Older Than Dirt

My aunt, CJ Garriott is our guest blogger for today. She is Gail Lee Martin’s youngest sister. She’s sharing memories that were triggered by an internet questionnaire.

Well, what can I say? I’m older than dirt! A few I didn’t experience: Milk was not delivered to our house because we always had cows! and as for ice, we lived in company housing, and had electricity and refrigerators by the time I was in 1st grade, long before farmers and others did. I DO remember the day we got an inside bathroom (when I was in high school), and no longer had to use the outhouse. I thought we had truly arrived.

 In looking back, I’ve realized how good we had it in the Depression Years. I was born in 1934, and my Daddy not only had a job (oilfield pumper), he had a job that came with a house! We always had cows, chickens, and a big garden. We bought baby chickens that we had to collect from the post office, and when they were fryer size, Mother “harvested” them, and froze them in cardboard cartons filled with water. Never had freezer burn; always tasted fresh.
My oldest sister bought block ice for their icebox. I don’t remember if Gail did that too, or if they had electricity when she married?
IceBoxAndFan083114 copy.png Postcard
by ShroudedLake
All this certainly brings back memories–since we lived in a rural area, we weren’t able to have newspapers delivered. This doesn’t mention listening to the radio–I hurried home from school to turn on the radio and listen to Tom Mix and The Shadow Knows. And we had (and used) a record player that you cranked! Enjoy this trip down long-ago memory lane! CJ/Carol

Memories of Pearl Harbor

My aunt, CJ Garriott, was quite young when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. She still remembers that day.

I was 7 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked; Mother & Daddy were listening to the radio. I didn’t understand exactly what had happened, but somebody, I didn’t know who (the “Japanese”? Did they live in KS?) had done something really, really bad to Americans.

I was very scared, and went out, got my cat, went to my bedroom, and got under the bed. I was afraid they were coming to our house.

She was 10 years younger than my mom, Gail. I have several posts about Gail McGhee’s wartime experiences.


Radio from the World War II era.

A Long Ago Christmas

a-long-ago-christmas-bubblewsI’m the keeper of the family photos now since my mother died. I need to add the stories to them before it is time to pass them along to the next generation.

Three of the people in this 1971 photo are already gone. Remaining are my sister, brother and me. We are all in our sixties now. Some forty years have passed since we were standing here for this Christmas picture. We were just in our twenties then and our parents were in their forties.

Little did we dream that Shannon would die before my parents. She is so young in this picture, the baby of the family.

My brother, so handsome and vital in this photo is now in a nursing home. He had a stroke and must use a wheelchair. Just thinking of how restricted his life has become due to health issues makes me sad.

My sister, in the blue sweater, has moved to another state. She’s made a new life there and enjoying exploring new territory. In this photo, she was still in college and so was I. I’m the one in navy blue. Yes, back then I had red hair.

Two of our sisters aren’t in this photo. I’m sure they were there for the family gathering.

Little did we know the paths that our lives would take. Maybe it is best that we don’t know.

(post originally published on Bubblews – by Virginia Allain)

McGhee Sisters – National Siblings Day

Inspired by the vintage photos everyone was posting on Facebook for National Siblings Day, I rummaged out some pictures of Mom with her two sisters.

July 1955

July 1955 – The McGhee sisters with their parents. (L to R) Melba Harlan, Clarence McGhee, Carol Garriott, Ruth McGhee and Gail Martin.

For views of them as children, take a look at these posts: Photo Memories and Vintage Photos.

gail melba carol

Gail, Melba and C.J.


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This was the occasion of Gail and Clyde’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. C.J. tweaks her brother-in-law’s ear. Melba and Norman Harlan stand behind Gail.


Crafty Sisters

Mom’s older sister Melba created crafts galore with her husband, Norman Harlan. They sold wooden clown figures and stylish reindeer and other hand-crafted wooden pieces.

Mom and Dad made wagon wheel rugs from rags and soft crafts like kittens made of yarn pompoms. The yarn pompoms turned into beautiful Christmas wreaths and huge yarn candy canes for hanging on your front door. They didn’t have a booth at this craft fair.

Karen took these two photos in 1992 when Gail visited with her sister at the Eureka craft fair held in a big building on the fairgrounds. The Harlans had a booth with their wooden crafts.

Gail with her sister Melba Harlan

Gail with her sister Melba Harlan

Sisters share a moment at the Eureka craft fair.

Sisters share a moment at the Eureka craft fair.

Mom said of this photo, “Is that me?” She looks a bit like Bea Arthur from the Golden Girls here.