This is not my life story. It is only the time that is often referred to as the
"fleeting youth" of my days on earth. Those days I've spent on this mortal coil
are rapidly approaching eighty years. I'm still a couple short of being an octogenarian,
but one might as well get used to the sound of it when he gets this close. The
line that divides our earliest memories and oblivion is not clearly defined, so
I am not certain how far back in my life I can recall. I doubt if anyone can.
The memories I share with you here take place in several different places.
If there has to be a starting place, I would have to say it was Wink,
Texas. I was born in Vivian, Louisiana, but as the old joke goes, "only because
I wanted to be near my mother." My father was a very busy rig-building contractor
in west Texas, and it seemed best that my mother be with her family in Vivian
when my time came to enter the world. Back in those days, very few babies were
born in hospitals, and I wasn't one of them. As soon as we were both able to travel,
my mother and I returned to Wink. That is where I have my first memories.
there, we moved to a farm near Lorena, Texas, about 16 miles south of Waco.
Our next home was in a farming community 10 miles east of Marlin,
Texas. One day I heard a neighbor lady refer to our area as Spunky
Flat, and I thought she had made it up. I didn't know until the last decade
that the name had preceded us by more than half a century. The name Spunky Flat
is inscribed on a Texas historical marker at Hope Cemetery and Church there. Through
the years the mere mention of the name brought guffaws when I told of experiences
I had there. I can't blame others for thinking it was a figment of my imagination.
From Spunky Flat my father returned to the oil fields in east Texas, so
we moved to an area near Gladewater in the Union
Grove School District. The school and surrounding area have since incorporated
and are now a real town, which is still difficult for me to comprehend. My stories
came to a close when I entered the United States Marine Corps in 1942, ending
my childhood in a hurry. As you read my book and do the math, you will find that
I was only 16 when I enlisted for service in World War II. This will be explained
in one of my many tales that follow here. It is my sincere wish that you capture
some of the magic I found in those days that passed all too quickly.
© George Lester