Norma (Wilder) Huffman
recently sent me this, and agreed to let me post it.
I wonder sometimes where all the grownups
When I was in grade school at Mineral
Heights, we had a sadistic principal, Mrs. Roauls.
And our parents went to the school board and got her removed.
She hadn't done anything to me, personally, and that didn't matter. What was
right was right. Daddy was City Attorney in Picher, off and
on, depending on who was Mayor.
He wasn't always popular with some of the councilmen because he would tell them
was and was not legal. He'd have been making enemies left and right in all
We had it so good when we were kids. We could ride the city bus to Miami
and see a movie
in Cinemascope with Stereophonic Sound at the Coleman. In Jr. High
we swam at
the Miami pool. In Senior High it was much more cool to drive down five miles
of dirt road, totally obscured by dust, to Dardenne's, and swim in the
creek-fed, 32F water--or at least it seemed.
Miami was still viable--this was before WalMart-- and had lovely little dress
with one of a kind dresses. Not 45 of everything in all sizes.
And they smelled good and were cool.
And we could take the Greyhound to Joplin with our Mothers, or some
people had cars, and shop all day for our formals and our winter coats.
And Gracie's cafe was warm and crowded and convivial after football games.
And we had Pep Rallies somewhere on North Connell with bonfires.
And our group had wiener roasts on the chat pile starting our Freshman
And there were three drugstores and two movie theatres in Picher.
Every seat in the house was filled three times a week when the features
If we were dating, we'd stay for the Midnight show on Saturday night,
get up and go to Sunday School the next morning and see the same movie
again on Sunday night. In the winter we'd bundle up and walk with our
to the show. It would be freezing and when we got there we'd peel off
layers in the warmth, then bundle up again to go home.
We'd walk to school at night for functions,
Hardly anybody had an ounce of fat, because by the time we were in Senior High, it was no longer cool to ride the school bus, so we walked the mile and a
twice a day unless someone gave us a ride.
There was a Safeway store on South
Main. Scotties, where we got our levis,
Izzy's where we got our saddle oxfords. Uncle Harry's where we got our
repaired and made like new again. And we were safe.
Sometimes a man would slow his car down and drive by my mother
and me when we were walking home after a movie.
She'd just lift her chin a little and we'd keep walking and the man
would drive away. There was a vicious chow named Peaches who lived on
Frances street who used to offer to tear us limb from limb now and then.
Mother would get a grip on her purse and start after him and he would
change his mind.
I don't remember any other even remotely dicey moments.
And we held hands everywhere we went.
If we were walking with our girlfriends,
we held hands If we were walking with our boyfriends, we were hand in hand
I missed all the touching when I moved away.
I just ran out of steam. Are your eyes
It isn't as if you haven't heard all this a hundred times.
Hang in there,