of the Bon houses had pumps. It was good tasting water but had a lot of
and iron in it which caused the clothes to turn yellow. Mom wouldn’t
even cook with it because it made the kettles turn dark inside. She washed
the vegetables in it but couldn’t cook with it. The water we used
for drinking and cooking came from a community pump located above the store.
Just about everyone around got his or her water there. Our water buckets
were shinny aluminum. Whoever went to the pump carried two buckets. We
drank out of a dipper.
Just the family used the dipper; company got a glass. I learned
use the dipper when I was about five years old and I heard Mom say, “Here
comes old ‘Moe’.” ‘Moe’ lived with one of his children,
and he would leave home for some reason and visit people he knew. Every summer
we could expect him to drop in. He wore a white shirt and a light colored suit
like “Matlock’s” and it was dirty because he walked a lot of
miles to visit people he knew. He always had interesting stories to tell. As
soon as he got there he had to have a drink of water and he was very thirsty.
He got a dipper full of water but he stood over the water bucket and dribbled
back in the bucket. As soon as he was finished Mom grabbed the bucket, dumped
the water, and scrubbed the bucket and dipper. She gave me a small bucket and
had me go get fresh water to last until the boys got home. Then she gave ‘Moe’ a
nice big glass and told him to drink out of the glass instead of the dipper.
Then Mom gave him some of Dad’s old clothes to wear and told him to go
in the smokehouse and take a bath. Our bathtub was a washtub and we used Castile
soap. She said, “Give me your dirty clothes ‘Moe.’ You stink.” So
she would wash his clothes and he would be cleaned up for supper. Another thing
he did was butter his bread with his knife and lick the butter off the knife.
Mom watched him like a hawk when he was ready to butter more bread mom would
say, “Here ‘Moe’, use my knife. Your knife is nasty because
you licked it and you can’t put it back in the butter.” He said, “That
is a bad habit of mine.”
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