The poor economic status of our family didn’t allow us to have much beyond the absolute necessities in life. There were no luxury items, only the barest of life’s necessities. For example, the only things that we children would have for Christmas, most of the time, was a little fruit and, if we were lucky, we might get one toy. There were no welfare programs at that time such as those that we today. It was very much a struggle for parents to provide food, clothing, and shelter for the children so that they could attend school and get an education. A couple of times when we got toys for Christmas, I remember getting a little speckled hen setting on a nest with eggs underneath her and as I turned a crank, she would cluck and lay several eggs. I thought that was the most marvelous toy that one could ever have. I don’t recall the toys that my sisters would get at Christmas, but I do know that they were not very many, nor fancy or elegant toys. Sometimes we got a few grapes, coconut in the shell, and bananas or apples for our Christmas gifts. We thought we were rich!
Despite this severe lack, sometime during the time we lived on the Tyre farm my parents bought me a “kiddy car.” I don’t know why it was called a kiddy car except it was intended for small kids and it would be very much like a small modern-day tricycle that one would buy today for a small child. I loved that little kiddy car and rode it all around the home’s porches surrounding almost the entire house–until one day I rode it on the porch and a few porch boards that had rotted broke and the front wheel of the kiddy car went into the crack causing me to break the pedal. I was devastated by this and was never able to get it repaired. Today, it could have been welded and my travels could have continued, but not in that day.
I was permanently grounded.