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The Fletcher Family Story
As Told by Mattie Tucker
Written by Pattie Carter
My mother always cooked on an old wood stove. Mother had to
leave the stove when we moved on to Texas. (Back in the mid 1980's when we
all went back there, I believe that Cub took it home with him. Along with my
mothers bed post. We got the two trunks that was left there and all the stuff in
them. I do not recall if the big photo of them was there or the organ.) Momma
would cook up buscuits and corn bread every morning on that old stove. Papa
and me liked the buscuits, she would always have them both. One morning a
man came to visit, I don't remember his name. He was there when momma
was putting buscuits in the oven. The pan she used just barely fit in there. He
sat down at the table and said, "Boy, I have never seen forty acres of buscuits
in all my life!" We all sat down to breakfast, when we was finished there was
never a buscuit left.
Momma always had a garden too, no matter where we lived. In
Colorado she would pick out a good place that wasn't too rocky and thats
where she put her garden in at every year. She grew all kinds of vegetables.
Potatoes, onions, green beans, ect. The corn she would dry it. She would pack
it up in sacks and in the winter she would cook the corn. She also dried
peaches and fruits too. She would cook the dried fruits to make pies and
cobbler. She canned she could. She had a big ol' pot and sometimes she'd
have half gallon jars. She would put them in this pot and cover the lids with
water. She would cook them for about three hours. Most of it would seal real
good, some of it she lost tho... but very little. I can remember that we always
had a big potatoe field in front of our old dug out. We would dig those potatoes
up in the fall. We would then dig a big hold and put the potatoes in there and
cover them up and they would be good all year.
We also had chickens, cows and hogs. Every once in awhile papa
would kill a cow or a hog for the meat. Sometimes he sold them. The chickens
also provided us with meat. We never ever went hungry.
When we sat down to eat it was all at one time. Each of us had a
place to sit at the table. We had a bench on one side of the table. Son sat on
the right or left of papa. The rest of us ate at the other side. Momma always sat
at the foot of the table. We did talk at the table. Up until the day momma died,
she had alittle bowl of flour gravey on the table. Flour gravey is what we today
call white gravey. Prayer was not done, but by the time momma and papa died
Momma made all of our bar soap. When my papa would kill a
hog, all the extra fat that you could take off, meat scraps and meat skin. She
would put all the stuff we couldn't use in a her big iron wash pot, we'd make a
fire under it, some of us would stand there and stir it til it was hot enough. All
the grease and stuff that come out of there, she would use to make our soap.
I don't remembe exactly how she made it, that was some of the best stuff.
Sometimes it would come out so pretty and white. We used this soap to wash
dishes, we washed our hair with it and even did our laundry with it. We took a
bath about once a week. Water was heated in a bucket and poured in the tub
in the winter time. Momma would give all us kids a bath and the older kids they
did their own bathing. We also bathed like this when we reached Texas.
Everybody else I suppose did too. We didn't have a bathroom inside or
running water like they do today. I don't know if momma ever had running water
in her house.
We stayed in Colorado for about eight years. We had fun roaming
the canyons and picking wild grapes. There was a wild crab apple tree in the
Old Pearl Canyon that momma made jellys and jams from every year. We only
lived about a half mile or so from Pearlie Canyon. We would also go up there
about once a week with all of our clothes, the iron wash pot and stuff. Momma
would have us to fix a little place to put the tub of water on to heat. She boiled
our clothes in the iron wash pot. Momma and the girls had a rub board that they
washed our clothes and they would hang them on the trees until they dried.
When they were dried we would take them and go home. We also got our
drinking water from this same water hole. The boys would take a wagon down
and fill up up wooden barrels 2 to 3 times a week. One of the boys would stand
down by the water edge and hand up buckets until all the barrels were filled.
My dad never did any fishing or hunting. Son and Clyde did tho.
They'd kill rabbits and bring them home and momma would skin them and cook
them up for dinner. They had a 22 target gun. I often wondered why we did not
fish while we was in Colorado, all those water holes had water dogs in them. If
they had any fish I don't know, nobody ever fished. We never did fish in Texas
When my father felt like he wasn't making a good living, he would
get a pretty rough temper. He was mad alot in Colorado, as he did not do very
well there. One time he was plowing up a field and planted some corn. He
made a big corn field, stuff like that would grow, but it was not enough that you
could make a living on it. The stalks of corn and the sudan grass was mixed
together and sometimes thats what the cows would eat in the winter. One time
when our corn field was looking pretty good, remember this was cattle country
and they had wild cattle all over the place. This cow that had gotten off by
himself had gotten into papas corn field. Papa put that wild cow off by himself
and he liked of beat that cow to death because of it getting into his corn field.
I was out there early in the morning when he got the cow. I was scared to death
and I could not milk the cows that morning. I just milked alittle bit and went in
and told momma I can't milk because papa is beating that cow to death. She
let me go and I did not have to go back out there. Papa finally let the cow go
and you should of seen him take off down toward the canyon.
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Web Site Part Six of The Fletcher Family Story
As Told by Mattie Tucker
Written by Pattie Carter
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