The Frank Smith Family
By Aletta Smith
Thanks for doing this website and thanks for letting us all know about it. I had great fun following all the links and getting nostalgic. I look forward to viewing the site again in a short while and see if others have added to it. We were only at Russett for a year or so, but it had a great impact on our lives. I am near Helen Wilcox's age and saw her in 2004 at the reunion. Everyone there had changed except me.
My sisters were Lavella and Mary Jane Smith, and the three of us played basketball. B.B. Smith (the basketball coach) was our cousin. We weren't related to Wanda Serner, but she was also related to B.B. Smith. I think the year was 1952 and/or 53. I think B.B. "recruited" us and that is why we moved there to play basketball.
Our daddy, Frank Smith, drove the school bus and farmed Mr. Chapman's land and we lived in one of the Chapman houses at Norton Bend. We grew wonderful watermelons on that land. And of course the pecan trees were abundant and we picked them up for Mr. Chapman "on the halves". There was a spring there that had the best water in the world.
We had younger brothers and a sister who also attended elementary school at Russett. They were Stanley (born 1940), Joyce (born 1942) and Larry (born 1945). We have younger brothers and a sister who were too young to attend school there, but I hope they have some memory of school events, plays, and ballgames at Russett.
Our closest neighbors were the Dawsons. Martha Nell Dawson was near my age and had sisters and brothers whose names escape me. They were good neighbors who let us come to their cellar when the notorious tornadoes came. They also shared their fancy new wringer washer with us on washday. One day my mom didn't let go of the item of clothing quite quickly enough and the wringer pulled her entire arm through. She learned to let go at the right time from then on.
The peddler, Mr. Scarberry, mentioned in Larry Wilcox's website came often and we got very excited when we saw his truck turn off the main road at our mailbox. Mom usually bought spices and flavorings, but the thing I remember best was the lemon pie filling mix.
By the way, I don't think it needs to be mentioned, but maybe for clarity's sake I should get our names right. Lavella and I both married someone named Smith (not related to either of us or to each other) so our names have remained Smith all these years. Mary Jane's last name is now Laborn. Lavella passed away three years ago as a result of breast cancer. Mary Jane lives in Mesquite and I live in Amarillo.
Lavella dated Jerry Henry. Mary Jane dated Dillard Scruggs a few times and dated Arlie O'Steen most of the time we lived there and after we moved away for awhile. I cannot remember the names of any the boys I dated (one was Charlie Owens), but I did date Frankie Behrens for a while. After I moved to Dallas, Wendell Andrews lived there for a short while and we went out a few times, but Wendell was waiting for that girl that he could "love as much as he loved himself." Not my words, but his. Frankie and I double-dated with Fay Covington and Sylvester May. Frankie had a car, but not much gas, so we coasted a lot from Tishomingo to Russett and Norton Bend. One night we were driving (or coasting) and a cow ran out in front of us and he hit it head on. Killed the cow, tore up the grill and made me late getting home.