Ron Robinson, son of
Cleo (Hunter) Robinson
The folks who had driven to Elm Grove after their services were over, began arriving while the rest of us were indulging in the good old biblical exercise of gluttony. They joined right in. It was a joyful, spirited and noisy time.
An hour or so after the morning services concluded, the afternoon portion would commence. Any visiting preacher was asked to speak. Which they did, all with a great deal of enthusiasm and some with a touch of grandiloquence.
The thing that most appealed to the youngsters was that for the afternoon session, the building was filled with adults. That left us free to romp and play or visit the swimming hole. The only thing that drew us to the windows for a glimpse inside was when word went out that Blaine Hubbard was being led to the pulpit. Blaine was blind. As he would sing, Addie Hannebaum would do a chalk drawing. We always thought that it bordered on magic that we could not see what was on the board until the two finished their performances and Addie turned the light on over the drawing. Then there would appear a picture that corresponded with the musical message that we had just heard.
The regular Sunday morning services followed a more standard routine. There was the Sunday School hour where we were separated by age groups into four classes. Sophia Sandlin taught the tykes. Lillian Kitchen taught the kids from school age up through sixth grade of so. Then we spent the rest of our youth being led by Ev Hubbard. The adults met in the main sanctuary and were taught by the pastor.
Ev was a legend. While a great deal of frolicking was permitted, or even expected, in the lower grades, all nonsense stopped in her classes. By both lifestyle and teaching methods, Mrs. Hubbard preached better sermons that most of the preachers. No one, who ever went through her classes, forgot the experience or lost the reverence for what she stood for.
After Sunday School, there was a fairly long break while a majority of the adult males stood out side for a smoke. In the warm months, the boys used that time for a quick skinny dip in Pipe Creek. We would tear out across Lum Edward’s cornfield and down the access road that he had cut out along the creek bank. About a hundred yards down the creek was great swimming hole. There was a large log up on the bank lying parallel to the creek on the deep side. We would hastily disrobe and place our clothes on that log before plunging headlong into the creek.
One Sunday morning, we were in various states of undress when Terry Stacey suddenly proclaimed, “They God, there’s a woman!!”
We looked up to see a man and woman fishing about fifty feet from where most of us were standing around buck naked waiting for the others to finish undressing. Immediately after his announcement, every one of us hit that water in one gigantic splash. The man and woman, who were fishing, sat there like nothing had happened. After about ten minutes, we began to wonder if we were going to have to stay there neck deep in the water until they sent a search party to find out why there were no boys in the service. Then with out any indication that they had ever seen us, they calmly put up their gear and made their way back to their car.
by Ron Robinson, son of Cleo (Hunter) Robinson
Shortly after high school graduation, summer of 1955, Sam
Lancaster and I headed West in his old 1947 Pontiac.
Destination-- Bisbee, Arizona. After an arduous five day trip,
we immediately hired on at Marshall Transfer Co. Our Job
involved hauling anything that needed hauling in Cochise
County. Primary we moved people, especially the soldiers
coming to and leaving the Fort Huachuca Army base.
Working schedule was 70 hours a week, straight time.
After taxes, my first week’s take home pay was $70. I had
never seen so much money at one time. I was absolutely
rich. And they were going to give me more the next week
for another mere 70 hours.
I boarded for a while with Clyde and Alma. When my friend,
Stanley Allen, came to Bisbee, we rented a one room
apartment, community bath down the hall, on a street
called Brewery Gulch. My hours were earlier than Stan’s so I did the meal preparing and he did
the cleaning up. My culinary expertise ran strictly to hamburger steak, home fried potatoes and pork and beans. That was our daily fare for the duration. Our breakfast menu was much more varied. We had a choice of Shredded Wheat, Corn Flakes, or Rice Krispies.
After Christmas, I took my first of many long distance hitch hiking trips. Went back to Indiana. Stayed with the folks until time to head South. I had turned down a basketball scholarship offer from Hanover College to pursue my dream of playing first base for the Cincinnati Reds. In March of ‘56, I had a two week tryout with them at their minor league training facilities at Douglas, Georgia. That worked out so well that I joined the Navy.
After boot camp, in Maryland, the Navy sent me to California for Morse code training. The next three years were spent listening to ditties in exotic places like Puerto Rico, Turkey, and the state of Maine. Loved all of those places. Hated the Navy.
After my discharge, in 1960, I stayed a year in Maine, where I worked as a short order cook. One of those bitter winters, as a civilian, was enough for me. The fall of ’61, I headed for Texas.
Aunt Ev started spending her winters in Texas, with her daughter, Virgie, shortly after Bige died. In 1955 she moved there permanently. All of the time, that I was in the Navy, she wrote to me once a week. The theme was always the same. Behave myself and come to Texas after I got out. According to her, Texas was full of great job opportunities and beautiful young women. The jobs were of minor interest, but the last part got me to Texas.
When her grandchildren got big enough to call her Granny, the lady that I had known up to that point as Aunt Ev, became Granny Hubbard to all who knew her. So, Granny is what we called her for the rest of her life.
The first year in Texas, I boarded with Granny. The first Sunday, she drug me off to church with her under the pretext of meeting some of those beautiful women. It was a trap. The only beautiful woman, that she introduced me to, was Miss Nelda Ross.
Nelda had grown up two doors down from Jim and Virgie Witt’s home and spent her childhood days playing with their daughter, Cathy. While they were still little girls, playing with dolls, Granny decided that Nelda was the perfect girl for me. So, all of that jobs and beautiful women rhetoric was part of the grand plan to get us both together in the same place at the same time. The match making started in earnest.
After a week of hearing nothing but ‘what a wonderful girl that Nelda is’, I decided to find out for myself. Gave her a call. We went out. After one year of steady dating, we got married, bought our own home, and Granny turned my care and feeding over to Nelda.
Still having very fond memories of Arizona, I would have moved back there in a minute. But Miss Nelda’s best friend in the world was her mother. She didn’t want to live apart from Momma, and I didn’t want to live apart from her. Goodbye, Arizona.
There came a succession of low paying, no satisfaction, jobs while trying to find my niche in the world. In 1964, I started a little shirttail business wholesaling merchandise to grocery stores in the Houston area. Luckily for me Nelda was not only all that Granny had claimed, but she also had a good job. Her steady paycheck carried us through those struggling years while I was trying to learn how to buy and sell. Turned out to be my major life’s work.
The Old Jock in me wouldn’t die. The love for sports kept me playing softball and basketball through the year that I was thirty five. For several years, it had been obvious that they kept moving the bases farther apart. The day that it took two doubles to score me from second base, seemed like a good time to hang up the cleats. Had a brief flirtation with bowling and golf. Was pretty fair at bowling. So-so at golf.
After we got our first camper, and started learning how to burn food over an open fire, I gave up those sports. When I announced to my friend, George Muller, that I was giving up competitive sports, my good friend said, “You can keep on playing golf, you are not all that competitive at that.”
In 1982, when their mother died, we took Nelda’s brother, Robert, into our home. Robert is an adult in behavior, but a small child in regards to taking care of himself. His retardation gives him the self sufficiency of perhaps a four year old. Nelda, who had long since left the work force, took on the biggest job of her life. She became a full time mother.
In 1987 we left Pasadena for a quieter and simpler life in the piney woods of East Texas. After a stint as a rural mail carrier, I left the permanent work force in ‘97. We have been part time retired and full time parents ever since. Parenting has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of our lives.
In addition to work, sports, and camping, we spent a good bit of time involved in the church. We have traveled many of the back roads of the American West. Other hobbies that competed for time were woodworking, especially lathe turning, and writing. We have spent a good many of our retirement hours attempting to learn the nuances of our first computer.
All in all, life has been a good ride for a raggedy-rumped farm boy from the hollers of Franklin County.
by Ron Robinson
October 21, 2007
Hunter Legacy - The Descendants of George Washington Hunter © All rights reserved.
Sunday Meeting at Elm Grove Baptist Church - July 1930