"THE BEULAH MAE & MARVIN O'DELL MC CLURE YEARS"
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Pop's Early Days         
    Pop was born on a farm a few miles SW, Rector, Clay County, Arkansas, on  8
    August 1897. The son of Mary Ellen Wooten (6  October,1877-18  July,  1964)
    and Aden Herman McClure (25 March 1876-29 March 1900). Mother was  born  at
    Thurber, (Erath), Texas on 4 June, 1910. The daughter of Annie Lizzie  Rice
    (1878 July-August 1913) and Theodore C. Crain (12 July 1974-5 May1929).

    Pop was small for his age (small for his size, as they used to say),  while
    growing-up and he also contracted polio at an early age. I'm not sure  what
    kind of farm chores he was able  to  perform,  but  they  would  have  been
    limited, because the muscle of one  leg  was  severely  atrophied  and  was
    considerably shorter than the other one. Uncle John Vangilder recently told
    me that he did help with the removal of stumps from the farm, so  that  the
    crop could be planted. This is evidently when Pop  split  open  his  normal
    foot between the metatorsal with an axe. The axe went all the  way  through
    the foot without cutting the sock. The fact that the sock was made of  silk
    would account for the material not cutting. Consequently, he  was  able  to
    walk for only a short distance and then usually with the aid of a cane.

    At school one of the larger boys frequently carried Pop on their shoulders,
    because of his disability and to prevent the other boys from taunting  him.
    Pop even worked as a cowboy for an unknown period of time while he lived in
    Texas, which must have been very uncomfortable due to the smallness of  the
    buttocks on one side. Return to TOC
 
Bootleg Whiskey and Leaving Texas

    He said that he dealt cards in a saloon  much  like  the  one  depicted  on
    Gunsmoke. He also helped Uncle Johnny Chaney (mother's brother-in-law)  and
    others make and sell homebrew and bootleg whiskey.

    Pop once destroyed two kegs of whiskey when he and mother were living  with
    Willie Chaney (Uncle Johnny's brother), the meek one of the Chaney  family,
    who lived down a long dirt road between Midland and Odessa at this time.  A
    car was driving very fast up their lane. So Pop knocked the bungs from  two
    kegs to allow the whiskey to flow out on the ground.  I'm  sure  that  they
    were highly pe'od when they discovered that the car was driven by a friend.

    The reason that the family had to leave Colorado City,  Texas  was  because
    Pop had shot a man over a disagreement in a card game. The owner  of  the
    saloon gave Pop some money and a car and advised him to return to his  home
    in Arkansas. The sheriff there at the time was Dick Hickman, a good  friend
    of Pop's. Men from the sheriffs department  bought  their  bootleg  whiskey
    from them. So the sheriff gave Pop time  to  leave  the  state,  before  he
    started going through the motions of apprehending him. This was  still  the
    "wild and wooly west" and a shooting was no big deal.

    Pop was unable to enlist in the army during the  First  World  War,  so  he
    worked in a powder plant. For  entertainment  there,  two  men  would  bare
    knuckle fight for a pocket watch. (prize fight)

    Being free of charge, the rods (freight trains) were  the  only  affordable
    mode of transportation for many of the travelers during this period of  our
    history. Times were tough, so many of the homeless  were  frequently  Hobos
    (hey, bo, was a vagabonds greeting) and  rode  the  rails.  Pop  awoke  one
    morning in a cemetery, after one of these rides. He evidently had  a  snoot
    full or else he would not have spent a night in a graveyard. I'm sure  that
    he slept in some very unusual and less desirable places during these  early
    travels.

    When they first returned home  (to  Arkansas),  Pop  attempted  to  farm  a
    portion of the Vangilder farm for about  two  years,  without  success.  He
    wasn't able to follow a plow, so he hired his Uncle  Erbie  McClure  to  do
    this type of work. Erbie was good at breaking horses, but he couldn't  seem
    to get the hang of farming. Erbie would ask Pop what he wanted  him  to  do
    and Pop would tell him that he wanted him to get his rear out in the  field
    and do some plowing.

    Pop was able to survive by bootlegging on the side. The family moved  about
    thirty-five miles north, a few miles over the Missouri State line. Settling
    about 1/2 mile west of  the  St.Francis  River  Bridge  on  Missouri  State
    highway 53 southeast of Qulin, on the south side of  the  curve.  We  think
    that one of farmers there must have offered Pop work there or  else  needed
    someone to help make moonshine. He once fell from a tree, when he  went  to
    sleep while he was guarding their still and watching for revenuers (federal
    alcohol enforcement agents), receiving only a  small  gash,  which  quickly
    healed. Uncle John didn't know why the family had relocated there.
		Return to TOC  
 
Moving to Missouri and Living Conditions

    The family lived in a terrible small share-croppers shack with a dirt floor
    and the only window was a very small one in the door. The shack wasn't  big
    enough to cuss a cat in. Our ramshackel shack  had  ramshackeled  down-and-
    out, by the time that I was capable of noticing such things.

    The folks were able to keep body and soul together and make  ends  meet  by
    picking cotton from daylight till dark. Pop also  removed  (skinned  as  my
    brother Claudie would say) the bark from trees  for  Boeving  Bros.  Cotton
    Co., when he didn't have cotton to pick. I haven't the foggiest notion what
    these naked trees were then used for. The smaller ones may have  been  used
    for mine props, because a lot of them were loaded into freight cars on  the
    rail-road between our place and the cotton gin after we moved into Qulin.

    Pop continued to make bootleg whiskey on the bank of the St. Francis  River
    and gamble with cards. I never knew of him shooting craps, cards  were  his
    game. Dice was my brother Glenn's forte, when he was with a group  of  boys
    either picking cotton at home or cherries at Traverse  City,  Michigan.  He
    told Pop that it was easier than breaking his back picking  cotton  or  his
    neck on a shakey ladder while picking cherries. Anyway  Pop  said  that  he
    would fall through the door and sleep there the rest of the night. Too dog-
    tired to even eat.

    Perk Shirley tells of Pop doing a little moonlighting when his  family  was
    hungry. He would make like Snuffy Smith, by warming the handle of  a  broom
    under his arm-pit and the passing it through the window of a chicken  house
    to borrow a chicken. The chicken would be attracted by the  heat  from  the
    broom handle and would then move from its perch to the handle of the  broom
    and Pop would pull out the chicken and immediately choke it to  prevent  it
    from disturbing the other chickens and waking the owner. The neighbors knew
    who was taking their chickens, but  would  never  begrudge  a  person  from
    borrowing   a   chicken,    when    his    family    was    starving.
    Return to TOC

Living Conditions 
 
    Guy Scott (Aunt Jullean Crane's father) and Bumper Kelm  were  instrumental
    in helping the family move into town. The first night  that  Guy  and  some
    other men came to our shack (it was more like a small shed) to  gamble.  He
    decided then and there that something had to  be  done  to  help  a  family
    living under such primitive conditions. So after returning home he told his
    wife Margaret of the situation there and that he planned to do something to
    help the crippled man with a young child-like wife, two barefoot boys and a
    baby (that was me) living in a shack that wasn't big enough to swing a  cat
    in. I was born in this shack on * Jan.1930, but have  always  celebrated  *
    Jan. 1929 and still do. I wasn't aware of my official birth  date  until  I
    located my birth certificate after Pop's death. It could be said that  they
    didn't have a pot to put water in or a window to throw it out of,  at  this
    point in their lives. They didn't have diddly squat!

    Guy fixed-up one of the old railroad section houses, by removing the broken
    window panes and necessary materials from the dining room and  kitchen  and
    installing them in the new panes and patching the cracks in the  walls  and
    floor of the living room.

    There were originally 32 of these houses used to house the  people  working
    on the railroad, when it was being laid through this  part  of  the  state.
    These houses were built about 1912  by  the  Iron  Mountain  Railroad.  Pop
    subsequently purchased two of these houses  for  $25.00  each.  These  same
    houses could be rented for $6.00 a month, which was a great deal  of  money
    during the depression. Most families had  to  settle  for  renting  by  the
    month. These houses were very basic, with a living  room,  kitchen,  dining
    room and an unscreened front porch. In later years the porch  was  screened
    and some of us kids slept there on a pallet during the  summer  months.  It
    was cooler than our bedroom, because we didn't  have  fans  and  the  cross
    current ventilation was very poor.

    Our pump was on the north side of our house, where our back porch was later
    added. In those days most people kept a dipper  attached  to  the  pump  or
    close to it, to be used for a  drink  of  water.  Everyone  used  the  same
    dipper, which was usually enamelware or  granite,  as  some  people  called
    them. Most of them were mottled blue & white and occasionally a  white  one
    with a red trim. (Aunt Pat has one of the old fashioned pumps and  a  white
    enamelware dipper with the red  trim  decorating  her  front  yard  in  the
    Bluff.) Many people also had dishes of enamelware, which wasn't  practical,
    because they chipped so easily. Pop preferred a  gourd  dipper,  which  was
    even less sanitary than the enamel ones.

    Many homes also kept a two gallon galvanized water bucket of water close to
    the pump for drinking and priming the pump when the  leather  of  the  pump
    dried out too much. This was years before most of the families at home  had
    electric pumps and the manually operated pumps would lose  their  prime  if
    they weren't used quite often, especially at night.

    Some of the people refused  to  use  these  dippers  and  buckets,  because
    everyone used the same dipper. Some of the people would even pour the water
    that they didn't drink back into the bucket. Most of the people didn't give
    a second thought to this practice.

    When we first moved into our house, our beds were located  in  the  living-
    room and dining-room This move must have taken place in 1930.  A  screened-
    in-back porch, bedroom, bath and garage were added in years to come.

    The heat for our house came from the pot belly heating stove in the  living
    room, if a house had more than one room, the parents always  slept  in  the
    front room as the living room was called. The stove  was  banked  at  night
    with the damper cut way back, so there was actually  very  little  heat  at
    night and none at all in the rest of the house.

    Everyone in our family slept in gowns at this time. This  was  before  most
    homes were insulated, so the inside of the houses were  not  a  great  deal
    warmer than the outdoors temperature and when  there  were  three  brothers
    sleeping in the same bed. I'm sure that you will take my word  for  it,  it
    didn't make for the most pleasant night sleep.

    If Glenn felt a cold spot in his share of the bed,  he  would  roll  either
    Claudie (born 1934) or myself into the cold spot. Clever, that one! And  it
    was almost as bad when he threw his big heavy leg across us with hair  that
    felt like steelwool. Claudie and I got some of our best sleep after we  got
    to school, Glenn could sleep through an Oklahoma thunderstorm.

    Our father had a minimum of education, but he was a good business man. Mrs.
    Nentrup, our notary public typed all of his legal  paperwork.  He  realized
    early on that he was limited due to his physical disability so he choose  a
    vocation that would enable him to sit, such as an all night  card  game  or
    supervising a bartender or two and a rack boy.

    Pop accepted a position as a card dealer for Shady (his name  alone  should
    have discouraged anyone from playing cards in  his  establishment)  at  his
    gambling/saloon in Poplar Bluff.

    Pop once bought a meal for a black man, who worked for Shady as  a  "gofer"
    (a pimp, as Claudie would call him today) and gave him two dollars, because
    one of the customers had embarrassed him.

    Pop was a generous person, who freely helped those who were  down-on-their-
    luck. Having experienced this himself, many times. The lack  of  hard  cash
    during the depression (the dirty thirties) and his love  of  cards,  surely
    played a part in him accepting this position at Shady's.
 Return to TOC

Pop Starts Business in Qulin

    There were several individuals who helped Pop get his start in the business
    world. Uncle Johnny VanEaton (not really an uncle) sold  Pop  a  bushel  of
    black-eyed peas for a small amount of money and Pop in turn resold them  at
    a slight profit and continued to do this until he was able to purchase  the
    necessary ingredients for making bootleg whiskey. The whiskey was  sold  by
    his assistant who peddled it on the train that passed  through  Qulin.  The
    assistant would always restock his supply whenever  the  train  stopped  at
    home and conceal it in a long overcoat with many pockets. This and  selling
    out of his pocket so to speak continued until he had  saved  a  substantial
    amount and with a loan from Kirt  Adkins  (who  was  about  as  near  to  a
    Godfather as we had at home), Pop was able to  start  his  first  business,
    which was a gambling saloon.

    I still wonder who bought all the booze, because it seemed that just  about
    everyone bootlegged at this time. A man in Oglesville became a  millionaire
    during prohibition.

    To furnish electricity for the business and house Pop had a Delco generator
    installed between our house and the tavern a few years after we moved  into
    town,. The Delco generator replaced gas lights with mantels for the  tavern
    and old fashioned kerosene (coal oil) lamps for the house. The building was
    initially lit by gas lamps with two arms that curved down with a mantle at
    the end of each arm. These lamps were  suspended  from  the  ceiling.  They
    worked on the same principle as the Coleman lanterns of today, without  the
    glass globes. So we had to be extremely careful not  to  touch  the  mantle
    when  lighting  them  or  the  mantle  would  disintegrate.  The  REA(rural
    electrification association) was extended from Poplar  Bluff  in  the  late
    Thirties.

    The bar was always located in the front portion the building,  where  home-
    brew and moonshine (rot gut, white lightning or Sneaky Pete as some  people
    called it) were dispensed. There were a half dozen poker tables in the rear
    two-thirds of the building, and a small room  on  the  south  side  of  the
    building, which was initially used for shooting craps (dice). There  was  a
    divvy box at each table that the winner would insert a quartet  into.  This
    was how Pop received the revenue to operate the gambling  portion  of  this
    operation.

    The back portion of the building was later used as a dancehall and then  as
    a pool-hall. There were three pool tables and a snooker table in  the  rear
    portion of this building. Also a small room opposite the  tavern  bar  that
    was a cafe managed by my Aunt Lilly, my mother's sister. This smaller  room
    was used as a cafe by Aunt Lillie (mother's eldest sister and Pop's  second
    wife) years after prohibition.

    The interior walls, ceiling and special handmade seats that were built  for
    the tavern and cafe and the benches for the pool-hall portion were made  of
    knotty pine(lower right corner in photograph below) were  blow  torched  to
    accentuate the grain of  the  and  the  knotty  pine  There  was  a  highly
    lacquered masonite bar that ran the length of the  tavern  portion  of  the
    building.

    There was a pen ball machine, slot machine (one arm bandit) located in  the
    bar portion of this building that tokens were used to play. They  would  be
    exchanged for cash when the person  hit  the  jackpot.  There  was  also  a
    jukebox we called a beetle organ.

    Pop and another one or two of his friends which included; Walter Hollowell,
    Guy Scott, Fatman, the Lancaster brothers Ed, Chill, and Shorty, and others
    would occasionally play cards in the liquor store which was added in  later
    years.

    Their serious card games were played in our  dining  room  for  many  years
    until he had a small cement basement built under the  back  porch,  with  a
    trap door for an entrance. We were never  sure  why  he  went  to  so  much
    trouble or expense, but I'm sure that everyone in the family wished that he
    had done it many years sooner. You can imagine how noisy a  bunch  of  card
    players can be and appreciate just how little sleep we  were  able  to  get
    with the players vocalizing their frustrations and elation's.  It  was  bad
    enough when one of them would pound the table, but  it  really  jerked  our
    chain when someone slapped the table with the palm of their  hand.  Anyway,
    we certainly couldn't go to school the next morning and  tell  the  teacher
    that we didn't get any sleep last night because of an all night card  game.
    Aunt Lillie was  usually  called  on  sometime  during  the  night  to  fix
    sandwiches and coffee.

    Bill Brent, who was later to become the sheriff of Butler County at  Poplar
    Bluff for a number of terms, managed the crap table when the  business  was
    first started. Many years later Pop was arrested for gambling in our house,
    but never served any  time.  His  long  time  friendship  with  Bill  Brent
    evidently had a lot to do with him not being held.

    Glenn would open the beer-joint or joint  as  most  of  us  called  it,  by
    sweeping, putting the place in order and building a fire during the  winter
    months. Pop would relieve him in time for school.  Thank  goodness  that  I
    never had to open the tavern during the winter months. As cold (a three dog
    night) as it was in our bedroom, it was certainly a whale of a  lot  better
    than opening a cold beer tavern. Pop sold 3.2% alcohol content beer instead
    of 5%, so he was able to be open on Sundays.

    Glenn and I started tending bar at ten or twelve years of age.  A  task  at
    which I always felt a little uncomfortable with. I remember one night  when
    Pop had gone to Poplar Bluff and I was tending bar alone and a fight broke-
    out. I was afraid that they might injure themselves or do  some  damage  to
    the tavern. Fortunately, Guy Scott was there to help me herd  them  outside
    where they continued their disagreement.  We  enjoyed  watching  them  roll
    around on the ground and make an ass out of themselves, once  we  got  them
    outside. Then too, there was always the  possibility  that  the  state  man
    (alcohol inspector) might pay us an unexpected visit, while I  was  tending
    bar by myself and this would have been a fine and automatic  suspension  of
    Pop's beer license. Claudie being the youngest didn't tend bar, although he
    did rack pool balls.

    My first remembrance is helping Pop cap bottles of home-brew in the kitchen
    of our house. I was about five at the time, so I'm sure that I was more  of
    a hindrance than help.  The  fermentation  of  home-brew  is  unstable  and
    infrequently a bottle would explode. The legal beer would sometimes explode
    when it was placed in  the  beer  box  containing  icy  cold  water  on  an
    extremely hot day.

    Pop worked long hours, six  or  seven  days  a  week,  depending  on  which
    business that he was in at the time. Generally opening between  six  thirty
    to seven thirty in the morning but never before drinking a cup  or  two  of
    coffee with pet milk in it while sitting on the side of his bed.  He  would
    close for the night at nine or  ten  during  the  week  and  extend  it  to
    midnight or later on Saturday night, which he referred to as "drunk night,"
    cautioning us to be careful on this particular night. He also told us  that
    he didn't want us to bolly fox around, which is a first cousin to lollygag.

    Pop owned a hand-gun and a blackjack (sap), that he always  took  with  him
    between the house and his place  of  business  each  day.  He  also  had  a
    persuader, which was an 18" length of fire hose with a metal inner  lining.
    Which he didn't hesitate to use if the drunk became  too  rambunctious,  of
    which he was exposed to many during his  lifetime.  I  never  knew  of  him
    having to use the gun, just showing  the  length  of  hose  was  enough  to
    discourage most of them.

    Our dad took several trips when we were quite young, once returning with  a
    crate of fruit and nuts from California, I can remember a few trips that  I
    took with him. On one trip we attended boxing matches at Cape Girardeau  or
    St. Louis. He also took me to the "Cat's Eye", a  popular  tavern/dancehall
    midway between home and the Bluff, a little south and west of the  Hargrove
    bridge. I often wondered where such a progressive name such  as  this  came
    from in the mid thirties. It sounds like a name that the  beatniks  or  the
    recent hippies would use.

    After Uncle Raymond Crane (mother's brother) moved from Texas in  1931,  he
    became a bartender for Pop for a number of years. He was paid $2.00 a  week
    with room and board for working about 82  hours  a  week.  So  slave  labor
    wasn't reserved for the blacks only during the depression.  Jobs  were  few
    and far Between.. This gave Pop someone else that he could boss, a position
    that he dearly loved. He would have been a great Drill Sergeant. He now had
    a bar keep, that he could relay on and trust to take care  of  the  tavern,
    without being ripped- Off.

    Uncle Raymond's bed was in the kitchen when he first moved in with us. This
    was prior to the bedroom, bath, garage and back porch being added. He awoke
    one morning with company in his bed not to his choosing.  It  was  a  snake
    that had entered through a mouse hole in the floor. Believe me,  it  didn't
    take him long to dispatch the snake and close the hole with a patch from  a
    tobacco can and a few tacks. Uncle Raymond had  a  very  sensitive  stomach
    (sour stomach) since childhood and this didn't surprise any of us, when  we
    saw how much pepper that he smothered his fried eggs with each morning.
Return to TOC

Shoot Out in Pop's Bar We were thankful Uncle Raymond, wasn't on duty at the time of the big shootout One of Pop's first part time bartender was shot and killed during the early years of operation. He was Melvin (kneestob) Floyd, the son of the family that lived behind us. The gunman fired several rounds. One shot killed Melvin, one pierced the front door, Pop and the town constable. (this hole could be seen until the tavern was torched several years later) Pop wasn't aware that he had been wounded until he entered our living room, with a gallon of bootleg whiskey in each hand. He than proceeded to tell mother what had happened and that he had broken the rest of the bottles of home-brew and whiskey on the outside of the gambling portion of the building. I can remember Mother becoming excited when she noticed that there was blood on Pop's pant leg. He was so hyped during the excitement only minutes before, that he was unaware that he had been injured by the gunman. The bullet wound was less severe than it could have been, because the bullet was deflected by the large heavy skeleton key that he had attached to a belt loop on a key ring. The key was bent double by the bullet, before it entered the thigh muscle of his normal leg possibly preventing the bone from being shattered. Dr. Cook was unable to remove the bullet, because it was so deep seated and also he was concerned that it might damage too much of the soft tissue. So he cleaned and bandaged the wound and Pop lived with the bullet next to the femur bone for the rest of his life. Our town constable at the time was informed of the disturbance and came to investigate the situation. It didn't take him long to determine that it was one dangerous place to be. So he hightailed/hotfooted it back home with a hole in his ear. The County Sheriff was then notified and the gunman was arrested. Mother died at the Lucy Lee Hospital in the Bluff on 21 Dec. 1938, giving birth to the second set of twins. Aunt Lillie obtained her divorce from Uncle Johnny at Piggott, Arkansas and married Pop on 20 Aug. 1939, less than a year after Mother's death. In the early days the jobbers generally had a helper, (who did all of the donkey work) who was usually a black who did most of the unloading of beer and sodie pop, as we called it then. The main reason that we enjoyed their arrival was that they always setup a free round of drinks when they first arrived and again just before they left, a practice that hasn't been done in years. Our dad invested a lot of hours playing the card game of "ole sol" (solitaire), after he opened the liquor store, during the slack periods. To help maintain hand dexterity, he would move the quarter from the bottom of a stack of quarters to the top, with the thumb of his right hand. Dad was an avid card player, who seemed to be addicted to it. He didn't always win, once losing his car and pocket watch, shortly after moving to town. Kirt Adkins liked Pop and was somehow able to convince the other players that they should return his property to him. On another occasion he lost his tavern on a ball game. Baseball was very big during the depression. Many of the men at home played on a diamond in front of the Hollowells on Sundays, before the high school was built. Walter Hollowell (Booger's dad) was always the catcher for the local team. Pop owned a team a few years after we moved into town. Which probably meant that he sponsored the team by purchasing the necessary equipment. I rather doubt that it was the St.Louis Cardinals! Another time he lost his shirt at the Purple Crackle, a gambling house across the Mississippi River from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, being a good businessman, he was able to get a loan and with some backing from Kirt Adkins, and was soon back in business. Slot machines (one arm bandits) were legal in Missouri during the first few years that Pop operated his tavern. Tokens were used with a hole in the center of them, that could be redeemed for cash from the cash register, when a person hit the jackpot. Which I did once and won enough to purchase a new pair of bib overalls at Joe Hefner™s store. Barb's Uncle Eddie McLaughlin bought the slot machine from Pop a few years after we were married. This machine is probably still floating around somewhere in the Battle Creek, Michigan area. Punch boards were very big when we were kids and were to be found everywhere to include grocery stores, service stations, cafes, drugstores, lunch counters at the five and dime stores and of course taverns and honky tonks. They were made of cardboard about one inch thick and the chances were punched out with a punch similar to the key used to open a sardine can. The chances were anywhere from a dime to a dollar and a person could win anything from a big goose egg to a few dollars. Many businesses also had grab bags. The price range was about the same for the grab bags. A person might select a bag that contains a small trinket, taffy or perhaps a nice piece of jewelry. Grab bags can still be seen occasionally, but the state and federal government is missing out on a lot of revenue by not bringing back punch boards. Everyone enjoyed taking chances with these and they would be more popular and a persons chances of winning would certainly be much better than with the lotteries of today.
Return to TOC Pop Builds a Movie Theater A theater was added to Pop's business ventures in the late thirties. I can't remember if Uncle Raymond helped with the construction of this building, but I do recall him helping with the crew that poured the cement for the front of the building. It was during a hot summer day and he developed the worst blistered back that I've ever seen while working without a shirt. I'm sure that Aunt Jullean will attest to this. This was when westerns were king and Roy Rogers was king of the cowboys. Live Performances: The Wilburn Brothers appeared at the theater quite often, as well as Slim Rhodes, Speck and Slim's wife Zella Mae, who had a daily radio program on KWOC. The Wilburn brothers and Speck are still active in Nashville. Pop moved a small building from behind the theater to the front center of his lot to be used as a liquor store, the last twelve or so years of his life. The tavern had become too much of a hassle, after so many years and that smoky old poolroom didn't help either, while keeping a second eye out for the law. Pop enjoyed attending the open air wrestling matches at Poplar Bluff, during the summer months and movies at Campbell whenever he could get away. He especially enjoyed the continuing serials each week. There were serials with Gene Autry, Red Rider and Little Beaver, Clyde Beatty of the circus and many others. My all time favorite was "the fighting marines". Most of these episodes took place in the jungles and always left us wanting to return next week for the next installment. it gave us something to talk about and to look forward to all week long. Movies were our second favorite topic when we were picking cotton only when there were none of the girls around, everyone enjoyed westerns and we all went ape when a new Tarzan movie was released. Friends called him Crip Everyone at home (Qulin) called Pop by the nickname of Crip. Even some of the mail came addressed to Crip or Cripp Mc Clure. Brother Claudie once learned that Pop's nickname was not to be used by his children. Pop didn't believe in the boarding house reach (both feet on the floor at all times) at our dining table. When Claudie asked Pop for the butter and called him Crip Pop quickly and firmly informed him that his friends could call him Crip, but that his children should address him as Pop or some form thereof. Only moments later Claudie had forgotten the reprimand once again calling him Crip when asking for another food item. Pop instantly back-handed him out of his chair and against the wall. Claudie picked himself up sheepishly and returned to the table with very little to say during the rest of the meal. (which isn't easy for him, because he was our court jester. Claudie wasn't being disrespectful, just a cocky kid who was full of something and something. Glenn had all of the class "he was the one who wore the boxer shorts" and I was the old maid of the trio). He was a big boy of twenty-one, but would never have considered hitting Pop. Which was wise in every way because I'm sure he would have regretted it later. Pop couldn't get around fast and he had a large stomach, but his upper torso and arms were well developed. He could really put a hurt on a person, once he got his hands on them. Pop had a very colorful and salty vocabulary that would curl a persons hair and he was a recovered alcoholic but he never wanted us to swear or drink even after we were grown. He was very strict and would not tolerate back-talk from any of us and he would use anything within reach, if we didn't "hop to". Living through the Derpression years Facts of the "Depression" era For many reasons, most men seemed to drink during Prohibition/depression. The great depression alone was excuse enough and when you compound it with the fact that the booze was forbidden nectar that was enough to entice most men. Herbert Hoover was our 31st President in the early days of this Prohibition era and was blamed for the problems caused by it. It was a period of unemployment. Some of the men said that living was easy, but making a living was hard! Some of the phrases used to describe his administration were: a hoover hog, was a rabbit shot for food, crow for a hoover chicken. Hoover shoes, were for shoes with holes in them. When a person would have to place a piece of cardboard in their shoe (it was said that they were on their uppers) and would use wire to wire-on the soles of their shoes, when they came loose. Hoover blankets, for old newspapers used as blankets by the homeless. I can recall hobos coming into the tavern to warm themselves, with newspapers wrapped around their arms, legs and covering their upper body under their clothes to help retain body heat. It was a very difficult period in our history and we were fortunate that Pop was able to get established during this time. He was a recovered alcoholic, having quit drinking when we were preschool. Due To D.T.'s (delirium tremens/tremors) which had reached the final stage. When a person experiences snakes or spiders crawling all over their body. Pop said that just recalling these frightening episodes were enough to discourage him from taking the next drink. Most alcoholics never reach this stage. This is why Pop was able to relate and empathize with the many drunks that he came into contact with in his line of work.

In 1903 

There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss 
people. 

Charles Lee McClure



(c) Taken from: "My Memories," written to my children, nieces & nephews. Charles McClure in Owasso, Oklahoma
(c) and Contributed by: Charles McClure


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