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Whit's Whittlin` Part 2by Whit Cromwell,
Between Times April 2006 page 4
Where did I leave off the last time we were whittlin together? Oh yes,-The Cromwells were on a train headed west to California, the land of opportunity. . . We left Mississippi with tears in our eyes, but mine soon disappeared with the excitement and expectation of meeting Uncle Taylor Brown, Aunt Claudia, Este and Marybelle in Yorba Linda. . . Uncle Taylor did meet us in Fullerton at the old railroad station and brought us to his home on Lakeview Avenue.
Rick and Regina Collett live there now. Don and Evelyn Frisbee lived there before them. Mr. and Mrs. Clell Hummell lived across the street, and to the South lived the McFaddens, the Echandys, and next to them the Apalategui family. Our family settled in the small living quarters downstairs from the Browns for a few months. . . hmmm. I can still remember the first Christmas--Santa came to our house. (Mike Martin played the part, as he did for many other little ones in Yorba Linda, I discovered in later years.) The oranges in the stocking he left were so beautiful. . . how good they smelled. . .man, were they ever juicy! The juice just oozed down your hands, and your fingers stuck together when you forgot to lick it off.
Let's see. . . that trip home in my uncle's "Model T" was somethin' else! (Remember, we were used to traveling by horse and buggy in Mississippi.) How green the orange and lemon trees were as we traveled East toward Yorba Linda--Oh yes, I still can see the beautiful tall palm trees along both sides of Palm Avenue in Placentia. Some are still standing. Today they are bigger and taller but still beautiful.
Hmmm. . . It's a shame we humans don't become more beautiful as we grow older or do we? By golly, I do know several "Old Timers" around here that are beautiful people. I guess the real beauty of people radiates from the inside, while the real beauty of trees is out there for everyone to enjoy. . .
There are so many fond memories of our first few months in Yorba Linda. . . I remember my first day at school. . . they put me in kindergarten. . . What a blow!. . .All we did is play. . . No readin' and writin' or numbers like in Mississippi. . . The first person I remember meeting was Genevieve Townsend. She was a little mother and knew I was baffled by all the new people. She insisted I play games and meet others. . . There was Bill Burchit, Bill Yerington, Lola Benninger (Loucks now) and others I don't recall right now. The school was west of our house, where the fire station is today, on Lemon Street. It was a handy place for us kids to play after school hours. Mrs Mabel Paine was the principal as well the eight grade teacher at the school.
My sister Ruth was in tears when she came home from school a few times because the kids made fun of her "southern accent". . . I guess I was too young to care. . . I remember my first birthday in California, when I turned 6. . . Several kids came over and we had a wonderful time, until I tried to “show off” by jumping off the steps and sprained my ankle. You see Lola was worth a sprained ankle. . . She could run the fastest, she was the smartest in the class, but most important, Lola was the cutest gal I had ever seen. We kids used to play by the hours down on Arroyo Street, where the Benningers lived, until Ervie or Sam ran us home. Uncle Sam Paine was always the first to bring home a deer, each year, and he shared some jerky with us occasionally. Oh yes, we all used to pester Uncle Sam when he was smoking fish. Man. . . I can still smell that fish being smoked. . . You see the wind carried the aroma right up the draw to our place. Yes, the Barringers were wonderful neighbors. . . Ervie, Thelma, Uncle Sam, Lola and Maude. Their house is a landmark at the corner of School Street and Arroyo, across from Keith Earl's garage.
By George, I've got to stop this day dreaming and get some chores done...I'll see you later, when I find some more time to do some whittlin'. Bye now.
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