We found a place in Marlin and love it here
We rented a house on Old Belton Road from Ann Price when we first moved to Marlin in July of 1973.
Doing my ciphering, that means we have been Marlinites for a little bit over 48 years. I was told by a prominent citizen that Marlin was a place we would find hard to fit into and that we would have to live here over 25 years before we could even get our papers!
I expect that I looked at him kind of like a duck looking at thunder and then assured him that Ol’ Jim Cathey’s mob would be like pouring molasses on a biscuit. We would grab a hold, spread out, soak in, and stick tight. We were here to stay! I was not sure what kind of papers we would be looking for, but I figured he was referring to a sort of “citizenship!”
Well, we let his words drip off like water off a duck’s back and went about the business of fitting in. You see, it seems that both my young bride Stella’s ancestors and my ancestors fit the pattern of an old cowboy saying, “They was in the lead when tongues were handed out!” I don’t say that to say that we were “windy” but we were not bashful when it come to being neighborly and getting to know folks by talking to them.
As a result, we were able to find a place in the local society. We found a church, joined civic organizations, become a part of the schools and I think anybody you might have talked to would allow that we had been here all their life! Shortly after we moved to Marlin in 1973, we had a chance to buy the old Morgan place on West Anders Street. It was a quaint old house with a large sunken backyard that sported its own “Bear pit!” As legend would have it, Mr. Morgan was a big man and he turned this sunken backyard (reclaimed gravel pit) into a park complete with its own zoo. Oh, there were fountains for the alligators and high perches for the bird varieties, and shaded cages for other species. Back in the far corner was the bear pit that housed the Anders Street bear. Mr. Morgan was friends with another big guy named Garner Poole and the two of them would, at times, wrestle that bear.
Well that is what the legend tells us, Mr. Morgan had passed away before we moved to Marlin, but I was acquainted with Garner Poole. He had a few stories of his own and he did not give any reason that the bear story was not a true story and he indicated that Anders Street was home to other stories as well! Our neighbor across the street, H.T. “Torg” Torgenson, said, with a knowing look and a welcoming smile that we lived on the lower side of Poverty Bluff. And sure enough, when we get a “gulley washer,” water cascades down the hill and down the street and right across the lower side of Poverty Bluff! But you need not worry about that because we don’t often get that much rain in Marlin!
If The Bunkhouse Could Talk
Oh what tales we would hear,
From the ones that would seek your esr,
Most all never had a fear,
They’d imply that every word was true!
These men that ranged in size an’ age,
Each thought himself quiet the sage,
When an ear would listen, they’d engage,
Then hold them spellbound ‘til they was through!
Each one thought himself the very best,
Heck, he’d stand up to any test,
He’d claim his title from east to west,
Those that challenged would be blue!
An’ things they would talk about,
Made them the hero without doubt,
If you questioned they would shout,
“Just you ask Ol’ Cooky, he’ll tell you!”
‘Course, the bunkhouse heard it all.
From bosses lip or puncher’s drawl,
From whisper quiet to shouted squall,
From tired worn-out tales to something new.
If only those hallowed walls could talk,
They’d relate every jabber an’ squawk,
Hair-raising tales that would make you gawk,
From secret meet to rendezvous.
An’ what the walls would never say,
Those floors would then come into play,
With all the happenin’s of the day,
With play by play overview.
Every window could see the scene,
From the doors, the truth would screen,
With oaths an’ mutters in between,
Make every attempt to subdue.
The pot-bellied stove would have a thought,
But flame out an’ come to naught,
Relinquishin’ what it had sought,
Risin’ in smoke up the flue.
So get ready to sit a spell,
Listenin’ to this hair-raisin’ tale,
But nary a word we hear it tell,
Of sordid story I promised you.
But in truth, the bunkhouse won’t say a word,
Will not repeat what it has overheard,
Nor mention that which was inferred,
An’ leave us all without a clue!
© Ol’ Jim Cathey
God Bless each of you, and God Bless America!
God Bless each of you and God Bless America!