Grandaddy Rone's First Car

Before this Model T Ford arrived, the only transportation was by horse, buggy or wagon. I remember as a little girl making the long (three miles) trip to Cross Plains with Grandaddy Rone, Aunt Minnie, Aunt Lizzie and Uncle John in the wagon. It was great fun in the summer to dangle feet out the back of the wagon as we clomped along. Or in the winter to snuggle for warmth wrapped in home pieced quilts with a brick (heated by the fireplace before we left) at our feet. The years have dimmed any memories of discomforts of this kind of transportation. I only remember the adventure, and fun this little girl had accompanied by her doting grandfather, aunts and uncle.

The Model T remained in Grandaddy’s possession until he died. I think sometime later another car (early 30’s Ford) took over the duties of the family transportation but I don’t think he ever drove it. I know that Aunt Minnie did, and that some others followed. In fact, she drove till she was near 90 – keeping the old car or cars going with some wire and her own ingenuity and determination. The Model T was retired to the barn and remained there until after Aunt Minnie’s death. I don’t know what became of it after that, probably sold for a pittance to some antique car buff – it was in good condition having been well cared for throughout its life.

The people shown in this picture are from left to right: Uncle Price, Aunt Creasy and Grandaddy. I believe they were Grandaddy’s only brother and sister – though I’m not sure.

Uncle Price was a colorful character. He never married. HE was a typical old-time western cowboy, making his living in the pioneer ways of riding the range. He was a man of few words, giving him an aura of mystery. I remember as a child being fascinated by stories of his exploits – some of which may have been true….

Aunt Creasy and Grandaddy led less exciting – though just as heroic lives – homesteading, raising families, and carving out a living from the often hostile West Texas environment.

When They Were Young:

 

This picture was taken in 1938, Grandaddy was 78 years old. He farmed actively until just a few months before his death at 82 years. He had homesteaded this place as a young man. He and his bride, Sarah Cynthis Crownover, lived there all their lives. She was only 52 years old when she died (18 years before my birth). For the remaining 28 years of his life he raised their eight children alone. I think she was the love of his life. I remember Aunt Minnie telling me about a tree that stood in the middle of the field. Grandaddy would never consider cutting it because Grandmother had planted it.

Grandaddy was a very efficient farmer. He kept up with all the latest agricultural information from Texas A&M, etc. He put into practice the latest methods of pruning, fertilizing, planting, etc. His orchard was a dream. I have never tasted anything so delicious as those huge Alberta peaches, luscious blackberries, grapes, etc. etc. Sometimes the peach yield was so great that they were not ableto can or sell the whole crop, so peaches were fed to the hogs and cows. I can still see the contented look of a jersey cow as she chomped on a tree-ripened peach with juice running from her jaws. The vegetable garden was just as beautiful. It was the domain of Aunt Minnie and Aunt Lizzie.

Uncle John, Aunt Minnie and Aunt Lizzie never married. They lived on the farm with Grandaddy. HE was the patriarch of the family. They followed his lead with great love and respect.

I loved and admired Grandaddy. He was gentle and kind. On Friday afternoons after school during my high school years I would often walk (About three or four miles) from Grandmother and Grandaddy Garret’s house to spend the weekend with Grandaddy Rone, Aunt Minnie, Aunt Lizzie and Uncle John. I’s cut through the woods, along the creek, sometimes taking time out to sit under a tree to read or watch the birds and squirrels.

A particularly precious memory I have of Grandaddy is in the early mornings. He slept in the front room near the fireplace. If I happened to wake from my bed with Aunt Minnie I would see that Grandaddy was up, had built a fire in the fireplace, and was sitting by the kerosene lamp reading his Bible before he began the early-morning farm chores.