Family Memories Revisited


by Earl Henry Burnam


Hello Nieces & Nephews,

UEH Flash Back Memories - About L.S. Burnam, Sr.

I was talking to Edna over the phone recently and 
was talking about some trivia memories of my daddy. 
She told me that I should write them down and send 
them to you. Here goes, ready or not.

So no one is perfect, but it would be hard to 
convince their children that Lon and Pearl weren't. 
Anyway, isn't it great that when we have flash back 
memories, they are about the good times.

I'll admit that I was a momma's boy, but every once 
in a while I think about the good "quality" times I 
had with my Daddy, Lon Stiver Burnam, Senior. He used 
to take me fishing, with "Old Fido". Watch out or I
might tell you some "Old Fido" stories. Talk about 
boring, those Fido stories used to put my boys to 
sleep. But I wanted to begin with some memories about 
Daddy from my preschool and primary years.

When I was four years old, Daddy had lost his job as 
a car inspector for the Sante Fe Railroad in Chillicothe, 
Texas. The railroads were "down sizing" early after the 
depression of 1929 hit. They decided car inspectors were 
no longer needed at Chillicothe.  Our family had to move
in with Grandpa and Grandma over on their farm near 
Mangum, Oklahoma. Grandpa needed some help with the 
farm, so Daddy and the older boys could supply that help. 
(Sometimes being the youngest is good.) After a few 
months we moved from Grandpa's farm to a rent house 
in Mangum.

I had my fifth birthday in Mangum, Oklahoma. Daddy went 
down to the grocery store and they gave him one of their 
empty wooden apple crates. They were substantial in those 
days. Daddy used the wood from that box to make a little 
straight chair for me, and gave it to me for my birthday. 
I have had to repair it a time or so but that 67 year old
chair is in my garage today. I use it occasionally as a 
stool. I have to admit that a little of me hangs over a bit.

After I had started first grade back in Chillicothe, We 
were able to get a weekly newspaper. Daddy liked trying 
to keep up with current events. But more important, I would 
set down in my little chair by him and he would read "Dickie 
Dare" from the funny paper section to me. Dickie Dare and 
his daddy would have quite a few continued adventures. I 
could hardly wait from week to week. We had no radio so 
this was great entertainment for me.

In those days we had two regular size beds and a small day 
bed. Mother and Edna would sleep together, Dad and I, and 
one of the older boys would sleep together, and the other 
two older boys would sleep on the day bed.  I suspect that 
after I went to sleep Daddy would move to Mother's bed. On 
those cold winter nights it was good to have a warm daddy 
to cuddle against. I would wiggle when I first got into bed, 
and Daddy would tell me to lay still so I would get warm. 
Then I would beg him to tell me stories. He would tell me 
stories about Barnacle Bill The Sailor and about Popeye, 
etc. He would do an imitation, as he imagined it, of the 
voices of the different characters: up high and squeaky,
medium, and way low down. I sure enjoyed those until I 
would drop off to sleep.

Granny Pearl always did the spanking. Daddy only struck me 
one time. He was building something in the back yard. As I 
was now in that smart Alec stage that boys go through at 
about 11 or 12, I thought that I needed to tell him what 
he ought to do in building that, whatever it was. This
went on for about a half hour and I pushed my luck once 
too often. Daddy grabbed a thin board and hit me over the 
head with it. It broke in half. I was startled that Daddy 
did this. But it did not hurt my hard head a bit. I thought 
it was so funny but was afraid to laugh in front of Daddy. 
So I shut up and hurried off and laughed when I was out of 
sight or hearing range. Daddy knew that thin board wouldn't 
hurt me. But I don't remember trying to tell him how to 
build anything ever again. To me this is also a fond memory.

Love from your uncle,
Earl Henry B.


Hello Nieces & Nephews,

A few of you have told me that you would not mind some 
more of these little tidbits occasionally about some of 
our family members or history. So I will send some when 
I get around to it. Some may be short. Some may be long. 
All may be a bit boring, but I guess you could delete 
them before you read them.

UEH's Memories or Otherwise - #2:

I love music. It is very important to me. Your old 
uncle never cared much for jazzy, swinging music. 
I mostly liked folk music, some classicaI, some 
hillbilly,and some of almost every kind. But I  can
remember one piece of swinging music from the WWII 
days that I liked. I used to watch the older kids 
jitterbug to "In The Mood".  "In The Mood" is on one 
of my CDs, by Arthur Fielder & The Boston Pops. When 
I hear it I always think of my sister.

Edna Florene Burnam was one of the best jitterbuggers 
in Chillicothe, if not the best. I could have been a 
little prejudiced. Stewart's Restaurant would let the 
kids go to the large area in back and dance to the 
Juke Box music. The crowd would back off and watch 
when Sister would dance the jitterbug with Harmon 
Wharton. None of the other boys could begin to compete 
with his dancing. This was not a romantic thing, they 
were just both good dancers and liked to dance with 
each other.

Kenneth Morgan Francis was off in the South Pacific 
along about then. Besides, he had not been interested 
in the younger Edna Burnam until he came back from 
the WWII and saw how beautiful she had become.