The Eagle Has Landed. But Where?

Henry Clyde Billingsley was a young WWI soldier who awoke one day with an unplanned, unwanted but spectacular new eagle tattoo. Decades later, your editor recalled the incident to Brother Paul who, consistent with his contentious nature and faulty memory, insisted the tattoo had somehow been squeezed onto Grandpa's left forearm.

It was, of course, spread-eagled in all its glory on Grandpa's chest, wingtips stretching from nipple to nipple. There ensued a heated, still smouldering family discussion, that ended in a call to Blonde Cousin Kathy, who listened tactfully to both cousins before uttering five utterly Kathy-like words: "Grandpa Bill had a
tattoo? Short of exhumation of old Grandpa, the matter may appear long dead and buried. But the mission of this blog will be to rectify this and other faulty family memories ...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas letter, 2009

Dear friends and family, During the early years of the First Great Depression, little Diggie and her big sister Freoda lived in a railcar idled, like their Dad, by lack of work. It was parked on a sidetrack (now you know where that name comes from) among other occupied railcars in a bizarre, desperate little suburb of sorts, a refuge for Missouri Pacific RR employees trying to survive the most terrifying time of their lives.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sam, the Christmas Turkey

Praters occasionally obsess.  And Stacker Prater (aka Paul E, father of both Bill John and Paulie) had a thing about old-time turkeys - specifically bronzebacks, the kind once found on grade school wall at Thanksgiving Time, with magnificent red wattles and tails that spread wide like an NBC peacock in the days before color television. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New topic: Why Paulie and Bill never had a baby sister

Blame it on diapers. Mom swore our baby sister never came because of a lucrative job offer that kept her at work instead of the bedroom. I say it was the way you had to keep kids’ butts clean in the late 1940s, early ‘50s.