Earliest Pet Memory Part II: Nothing To Do With Pets: Fred #2
(Recorded August 2020, Some Life Notes On Uncle Wig aka Larry aka Laurence)
[Momma/Linda came in and showed off a cake]
You’re familiar with the story of Harvey Wallbanger? Well, there was a surfer in California, named Harvey, and he’d show up in a bar, and I think it was a Galliano drink? And Harvey loved them so much, and he’d have 1 or 2, and then he’d go wander off into a wall.
And everyone else in the bar would say, I’ll have what he’s having!
The Harvey Wallbanger came into my life through my dad’s baby brother, Wig (Lawrence), who was 11 years younger.
- Dutch – 1911
- Wig – 1923
- Wig was about the same age as Mom’s baby brother, Uncle Aubrey
Wig didn’t marry until he was nearly 40. He was a world traveler – his first degree was in Ag Education – every one of his brothers were overseas so the military wouldn’t send him overseas – everyone was in ROTC all though college. So, as soon as Wig graduated, he immediately went active duty and his first job in the army was teaching Ag Ed Ed in Japan.
That’s awesome, did he have a focus within Ag or did he study everything?
Channeled glass – like stained glass – he was an incredible artist – he taught a lot of construction. You know, at that point a lot of welding and construction and trailer and barn construction counted as Ag Ed.
Uncle Wig was a contemporary of Jack Barton – David and Cathy’s father – at A&M. They graduated within a few years of each other. Jack was famous for finishing his BS at A&M at 19 – he was a navigator on a bomber back when we were bombing Germany in ‘43 or ‘44
Uncle Wiggly, he kind of hated that name. Everyone outside the family called him Larry. But as a kid,he’d do his best to get his big brothers and big sisters to read to him – he especially loved the funnies, especially Uncle Wiggly the Long Eared Rabbit – that was his favorite – I guess it’s like me and Pogo…
So after Wig/Larry came back to the states, he got a job teaching in a coupla little towns while he worked off his MS at A&M – so when my memories began, so early ‘50s – Wig was at Anson, Texas, near Abilene – he’s one of those interesting characters who taught Ag and Art – he was an interesting combo of artist and scientist – and he married my Aunt Jo when I was 5 or 6, in ‘53 – Josephine Saladin – a beautiful lady of Arabic extraction – she was Middle-Eastern-Swiss, but born in the states – I always wish I knew more about her- but Aunt Jo had a baby at I guess 17, and didn’t like the biological father – she was the church pianist and secretary at the high school, and fell for this dashing handsome Ag teacher – so when I was 6, Susie was 9 – a great young lady — Aunt Jo was secretary of the high school, and Wig was the Ag Teacher – so they had summers off – and had wonderful adventures and would come home and do a slide show!!
Uncle Wig – made the films of football games, basketball games, I got to sit with him in the press box while he was filming – he was a lifetime photographer – so I guess it was ‘23 – that the Brownie Box camera – you (Melinda) have one – so he was making pictures with a Brownie Box camera way back when – he got some of his pictures in the Newspaper when he was a little kid – in Ireland Texas, but the newspaper was 17 miles away in Hamilton – Mom grew up in Indian Gap – and both Dad and Mom lived outside of Hamilton but fairly close walking distance of their own nearest towns.
Dad went to high school in Ireland, 5 miles from his farm – Mom went to “The Gap” for 1st-8th then stayed in Hamilton for high school but went home on weekends.
Well let’s go back to Uncle Wig – he ended up with 3 masters degrees – his second was military science – he stayed with the Army Reserve for 25 or 26 years – so he’d do Summer Soldier stuff – then take off for Cuba, or their place in Monterarry – we have Two-R monterey in Mexico and one-R in California
[Sorry for the misspellings ]
Monterrey – in Mexico – the single R is California
It’s weird, the M in Mexico was one of the hardest-hit cities by the Spanish Inquisition – because a heckuva lot of folks – Spanish settlers – original settlers – people of Jewish origin, you have to convert to Catholicism, die, or leave.
So a lotta people wink-wink-nudge-nudge move to Catholicism – so why on Earth did Jo and Larry get land in Montarray? They found a beautiful place there that they ended up staying there 6 weeks, essentially adopted a shoe-shine boy from the train station – who now is a very wealthy man with a chemical plant – a chemical plant in Monterrey – but like a lot of the wealthier middle-sized industries, the gangs have moved in and said give us money or you’re out of business – he and his wife just hated living in the states – Marti – but he was living back in Monterrey the last I heard…
But anyhow… Jo and Larry were world-travelers, and after the masters in military science, , Larry went a few places on deployment, but, like, Berne, Switzerland – or a US Army base close to Berlin, on the free side, because Berlin was split at the time – so he would come back with amazing pictures and amazing stories – where he’d gone for his Summer Soldiering that year…
So in ‘65 or ‘66 he said, I wanna be a guidance counselor. And so he got a masters in Counseling and Guidance – he wound up kind of a free-floating counselor – and Aunt Jo had finished her bachelors and masters and was teaching English at Abilene HS…
And THEIR little girl – Susie – was a very good scholar, a beautiful young lady, and was named Queen of the Fair at a West Texas Livestock Fair – and she got to ride on the back of a firetruck with all the queens and princesses – and they had another Fair up in Haskell, Texas, and she got to ride on HAY BALES in the parade!
She went to TTU and got her RN and married an Ag Teacher – Susie Dooley married Ken Thomas – I guess they finished college in ‘66 or ‘67 – and they got a job way up north in Montana, managing a ranch – and Susie is the medical person for all of the ag and native families in the area – she had quite the active practice for being so far out in the country.
Favorite Things About Uncle Larry
Wig and Red – what Dad called them – Wig liked Larry or Lawrence – RB was Roscoe Bythel was Red – Red was an Ag professor at San Angelo State, taught Poultry Science and Agricultural Economics…
Brilliant man – we lived in Wingate from my 3rd grade through the 8th grade – and RB and Wig were often on the way to somewhere – Anson was about 57 miles in one direction, San Angelo and Abilene also nearby, so these guys would often pass through Wingate on their way from here to there.
So these guys were often on the judging team for the Fat Stock Show – for poultry or hogs or whatever – and an uncle would pick me up and we’d go to the livestock show – and we’d talk conformation and they all seemed to know everyone, so we’d talk to everyone, and it was just like being with royalty or a celebrity, talking to all the Kit-Shicker at the show…
The End… for Now