The old Calhoun farmhouse, named I suppose for the owner and landlord Mr. Calhoun, had a long driveway maybe a quarter mile long, or so it seems. Actually, it was only about 100 yards. My brother Allen and I would walk to the mailbox with Mama, and sometimes we walked down the road to visit with some friends, the Jennings family, which we would later go to school with. Further down the road lived another family named Nipp. Daddy said their house had a dirt floor, which was hard for us to imagine. We weren’t well off by any means, but none of our homes had dirt floors. The youngest Nipp child went by the name Bidy Paul. We thought it was because he bit people. There were a lot of children in that family.
To our two-and three-year-old minds, our landlord Mr. Calhoun had a funny way of talking. He held a device to his throat to help him speak, but it made his voice sound gravelly and tinny like a machine. We were scared of him for that reason. We learned much later that he had to have surgery to remove his voice box, and he spoke through a stoma with a microphone. To us he sounded like a real live robot.
We eventually traded houses with my grandparents who lived down the road in a tiny little white frame house. I remember having a birthday party at the big house for my third birthday, and receiving a little pink New Testament Bible, which I believe was my first Bible. At the big house is where I saw Grandma Nunn chasing a chicken and eventually catching it and wringing its head right off its body. I guess we had that chicken for dinner that night. I also remember my aunts Martha and Mary telling me and Allen to wipe our bare feet on the rug so that we wouldn’t get dirt in the bed. We must have been staying the night there.
Lots of memories were made in that big old house. Stay tuned for tales from the little house. . .