Texas and spoke with him for a couple of hours. He is the one who wrote and sang the theme song on Austin City Limits.
Joe Texas closed down right after the last New Years Eve party, 01 January 2000. Robert Joe wrote a One Act play called “The Cowboy Ain’t Dead yet” and performed it in Branson for a few years, but now performs it all over the country. He has remarried and relocated onto a ranch in and around Lipscomb, TX up in the northeastern part of the Texas Panhandle. We haven’t seen Robert Joe, since we all saw him in Branson a few years ago. I keep in touch with him through eMail. That night Robert Joe introduced us to Moe Bandy. We have all met the Derailers.
In July of 1995, Texas Instruments sold our Materials Department to MEMC Southwest of Sherman which was another wafer fab company making silicon wafers for TI and other companies. My tenure at Texas Instruments lasted from 12 September, 1966 till 30 June, 1995. 28 years and 10 months. I worked for MEMC Southwest, officially till 01 December, 2001. Worked 6 years, and 5 months with MEMC. Total of: 35.25 years.
I officially retired December 01, 2001 which was also my 57th birthday. I wasn’t given a chance to retire after thirty-five years of service. I was walked to the door like someone who had just been fired. Yes, I cried as I was very sad and mad. After a while, one just becomes a number to a company ’cause they don’t give a “tinker’s damn” about employees, anymore.
Nettie retired at the end of July 2002, when Dr Shea retired. In October of 2002, Nettie and I took a vacation up through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, back through Arkansas, and home.
Beginning 07 August, 2002, Nettie and I drove to San Angelo, Texas where we spent the night. Next day, we left headed south to Del Rio Texas. I remember growing up in the ’50s and listening to radio and hearing Wolfman Jack every night from Del Rio, Texas. Probably early in his career as a radio dee jay.
We arrived in Del Rio about noon, and so we stopped and ate a hamburger, and then headed east out of town toward Brackettsville, Texas. We drove north a few miles and then entered the site of the second Alamo in Texas. This old movie set and movie village was built by Hollywood so they could shoot “The Alamo” starring John Wayne, in 1959. It was quite a sight to see. Looked as original as the one in San Antonio. I understand several movies as well as commercials have been filmed in the old town which sits on the site.
After leaving there, we drove to and spent the night in Bandera at the River Oak Inn, which is a really neat place located in the Hill Country west of San Antonio Texas, a few miles. This was just a weekend jaunt, as we were really on the way to visit with Alicia my daughter who lived in Austin, Texas at that time.
Nettie retired at the end of July 2002, when Dr Shea retired. In October of 2002, Nettie and I took a vacation up through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, back through Arkansas, and home.
Sept, 2002: Nettie and I drove up to Wichita, Kansas and visited with and spent the night with Steve and Mary Edwards and family. Steve is Nettie’s only brother. Steve is a Minister. We visited his church while in Kansas.
We attended Mary’s Mother’s birthday at her home with her sisters and their families. Nice people to say the least. After church, we ate Mexican Food, Kansas style, and then Nettie and I drove to Nevada, Missouri for the night. Next day, we drove to Lowery City and visited with Mother Bonnie.
After a visit of two or three hours with Nettie’;s Mom, we left headed north to Iowa. We drove to Oseola Iowa and spent the night. Next day, we drove to Winterset Iowa which is the birthplace of John Wayne, but, we traveled there to see the Covered Bridges mentioned in the movie “Bridges of Madison County which starred Merle Streep and Clint Eastwood. We actually went into the house where Streep’s character lived with her family.
We stopped at a convience store close to Des Moines, Iowa and bought food for a picnic which we had at a Rest Stop just north of Des Moines on I-35.
Later that evening we drove into Clear Lake Iowa where we rented a motel room for the night. Then we drove out north of Clear Lake to the corn field where Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens were killed in a plane crash on 03 February, 1959. We had to walk a half mile into the field along this little trail before we found the crash site. There was a memorial next to the fence where the plane cartwheeled to a stop. We left there and found a place to dine. Next morning in the rain we drove and found the Surf Ball room where the folks that worked there, allowed us to take a self guided tour through it. Pretty neat place. They still celebrate a Winter Dance Party there every year on 3rd of Feb.
We left Clear Lake which sits about five miles west of I-35, and entered back onto the Interstate and drove into Minnesota and drove into Rochester. After a couple of hours, we left there and drove into La Crosse, Wisconsin and entered onto the River Road and headed south parallel to the Mississippi River. We spent the night in Pairie du Chen, WI.
Next day, we crossed back over the Mississippi River and drove to Dyersville, Iowa, the Home of the Field of Dreams. This was a movie starring Kevin Costner in 1989.
By way of Dubuque, Iowa, we again crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois. We spent the night in Peoria, Illinois, and got lost the next day trying to get out of this city. We drove through Champaign, Illinois where the University of Illinois is located.
We drove on to Indianapolis in an effort to see the Motor Speedway which I have alluded to in another paragraph. That night we spent in extreme southwestern Indiana in a small town called Vincennes City, Indiana. Next day, we drove due south through Kentucky, across Tennessee, and into Tupelo, Mississippi where Elvis Presley was born. We spent the night and looked at the home where Elvis lived back in the 1930s and 40s.
The next day, we arose and drove all the way across Mississippi and the lower part of Arkansas and into Sherman, Texas before bed time. Trip was 8 days, and 3500 miles. The year was 2002.
The city of Clear Lake, Iowa reminds one of a Norman Rockwell painting. Clear Lake is located about five miles west of IH-35 in northern Iowa. It is surrounded usually by rows and rows of corn fields. The population of Clear Lake, is said to be about nine thousand through the winter; but, twenty-five thousand during the summer months. Traveling west down main street, one runs into a Lake which has a shoreline of about one hundred miles. There are summer homes built around it on three sides. It would be a nice place to grow up and live, except it gets quite colder than I like in the winter months.
In late October, of 2002, we rented a cabin up and onto the Ozark Mountains north of Russellville Arkansas for a few days and nights to celebrate our sixteenth wedding anniversary.
In April 2003, Nettie and I drove Vanna, Darren, Dylan, and Darci up to Lowery City Missouri to visit Nettie’s Mom. Vanna had never met her Grandmother Bonnie Broadbent Edwards Guinn. After we got there, the Fosters also met Vanna’s great grandmother. Counting the GGGrandmother, GGrandmother, Nana, Vanna, Dylan and / or Darci completed a five generation get-together that one time. Dax wasn’t born as yet. Netties real Mom, Bonnie Guinn, died in 20 June, 2014, and is buried near Noel Missouri.
Later in August 2003, Nettie and I vacationed in a cabin in Almont, Colorado for four days just a few miles north of Gunnison, Colorado on the edge of the Taylor River. I played golf in Gunnison and partnered up with the Conductor of the Dallas Symphony and several of his Texas buddies. Nettie rode in the cart with me, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely playing with these folks from Dallas.
In 2003, Nettie went back to work. She hired on with Texoma Christian School as a Teacher’s Aide, and at this writing, begins her tenth year with them in August, 2013. She works with the really young children, and is very good with the younger set. I found this note in our travel journal. I was complaining about the price of gasoline in Gunnison of $1.799, and made the remark that someone was certainly getting rich. (:>) lol.
Next day, we arose and traveled up to Crested Butte which is famous during skiing season. Traveling back to Texas, after we were almost across the northeastern corner of New Mexico, I decided that we would drive west to east through the Oklahoma Panhandle. Very, very flat…I had been up in that area once before when our Davis Wolves played Beaver Oklahoma in the state playoffs in 1960.
In October of 2003, Nettie and I drove up to Davis Oklahoma and picked up Uncle Bob and Aunt Annie and we took a two day trip up and into the Ozark Mountains to see the Fall leaves.
In June of 2004, Nettie and I and Jimmie and Larry were traveling to South Carolina or bust. The night was spent in Meridan, Mississippi. Next day, we four decided to make a switch in plans, and decided to drive straight across Alabama and Georgia to Savanna Georgia. That was one long straight shot that day arriving about midnight in Savanna. When we arrived, there were cops everywhere almost as if a war had started. Found out later that President Bush and countless other world leaders were meeting on a small coastal island just off the coast of Georgia in a G5 summit.
We got up the next day, and rode around in Savannah on one of those Grey Line Bus tour. In Charleston, SC, I remember it being swelteringly, humid and hot. We explored Fort Sumter, reputely where the Civil War began.
We were headed to Surf Side which is a beach located in Myrtle Beach. We rented rooms in a high rise motel right on the beach. Larry and I played golf a couple of times, and everyone but me, took walks on the beach a few times. I never go down to the beach. I don’t much care about walking in the sand. We left South Carolina the next Thursday.
As we were nearing Augusta, GA, we had a blowout on the front drivers’ side . I pulled into the center median of a South Carolina hwy, and while Larry changed the tire, I stood and spoke with a South Carolina highway trooper, who was very nice.
He gave me direction to the Augusta golf course where the Master’s Golf Tournament is held in April of each year. Since we were only a couple of miles north of Augusta, we decided to drive to the golf course for a look-see. The place is enclosed with a rather large gate into the place, so we had to peek through the gate, but didn’t see much.
We drove on to the western edge of Atlanta, where we ate and spent the night. The next day we arose, ate, and drove the whole distance to Sherman which was about 805 miles, arriving about 11 pm. That was the last vacation we ever took with the Simpsons’ for whatever reason. They never asked us to go anymore.
For several years beginning in about 1997 through 2004, Nettie and I used to converge on Lubbock Texas around Labor Day for the Buddy Holly Festival. We met lots of ’50s and early ’60s Rock n Roll stars and Rockabilly stars. We met Maria Lena Holly and Travis and Larry, and Sherry Holly at these events. Lots of fun. 2004 was the last year it was held, as such, in Lubbock. Clovis, NM holds a musical festival each year now, and that is where Buddy made his early records at the Petty Studios.
In 2004 we visited with the Fosters in Plainview, and relatives in Amarillo and Pampa, and Lowery City, MO, and Alicia down in the Austin area.
In 2005, we buried Nathan Carter, who was the son of my friends, Don and Kay Carter of Davis, Oklahoma. He was just three months younger than my daughter Alicia. In the same month, we also buried Bill Springer. Bill grew up across the street where I grew up; although, he was several years older than me. He taught Math, and coached girls basket ball at Davis. He was my Algebra teacher when I was a freshman in high school.
2005 in July, Nettie and I had reservations in Breckenridge, CO, so we headed up there. We stayed about three days; because, I found out that I could not breathe up there. Too fat and high altitude. We decided to drive south and we ended up in Taos, NM. Spent a couple of days there and I played golf at the Taos Country Club with a preacher, originally from Kaufman, Texas; but who lived in Lawrence KS. Beautiful country in and around Taos. Drove through Pampa on our way back to Sherman and visited with the Wright family.
2006 March, Nettie and I drove to Claremore OK and entered onto US 66. We drove through Owasso, OK and Tulsa, and stopped in Arcadia OK at the round red barn; but, it was closed. We motored onto Edmond, OK City, and spent the night in El Reno, OK. Next day we continued on US 66 till we were almost in Clinton, OK. We stopped and visited with my cousin Darrell Wells. He told us how to get to Butler, OK, and we drove to the cemetery and found the Broadbents buried there. GGGrandfather to Nettie.
This was the Summer that the Panhandle seemed to be on fire every where. We drove from Butler to Pampa and around one edge of these fires. Visited a little while with Loretta, and then we ventured down US 287 to Childress where we spent the night. Came on home the next day.
April, 2006: We visited with Alicia and Denny in Austin, and they took us to the world famous Freddie’s for supper. It was great and remains as one of my favorite places to eat, in Austin, along with Salt Lick BBQ.
2006, July: We left Sherman drove till we entered I 20 east of Lindale, TX. Spent the first night in Meridian MS. Next day we drove through Trussville Alabama, Knoxville, TN, and up and over the Smoky Mountains and spent the night in Hickory, NC.
We saw a lot of Virginia the next day before we spent the night in Warrenton, VA which is slightly southwest of Washington DC. Next day, we crossed the Potomac River onto Congressional Avenue. We stopped along the street and parked and walked on the sidewalk a little ways. I sat down on a bench near an intersection while Nettie walked up close to the Washington Monument. I looked over my left shoulder behind, and saw the south side of the White House. We drove on east until we stopped at a light, and looked southeast and saw the US Capitol building about a half block a way.
We left DC and drove up into Pennsylvania to Gettysburg. We drove through the immense battlefield, and walked through a museum. Big battle.
Left there and drove back into Maryland to LaVale where we spent the night. Next day, we drove back into Pennsylvana where we entered back onto I-70, a few miles south of Pittsburgh. We motored west and entered West Virginia through a tunnel, and then crossed the Ohio River, and into the state of Ohio. We were probably in West Virginia all of five or ten minutes. We ate lunch in Columbus Ohio, and then drove all the way to Indiannapolis where we spent the night. Next day, we drove and found the Indiannapolis Motor Speedway where the Indiannapolis 500 is held each Memorial Day. Quite a sight to see.
In the motel we stayed in, the room had a hot tub that ten or twenty people could have enjoyed. We had to put a 100 dollar deposit down on it, but got it back the next day. After I got into it, I had a heck of a time getting out of it. It was the largest hot tub or tub that I had ever seen.
This was our second time to be in Indianapolis, as we had driven from Illinois one other time looking for the Speedway; but, a tornado and storm were in progress that day, so we simply drove over to IH 70 and headed west out of town, and away from that storm. That was in 2002.
That day we drove into Danville Illinois, through Springfield Illinois, and crossed into Missouri over the Mississippi River, and turned off the highway to tour through Hannibal Missouri, home of Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, and Huck Finn. After driving through the town, we stopped so Nettie could do some window shopping. While sitting on a bench in town, I met a gentleman vacationing with his family, who was from Chandler, Oklahoma. He was a retired truck driver, and we found that we both knew people in Davis, Oklahoma. Small world.
We spent that night in Monroe City, Missouri, a small quaint town in the middle of no where. We stopped in Lowery City and visited with Nettie’s Mom. Then we drove on and spent that night in Nevada, Missouri, and traveled home the next day. We drove 3356 miles, through 20 states.
2007. In May, Alicia Bonnell Bumgarner married Denny Lester Foley in the Hill Country just south of Austin, TX. Today, they with Inca their dog, live about eight to ten miles east of I-35, in the city limits of Buda, Texas.
2007, we took a vacation in Ruidoso, NM. While there, Joe Farr, originally from Davis, took me golfing, and later that night we ate Dinner with Joe and Gay Dunn Farr at a Mexican cafe. While in Ruidoso, we drove to Lincoln county where Billy the Kid lived and was jailed. We toured the old court house, and saw a bullet hole that young Billy had shot into while breaking out of jail. Also, you ;and Denny married in May of 2007.
We drove down to Alamagordo and saw the White Sands proving grounds, southwest of Ruidoso.
Nettie and I have taken many vacations through the years; but, haven’t vacationed since 2008, as of this writing. There will be other stories yet to come in this writing.
2008: In September, I got up one morning feeling as though I may have been having a heart attack. I couldn’t get my breath for long periods of time, and just felt stranger than I ever had in my life. Nettie called 911, and they came and got me and took me to the ER at WNJ. Everything checked out okay, and I hadn’t had a heart attack. I spent several days in the hospital, while they thinned my blood and then they administered the heart catheterization test, and later told me I had the heart of a twenty-one year old male.
They sent me home with flying colors. About a week went by, and I was scheduled for a “sleeping” test for apena. While taking this test, my back began to hurt and ache, and I had the nurse to remove all of the testing from me about four o’clock in the morning. I stood up to go home, and I nearly “blacked out” because I couldn’t get my breath. I could take two steps and be completely out of breath, and have to stop moving till I regained it. I got home, and into my garage. I knew if I entered my home at that late hour, I would scare my wife to death.
I called her on my cell phone and told her to come out into the garage and help me into the house. She did, and went back to bed, and I sat down in my recliner and went to sleep. Later when I awoke, I called my daughter and told her about my problem, Alicia told me to hang up and call 911 or call my doctor. I called my doctor’s nurse, and she called 911 for me. They came and picked me up, and hauled me to the ER again, and everything checked out. Nettie arrived about the time I did, and then they put me through a catscan, and found the blood clot between my heart and lungs, and this is why I couldn’t breathe. It was God’s goodness that saved me from having a stroke or a heart attack.
I was put into Intensive Care for a few days while they thinned my blood, once again. This time we knew what the problem was. I was in the hospital for about eleven days, and then they released me. You my daughter, came to see me, and it really cheered me up to see you as well as the rest of my family. In the month of Sept of ’08, I had been in the hospital twice. None of my families from Oklahoma ever came to see me the three times I was hospitalized. Bill Smith and James Lassiter came and visited, and friends from our church, and of course Vanna and family.
In 2009 while getting my yearly wellness checkup, Dr Schulze told me she would take me off of the Coumdian after six months. She did, and by the middle of March, I was back in the hospital for another blood clot between my heart and lungs. Again, none of my family north of the Red River ever came to visit. Since March of 2009, I go to the Center for Family Medicine Lab to have my blood checked each and every month, and for the remainder of my life. Could have been worse, but for the grace of my Lord and Savior, it wasn’t.
At the end of 2008, all of my retirement benefits were gone, so we had to cut back on leisure activities.We manage to eat a couple of meals out, most weeks, but we haven’t taken a vacation since 2008. During the Summer, I played my last rounds of golf at Stone Creek in Sherman.
We generally go and visit with Alicia and Denny about once a year, and wish it was more. I miss seeing my lovely daughter on a more frequent basis; but, guess it isn’t to be.
Nettie and I have been involved in Church and God since 2002, and we still try to do something. I was a volunteer at Washington Elementary school here in Sherman, but retired in February of this year because of sickness almost all of this past Winter. Nettie volunteers during the second service every Sunday, with the younger ones in Power House.
The Lord has been really, really great to Nettie and I. Nettie has become a very good Christian Lady and I am very proud of her, and proud that she is my wife, and I love her dearly.
After my late Dad passed in 1988, I believe I was in a profound, depression for many, many years afterward; but, with God all of it is gone now. All, I ever wanted from Dad was for him to hug me and tell me he was proud of me; but, it never happened and never will. I miss my Mother and Dad very much, and also my sister Jakie who seems not to care about me anymore. I wish our family was closer, but it isn’t, and makes me very sad.
All of my family north of the Red River seems to have given up on me. I never hear from any of them. I am so glad that I have a family south of the Red River, and I am so proud of everyone of them. I, also, have two neo brothers north of the Red River. Poss lives in Norman, and Outlaw lives in Edmond, OK.
Since I am retired and Nettie still works, I do a little to help out around the house such as washing clothes, and sometimes putting out the trash. Mostly, I write short stories and poems on my computer. I, so enjoy, writing, that I wish I had listened more to Miss West in high school English.
Miss Mary West was undoubtedly the best teacher I ever had in high school and college. She was great as a teacher; but, I didn’t realize it at the time.
In 2012, I went to work driving minivans for Professional Transportation, Inc., hauling railroad crews to and from their trains. I was subject to twenty-four hour call ins. During the Christmas holidays of 2012, I had a severe bout with a pinched nerve in my neck which affected my right arm with radiating pain for almost a week. A visit to the doctor helped out with inflammation and pain pills. Around the first of the New Year, it began to not bother me much. In a seventeen day time period, I was sick most of the time.
I went back to work on 9 January, 2013. While returning to Denison, after having been up close to twenty five hours without sleep, I nodded off and hit a bridge railing in Durant, Oklahoma. Knocked a knot on the side of my head, and scared the crap outta me.
Tore up the driver’s side of the minivan, and ten days later, I was fired from this job. The PTI company changed the rules while I was off sick, about how many hours a driver could be on the clock. No one bothered to tell me about it; but, if they had, I would not have been in the van at that time. I would have been at home asleep. Only job I was ever fired from.
During June, 2013, Nettie’s Mother Bonnie Guinn of Lowery City, MO passed away, and we attended the funeral in Lowery City. She was buried near Noel, MO. Nettie and I, also, lost a very good friend who we attended church with. Carolee Smith died from cancer. She was in her forties, and left a husband, daughter, and son. She died 01 July, 2013.
During the Summer of 2013, our grandsons played baseball, and we attended a lot of their games. Darci is on the golf team at Howe High School, and they placed sixth in the State of Texas in Class 2A Golf. Darci also plays point guard on her high school basketball team. They were Co-Champs in 11 2A this past year, and Darci made All District. She is a very talented and gifted young lady as well as very attractive. Dylan is quite an archer, and an artist. Dax plays baseball, and loves Legos. We are so proud of our grandchildren.
We also have an adopted granddaughter. Her name is Maria and she is an exchange student from Spain. She has become a Foster for a year. She is a very nice young lady. Maria’s parents, on their way back home to Spain, came through Howe for a few days, and we all got to meet them. They can’t speak English; but, we enjoyed ourselves with them. Really nice folks. Maria flew back home the weekend of Father’s Day, 2014.
As of this time 2014, I believe the Fosters’ have lived in Howe Texas close to three years. Darci is a sophomore in high school, and Dylan is a seventh grader, and Dax is a second grader. Vanna is teaching school in Howe, and Darren teaches at Fairview Elementery in Sherman. This is supposed to be Darren’s last stint at teaching, as he is set to go to work for Edward Jones this summer. Darren resigned from teaching at the end of the 2014 school term and is training with Edward Jones, Inc of Denison, TX.
During the months of March and April of this year, I have had the Shingles, a stomach virus, and food poisoning. I am tired of being sick.
2014: For several months, I have been trying to find out and learn how to write for Kindle which is owned by Amazon, Inc. I have read where there is money to be made publishing books for Kindle. At the moment, I am formatting a book that I wrote and I want to sell it to Kindle or rent it out. I still need to “Copyright” it, which costs I think, about thirtyfive dollars. I have lots of content to be made into books, and I am eager to learn. I belong to Kindle on FaceBook.
Today, 15 April, Nettie had to do a recall mamagram at WNJ hospital, and the Lord blessed her, as it came out negative. I am going to go ahead and publish this with the right to update it every once in a while.
After about a month off, Nettie went back to work at school for the remainder of the Summer term. Nettie is sixty-five and ought to be retired; but, she keeps working, probably to get away from me, lol. We can always use the money, as we have spent several dollars getting work done on both of our vehicles this summer.
Edward S Bumgarner
15 April, 2014