A few months after we purchased our first computer back in 1996 and I had learned how to cut and paste and some of the other necessary things, I started putting together a book of all the old family pictures on both sides of our families. After my husband became ill and passed away, I couldn't bring myself to work on it for several years, but I did finish it in 2001 and am quite proud of it. It contains lots of the same pictures here on Pieces of the Past.
Ray wrote a story for me to put in the book about his dad playing poker and how they got the "new" Ford back in 1935. I thought you might enjoy reading it----------
My dad worked on the barge at the McGrath Sand and Gravel Pit. We lived on the end of Finney Street in Chillicothe, Illinois, very close to the Santa Fe. I could see the trains come into the depot from my bedroom window.
Even though my dad didn't know how to swim, he worked on the water his entire life. I can remember him walking home after work in the winter in frozen clothing from falling into the pit after slipping on the plank they would put between pontoons between the rafts that he had to navigate to get out to the pumping barge.
He loved to play poker, and he would deal cards for "Slim" Harland at his poolhall in downtown Chilli on Saturday afternoons. On paydays, he and my mother would sit at the kitchen table and put the money in piles to pay the house payment, food, cothing - anyhow, they had their way of budgeting. After all bills were paid, Dad had a little bit to play poker with. He'd take me to the show on Saturday afternoon and leave me. After the show, I would go to Slim Harland's and he would then take me home. One Saturday in 1935, (I was 9 years old), I went to get him at the pool hall, and he had a big pile of money before him at the poker table. He kept me busy getting food for the players at a restaurant across the street and doing various chores for Slim until 4:00 A.M. when the game finally broke up. In a game of that size, if you were winning big, you just didn't take your money and go home until all players went broke. When we got home, mom was hopping mad even when dad put over $800.00 on the kitchen table. The following Monday, we all went down to Jogo Mattice's Ford and bought the 1935 Ford (above) that we drove until after Carol and I were married.
That is the car he used to drive when we dated - no heater. He told my mom it had an "Armstrong Heater". Ray's father died in a VA hospital in Dwight, Illinois, when Ray was 12 years old.