Thursday, October 20, 2016

Got Something Tonight

In 1948 my mom was the first woman bus driver in Collin County Texas.  Her first cousin, Lucille, owned her own store in the little farming community of Chambersville before WWII.  As my BFF, Reba Jane, (Lucille's daughter and my third cousin), puts it, 'Our moms were ahead of their times.'  They surely were.

Lucille always appeared pretty even tempered.  Reba Jane and I ran Lucille's well dry of water making mud pies one day.  We had had a wonderful day playing in the water.  Crook, Reba Jane's dad, came home from work and found the well dry.  He lit out after us two girls with fire in his eyes.  Lucille came to our rescue opening a screen on a window and sending us running.  By the time we were called back in Crook was calm.  We did get a scolding but that was it.

My mom on the other hand could be a real hell cat if she got her dander up just right.  Remember, this is the woman that single handed picked and brought in the first bale of cotton one fall.  No simple feat while feeding a family, driving a bus and picking cotton in between.  Yep, Mom was made of some tough material.  One day on the school bus as we were making the afternoon rounds she saw a lineman installing telephone wires to a neighbor.  She stopped the bus, swung open the door and asked the lineman how far he was running the line.  It stops here was his reply.  Our house was about 1500 feet beyond where the line was to be installed.

Oh, my.  That poor lineman had no clue what was about to happen.  She told the man we had a radio phone.  She then noted very sternly this neighbor that had never had a phone was getting an electric phone.  Mom told the man to either bring the line down to our house or pull our phone out.  Mom did not care about orders, equipment or any other logical reason the man could not run the line to our house.

"Mame, I'm only here to put this line in and have orders to stop here" replied the bewildered lineman.

"You either come and take the phone out or I'll yank it out myself.  Then I'll throw the damn thing in the front yard!", Mom shouted.  Seems it was less than a quarter mile to our house.  Mom finished the afternoon run taking the school bus full of startled kids to their respective homes.  We returned to our house with no phone.  The poor lineman had taken our phone.  I do not remember how soon the phone line was run to our house.  Mom had made her statement. That was the mid 1950's.

Mom made lots of statements.  Like when she was having to mop floors at TI because they had run out of supplies to build a certain type of device.  The young male techs that were new hires were laughing at her and the other women as they did the mopping.  Wrong move, guys.  One of the 'big wigs' of the company came by and said, "Well, hi, Mary, how are you doing."  Again,  he did not know what he was stepping into at that moment.  She let him know she was not pleased to be mopping at 64 years old while those boys were standing and laughing.  Next day the boys were mopping and the ladies were watching.

Well, I am pretty sure Mom would have been told she was harsh by a certain presidential candidate.  He probably never had to train man after man after man to be a supervisor over himself.  I know many women that did that very thing to boys with no more education than the woman.  I was told more than once that a woman could not do a particular job simply because I was a woman.  Like my vagina would preclude me from developing film.  Yes, really.

So, Mr. Trump, my mom was a harsh woman because she lived in a harsh world.  She raised three other girls besides me.  We are all harsh women.  We get things done.  We step up and do hard stuff.  We sacrifice, work, raise kids, teach Sunday School, cheer at soccer games, babysit, be den mothers, help build businesses and we vote.  My sisters, Reba Jane and I will proudly vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton because she is tough as nails.  She doesn't whine when behind in the polls that 'things are rigged'.  In other words she takes it like a woman, not a spoiled, pouty brat.

Peace out sisters and brothers!
Janice
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