Letter to the Editor

I was looking at your picture tonight, Mother.

It was taken when you were young and beautiful.

You know, the picture that hung in the photographers

window on the square downtown all during World War II.

Now I am an old man, thinking back on how

hard things were for you.

But it’s all right now, Mother.

I remember the old house in Texas where you were

born and lived as a child.

It was supported by Bois d’arc posts,

and there were no utilities, and the well water

was fifty feet from the house,

You were raised fatherless with five brothers

and Sisters.

But it’s all right now, Mother.

I think about how the family worked the land with Grandmother

to scrape out a living,

and of the little girl whose dresses were made from sewn feed sacks,

and how you must have felt when Grandfather stopped his car

in front of the house and asked if you were his Jennie Bell,

and then drove off with his new wife.

But it’s all right now, Mother.

Memories come back of how poor both you and Dad were,

and how much you had to struggle in that old feather bed,

to push me into this world in that same old Texas house.

You worked hard to hold the family together with

little Sister arriving five years later.

And then Dad went to the service and died shortly after he came back.

But it’s all right now, Mother.

Now all the responsibility for us fell on your shoulders,

and you had to go to work.

Sister and I were boarded out during the school year,

and sent to relatives in the summers.

I know you regretted that we were not all together,

and it weighed heavy on your mind.

But it’s all right now, Mother.

As we got older you did your best to make a home for us.

You instilled in us a strong ethic and sense of self reliance.

But the years had flown and so did I, and it wasn’t long until little sister left.

Then you started another family determined to do it well,

and you did.

That kept you very busy though I know that you didn’t forget us.

But it’s alright now, Mother.

It was an overcast day when you left this life. I remember doves

quietly sitting on a telephone line outside your room.

It was as though they knew a precious soul had departed.

You left several children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren,

and this eldest son who loves you.

And, it’s alright now, Mother.

W. N. “Bill” Fangio is a 1952 graduate of Paris High School.

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(1) comment

Bill Fangio

The old Texas house was on 3/4 acre at 2447 W Sherman in Paris.

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