Greene County Arkansas

Paragould, Arkansas

Centennial Edition Section 5

8- Section 5, Centennial Edition                                                                                                                            Paragould Daily Press, Monday, August 29,1983


 Grandma's treasures
            in the attic

Grandma Sipes' attic was a treasure cove and a place of pure enjoyment for an 11 year old. The attic was absolutely forbidden to all grandchildren, but temptation always overcame me whenever I would see that Grandma, Mother and the aunts were deep in family small talk.
   Casually, I would saunter out of my favorite spot -- a straight-back cane bottomed chair with short legs, located near the long, cast iron box heater -- slowly inching my way to the side room that led to the attic.
   Stopping for an instant to listen to make sure I was not being followed, the faint aroma of peanut butter assaulted my nostrils. Peanut butter was one of Grandpa's luxuries, safely hidden in the trunk. On special occasions, grandchildren would receive a sample treat. Each of us would stand in line to get our share.
   Quick and easy, I would be up the wooden ladder fastened to the wall, push open the scuttle hole fastening and, before anyone could see me, I
would be in the attic.
   I would reminisce about stories Grandma had told me. Before she could to to bed at night during cotton picking time, she would have to pull cotton from the seed and fill her shoe with seed.
   Daddy worked at a cotton gin, and it was hard to imagine such a task as this must have been.
   Searching the attic, other treasures caught my attention: boxes of old letters, treasured books like the First McGuffey's Reader, song books with
words only. Grandma used these books upon occasion when she would sing to us. I especially remember her singing "Barbery Allen."
   My stolen time in Grandma's attic would be worth the scolding that would come later.

Belma Cossey/~Walcott


I remember:

Parading down East Locust Street

   The main thing I remember was when the Ringling Brothers Circus would come to town and put up their tents in the Cardwell addition, which is the east side of South Third Avenue now. It was a big field and they always had a big three-ring circus.
   We lived across from it in one of Mr. Beard's houses, which are all gone now. I was born and raised there and when I was little, I can remember when the circus people came to one house and got water for the animals and everything, and would give us free tickets to go to the circus.
   They would have a big parade to start from the gate on East Locust Street and go up town and back. Us kids would follow it all the way.
             Evelyn Tripod Gilliland/Paragould


photo courtesy: Mrs. Alton McGowan
Maudie Thompson Reynolds, 1913


I remember:

   A Red Wagon
            for Peddling

   The old brick yard on West Court Street was a magnet for kids with clod battles, sledding in the winter and persimmons to be harvested after the first heavy frost in autumn. I can still hear the brick yard mules braying after release from a day's toil of digging and hauling clay.
    Popular swimming holes were Peachy and Silver in the Eight-Mile Creek area northwest of town, and a popular winter sport was catching rabbits in box traps in the wooded area northwest of town. We kids cleaned and dressed our catches and sold 'em for a dime a rabbit!
   I peddled vegetables from a family garden, hauling the produce in a small, red wagon. Among other items peddled: hair receivers crocheted by my mother and homemade hominy made of corn purchased for 50 cents a bushel at House & Meiser's mill.
   Paragould kids in the early years parodied an extra stanza or two for the ballad classic about Casey Jones.
The lyrics went something like this:

"Casey Jones was a rounder's name, On a six-eight wheeler he won his fame, Now Casey said before he died, There was two more trains he'd like to ride, The Cotton Belt and the P.S.E."

                           Kendall D. White~Elgin, IL

     I remember:
         The Hot Tamale Man

   As I think back to my childhood, there are so many good memories and quite a contrast of changes from the '40s to the '80s.
   We lived in the 700 block of North Pruett Street until I entered the second grade. The ice Cream Man, Mr. Harris, and his horse, Dolly, lived next door.
Mr. Harris sold ice cream from a screened-in wooden wagon that was pulled by the horse. He sold three flavors -- vanilla, chocolate and strawberry -- and ice cream was 5 cents per dip.
   We had to wait until late afternoon when he returned to get our ice cream. Sometimes he sold out before he got home and we were disappointed if we had our nickels ready.
   Dolly in the back yard is another thought. Pruett Street has changed very little since then and it certainly was just as populated as it is today.
I don't think there were any laws to prohibit horses from living in the back yard.
   We occupied a lot of time talking to Dolly across the fence and fantasizing. There were times when fantasizing was not enough to take care of the odor and the flies, but when the wind was not out of the south, the horse was nice. If there had not been a horse, there would not have been an ice cream man.
   My dad would bring us Val-o-milk candy that he bought from Mr. Dunnavant, who had a candy shop behind his house on Bradburn Street. He sold the bars, six for 25 cents, and we've been told that he patented the Val-o-milk candy. He had a route selling the candy. after he quit making Val-o-milks, Curtiss Candy Company started making them, but they were much smaller than what we bought from Mr. Dunnavant.
   The Hot Tamale Man lived on Second Street right behind us. Mr. Wofford was the Hot Tamale Man and he sold the tamales, two for five cents, at the sale barn and on street corners.
One of the Harris boys told me that he and his brother would ride the train to Gainesville, get off and hunt rabbits on the way back to Paragould, and they sold them to Mr. Wofford for his hot tamales.
   As I share the memories with my boys, they think that I'm old -- for how could anyone live without a refrigerator and television? These two things alone guarantee that one is old.
   They cannot understand why there would be a need for so many grocery stores, or an Ice Cream Man or a Hot Tamale Man or a Candy Man.
                                                                                                                          Sharran McCullar


Ann Whitney and a group of friends playing in Eight Mile Creek

                                                                                                      Photo Courtesy of: Ann Whitney

   Among my favorite childhood memories are Sunday afternoons at Harmon Playfield. Many families took a lunch and ate at the playfield. Others just came to sit under the trees or to wade in the Eight-Mile Creek. The Lily Pond was a favorite of both young and old.
   We went to the playfield almost every Sunday. It was my treat for the week. A crowd could always be found there.
   Another fond memory of mind spans many years. I received a pony for my sixth birthday and I'm sure many older people will remember my riding that pony all over town. He was black and white and a very friendly fellow.
   There were always several of my friends at my house to ride the pony. There was a rule that the wood had to be chopped after school before I could ride.
Therefore, I usually had lots of help so we could hurry and finish any play "Cowboys and Indians" on the 22 acres of land that my parents owned, which is now the east half of Linwood Cemetery.
   I rode that pony in lots of parades and showed him in several area horse shows. I remember the wonderful horse shows, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, which attracted some of the finest horses in the country.
   My mare had two colts. I sold one but kept the other. After his mother died, he was the only horse I owned and my children learned to ride on him. He died several years ago at the age of 28 and because of the unavailability of a place to keep horses, we decided not to buy another.
 I still miss being able to saddle up and take a nice ride in the country.

                                                                        Ann McLerkin Whitney/Paragould


Firefighters Collide on their way to a fire


Transcribed by: PR Massey

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