External Photo Clues:
As Alex and Victoria Rand looked back on their married lives for the last fifty years as Oklahomans, they could see that God had blessed them. They had three healthy children and were certainly proud to be Oklahomans.
Both Alex and Victoria were descendents from hard workers on each side of the family. They were both from very large families in Burneyville, Oklahoma. They knew how to share things and to be frugal. Alex and Victoria gave new meaning to the term, “survivors of the fittest.”
Victoria could remember having her own “tow sack” to pull cotton alongside her mother and father and seven siblings. On one occasion, she could remember pulling bolls with snow on the ground. She could remember picking up pecans with her back to the wind and building a fire to keep warm underneath the pecan trees in Southern Oklahoma.
When Victoria’s family came to help her and Alex in their pecan orchard they would pick up over eight hundred pounds a day.The whole family worked as a team and became closer to each other in the process.
There were several close calls on these outings. Victoria and Alex saw a Diamondback rattlesnake as they were exploring in the woods. Alex killed the snake with a pronged stick. He was so brave. That was the largest snake Victoria had ever seen.
Alex and Victoria felt like they were a part of the great outdoors because they had spent so much of their time outside when they were growing up. To this day, when Victoria hears the geese flying over, heading south for the winter, she feels like they are her friends and she wishes them well. They were a part of her sustenance when she was growing up. If she could just get that “wild, gamey, taste” out of them with her various methods of cooking. Victoria was good at making a gourmet meal, after a trip to her garden. It seemed like nothing tasted complete unless she put onion or garlic in it.
When Victoria and Alex hear the crows squawking in the fall, they are reminded that it is pecan picking time. Sometimes it seems like the crows are calling them and they can relate to their language because they are taunting them saying, “You should have put out some aluminum pie plates or something, because I’m getting your pecans.” They were reminding them that we are all a part of the great continuance, the survival of the fittest and these are some huge crows they are talking about. It still bothers Alex and Victoria to this day, when they drive through town and see pecan trees loaded with pecans and nobody is picking them up. They feel like stopping their car and reprimanding the owners because they are wasting food.
Victoria remembered taking long walks with her mother when she was a child. Her mother would point out various things in nature to Victoria on these long walks. Victoria now passes down stories to her own kids of when she was a little girl. She would relate times of being able to pick up pecans by the handful and she would dream of those days when you didn’t have to hunt and scrape for them like you do today. Victoria would tell her children about those days of digging in the red dirt of Oklahoma making a living. Sometimes when Alex,Victoria and some of the other kids would walk through dark woods and bad weather just to get to school, Victoria’s dad would walk with them part of the way, because they were all afraid. Victoria and Alex felt like their family was coming full circle because they were teaching their children some of the same values and work ethics that they had learned as children. They started taking their own children on nature walks and to value things in nature. They were all absorbing the beauty and freedom of our great state,”Oklahoma.”
About The Author:
Mary Bone has had a short story published in the “My Folks and WWII” series published by Grit.She has also written two books of poetry and is working on a third book.Many of her poems have appeared in anthologies,journals, newspapers and magazines.Mary also dabbles in art.One of her drawings of a rose won a national contest and appeared in a calender.
Authoring For The Imaginary Family Project:
Are you interested in “finding” one of our lost vintage photos by authoring a story?
Please visit this link:
Imaginary Family Project Author Request Form
About The Imaginary Family Project:
The 2011 Imaginary Family Project is a year-long collective art endeavor coordinated by occasional amateur artist Quentin Bomgardner and co-sponsored by The Red Dirt Chronicles. This project is based around “lost” vintage photographs, which have been acquired at flea markets, garage sales, estate sales, and eBay – heirloom collections, with no heir. Every week a different author will “find” one photograph by creating an imagined history around one of its subjects. At the end of the year, the collection will be compiled and presented as a group.