When I was a kid I used to listen to the poem starting with T'was The Night Before Christmas And All Through The House
Well let me tell you this was not the night before Christmas!!!!!
It was March and the night before the big Western dance at the Wm H Patterson Elks Lodge and I just got stood up!
Thinking fast, should I pick up the telephone and call or should I forget it.
I wanted to clear out my mind. No need in saying any bad words because that would make me more angry. I had never ever been stood up before.
The worse thing that I could remember happening to me was when that little boy who lived three doors down from us at the Lackland Air Force Base asked me to be his girlfriend. The next day after I said ok, he took my umbrella and broke it. I think he also quit me but I was so busy crying about my broken umbrella that I did not hear him.
The first thing would be is to stop looking at the clock. It seemed like all I heard was tic, tic tic, tic tic tic. Then, I need to get away from that dog-gone window. No reason to keep looking, Its not going to change anything one bit.Tic, tic, tic,tic, tic tic tic.
(I don't know what sound is worse the constant ticking or the buzzing of a fly that circles and circles all around your ear.)
My Aunt Ponnie used to say all the time,''Honey, haven't you heard that a watch pot never boils" I could hear her saying that now as I backed away from the window. I suddenly realized that my date was no longer important. That the realization should be on a person who had more of an impact on my life and that was Aunt Ponnie.
Although our time together was short, it was very meaningful to me. She kept me from being lonely when I missed my family back home, and she loved me as if I were her own.
Pauline was born November 30th 1899 to Joe and Nancy Cryor Mitchell in Hempstead County Arkansas. She grew up with two brothers Floyd and Wardell.
Here are two census records that reflect her and her family.
The first is a 1900 Census in Saline County Arkansas
Here is the 1910 census that depicts the brothers Floyd and Wardell Mitchell
Somewhere along the way Wardell ended up in Kansas City Kansas/Missouri area and Pauline and Floyd ended up in Altus Oklahoma. That's where I met her.
We spent hours and hours talking and laughing. Everyone called her Aunt Ponnie.
One thing about Aunt Ponnie was that she sure spoke her mind and 99.9 percent of the time it was the truth. She had her hands full with her grandson's Lawrence and Melvin who were just coming into their teens. Melvin was the outgoing one and Lawrence was more reserved.
I had driven down from Phoenix one year and stayed with them for about a month. I was on my way to Dallas but took a different route so that I could see them and also my Uncle Wright Cuney "Prof" Davis.
Every morning for about two weeks after getting up, I would go outside. The first thing that I saw was my car. It had been egged!
I was so upset. Number one because my car was egged and number two the paint on my car was being ruined. The boys Melvin and Lawrence and I tried to be look-outs for the culprits but to no avail.
Leave it to Aunt Ponnie, she found a way.
One night when everyone went to bed Aunt Ponnie got up, went to the refrigerator, took out all the eggs and carefully numbered them. She placed them back in the container upside down.
Well lo and behold the next morning, my car was egged. She called me and the boys in the living-room and told Melvin to get the eggs out of the refrigerator, and one by one read off the numbers. One number was missing.
Melvin confessed, saying that he was just playing pranks on me. All I could say was he had better be glad that he was not my child at that moment.
I think Melvin could not go out and play for about two days because he was put on punishment.
I asked Aunt Ponnie how she knew that it was Melvin. Well she said, " When it was lawrence's time to be the look-out, the next morning, no eggs!! When it was Melvin's turn, eggs !! That told me that one plus one equals two, so I got out the crayon."
Aunt Ponnie had a house with about four bedrooms. She rented out two of the rooms. One was to a soldier who was stationed at Altus Air Force base. His job on the base was a cook. So when he bought different things home from the base it was a welcome relief to Aunt Ponnie. There were big bags of flour and sugar, all kinds of fruits and veggies, spices and sweets.
One day I went over to her house and Aunt Ponnie was not really feeling that good. She was sitting on the couch and was a little out of breath. That did not stop her from puffing on those Pall Malls though. She asked me if I could finish cooking for her because her roomers would be home soon and that meals was a part of her contract with them.
Aunt Ponnie told me to look up under the cabinet and take out that big can of parsley that her roomer had bought home from the base and sprinkle some on the meat she was going to prepare.
I did so and opened the lid. Man oh man was I in for a shock. All I could smell was weed. That can was filled to the rim.
I was not a smoker of weed but being from the city I came from, I knew the smell.
I did not say a word to Aunt Ponnie. If I would have told her what she was unknowingly harboring I am sure her 65 years at that time would have been cut short by a heart attack.
Instead when the roomer soldier came home, I told him what I had found. He moved the next day. I think he may have told Aunt Ponnie that he was getting shipped out and had to leave for another assignment.
I learned several years later that he had been booted out of the service.
I moved back to Phoenix and called or wrote to Aunt Ponnie every chance I got.
One time she called me crying up a storm. She told me that someone was coming to take her refrigerator away and that she had to go to court. She begged me to come and go to the courthouse with her. Distraught, she said that she had no one else to go with her. Hating to hear that, I took time off my job, caught the bus and went back to Altus.
That following Monday we went down to the courthouse where we met with this lawyer who was in charge of her case. When he told me how much money her court case was over, I was too through. She was threatened with not only the loss of her refrigerator, but the threat that she could have her house taken away if she did not pay up.
They gave her a week or else.
She was in to them for a lousy eleven dollars. They had intimidated her with calls and threats that to her the eleven dollars seemed like eleven hundred dollars. I asked the lawyer what the total pay off was. With a smirk on his face, he told me thirty dollars which I promptly paid.
I asked him for a paid in full receipt and we left.
I know that Aunt Ponnie was relieved but she sure did try hard to get me to move back to Altus. God I loved that woman, but to live back there again, I just couldn't. Aunt Ponnie left this earth in 1979.......I drove down again for her home going celebration.
Rest In Peace Aunt Ponnie, Rest In Peace.