FLASHBACK MEMORIES ABOUT L.S. BURNAM, SR.
by Earl Henry Burnam
7-23-00 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.
7-16-00 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.