grandparents and aunts and uncles lived in Donley County. My
grandfather was Walter Alexander Guy, his wife was Liddie Ann
Tomlinson Guy. They had moved to Donley County from Ardmore,
Oklahoma area. They lived in Donley County for many years.
They moved there in the 1920s. My grandfather was a corn broom straw farmer, he and my Grannie worked the farm with their sons.
They had children who were named, Thomas (Red) Guy who ran away from home at fourteen to join a Wild West Show and later on became a professional Polo Player playing in the world cup in England against Argentina. They also had my father Walter Rodney Guy, he served in the US army shoeing horses for the US Calvary. In Brownsville Texas, and was also a Border Patrol in Brownsville when I was just a baby. They also had sons Troy, Charles, James Byron, and a daughter Leatha.
Grandpa Guy was a self starter, he was orphaned at the age of ten and worked at any work he could get. He would work in the livery stable, horseshoeing, blacksmithing. He bought a farm in Ardmore and grew corn broom straw and cotton.
He was known as the corn broom straw King of Paul's Valley. When they moved to Donley Co., they bought another farm, he grew corn broom there also.
Grandpa never drove a car, he would go into town on his tractor maybe once a year to buy flour, salt, sugar, lard. They never went without anything. My grandpa and Grandma Liddie were very hard workers, as well as their sons. Grannie would get up in the wee hours of the morning while it was still dark and make homemade biscuits, red-eye gravy, some kind of meat, fried potatoes, and eggs, feed her brood of sons and everyone would head for the fields. They would work all day. Grandpa would come in from the fields for supper at noon, and after eating he would lay on the hard wood floors and take a twenty minute nap. Then back to the fields to work, work, work.
I spent a lot of time at my grandpa Guy's when I was small. So did my sister Kat, and Mama. Mama would also work in the fields with my grandparents.
I remember Grannie having her laying hens, and her baby chicks. They were my pets when I was there, I called them my peepers. They had a rust-colored Cocker Spaniel they called Rusty. He was the family dog, he would lay out by Grannie's Rose Garden in the hot Texas sun, as I would water all of Grannie's roses for her.
She had around twenty-five bushes, and I can remember her always having fresh flowers in the house. No one got to use the front room, only if company came. She kept everything spic and span... In the winter they would all sit around the pot bellied stove in the kitchen and pass my sister around from Uncle to Uncle like she was a football when she was a small baby.
In the summers Grandpa would throw me and my sister Kat into the horses watering hole. It was a big huge round rusty watering troff. We would hang onto the edge and go around and around letting the current carry us. We would watch the green mossy algae moving after us. It looked mysterious like the long green tresses of a woman's hair. Grandpa Guy would splash us as we would pass by him giggling our heads off.
I remember a tornado coming once when I was small there. I think it must have been 1950 or 1951. We were all out on Grannie's front porch after dinner. One of Grannie's famous fried chicken dinners with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob, and fresh vegetables from her garden. Kat and I sat in the old porch swing as we listened to our grandparents talk with our Uncles. You could hear the squeak, squeak, squeak of the rusty chain as we swung back and forth.
There was a real dark sky coming at us, it looked like nighttime, and you could smell the dirt in the air. Grannie yelled at everyone to go to the storm cellar. In the cellar I noticed Grandpa and Rusty did not make it. I was real worried about them. We were in there for a long time, the storm was so bad, like a crazy mean monster it was trying to rip the cellar door off. It was not just any old storm it was a tornado. I did not think it was ever going to stop.
I said Grannie are we gonna be able to get out of here? She said Land sakes alive child we are gonna as soon as the storm stops. I asked her Grannie are we gonna have anything to eat, she said well, child you wont go hungry just see all this here food your Grannie canned. I looked up on the cellar shelves and there were jars, and jars, of peaches, peas, corn, green beans, beets, carrots, apples, you name it and she had canned it. Grannie would sit the table with fresh linens for every meal, she called it laying the table instead of sitting it. I found later this is a Victorian term.
She came from the Tomlinsons and they came from England. Grandpa Guy died in 1959 of a heat stroke. He had been in town, and walked home and fell dead on the kitchen floor. Grannie died in a skilled nursing home in Clarendon, in 1981.
Charles had a Ranch, Uncle Jim was a Forest Ranger in the Petrified Forrest in Arizona for years. Troy moved to Memphis, Texas as well as Uncle Jim had.
Troy died of a massive heart attack while on the operating table. Uncle Jim passed with heart failure, grandma died with a cerebral hemorrhage. My father from natural causes, Aunt Letha as a result of diabetes. Heart problems and high blood pressure run in this line of the family bloodline of the Guys.
All my family are gone now on that side but for a couple of aunts who live in Memphis Texas, and my cousins...
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