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Note - most stories are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular living or dead. True stories will say they are true!
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to pass slowly when we were young and each of us boys grew and developed at our
own pace. Each year Abby and I were growing closer together.
Our oldest brother, Abner had arrived at eighteen years old and
his maturing was crying out for a woman. He picked out a woman named Lilly. I wouldn’t have chosen her for she wasn’t very
pretty but apparently she attracted Abner.
As far as I could tell the most
appealing thing about her was her youth, availability and she was a good cook.
As it turned out Lilly was a good match for him and kept everything in order
like a farm wife should. As time went by I came to appreciate her and was very
fond of her.
We all pitched
in and built a house for them near the main dwelling where they still took
their meals most of the time. Upon
getting married Pa gave Abner more responsibility and he started drawing wages.
The rest of us would hardly ever get any money but Pa always promised us money
in the future.
got married Ben got the itch for female company but Pa told him to cool it for
he wasn’t ready for a woman as of yet.
so easy to be put off with words and I thought Pa was going to have to put a whip
on him to settle him down. Abner finally got him cooled down by telling him
about the husband’s duties and the fact he was going to be a father himself
the idea of having a wife but being a father didn’t appeal to him at all for he
wasn’t ready for that. Things returned
to normal after that.
talk about Abby to the brothers any more for they would tease me by saying they
were going over to see her and she needed an older man for I was too young for
As to age I
was almost a year older than her and two years older than her sister June who
was also very comely. On Sunday if all
the work was caught up, the as of yet single brothers and I would head off to
see those whom we considered our girls.
I would make
the hours ride over to Abby’s home to see her but her father would spend most
of the time talking to me about the crops and other farm stuff and my time with
Abby was limited. We would usually get
to go for a walk but her father would send June alone with us saying she needed
was limited to holding hands with no kissing. At our age we were too young for
the parlor and it was off limits for us. That was where most of the serious
courting took place and you had to be marrying age also.
that interfered with my visits was one or two other Romeos would show up and
cramp my style by already being there sitting on the porch talking to her Pa.How can you win a girl’s affection with all
these guys hanging around impressing her father?
Abby seem to
enjoy all the attention which made me pretty mad. She knew I had claimed her
for my present and future sweetheart but she didn’t always act like she
accepted it as fact. Sometimes my Pa
would make me take Franklin
with me. When that happened I would try to get June to entertain him but it
didn’t always work out that way.
The next two
years passed without any real problems. Ben was eighteen now and since Abner
had married at eighteen he was getting all stirred up and had his eye set on
one of the ranchers daughters. I had to admit she wasn’t bad to look at and
hoped she could run a house for him if he continued to pursue her.
He came to
Pa and told him of his plans if Pa approved. Pa knew he had been sneaking off
to town every so often so he agreed it was time for him to find a wife. When he
found out who Ben was interested in he had some reservations about her for he
was afraid she was more fluff than home maker. Ma felt the same way but figured
she could straighten the girl up after they got hitched.
plans moved right along except for one problem. The rancher was standing firm on Ben coming to
work for him on his ranch while Ben wanted to stay with our family. In the end
he gave in and agreed to move to her place and become a full time rancher. He
had worked our horses’ part time but now it would a full time job. Pa gave Ben
a nice gift of cash. He had earned it while working along with the rest of us.
was held at the girl’s home so we all packed up and went there getting home
late after dark. We are going to miss Ben around here for he had been a fixture
for his eighteen years but when its time to move on you have to go.
father-in-law didn’t have any boys, only four girls. I suspect he will have
four sons- in –laws working for him before it’s over.