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 Texas : Features : Texas Memories :

Alexander, Texas

Remembering Alexander and
the "Fattest Kitten" in Erath County

by Duby Joe Moore

I was born September 7, 1956 and grew up in Alexander in my grandad's (Robert C. Moore aka Bob) house. He died when I was 7 from an old oil well accident many years before. My Granny (Dovie L Moore) continued to raise me. She was a Calhoun before she married my Grandad.

My Father is James Wilton Moore aka JW, he is the youngest. Next was my uncle Arthur Lee Moore, aka Rook. He had a daughter Gail Moore born August 31, 1956 then the oldest was George B Moore. His Kids were Keneth L. Moore and his sister Sissy.

Alexander was a wonderful place to grow up. I could roam the whole country, all I had to do was "watch for snakes" Granny used to say every time I left the house. The McMillians lived across the northwest pasture and they had lots of kids. We used to pick up pecans from a tree down in the flat to make money. That tree must have produced tons of pecans for us kids. We fished and swam under the old train bridge. Caught my biggest catfish ever. 68 lbs.

Truet Walker delivered propane and butane to our house and cut hair on Saturday morning for a quarter. Wasn't much work since us kids all got a burr. His wife Gertrude ran the post office, which eventually was relocated to their house over the bridge and left up the hill. I used to go to their house and help out and she would let me play with the old crank phones until I got shocked. I used to hangout with Judy Cathy, the love of my life. Her father, Robert Cathy owned a turkey/chicken / hog farm about 2 miles toward Dublin.

Mr. Schafer had a wood shop where he built cabinets and such and I used to clean his shop for 25 cents a day. He taught me a lot of what I know today. Mr. Edge lived down around the corner about halfway to the old bank on the left. Granny and I used to go over and sit for hours on their porch and talk in the evening breeze. I got into trouble for draining his rain gauge and fiddling with the marker. I believe Frank Holcomb bought the old home place from Granny and I hope [he] lives there today. Those were the best days of my life. Carefree, kids could be gone all day as long as the chores were done and never got into trouble. We picked on rattlers, scorpions, big giant tarantulas, horned toads, chicken snakes, and coons. You could hear a cougar down in the flats on warm summer nights. Sometimes sounded like a lady screaming.

One time when I was little, Grandaddy and I were taking the trash to the dump and I found the fattest kitten I had ever seen. I already had several dogs and cats so I knew Grandad wouldn't let me keep it so I hid in a toe sack and put it in the feeder when we got home. Well, early in the morning, an awful commotion woke us up. Outside dogs were maimed and dead, chickens dead, cows going dry, goats gone, and so on. We ran out (me right behind grandad) to see what was going on, about that time I saw marks on the feeder bin and whispered to myself "Oh, my kitty!." Well it wasn't quiet enough and grandad heard me and asked "what kitty?!" I opened the lid and showed him. I had never ever heard Grandad cuss, but he did that time. He took the cub out and laid it on the ground out from the house in the shadows. It wasn't 15 seconds till the mamma came, got her cub and was gone. My butt was a little red that night, but I never picked up a stray without asking again.

I loved vacation Bible school over at the Baptist church. The people of that community were wonderful and always ready to lend a hand. My Granny was a very proud woman, but after she went into the wheelchair with arthritis, she had a time doing things. Mr. Edge would come by on Saturday and pick me up and I would take the list Granny made and we would head to Dublin and do grocery shopping. We didn't have a car so that was very nice of the folks to help us out like that. The hardest time I remember was when we moved to Gatesville and I had to re-adjust to the "city life". I was miserable. To this day I miss those woods and creeks and little friends and watching the animals. I don't miss the scorpions, got too many stings, but I just couldn't leave them alone. Those were the most wonderful days and will remain in my memory forever. Today I travel all over the world as a communications specialist for the State Department and I have seen some beautiful places, but none can hold a candle to home!! I hope to someday go back and have a little place near there to let my kids see some of the good life.

- Duby Joe Moore, Charleston, South Carolina, March 16, 2006

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