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  Texas : Feature : Columns : "They shoe horses, don't they?"

Living on The New Mexico State Line (and getting Mail in Texas)
A Bronco Memoir

by Loretta Caraway

Gravy Fields and How the Highway School was Saved

My father R.F. Caraway, was a water well driller in Bronco when we lived there in 1939. He met Mr. Gravy Fields when Mr. Fields was trying to keep the school at Highway from being closed. Mr. Fields told my father that if he would move our family into his house on the county line of Texas/New Mexico and we would attend the Highway school, that we could have the house rent free. Times were hard and this was a Godsend to our family. Four of us children attended the Highway school. Mother and daddy let my younger brother, Don, attend and he was only five years old. A Mr. Townsend drove the school bus and picked us up on school days.

Covered Box Lunches

We also had church services in the Highway school building. One time we had a covered box auction. The girls and women decorated the boxes with pretty paper and filled it with sandwiches, fruit, and deserts. Whoever bid the highest price, won the box and the pleasure of the company of the girl who made the box.

A Musician is Born

This is also where I learned to play the piano. There was a piano in the lunch room of the school and every day at recess time, when the other children went outside to play, I would sit and try to play the piano. There was an older student who showed me the basic chords and I picked it up right away. Mrs. Fields would come and pick me up and take me to her house when she would have her parties with her lady friends. She would have me sit at the piano and play for them. I was in the second grade at school and so little my feet wouldn't reach the floor. She would brag on me which really boosted my confidence. I have since then gone on to become a professional musician, and her kindness contributed to my success.
Pet Buffalo
I remember going over to the Fields' big ranch house and petting the buffalo they kept there. I remember Ginger Fields coming to visit Mrs. Fields. I remember Ty and Mattie Fields from the store across the highway from our house. The humorous account we would tell was that we lived in New Mexico and got our mail in Texas. We thought that was a real oddity. I appreciate the kindness of Mr and Mrs. Gravy Fields. I found your magazine and am so glad someone had written their personal remembrance of Bronco. I hope that my personal account of Bronco can be included. I have lost touch with the Fields family, but would love to contact them.

- Loretta Caraway

"They shoe horses, don't they?"
August 19, 2007 Guest Column
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