Giles Kennedy was born on a farm north of Amarillo
in 1910. The family moved from there to a farm near Wildorado when Cindy was about
five years old. The farm was a failure and after a few years they were forced
to leave and move to Amarillo where Mr. Giles took a job in a warehouse.
went to First Baptist Church. When we went to church then, it was at Ninth and
Polk. It was a beautiful church, and they just had it demolished [when they built
the church in its present location.] I've often wondered what happened to all
those stained glass windows. In those days they had a lot of them. Grandfather
Giles had two stained glass windows in that church in memory of William and Elizabeth
[his two deceased children.] They tore that church down and that's where they
built the Paramount Theater and of course, the Paramount has been gone a good
Anyway, when we went to church at Ninth and Polk, our organ had pipes up in the
front, and I counted those pipes forty million times. I'd sit there and count
those pipes. That's what I remember about it.
always, always went to Sunday school and church on Sunday morning. My mother didn't
always go because a lot of the time she didn't have anything to wear, but she
always sent us. She always saw that we had clothes to wear. I was always proud
of anything Mama made me. That's the way I was though. It never did bother me
that I was wearing something made from a hand-me-down. We were poor as could be,
but we didn't know it. My mother never did say anything about us being poor and
I'm thankful. I think back about that and you know, I didn't know I was poor.
to on Easter everybody would dress up and have on new dresses and hats and gloves
and purses and girls wore those white Lyle hose then. In the wintertime I had
to wear old long underwear and black hose and Mama made us black sateen pants,
or underpants, (I never had any pants until I was way grown.) She'd buy that black
sateen and make our underpants and put elastic around the legs and the waist.
She couldn't afford to buy us anything else. When we had new ones, I hated to
wear them to school because they made a funny noise when you walked. I was always
glad when they got washed. I don't know why she always made them black.
I started to tell about going to Sunday school. Always on Easter Sunday, well,
here would come all the little girls, they'd come to Sunday school with their
fluffy dresses and their white Lyle hose and gloves and hats. I'd still go to
Sunday school with my long handles and black hose. But, you know, it didn't really
bother me that I wasn't dressed like everyone else.
I went to Sunday school
and church all the time I was growing up. I also attended Training Union and I
was ornery. I think I got a lot of good training in there even if I was ornery.
I think I got some really important training while I was a teenager and I had
to get up the programs for our group. We'd have several different groups that
took turns doing the programs. I never was real thrilled about having to give
a part and I always tried not to have to give one. But, one time we had a program
on drinking - on alcohol. And on that Sunday afternoon, we went out to Amarillo
Creek, and we got some minnows. I brought them in and I used just plain old rubbing
alcohol and boy! Those minnows died! I demonstrated with that. I think about that
every now and then. It was a little different, but I guess it got the point across.