Letter from Iva Tucker to Alice Davis
Undated but written after 1991 (latest date mentioned in the letter).
In April of 1934 my family moved to the McMurty ranch near Fairview. My brother and two sisters started to school there. I didn’t go and a sister and brother were too young. One day I was visiting a cousin that lived east of Fairview and Cecil’s sister Margaret and a friend stopped by for a few minutes.
It was in late August or early September we heard they were having the church meeting at the Fairview school. The meetings in those days usually lasted about two weeks. We didn’t have a car so me and my sister Lavelle (the one that now lives in Mountain Air) went by horse back over to the meeting. Myself and two or three others including Margaret were standing at the entrance to the auditorium when the front door opened and Cecil came in and Margaret says: have you met my brother and I said no. So she introduced us. That began 58 years of us being to-gether as we were married January 3rd 1935. He passed away in July 1993.
I soon learned that Cecil had just returned from Oklahoma. His reason for being there was Grandma Dawson (your Dad’s mother) had been living in Texas and couldn’t stay any longer than six months or she would lose her pension from the state of Oklahoma. So Slim and Ranetta moved to Oklahoma and rented a farm there and Cecil went with them to work the farm so Slim could take care of his mother as she was helpless and had to be lifted in and out of bed and Ranetta couldn’t do it. She was expecting a baby which I suppose was Estelle. Grandma died that summer so that was why Cecil was back at Fairview. We could check the genealogy information for the correct date of her death. Mrs. Tucker (Hattie) told me that a carload of family drove to Oklahoma for the funeral service. I don’t know the name of the town where they lived or where Grandma is burried. I don’t know when Slim and Ranetta moved back to Fairview but it must’ve been pretty soon after Grandma died. Perhaps after the crop was harvested. I do know they were back the next year (1935) at Christmas time so I assume they were back all year and made a crop.
Soon after Cecil and I were married, Cecil’s Dad rented a farm for us and we used his equipment to farm the land. They gave us a milk cow and 12 hens for milk and eggs and they bought some groceries for us from money they got from selling milk (cream) and eggs.
Your dad and Hattie (I always called her Mrs. Tucker) had a brother that lived near where Ranetta’s family lived. His name was Charles Bushyhead Dawson. They called him C. B. Wife’s name was Mary. They had a little girl and a boy. The girl’s name was Mary Alice and I don’t remember the boy’s name. Mary gave me a wedding shower soon after we were married. Margaret gave me a rolling pin that she paid 40¢ for and I’m still using it. The next year (1936) Mary and C. B. moved away and it was several years before Mrs. Tucker found out where they lived which was near Kansas City, Missouri. I think it was 1950 while on a vacation trip Cecil and I visited them. They had a third child but we didn’t get to see the kids.
Also in spring of 1936 Cecil’s folks sold their farming equipment to Bob Wills. (The Texas Play Boy.) I don’t know if he bought the land or not. He didn’t live there but moved his mother, father, a sister (whose husband had been killed in a car wreck) and her two children and also a teenage brother and I think his name was Luther. He was old enough to drive (I think 18) and they had a big Lincoln car so he took Cecil and I to Lubbock one night to see the movie ” Mutiny on the Bounty” with Clark Gable. That was a thrill for us as we didn’t have a car. We walked about a mile and went in a wagon the rest of the way to church with Haskel Pierce. In bad weather old man Russell would come after us. (A great life.)
After selling out Cecil’s folks loaded up and moved to Devine which is about 30 miles southwest of San Antonio. During these days we didn’t see much of Slim and Ranetta as no car. In 1937 we made a deal with Harkel to work for him and use his equipment. We managed to buy a car that Spring in Clovis. It was a 1933 Chevy sedan. Got it on credit for $300. I think we paid $9.00 per month. In July we made a trip to Devine two visit the Tuckers. My sister Lavelle and Irene Askew went with us.
That fall Cecil got a job in Muleshoe working for E. R. Hart Lumber and Hardware company. When our crop gathering was over we bought a 12 X12 one room house and soon after getting settled in he was laid off from his job because of lack of customers at that time of year.
In December of 1935 my sister Ruth and her husband moved to California and they wanted us to move out here. So we loaded up our junk and took it to Hereford where my parents had moved too and we took off for California. So on April 1st 1938 we crossed over the line into California and stopped in Pomona and stayed three weeks with Cecil’s cousin looking for a job. No luck so we came on up to Concord to my sister’s place. He didn’t get a job until September. He found jobs but the union wouldn’t let him work because they had members out of work. When we arrived here we had $60.00 and an unpaid for car. So my sister and husband fed us until Cecil got the job.
The following year on June 6, 1939 our son was born. The following year in August 1940 during Cecil’s vacation we made a trip to Texas. Visited Slim and Ranetta. I don’t remember much about it. Then visited my parents in Hereford and went on down to Decatur as Cecil’s folks had moved there. The next year in 1941 we made the same trip. Later that year my parents moved out here to Concord along with three kids. Two others had already arrived and had jobs.
After the war was over in 1945 my parents moved back to Texas. On Thanksgiving Day Cecil and I loaded a trailer and took off for Texas. We didn’t go by Muleshoe. Went on down to Cleburne as Cecil’s parents had moved there. We stayed eight months and came back to Concord in California. The next year in July of 1947 Mrs. Tucker came out here for a visit. I guess mostly to see her grand baby as her daughter Kathryn had a son. It died a few months later. She got back home in time to be there when Margaret son was born in September. He now lives in Fresno California. Has a son and daughter both in college. During the war Moyne Mae and Margaret lived with Mr. and Mrs. Tucker. They all came out here in March of 1948 for a visit. Margaret had lived out here before the war so she talked them into moving out here so they did later that year and they lived here until they died in early sixties. I think Margaret died in 1994. Kathryn who came here before the war lives about 30 miles for me and Moyne Mae lives 175 miles away and Mariposa. Both their husbands have passed away.
In 1950 we made another trip to Texas and visited Slim and Ranetta. I have the trips sort of mixed up but it seems some of you girls were in college at Plainview. I believe one time you were married and one time Estelle was working in Albuquerque and one time when we were there Jerry was the only kid at home. We made several trips during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, so I get them mixed up. One trip I visited you in Clovis and you took me to visit one of your daughters. Some of the visits were to Ranetta’s when she lived in Muleshoe after Slim died.
One trip we visited Ranetta’s brother that was married to one of the Sullivan girls. I think his name was Onas. He didn’t live long after that. One time we visited Ranetta’s sister Dorothy Ward (I think) and we went to see his violin shop. Then Ranetta had a younger brother then I think his name was William (Bill). So Moyna Mae says.
The following is a long story: we moved here and there during the next several years and in 1962 wound up in Vallejo. We, or, I should say I am still living in the same place. It was a suburb of Vallejo so in 1991 the people voted to have their own city so now I’m living in the same house in the city of American Canyon.
The main story I want to tell is that I have no clue as to when or how we found out that Ranetta’s brother Marvin and family lived over in Concord which is about 25 miles from here. The time had to be in the 1960’s or 1970’s. They lived near where we lived when we lived over there. One day I went over to visit. I’m not sure but it seems like her name was Tinnie or Tillie. Marvin stopped by our place one day. They had a 16 year old son that I never met. They had a married daughter and she had a birthday party one day for her mom and I went over for that. I believe they had lived in San Francisco before moving to Concord. They later moved to Paradise, California. As I understand it, a beautiful area in the hills where people went when they retired. It’s about 150 miles north of where I live. I heard that not long after they moved up there that he died and she moved back to Concord and was in a nursing home. I feel bad that I never kept in touch. I don’t know if their kids still live there or not. I don’t even know the daughter’s name. We were busy as both Cecil and I worked. My mom and dad lived next door for three years. She died in 1973. Then dad spent his time with me, a sister and my brother in Texas. He died in 1983 at age 94. Our son was in and out. Spent part of the time in Texas and near Raton, New Mexico. He was working on a ranch there. A horse fell with him and broke his ankle. The hospital in Raton sent him to a hospital in Pueblo, Colorado. He was there a month. Had two surgeries. My sister Ruth flew back there and met my brother there with the son’s car and she drove him home. He was on crutches for the next seven months. This was in 1973.
Dale and Helen visited us a few times when they lived in Sacramento and Don and Estelle visited me I think in 1997 but not sure. I was told that you and Harvey were in California and drove through Vallejo on Highway 37. If that’s true you were within 2 miles or less from where I live. I visited Dale and Helen once when they were in Sacramento. Also again after they moved to Arizona. I wrote to them several months ago but haven’t received an answer. We visited Hattie & Joe when Dave lived west of Muleshoe. She was pregnant at one visit. The other visits were while Ranetta was living in Muleshoe.
You are likely too young to remember the Bean family. They lived about half of mile from where Cecil and I lived toward the McMurty Ranch where my parents lived. The old man was alcoholic. The wife got sick with cancer and died while we lived there. They had a son named Cecil. Then three girls. Inez was the eldest and Jewell next and a younger one that I don’t know her name and another son who was the youngest. After Cecil and I moved to California we didn’t hear any more about them I think it was 1983 (I could have it wrong). I found out that Inez lived here in Vallejo. Her youngest brother lived with her. He never married and served in the Army. Her husband had passed away and she had a son that lived in Oregon. Her younger sister lived in San Diego, California and Jewel lived in Arizona. She had a son that lived in South Texas and while I was in touch with Inez he had surgery for ulcers and died. The reason I found out about Inez living here was because Irene Askew and Othus were hunting for the address of people who had lived in that area so they could inform them about the community reunion they were planning. Irene new then I lived here as she was a friend of Margaret’s and had been here to visit her and had visited me. So she gave me Inez’s address. We visited each other a lot of times before her and the brother moved to San Diego. After moving there she died a year or two later. I wrote to the brother and sister but never got any answers. I think Jewel died a short time before Inez did. They had lived in this area about 40 years and so had we been only about 3 miles of each other. And it took that long to find each other. Cecil and I and Sister Ruth and husband went to the gathering. We took our dad with us. Cecil knew a lot more of the people as he grew up there graduated from high school at Fairview.
I don’t know how Inez met her husband. He was from Oklahoma. His name was Hall. The youngest Sullivan girl called Babe married his brother. He was a minister. Inez said her dad was here in California and left for Texas by hitchhiking and they never heard from him or about him since he left. Which was several years before we got together.
I don’t remember hearing the story you mentioned about your dad and brother going down to the creek. But Mrs. Tucker has told me a lot of stories. It would take me years to write them all down but all mention one. Years ago people were migrating for some reason to Mountain Air so her parents along with her went there. Mr. Tucker’s folks went there also so that’s where Jeff and Hattie met and they were married in Willard.
You wanted me to tell you about your family and I have mostly talked about mine and people I know. If you would come and visit me I’ll talk and talk until you will pack up and leave. Hattie has told me a lot of stories. I have always loved her. She was always so nice to me. Even better than my own mother.
Tell Cecil that near me is the Blue Rock Springs golf course and a little closer, about 3 miles is a newer one called Hiddenbrook. It’s in a fancy area.