‘I can still hitch up a team, if I have to’
Mildred Luckey Harris Baker lived in the Pleasant Hill community in the southwestern area of Milam County. She was a member of the countywide group of people who wrote Matchless Milam: History of Milam County.
This area of Milam County was settled in the 1860s. Mildred’s family was among the early settlers, coming from Georgia.
Mildred lived a full life, to age 94. She wrote this in 1987.
My Life at Pleasant Hill
By Mildred Luckey Harris Baker I shook peanut vines after they had been plowed up, so they could dry and be hauled to the barn for winter time feed for man and beast.
It gives me pleasure now to tell friends, particularly those reared in the city, that where I grew up, distance was measured by pockets full of peanuts.
It was one pocket full to Mary Ethel’s, half a pocket to the mailbox, a pocket and a half to Aunt Hallie’s.
Well, all this talk about hard work is making me very tired.
We’ll get on to another subject as soon as I say that I know how to plant cotton, chop cotton and pick cotton and knowing that I know how to do all that gives me a strong sense of security.
I’m very proud of my rural upbringing. I hope I never have to hitch up a team of mules again but please know that I can if the need arises.
Our school was two rooms. The “little” room, was grades 1 through 3 and the “big” room, grades 4 through 7, as I recall.
There were no school buses and if one wished to graduate arrangement had to be made to live in town.
In my case there was a very fortunate arrangement. My grandparents had sold their land to a coal mining business and had bought a big house in Rockdale.
They kept any of their grandchildren, from various communities around, and as it came my turn, they took care of me.
So, beginning with the 7th grade, through the 11th, I attended Rockdale schools. We graduated from the 11th in those years, 1932, to be exact, 16 years old.
“Old Pet”, a brown mare, was my primary mode of transportation throughout these years.
With a saddle, or without, it made little difference. Sometimes my folks drove me to town on Sunday afternoon during the school term if the Model A was running, and sometimes they came for me on Friday afternoon.
Very often I rode Old Pet the 10 miles, took about an hour, kept her in Grandpa’s cow lot behind the house in town, then rode her home on Friday afternoon.
Continued next week.