Chapter 16 Harold Brown Memoir – 1960

January 8, 2019

Miriam was still in Little Rock and lived with several other nurses. They rented the upstairs from the family that lived down stairs.

I was visiting with her when the first Presidential debates were telecast on television. I thought it was a waste of good viewing time, but the adults had a totally different view. Nixon and Kennedy were the stars.

The U.S. Senate passed the Civil Rights Bill and John F. Kennedy was elected President. The Laser device was being developed by U.S. scientists.

I was a member of the state runner up junior high basketball team. Fifteen ninth grade boys were on the team. I would have been the fifteenth player to enter the game, until my cousin joined the team and then I moved down to the sixteenth. Coach never went that deep into his lineup, until the last game of the regular season. We were so far ahead when he put me in. We had a few minute to play, and with our lead I could have played the rest of the game by myself and we still would have won the game.

I was determined Coach would not run me off. I went to all the practices and never was given a chance to participate in anything but the warm up drills. I pretended that the visiting fans were try- ing to figure out who the starters were and did my best to look good during warm up. I don’t know if it worked, but I stuck it out.

I started delivering the Arkansas Democrat. It was one of two state newspapers. My route had the least customers, but the most miles. Every afternoon found me waiting on the old Studebaker pickup to drive in from someplace and throw out its bundles of newspaper for us to divide and deliver. The evening paper became a morning paper on Sunday. Delivery started in the dark and finished after first light.

I won a trip as a Junior Achievement member. I am not sure how I won the trip, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Ten guys from all over the state got to go to this special camp and spend the weekend riding horses, playing games and eating delicious food.

Billy Ray Carpenter was always itching for a fight and one Saturday Bobby Chadwick was in our neighborhood. Bobby was a big strong kid in our class, but he wasn’t mean. For some reason he got into it with Billy Ray. The outcome was not what Billy Ray had wanted and he told me to go get my twenty-two so that he could shoot Bobby.

I made him mad when I told him that I couldn’t find the gun so he went home to find his. I guess he decided against committing the murder, because he never returned. I must admit, I enjoyed the event and gave Bobby my total admiration.

Miriam purchased her first car, a light blue Fiat. It was like a toy. She let me drive it back and forth in the ally behind the house. Alone!

Mr. Morrison and his family, Fay, his wife, Elaine, his daughter, and Billy, his son, moved away. What a terrible tragedy for everyone. A lawyer and his family moved in and he just didn’t take to us the way the Morrison’s had. We tried to bond with him but nothing seemed to make a difference. He was just different and we didn’t understand.

It is the same way most people feel when they lose a boss that they liked working with. The next person just doesn’t stand a chance. You should only be measured against yourself. Mr. Hamilton just had a hard time relating. He often volunteered to umpire our older boys baseball games and he often called me out on bad pitches. What could be worse than having a neighbor who is also an umpire!

The ninth grade found me trying out for a position in the trumpet section. The other, older guys, had refused to practice the material and found themselves sitting behind me. I was sure that I was placed in the first chair spot because the band director was irritated at their lack of practice.

I lost my art teacher Robert Durham in a tragic accident. He had been instructing me in the finer points of drawing for several years. It all started as a youngster when I asked my mother to talk to Mr. Durham about art classes. I took some of my drawings to the post office one day and asked him if he would consider me as a student. He told me that I was to young, but if I still wanted to take lessons at a later date, then I should try again. I am sure that he thought I would forget.

Mother talked to him after I got older and they agreed on one dollar a class. We met once a week. He was a culturally minded man and attended any event that took place in the county and surrounded area. Mr. Durham married late in life and his wife Burnice was his exact female counterpart.

On this particular occasion, they invited me to attend an event in Crossett. I decided not to attend, but did not confirm that until they stopped by the house on the evening of the concert. Mr. Terrel, a teacher at Hamburg High, was also invited. On the curve across from the drive-in, Mr. Durham and Mr. Terrel lost their lives because of a drunk driver.

Mrs. Durham spent several years in recovery. I did odd jobs for her until I left for college. Life isn’t about saving, it’s about scattering.

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