Come Saturday Afternoon


White County Historical Society


s a boy on the farm the only time we had to work Saturday afternoons was when it rained too much during the week and we were up to our knees in crab grass. A few farmers made their kids work 6 full days but I sure felt sorry for them and believe that was being too strict.
I was grateful that our folks felt after we had worked 5 1/2 long days, we deserved Saturday afternoon for relaxation with friends. Looking forward to it helped ease the drudgery through the week. We farm kids cherished our Saturday afternoons in town and these were happy times for us.
We would come in at noon, take care of the teams, then each would reach for one of the tin tubs of bath water that had been placed out in the sun. One would go to the end of the well house, another to the back porch, another to the kitchen, and sometimes one would stay right in the back yard bathing and shampooing the sweat and field dirt away. After many years with these ol' round tin tubs we got some oblong ones and I thought, man, this is just too good to be true.
Next, jump into some clean overalls or khaki pants and by 1:30 head for town. One summer my older brother bought himself a sailor straw hat. If we were working in a field near the house, about mid-morning he would come in for a drink of water and try the hat on and look in the mirror. At noon he tried it on again. At 3 p.m. he came in again for a drink and once more put it on. Then just before going to bed he tried it on once more… Somehow I got the idea he was proud of that hat.
Well, what did we do when we arrived in town on the weekend? We would wander from the barber shop to the drug store to the café. Then to the pool hall and on to the gas station. Part of the time there would be a ball game to take in. Sometimes boys that had come in from Hiram, McJester, Dewey, Clay, Drake Spur, West Pangburn and other places would just stand along Main Street and shoot the breeze. Some of the years there was a picture show on Saturday nights. Sometimes a group would dance at the Legion Hut. Sometimes a girl who lived in town, or one in the country, would invite her age group for a play party.
Saturday afternoons and nights like we remember in the '30s when rural kids came into town is not a big deal any more. But once they were very colorful. It's nice to think about them once in a while.

The author, R.C. McCourt, and a famous classmate are shown in this 1928 photo of the second grade class at Pangburn. Photographed on April 9, 1928, were (left to right) front row - Imogene Bowen, Freddie Coffey, Freida Henderson, Dorothy Crook, Glen Buckmaster, Clark Henderson, Houston Butler and Eual Boyles; back row - Vernon Wallis, Thomas Moss, Rex Humbard, R.C. McCourt, Leo Crook, Mildred Ghent, Genevie Baker, Audrey Vernon and teacher Miss Grace Johnson. Rex Humbard beside R.C. grew up to become an internationally known television evangelist. Glen Buckmaster on the front row was killed in World War II as was his brother Alvin. Their father was a physician in Pangburn.