1381 LAUGHING ATTACK APRIL 30, 2015
Years ago many people liked to play tricks on each other since they were limited on other entertainment options. I have told you of Ma dressing up like a man then hiding in a gully beside a road and raising up to scare Aunt Ina half to death. Of Ma putting on a man’s clothes when it was a report of a crazy man running loose and scaring one of her sisters. Of my daddy going out to burn trash, pouring ketchup on his hand to make it look like blood and almost giving my mama a heart attack. As I scanned over my ledger looking for something worthy of you readers I came across an incident that occurred at my Aunt Belle’s birthday party in 1987. We went to Cousin Brenda’s house for a family get together. The women were in the kitchen preparing the meal while the men watched television and the kids played games.
From my ledger. Sunday, May 3, 1987. After church we went to Brenda’s for Belle’s birthday party. Rachel had a small, toy, basketball goal with a three inch wide suction cup that would stick to the wall, the refrigerator, glass, or any smooth surface. Larry was just holding it up about head high for the kids. I got it and stuck it to my forehead. After a few minutes the kids had made a few shots and I could feel a little pressure on my head from the suction cup. As I tried to take it off, the stem connecting the basketball goal and the suction cup came loose and there was nothing to pull on. Finally someone got a fingernail under the edge and the suction was released. We put the two pieces back together, stuck it back on my head, and went in the kitchen to show the women. They thought it was cute until we re-enacted the “can’t get it off” part. They were all hollering about how dangerous that was, that it would suck the blood or brains out of my head. They were sorta aggravated at me and I was sorta aggravated at them. After taking the suction cup off and going back to the television room Larry commented that my forehead was still a little red. I got an idea. I asked Brenda if she had some lipstick. She got a tube and painted a three inch circle right where the suction cup had been. I put my hand over my forehead and walked into the kitchen. Told them I felt a little dizzy. As they turned to look at me I moved my hand and that lipstick was just a shining. Mama said, “Oh Lord. It’s sucked the blood out of him.” About that time it hit everyone that it was a joke. Mama, Ma, and Belle got to laughing so hard the tears were rolling down their cheeks. I got to laughing at them. Hardest I ever saw them laugh. It was one of those laughing attacks where you can’t breathe very good.
Friday, May 8, 1987. After school Coach Claude Webb and I drove a bus to Six Flags with 34 Cooper High School Upward Bound Club students. Since we didn’t have to stay right with the students we decided to walk over to see the Rangers’ baseball game. While walking to the stadium I heard my daughter, Sheila, holler at me. She and three of her friends, Debbie, Randy, and Jodie, were riding a shuttle from the parking lot to Six Flags. We caught the shuttle and talked a while. At the game we got seats on second row in shallow left field. Coach Webb couldn’t believe how crazy people acted over “the dot race.” Three dots, red, green, and yellow I think it was, are shown on the big screen racing around a track like horses do. I was hollering for the red dot and it won. Another thing they do between innings is to sing the song that goes “Hidy, hidy, hidy, ho.” Coach Webb couldn’t figure out why the crowd responded so loudly to that song. Rangers lost 7-3, I think. Left Six Flags at 1:30 a.m. Home and in bed at 4:00 Saturday morning.
Now back to the present in 2015. The Bonnie and Clyde article keeps fanning the flames. A Mr. Buddy Cornstubble, age 99, lives between Antioch and Gough. He reports that when he was ten years old and living in Oklahoma, Bonnie and Clyde pulled up to their house in a new 1934, V8 Ford. They were hungry and Buddy’s mama had someone to go out in the yard and catch a chicken. She prepared dinner for them and they gave the family some money. Bonnie was smoking cigars that day even though she kept sending word to the newspapers that she didn’t smoke cigars.
While in Cooper last week I talked to James Deatherage and we discussed Bonnie and Clyde. He commented that Clyde had written a thank you letter to Henry Ford for making such a fine V8 Ford. I came home and checked on the internet. Yep, Clyde did. The letter was mailed from Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 10 and received in Detroit on the 13th, only forty days before the ambush.
“Dear Sir. While I still have got breath in my lungs I will tell you what a dandy car you make. I have drove Fords exclusively when I could get away with one. For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got ever other car skinned and even if my business hasn’t been strictly legal it don’t hurt anything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8. Yours truly, Clyde Champion Barrow.” This letter is on display at the Ford Museum in Detroit.
A sheriff in a small town got a call from a “widder” woman that her neighbor was going around naked. The sheriff drove over to check and the woman met him in the yard, pointing over to her neighbor’s house. The sheriff couldn’t see anything wrong. She led him into the house and upstairs. The woman told the sheriff to look in the window of the neighbor’s house. He looked and saw a man shaving but nothing was showing from his belly down. The sheriff said he didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. The woman said, “If you’ll climb up on this dresser right here you can.”