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Spring brings back memories

It looks as if spring is just around the corner as the trees are beginning to show a little green. Everywhere you look you can see the yellow of jonquils. Jonquils have a special meaning for me. When Bob first started to school he walked to and from school. I always got the first jonquil that bloomed from someone’s yard. It didn’t matter to him whose yard it came from. Then when Connie started to school and Bob was too big to pick flowers I again got the first jonquil to bloom along the way. Those were the days when it was safe for kids to walk to school and especially to cross the highway in front of the Court House.

My two friends that I have talked so much about through the years, Miss Ellen and Miss Belle, had a yard that was solid yellow in the spring. There were many different varieties which made their yard a splendid mass of different shades of yellow. I especially loved the tiny bright yellow narcissus. In the spring when the jonquils were blooming I would go with Miss Ellen on Sunday afternoons to visit some of her friends, always carrying large bouquets of the bright yellow flowers. For this past Christmas Brother Jim and Sister-in-law Pat gave me a narcissus plant that was blooming at Christmas.

When I think about the flowers blooming in my two friends yard I think about the many, many bouquets that came from their yard. When it was time for graduation at the high school they would pick big baskets of Iris to be used on the stage. That was before we ever heard of flower shops. Flowers from their yard were used for weddings and on Easter Sundays at the Methodist Church. I don’t suppose they were ever offered a dime for their flowers and I am almost sure they would not have asked for anything. Not only was their yard full of bright yellow flowers but the bank in front of their fence was covered.

In the early fifties, when Chaffee was still Camp Chaffee, one was able to drive out in the Camp Area which was a favorite thing for my family to do on Sunday afternoons. Deer had just been introduced to this area at that time. What fun it was to try to find deer tracks. It was really exciting when we got a glimpse of a deer. Today one can hardly drive in any direction that you won’t see a deer. Frank’s Dad, whom we called “Grandy” loved the Sunday drives. I had the cutest picture of him showing Connie, who was about three, a deer track. Connie wore Hickory Striped Coveralls and Grandy wore Hickory Striped overalls. The picture was one of the treasures we lost in the tornado. We especially liked to drive through the Camp in the early spring when the jonquils were blooming. One could tell where a house had stood before a family was forced to move out of the area. I would say almost one hundred percent of the old house places had the bright yellow flowers blooming. In my yard, before the tornado, one could see the bright yellow of the jonquils, the red of japonica, the soft pink of almond bush, and in the summer the red of climbing roses, plus the yellow of the forsythia bushes, all brought from an old house place. We had a beautiful wild rose growing around a tree. The flowers were extra large for a wild rose. The blooms were pink and white. One of our favorite places to go was what Frank called the Old Steel Place. That yard was a mass of flowers. You could see the pride that the family had in their yard. Those times are only sweet memories now as one is not allowed to take Sunday drives down by the Old Steel Place and the only flower I had left after the tornado was a red climbing rose which I moved with me when I moved from Greenwood. It is amazing how many thoughts you have when spring begins to arrive and the jonquils began to bloom.

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