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As told to Louise George
Louise George

Cindy 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.

We 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 while now.

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.

We 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.

Used 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.

Louise George
History by George >
July 12, 2006
Cindy Kennedy is featured in Louise George's book, Some of My Heroes Are Ladies, Women, Ages 85 to 101, Tell About Life in the Texas Panhandle. Louise can be reached at (806) 935-5286, by mail at Box 252, Dumas, TX 79029, or by e-mail at lgeorge@NTS-online.net
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