You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Reminiscing: Warm memories of dear Grandpa
My grandparents, Earl Goode and Kizzie Lavonia Goode, circa 1925
My grandpa liked to gamble and he liked beer. He once won a whole farm in a poker game. But he lost it the next month, after he moved his family into the farmhouse he had won in the game. They had to move out that week.
But Grandma hated gambling. Grandma was a devout faithful woman, a Baptist, and she always prayed that Grandpa would quit gambling. But she stuck by her man. She loved him. I have written stories of his stills and bootlegging during the Prohibition Days of the ’20s.
One summer when the kids were young, they loaded up the car with the kids and a pile of feather mattresses in the car, and camped out on the way to pick cotton somewhere in Texas. There were seven of them that summer, all piled into the roadster with the mattresses and their clothes. They stayed one night in a little tourist court, which was a treat for the kids. They usually camped out.
After the kids had fallen asleep, Grandma and Grandpa went up to the little store by the tourist court to get a loaf of bread. There was a slot machine there, and Grandpa wanted to put in one nickel. Grandma wouldn’t go near the machine, but Grandpa kept insisting, and finally convinced her to go over and put a nickel in it.
In order to appease him and get back to the cabin, where the kids were, she put in a nickel. A pile of nickels came tumbling out. She stood there amazed, and Grandpa roared with laughter. She had won over $3. That was a lot of money in those days. She got so excited she began to put the nickels back in, dreaming of winning more. In less than 20 minutes, she had lost all the money. It was her first time! She made a vow that night to never gamble again. She tried to convince Grandpa to quit. He never did. The story has been passed down through several generations in the Goode family and everyone laughs as they tell it.
My grandpa, Earl Goode, was the kindest man I ever knew. He was the only grandfather we ever had. I loved him very much. After Grandma died in 1943, he would come to the farm and stay for weeks. During the ’40s, he would lie at night in the dark on a cot, with the radio on, listening to the baseball game, and that is one of my fondest memories of Grandpa. The Brooklyn Dodgers was his team. Even in the afternoons, with the heat so bad in the house, he never missed a game. Sometimes when he got a chance, he would bet a nickel on the game with whoever would take him on.
He also loved beer. He kept a warm bottle of Lone Star beer under his bed, and while listening to the ball game, he would take it out and sip on it periodically. That beer would last all during the game. I think he was dreaming of being at a game, cheering on his team, with a cold bottle of beer in his hand.
Sometimes at night, I would lie down beside him and listen to the game on the radio with him. Though I couldn’t stand the smell of snuff, I liked the smell as it came from him, and he kept a little empty snuff jar next to the bed to spit in once in a while. I even liked the smell of the warm beer, but mostly I liked the feel of his arms around me as we would listen to the game. When I think of my grandpa, I think of those warm memories of him.
Lois Zook Wauson is the oldest of eight children who grew up on a farm in Wilson County in the mid-20th century. After many years living in other parts of Texas, she now lives and writes in Floresville. Her two books are available from the Wilson County News office. Email her at email@example.com.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Hear John Muir music at San Antonio Missions (April 27, 2016)
Judy Bolton Mysteries (April 27, 2016)
Kendra Scott Trunk Show in Poth (April 27, 2016)
Merle Haggard tribute to highlight Opry (April 27, 2016)
Mother’s Day Bake Sale (April 27, 2016)
Musical Club hosts a Bealls style show (April 27, 2016)
See ‘Shenandoah’ at Night in Ol’ La Vernia (April 27, 2016)
Suspected bank bandits charged (April 27, 2016)
Sängerfest brings German choral feast to Floresville (April 27, 2016)
Theatre Arts students plan variety show (April 27, 2016)
Treat Mom to a play May 8 (April 27, 2016)
America needs old-fashioned values (April 20, 2016)
Boy Scouts will mark 105 years April 24 in Floresville (April 20, 2016)
Cowboy Breakfast will benefit families in need (April 20, 2016)
Dance to the ‘Countrymen’ April 24 in Geronimo (April 20, 2016)
Davy Crockett lunchbox (April 20, 2016)
Enjoy Parish Festival May 1 (April 20, 2016)
Gospel Music Association plans convention (April 20, 2016)
Historian’s archives secure the past for the future (April 20, 2016)
Jazz Festival to feature Grammy winner (April 20, 2016)
Lions seek vendors for upcoming Car Show (April 20, 2016)
Paper Clover Campaign continues (April 20, 2016)
Road Runners group run April 23 (April 20, 2016)
See Johnny Rodriguez at Texas Theatre (April 20, 2016)
Shop books and more at Falls City library (April 20, 2016)
Annual Cowboy Breakfast set for April 23 (April 13, 2016)
Cutting the cord on sugar (April 13, 2016)
Free Grafting Seminar (April 13, 2016)
Free movie night at El Mesias (April 13, 2016)
Hanging out at Hangar 9 (April 13, 2016)
Match Safe (April 13, 2016)
Play Texas Hold ’em to help children (April 13, 2016)
Powerful illustration takes top prize (April 13, 2016)
Register your ride for the Lions Club Car Show (April 13, 2016)
Saddle up for Poth’s Ride to Remember (April 13, 2016)
St. Hedwig church feast is April 24 (April 13, 2016)
Suspects taken to jail in Floresville (April 13, 2016)
Aggie Muster is April 21 (April 6, 2016)
Beauty hides work to save historic county courthouse (April 6, 2016)
Blue Bonnet Club supports SISD Hope Day (April 6, 2016)
Bluebonnet Festival of Texas is April 9-10 (April 6, 2016)
Celebrate the Burton Cotton Gin Festival (April 6, 2016)
Enjoy free jazz concert in Kerrville (April 6, 2016)
Find out the many uses of native plants (April 6, 2016)
First Baptist to host Bible Conference (April 6, 2016)
It’s not just complaining (It’s about justice) (April 6, 2016)
It’s Swing Dance time in Seguin (April 6, 2016)
Jump-start SA party at Fiesta Fiesta (April 6, 2016)
OLPH plans tour, wine tasting fund-raiser (April 6, 2016)
Pilgrim Opry set for April 9 (April 6, 2016)
Playhouse 2000 features ‘forgotten’ Mark Twain play (April 6, 2016)
Ruby Glass (April 6, 2016)
Service Through Music benefit (April 6, 2016)
Shoot skeet, play washers for ACTS (April 6, 2016)
Witness ‘The Gospel Side of Elvis’ (April 6, 2016)