My life has been a merry
go round. There has been aldered (sp?) times in it and critical
So to start we will go to
where I was born in a 3 Room house, with a kitchen and living room
and a hall, across the hall was the bed room. There was a fire place
in the living room. The house was in a apple orchard in a place call
My critical time happen
there when I was 3 years old. My sister and her friend, had some
dolls and they had bottles with play medicine in them and they was
jimsonweed weed seeds for pill. I must have thought them candy for I
got a hold of some of the seed and ate them and my mother said I turn
black from the poison, Dr Bolton came and use a stomach pump and save
me from death.
Then we move to a place
call Lucy, I was 4 years old then. I remember that move for it was in
the Spring of the year, and there was a mud hole along the dirt road
where the road curve along side the R.R. For about 50 feet the wagon
was in there up to the axles. Water and mud, the first thing I saw
when we got to the house was our old refrigerator setting on the
front porch. This house was a 2 room affair with a porch across the
two rooms and from the porch you went into the dinning room and
kitchen there was there was 4 room all to gather. There was a chimney
in between the 2 bed rooms use fire wood 3 ft long.
Lucy was a pretty good
town then there was 5 stores in Lucy, G G Crenshaw & Brothers,
A. Gilisppie, Sykes, Alen Winne, A. C. Jamison. The Post Office was
in A. C. Jammison Store at that time, then it move to Mrs Sykes
The Lucy school was a old
frame building with 3 rooms and a old belly coal stove in each room.
I did not like school much and I used to get quite a few lickings
from the teacher. The older boys was all ways putting me up to do
things I should not; I think after the 4th grade they built the new
school. I don pretty well at school until the 8 grade, then the First
World War came along.
I was too young to go the
war so I went to work on the aviation field they built at Millington
Tenn. Same place the Navy has now only they were south of the road. I
went to work as a water Boy at 1.50 per day. There was about 50 of us
water Boys at work up there in June they put some men carrying water
and paid them 3.50 Per day so one hot day at 1pm all us Boys Struck
and they fired us.
So I went to work for a
contractor Brown Disunion Co. at 3.50 Per day. Me and my Dad would
get up at 5 A. M. and walk to work. It was 4 miles up there. Some
time we got a ride home; I would have to Trot to keep up with Papa.
From there I went to
Nashville Tenn with the contractor and work up there until the War
There was not any Romance
in my life until I was in my 20 years. I work on the RR when I was at
home after that as a section hand. I. C. R.R. I went to Helena Ark on
the Saint Frances river and went to work for Mr Jimmie Rodgers, a big
contractor. I drove a wheeler Team and Mr Rodgers would let me muck
Stumps when it was too wet to drive the mules so I made pretty good
I got tired of the life in
the camp and came home and went to school for a while then the fever
to go hit me and I went back up to Hickman Ky. To Mr. Rodgers camp
and this time he had all 4 mule wagon teams to drive so I drove them
and watch the Caterpillar Tractor. Every time something happen to it
I was right there to see how to fix it. The mechanic was a man name
Edd Clark. He was a man from Cuba TN not far from Lucy so when he
quit Mr. Rodgers and I started driving the Tractor.
We moved from Ky to Lake
Providence La. Then we had 2 Tractors and they got another boy from
Lucy, Minor Pannell. I was not satisfied with the pay they were
paying me so I quit and came home.
I went to work on the R.R.
And work there for a few month then I went to Memphis and Morrisston
Tractor Co game me a job as Parts Boy and General Flunkey at 3.50 Per
day. I work there for about 6 month then Eldorado Ark. Wanted 3
tractor operators at $175.00 month; so I went to Eldorado Ark and
work over there about 2 years and left there and came back to Memphis
and stayed here for 2 or 3 month.
My first Romance started
in Miss. I was in love with a Girl and thought she was in love with
me, But one night I had a date with her and she Told me she could not
go with me; and would not say why; so I got mad and took her Brother
and we went to Longview Miss and got Annie and Gertrude Linsey and
went to a show. When I came back the other girl was waiting up for me
and at 12 o'clock at night she told me she was going to marry another
man. It hurt me a lot, but I stood up to our bargain in the beginning
that each one of us ever seen some one else we like better that we
would tell the other. Any way I had to move on from there.
So I went 50 miles from
there and got a job in French Camp Miss. My stay there was short 2
month for the winter set in and we could not build any road; so I
came home and was not home but about a week before a boy friend of
mine wanted me to go to Fla. With him. At this time there was a Real
estate Boom in Fla. So I agreed to go with hm; I could get a Job any
where but the boy was not as Experience as I was and all the
contractor did not need him so I could not take a job unless they
would give him one.
We worked for his uncle
for about 6 month then a construction company gave me and him a job
at Dade City Fla. New Road Building. This was 1925 until 1927 when I
I went to work for the
Highway Dept on Old no 3 High Way, with Mr Williams Henderon. I work
there until 1928. About Nov 30 I receive a wire from the United Fruit
Co wanted to know if I would take a job in Tela Honduras C.A.
O Boy I jumped at the job
for they were hard to get then. So I sail out of New Orleans in Dec,
my first ocean voyage. There was 80 college students on the boat
going to Havana Cuba for holiday and when the boat sail I had one
dime. That night they had a crap game in the salon. I won $40.00 with
the Dime, and in Havana the boat crew wanted Whiskey for Christmas
and I was the only passenger going to Honduras and they hired me to
bring packages of Whiskey on board the boat. My state room has 36
package of Whiskey or Wine in it by the time we left Havana. But by
the time we got to sea the packages begin to disappear out of the
By the time I got to
Casteo Honduras my dime had jump to 106.50. I had to spend Xmas in
Casteo waiting for a boat to go to Tela. Boy the sand flys in that
place was terrible; you had to sleep under cheese cloth to keep them
from eating you up.
When I land in Tela my
boss here is a Mr. Cobb. Superintendent actually. He give me a line
about this and that so I get up at 4.45 AM. Take a train out to a
place call Progreso Honduras in the center of the Banana Farms.
O Boy my impression of
this country. I would have give it back to the Indians. We get to
Progreso about 9 AM. The train stays there until 2 PM then goes back
I meet all the office
people and Mr Tallion take me and shows me the Tractors and tell me
they want them all at work in 2 week. Can I do it. I said all I could
do was try.
There was a English Negro
in charge of the tractor so I told him to get some hemp and start the
tractor and harrow moving. I 2 week we had all the tractor deliver to
the different arms and some farms where I had 4 or 5 tractor we left
a man to look after the up keep.
I stayed there until my
vacation time 18 month later. I came home for 2 month, got married;
one of those 2 week court ship marriages and the girl was not but 17
years old and she told me she did not marry me that she married the
car and trip to C.A. So it went on the rock after 6 years.
She married my boy friend
after she got a divorce and lives here at Lucy. She had a son by this
I am in Guatemala at this
time when she divorce me. I meet a nurse in the hospital name Isabel
Figueroa and we get married in Guatemala City in Sept 26, 1939. We
come up here to the states and have 4 weeks here. She is sick with a
baby and has to have an abortion. We go back to Guatemala and she get
with baby again and when I am laid off she want to stay down there
and have the baby in Ticquasate Hospital that that was arranged and
she had the baby but she lost her life doing it.
The baby is a boy Richard
Loller. My sister went own and got him. He was 2 month old when she
got hm and brought him home to me.
One thing about getting
married in Guatemala, you have to have a Birth Certificate or get 2
people to swear you are 21 years old. I had to hire a lawyer to get
married; and if I had known it I could have went to Tequila Mexico
and got married for $3.50.
One thing I can say for my
Spanish wife, she was the best one. She treated me like I was a King;
It spoil me.
My son was a little thing.
When he got here my sister brought hm in a basket that Isabel had
made to bring him home it. He had a hard time of it the first year he
had Pneumonia and my mother and sister were keeping him and they were
not very good at it for my sister was courting and she would leave
him with Mama and she was too old to keep him.
So I was looking for a
wife. I was going with a widow woman but she had 3 kids and I was not
wanting her for she was cold as ice.
So one night I went down
to Memphis to a lady's house that I used to live with and she was not
home but when I knocked on the door, Miss Zadie Cook open the door. I
know her from my first marriage. We lived out there in an apartment
and Zadie and Mary Grissom used to come there to see Mrs. Wren. I was
surprised to see her; and Mrs. Wren had told me that Zadie was engage
to a Dr. I ask her about this and she said she was not Engage to any
one, so I told her that I work from 3 to 11PM but would like to come
and see her.
We made a date and I took
her out and I told her that I sure was glad I found her for I have
all ways like you and I am going to lay the card down for I got to
get married and it has got to be quick. She said she was going on
vacation for 2 week and she would give me her answer when she came
I brought her out to Lucy
to see the baby and I think she like the baby.
So we got married at
Hernando Mississippi On October 26, 1941.
Richard had pneumonia the
first year. He got over that and we move to Gerard St. close to my
work at Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. The second year he had
pneumonia again. I don't think the Dr thought he would live to get to
the hospital. But he did and they put him in a Oxygen tent and he did
not have any fever and the Dr. was worried and said if he only had a
little fever the medicine would work and break the pneumonia. So me
and Zadie's mother slip 5 drop of whiskey in his tea, and when the
nurse took his fever that afternoon it had gone from 96 to 99 and the
drug went to work and the next morning the Dr. told my wife the
crisis had past and 2 days later he was well enough to bring home.
That was his last sick spell; he was 2 years old at that time.
Well we moved out to Lucy
Tenn. Bought a home out there. But we had not move until we was Bless
with a baby Girl. She was born Jan 19, 1946. We name her Ann Cameron
Zadie has been a wonderful
mother to the boy. I think she care about as much for the boy if not
more than she does for the girl. The boy was a graduate of Vanderbilt
College in Nashville.
The girl went to a all
woman college in Mississippi, M.S.C.W. in Columbus Mississippi. The
girl is married to Steve Beckham. She work for Baptist Children Home
in Raleigh TN as a social worker. They live in Katherine Entrikin
little house on Lucy Road. Steve does contractor work around his old
stomping ground in Millington and Memphis.
The boy is married and
lives in Nashville. He has 2 kids. His wife is from Rosedale Ms on
the Mississippi River. River. He is a Editor for the Methodist
Publish House. He won a Firestone Scholarship to Vanderbilt College,
but I have put the girl through myself.
I have been slaving for
Firestone Tire & Rubber for last 23 years.
I never had nothing as
long as I was a Rolling Stone, but I have seen a lot of the world and
learn a lot. I have my own home and don't owe anybody any thing. I
retired on January 31, 1968, and have been trying to catch up on my
work around here so I can do a lot of fishing....