The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
I had an experience yesterday [October 22, 1991] that ties into my making these tapes about the 1930s and 1940s.
A fellow by the name of Al Borne came by the house. Mildred came to get me when she answered the door and told me the man’s name and that his car had a Texas license plate. I thought a minute then remembered I once knew a boy back in the early 1940s named Alston Borne who was kin to Bo [Byron Odell] Robertson who had married a cousin of mine, Fay Cantrell. Bo was the milkman when we ran the dairy queen. He delivered the milk and the ice cream milk.
I met Al Borne when he came here back in the summer of 1942. He stayed with his Aunt Lizzie, Bo’s mother, who had remarried to a man named Ed Smith after her husband died. They lived out on the Cane Road near Mr. Seal’s house, on the town side of Black Bayou. Al said that he had lived here and gone to school here once before, back around 1935. I didn’t remember that as he was a year or so older than me.
He mentioned that he remembered when I moved out to Marshall, Texas in the late summer/early fall of 1942. We wrote letters to each other while I lived in Marshall.
I remember Al being one of the ones who went swimming with us down at the point. We would stand on the sandy beach, facing the bay of the lake with the south wind in our faces. We’d come out of the lake and have chill bumps on us even in the hot summertime.
Once our hands dried off, we would get our cigarette paper out and roll cigarettes out of some ole Bull Durham tobacco that came in a cloth sack. The sacks cost about six cents each.
It has been fifty years since that time.
He told me about what a great memory he had of things when he was just a little boy. His mother and aunt used to laugh at him and tell him he remembered so much that he remembered things that happened before he was born.
Man, he was singing my song! Grandma Steele and one of my aunts used to tell me I was like Uncle Dorse Smith, I could remember before I was born. I can vividly remember things that happened when I was four years old. I can even remember a few things that happened when I was three years old.
I could tell he was just amazed that we were so much alike. He got his chair and moved it right up close to me and we visited for about 30 minutes before heading to Winnsboro to visit his cousin, Bo Robertson. His wife was with him and she kept reminding him that they needed to leave so they could go to Winnsboro.
You could tell he didn’t want to leave. We both could have visited for hours. He is retired now and lives out from Beaumont, Texas. I hope he gets to come back this way again.
Thinking about Bo Robertson…
I remember seeing Bo, Fay Cantrell, Charles Lee Seal and Marguerite Chambless down at the first bridge going out of town toward Clayton. Bo and Charles Lee were swimming. The girls were sitting on the bank. This was back in 1937 or 1938. I was about 10 years old but I still remember the scene.
|First bridge going out of Sicily Island from the opposite view|
What stood out in my mind was seeing Charles Lee and Marguerite together. Marguerite was a good foot taller than Charles Lee. Bo and Faye later married. Nothing came of Charles Lee and Marguerite’s courtship. [Charles Lee married Mary Lucille Matthews and Marguerite married Charles Gordon.]
Note: Parts 1-50 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of this blog.