TexasEscapes.comWe Take Texas Personally
A Texas Travel, History & Architecture Magazine
SITE MAP : : NEW : : RESERVATIONS : : TEXAS TOWNS A-Z : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : ::ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES
HOME
SEARCH SITE
RESERVATIONS
Hotels
Cars
Air
USA
World
Cruises
TEXAS TRAVEL
TOWNS A to Z
Towns by Region
Ghost Towns
TRIPS :
State Parks
Rivers
Lakes
Drives
Maps
LODGING
TEXAS
FORUM
FEATURES :
Ghosts
People
Historic Trees
Cemeteries
ARCHITECTURE :
Courthouses
Jails
Bridges
Theaters
Churches
Gas Stations
Water Towers
Monuments/Statues
Schoolhouses
Post Offices
Depots
IMAGES :
Old Neon
Murals
Signs
BOOKS
COLUMNS
TE Site
Site Information
Recommend Us
Newsletter
About Us
Contact TE
 
 Texas : Features : Columns : Spunky Flat and Beyond :
Spunky Flat and Beyond - A Memoir

MAXINE
by George Lester
George Lester
My father had a family of six before he met my mother. His first wife died shortly after her last child was born. Later he and my mother married and then Sam and I came along. I bring this out to explain why we had siblings much older than us.

My elder half-sister, Maxine, was fourteen when I was born. As far back as I can remember she was there to help spoil me. I remember her taking me everywhere to show off her "little brother" to her friends. My dad had warned her not to let boys ride along when he let her use the car. Once she disobeyed his order and I came home and tattled on her. I don't remember the incident but she told me years later what I had said in my baby talk," sister, boy, no no, Daddy spank, spank".

She used to kid me about my "Dumbo" ears. They stuck straight out and looked as if I ran fast enough I could fly. She said she would like to tape them down so I wouldn't blow away in a strong wind. Once she took me to the store to get some ice cream. I wondered how she was going to pay for it because I had heard her say earlier that she had no money. That is the first time I remember hearing the word "credit". When we walked out of the store with our ice cream and not having to pay, I thought that this credit thing was the most wonderful invention of all times.

Maxine took me swimming with her in a small lake near Lorena, Texas. At the time I didn't realize it, but for a teenage girl to swim in anything but a public pool was unusual. I remember her as being almost totally fearless. She told me to hold tightly around her neck as she swam. I wasn't the least bit afraid as we reached the deep water. She said she would rather swim out there because there might be snakes closer to the bank.



As I grew a little older and she married and had a family I continued to visit her every chance I could. One of the greatest times I can remember was when she lived in Shreveport, Louisiana. I spent several weeks with her and her family. It was during the depression and I had no spending money but there was a lot to do for free. Among other things, I would walk to a park nearby and watch company baseball almost every night. That was something I couldn't have done back home in Spunky Flat.

As much as I shake the cobwebs out of my mind I cannot remember her ever saying a cross word to me. I thought of her as the kindest, most caring person in the world, besides my mother, naturally. She had a ready laugh and a wonderful sense of humor. Sometimes when we grow up and get a family of our own, we tend to drift apart from those that we held so dear. I'm sorry to say, I sometimes went for long periods without seeing her. It seemed like ages since our last visit when my wife, Penny, and I went to see Maxine in her assisted living apartment. We got lost and arrived later than expected. We found her waiting in the hallway to greet us. She had just had her ninetieth birthday and had become totally deaf. The only way we could communicate with her was by writing notes. Her sense of humor had not waned in all those years. She kept us laughing the whole visit. My favorite was the gem where she said that she would no longer buy green bananas because she was afraid she might not live long enough for them to ripen. We went there to try to brighten her life but she gave a lot more than she received that day.
Spunky Flat Reunion in Louisiana

Penny (aka Lillian) and George Lester with Maxine in the Middle
After we returned home I received news from her son that her health had taken a turn for the worse. A short time later he called to tell us that she had passed away. When the arrangements were made, I was asked to sing her favorite hymn at the funeral. I didn't think I could do it but knew I had to try. As I sang, "And He walks with me and He talks with me" every wonderful memory I had of her raced through my mind. I needed her strength in this difficult time. I felt as if I held on tightly she would carry me safely across the deep water. It helped a lot too just thinking about those green bananas.

George Lester
2-6-2004
HOME
Privacy Statement | Disclaimer
Website Content Copyright 1998-2004. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: February 6, 2004