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Growing Up


My dad and mom (Donald Douglas Owens and Nora Belle Rasnake Owens) was married 4th May 1932. My dad died 21st April 1976. He was born 6th January 1911, so he lived 65 years and 3 months. Mom just died this year, she was born 13th March 1913 and passed away on the 18th July 2000, making her life 87 years and 4 months. They are buried side by side in the Sutherland Cemetery at Bee VA. Alot I would like to say about both of them, but I will do it later. This I will say now, I never heared my dad use an ugly word. He was just a gentleman , no wonder mom fell in love with him. She said she met him at church. I'm sure that was all the social getherings they had. Never the less they married, had 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. The first boy died at a month old. Our family was small compared to most familys at that time. We lived several places, until we finally settled at the house they lived in till they both died. We moved there in December 1951. I started and finished at the same school. My dad worked most all his life as a coal miner. My mom was a housewife, and she was a good seamstress. She made clothes for a lot of people. She always kept us in style Feed sack cloth to Danriver print. I can remember picking it out. She always had supper on the table when we got home from school. I was always hungry. When I was in school, we had no cafeteria. It seemed like forever after eating your lunch you carried from home until you could get back home for more. My dad would take me and my brother once a month to the nearest town, 12 miles away. We would walk about 3 miles to a man that drove a taxi and he would take us the rest of the way, he would only charge us twenty five cents, because he was going anyway. Then gas wasn't so expensive as now. I think you could fill up a car for 5 dollars. We would go to the movies, eat hotdogs at the drugstore diner. Then go to the Ben Franklin Store, or dime store as we always called it. Then by evening, we would start for home. Go to the taxi stand, wait for the car that we rode down, ride back and then walk the rest of the way. I can remember it like it was yesterday. We would just fall in bed. So tired. Those were good old days if you were a kid.

(above picture of Fon and brother Wilkie)Dad had this picture made on one of our trips to town.


I was fortuned to know my grandparents. I remember siting and listening to old tales. Some so scary they would keep you up at night. Grandpa would keep the cane nearby to get your attention with. I had lots of cousins, aunts and uncles. We would play until dark, always after we finished our work. I lived about 20 miles from them and I would ride with the mail man across the mountain to their house and lots of times one or so cousins would come back with me. We most always stayed at least a week with each other in the summer after school was out. They raised more crops than we did, they had more farm land. Vegetables mostly, althought Grandpa raised tobacco. One of my cousins would always make me pick the worms off the tobacco and she would smash it. I hated my job and hers was just as bad. We did it anyway, so we could go swimming in the creek. We mostly waded as the creek was always low with water.

(above picture of David as he was growing up)

A tale my grandma told me years ago

What have you got there?

Bread and Cheese.

Where's my share?

In the woods.

Where's the woods?

Fire burnt it.

Where's the fire?

Water put it out.

Where's the water?

The Ox drank it.

Where's the Ox?

Butcher killed it.

Where's the Butcher?

Rope hung him.

Where's the rope?

Rat gnawed it.

Where's the rat?

Cat caught it.

Where's the cat?

Dead and buried behind the old church door. A is for Apple, P is for Pear. The first one who smiles or shows their teeth, I'll pull your hair.

This is the last part of a game we played as a child called "Clubfist".

A version of this game was sent to me from Arkansas by Jerri and Sandie, a mother and daughter. It seems they did a ditty near like us. Will share it with you.

They write, "Ours goes like this".

Hold your hand in a fist so you can see the little hole

Child says: What's in that little round hole?

Response: Bread and cheese

Where's my share?

The cat got it

Where's the cat?

In the woods

Where's the woods?

The fire burned it

Where's the fire?

The water put it out

Where's the water?

The ox drank it

Where's the ox?

The gun killed it

Where's the gun?

The hammer broke it

Where's the hammer?

Grandma's got it out behind the Chruch House crackin' nuts. The first person to show their teeth gets a pinch, a slap and hairpull.

Thanks Jerri and Sandie

My granddaughter Sharon's art work 9th July 1999

Wilkie and Fon

Mondays child is fair of face

Tuesdays child is full of grace

Wednesdays child is loving and giving

Thursdays child works hard for a living

Fridays child is full of woe

Saturdays child has far to go

A child born on the Lords Day, Sunday, is blithe(joyful) and bonny(handsome)and good and gay

This little poem was one Grandma would tell us many years ago. I thought you might enjoy reading it.

Owens Page

Rasnake Page

Sexton Page

Sutherland Page

Gray/Casebolt/Robinson Page

Barton Page

Mead/Meade Page