The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Today is November 4, 1991. One can imagine this day back in 1915 when my Aunt Nita was born. She was born in the old Steele house which sat on this very ground before it burned down on August the 17th of last year. In fact, where I'm sitting as I make these tapes is probably no more than thirty feet from the spot where she was born.
She was named Lena Juanita after her aunt, Lena Rhoda Steele McLelland. Everyone called her Nita.
Nita was about thirteen years old when I was born. My first memory of her was when I was about three years old. I called her "Nina" up until I was around ten years old.
Nita told me on many occasions over the years that I was the first baby she ever loved. I loved her, too. It always made me feel good when she told me that. It is a wonderful memory to have.
"Nina" and Bruce
|Lena Juanita "Nita" Steele|
She was a beautiful girl and a beautiful woman.
Nita married William Peck in 1938. They had two children. Will was born on March 6, 1939. Betty was born on May 2, 1944.
Nita died in 1982 in her late sixties. My mother died in 1969 when she was sixty-nine years old. Their mother, my Grandma Steele, died when she was sixty-nine years old. Their sister Lucille [called Dick] is still living. She was eighty-nine this past September. The oldest child named Edna died when she was several months old. She was a little redheaded girl.
|Mary Allye Steele Edmonds, Lena Juanita "Nita" Steele Peck, Clara Lucille "Dick" Steele Ogden|
All four girls were born in the old Steele house. Lord, I miss that old Steele house. The front part of the old house was over ninety years old. I am enjoying this new house with all its modern comforts like central heat and central air but I still miss the old Steele house. I always will.
All the kids here in the village used to gang up in this old yard and play; particularly in the Summer. We had a lot of pecan trees in the yard so it was shady. Nita’s age group which included Babe Knight, Martin Enright, Eloise Yancey, and Lorelle Seal played in this yard.
Before this time, I’m sure my mother and Aunt Dick had a lot of kids over to play with them. I know the same was true when I was growing up.
My friends, cousins and I played all sorts of games out in this yard. As I’ve mentioned on earlier tapes, my favorite game was Go Sheepy Go. The only thing that I’d say came close to this game was Deer and Dog which we played once I started school. One group would be the deer and they would go hide. The other group would be the dogs and they would go in search of the deer.
The dog group would bark and howl and yelp like dogs when they were hunting the deer. Once the dogs found the deer, the deer group would come out of their hiding places and little boys would be running all over the place.
Deer and Dog was a great game but nothing ever really compared to Go Sheepy Go.
I raised my children here. My children and all of their friends played in this same old yard.
Years later, my grandson and his friends played out in the yard.
This old yard has been a playground for well over seventy-five years. Echoes of children’s voices linger on.
Note: Parts 1-62 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.