Comparing today’s world with yesterday’s years looks much more inviting every time!
Of course those times were hard times, but they were more simple times. Today’s world is in such a hurry — rush, rush, rush! All in a hurry to get where? Nowhere!
Growing up in Tin Top was a memorable time in my life. My Dad, Everett Young, founded the baseball team in Tin Top named The Tin Top Eagles. I found a clipping from the Weatherford Democrat dated June 1, 1944 saying “Manager E. W. Young took the mound for his Tin Top Eagles last Sunday afternoon and hurled a 5 to 3 victory over the Baker Sluggers, the game being played on the Baker Diamond.” I had forgotten, but my son, Doug Smith, told me taking the mound meant Dad was the pitcher. I was only 13 but also kept score for the teams.
I really enjoyed the phone call I received from Roberta, the daughter of Carlos and Bertha Jones, who were the founders of the Plaza Theater in 1941 and the Jones Drive in Theater in 1948. We recalled old times and talked about how we missed them, and also, regretted the Plaza Theater being torn down. As a little girl of about 5, she would curl up in one of the seats on the back row of the theater falling asleep waiting for her mother and dad to close the theater and go home!
Balch School only went to the sixth grade, and then closed. My brother, James Young, was bused to the South Weatherford School and I started my junior high years in Weatherford, beginning with the seventh grade. Keep in mind, I was just a very naive farm girl straight from the country and did not know “city” ways. At first, I did not think anything different until I started noticing that the city girls and the city boys seem to be more knowledgeable about worldly things than I was.
Being a farm girl, we did not have electricity, so therefore, had no radio or even received a newspaper until news was old news. I rode the school bus to school, so I did not get to hangout with other students after school. But I was about 13 or 14 when I had my “first date.” This is what my first date consisted of and how it came about. This boy asked me to a movie at the Plaza Theater, and don’t remember what was showing. Of course, we had to get permission from both his parents and mine. We were to meet at the Theater at a certain time, probably around 7 p.m. Since he did not drive, his parents drove him to the theater and my parents drove me to the theater, and after the movie, they would pick us up and we would go to our individual homes. Believe me, we were chaperoned, which it should have been and should be today.
I got through the seventh, eighth and ninth grades without any earth shaking events. But things began to change when I entered senior high school. Going through my yearbook annuals, I found many things that were back then, not now, popular eating places, grocery stores, movie theaters, five and dime stores, drug stores and the Square where the teenagers hung out. The courthouse on the square was a very busy place back then. When Dad and Mother came to town on Saturdays to shop for supplies and groceries that were needed, the only public restroom that was available was in the basement of the courthouse. My mother was very conscious of our safety and carried a small brown bottle of Lysol in her purse and would disinfect the restroom area before we were allowed to use it! Creamland Cafe was a very popular hang out for high school students. We would walk from the high school to Creamland and get an ice cream cone. Of course, it was only three or four blocks. Cell phones, of course, were not even thought of then, so notes were passed back and forth in class, keeping the teachers busy.
We had the neatest high school principal, Mr. J. E. Granstaff. He stayed busy going to the square and bringing back those who had decided to skip school. And more often than once, you would see him on the square “herding” kids back to school. He was such a nice person. As seniors, some of us were chosen to work in the high school office for a period of time, I suppose as a training program, and I experienced how nice a person he was. I never understood and still don’t understand, why a school was not named for him. Some of our schools here are named after one or two I personally do not believe deserve that honor. In my opinion, he very much deserved that honor! He cared enough about the students to make sure they were in school.
There is a lot to talk about during my high school years, not only during those times, but in the good old days of Weatherford. Until next time!
“It’s not the mountains ahead that wear you out, but the small grain of sand in your shoe.”
Nancy Ann Young Cearley is a Parker County native and graduate of Weatherford High School. Contact her at 817-594-7055.