L To R, Josh Perkins, Elmer Willis, Solomon Doyle, Mae Ashworth Willis, Nora Ashworth Griffin, Shelby Ashworth

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Zaney, Janie & Archie Ashworth

In a recent conversation with a friend, she had trouble recalling a couple of names of folks that use to hitch hike to and from Dequincy & De Ridder, Louisiana. One was a younger man and the other person was on up in years. She knew the younger man's name, the older man she had trouble with his name.
I was able to tell her that it was Archie Ashworth. That got me to thinking about him, his brother and his brothers wife. Archie had a nick name. It was Tosh. His brother was Zaney and his wife was Janie Perkins Ashworth. They all three lived in a small wooden house out in the woods. Everything else is told in the following story
The only other person that I know of that would fit that description is Archie Ashworth. Growing up my father and everyone else would call him {Tosh Archie}. In early fall and early spring, from where we lived on Bearhead you could see the smoke from the woods burning across Bearhead where Archie lived . My father would come in the house and tell my mother, Tosh Archie is at it again the woods are on fire.
If there was any one thing Archie was good at, that was setting the woods on fire. HHAAA That was also something most folks did in those days along with a {Dipping Vats} to help control the bugs and ticks on the cattle and other animals. This action was also done, to set the process in motion for the sweet green grass to come out faster. The cattle were allowed to roam free in the woods back then. By allowing this grass to grow faster and better, it cut down on the feed bill greatly.
You are so right about him hitching a ride to and from town. As you stated most trips were made for food and tobacco. My mother & father picked him up many many times. If he was headed back home, we took him all the way to his house across Bearhead. Only problem you would have by picking him up, it was hard to get him out of the car. He loved to talk and talk and talk.
While driving to town I guess I had eagle eyes at that age, I could spot him before anyone else in the car. I could tell who it was hitching a ride. He always wore a gray hat. Not a 10 gallon one or a straw hat. The top was round, so was the bib of the hat and it went around the hat completely. He also wore what I call a horseman's coat. I know there is a correct name for it, I just can not think of it at this time. His was brown and went down his ankles. The back was split up to about mid thigh.
One of the funniest thing I seen and I wish to this day someone would have gotten a photo of it. Archie raised chickens. You knew when he had a good hatching of chicks. When they were old enough to sell, Archie would be out there on the road hitching a ride. He would be standing there with about 6 to 8 chicken in each hand. He would tie the chickens by there feet, he then picked up and carried the chickens by their feet. That was a sight to see, him out there dressed like that and with 12 to 16 chickens hanging from his hands upside down and sticking his thumb out to catch a ride to Dequincy. Once there he made his way to the sale barn to sell his chickens. After he collected from his sale, he made it back to town to buy his monthly staples. Then it was back out on the road with supplies in a box, hitching a ride back to Bearhead.
I know this is getting long, but before i go, i want to say a couple of other things about Archie.
He never married. He lived his whole live with his brother Zaney along with Zaney's wife Jaine. The lived on the west side of Bearhead. They never had lights or running water. Just a Draw Well. They did have electricity near the end of their lives. They were the very last ones living on that side of Bearhead, until a man bought land down the road from their house. Beauregard Electric would not run lights to where he wanted to build his home. So this man went to see Archie, Zaney and Janie. He made a deal with them that if they would also take electricity, he would not only pay their light bill every month until they died, he would also have their house wired for lights. That took him up on that offer.
Once they had the electricity run to their house, some one gave them a TV. About the only time that TV was turned on, was on Saturdays. All three just loved watching wrestling. I am sure on Saturdays, if you had walked up to there hose. It would sound like a three man tag team match was going on in that house. One Saturday, as usual at the given time, they were at it again. Telling the wrestlers just what hold to put on another bad guy. Right slap dab in the middle of a match, poor Zaney was so worked up, he had a massive heart attack and died right there on the spot.
One last thing about Archie & his brother Zaney. Their father was Evans Ashworth. He is the man I wrote about on this blog site {My Redbone Roots}. He was the man that would race the horses on foot and beat them in a race.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Evans Ashworth {The Race Is On}

This man died well before my time. I grew up hearing some stories about him. But the one that I remember best is this one. First let me say, I believe this is nothing but the truth about him. The reason for that is that my Great Grandmother knew this man well and so did Elbert Mcloud. So there is first had account of this. Evans was known for his speed. That man could out run anything at any distance. People said ever since he was able to walk, he ran ever where. No matter where he went, he ran.
Back in his day as they say. At least once a month families would gather at a certain house and the would cook all day and dance at night. During the day while the cooking was going own, there were many contest held to see who was better than any one else at something. One of the events was racing horses. This is where Evans was at his best, he would race the horses and there riders. It was said when he was grown he still ran ever where. He had even taken to caring a quirt "horse whip", They say when he ran he would actually whip his self to make him run faster.
The horse race back then was ran this way. You lined up on the starting line, someone would fire a shot into the air to start the race. The first thing you had to do was turn your horse in a complete circle around a post in the ground, then take off. It took a second or two to get the horse turned around and then take off. All Evans had to do was spin around on one foot and take off. When they reached the other end, they had to slow down in order to circle the post at the other end of the race track. Evans would place his arm out in a cloths line fashion in order to hook the post with that arm. His feet would come up off the ground as he was spun around that post with his arm. Once around the post, his feet would hit the ground running. Never once losing his speed or his lead over the other man and the horse They say he was hardly ever beaten in a race.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Old CV Logging Camp Fight , Another View

Thanks is in order for a new Internet friend, David Thompson, that was gracious to share with me a second report that he had found in the Atlanta Georgia newspaper, "The Atlanta Constitution" about The CV Logging Camp Fight that took place at the Smokey Cove settlement here in South West La. in August of 1891.
There was no way to copy and paste the article here at this site. So I have taken the time to transcribe it word for word and post it here to enable everyone to read the full article.

The Atlanta Constitution
Atlanta, Ga.
Wednesday Morning, August 5, 1891

The photos of the two men posted with this story are my two GG Grand Fathers. Owen Ashworth is in the top photo. Josh Perkins is in the bottom photo.


The Redbones and the Whites have a hostile meeting in the woods along the Calcasieu River--- The Bloody Battle and the tragic results.

Lake Charles, La. Aug. 4, 1891

Lock Moore and Co's logging train camp was the scene of the most fatal fight between two factions ever recorded in the annals of Louisiana Sunday Night.
Seven men were killed and thrice that number wounded in the conflict. The scene of the conflict was visited here this morning. The following was learned as to it's cause and fatality.
The Scene Of The Tragedy

The logging camp where the battle was fought is situated on the Calcasieu River, twenty miles north east of this place in a sparsely settled, but heavy timbered country. Five hundred men are employed in the camps by Lock, Moore and company, lumber manufactures. Four hundred of these men are a nationality known as REDBONES. They live in a semi barbaric state, spending their time in pilfering from their neighbors and gambling. They derive their name from being descended from a tribe of Indians which once inhabited the territory on the Calcasieu River.
During the past half century the tribe has retrograded so that today is can claim no nationality as it's own. Being illiterate, cowardly, indolent, their presence has caused a great deal of fear in West Louisiana and several times have the law abiding citizens endeavored to rid the country of them by lawful means.
The remaining one hundred employees living at these camps are white men from Texas and this state also, who are industrious and prosperous. On that account the REDBONES have a bitterly hated them, and at times threatened the lives of the whites. This feeling has existed for years and during that time the whites have been fearful of their lives.

Friday night the climax was reached when a member of the REDBONES slapped the face of a little buy of a white man and at the same time told it;s father that should he be found in the camp the next morning, it would be at the peril of his life.Threats were also made against the entire population of the place. The whites being in the minority, took steps towards self-preservation, and at the same time dispatched a messenger to Lake Charles asking for assistance. Saturday being the day it was thought the factions would meet, not a man could be found willing to work. In consequence the camps never closed.


The REDBONES, heavily armed themselves and walked through the village, defiantly insulting the whites as they passed. As night approached, the REDBONES assembled at a small saloon, owned by a white man and began drinking. The whites became fearful and congregated at one place, hourly expecting the attack from the REDBONES. The night waned and nothing was done. At Daylight eight of the white men returned in the direction of the saloon and were meet at the door by a body of REDBONES, numbering eleven, who accosted them and began abusing them. The leader of the REDBONES attempted to shoot one of the white man with a Winchester rifle, which failed to work.


This was a signal for the beginning of a general fusillade which lasted some thirty minutes. The first shot was fired by a white man, who's life at that time was saved by the failure of Jesse Dyson Winchester failure to operate. The ball struck Dyson above the left eye piercing his head, killing his instantly.
Jesse Ward of the white fraction, fell dead during the first volley from the REDBONES. His body was riddled with bullets.Four of the white men being unarmed, they attempted to escape, three of whom did, the fourth being shot through the shoulder as he reached the woods.
The volley from the remaining four white men made a telling effect upon the forces of the REDBONES, five of the total number engaged {Eleven} being killed while only one white man suffered death from them.


The REDBONES, after standing the fire of the whites thirty minutes, retreated into the woods to reconnoiter. The whites also retreated in the direction of the white settlement for the same purpose.
On the arrival of the surviving members of the white fraction, at their, settlement, the fight was made known and women and children became frantic, well knowing their numbers to be in the minority and themselves at the mercy of the REDBONES.
Another messenger was dispatched to Lake Charles post haste for Doctors and Officers, the former to attend to the wounded, of whom there were three, the latter to protect their homes from the ravages of the enraged half breeds. The expected renewal of the battle of the morning did not materialize, the whites remaining huddled together during the day and the half breeds ambushed, eagerly awaiting an opportunity to shoot the whites on sight.


An old man by the name of Swan, seeing no one, attempted to walk from his house to the river, but had gone but a few steps when his body was riddled with bullets. Dupree, {The Saloon Owner} also returned to his home and was shot through the body by someone ambushed. His little son, scarcely eight years of age, seeing his father fall, attempted to reach him and was shot through both legs. Thus matters remained until the following morning, when officers and Doctors from Lake Charles arrived.


The two white men killed the day before were picked up by the officers and removed to an old house where an inquest was held, from which they were buried. The dead and wounded of the REDBONES fraction also remained on the field until the following morning, when they were removed by the survivors of the party and an additional number of about two hundred followers. Five of their numbers were picked up and interred, and thrice that number of wounded removed into the thickets where they are now concealed.
The survivors of the white party who were engaged in the fight came here today and surrendered to the sheriff of this parish.
They will have a preliminary trial tomorrow, when it is thought they will be discharged. No arrest has been or can be made of the REDBONE faction, they having concealed themselves in the dense thicket where death would surely meet the officer pursing therein. More trouble is expected and should an attempt be made to corral the mob, a great loss of life will be the result.

LAKE CHARLES, La. Aug. 10th


The Forces Watching The "REDBONE" Outlaws

Sheriff Reid and posse returned this morning from the logging camps, where a battle was fought with fatal results between the white employees and a band of Outlaws last week.Since the fight the outlaws have organized and concealed themselves in a dense thicket in the vicinity, and sent daring messages to the white people, threatening to kill anyone entering therein.
The sheriff accompanied by twelve brave assistants, has been in the vicinity for the last forty eight hours awaiting an opportunity for action. Last night it presented itself, when three of the outlaws left their place of hiding in search of food. The posse being concealed, the outlaws walked in only a few feet of them and were captured without the firing of a shot by the posse.
Their names are OWEN ASHWORTH, JOSH PERKINS, DEMPSE ASHWORTH. The first named ASHWORTH is known to be the murderer of the first white man killed in the fight, while JOSH PERKINS is accused of killing old man Swan.
Six white men have received notifications from the outlaws known as "REDBONES" to leave. Each of them have families, who were compelled to leave them at the mercy of the outlaws. Public feeling is running high and should they again attack the whites, the result will be very disastrous to their forces.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Grandpaw Josh Perkins FBI Files

Thanks to Carolyn Boies for finding and sharing this with everyone over at redboneresearchgroup. This came from the web site Footnote.com. Report made by: Thomas Buckley Place where made: Lake Charles, La
Date when made: 6-26-18

In Re – James C. Perkins – Lyman Perkins – Deserters, U.S.A.,
Joshua Perkins – Harboring Deserters.


Went to Singer in order to get information on the above subject, report on which was made by me for 6-24-18. Met Deputy Sheriff T.A. Wood, who told me that James and Lyman Perkins were in the vicinity of their father at home Saturday night, Mr. Wood saying that a posse surrounded the house, but that the two boys managed to get away in an automobile. This automobile is said to have been driven at the time by Seebe Rogers, who is at present out of Singer and expected back in a few days. Mr. Wood believes that the two boys are now at the home of one of their relatives about thirty miles from Singer.
He also said that on the night that the house was surrounded he met Almond Perkins, a brother in law at 10:30 having made an engagement in the afternoon with the brother in law, who said that he would turn James and Lyman Perkins over to him. Mr. Wood said that Almond Perkins told him that he had met the tow deserters, but said that they refused to give themselves up, also saying that they said they would be shot rather than be sent to the penitentiary, Almond Perkins saying that both boys were armed with rifles and are desperate.
Sheriff Wood also informed that Norah Ashworth, who resides a short distance from the Perkins home saw the two boys last Friday night, 6-21-18 at the home of their father and that the father had brought several packages of tobacco to them. Nora Ashworth has been furnishing all the information about the deserters to Sheriff Wood, but the girl’s mother is very friendly to the Perkins family. I was going to visit Norah Ashworth in order to get a statement from her which would justify me in swearing out an affidavit against Joshua Perkins on the charge of harboring his son James, but Sheriff Wood advised that by me calling on this girl to get her evidence, it would probably result seriously for her, Mr. Wood saying that the Perkins boys would not hesitate to do her an injury.
The girl however, according to Mr. Wood will testify against the farther of the two boys to prove that he was harboring them and she is willing to appear against the boys or the father at anytime. On this information I thought it advisable not to visit this girl and put her in jeopardy.
Joshua Perkins, the father of the boys has already been in the Louisiana State Penitentiary on three occasions and it is said that he has killed seven men during his time, and is considered a dangerous character.
The section where the boys are located is known as the sabine swamp and it is difficult to locate them, as the majority of the people in that section are relatives of the Perkins and no doubt the two deserters receive warnings when anyone approaches.
I think it would be advisable to make an affidavit against Joshua Perkins, the father, as this girl Norah Ashworth can furnish the evidence that the father was harboring the boys, when she is called on. The father however denied that the boys have been about his place since last March, but it is evident that he is not telling the truth.
Thomas Buckley Lake Charles, LA 6-26-18

AT Singer, La

Was informed today by Sheriff Reid, at Lake Charles that Joshua Perkins, who resides five miles from Singer, La, was arrested and placed in jail, at Lake Charles 6-22-18. Perkins was arrested on a warrant sworn out, at the District Court, at De Ridder, charging him with aiding and harboring deserters from the U.S. Army, the warrant being sworn out by Mr. L. D. MeCollister, DE Ridder, La. Perkins has two sons, James C. and Lyman Perkins, who deserted from the army, at Camp Beauregard, Alexandria, La.
I talked with Joshua Perkins in the Jail, at Lake Charles where he told me that his two sons had came back from the camp sometime during December, 1918, (I think it should be December 1917) , James C. Perkins going to his father’s home where he remained about two days, the other brother Lyman going to his, Lyman’s home, as the latter is married, Lyman remaining about two days, when a stranger came in an automobile called the boys who got into the automobile, one of the party saying they would be in Houston, Tex. By daylight. The father of the boys saying that is the last he heard or seen of them.
According to Deputy Sheriff Harmon, who made the arrest he Harmon was informed that a Miss Nellie Ashworth, who resides near the home of the Perkin’s had told Deputy Sheriff Wood, at Singer that the two boys were seen frequently in the vicinity, and that they are still believed to be in that section. It is also said that there are two or three other deserters in that locality. I will visit Singer as soon as possible to get further information on this subject.

Thomas Buckley Lake Charles, La 7-7-18

IR- James C. Perkins – Lyman Perkins – Deserters, U.S.A.
Joshua Perkins – Harboring deserters


Previous reports made on this subject 6-25-18 and 7-4-18.
Sheriff Reid receiving an order from the District Court, De Ridder to release Joshua Perkins freed the subject 7-6-18.
While in De Ridder I discussed the Perkins affair with Dr. J. A. Knight, Merryville, La. to whom James C. and Lyman Perkins surrendered. Dr. Knight saying that he turned the above over to military authorities, at Camp Beauregard, Alex.
Dr. Knight told me that he will be responsible for Joshua Perkins and that he will see that he is brought to court, or any place the government desires, if it is necessary. As the two boys have been returned to camp, I did not make affidavit against their father Joshua Perkins.

Thomas Buckley Lake Charles, La 7-8-18

In RE- James C. Perkins – Lyman Perkins- Deserters
Joshua Perkins- Harboring Deserters


Received word from Deputy Sheriff Wood, Singer, La. that James C. Perkins and Lyman Perkins, brothers, who resided about four miles from Singer and who had deserted from the Army, at Camp Beauregard, Alexandria, La. surrendered to Mr. Wood and Dr. Knight, of Merryville, La.
The two soldiers gave themselves up on the night of June 30 – 1918, Dr. Knight taking them back to camp in his automobile where they were given in charge of the military authorities.
The father of the two soldiers Joshua Perkins is still in jail, at Lake Charles, where he is being detained on a charge made against him by the stat to wit – harboring deserters.
Since the soldiers have returned Sheriff Martin, at De Ridder, who is the sheriff of Beauregard Parish, where the father and the soldiers reside sent word to Sheriff Reid, at Lake Charles to release the father.

Previous report was made on this matter, latest being 6-25-18


Friday, February 22, 2008

Dancing & Cleaning The Floor

One of the favorite pass times on Bearhead was to spend the day cooking. The women did the cooking and one of the things the men and boys did was racing horses. After eating late in the evening, the dance started.
One other thing, some of the men did, was to have a "snort" or a "shot" of something to drink. Not everyone drank, but a few did. Most of the time they kept their drinks outside and hidden. They hid them in very unusual place, They hid it in the trees. Small pine trees. After I had heard of this method of hiding their drinks, I had asked myself a hundred times, why hide it there? My father in-law had the answer for me. He was at many of this dances, so he knew why. The way they did was this way. They would find a small pine tree and one of them would climb it until it started to bend and they would ride it to the ground. They took some rope or string and tied the bottle or jug to the top of it and let the pine tree go and it would snap back to an upright position, with the jug in the top of it. Seems some of the characters at these dances would try to find the others jugs and steal what the drinks that others had. By putting it in the tree tops, only the ones who put it there, knew which tree it was in.
Back then, there were only two types of floors, it was either wood or dirt. Before the dance started, they went down to the creek and hauled a bunch of sand back to the house . They would spread the sand all over the floor. Then the dance started. With all that dancing and moving about over the floor, it would more or less polish that wooden floor. It would be so clean and shinny, you cold eat off of it.
The main two types of dances were either a "Square or a Jig". A square is what we know today as a Square dancing. A Jig was were you Petty much danced any way you wanted to. I have heard some old timer also called it "Buck Dancing".
My Great Grand Mother use to call these dances. That is one thing that was hard for me to believe. If you had ever heard her talk, it was with a long drawn out accent. I just could never picture her calling these dances because you had to have a pretty fast rhythm and speaking ability. Which, when she just talk, it was with a slow pace in which she spoke.

Redbone Home Remedies

The following is a list of some of the old home remedies I remember.
For bee or wasps stings you applied some tobacco juice to the bite and this helped kill the pain.
To keep babies from getting colic you smoked them. What you did was to build a fire and hold the babies in the smoke for a few seconds to smoke them. This kept them from getting colic.
Two ways to cure an ear ache is this. The first way was for someone to take a puff of a cigarette or a pipe and blow the smoke into the ear that was hurting. The other way was to take a string of a black persons hair and place it inside the ear. Everyone believed it was the oil in the hair that made the hurting stop.
One I remember well is this . As usual kids being kids would often argue and fight. Well our parents believed this really worked or just got a kick out just seeing us running races to the bathroom. I can just hear those dreaded words right now. "I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS FIGHTING AND ARGUING, WHAT YOU KIDS NEED IS A GOOD CLEANING OUT!!!!!!!!!" hhhhhaaa And a cleaning out it was. I remember well it was either castor oil or black draught. Believe me, after a dose of either one of them, you weren't interested in fighting with anyone for about six months.
Most folks who smoked rolled their smokes. The type paper they used, you could take it and burn it and it would drip an oil. You took this oil and placed it on ringworm's and that cure those.
When you stepped on a nail or glass, the first thing they did was soaked your foot in coal oil or kerosene. Then later on Epsom salt. They soaked ever thing in Epsom salt. Ever ting from sprang ankles to using it to get rid of red bugs.
There were and still are certain bushes that grow wild here in South West Louisiana, their scientific name I do not know, for as long as I can remember we were taught they were Murcul {Mur Cull} Bushes. These bushes were cut and place under the house in the yard and even in the house to get rid of fleas. I promise you this works very well to this day.
If one could afford it, they used moth balls to keep snakes away. They also planted gourds around the house and barns to also keep them away. There is just a certain odor these two things put out that a snake hates and want go near.
When a person was cut or stepped on an object that would cause one to bleed. One way to stop bleeding was to apply pressure to the cut or wound. If the bleeding was still continuing, the adults would instruct us kids to run and gather spider webs. This would stop the bleeding when nothing else would.
In almost ever family and community, there was at least one person that had the gift as it was called. That is where one person could "talk warts off of anybody. You would go to this person and he or she, would get you to point out where you had the wart and they would then go across the room and open the bible and recite a certain passage or Scripture. With in one week the wart was gone totally. Then again other people would tie a string around the wart and then recite a saying. You then took and threw away the string and when the string rotted the wart would be gone also. If you have ever had a crick in the neck you know just how painful it is. But there is a sure fire way to get rid of it and fast. Just have a person who is left handed rub and massage your neck for a while and the pain and crick well no longer be there. I have seen this work, my wife's father was left handed and people would come just to have him rub there neck. It worked ever time.
Everyone grew catnip in there flower beds. This was used when kids and babies couldn't go to sleep. Our parents would pull some of this catnip and boil it and make what they called catnip tea. Believe me, you slept very well after a dose of this.
They also went in the woods and dug up sassafras roots and boil it to make tea to drink. That is some of the best tea there is to drink. This root was also used to fire a pit to cook meat and bar-b-que. It would flavor the meat to the point where it would be rather sweet. The root when dried and ground up to a fine powder was used to put on Gumbo. That is still made and used to this day. It is known now as Gumbo File.
One remedy that I know works is this. If you ever had a boil come on you. All you had to do to get rid of it over night is this. Just take an Irish potato and a ripped rag of some sort. When you got ready for bed you cut the potato in half. You then placed the flat side of the potato against the boil then tied it in place. The next morning the boil would be completely gone or almost gone. I have done this procedure many times in my life.
There are many many more that I will address later. There were many drinks, liquid mixture's to drink, rubs to apply. You name it and they had a cure for it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Daddy, Maw And The Ax

This story is true and it happen either right before I was born or right after I was born.
My father Royce Kyle "Bunk" Jackson was over at Maw's house. I need to add at this point that Maw and my Great Grand Father Rufus Edward "Buster" Ashworth, mostly raised my father.
The story goes this way. There was two brothers my fathers age, that was passing in front of Maw's house. They were traveling at a high rate of speed for a gravel road. Back then they had "Open Range". This is where all the cattle and other animals had free run of the woods.
These two men hit one of our family cows and killed it and never even stopped. They just kept right on going. Well that is where the problem started. Back then if you did something like that, most folks would have stopped and said they were sorry and also most of the time help dispose of the animal and nothing more would have been said. But no, these two men didn't think they needed to stop, much less say they were sorry for what had happen. My father was very "Hot Headed" as they would say, it didn't take much to set him off. He was very easy to be made mad. When these two didn't stop. He took off and ran and jumped into my his old 56 chevy truck. And as natural as anything, Maw was right behind him and in the truck right along with him. They took off after the two brothers. They caught up to them down the road a bit. Some how they got the two brothers to stop. My father jumped out of his truck and ran to the driver door of the other truck and proceeded to pull the driver out and as the said in those days, "Started Whipping His Butt".
The other brother wasn't going to let that happen. So he got out and started around the truck to help his brother out. Well he didn't get to far, Maw saw what was about to happen. Now, to picture this you have to know what Maw looked like. She was no more than Five foot to five foot one inch tall and never weighed over 100 pounds. She was hard to anger, but when angered she was a hand full to handle, even more so when it came to her family. Well, when the other man bailed out to help his brother, Maw jumped out of the truck and reached over into the bed of the truck and grabbed the double bit ax that almost everyone in those days carried. She ran up the other man and drew the ax back and told him, "Child take another step and Maw will chop your head off". She held him in check until my father got through with the other brother.
She was such a small woman, sweet, lovable,kind, and loving. But when it came to a fight she could hold her ground no matter who it was she was facing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday's On Bearhead

During the Spring, Summer and Fall, just like clock work. We followed a certain routine every Thursday on Bearhead. These events took place not only at our house, but also my Grand Mother and G Grand Mothers house.
This was wash day. By the time I had came along, people were almost completely done with washing with a rub board. There were still a few who found it a hard thing to give up. If you have ever had the pleasure of washing a load of cloths by hand on a rub board, you would not have a hard time giving it up. But a few folks did.
Between our three households, each family had chipped in and had bought a new ringer type washing machine. All agreed to have it put at Maws house. Then every Thursday, we all would meet up there and wash and do other chores.
With a ringer type machine, for those of you who never had the pleasure of using one. It worked this way. The cloths were washed much the same way they are today. In a tub with and agitator. The machine would dump the water. But there was no such thing as the machine rinsing the cloths of spinning them. Once the water was drained out you took the cloths and they were place into a No. 3 wash tube that was filled with fresh water. You would have two of these tubs with fresh water. You used your hands to swish the cloths around in the fresh water. They were then taken and ran through a ringer. This was two tightly compressed rollers. This would squeezed the water and soap out of the cloths. Once the piece of clothing was ran through the ringer, it was placed into the second No 3 tub with water. You repeated this process until you had removed all the soap you possibly could by doing this. The cloths were then hung on a cloths line in the sun to dry. If you had no cloths line, you used the next best thing, a barbed wired fence or Hurricane Fence {Yard Fence}, tree limbs or spread out on the well. If it was winter time, you strung them up in the house or on the back of chairs. Some even ran a small cloths line across the front room. Then a good fire was built in the fire place and was dried this way.
Another one of our chores was to sun the beds and pillows. The ,mattress back the was very thin and I'll never forget blue and white colored and stripped. We could roll these mattress up. We then packed them outside and was placed in the open where the sun would hit them for most of the day. They to were placed most anywhere, across the butane tank, the yard fence, the well, just anywhere or place that could support the weight. At the end of the day, we would pack every bit of this back in the house. I can tell you this. There is no drug on this earth that can make you sleep and rest as well as what that smell of those mattress, pillows and fresh washed sheets dried in the sun could do. You slept like a new born baby. This is one of the very few things I miss about those days.
In the house, ever section and inch of the floors were swept and scrubbed until it was spic and spanned.Even the furniture would be sunned as they called it. If it wasn't to heavy or large to get outside. The house was given a total make over every Thursday like this. There were no if ands or buts about it. This was done.
Many chores had to be done most ever day like this. One thing my cousin and I had to do most all summer was splitting oak fire wood. again, we not only did this for our houses, but also Maws house. During my fathers days off, during these months, weather permitting, we spent the days off gathering fire wood. So we had wood to split most all summer. Along with piling and storing the fat lightered pine and pine knots. That to was used in starting the fires in our fireplaces. Back then, every home you came across in the Bearhead community had a pine knot pile and an oak fire wood pile right next to the house.
Grass had to be cut, leaves had to be raked. Then if the cows had bedded down for the night in front of the house, the very first thing you did when starting the day, was to go out and remove the cow pies from the front of the drive where you parked the cars and trucks. A very nice smelling way to start the day, right before you ate breakfast. I am sure this was for years the very reason most folks didn't care about eating breakfast. HHa
At the end of the day, you were give out. all you wanted was to clean up, eat and go to bed. You had no desire to sit up all night on the computer, playing video games or watching T.V. Wait a minute, reality just showed up. There were no such things as that then. The most advanced things we had was a T.V. that got 4 channels, 7, 6, 10 & 12. and a radio and no such thing as FM. The only music, Country and Preaching and Gospel on Sundays. Every once in a great while, with the wind blowing just right, you were able to hear some very foreign music in a very foreign language to us. It was called Cajun or just plain Coonass music.
The end of the day also brought a very sweet ending for us kids most of the them. We were treated to ice cold watermelons or cantaloupes. If the season for them were over it was even better. Home Made Ice Cream. Made from home grown ingredients. The best and purist in the world. You;ll have to get to Heaven to experience anything better than those three treats.
When most folks hear of things such as these. The very first thing they will say is "Those were the good old days'. They are wrong. I heard Paul Harvey talking about that saying one day on the radio. He put it this way and very well at that. He said Folks I lived back then and did all these things, they were not the good old days, He stated "THOSE WERE THE HARD OLD DAYS". He was beyond a doubt, correct and truthful in that statement.

A Whipping I Didn't Deserve

I had forgotten about this accident I had as a child, until a few weeks back. My wife and I were at my Grand Mother Estelle's house, and my Uncle Knot, a very close family friend, Willie and my grandmother was swapping old stories and things that had happen to us through the years. The subject of whippings came up and I stated that I had received many in my childhood and deserved everyone of them. That is when Uncle Knot said you are wrong, there is one I know you never deserved. Once he recalled the event, I had to agree with him. This is the event that happen.
When my G Grand Father died, he owned,I believe a 1956 Chevy pick up. My father was given the truck. The truck was still in great shape and my father and mother used it to go every where. My father was offshore working, on this particular morning my mother loaded me and my three sisters into the truck and headed over to Maws for coffee. I must have been about five at the time.
There was one defect with the truck, and that was the passenger door had a very bad habit of coming open with out notice. The very first thing we were told when we got in the truck to leave, was not to lean on that passenger door.
We made the one mile trip to Maws alright, it was on the way back home that things didn't go to well. To get home you had to make a left handed turn on to our road which was off of the North Bearhead Road. As usual I was riding shotgun, sitting next to the passenger door, NEXT TO IT, NOT LEANING ON IT" when my mother made the left turn. All of a sudden that door came open right in the middle of the turn and away I went. And away I did go, right into the gravel, head first, into the ditch, butt first, all this happening during about four head over heels rolls and landed across the ditch in some weeds on my back. The next thing I knew, I felt as if I had been body slammed by the "Junk Yard Dog" Couldn't hear anything, saw nothing but stars, had a mouth full of rock and dirt. Which I must say, to this day I have never developed a taste for. The first thing I realized was my mother was screaming bloody murder hollering OH My Lord He's Dead. I didn't realize at that moment,that in the end I would wish I had been killed or seriously injured.
She ran and picked me up and put me in the truck and took off like the much spoken of "Bat out of Hell", for my Grand mothers house to see if I could be revived. At this point, I gotten my senses back and was only concerned about one thing, and that was breathing. That little tumble I had taken, knocked the breath out of me. That happen a lot to use kids back then.
Between the end of the road and my Grandmothers house I had regained my breath and was crying my butt off. My mother scooped me up out of the truck and went running into my Grand Mothers house. Thinking maybe that I was killed. My mother and Grand Mother Estelle looked me over and there wasn't anything seriously wrong, other than some scrapes, cuts,bruises and a mouth full of tasteless dirt.
I had stopped crying by that time. Once my mother seen I wasn't hurt to bad, she was relived, then in a split sec. she jerked me up and tore my ass up and good. Ha While whipping my butt , she was scolding me at the same time for leaning on that door. I tried to tell her I wasn't leaning on that door, but she wouldn't hear any of that.
Now that was a whipping I did not deserve.!! I recently brought this story up to her and we still disagree about the leaning and not leaning part. Still I know very well I wasn't leaning on that door!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Our very best and sincere wishes for a safe and blessed Thanksgiving to all of our family, cousins and friends. May God bless each and everyone of you and your families. Most of us take it for granted, {Our family and friends} every day with out realizing it or being thankful for it. I am the biggest violator of this unfortunate habit. We want everyone of you to know we love and cherish each and everyone of you, every minute of every day. For with out you we have nothing, not even a life.
With All Our Love, Terry & Erlene Jackson

Raleigh, Gladys & Granny Bet Perkins {House Moving}

Can you imagine that when you decide to move to a new home place, that you would have to be moving the entire house. With a moving crew of just a man and two women with a horse drawn wagon for transportation. Then accomplishing this feat in just a day or a day and a half?
This was accomplished not once, but several times by Gladys, Raleigh and Granny Bet Perkins. Gladys was married to Raleigh Perkins and Granny Bet lived with them for some time. Gladys mother was Mandy "Aunt Tent" Perkins. How she got that nickname, no one in the family seems to know, forever being lost to time. These three were known for one amazing feat.
The way a lot of folks lived back then was this way. This method of moving and living were one wished to was called {Squatting}. In other words they just put up a house on any piece of land they desired. When they tired of that place, they would find a new spot dismantle the house load it in the wagon and move on to the next new home sight.
What these three were so good at was moving. I do not mean just there belongings. I mean the house and everything in it. This is hard to believe, but they could dismantle the house, load it in a wagon and move it and put it back together in about a day. In those days my Grand Mother told me that almost ever home back then would have cracks an inch wide in the floors and the walls. When it turned cold, they would stuff any type of paper into the cracks to help keep the cold air out. News papers was also a very popular item they used for wall paper also in those days.
Why they built them with cracks that large, I don't know. Granny Estelle said that was just the way they did things. There are six people in my family still living that seen these three do this time and again. So I have no doubt, they accomplished this feat every time it was done.

Bearhead Goes To Nashville

Back in the fifties my G Grand Father Buster Ashworth bought himself a new car, a small sedan. It was his first new anything. For years family and friends would gather round a old radio to listen to the Grand Old Opry on Saturday nights. When they were able to purchased a radio, it wasn't with money. Paw Buster & Maw planted cotton on their small farm. They would raise cotton along with the vegetables they grew and needed to make ends met. My Grandmother said they raised about one bale of cotton per year. In an earlier story, I told of Maw taking the bale of cotton, in a wagon to De Ridder and trading it for a battery operated radio. Which they used to listen to the Grand Old Opry on Saturday nights.
They all decided that since they had a good way to go and had save their money for quite a while . It was time for them to go and see the Grand Old Opry live in Nashville. Now in those days, a Trip from Bearhead to Nashville was just a dream for many. I think seven or eight of them loaded up for the trip. The ones that I know made the trip was My Grand Mother Estelle, my father Bunk, my G Grand Mother and G Grandfather, my aunt and a couple of more. So you can imagine just how nice a trip that was with that many in a small sedan. Paw Buster was well known in the area, of not driving over 40 mph. Can you just imagine a trip that far, in a small car, at that time it was only 2 way roads most of the way there. Along with the fact they had no air conditioning at all in cars in those days. If I had to make such a trip under those circumstances, there would certainly been a killing or very serious injuries inflicted to someone along the way. They arrived in Nashville around noon the day of the show. The tickets were purchased for the show that night. Got a room and everyone freshened up and ate a snack.
What followed was show time and they enjoyed ever minute of it. They all agreed it sounded just like back at home listening to it on the radio. HHaaa
Here is the funny part. On the way back to the hotel room. Everyone got to talking about how large a town Nashville was. The biggest that most of them would ever visit in their lives. In their discussion about the size of the town of Nashville, everyone agreed that there just had to be someone who needed that room worse than they did. Being very thoughtful of others and their needs, everyone agreed not to even to return to the motel. They would leave the room vacant for anyone who may come along that would need it. They never stopped. They drove all the way back to Bearhead.