Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A TEENAGER REMEMBERS CECIL KILGORE by Ron McKeever

Of all the aunts and uncles in the Kilgore clan, Cecil is the one that I remember most as a teenager.  When we moved from West Virginia back to the farm, I was 15 and Glenn was 14.  Cecil had all kinds of jobs he needed help with since his boys were small so we cut bushes, picked up trash or whatever was need and one of the perks was, watching wrestling on Saturday night.

 

During school days, it was not uncommon for him to come by the school at Winston County High for Glenn and I to go fight some fire somewhere since he was the Forest Ranger.  I will never forget us dragging the runners off the truck and hem driving that tractor wide open to join in the fire fighting.  We would follow by back-lighting so the fires would meet away from the plowed furrow he made.  We did all that for $3.00 per day and was happy to get it.  

Often, we would climb the rickety wooden fire tower to watch for the outbreak of fires.  Cell phones were unknown and often, Cecil would stop by a telephone line and hang his wires on it and was able to talk.  We spent many Saturdays cutting the grass and clearing limbs from around the towers in case a fire broke out and burned the wooden structures down.  

Cecil was a hard worker and he demanded hard work from us.  An extra thrill was to crawl on his motorcycle with him and soar up the highway.  Helmets were unknown.  On some of the Saturdays, we would follow the woods where trees had been cut and gather pine cones for the state.  Back then, the government was paying farmers not to grow cotton but plant pine seedlings in their feels so our job was to get the cones for the seeds....all for $3.00 per day.  We usually spent $1.00 of it for two pairs of cheap cotton gloves (which lasted only for the day), spend another dollar of it for our lunch so we actually worked for $1.00 per day but was glad to get it. 



When we started the Reunion at the old place, Cecil and I would talk about those 4 years when I was a teenager.  I don't think he every understood since his mind was always on what the task consisted of and how to get it done.  When he was in his eighties and me in my sixties, he still worked the stew out of me cleaning up and getting ready for the reunion.  Everything had to be exact, even where the front porch plywood board were installed.  I will go to my grave remembering those days of yore and thank God that he placed me in this family.

3 comments:

  1. Loved reading that!

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  2. I enjoyed finding your blog. My family is from Cullman County, pretty close by.
    I am writing memoirs of my mother's family. I will self-publish it and expect a printing of 20-30 copies for family members. One of our special memories is playing with cowcumber leaves. Unfortunately, our family were poor tenant farmers and have very few photographs. I discovered your blog with a picture of one of the plants. With your permission, I would like to use your picture of the plant in our book. I will, of course, give you credit for the photo. If I may, will you please send me a note to drweber@bellsouth.net. Thank you very much.
    Sincerely, Diane Weber

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