Precious Memories

By Mike Claunch

I now wish I had paid more attention and had asked more questions of them when my father and my grandfather Claunch were still alive.

I don't remember ever going to Pine Forest, but I may have as a mere child. I do remember going to my grandfather's farm just outside of Como. To get to the farm, you turned off the main highway, Texas #11, out of  Sulphur Springs going to Como. At arriving in Como, you went north straight through town. The farm was not far out of town. There was a dirt road that went off at an angle, and came to a "T" in the road. Now I think about it, all the roads were dirt or sand at the time. My grandfather's place was on the northeast corner of that intersection. The road that ran in front of his house leads back to Woodlawn Cemetery.

My grandfather's old farm house is gone now, but I have vivid memories of the huge front porch with railings, which we kids imagined as horses. There was a water well in front of the house by a big tree. There was always a dipper hanging on the well framing, and on our visits my father would take me out there to get a drink straight from the well. That drink would be cold and good!

On our summertime visits to the farm when the watermelons were ripe, my grandfather would hitch up a team of mules to his wagon, and take us grandkids for a ride down the road to the watermelon patch. When we arrived there he would pick out a few of his largest, ripest prizes to take back to the house for the whole family gathering. We would all get to bust a ripe one for ourselves. I used to think it was the greatest thing being around those mules and horses. My dad, however, didn't share this excitement, because as a youth, he spent many an hour walking behind a pair of mules plowing the bottom land.

I also have fond memories of going to Sulphur Springs as a child. This would have been in the late 1940s and early 1950s. For a city boy, visiting my Aunt Janie and Uncle O. B. Owen's dairy outside of town on Como Highway was a thrill. I spent many a summer walking their woods, and helping to milk the cows.

I think kids of today really miss out by not getting the chance to experience things of those days and times. Things are just too easy for them now, and just too fast paced.

Today when I read others' memories of those long gone days, it seems as if though I am hearing my dad tell me stories of Hopkins County life again.

Mike, who lives in Cleburne, Texas, was born in 1945. His grandmother Birdie Mae (Minter) Claunch was the daughter of Joseph T. Minter and Josephine (Turner) Minter