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The Fletcher Family Story

Page Seven

As Told by Mattie Tucker

Written by Pattie Carter

My folks never required me to do very much of the chores until

after my older sisters married and left home. Tinker and Jennie washed dishes

and momma done the cooking and took care of Bud. She seen that everything

was kept clean. My dad was always out doing something or another. He never

just sat around the house doing nothing. He was always doing something or

trying to grow something. Us kids just played most of the day, but I don't

remember ever having set chores until I got older. When it was just Cub, Bud

and me. They always was taking care of me.

One Christmas when we was living in Colorado, I was a pretty small

girl yet. Momma had ordered christmas from Sears and Roebuck, at that time

she ordered everything from Sears. We was having a big huge snow storm the

day the mailman was trying to get our package delivered. On the way the mail

man somehow lost our package, and in all the snow it could not be found. We

did still have a christmas that year anyways, I do not remember what momma

had made for us. Come spring after all the snow had melted away, the mailman

found our package and delivered it to our house. That year it was like having

two christmas's.

Now when I was about ten or twelve years old, Tinker had taken me

and Cub out for an afternoon walk. The clouds were out that day and we walked

towards Picket Wire Canyon. It began to drizzle rain, and we got lost trying to

make our way back home. We walked and we walked, by the time we finally

found a road, it was getting dark. We did not know which way to go, so we just

followed the road. Off in a distance we could see a light, so we headed for that

light. When we finally reached the light, it was our home. How happy we all

were just to get back home.

After Son and Clyde was about grown, well they thought they were

grown. Son got himself a girlfriend, Faye Bailey. They decided one day to go

swimming at Pearl Canyon. Momma came along too, and the rest of us. There

was a deep part in the waters where we were swimming that no one ever found

the bottom to. Around the edges it was shallow though. Son was going to teach

Faye how to swim, they got way out there over their heads and couldn't touch

the bottom. I helf Loydale while momma and Tinker waded out, got ahold of

Son's hand and pulled him and Faye to safety. That ended our swimming trip

for that day and we all headed back home. It was in this same water that one

sunday after church, Cub, Jane, Tommy and Marie Durrett and myself were


Son and Clyde were always thinking they were so grown up. They

let a team of mules get away from them one day when they were coming in for

dinner. They could not catch them and they knew that papa would angry with

them. So they saddled up a couple of horses and left home for Rocky Ford

without even eating dinner that night. I don't remember how long they had

stayed gone, but it was for quite some time. It was so funny when they finally

had decided to come back home. Clyde come up to the house and knocked

on the door, Son waited to see if everything was going to be ok. Papa had

been trying to get momma to write them a letter, so they would come home so

we could leave for Texas. We left for Texas after Son and Clyde had gotten

back home and we stayed there until we all grew up and married.

My brothers did drink once in awhile and Son was always ready

to fight after he had a few to many under his belt. Clyde he was just the

opposite, he was so funny. Someone one time knocked the fire our of Son at

a dance, and Clyde walked out on that dance floor and wanted to know who hit

his brother. He never did find out who done it.

Another time during the boot leg days, they got drunk. My dad had

went to town and when he found out where they were, he had them arrested.

Papa told them that they would stay in jail until they told where they got the

liquior from. They would not tell. At this time, we had a cousin staying with us,

oh, he went to jail with them. Papa went in to see Clay and told him he might as

well tell his side of the story because Son and Clyde had already told him

everything. Clay told papa all he needed to know, and they arrested a woman

in Letia Lake, Texas for selling the boys liquior. Son and Clyde was mad a Clay

for telling Papa. Really Clay did not know any better, or that Son and Clyde

would of never told. It was Papa's way of finding out the story.

My dad was a strick Democrat and if any one ever said they were

a Republican he would almost kick them out of the house. When I got old

enough to vote, I was twenty-one, we lived in Letia Lake, Texas. My father took

me to vote and he told me who to vote for. I did just that, cause I did whatever

my papa told me to do. Whatever my papa said, we had better do it. I don't

remember the guys name that running for Sheriff there, but he was democrat.

Now, Mr. Davis, he was Elna's dad, (Son's wife) he was a republican. He told

me later, and he died laughing that he had looked at my ballot. He knew papa

had told me who to vote for. I voted for every Democrat on that ballot. My

father always voted, every year. Especially if they're were Democrats running

and he thought they needed his vote. I do not ever remember momma voting


When I was about thirteen or fourteen, my folks had decided it was

time we left Colorado and moved back to Texas. That would of been in the mid

1920's, around 1924 or 1925. My two older sisters had already married and

left home by then. We landed in Goodnight, Armstrong County, Texas, where

my father rented a farm in the shares. We became share croppers. ( a share

cropper who does the farming for the owner of the land in return for part of the

crops) We had a house alittle ways outside of town and I had become friends

with the people who lived on the Old Goodnight Ranch. The old ranch house

is still there. My father planted a big watermelon crop and sold alot of

watermelon and vegetables from momma's garden in Borger, Texas. Borger

had oil fields and papa would sell his fresh fruits and vegetables to the oil

field workers. He would also sell in Armarillo, Texas. I went to school there in

Goodnight for a year, I was in the eighth grade. Tommy and Jennie also put

in a little garage there.

We then moved on and rented land from the Nobles family in

Windy Valley, Donley County, Texas. Windy Valley is close to Letia Lake and

Clarington. That is where we called home. We grew up there and attended

school. The Nobles furnished the team of horses and the horses food, the

plows and anything my dad needed to work the land. All we furnished was the

labor. Mr. Noble even built us a new house there. We had a four room house

when we lived at the Noble place. The back part we used as bedrooms,

momma never had a living room like we have today. I had a bedroom and the

boys had a bedroom. I was the only girl at home then. Actually when we got

the Noble place to live in, we had an outhouse, it was set way off away from

the house. Papa planted cotton, he had given Son and Clyde so many acres

of cotton so they would have some money. Cub, Bud and I was paid for what

we done so we would have money. We stayed on in Donley County, Texas

for about eight to ten years. Papa felt like he could make more if he went to

work on the threes to fours. So we then moved down to O'Brien, Texas. We

attended church in Rochester. Brother Therman from there married Cub and

Rilla, he was the minister of the church where we all went. He was gone though

by the time Shorty and I married. The Tuckers lived behind us up on a hill,

this is how I got acquainted with Shorty Tucker. Papa rented our place there

from an old man that belonged to the church, he had gone to same church that

we went too. He rented that place to papa on the threes and fours. The old

man got four and we got three. His daughter ended up getting married and she

and her husband took over the house and the land there. Just as soon as the

crop was gathered that year, my father rented us a house and a lot in Letia

Lake. He, Cub and Bud then left in search of work, momma and I stayed on

there and took care of the cows and chickens. Finding work in Haskel, Texas,

they then returned after about two or three months of picking cotton and we

moved to Haskel. I don't know if he sold the cows or what he did with them,

anyways we moved and did not take the cows. He had got some land and a

house, not very much land. Here was also had an outhouse. It was here in

Haskel, Texas that my papa bought a truck.

Next Page: Page Eight

This page was last updated 23 August 2003

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Web Site Part Seven of The Fletcher Family Story

As Told by Mattie Tucker

Written by Pattie Carter

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