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The Fletcher Family Story

Page Three

As Told by Mattie Tucker

Written by Pattie Carter

When we finally reached Colorado, it was snowing. We pulled our

wagons under a tree and by a big bank, and put up tents beside the wagons.

We stayed in the tents until papa and the boys got the Dug Out built. That's

what papa called the old house he built there. Papa and the boys dug about

three feet into the ground, then built walls up around about three feet high.

The walls were made out of adobe. Momma, Tinker and Jennie took some old

newspapers and papered the walls to make it look cleaner. It was also to cover

the dirt around the bottom of the Dug Out. We had a dirt floor and momma

watered it to make the surface hard enough to sweep. It was clay like dirt there.

The Dug Out was just one room. The back part we used as bedrooms. We all

slept in the same room, we all had beds. I slept with Tinker, Jennie slept with

Cub, Son slept with Clyde and Bud slept with Momma. While we was in

Colorado, we did not have an outhouse. Momma had painted pictures on the

walls, tables that she put things on. The eating table and of course our beds.

We had a dresser we brought all the way from Oklahoma with us. We had coal

oil lamps that had globes. We never did use candles that I knew about.

My father homesteaded three hundred and twenty acres of land

there in Colorado. It was cattle country though and all Papa knew was

farming. Papa also built a chicken coop that was made of rock. When we was

there in the mid 1980's the chicken house was still standing. The roof was

gone, but the walls was still there.

The shopping was done in Branson, it was about 30 miles from

where we lived. The way they bought grocery's then, was when Mr. Durrett

would go to town, he went around to all the places, he would buy grocery's

for everyone needing to get something at the store. If Papa went to town

he would buy all the grocery's. They would bring back a wagon load of stuff

out there. Then at times, two or three of them would go together.

One time Papa and Mr. Durrett went together. With Mr. Durrett

being the horse trader he was, was always trying to get one of Papa's horses.

They slept in a wagon yard when they went to town. Papa come home and

just died laughing. He said he went to bed and Mr. Durrett said to Papa. He

said, "Frank, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll trade you a certain kind of a horse for

one of your horses!" Papa just laughed and he said, "Charlie, I'm going to

tell you something. You just wait. I'll go home and I'll ask my wife what she

thinks about me trading my horse. If she says to trade, then I'll quit her!"

Mr. Durrett, from that day on, until the day he died, never tried to trade horses

with my dad again.

My father was always doing something. Somebody would come up

hime and introduce themselves and ask my father what his name was! Papa

would say, "Now wait a minute, just wait a minute. I'll tell you pretty soon. I can't

think of it right now, but I will tell you. You know, its just a common ol' name. I'll

tell you just as soon as I think of it." Then a while later when he got ready to tell

them, he would go up to them and tell him his name.

My parents did make a living in Colorado. Whatever it took, they did

it. They's save their money. My dad always a few dollars in his pocket. Enough

that he fed us. I don't ever remember Momma and Papa having a bank

account. My dad always carried his money in his pocket.

My father did go broke in Colorado, it not being the farm land he

had hoped for. When we needed to, we packed up and headed to Rocky Ford,

Colorado to work in the sugar beets and canalopes. Mostly Papa, Son, Tinker,

Jennie and Clyde would go there to work. Momma didn't like to travel much.

At that time Papa had bought a Ford Touring Car. In the winter time, we would

get into the old car and go to Clarington, Donley County, Texas to pick cotton.

Papa, Son and Clyde would ride in the front seat. Momma, Tinker, Jennie,

Bud, Cub and me would ride in the back with our dog Coaley. Coaley went with

us everywhere. He was just like one of the kids. We would all pick cotton and

then we would go back to Colorado.

We had a little one room school house and when we got back to

Colorado, all the kids would go to school. We used the little school house

for church. There wasn't a Church of Christ there, or even a Baptist or a

Methodist Church. My mother, Mrs. Durrett and some of the other women

who lived near by would fix the school house up for all to have church

services every sunday morning. They took us kids up there and taught us

the Bible. They done this for all the time that we lived in Colorado.

We all worked together, had fun and enjoyed living. We never

realized there could ever be anything better than what we did.

Next Page: Page Four

This page was last updated 23 August 2003

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Web Site Part Three of The Fletcher Family Story

As Told by Mattie Tucker

Written by Pattie Carter

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