Saturday, October 01, 2005

Crosby and Other Places - I

(Run originally on our old site 3/31/04)

Ernie Simpson

(A short lesson on how to get to Echo Dell from Crosby in Eight Years)

There’s a small community off Highway 36, about six miles west of Searcy, called Crosby. It may be called Armstrong Springs on the map, however. I remember the house on the curve of the road, and playing in the grass near the garden as a small child. Mom told me that a snake bit me that summer, (must have been around 1942), and I do recall crying and carrying on. Mom said it was not poisonous, which not many around there are. We had a small dog named Penny, and I was just big enough to toddle after Penny. She ran west toward the railroad, and I followed. Mom was in a panic when she couldn’t find me, but she knew how to find the dog so, looking for the dog, she found me.

I remember too, a winter day that Dad came home from work, and there was snow on the ground. He was outside making snowballs and throwing them toward the window where I stood, looking out. The fluffy snowball splattered against the window, which I must have thought was great fun. He made one more and threw it, when it hit the window; the window cracked, but did not shatter. I recalled he was startled, and ran into the house to see if I was all right. Mom was with me and chastised him for playing in a reckless manner.

We had no running water or indoor plumbing. The stove was a wood-burning stove, and there was no electricity. We used kerosene lamps, then and for years after. I calculate this must have been around 1943. We didn’t have a car, only a wagon, as my first recollection of travel. I do remember going to see Grandma Bennett in the Gum Springs community, and being wrapped up in quilts, riding on the wagon seat, being held by Mom. There was a lighted lantern under the wagon seat to keep our feet warm. It was cozy, and my parents didn’t reflect that this was any type of hardship for them.

We soon moved to highway 36, where my brother Jim was born in August 1944. They took me to see Grandma over on Honey Hill Road that summer and, when I came home, Mom was in bed, and Dad was sitting on the edge of the bed close to her and smiling. He called me over and I saw a tiny baby lying on her arm. I was five years old, and completely confused as to what was going on.


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