Tuesday, October 27, 2015

James Truman Powell 1913-1997

When James Truman Powell was born on October 27, 1913, in Carroll County, Arkansas, his father, Robert, was 30 and his mother, Gertrude, was 22. He married Julia Frances Rudd on June 21, 1936, in Carroll County, Arkansas. They had five children in 10 years. He died on October 22, 1997, in Carroll County, Arkansas, at the age of 83, and was buried in Green Forest, Arkansas, Pickens Cemetery.

 Above Truman and Frances--I think this is their wedding day.

The truth is I did not really know my Uncle Truman.  He was a quiet man.  In their last years to work for wages, Daddy and Uncle Truman worked for the same man and lots of times they worked together.  I never recall Dad saying a bad word about his brother, Truman, and I am sure Truman did not speak poorly of Dad.  Once they were mending a roof for their boss.  They were both on top the house climbing up to fix the leak.  Well, the ladder fell over.  They were both over 60 and knew it would not be wise to jump to the ground.  They just sat and joked until someone came looking for them and resat their ladder.

From Truman's Sister Winnie--1993

Truman was a quiet, easy going kid. For some reason Pop favored Willis over Truman and believed Truman got as many whippings as the six of us totaled, but I can't remember Truman ever criticizing Mom or Pop or any of the rest of us. It seems he had and showed more love for all of us than anyone in the family.
Truman didn't finish high school (S of O). He came back home and managed to buy a saddle and managed to buy a saddle horse. His social life was curbed by how far he could ride that horse (Ole Red). He married Frances Rudd. They had 5 children.

Below is part of a letter Truman wrote to his Dad in California in 1925.  Melton Powell went out to check out the state and pick fruit to make extra money.  He did not come home with a dime!  And he decided California was not a state that had good schools.  He would stick with Arkansas.
Sister Patsy tells about the letter--this is only one side of it.
Truman wants to go hunting the opossum and his mother won't let him go alone or with someone name Price. Notice in Willis' letter they were trapping rabbits. These went on the family's dinner table. I don't think they ate opossum because they feed on dead animals but their mother might had cooked them if they needed the food. The hide of opossum could be sold for cash.
My father told how he and Truman always hunted the opossum and skunk for hides. At that time there were no raccoon in Carroll co. Arkansas. Truman would be 12 years old in 1925.

From Sister Patsy
While Daddy was in the service we lived at Denver Arkansas across from my grandfather's (Gaddy) garden. at first there was only mama , Richard and me then in 1944 nine months after daddy was home on leave Clayton was born.
Many times the 3 of us would walk down long creek and spend the day with Truman and Frances and their boys.
We children loved to run and play like wild Indians and we always had a good meal because Aunt Francis was best cook that ever was.
I remember crying not long after daddy was gone while we were at Truman's and my uncle ask me what was wrong and I said I don't have a daddy anymore, I was 5 years old at that time. Uncle Truman told me that he would be my daddy until daddy came home.
Uncle Truman milked cows for a living and he had a cement trough behind the cows for the cow manure to fall in, every time you put a cow in a station to milk her she surly will have a bowl movement.
That trough was always full of green cow manure and we all liked to play hide and seek in the barn. One time Jimmy slipped and fell while running for home base which was part of our game.
That boy was covered with manure from head to toe. Needless to say Jimmy had to have a bath in the wash tub with cold water. aunt Francis was not happy.
The barn had a loft and above the loft were these rafters way up in the air, Donnie was always a dare devil and he would climb up on these 2by4s and walk them. He would be walking the plank 12 feet in the air and I knew he would fall and kill him self. I would beg him to come down and of course he stayed up there longer to spite me.
One time aunt and uncle were in Denver shopping and they invited mama and us home with them to spend the night.
Uncle Truman had a green ford truck with a stock rack around it and we children were riding in the back
Donnie was Playing he was a cowboy with a horse and telling us big tales like he always Did. as we came in sight of the house me, jimmy and Richard lost interest in Donnie tales and face forward in the truck..
Donnie went to the open gate which was forbidden for us to do. when we got to the house and jumped out of the truck aunt Francis noticed Donnie was missing.Truman found him unconscious laying in the road, They took him to the doctor and from there they went to grandpa Powell where Donnie finally regained consciousness.
We had to go home and we didn't get to play any that day.Donnie's fault as usual.
Donnie and jimmy grew up on long creek fishing and playing all summer long. They would catch bull frogs on the creek and aunt Francis would fry them.I think they grew up in a pleasant place and were happy children. I know Richard and me were always happy when we got to go to uncle Truman.
Me and Jimmy started to school at Denver together.Our teacher was Cleo Jackson. we were issued spelling books and told to learn the first assignment. I looked at the book and couldn't make heads or tails out of the words and I suppose jimmy was in the same situation.
The next day Cleo called on me to spell my words and I couldn't, neither could Jimmy . Cleo took us up on the stage and whipped us with a belt in front of the school. I always felt that Cleo was wrong to do that because he had failed to show us what we were suppose to do.
Across the road from uncle Truman's house was the well and a big walnut tree grew there. There was this big flat rock and we would crack walnut and get our belly full. I never saw that rock without a pile of walnuts. Aunt Francis used the walnuts in her cakes and cookies.
Aunt Francis like to tell ghost stories. She would have us gather around her at night and tell us some ghost stories. I don't remember being scared by her stories.
Truman and Francis both read and there was always books and magazines in their upstairs room. I would slip up there and read every chance I got. I read God's little acre and forever Amber in the upstairs. both books were considered risque and of course I wanted to read them and did. Aunt Francis always had a stack of modern romance magazines up there and I read them also, Uncle Truman leaned toward westerns and there were always a ready supply for me to read.
My memories of those golden days are still with me after all these years. No children had a better childhood than we did.
 Willis, Thelma and Truman Powell about 1916.
From Sister Patsy
Before world war II we lived on a farm at Carrollton AR. Daddy's brother Truman lived below Denver AR. This was some distance to travel in the wagon or sometimes daddy would go visit alone on horse back. Uncle did the same. one day daddy was visiting Truman. Uncle had 6 cats in his barn and daddy didn't like cats and never had one on the place. Daddy told his brother you need to thin out your cats. Truman said I like them, father went around to ever neighbor and gathered all the cats that he could. After 2 weeks he had 30. On a day when uncle was in town daddy paid Truman a visit with a sack filled with cats. He released the cats into his brother's barn weeks later Truman came to visit. He said he had so many cats he didn't know what to with them. Truman said I have tried to count and I think I have 45.This spring I am going to order 100 banty chickens. You can only get staight run which will be 40/60, 40 pullets and 60 roosters. When I can sex them I am going to visit my brother on a day when I know he is working . Clayton is going to have an increase of roosters.
 Back row -- Fleta, Thelma, Truman and Willis Powell.  Front row is Oma Maples Moore's 3 girls.
Above Truman with two name sakes--Jim Reed and Jimmy Powell!
Below is Truman, Willis and Floyd--brothers

 Powell family lined up in birth order.  Truman Powell looks like the Powell family.  Willis looks like the Maples family and Floyd more Maples look than Powell.

Uncle Truman --1960s I would guess.

 Willis, Floyd, their mother, Gertrude, with Fleta and Winnie on either side, Truman and Betty
From Sister Patsy
My father's older brother was a soft spoken man who had a quick dry wit. Many time I have heard him speak and move on while you would be thinking what did he say?
In dad's last working years he and Truman worked together for a man who they grew up with and who had played with them as children. This man was breaking state law by not paying unemployment insurance on his employees. My father and his brother knew the laws of our country especially if this law was for their benefit.  One day this childhood friend/boss called all the men into his office and begin to talk to them. He said now men times are hard and things are ruff and I have to cut back on wages. I really hate to do this but times are hard and things are ruff.  I have found it necessary to lay off the following men, Truman Powell , Willis Powell and John Smith. Now I am sorry about this more than you know but times are hard and thinks are ruff.  Dad's brother said in this soft voice he always spoke in, that "ok, boss we can draw unemployment." Their employer said "no, you can't draw unemployment because I don't pay unemployment."  Uncle Truman said "Well, we can try."   No one was laid off ,after all times were hard and things were ruff!
 Jimmy, Donnie, and Frankie Powell
From Sister Patsy--
It was only day before yesterday that Richard and me ran and played with these 3 pictured here. I was thinking last night as I lay in the bed unable to sleep about gone by days and the happening of our youth.
The little fellow setting in between his brothers was named Donnie . Donnie was full of life and prone to get into trouble often dragging the rest of his cousins present along with him. Uncle Truman had a razor strap which was often in use on Donnie's behind.
One spring day Uncle and Aunt came to shop at Denver in Uncle's green truck. When They started home they invited Mama , Richard and me to go spend the night. with them.
We were excited enjoying the prospects of a day at play with our cousins. Uncle Truman drove a green ford truck with a rack and we loaded up in the back with the cousins for a exciting trip down the dirt road.
The Powell cousins had been some where to see a move staring Gene Audry and Donnie was telling us the movie plot and about riding champ the famous Audry horse as usual Donnie was excited and tell big stories about he would jump on his horse and gallop down the road out running Uncle Truman's truck.
We rounded the bend in the road and the home place was in sight, We turned and was looking over the cab of the truck towards the house loosing interest in Donnie's tall tales. Truman brought the truck to a halt beside the old walnut tree and we baled out ready to start our day of play when we noticed Donnie was not with us.
Uncle ask us when we last saw him in the truck and we said just past the bend in the road. Aunt Francis was screaming and Uncle Truman was running down the road and for once we children were silent awaiting news from the horse back rider of the purple sage.
Then we saw Uncle returning with a freckle face unconscious Donnie in his arms. They took Donnie to Green Forest to Doctor McCurry and he sent the frighten parents to Grandpa Powell's home to awaited the out come of Donnie's troubles.
In that day the closest hospital was at Little Rock Arkansas and that was why the unconscious child was put to bed at Grandpa's home.
Grandma told me later, because we children had been left at home with mama , that she was setting in a chair by her bed where Donnie lay dead to the world and when he came to he looked at grandma and said "Ma". Grandma said it was the sweetest word she had ever heard.
Donnie recovered without any side effects that we could see, He still was loud and always getting into trouble dragging us along with him.
I look back on that day of the worst trouble we could possible imagine and consider all the things that have descended on us in our old age and think if we had only known the trouble we would see we might not have been able to go forth from that day. The Bible says the evil is sufferance unto the day meaning we know not the trouble we will see and it is good that we don't know of it.
 Virginia Lee

 Truman and Frances in younger time!
From Sister Patsy
When my brother Richard and I were young our greatest joy was traveling to Uncle Truman's farm to run and play with our cousins Jimmy and Donnie. They were like us in that they were apt to act like wild Indians most of the time.
One golden day is tucked away in my memory and it shines and glitters like a piece of gold.
The cast being Jimmy who as he informant me every chance HE got was the oldest grandchild being 2 whole months older than me. As I remember we were about 8 years young that summer . myself being the only girl and this was the last year I was allowed to join the boys in their play. After that summer they decided I was "a ole Gurl" and boys didn't play with girls.
As I said there was Jimmy with his dark hair and Donnie the younger child with freckles spread across his snub nose being even young than my tow haired brother, RICHARD who was one year younger than me being born in October 1939 and I rounding out the gang of four was the skinny blond headed girl child that who after that year was locked out of the boys play time cause boys don't play with girls. EECCeE!
So that year is precious to me because I was still allowed to play with the boys.
One summer day we were standing around on uncles yard trying to think of some adventure fit for 4 young adventurous bare foot children .
Parked in the yard was uncle's Truman's hay rake . the day before he had brought it in from the hay field having finished with the summer hay season.
Hey, Donnie said I know where we can have a lot of fun just like they do in the circus. We can ride the hay rake, will we soon discovered that riding the rake was a lot of work and only two could ride while the other two had to play being a team of horses. The horses part we soon discovered was not much fun.
Jimmy said he knew how we all could ride at the same time with out the aid of play horses which was fine with me because I had noticed that I was being drafter more often as the horse.
This was Jimmy's plan, we all would be horses and we would pull the rake down the road about a quarter of a mile and turn in uncle's hayfield where he had failed to shut the gate when he finished the day's work the day before.
Down road we pull and pushed the rake hoping that aunt Francis would not notice our departure because she was the one who usually stop our plans.
We arrived at the field turning our machine in the gate we discussed how this would work. Jimmy decided the best course of action was that he and Donnie would hold the tongue of the rake which is the part the horses are hooked too make the rake go.
You and Richard, jimmy said to me will push from behind one at each wheel until we get it going fast then we all will jump on and ride.
Ok that is what we did. we were moving down the hill at a pretty good clip when jimmy yelled NOW, get on which we did. hanging for dear life because we had not realized just how fast a rake could move on a steep incline.
The hot wind was drying the sweat from our brows and about that time the tongue of the rake rammed into the ground raising the part of the rake we were on a good 3 feet in the air and then down we came with a crash that Jared out teeth. and away we went again the tongue having broke free with the crash as we came down., after the second time the tongue ramming in the ground it crossed my mind that maybe jimmy's bright idea might not be so good after all and we could get hurt on this wild ride.
never the less all we could do was hang on and scream. Finally we reached the foot of the hill and we jumped off shouting with laughter. as we looked back up the hill which we had just rode down it dawned on us that our fun was over and we would have a lot of work ahead to get the rake back in the place where uncle had left it.
We discussed the matter and the boys said we will just leave it here and go back to the house since it was nearing dinner time and no one wanted to miss aunt Frances fine cooking least of all me. It crossed my mind that Truman might be upset when he discovered his rake missing but I reasoned that with any luck he wouldn't notice the fact until we were gone home and if he did express his displeasure by handing out corporal punishment I wouldn't be party to his displeasure and Donnie and jimmy's fate was not my concern. we went on our way Laughing and telling each other how great the ride had been and what were we going to do next. I know Donnie said lets go and walk the rafter in the barn. The rafters are real high in the air and it is just like being in the circus walking the rafters Donnie declared but I will leave that story for another day and bid you good night..
From Sister Patsy--2012--She is ill at this posting.

I have been bad since last Friday, my wound has been flowing constantly but today finally it has stopped so I am rendering lard again. I rendered two buckets Saturday and then couldn't do any more . After this I only have one more batch to do and then I am finished with pig fat. Fleta has posted our census and I am on it twice , once with mom and dad then down at the bottom of the page. Every 13 person was ask more question and I was no 13 but of course I was one month less than 2 years so I didn't answer questions. I just smiles my sweet smile. Virginia , Your family was still living on the smith place just past grandpa's house when the census was taken in April 1940. Truman was 26 years old and your mother was 23 years old.Jimmy was 2 and Donnie was born in Feb, 1940. Truman lists his occupation as farmer. Fleta has Jimmy's birthday falling in April, Helen said and I say he was born in March will you send me a email of your family's birthday? Grandpa list Thelma and Winnie as living at his house. I read that you listed everyone that it was their primary residency and I think because Winnie and Thelma were not married he listed that as their home. Betty and Floyd were there also but I think they did live there.
Note by Betty Renfroe--Jimmy was born March 13, 1938--From Daddy's Bible written by Grandpa Melton Powell.  Guess Fleta was wrong for a change.

 Truman and Frances' children 1970s and 2013

Powell Reunion about 1965
Recipe From Aunt Frances Rudd Powell

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thelma Christine Powell Gwaltney

When Thelma Christine Powell was born on October 16, 1912, in Carroll County, Arkansas, her father, Robert, was 29 and her mother, Gertrude, was 21. She married Thomas Nash Gwaltney on January 24, 1942. They had six children in 10 years. She died on October 31, 2002, in West Plains, Missouri, at the age of 90.

Thelma went to her first 8 grades of school at Coin.   To go to High School the first year she boarded with Uncle Jesse and Aunt Una Powell so she would be near Green Forest High School.  Her second year of High School she went away to boarding school at Point Lookout, MO.  She graduated from School of the Ozarks and then went to college in Berea, Kentucky where she finished with a degree in nursing.  She paid for Winnie Ree to go to beauty school.  She stayed with Floyd Powell after his heart attack and we believed saved his life.  When Daddy's cancer was found, she wrote up a vitamin regiment for him to take.  He lived 10 more years.  She was a special Aunt to all Willis Powell's children.

I have always wondered about her red hair.  I guess it came from Betty Cooper's Dad.  Winnie Ree thought the red hair came from the Maple's family.

From Sister Patsy:  (note from Sister Three--I did not post the picture that Patsy had up)
 My father's sister, Thelma had bright red hair, She was wife, mother and a nurse. .We loved her dearly. She probably was the most intelligent person I ever have known not counting my Grandfather, Milton Powell. This is a picture of her after she left her abusive drunkard husband and took up her nursing career again. My father and Thelma were very close. She had 6 brothers and sisters and out lived them all.The last 10 years she lived with the effects of a massive stroke. Her one side was dead and she couldn't speak, daddy always said when Thelma gets that red hair hanging down in her face you had better watch out!   Patsy Powell Poor
 Daddy (Willis), Thelma and Uncle Truman--1916
 Back row--Fleta, Thelma, Truman, and Daddy (Willis) about 1920--front row is Oma's children
Letter Thelma wrote to her Dad in 1925.
 Thelma married Thomas Nash Gwaltney Jan. 24, 1942.  She met him when she was a nurse where he was hospitalized I think with the neck injury above.  Below Tom is on the left!  A marriage reference says they were married in San Francisco, CA.  The picture below says taken in Hawaii!
Tom Gwaltney went into the Navy in March of 1942.  Not long after Pearl Harbor.  He left the service in November of 1943.  He served about a year and a half.
I know Aunt Thelma was county health nurse for the county, Alton, MO, is in.   After she and Tom seperated, she worked in the Nursing Department of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO.  Thelma and Tom remained married until death.  Here is what I found about the College.  After she retired, she worked part time at the College at Harrison, AR.

Lincoln University is a historically black university founded in 1866 by African-American veterans of the American Civil War and located in Jefferson City, Missouri. In 2007, it was ranked #3 for economic diversity, #5 for campus ethnic diversity, and #9 for most international students according to U.S. News & World Report rankings of master's-level universities in the Midwest. It is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

The school was founded as Lincoln Institute in 1866 by veterans of the 62nd and 65th Regiments United States Colored Troops (USCT) Infantry. The former soldiers intended to provide an education to African Americans through the combining of academics and labor, in the industrial school model characteristic of Booker T. Washington's influential Tuskegee Institute. Under the Morrill Act of 1890, Missouri designated the school as a land-grant university, emphasizing agriculture, mechanics and teaching.

By 1921, the college had expanded to offer graduate programs and was officially designated a university by the state of Missouri. It changed its name to "Lincoln University of Missouri." In 1954, it opened its doors to applicants of all races. It provides both undergraduate and graduate courses.
 Back row--Donnie, Jimmy, Patsy and Richard
Front--Frankie, Winnie Jo, Tommy Lou, Clayton, and Suzy

Thlema's oldest son Robert Gwaltney born in 1944.

 Fleta, Winnie, Betty, and Thelma
Thelma's sister, Winnie Powell Reed, wrote this to Fleta Aday November 3, 1993.
I think Thelma being the oldest always felt she had to watch after and tell us all what to do. Thelma was always Mom's favorite. I can't remember anything about her before she was a teenager. I can't remember her ever being happy till she went to Green Forest to stay with Uncle Jess (Papa's bro.) While gong to high school. One year then to Sof O for three years. I think her red hair and freckles were a handicap. Red hair and freckles came from the Maples side, so Mom thought they were OK. Her red hair had a lot of body and was very pretty.
Thelma graduated from high school at School of the Ozarks which was sixty miles north of Green Forest (a boarding school). While at S of O she worked in the school hospital and got a scholarship to go to college majoring in nursing. From college she got a job teaching nursing in St. Louis City Hospital. She got married to Tom Gwaltney while working in St. Louis. They never had a good marriage but produced 6 children. Winnie Reed
 Winnie, Betty, Fleta, and Thelma
 Thelma, Fleta, Winnie and Betty
 Powell family lined up in birth order.
 Powell family again 1948

Daddy in white shirt on sofa, Fleta by him, Thelma on sofa arm, Truman behind her, Winnie kneeling in black pants.  Others are Moore family.
Fleta, Helen--do I have Winnie and Fleta reversed.  Which is which?  I always have trouble telling them apart!
 Daddy and his sister Thelma July 1988!   Daddy had cancer of the bone.  I think the picture was July 25, 1988 for Dad's birthday.  He could walk with a walker on his birthday, but shortly after the cancer ate though his backbone and he could not walk.

Thelma wanted to be present when Daddy drew his last breath.  She said to call no matter what the time of night.  Well, about August 15, Fleta and I decided that he was going and called Aunt Thelma about 1 a. m.   She came within the hour.  Daddy opened his eyes and saw his sister.  He decided to put off going that night so they could have one last long good visit.  They sat and talked til dawn and then Aunt Thelma went back home.  The next time, we thought his moment had came...we did not call his sister for he would have held on longer again.  He passed away August 21, 1988.  She was not present and Momma sat in the kitchen so he could go on home!  We rejoiced that he hurt no more and then wept because we did not have him any longer.

Daddy and Thelma enjoyed a good debate.  They took opposite view points and argued their case.  Once Thelma argued that if she died she would come back as something else---perhaps a pretty flower!  Daddy told her she would be a weed.  Read the Bible he scolded her.  It was all in fun just to get him going!  Thelma loved going to Uncle Truman's.  She would go and get walnuts to pick out for her recipes.  She loved walnuts.  Daddy, Thelma and Fleta were really sick when they were young children.  I think with malaria.  The Doctor told Grandma and Grandpa to hardly give them food. Daddy was about 7 is what I think.  He told us this story over and over.  In the day when his parents were busy, he would crawl out the window.  No screens then.  A walnut tree was there by their sick room window and Daddy filled up on walnuts passing them to his sisters.  He said surely without the walnuts they would have died!
 Fleta Powell Merk and Thelma -- retirement days

 Thelma's youngest three boys-- Larry, Mike, and Max
 Singing school --Thelma is on back row.  She is 14th from left

Thelma and Tom's family -- all grown
 Thelma sent this to Daddy about 1941--it says--Love to Willis and Hazel--comment about not looking like her because she is smiling.
 Thelma and Tom and family 1955
Erin and Thelma--two nurses
Thelma worked with lots of Doctors.  She believed that most had their noses so high in the air it messed up their vision.  She was having some type of surgery and they said no food the night before.  She told me she bought a bag of jelly beans and ate the entire bag.  She said she would need the extra energy.  Once when she did go to the doctor, she had a medical study for him to read.  She was really put out as she said when she returned she was sure he did not take the time to read what she had wanted him to.  She probably felt that she knew more than most doctors and she probably did.
 Daddy, Thelma and Truman belwo and Betty, Dad and Thelma above
 After she had her stroke--5 Willis Powell Children went to Missouri see her.
Recipe from Aunt Thelma
Crisp X Cookies
cup of lard
cup of brown sugar 
cup of white sugar
2 eggs 
1 t. vanilla
Cream this together
cup and a half of flour
1 t. soda
1 t. salt
2 heaping T. of cocoa
Sift all these dry ingredients together
Then Thelma says to beat dry ingredients into creamed base until sugar is melted.
Then add
3 cups of oatmeal
half a cup of black walnuts
1 cup of raisens
Mix all this well.   The batter will be very stiff.  Roll into balls and bake on cookie sheet greased.  She says to make the balls about the size of a walnut.  Bake in moderate over (350 degrees).  She says don't overcook.  Probably 12 to 15 minutes is my guess.  

Thelma liked these cookies.  She would bring them to our house for our get togethers.  Yes, she came often after she moved to Harrison.  Daddy loved her dearly, but Momma adored her too.  She was welcomed and esteemed at our home.  

Friday, October 9, 2015

Richard Charles Powell 1939-2008

When Richard Charles Powell was born on October 10, 1939, in Carrollton, Arkansas, his father, Willis, was 24 and his mother, Hazel, was 18. He married Barbara Sue Trantham on December 25, 1959. They had four children in 14 years. He died on April 27, 2008, in Berryville, Arkansas, at the age of 68, and was buried in Alpena, Arkansas.

Richard Powell was named for his two grandfathers, Richard Powell and Charles Thomas.  He was a farmer.  He loved his family, coon hunting and pumpkin pie.   His favorite coon dog was a Blue Tick.  He could climb any tree he wanted to and pop the head off a snake by holding on to the tail whipping it like a bull whip.  He was not afraid is my cherished childhood memory of him.  He would ride a wild horse, go deep into a dark cave, run barefoot for his Aunt Betty through the dark pasture bottom land in June when snakes were crawling and owls were hooting--the very night I came into this world!  He relished a good laugh.  Once when his Blue Tick chased a deer, he took him to coin laundry and put him in the dryer with deer scent.  That took care of that.  When his coon hunting buddy went to sleep listening to the dogs run, he built a ring of dry oak leaves around him and set them on fire.  Billy Joe Rudd awoke in a ring of fire and the rolling laughter of Richard Powell.  Richard Powell always called me on my birthday with the story of the day I was born.  The phone rings no more!
This is Richard and Patsy.  Richard is playing with a cream can lid!  I would guess the time was about 1940 as he looks young still.  Patsy said they scratched each other in the picture.  Richard scratched her and she REALLY got him a good one.

And below is about the time he started school--probably first grade.  Once he told me he did not go to Green Forest to High School because all he had was over-alls and the other boys wore pants.

Growing up it was always "Patsy and Richard".  Their names were used together when their childhood was recalled.  Then in 2008, Richard died at only 68.  The memories of him posted here are by Sister Patsy!   She knew him best!
What Sister Patsy said on the day of Brother's funeral!

My brother, Richard Powell,  went to work for wages when he was 14 years old. He quit school at the 8 grade and soon was working for Frank Sydney milking cows. He always did farm work except for a few weeks after he married when he worked for Tyson Foods.

In 1988 there about he was able to acquire a piece of land for him and his wife. There he grew chickens and beef cattle.Richard had a good life. He worked out in the sun and never had to live under someone's thumb. He had a good wife who did everything she could to make his life comfortable. 

Richard and Barbara had 4 children who are a credit to their parents. never in trouble at least not of their own making. I dread today and will be glad when it is over.

 Richard was 6 years old and he started first grade at Coin, AR.  Dad signed the census.  Dad's signature was about the same forty years later.
School lunch in a syrup bucket.  From Sister Patsy
 Below is Richard, Frankie Ree, and Clayton Powell.  I think this was taken the year of the big reunion near Sunny Lane!  Above is Richard with his classmates at Coin.  One is his sister, Patsy.
Memories From Sister Patsy
Richard Powell October 10, 1939--2008
My earliest memory of my brother was at Carrollton, Arkansas . I invented this game, the game went like this I gave Richard orders and he had to do what I said. I would say Richard run to that tree and he had to do what I said. I loved the game but Richard soon decided that this game wasn't to his liking.

Another memory was we were walking beside the road and we found this large saucer sized sea shell. Someone must have thrown it from a car. I thought the pearl coating was very pretty.

I remember we took sticks and played that they were horses. we rode our stick horses for hours.
most of my memories of Richard were at Denver. we played all day long and lived the good life.
when we moved to the farm I remember the first time we saw fox fire we were amazed and some what frighten but the first time we encountered seed tick we were both covered and I was sure we would both die.

I remember standing on the ground and begging Richard to throw me black hulls and persimmons. Richard could climb any tree and I was never able to get my feet off the ground.

If Richard were alive today I would call and say happy birthday and we would argue about his age. Richard would shave a year or so off just to get me going about how old he was then he would tell me how many of his kids were there to help him celebrate his day.
From Sister Patsy
The first winter on the farm daddy bought a hog from the cripple man , the fellow had butchered it and loaded it on a cart bringing it to town to sell.
Dad brought the hog bringing it home to put in a smoke house on the hill close to the old house. dogs dug under the smoke house and carried the meat away the first night. I don't think we got a bite  of the hog.
I remember eating persimmons that fall when we moved on the place. dad said these kids can live on persimmons and we wont have to feed them.
dad bought milk cows and me and Richard went to work learning to milk cows. A first we ran the cows in for daddy and he milked but Richard and me were learning to milk in the lot by grabbing a teat and milking into our mouths as we ran the cows in.
I remember we had one named Pet, she was white and  we had  her before the war, dad bought her back. one big
 cow we named Mable and another was brownie. The rest of the names are gone from my memory. I think Mable was part Holstein  because she was spotted and  the black spots had a red ', yellow ting to them. we also had a gurnsey  cow she always chased me and Richard up a tree when she calved. we called her Dude
One job that absolutely put terror in my heart was going into the cave way in the back and holding the lantern while Richard climbed up the ladder and hooked the pipe back together. The goats would climb up and knock it apart. I knew that there were copper head snakes in the cave and I was afraid of getting bite by one.

More from Patsy
Into the deep dark hole
I was in the bed and my mind was clicking so I got up. I was thinking about when we first moved on the farm on dry creek. Then I got to thinking that if I live until may 3, which is right around the corner I will have lived longer than mama or daddy did so I figured their age when they died. Daddy lived 73 years and 1 month lacking 4 days. Mama lived 71 years and 7 months and 12 days.
If I live until may 3, which is 43 days from now I will be 74 years old so I have lived 9 months longer than daddy lived as of now.
When we moved to the farm after daddy got out of the Navy I believe it must have been late October, 1945 we lived in an old house that was built in front of a cave which was our water supply. I was scared to go into that cave because of snakes, copper head snakes no less.
The pipe for the water went back and down into this room and some times the pipe would get knocked off the pipe that came out of the rocks when this happen Richard and me would have to take a Lantern and climb over these big rocks that looked like they had fallen from the ceiling of the cave down into the dark with only the lantern to see by which Richard always carried and tried to leave me in the dark.
when we got down to the bottom there was a Rickey old ladder and Richard would give me the Lantern to hold while he climbed the ladder and hooked the pipe back to the pipe coming out of the rock wall. I was scared to dead all this time and telling Richard to hurry. I think he moved slow just to scare me more.
when he climbed down the ladder he would take the Lantern back and climb out of the deep with me scrambling to keep up. The boy would put on some speed to try leaving me behind.
We went into the cave because daddy told us too and I assure you I never went back into that cave after it wasn't necessary to get water. I know what terror is and it is in that cave.
When you were at the back of the cave there was a rock wall which was about 10 foot high and someone years before our time had drove a pipe into the rock at the top of the wall. You could hear water falling behind that wall and there is no way to figure how much water is behind the rock wall. I ask daddy once in later years why he hadn't set a dynamite charge and blown thro' the wall which he could have done because he had used dynamite. Daddy said he didn't know how much water would come out of the cave and what would he say to his neighbors if a stream of water came out the size of the mouth of the cave? I thought about that awhile and told him perhaps he wouldn't have any neighbors after the water went down dry creek.
We found arrow heads in the plowed ground along dry creek and I have always thought Indians lived in the cave during their day.

From Patsy--The house she speaks of is the one in the picture with Richard standing on the front porch.

The house we lived in at Carrollton-- Great grandfather Richard Powell lived in this house before they went to Oklahoma.
Mama took Richard and went down there one day and took this photo. I wasn't present that day. I was in school.
I remember living there.Daddy had cattle and horses. One horse was named John and another was Maud. John was hard to catch and some times daddy had to chase him all over the country side. He would come to a fence and jump over and keep going.
He had a team of mules at one time while we lived there I remember being in the lane when daddy turned them loose one day and here they come running down the lane. Daddy shouted crawl under the fence and I did and was not trampled under their hooves.
When we went to the store at carrollton owned by Hugh Morris we walked.
I remember mama buying us a candy bar and dividing in between me and Richard.
Daddy bought a car and I really was happy about that then he sold it and almost broke my heart. I think he sold it because he was going into the navy.
Grandpa Powell had a car but for the life of me during those years in Denver I don't remember grandpa Gaddy having a car during those years. I take that back I remember riding to take Helen and beans Garrison to cricket to get on the train . I don't remember seeing a car parked around the store or the house at Denver so maybe he borrowed a car that time.
More from Patsy
The house we lived in when we first moved to the farm on dry creek was just a shack, 4 room . A front room and a small room behind that was our kitchen. the porch opened into the kitchen. one small room no bigger than room for one bed was where I slept.
Hosea Leathers lived in that house until his wife died. I suppose he built the house. The other bed room was larger and was off the front room. This was mama and daddy bed room and I suppose Richard and Clayton must have slept in that room also.
The walls had been papered with newspapers and I would lay in bed and read the newspapers. most were dated in the 1920's.
We used coil oil lamps for light and mama cooked on a coil oil stove. She had two cook stoves while we lived there because the coil oil ran down a pipe to the burners , I think there were 3 burners and there was a oven anyway the reason mama got a new stove was she took a rag and tied it on a long stiff piece of wire and ran it down the pipe to get the suet out of the pipe and then the stove would work better. Mama lost the rag in the pipe and no amount of poking and prodding would get the rag out. Daddy had to buy a new stove.
We had a rickety front porch that was at least 6 feet off the ground and the summer after fleta was born my bed was moved out there because the back bed room was hot as hades. I have marveled over the years as to how I managed to keep Fleta and my self from rolling off the bed and down off the porch since the porch was just barely big enough for the bed.
The spring would go dry in hot dry weather and then we had to haul our water from a spring at the creek. That is how mama broke her ankle crossing the creek with two pails of water walking on the slick rocks.
When she fell she told Richard to go get Mr. Morris and he and Lizzy managed to get mama up the dirt bank to our car. Lizzy and Hugh took mama and Clayton to the house and we walked. Lois walked with us. It seems like we stayed with grandma and grandpa Powell for a few days and after a week Richard and I came back home. Clayton being the youngest had stayed with mama and daddy.
Mama had her ankle in a cast for a year, the ankle never healed right and the doctor re broke it twice. Daddy said mama would pass out when he broke the ankle and doctor wanted to do it a third time but daddy said enough is enough and that was that.
Mama did her house work by putting her knee in a kitchen chair and shoving it around to do her cooking and what work she had to do. I think it was 1947 when she broke her ankle. She would have been about 26 or 27 years old and she hopped on that leg for the rest of her days.
The old house was built out of boards and never seen paint or a finish of any sort. The truth is the barn was a better place to live that that house. Daddy built the house where Clayton live now in 1950 I think Betty was born in that house and fleta was born in the old house.
I guess it took everything daddy could rack and scrape to buy the windows and doors for the house. One day when mama went back to the old house to wash cloths Richard was teasing Clayton and Clayton was chasing Richard with a piece of 2 by 4 and he threw it at Richard in the back bed room . Richard dodged and the chunk went threw the new window. daddy whipped all 3 of us and I felt and still feel this was unfair because Richard caused the trouble by teasing Clayton and beside I felt Richard should not have dodged the chunk of wood.
The way I remember it most of the whippings I got was Richards fault.
In those years Richard and I fought all the time and I believe it was because daddy favored Richard because he was the SON. We never fought when we lived at Denver and I do think Daddy caused mine and Richards troubles.
I will say that I was not happy during the years from the time I was 11 year old until I was grown. I finally grew up and realized that Being a girl was OK and I finally stopped trying to find favor with daddy and stopped competing with Richard for daddy's attention.
I have often wondered how Clayton felt about daddy and Richard and if he felt short changed like I did. I also wonder now just how much this effected Richard's life.

From Patsy
Have you ever gathered wood for a fire? I have most of my live only in the last 8 years have we had heat from a source other than a wood stove.
When I was young our heat was from a wood stove, in the cold months mother and dad would take the cross cut saw and cut a large tree after it was split, usually by my brother Richard, Clayton and my job was to get it on the porch.in the winter and spring when the tempt didn't get so cold my two brothers and myself provided all the wood for the stove.

Every night Richard would cut a post oak tree on the hill side above the house and chop sticks of wood. These trees would be about 8 inches around and made a good fire of green wood, while Richard did this Clayton and I searched the hill for dead limbs that had fell from the larger trees and brought them to where Richard was chopping wood. he would bust up our dead limbs and after we had gathered enough to last until the next afternoon we carried the wood to the front porch so mother could carry it to the stove as needed during the day while we were in school and daddy was at work,

Here Patsy talks about the red dirt road in front of our home growing up!  We had a little reunion after he passed away.  Patsy was so sad without him.  You see it was always--Patsy and Richard--She loved him so.  After he was gone, a part of her was gone also.
From Patsy
When Richard and me were going to school the school bus stopped just a few feet from here and we walked the last quarter mile home some times we ran and some times we had war. I missed Richard yesterday when we all gathered at our old home place. Richard was a constant at our family gathering this one might not come or that one might be busy but Richard was always present along with his wife Barbara come rain or shine.

Memories from Sister Patsy
Tony said years ago Tyson made the chickens growers put the wire in front of the fans that were in the chicken houses. Richard put them on as he was told to do and then all sorts of stuff got stuck in the wire and the chickens were not getting any benefit from the fans. Richard took them all off! The field man came out and jumped Richard about them and said they wanted the fans covered to keep people from getting into the fans. Richard said if you stay out of my chicken house you wont get in the fans and refused to put them back on. No doubt some guy setting behind a desk dreamed that idea up and probably had never been in a chicken house of course he had never meet Richard Powell either.
Richard the Coon Hunter--From Patsy
my brother Richard started hunting when he was 10 years old. He had a blue tick raccoon hound.
He would start out at dusk and travel on our land down the hollow to the creek carrying a lantern and hunt coons and opossums for their hides which he sold.
One night he took of and in about 30 minutes he came rushing back in the back door.
Richards eyes were as large as silver dollars, Daddy said why are you back so soon?
Richard said something was following me, daddy said what was it ? Richard said I don't know but it followed me all the way and was saying, Who, who are you?
We laughed at Richard, what he heard was a hoot owl. In the dark of night it doesn't take much to scare a body.
Richard bought Barbara the above quilt for their 50th wedding anniversery.  He did not live to see it.  They got married on Christmas Day!    Below is a picture of them that I think was when Helen married Michael See.
Patsy tells of walking to Coin to school!
Richard and me crossed  Dry Creek  to go to school at coin. Daddy cut a tree and fell it across the creek and we walked on this tree to cross the creek.  We carried our egg sandwich in a Karo syrup pail and one frosty morn Richard lost his bucket in the water. We ran down the creek and caught up with the pail , Richard waded out to reprieve his lunch getting his feet wet so we returned home to get a sever scolding from daddy. At the time I thought it was over the loss of the sandwich but now I know he was afraid we might drown.
Richard gave me this old iron wheel and my sweet husband made a bird feeding station out of it for me.