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Grandmother's memories one of the things I cherish most

One of the things I cherish the most are the memories my Grandmother Musette Terry related at the urging of her daughters.

One of the chapters in that book of sorts (it’s also on cassette tape in her words) is the description of how they wound up in town during World War II and my Granddad Bob’s work to get back on his feet financially and out on the farm again — his own farm.

In 1940 things weren’t going well and Granddad had taken work with a local contractor building houses. He found out one day about a barn that needed to be torn down in Elida that he could buy for $25. He figured it might have enough good lumber to maybe build a two-bedroom house.

He bought the barn and began building it on his dad’s lot with a railroad tie foundation. He wanted to be able to buy his own lot and move it there when it was finished, $25 or so at a time.

“He really didn’t want a house and lot in town, but he thought that was one way to start getting some money together to make a trade in on a farm,” Grandmother related. “So that was his dream when he bought that old $25 barn in Elida.”

He worked on the house every chance he got and eventually got a corner lot and moved the house onto it and moved his four children and wife along with other relatives into it.

Then in 1943 the contractor he worked for “dealt somebody out of a farm west of Portales, in trading one of his new homes.” He knew Granddad knew a lot about farming and he wanted him to move out on the farm and farm it for him until he could deal it to someone else.

In Grandmother’s words, here’s how that went:

So we moved out there and it was a little bit late in the spring when we got there in ’43, so we needed that land plowed up and begin to shake things up pretty fast if we could.

Well Mildred had started to school that year, so the two girls were going to school and the school bus come by and picked them up. When we got moved out to the farm, Clarence (the contractor) had two old International tractors out there, and because it was late, Bob said, “I’ll start them both and you’ll run one of them, and I’ll run one of them.” Well I didn’t know what we were going to do with the two boys, H.R. was 4 years old and Keith was 2. So he said, “I’ll put the planter boxes on the one I’m plowing with, and we’ll put the two boys in the planter boxes.” So bless their hearts, that’s what we did to put that land up. Bob drove that International with one boy in each planter box, and I followed him with the other tractor.

My grandparents worked hard and soon owned that farm themselves. Somehow it supported all seven (they added one more daughter) of them in the years after the war. The farm is still in my uncle’s family.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]