SERENDIPITY

Father’s Day 2017

We were sitting around the table after a barbecue lunch, Craig (Wendy’s brother)and Belinda ( Craig’s wife), Blair (Wendy’s dad) and Mary Jane (Wendy’s mom), Randy and Wendy, Zoë, and Glenda ( Belinda’s mom). Adam, Staci, and their three girls were in the other room, the squeals, cries, and laughs of the three girls rolling into the room where we were sitting, along with an occasional visit of one of the three.

Blair retold a story of his dad curing a horse of “blind staggers.”
Around 1935
Blair: I think it was one of the McGills that brought his horse into daddy’s blacksmith shop.
“Doc, my horse is really unsteady on his feet. He’s always stumbling.”
“Blind staggers,” Daddy said. “Blair, get me that two by four over there, and that little sledgehammer.”
I handed ’em to him.
Daddy turned to McGill and said, “Now, hold this board in front of his eyes so he can’t see anything.”
McGill held the board, and Daddy whacked it square in the middle, right between the horse’s eyes.
That horse went down to its knees.
McGill thought Daddy had killed it.
But, the horse got up, and McGill led the horse, staggerin’, out the door.
A couple of days later, I walked out to the mailbox. It was way out at the road. McGill rode up on his horse.
“Hey, Blair, you tell your daddy he really knows his stuff. My horse hasn’t stumbled once since he worked his magic.”

I asked Glenda how she was related to Dillman Foster.

Dillman had been Wendy’s and her family’s next door neighbor in Garland. She was a widow, whose two sons shared her house. Mickey and his wife, Mary, their two kids, Sandy and Ricky, and Mike, the second son.

Dillman, after the others moved out, decided to move back to Winnsboro where her family lived. She hired Blair to do the plumbing for her in the house at Lake Winnsboro.

Glenda said,”She was my aunt, my mom’s sister. When I was young, I lived with her for a time.”

While Blair had been doing the plumbing for Dillman, he would drive back and forth, from Garland to Winnsboro. In that time, he met Glenda Harper and her husband, Dick, as well as other members of that family.

He liked the area so much, he and Mary Jane began considering a move to East Texas. They would drive out on weekends and look at land, and houses.

When they found the forty acres they live on now, they had us come down to look.

They took us over to the Harper’s house to introduce us, and we met the whole family, Dick, Glenda, Belinda, Richelle, David, and Arthur. Richelle kinda bonded with Chelsey, and she took her back to her room to play with Barbies.

Belinda said, “I remember that. Sandy gave me those Barbies, and I gave ’em to Richelle.”

Wendy said, “Sandy? Sandy Foster? I gave my Barbies to Sandy. I also had a brown suitcase filled with homemade Barbie clothes that this lady that Mom knew had made me.”

“We had that suitcase, I’m pretty sure!”

I asked, “Did y’all ever meet when you lived in Garland?”

Wendy said, “No, I don’t remember that.”

Belinda said, “We used to go to Aunt Dillman’s a lot in the summer. It’d be us four kids, Sandy, Ricky, and three other cousins.”

I asked, “So, did y’all play outside? Did you ever play in the driveway next door?”

“Oh, I’m sure we did. All of us.”

Now, here is the weird thing. Summer of 1972, I had seen Wendy’s picture in my sister’s SGHS yearbook. I thought I would like to date her.

I found out where she lived, Oriole, in Garland, and I finally figured out how to get there.

So, trying to get up enough courage to actually talk to her, I would just drive by, hoping to get a glimpse, maybe see her outside, and start an innocent, random conversation.

So, I drove by the house, the first time, and there were nine or ten kids, playing in her driveway. I thought she must have a bunch of brothers and sisters.

“Belinda, could that have been you?”

“Could’a been, Randy, could’a been.”

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