Mixsonian Morrs and Barbara


I graduated first grade making a steady “3” (out of 4) in all subjects for the year except for one period  got a “4” in writing, which surprised me for my writing was never that good especially at that time when writing was in cursive.  My writing greatly improved a few years later when I changed to print writing for most everything.

The first week of June we had our first watermelon of the season.  Dad stopped at a roadside stand on his way home from work and bought one for a dollar.  The watermelons was large oblong and pale green.  There was always discussion about how to tell if they were ripe. Some would thump them listening for a hollow sound, some would press hard with their thumb for the right amount of softness but the one I liked the best you would take a broom straw (had to be real straw, not the plastic straw you get in newer brooms) and place it on top of the watermelon crosswise and if the straw turned vertically the length of the melon, it was ripe.  Dad would take a big knife and split the melon down the middle lengthwise and then cut into two inch thick slices which he would give to each of us which we would go out in the back yard and eat them by just biting into it with the juice running down the side of your mouth.  The watermelons were full of black seeds which you try to pick out before biting but invariably you would get some in your mouth which we would have contests to see who could spit them the farthest.

For a week or so in June Aunt Dixie and Aunt Carole with her two girls Dana and Vandy came down from Atlanta for Gary’s graduation from Gainesville High School and they all stayed over at Grandma and Grandpa Junior’s house.  Aunt Sue and Uncle Jimmy with Danny also were in town and for those weeks and we were all getting together at one place or another for meals or staying the night.  One night all the men stayed at our house and the girls at Grandma Junior’s, another night Sue, Jim and Danny stayed with us, another Dana and Vanda stayed with us and so on.  We were one big family.

That summer we learned to roller skate.  Mom signed up for lessons at the roller stake rink that was on NW 13th street.  The rink was an unassuming building, quite long, made out of metal with no windows.  The entrance was on one end which upon entering you would be at a lobby that you would check in and get your skates.  The man behind the counter would ask for your size, which mom would tell him, and he would go back and get a pair of skates and hand them to you and then you would go sit on a bench and put them on.  The skating rink was a big oval with a wood floor a three foot wall around the edge with a six foot area with benches between the rink wall and the walls of the building.  Every twenty feet or so there as a door in the rink wall which you would enter the rink.  Lessons went well and I learned the basics of skating and more importantly, stopping.  After the lessons the rink would open to everyone, and the people would enter the rink and skate around in in a circle and every fifteen minutes a buzzer would go off and you would change directions going the opposite way around the rink.  We continued skating lessons each week for though the end of June.

In June, Brenda, David and I spent a week going to Vacation Bible School at Westside Baptist Church which we spent several hours each morning at the church learning bible stories.  We also learned the chapters of the bible, each day adding a few more.  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and so on.  I didn’t find it easy, with my speech I had hard time pronouncing some of them like Ecclesiastes.

Later in June Corky came with us and we went to Magnesia Springs which is just east of Gainesville where we met Betty, Billy and their kids and spent the afternoon.  The Magnesia Springs has a large Olympic size pool for adults and older children and a smaller kids pool for children.  The pools are fed by the cool, clear water flowing from the spring. None of us kids could swim at the time so we spent our time in the kids pool.   

The springs closed to the public in the 1960’s and fell into disrepair with the pool becoming a bog with trees growing out of it.  In 1990 my Uncle Gary bought the spring and restored it to its former glory and the Junior family had several family reunions there. (see Monster from Magnesia Springs)

Junior Family Reunion at Magnesia Springs 1998
I am in pool left edge of photo
Junior Family Reunion at Magnesia Springs

At the end of June Gary, who had just graduated from high school, joined the Navy

Updated: 05-29-2023