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The Fletcher Family Story

Page Eight

As Told by Mattie Tucker

Written by Pattie Carter

Tommy Durrett and Jennie owned a garage and filling station in

Tumcumcari, Quay County, New Mexico. Tommy took Shorty and I there after

Allie Bea was born. That left momma and papa in Haskel with no one around, since

Cub and Rilla was living over by O'Brien. My folks decided to move to Tucumcari

also, Bud was not married yet then. After they moved there, they went to work in a

dairy. They would milk the cows and Bud delivered the milk. It was while they were

living in Tucumcari that they're house burned down. I had seen the smoke that day,

momma was a lucky woman, she had laid down for a nap and went to sleep. Loydale

had come back to the house, he had been off working on a windmill out somewhere

where they had a bunch of cattle. He had a cigarette or something, and in one of the

rooms they had a bunch of cotton. Momma going to make a bed or something out of

it. Evidently part of Loydales cigarette fell into the cotton, momma woke up and got up,

when she had seen everything was on fire. It scared her so bad that as she left the

house she grabbed her old reo lamp. It had little things hanging all around it and made

good light. Maxie, Mildred and Jean had given papa a little canary bird for christmas.

Momma had forgotten the little bird and it was sitting right there by the door. She lost

everything that day, all but the reo lamp. Clyde, Blanche, Shorty and me lived side by

side in some little cabin houses. Clyde and Shorty was home eating lunch and had

just left to go back to work. Tommy and Jennie had gone somewhere, I looked up and

I could see that fire, and the smoke coming from momma's house. There was no wind,

and the smoke was curling around above the house. I run told Blanche that I think

momma's house is on fire and I was headed to the garage to get Clyde and Shorty to

go check on momma. I grabbed Allie Bea, she was just a little thing then, and I started

up the street. Some man came by that I had never seen before or heard of and gave me

a ride up to the garage, I sure don't remember his name, but so thankful for him coming

along that day. Shorty, Clyde and Mr. Durrett was there, Shorty and Clyde left Mr.

Durrett to run the garage and headed out to momma's place. They brought momma to

the cabins where we lived. Momma had screamed until she was so hoarse that she

could hardly talk. Papa was way out in the pastures. Shorty and Clyde went and found

papa and brought him back to the cabins too. Everything was burned to the ground.

They had an old car, it was big ol' thing. Some boys had been walking by when

momma was outside the house and she had asked if they would help her move the

car, it was up against the house. It would of burned up too if those boys had not of

come by when they did. They pushed the car way down the hill. Momma and papa

stayed with Jennie and Tommy, they had fixed them a place up in they're barn,

where they milked and all. They had a place up front they never used, they did not

stay there very long before they got them another place to live.

The last house that momma and papa lived in is still standing in Melrose,

Curry County, New Mexico. They bought this house and Bud sold it after momma

died in 1959. I don't remember why the moved to Melrose or what took them there. They

had a house on a lot and big garden. Momma was still canning vegetables. Right out

the back porch there was a big dug out that she always had full of canned foods from

her garden. The dug out was already there when they bought the house, they also had

an outhouse there too. Water did not come into the house there, they did have city

water that came up close to the house through a faucet. Momma would go out and

turn the knob when she needed water. After papa had died, momma stayed for about

a year or two more there in Melrose in the old house. Then Jennie and Tommy came

and moved momma in with them in Citrus Heights, Sacramento County, California.

Thats where she died in 1959. After her death she was taken back to Melrose and

buried in the same cemetery as papa right next to him. The house there in New Mexico

was never sold while momma was still living because she had always planned on

going back there.

When dad got sick, Clyde and Cub had told me that when he had to go to

the bathroom he would not go in a bed pan, his mind had gotten real bad. He insisted

on going to the outhouse. Cylde and Cub would hold onto him and walk him around

the house, just far enough the he thought he was at the outhouse. Then he would do

his business and papa was happy and would go back to bed. I guess thats all that

really mattered then. Making papa happy and confortable.

Dad was put into the hospital in 1955. We was there, Shorty, Glenda and I.

Allie Bea had already married and had Debbie and was not able to come with us. While

we was at the hospital, Glenda got lost. We was all so scared that something had

happened to her. She went to the bathroom and got locked in there for about an hour

before a nurse came along and finally found her. Glenda remembers while waiting

around at the hospital at this time, that someone had given her a coloring book and

crayons. She remembers that it was Joseph and the coat with many colors. She can

remember coloring Moses when he was floating down the river in a basket and Joseph

and his coat of many colors. She rememberrs coloring his coat many colors too.

Glenda thinks that Aunt Jane bought her that coloring book and crayons. When my

dad was in the hospital, someone had to be with him all that time. Rilla and I had

decided that we would go to mommas and wash up the clothes for the kids. Thats

when papa passed on.

This page was last updated 23 August 2003

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Web Site Part Eight of The Fletcher Family Story

As Told by Mattie Tucker

Written by Pattie Carter

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