Summertime Ice Cream Socials

These days everything is “social network” this and “social network” that. Hmmph. I love my computer and technology as much as the next geek, but when I think of the word “social”, I think back to the many ice cream socials from my childhood.

Yes, I am a person of that age….that old lady who remembers and talks about “the good old days” when life was simple and we enjoyed it. I grew up in church as a 3rd generation Nazarene, both sets of grandparents went to our church in my hometown. My grandfather on my mom’s side was the big ice cream fiend, which rubbed off on mom…and me…so I have fond memories of “helping” him make the ice cream.

I stayed out of my granny’s kitchen as a kid, but I knew there was mixing, measuring and cooking done beforehand. My big thrill was after the mixture had been poured into the can, the paddle in place and the top securely fastened. My papa would use his ice pick to chip the ice (never in a bag from the store, we froze our own ice in wax milk cartons!) layer it around the can, adding the rock salt as he went. Then, several layers of newspapers were placed on top, followed by a towel…..and all the cousins clamored to see who would get to sit on top while the cranking was done by papa! It was so much fun to sit on top of the freezer and feel the chill from the ice below, while the hot summer wind blew across our faces, underneath the shade tree.

My cousins, left to right…Britt, Gwen, Tami….and me on the right 1961

Of course, everyone brought a freezer of ice cream to these socials, so there were many flavors to try. Peach ice cream made with fresh picked peaches, chocolate, strawberry…but my favorite was always vanilla. Call me a purist, I just love plain homemade vanilla ice cream.

I can still see it in my mind, lawn chairs around the yard, bowls and spoons clattering, brain freezes because we ate the ice cream so fast! Women chatting together in groups, men engaged in whatever men talk about…..and kids running around barefoot without a care in the world. I wish I was an artist so I could draw or paint the picture that’s in my mind.

I’ve owned several electric ice cream freezers over the past 30 years, but somehow it’s just not the same to plug it in while it sits in the sink and churns. I’m pretty sure the ice cream doesn’t taste as good either as it did in the 1950s…..

I suppose that’s why us “oldsters” like to relive our fondest memories…..sometimes the memories are better than what’s surrounding us now.

Thanks for reading and reminiscing with me….I feel a trip to Braum’s in my future 🙂


Funny Family Fotos

People often reminisce about  the “good old days”……and I’ve done it also, however….some of these photos make me appreciate the “here and now” for sure!

All of these photos came from my grandmothers photo albums, which I acquired a few years ago, because my dad knew I’d take good care of them. These photos are his family and ancestors, and most had no information written on the back. I’ve had to post these on Facebook so my assorted cousins across the US could help me identify them. There were but a few that we had no clue at all, they are a mystery.

Let’s have a picnic…deep in the woods….let’s take the kids…..grab your coats, axes and washtubs!

We were all “stumped” about this one for a while!

The subjects in the photo above were eventually identified as my grandmother (tall woman holding baby) my dad (in hat) at her left elbow, my two aunts Bea and Geraldine, and some neighbors. We narrowed down the year to 1938…..

“ROAD TRIP”! (apparently my ancestors loved to leave home for adventures?)

This is my dad, age 3 months 17 days, according to my granny’s handwriting on the back.

Oh, just put the babies down anywhere, they’ll be fine!

I know the baby on the left must be my dad, because it looks just like ME……

“Hi, I’m Larry, this is my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl”

My great-grandfather and his sons who never married and never left home.

I think this little boy may be my dad, or his cousin Sonny-boy…..they looked about the same in every picture I’ve found.

Once again…..”let’s sit the baby out in the road or middle of no where and take his picture”!

They must have been trying to “capture the light”……..

My daddy….
This is the little suit my dad was wearing in the photo above….
This is the suit and hat along with the original tiny photo; I have put them into a memory keepsake box, hanging on the wall in my bedroom. So sweet….

Retail therapy????

The first yard sale ever?

Playing “let’s pretend”……

“Let’s pretend like we’re not really poor”……

on the back “to Beatrice Wilson, this is Mildred and her little friend in their play house” …. printed on the back “Finished by Nichols Studio Jacksonville, Texas”

Forget taking the kid to the woodshed……

CPS…..where are you? After very close scrutinizing, we have determined this to be one of my dad’s cousins, and there is someone behind her, holding her up on the woodpile!

“Life on the farm….PETA would love this, right?”

I guess they couldn’t afford to have a dog for a pet….???

Anyone up for some fried catfish???

We have studied this one and can only hazard a guess that *maybe* this was a scene on the Red River long before the Denison Dam was built to create Lake Texoma. I don’t think I’d want to eat the fish that came out of that water, though!

And last, but not least…….no wonder they were so destitute, the “lucky” horseshoe was upside down…all the luck was running out!

This one is my favorite! We believe this is my great-grandfather Charlie Wilson and one of his sisters, or daughters….

Now, I know all these photos are in black and white and are very old, but I sense there wasn’t much green grass around at the time. It looks very desolate….no wonder my grandmother loved plants and flowers so much, she needed color in her life!

Thanks for the memories, Granny K….

Soup and Sandwich, or Call Me Fred…..

Someone once said, well, people still say it, old habits are hard to break. Boy, do I know that’s true! I had been married for fourteen years to the same man, with the same name, so for fourteen years, day in and day out, wherever we went,  we were “soup and salad“, so to speak.

Soup and longer on the menu!

Then came the divorce. I became “just soup”. For the next five years, I tried many different “salads” to go with my “soup” but none of them clicked. Then one day, I met a “sandwich” that was perfect with my “soup”. We became “soup and sandwich”. It was a match made in the grocery store, or the deli….lol.

Aw, Soup and Sandwich, that's a nice combination!

Sandwich and I rocked along for several months in co-habitational bliss. We  moved to beautiful Tyler, Texas to begin a new chapter in our menu, uh, life. One day, our beleaguered washing machine had broken, so we made the dreaded trip to the Laundromat, joy, oh joy. Sandwich and I were folding clothes and he turned his head to say something to me and he said “Hey Chips, yada yada yada….” I spun around and said “WHAT DID YOU CALL ME“?

Chips! He called me CHIPS!

See, in his previous marriage, he was “sandwich and chips”…..and he slipped for the first time and called ME “chips”….

Once again, history!

Oh, I was so very upset! I poked my finger very pointedly in his chest, and said “you can call me Fred Flintstone or Barney Rubble, or any other name in the world, but don’t you ever call me “chips” again! Poor Sandwich was so flustered by his flub, he apologized profusely, and said, he would just call me Fred from then on. I said that was fine with me.

Fred 🙂

That’s how I became “Fred” ……..some people may think it’s odd. But when Sandwich calls me “Sweetheart” or “honey”…..I think that’s odd. Call me Fred, please.

Jack & Sally and Newt & Willie

A story of friendship, popcorn and music.

My parents married when my mother was very young, just 17, and dad was 24….then I came along a year later. Yes, they were lucky to be blessed with the problem child FIRST. About as far back as I can recall, my parents had these good friends named Jack and Hazel….Jack and Hazel were a few years old than mom and dad, and seemingly had nothing in common, but they got along famously. We spent many a Sunday evening at their house, eating huge bowls of popcorn and playing Wahoo or dominoes. I mostly ate popcorn. Lots of popcorn!

Dad and Jack loved to play jacks, the kids game, with jacks and a ball…..nothing was as funny as seeing these two grown men, sitting in the kitchen floor, bouncing a little rubber ball and picking up jacks. Oh, they took it very seriously, too! I loved to play with the Lincoln Logs or the Lego’s that they had at their house. Those were the only toys for me to play with since their only daughter Jackie was a few years older than me, and quite the young adult.

Hazel was an elementary school teacher, so she taught me how to read long before I ever started first grade. I wish I had those books now that she used to teach me with…..Dick and Jane, Puff and Spot…..I think I knew them all by heart when I started school, therefore I was pretty bored for the first semester.

When their only daughter, Jackie got married, I was a candle-lighter in her wedding, it was my first wedding and I think I pulled it off with ease. I’m on the bride’s right side, the adorable 10-year-old, hehehe.

Jackie’s wedding, 1963

Hazel was always very patient with me, because I was terribly shy as a small child. I would hide behind my mom when Jack saw me, he was very tall and was forever trying to make me laugh.  I eventually warmed up to him, about 8 years later! I spent a week with Jack and Hazel as a teenager, after they had moved to Irving. They took me out to eat, we went shopping for fabric, and Hazel made me a dress. It was brown A-line with bell sleeves, lined, and with ORANGE ball fringe trim around the sleeves and the hem. I loved it!

The dress that Hazel made for me….

Jack’s given name was Earl, but no one EVER called him Earl…..and his nickname for Hazel was Sally. Somehow he learned that my mother’s grandfather had called her “Newt” as a kid, and he called my dad, whose name is William (Bill) Willie…..hence they all became “Jack, Sally, Newt and Willie”. I don’t think I ever rated being given a nickname. Hmm. I think I’m hurt by that fact! Jack had a beautiful tenor voice, and was the choir director at our church, where my mother was the pianist. Jack always sang at every wedding, and back in the 60s, the two traditional songs were “Because” and “I Love You Truly”, with The Lord’s Prayer sometimes added in. Jack and dad loved to sing quartet music, so when my parents hosted the get togethers, mom was at the piano and everybody sang. It was truly grand. I have a small snippet of a bad quality recording of the quartet singing, and I can hear Jack’s voice, my moms beautiful piano playing…I wish I had more. It brings back such memories to hear those Southern gospel songs.

Over the years, there were multiple practical jokes and adventures between the two families; short sheeted beds while one family was gone on vacation, salt in the bed on another… and pie at The EatWell Cafe on Main Street after church on Sunday evening, trips to Lake Texoma on a Saturday morning, very early, just to cook breakfast! Seems like some car keys also got locked in the trunk once at the lake. I’m sure I had nothing to do with that!

After Jack and Hazel moved to Irving, we saw them less and less, but they were still great friends to our family. When my folks celebrated their 50th anniversary, in 2002, Jack and Hazel made the trip to Denison, from Oklahoma where they were living then. It was the last time we would ever see them.

“Jack, Sally, Newt and Willie”

I am now in touch with Jack and Hazel’s daughter, Jackie, through Facebook, and it’s been fun bringing up these old memories.

Jack, Sally, Newt and Willie had a great friendship, I’m glad I was there to see it. And to eat popcorn.




My Sister’s Porchlight

Once upon a time, way back in the late 1980s, my sister Becky and I became very good friends. It was the first time we had ever really been together much, because I am 16 years older, and she was just 6 months old when I married and moved away from home. So, she and I didn’t grow up together, she grew up with my daughter. Then in 1984 I got divorced… was not pretty and it was not easy. My family was upset with me, and to make matters worse, I became a working musician, playing in clubs and bars. But, in 1988, I came back home, to north Texas, settled down somewhat and got a real job. I still played in bars and clubs, but I had a better plan for my future.

My sister had graduated from high school by this time and was waiting tables at a local Mexican restaurant. She was very good at her job and always had cash in her pocket. I was making minimum wage at the fabric store, so I was broke all the time, and there were many times when I would have gone without groceries, except for Becky. Everyone says that sisters share a special bond, I think that’s true. We also share a love of food. And eating.

Becky was always entertaining!

Becky liked to hang out at my little apartment, and we spent lots of time cooking and eating. She bought all the groceries, of course. Sometimes I’d come home from work and she’d be there cooking already, she had a key so she could come and go. We had a blast cooking together, we even made Chinese food once, and it was really good. Funny, I still don’t like Chinese food, but whatever it was that we made that day, was really good. I seem to recall lots of spaghetti, tacos, sloppy joes…..real gourmet food!

My garage apartment was at the end of a long driveway, and we both had to park on the street, so it was very dark between my doorway and the street….and since I felt responsible for my baby sister, I would stand outside my door and shine the flashlight on her as she walked down the drive to her car on the street. That’s how the simple flashlight became the “porch-light” for the two of us. It has been an inside joke for 23 years now. No one else understood, but we did. That was the only thing that mattered. I love  MMYS…….