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Ainsworth shares memories
of Alameda Summers

By Jeff Clark

 Dorothy Ainsworth grew up in Gorman. She later married Gene Ainsworth, a descendent of the Ainsworth and Hamilton families that have peopled our stories in the past. Mrs. Ainsworth's memory is razor sharp. She has been a frequent background contributor to the growing fabric of the Alameda - Cheaney story, as well as supplying pivotal vintage photos of some of the leaders of the Mansker Lake community. For her participation, we are truly grateful - Jeff Clark

"The Craddocks had a large family. I remember going to their house many times (before I was at the age to start to school). I never did see Mrs. Craddock unless she had on a bonnet (summer or winter). At that time, all the women made their own bonnets, which had staves (cut from cardboard), which came well over their face and tied under the chin. Women did not expose their skin to the sun, like they do now.

I remember one occasion when my dad went to see Mr. Craddock. My sister (three years older than I) and I went with him. The Craddock kids had tied a piece of rope on a limb of a tree in the back yard, and the kids took turns holding onto the rope and swung themselves around. I was too small to reach the rope, so my sister held me up where I could reach it, then swung me around. I guess my hands were slipping, and I yelled at her to stop me, but she was off playing with the kids. When I fell, it knocked me unconscious. When the kids found me lying on the ground, they ran and told my dad that I was dead.

It was the middle of an afternoon in the summer. I guess when I came to, I could not see for the rest of the day. All I could see was the big ball of sun! Back then, kids didn't have toys. We used our imagination and made up games. But we had acres and acres in which to play. Our feet must have gotten pretty tough though, because we went bare-footed all summer, on those hot sandy land farms."

Jeff Clark -

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