Sunday, May 22, 2011
This Really Happened
I will tell you about a few funny things that really happened to myself and other people. I will start out with some things that happened in my early years. One time my father went on a bus trip to Winona Minnesota where the Watkins Co is located. Watkins had sponsored the trip and it didn’t cost the people anything to go . They handed out all the passengers a bottle of Watkins Liniment. One of the men on the trip decided that the liniment would be good to drink so he took a big swig of it. My Dad came home laughing about it. I think he said the guy had been drinking before he got on the bus.
My uncle Ernest had a farm in and for some reason or another my Dad went out to where his farm was located on the pretense that he was interested in buying the place. Uncle Ernest had been having some trouble with the tenant. So my dad went out there and starts talking to the tenant. The tenant did not know that he was Uncle Ernest’s brother in law. He proceed to tell my Dad how he had cheated his landlord. Seems he divided up a hog with Uncle Ernest and instead of giving him a good hog, he gave him one that had died of some disease. My dad of course came back from South Dakota and told Uncle Ernest about it. I don’t know what he did, but probably cancelled the rental contract. More than one way to skin a pig.
Uncle Ernest had owned that farm during the dust bowl days and guess it was a pain to take care of it. Uncle Ernest retired in about 1941 or 42 and he and my cousin Verna went to South Dakota and decided to farm that land. Everything Uncle Ernest did turned out well. They raised wheat and had good crops for a year or two and he sold the farm with a handsome profit. He had never farmed in his life but did well with that investment.
I started working on the railroad and was called a green horn and the first thing they pulled off on you was to send you out to the house track and get the seal off a flat car. Of course the flat cars could not be sealed like the regular cars and you could spend 30 mins looking for the seal and then you realized that it was a joke. More fun.
I was working 3rd trick here in Ponca City and at that time we had a local train that went to Blackwell and came back every day. They spent the day switching the smelter in Blackwell. The crew on this local were from the Panhandle division and they slept in the caboose at night. Well one morning about 3 a m one of the crew showed up at the ticket counter and wanted to cash a check for $40.00. Seems 4 of the crew got in trouble with the law. They had started on a small drinking spree after getting in here about 9 p m. One of the crew got away before the police could pick him up and he was in the caboose under the covers. The police knocked on the door and asked him where he had been. He said, ” Oh I have been sleeping.” The policeman said…”Well do you always sleep with your boots on?”
In the late seventies I along with some other drivers transported the High School Band to Okla City for a state contest. We had been in the city for a couple of days and were getting ready to come back to Ponca City. There were several girls sitting in the bus and I was sitting in the drivers seat. I had been looking straight ahead just killing time and the girls started to twitter in the seats behind me. It was a real funny kind of laugh. Soon they started doing that again and I looked out the window and a station wagon with a load of boys went by and one of the boys mooned us. I was shocked out of my head and said ‘Oh my g I don’t believe this.’ One of the girls had been on my route when she was in fourth grade and she went home and told her Mother. She said I thought Mrs Pickens was going to have a heart attack.. Never a dull moment.
In 1980 four of us decided to go to the national bowling tournament in Seattle Washington. We were in for a couple of days and decided to take a tour of the harbor. About the same thing happened. We were out on a tour boat and a small boat went by and everyone started to laugh. We were mooned by 3 people on the small boat. For several years we had a running joke about when you were mooned last…
In the early eighties we had several rent houses and that will really give you an education. People show up to rent a place and they are so good at lying. They have been lying all their lives and you have a hard time catching them at it. It took me about a year to get smart to them. I joined the retail credit and when you ask for a credit check before renting they do not come back.
You can not believe the mess that some of the renters leave. Dale rented a house one time to some people and he failed to ask it they had any animals. Turns out that they had 6 pit bull dogs of all different sizes. This particular rent house had a small fenced back yard but they didn’t keep the dogs in the back yard, they brought them into the house. They failed to pay the rent so were only in the house about 3 months. Well the house was carpeted and I had to steam clean the carpet. Steam cleaning did not take the odor out and there was a small screened in back porch that had been used as a toilet. The stench was terrible. I went down to the farm supply place and bought a bottle of creosote dip. I remembered using it on the farm in the barn so I mixed it with water and gave the porch a good cleaning. Well it killed the smell but you could smell the creosote for ever. Now the carpet was another story…I dumped baking soda on it, I dumped coffee on it, and neither did much to kill the smell. Finally I went down and bought a couple of gallons of vinegar and I mopped the carpet with it. That almost killed all the smell. What a mess.
We had another renter that was not paying the rent and it was summer time. The air conditioning went out and they wanted it fixed. We refused to fix the air conditioning and they moved out owing us rent money. That seemed to be the only way to get them out.
Most of our rent houses had stoves, refrigerators and dish washers. When they moved out I usually had a nice big job cleaning up the stoves. I found it was easier to buy new liners for the heating elements than it was to try and clean up the mess. The bathrooms were almost always dirty and I had to spiff them up also. Sometimes it was easier to repaint than it was to get the walls clean.
The first day I drove the school bus the kids shot paper wads all over the bus in the evening. The next day I told the kids that who ever was the last person on the bus that they had to pick up the mess. Needless to say I didn’t have any more trouble with that. One day I was substituting on a route and a senior high boy brought a small animal trap on the bus and was snapping it in the back of the bus. I called him up to the front and made him give me the trap and when he got off the bus I gave it back to him.
One of our drivers was taking kids home and she looked up and a boy was choking another child with a bolo tie. The child was starting to turn blue and of course she stopped the bus and took the tie away. You could drive the bus for 6 weeks and know that a child would be poking other children with a pencil but it was heck to catch them in the act. You can’t see everything and drive safely. But usually you knew who was doing that kind of stuff. And then of course parents don’t think their little angels do that kind of stuff.
One day one of my former students came up to me in a restaurant and said ‘Mrs Pickens how did you ever drive that bus and keep order. I have 3 children now and they almost drive me crazy.’ She had been one of my favorite students but she had twin sisters that were always trying to sneak a coke on the bus.
I served on the board of the Okla State Quilters for several years and I was secretary when this happened. Two women came up to the President and were complaining about something they didn’t like. The President told them she had 2 vacancies on the board and she wanted to know which vacancy they wanted to serve on. End of discussion and complaining as they didn’t want to do that..
One thing I like about caller I D is that people used to tell me that they called about something and I wasn’t home. They can’t try that old story any more and get away with it. I feel sorry for the young people now. I guess it is a good thing that their parents can keep close tabs on them but sometimes a person needs to get away from the telephone.
Now I am going to tell you about one of the people on our bus route. This happened in the early seventies and this woman was a little bit slow. Dale had been driving the route for a few days and she had a young son that was a bit retarded riding the bus. Well I happened to be driving the bus that morning and she came out to the bus in her robe and it was partly open and she had nothing on underneath. I had a couple of 4th grade girls sitting up near the front of the bus and they just rolled their eyes.
Then we found a woman to drive the route and the electricity went off one night and her alarm clock didn’t go off. She got up and was a little late on the route that morning. The next morning this same woman brought her an alarm clock so she would be there on time. Wow.
We handled part of the handicapped children the next year and a good friend of ours had the other handicapped route. The first day of school we had a new principal at one of the grade schools. The other bus contractor called me that morning as he had been to the school getting children’s names and addresses so he could know where to drop off the children on his route. Lo and behold this woman was in the office and she had brought the new principal some after shaving lotion. He didn’t know what to think and the bus contractor was sitting there when it happened. So as soon as he got home he called me and said you should have seen the principals face, Well the principal had to call me that afternoon about some problem and so I asked him ‘How did you like you gift this morning?’. He couldn’t figure out how I knew about it. We laughed about that for a long time. Never know what goes on in school…
Dale had another complaint about some children not getting on the bus. He asked the bus driver about it and she said that the children stood on the front porch and would not ever be out at the bus stop even though they could see the bus coming for a mile. She had told them to be out there and they still would stand on the porch. Well Mama called one day and complained again and Dale told her ‘Well you can’t catch the bus standing on the front porch.’
Another time a child on one of the routes called the bus driver a nasty name. The driver called Dale and told him what had happened. That evening Mama called and complained about the bus driver mistreating her son. Dale asked her if her son had told her what he had called the bus driver. She said ‘No.’ Dale then proceeded to tell her and he had to tell her about 3 times before she believed him. You never know what the little angels will do and parents don’t believe you.
Then we had another parent that would get drunk and call Dale up at ten o clock at night and give him a blessing out over his child getting mistreated. Of course the child had done something and had to be corrected.
The best one happened about 35 years ago and you would get fired now for taking care of problems this way. Dale was on a out of town 10th grade football trip and was driving home from the game. He looked out his left side mirror and a boy in the back of the bus was giving all the cars the finger. Dale told the coach who was sitting behind him to watch this boy. The coach saw him do it again and he got up, walked to the back of the bus and hit the boy on the top of his head with his clipboard, didn’t say a word and came back and sat down. End of problem…
That’s about all I can remember right now. Enjoy