|As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney
Working at LAPD...
This week’s column was pulled from the As I was Saying archives
I recently had the privilege of meetin’ a nice couple at church, and guess
what? They once lived in Los Angeles – and that gave me the chance to tell
them I lived there once, too!
It was in 1942 and I had just graduated from Mabank High School. I have many
memories of back then.
One thing I sure remember is the muddy roads when it rained. It wasn’t too
bad after we got buses. After that the boys got out and pushed and the girls
yelled for them from inside the bus!
Yes, we had dirt for roads back then. There was a lot of happy folks when
the roads were oiled!
When I finished school at Prairieville, I came to Mabank by school bus to
When I graduated from high school, I went to Dallas, as did a lot of my girl
friends. Several of us worked at Sears Roebuck.
I got a letter one day from Mama, and she told me she had recently got a
letter from my sister, Fannie, who lived in Los Angeles with her husband
Leonard who was in the Navy. He was stationed at San Pedro part of the time.
Well, that letter made me really want to see them. So, I wrote Mama from
Dallas tellin’ her when she received my letter I would be on my way to
I was in for something I wasn’t expectin’. It took us forever to get there.
Every time we met a troop train we had to pull off our track for it to move
Another girl about my age (16) got on the train and we became good friends.
We had sandwiches and water, I think, to drink.
Well, one day we came side by side to another train going the other way and
we stopped. She and I decided to walk down the isle (on our train) to see
better. And guess what? Two big doors were wide open and there was a lot of
good-looking’ service sailors about our age!
They were unloading a big cart of food over to their train – and when they
saw us they started giving us the food!
About that time we heard a shrill whistle and here came a couple of MPs –
and the food went back to the troops!
We finally made it to LA, and my brother-in-law and sister were waiting for
They lived close to Hollywood and I was in heaven.
They had taken me to work and introduced me to their fellow workers.
My brother-in-law was a fingerprint detective and he brought home some
terrible pictures of his work.
My sister also worked in the fingerprint department.
I had a ball! I would get on the street bus and go everywhere!
One day when they came home from work, Frankie told me that Captain (I’ve
forgotten his name) had a job for me!
I said, “I can’t do what you do.” He told me I’d be workin’ in the filing
So, I went to work and there is a lot more to tell so stay tuned, I’m not
One day we received a letter from Mama tellin’ us our Daddy was very ill.
So, I quit work and came home. Our Daddy didn’t live very long and at that
time my sister was not able to get a ticket to come home.
Back then the whole world was a terrible mess.
The Last Word:
I think it was funny that Frankie’s real name was “Fannie,” but when she
moved to California she said her name was “Frankie,” because out there
“fannie” meant your behind!
So, I had to learn her “new” name!
View From Here
By Katherine Veno
oasis of serenity...
Even if I just have an apartment-size tiny patio, I have always loved to
create a place for relaxing, beauty, calm and peace. If I have room for one
pretty chair, and a few plants, I add some soft music and a good book, a few
decorative pieces from a thrift shop, some pretty fabric, and presto, my
blood pressure begins to drop as soon as I enter my private oasis.
Through the years, I have found some pretty special ways to escape daily
stresses and get in touch with my natural surroundings. If it is morning and
I want to chill, I choose a sunny spot to get warm, and if it is the
afternoon, I pick a shaded area. Sound too easy? It is good for all of us.
All year long I feed our feathered friends. Birds will happily gather when
you place a ceramic feeder filled with seeds on a patio table or hang a
feeder in the corner. Waking up to happy birds singing you into the day is a
great way to count your blessings. Try stretching exercises as the early
hours unwrap themselves.
I don’t need any fancy accoutrements. I can put a bench or a chair in a
quiet corner of a yard. Add some pretty flowers and I have a peaceful
garden. One thing that is a must is some sort of water sounds. The gentle
curves of a fountain combine with the calming sound of trickling water and
just ooze peaceful mood and atmosphere.
Wash away worries with ponds, fountains and streams, because water
symbolizes cleansing and refreshing of the spirit. No fountain or stream? I
fill a bucket or ceramic pot with water and add some floating flowers or
plants like water hyacinth.
If I make a retreat to eat a meal, I love a fence of plants or flowers
combined with climbing vines. To get to my special place a curved path or
walkway represents life’s twists and turns.
Toss a few soft pillows into a chair or wherever I sit, and if I am lucky
enough to have room for a hammock, even better for snoozing or reading a
good book. I use materials like wood and wicker to be in harmony with my
natural surroundings, if I have them. I use lots of the color green which to
me means life and growth of my spirit.
Sweet sounds of a wind chime moving in the breeze create harmony and solar
lights guide the way and night. Multi-colored stained glass lanterns are a
sure way to add energy and atmosphere. I found mine at a yard sale.
A garden or patio spot can give you something to smile about. It is great to
put others first, but it is not okay to put yourself last. It is natural to
postpone joy until our dreams come true, but I don’t like to wait.
So, every day, starting today, I promise myself I will do something that
lifts my spirits and fills my heart. I will go into my private oasis and sip
some sweet tea and stress melts away and my energy is restored.
I will remember I can do more than I think with what I have got, and things
can turn out even better than I ever hoped.
|Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy
or not to cook...
Through the years, I may have cooked once or twice on a gas range. The best
cooks are said to use gas, not electric ranges. Since my mother had always
preferred electric, this was my choice also, and there is doubt about the
veracity of my second sentence, coincidence or anything else.
Give me four burners and a durable oven, close to true heat reading, and I
shall do my best to produce the edible. It is difficult to form a
relationship with a stove, unlike a family car.
When we traded in the trusty old grey Pontiac sedan, the one used by all
four children to perfect their ability to drive behind its wheel, I could
have wept. This vehicle was like a member of the family.
A kitchen stove lasts for us at least 10 years. We need one now, but its
buttons and selections must be on the front, as our choice has to sit behind
a raised bar. The idea is to have Papaw cook pancakes to place on the bar
above the stove as hungry grandchildren sit on stools to eat food hot off
Too, because of the way I planned the remodeling of my kitchen, whatever we
have should have a down draft or an above the stove vent-a-hood. For our
first choice, we had an expensive down-draft black beauty. For the next
purchase we went with natural draft. Now, we find limited choices of
electric ranges with a low back and buttons on the front; even more limited
are electrical appliances for cooking with raised burners.
Cooking and cleaning afterward should not require identical time. These
slick-top burners must be cleaned immediately after cooling, with a special
substance and touch. Yes, I’ve had one. In stores today, they are displayed
everywhere. The stove top made me miserable. A soiled oven can be tolerated,
but not a stove stop hidden with a table cloth.
We had a white (color doesn’t help) range of this type once. When one
particular summer rolled around, I had plums in abundance and wanted to make
Early one hot morning, I began my homemaking task. Boiled jars lined the
cabinet top, ready to be filled and sealed with plum jelly in all its glory.
One back burner, the left, and one front, the right, were on high heat.
Right before my eyes, the stove top cracked from the front left to the rear
right. Jelly making for the summer was over.
Spectators came in to view the stove, and in time, the top was replaced,
with another day of cooking awaiting me. I felt almost like a celebrity as
friends were shocked at a free replacement.
However, I know exactly what type range I want in my kitchen. If I can’t get
my choice, I guess we’ll have a range only; maybe an oven can go in a wall
or I’ll have an excuse not to bake. I have never been able to bake level
cakes; that’s why globs of frosting
mount on one side only.
Last Sunday was church dinner day, and we had guests to take with us. One of
my grandsons asked me as we cleaned afterward if I had brought any food to
eat. “Yes,” I said, “Papaw made salmon croquettes and a bowl of beans.”
The young man interrupted and said, “I mean, did you, bring any food?”
I’m totally tired of this line of disrespectable questioning, and I didn’t
answer. Possibly I need only a larger refrigerator, along with a really nice
microwave, an outside barbecue pit and a whole new approach to cooking.