|A SMALL TOWN ON THE |
My husband and I grew up on the South Plains, high on the Caprock of Texas where the land is as flat as a tabletop, and the sky is as big as the universe. The humidity is very low, so even in the summer the area often has cool weather. But when the sun shines high in the summer sky on a cloudless day, the rays can burn your skin very quickly.
Returning to Levelland was similar to a time warp, as both of us found buildings and places that were important in the fifties. The town was a wonderful place to grow up, and although neither of us came from moneyed families, we both were blessed with good, old-fashioned values, a love of our country, and our families.
As we drove around, we looked for our "old haunts" back in the fifties.
This building was the gas station (service station to anyone younger than 40) where my husband worked one summer as a teenager. In those days, an attendant filled your tank. They also did small engine repairs and changed tires.
He worked from noon until midnight. "Never again, though," he said. It was too tiring. He also worked at a small local grocery store until he graduated.
|THREE ROOM STUCCO HOUSE|
We searched on 8th street where I first lived in Levelland. As a fourth grader, my family found a house like this one--I think this might be the very one, but I cannot be sure. It was a tiny stucco with three rooms for the five of us.
I don't suppose any of us minded living there. It seemed we always had everything we needed.
It's hard to believe that a family is still living in this very old house.
|CELIA ANN DAVIS|
This is me in 1949 when I entered fourth grade in Levelland. We had just moved there, and notice the side of our house....this is why I think the one above was ours that
many years ago on 8th street.
I call this my smart-aleck period, when Mother allowed me to wear saddle oxfords and jeans and shirts instead of a dress. Wow...that was something big time!
I loved bubble gum, too.
The moves and the poor accomodations were caused by the oil boom in Texas. My daddy worked for an oil company, and we lived in motels, boarding houses, and small duplexes for six years following the oil camps. Then we moved to Levelland into the small stucco house.
Mother said she did not want to live out of the back of a car anymore. She told Daddy she wanted a house for her three girls, so she could raise them right.
|OUR WONDERFUL HOME ON AVENUE A|
This is our house Daddy built when I entered fifth grade and entered a new school on the other side of town. We loved this house. It doesn't look too much different from the fifties. Someone bought it and added a metal roof, but the awning over the picture window has been there for 60 plus years. Daddy laid the sidewalk which looks like it needs repairing. Boys came to this front door to take me out...and the Avon lady came to this front door to let Mother choose her purchases for the month...but my best girl friends came around to the back door to visit, play our 45s, or have a slumber party.
This front door is where my husband came to pick me up for our first date. My bedroom was on the front right--I could peek out the curtains and wait for his arrival.
|THE OLD WALLACE THEATER|
This was the Wallace Theater on the county square--across the street from the court house. In this theater, Jim and I enjoyed our very first date. The movie showing?
Love is a Many Splendored Thing. He held my hand.
|LEVELLAND IS THE COUNTY SEAT OF|
The court house square is very pretty--the building has been renovated, the grass is green, and the trees are very tall. Believe me, shade is important on the South Plains. On the back of this building was the public library. I loved going there, up the several steps to the big heavy door, and wandering around to find just the right books--The Bobbsey Twins, Strawberry Girl, and all those good historicals about real people.
We won't go back until next summer when my graduating class will have a big important milestone reunion.
Can you go home again? Not really.
Since I have such good memories, though, I do go home in my heart and in my mind.
Thank you for joining me today!
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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