(These are the earliest pictures of me)
I was born January 17, 1939. I was the sixth child to Frank and Grace Darnell. I was born at home like most kids in that time frame. When the older brothers and sister were ready to leave home, Shirl and I were still kids at home. The brothers joined the USN and served in WWII. Kat got married.
Up until I was about 7 I didn’t mind being a preacher’s kid. I started realizing I was spending a lot of time in church, when I could have been our playing.(most folks would think that was good, but the kid doesn’t). Revivals were the worst, “Church EVERY night”. (I thought that could stunt my growth.)
During the 1940’s all churches kept their doors and windows opened during church services, there was no A/C. I learned If I could sit on the back bench (now pew), I could duck down and crawl under the bench and out the door, and go play like I was supposed to.
There were times it didn’t work well, and I got caught, that was no fun, the world still believed in the switch and belt for the misbehavers. But being pretty much of a rebel I thought it was worth it.
I had the best mom and dad in the world, but like many children I wasn’t too sure about that ‘ALLTHE TIME’.
Dad & Mom came from Georgia but there was not a prejudiced bone in either of them. For awhile my closest friends were from the black folks farm closest to Dad’s church. Mammy would not let me eat at the table with the Davis kids, her words, “Blacks and Whites ain’t supposed to eat together.”
(Shirl hanging cousin Bobby, Me & Guy Abee on the clothes line)
But when the Davis kids were at our house they ate at the table with us. I now know that Mammy was pretty smart, she did not believe what she said, but she knew it was prudent in the 1940’s.
Dad was invited to preach at Black churches, pastors would ‘swap pulpits’, he loved it. Our church had some shouting and dancing when folk got happy, but in the Black churches, they took the cake, they loved to dance and worship. I sorta liked that too. There wasn’t much rhyme or reason to white folks dancing, but the black brothers and sisters had some ‘real smooth moves’! Shucks I wanted to do that.
Enjoying birthdays or not, that is up to you, but as long as you are having them, you are alive.
WOW what a service station! Picture had to be in the ‘30’s.