A Patchwork of Memories

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MORRIS EUGENE KING

I was born July 26, 1917 in northern Caddo County, Oklahoma between Bridgeport and Hinton, the son of William Ellis and Estelle Emma King. <rest of sketch withheld as it contains names and information on people who are of an age to still be living>

VALENTINE'S DAY

By: Morris Gene King

"Well, well! Here's another valentine for Morris! He's about to become the most popular boy in this room!" Miss Imo Massey smiled as she pulled another envelope from the box during our annual valentine exchange. I slowly forced myself up from the desk where I had tried to scoot down out of sight. I could have died. I glared at Francis Cox who was behind this barrage of "love" missives.

My face was red as I strode to the front of the room amid snickers from my classmates. This would total fifteen of the crude home made hearts addressed " To Morris Form Francis!" The poor kid couldn't even spell "from"!

Chubby little Francis lived on the farm next to ours and had for some time been casting loving glances my way. They were usually accompanied with a deep heartfelt sigh. Needless to say, I did not share her feelings. Such a union was not to be. However, she later inherited the farm and had we joined in wedlock, we would have had two fine farms side by side. But, as it turned out, I had my eye on slimmer, more desirable females!

THE RALEIGH MAN COMETH

By: Morris Gene King

"Now Morris, Next time the Raleigh man comes, you better keep quiet! The very idea! He can't help if he stutters when he gets excited." Mother was really angry but even so she did not glance up over the stove where she kept a supply of fresh switches.

I felt somewhat ashamed, but I really could not help doing what I usually wanted so much to do when Mr. McBee, our Raleigh man came to call. Oh what wondrous smells followed him as he came in and opened his magic cases. He always had an unusual piece of hard candy for me which I noisily sucked on while he showed Mother his marvelous wares. There were herbs and spices from far away romantic lands. We always kept a supply of Raleigh black pepper on hand, and to this day, I still believe all other brands come short of that one-of-a-kind seasoning. My Dad always wanted a bottle of Raleighs Liniment, "G-g-g-good for m-m-m-man or b-b-beast!", Mr. McBee excitedly proclaimed.

He always became excited when people bought. We always bought, and he always stuttered. I stood the suspense as long as I could, then I had to imitate him.

No matter what he said, I would chime in with, "D-d-d-d-d-d-d-d", I did not mean any harm by it. Just some ornery bone in my body crying out for release.

Mother would scold me, Mr. McBee would laugh and say, "Leave him alone, he may grow up to be another Will Rogers".

Finally Mother would have enough, she would reach over to slap me and I would jerk back and crawl under the old dining room table where she could not reach me. Strange to say, when Dad was in the house, I was never bothered with my affliction!

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