Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Great Memories

So I posted a day or so ago about those 'You know you're from..." groups on Facebook.

I'm a member of three different groups - one for my high school town, one for my dad's and one for my mom's. I grew up in the areas that my folks went to school & still have family out there, we didn't move to Oklahoma until I was 12 and I've been back to the Arkansas area many times over the years...even met my ex husband there.

Anyways, my folks went to school at rival high schools - which at least back in the 80s was absolutely taboo! I remember running across old cards given to them at their wedding where folks had placed bets on how long their relationship with last because she was from Town A & he was from Town B. For the record they didn't divorce until after their 22nd anniversary & that was only after Dad had been given a 30 year sentence to sit behind bars - I absolutely believe that had all the bullshit and lies not been told that year they would still be married and enjoying their grandkids.

But I digress.

It has been quite interesting to hear about the old towns and compare the stories, even add in some of my own or catch up some folks on their old classmates (my folks). Times have changed quite a bit!

It's also quite hilarious to compare my folks' hometowns to my high school town.

I remember when we first moved to Oklahoma, from Arkansas, Bill Clinton was still President (1994) and I was teased mercilessly by the Oklahoma Native Americans about being a backwoods hillbilly from Arkansas who was likely the offspring of brother & sister pair - I'm not, I assure you. I was teased for being a know-it-all, even though, according to the Okies folks from Arkansas were uneducated and very backwoods. Except anyone can compare the two groups NW Arkansas to NE Oklahoma and understand when I say if I was to be considered uneducated based on being from Arkansas it was only because Oklahomans only knew how to almost spell based on phonetics, not by way of a dictionary. ((Do they even use dictionaries in Oklahoma schools?)) They're, there, & their are all the same word, each used interchangeably. Proper nouns are ...now what are proper nouns? Goodness! I'm SOOO happy I received my early education in a backwoods Arkansas elementary school (the same one my mom & her siblings went to even)!

Again, I digress. No real point in going into the details of it all. Oklahomans will still think they're all that because they have a great football team and everyone they know speak, spell, and write the same way, so they will never really learn the differences. Yes, I know I don't always seem to have spectacular grammar, especially here on my blog, but as I've mentioned a dozen times at least I write my rough draft here & submit it & rarely go back to edit it...unless I actually go back and read the post, then I'll edit it a few dozen times.

Today was a very great day for me where these groups were concerned. That is my purpose of this post.

In the group that centered around the town that my dad grew up in and went to high school at they'd started a thread asking everyone to list their graduation year. I never went to any schools in that district, but felt that it was important for me to comment on the thread anyways. I posted that my dad had graduated there in 1980 RIP Don Pierson <3.

From that post I was given feedback from a few folks who knew my dad. All of which mentioned they remember him as a 'great man'. Upon speaking with a few of them off the main board and in private messages back and forth I really didn't learn anything about my dad I didn't already know or believe about him...I did have a few things confirmed about the stories he'd tell that I never really knew for sure if they were true or if he just embellished for the sake of embellishing - you know those old stories your dad would tell about things he'd done as a teenager - yea, those kind of doubts.

Of course all the stories involved a party, hay, horses, beer, fast cars...a bit similar to what you saw in the old Dukes of Hazzard shows, except instead of the stories starring Bo & Luke Duke they starred Don Pierson & his buddy (different names for different stories or purposely omitted to protect the presumed innocent).

I herd a few that referred to my dad as the Horse Whisperer, something I'd mentioned here, Story #6. They'd tell me that he used to tell awesome stories and they can still think back and remember him sitting back on a hay bale, drinking beer from a Dixie cup, and hear his stories. I loved those stories! The only differences would be my dad drank unsweetened tea and sat in a recliner or on the couch when telling his stories to us kids. It wasn't until I was an older teenager that he went into the stories of keg parties and teenage reckless abandon. I didn't get to hear many of those stories. I did remember the story he told me about my conception...about it occurring in a briar patch in a valley...but didn't remember it until someone else had mentioned something to the tune of "Remember going out to the sticker bushes in The Valley to have sex with your girl". Of course I had to add my tidbit to that thread about my conception - the older generation got a kick out of it.

Of course there were also stories about the skating rink and how they'd have skate sessions where the boys all had to line up on one side of the rink & the girls on the other and how mortifying that was. I know that story from my childhood as well because it was one of those nights that my folks met for the first time. My mom had asked her best friend at the time to ask that 'cute guy' across the rink if he'd dance with her, because she was terrified of being turned down...then upon realizing that her friend went to some 'ugly dude' and had wanted to ask the 'cute guy' for herself my mom raced across the floor to ask him herself before she got stuck with the ugly guy! They dated for four years after that before getting married and having my siblings & myself. I found out my mom's friend still holds a slight grudge against her to this day over that.

Then of course there were stories my dad had told about he & a group of his buddies streaking through the town square - buck naked...but he was never caught by the police, some of his buddies were and were handcuffed, with their hands behind their back, for all the town to see that had gathered for the show. I don't know if my dad was ever actually a part of that group, but I did see a post in reference to the story...but I kinda believe it, it did take place around that same time period.

I never really believed the stories about the KKK holding meetings and chasing non-white folks out of town, but sadly, after reading the posts on the pages I'm left believing it was still going on as recently as the late 80s/early 90s. I know when we left, in 1994 there were only a VERY few Mexicans in the area, can't recall if there was more than one African American family in the area. I know there was one family in the next town over prior to the 90s, but they seemed to be quite well liked by everyone - one of the brothers taught the skating lessons at the roller rink & had since the 60s, up until his death, just a year or two ago, on the skating rink floor even, the other brother taught swim lessons. Of course since then it's been quite diversified thanks to Sam Walton and what started as just a Nickle & Dime store. One also can't forget all the tax breaks that Clinton gave to the businesses that were interested in starting up or moving to the state when he was governor. It was like the area just exploded from a rinky farm community of about 15,000 people to probably a million folks by now, in just 25 years.

But it was great. I'm sure there are stories I may never get a confirmation about, I've asked a few times, so we'll see what becomes of it.

This line that I received as a private message to me about my dad was the best one:
"I believe that there are a lot of people who thought highly of your father... I stand by your dad being one of the best ones."

...yes this post is slightly all over the place, I know this.

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