I do not remember my age but I do remember my folks would go on 1 to 2 week vacations during the summer for they both loved to fish. There were not very many good fishing lakes around where we lived fishing off of the bank was next to impassable, the lakes around home had big clefts around the lake and you rely needed a boat. So every year I would ask to go and stay at my uncle’s farm near Cloud Chief Oklahoma. Uncle Elmer and Aunt Mary had a big two-story house on their farm and they also had two sons who were a little older than I was. They did not understand why I liked to come and help out on the farm. I guess it was because I was a city boy and they were country boys, they had to do the chores all the time and I only had to do them a couple of weeks out of the year. I would get up early and gather the eggs and thin go and help milk the cows I loved watching my aunt make cream from the milk and thin butter I would get to help churn the butter. I hated it though when it was time to help chop the weeds around the cotton or pick the cotton that was hot and hard work.
I remember one time going with dad, my uncle, and the two cousins; we went fishing in the Washita River near Cloud Chief. We did not use rod and rills. We would get down in the water and feel along the banks of the river and when we felt a whole up into the bank we would reach our hand up into it, and if you felt a fish you would hold on and pull him out. Sometimes you might get a 10 or 20 pound catfish. I hated it though when you would step on a mud cat and his fin would stick you in the foot and it would sting like crazy. You know I guess we were lucky because I know that there are Water Moccasins snakes in that river and a few alligator gars that is a fish that has a long mouth with sharp teeth all around their mouth, I got bit once with a gar and it only left teeth prints on my arm, I thank he was trying to jump over my arm but he did not make it. A lot later my uncle did get bit by several water Moccasins, he got help in time but it did make him pretty sick.
One other time while staying with them he let me drive the tractor pulling a plow, I was doing pretty good for a while but somehow I got the front wheels turned sideways. You have to remember this was back in the middle to late 1950 and the tractor was one of those that had two smaller front wheels next to each other any way I don’t care how hard I would try to get the wheels straight I just could not do it. I stopped the tractor and waited for my uncle to show up he would check up on me every so often. I guess he could see that I had stopped for there was no red Oklahoma dirt flying in the air. He came over and he did not haft to ask me what was wrong for he could see the front wheels facing to the side, he climbed up on the tractor started it up stepped on the clutch put it in gear revved the engine a little and let out on the clutch and popped a wheelie and as the tractors nose was up in the air he turned the wheels straight. He left me strict instructions not to try this and if I do get the wheels turned wrong again do what I did before just stop and wait. I had some good times with my uncle Elmer and it was so sad that he died early with a heart attack.