Purple hulls, cornbread, tables under shade tree elms, peach cobbler and cattle at the edge of the tank. It began in Oletha on February 5, 1931.
Catfish on sourdough, bass on grasshoppers, grocery store across the street, and depression rationed icebox in the barn. Idle days of screened opened windows gave way to old mare rides to the school house.
Mud-stuck farm trucks, three-on-the-tree, bowed watermelon weighed axles, cotton on the trailer and a buck felled in the heifer pasture.
Seven-man football, Saturday night dances, fouled spark plugs, cattle to market and Groesbeck Goats graduation. Limestone County red sandy loam was traded for wind, dust and Texas Tech.
Miles of Lubbock road, sundrenched days followed Van Gogh Starry Nights more than fluorescent lit lectures and a detour to Navy bases. Slender, be-speckled medical tech met Art and Pearl during California sojourn.
West Coast dance with friends and shipmates, and she was there from East Amherst – another dance by way of New York upper state. And then Bernice taught a new dance – a waltz for two but as if for one.
She back to New York, Hawaii letters, in line to use the phone and then back to her arms to that waltz. Confirmation and a Catholic mass – the Brazos melded with the Tiber and she said I do.
Baylor Law School, small apartment , law book in one arm and beautiful Cecile Marie in the other and half-chewed Macanudo’s. Back to Lubbock for law libraries and court rooms. Briefs in one arm, Mary Alexandra in the other with half-chewed Macanudo’s. Independence called.
Valentine Street in Killeen, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and school, court rooms, board rooms, city council, law books and clients. Generals, statesmen’s, friends and neighbors.
Band trips, choir ensemble, family and friends. Old Spice after shave, ballroom dancing with Bea, Roger Miller’s King of the Road, silver and turquoise bolos.
Frozen mornings, hot coffee in the stand, hunters sharing stories. The finer points of mule deer, feral hogs, fire ants, rattlesnakes and turkey feathers.
Doug married Cecile and he became Cowboy to granddaughter Lindley and grandson Donald. James Calvin married Mary and he became Papa to grandson James David.
Lady Bears basketball, Wednesday night poker, John Wayne movies, spy novels, family gatherings and Aunt Judie’s blueberry pie.
Ice cubes in milk, Kosse Café, more family gatherings, cut geodes, ostrich skin boots and hand tools for every job.
65 years they held hands, sunshine and shadow, half-chewed cigars, trips to foreign lands, laughter together.
Purple hulls, cornbread, tables under the cool shade of live oaks, cat in the window, battle at the birdfeeder, peach cobbler, chicken fried steak……lives touched, family cherished, souls blessed: January 22, 2022
May the soul of James Roy Lindley and the faithfully departed rest in peace. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen