Thursday, August 12, 2010

His Name Is Johnny Joe

My sisters and I often talk about all of the 'boys' my mom and dad raised. They always wanted boys and ended up with three girls. It was a fact that was told to us many times during our growing up years....even our adult years. Since they had not birthed boys, they seemed to draw them in from all over.

My cousins were my older 'brothers'. I don't really remember Jerry living with us but vaguely remember Dick. Maybe I remember him most because he gave me one of my favorite dolls. Of course, it was my first boy doll. Not sure how he got the name Johnny Joe. It's not written on him. Maybe Dick named him. The rubber body disintegrated but I still have his head....just can't get rid of him.

For years, these boys and men came to visit later bringing their families. Mom would fuss around the kitchen delighted that her 'boys' had come home.

My cousin, Gene, was like a brother and a son to my parents. The farm hands were Mom's boys. In old letters, I find that Mom's nephew Lyle was one of her 'boys' when she was just a young woman. A woman who needed a son.

We always said that Mom liked her son-in-laws better than her daughters. Maybe she did. They teased her, helped in the kitchen, they mowed the lawn and ate her food.

Do I sound jealous? Probably. Sometimes it seemed that we were invisible. However, those boys who passed through our lives were our big brothers. Some we liked. Some we didn't. Some became our friends as well.

Evidently, there were some big brothers who loved three sisters on Neff Road. I know because I still have what's left of Johnny Joe.

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