Hard times at Liberty Hill

Little Red River Journal, December 2, 1981

People think they are having some hard times now. Go with me to 1936 on through to now. We lived in a two-room house built of logs near Liberty Hill - that’s between Sidon and Rose Bud. Wages were from 75 cents to a dollar a day and it was 10 to 11 hours a day.

But with four kids I had to keep going.

One time in 1930, we rented a two-acre block. We worked hard and gave $6 standing rent. We barely made enough cotton to pay the rent. No water fell, no vegetables were raised that year. We only had whippoorwill peas to eat. We ate them for both dinner and supper and sometimes we would be lucky to have cow butter and sorghum syrup. Lish Starkey always made the best syrup around.

We had no car then and I would walk one and a half miles to chop cotton all day. Sometimes it was a two-mile walk. The kids walked two miles to school. Now the kids gripe if they have to wait for a bus to pick them up. They have warm lunches. Then, it was a cold snack of some kind. [If] we got hungry, me and two of the kids would go and try to kill a possum or coon if we were lucky.

But I say hard times are not over yet. According to the Bible there is more to come. So I am asking you to talk to The Man Upstairs. He still cares about us all. He has helped me through some awful times. If the children only knew how lucky they are, they would be thankful instead of grumbling. When I went to school, there were no buses, in fact I never heard of one. I walked two miles one way. When that school was out, it was two and a half miles to Pickens Chapel. If I had any dinner it was cold. Thank God for lunchrooms that the children have now. They don’t know how happy they should be.

I was born in 1903 - have seen some rough times in my life. ?????????

--photo courtesy Diann Poe & Betty Bennett

Edna Cowen Bracken (left) of Letona was lucky - she had a motorcycle while the author was walking.