Sturkie Family History
Boyhood Memories
~ by Lloyd Olen Sturkie


Lloyd Olen Sturkie, born 1913, was the third Lloyd Olen (LO) Sturkie in this family line. He was born in Hasse, Comanche County, Texas, the fourth child and third son of Will and Lou Sturkie. Lloyd attended school at Proctor and John Tarleton College in Stephenville, TX. In May, 2003, he taped a series of vignettes about his Texas boyhood. Here he shares his stories of growing up in the Central Texas countryside.




  When I was a kid we used to go the Grandpas and Grandmas for Christmas. Grandad would usually give us apple or orange and he’d take us up on his lap and play with us. Well, we would look him over and we noticed that he had a hole in his ear but he never would tell us what happened.

But as time went by we were told this story. Grandpa and Grandma had a neighbor that lived about two and a half miles away . This neighbor had three kids and they just didn’t have much to eat. The old boy would run off and stay gone for two or three weeks and the family wouldn’t hardly have anything to eat. Grandpa would go over and take them over something to eat and the people in general then since they didn’t have welfare programs, they’d take care of the people who were poor. So one day when Grandad took them over some food to eat, he told this lady what a sorry husband she had. So when he came back (the husband) she told him what Grandpa said about him. So he gets on his horse and goes over to Grandpa’s and calls him out. And he asked him if he said what his wife said he said about him. And Grandpa, of course, said he sure did and the guy pulled out his pistol and he shot Grandpa and it went through his ear and glanced off of his cheek a little bit there and Grandpa tried to pull him off of his horse but he couldn’t pull him off so the guy rode off. Grandpa went in to find his rifle and Grandma saw what was happening so she went in and hid his rifle. Time he got his rifle, the ole boy had rode off and the last I heard he got his family and left the country.



  Grampa had a country store. He just about carried everything you could ever want. One thing he carried a lot of was flour and he had built him a paddle and as he gets these fifty pound sacks of flour in he could beat them down flat where he could stack a lot of other stuff on top of them, other feed and whatever he had there. One day me and two of my cousins were in the store and we were noticing Grandpa taking this flour and beating it down and we began to think how much fun it would be to use that paddle on Grandpa. Since he had a big bench back there and he kept water in there and he could pour it in the pan and wash his face and hands. Well, we played the game of back out and Harold, one of my cousins, he got the job of hitting Grandpa with the paddle. As Grandpa was bent over there washing his face and hands and Harold took that paddle and he hit him across the butt and just about knocked him across the table. Soon as he did that we kids started running and we run all the way home and we knew we didn’t want Grandpa to catch us cause he was mad for the next week or so.


  I have an Uncle, Uncle Harrison, who I liked very much. He was always playing tricks on everybody. One day we were over there and he had three boys of his own so there were four of us. Uncle Harrison just got this new pocket knife. We kids were looking at that pocket knife—and it was a beautiful thing. So he saw we wanted that pocket knife so he said “Boys tell you what I’m gonna do. Down at the barn I’m gonna dig a hole and cover this knife up and I’m gonna stick a stick up and if ya’ll want to run down there I’m gonna get ya started and whoever gets it and digs it up can have the knife. So, you boys go behind the barn there where you can’t see where I'm putting it and he goes down and he digs a hole and puts the knife down there and he gets a shovel or two of fresh cow manure and sticks the stick up. So he comes up and tells us to get on a line and whoever gets there first and digs it up has the knife. So we got on the line and away we run. Well, his oldest boy was the biggest so he was the one who got there first so he jumped and falls down and sticks his hand down there and digs out the knife and Uncle Harrison started laughing and he pulled out the knife covered with stuff and wasn’t too happy. Uncle Harrison was the only one who got a lot of fun out of that. The kids did not.




  Paul was off at school one week end he came home and he got in kind of late and I saw he was drunk and Mother and Dad had already gone to bed so I got him in the room there and set him down and told him he had to be quiet because I didn’t want Dad to come in. Well I didn’t think Dad would since he’d already gone to bed so I go down to the garden and pulled all the onions I could use, I guess, and I started feeding him onions and I almost made him sick and he got where he smelled as bad as the liquor with the onions and I sent him off to bed and sure nuff Dad and Mother didn’t come in to see him cause they knew they’d see him in the morning so the next morning breakfast time Paul and I got up and went to breakfast. We figured Dad is gonna smell it on him now cause Dad was tough on anybody with whiskey and so we went in to eat breakfast and Dad seemed just like he always was and we didn’t feel like he ever knew that Paul had been drunk. Anyway he didn’t say anthing about it.






  We went to school in a buggy when I was young. My sister, Opal, was a teacher so we would hook up Davey, our horse to the buggy and go to school each day. One day we were coming home and Davey ran away with us. We couldn’t figure out at the time why he was running away. Anyway we had to cross a little bridge that had just room for the little buggy to get by we thought but we knew when he was running like he was running that he wouldn’t hit that bridge. He turned over. As luck was with us he went right through the middle of it and he kept running and he run all the way to our gate. And he was just give out so he stopped when he got to the gate and Opal got off and went around to see what had happened to us. She found that one of the shads on one side was rubbin' him and that was what was causing him to run like that. So we each went on home and got home and I told Dad what had happened that Davey’d run away with us. He could hardly believe it cause Davey was such a nice horse he never had run away; but he did this time and Dad saw where the shad had rubbed him pretty hard so he understood.





We used to have a pasture down in the back of our place we used to hunt in . One day Ira, Paul and myself went back there just hunting and we found a bee hive. We looked at the bee hive and thought that it'd be a good thing try to get a hive and put the bees in a hive. They were all settled on a limb. So Ira has all the bee stuff on and he was gonna climb up the tree and cut the limb and then he would bring the bees down and we would put em in the hive. My job was to hold up the hive while he shook em off. Well he did that. He got the hive down and brought em and shook the bees off and the bees were supposed to follow the queen and go in the hive but they didn't do that. They seen me and they all got on me. Anyway I was stung a lot of times and I almost passed out. Well, it really scared Ira and Paul. They finally got me to the house and they got the Doctor out and he pulled out all the stingers he could find and he got me where I was mobile again and I got alright but Ira and Paul really got a chewing out because they should have been smarter than that.







When I was about five or six years old, Uncle Lloyd, (I was named after him.) and he gave me a present and the present was three baby pigs. Then he said now he would keep the pigs at his place and feed em up till we decided what to do with them and he said we’ll probably put them in the oil well.Well that was kind of hard for me to understand but anyway. He kept em up and fed them and then sold them and later on, he said he put the money the pigs was gonna bring in the well but he meant he was gonna sell the pigs, take the money and put it in the well. Well, it was still hard for me to understand at the time what the pigs had to do with getting oil anyway. He put my money in the well—I didn’t get any oil and I didn’t get any money for my pigs.







We had a creek that came through our place. And it was a beautiful creek, the water was always clear and pretty. So we had us a swimmin' pool. We all liked to go swimming down there and Hab, my youngest brother was off at school and got home one weekend and the first thing he wanted to do was to go down there and go swimming. I went with him and before he got down there he already had his clothes off ready to go in swimming. He jumps in –we had a divin' board. He got on that divin' board and jumped in the creek there and he didn’t come up for a little while. Well, I thought something was bound to be wrong so I waited a little bit and then I jumped in and pulled him out. What had happened— he’d stuck in the sand pretty well and it had just about knocked him out. Well I pulled him out. And he came around where he was all right but his neck was awlful sore. So we walked on back to the house and as we were going up to the house, he almost passed out again walking up there. But he got all right and after that when he came home and went swimmin' he went down there and checked it out. This was the spring of the year and flood waters had washed sand down to fill our hole and that’s what had happened. He was really careful anytime and he’d check it out before he dived in it after that.






  We had an old Model T probably one of the first ones in the county. Dad, he and I were going out to the farm one day. Those old Model T’s had these old high pressured tires on 'em and you can't turn the corner real sharp or you could throw a tire off. So as we were going we threw one off and so Dad says get in under the seat there and get the tire so we can jack it up and fix the tire. So I got in the car to pull the seat up to get the tire tool. While I was doin' that, I saw some whiskey and some homebrew so I thought Dad would see it too. But he knew that I didn’t have anything to do with it. But anyways we fixed the tire and went home and he called Ira in cause he felt like Ira was the one that did that and he knew that he was pretty wild anyway. He called Ira in and asked him if was making whiskey around their home and Ira about half way lied and half way told the truth and said that one of our neighbors was doin' that. He didn’t admit he was part of it but I don’t think heconvinced Dad of that. Dad, as we all knew, was very tough on whiskey.






  I was going to Proctor one day and as I was goin, I picked up a neighbor of ours. And as he was going to Proctor, we were goin' to a movie that night and his name was Horace—He was a neighbor back in the woods there. He had a fruit jar full of whiskey that he’d made. Well, he insisted that I take a drink which I did and we went on to the silent picture they had there in the auditorium, It was something great for that part of the country. Anyway, I looked for Horace so he could ride back with me but I couldn’t find him so I just went on back home. The next morning I heard that this boy hiked an old boy by the name of King and another boy. On the way, they got to drinkin' that liquor or whatever and they got in a fight. And the King boy was a big ole boy. He got the Hite boy around the waist and got his knife out that had a sharp blade on it and he was just cutting this boy but he didn’t cut him enough to knock him out or kill him. . This kid got his knife out and he starts slingin' and hits this ole boy and cut his juggler vein and it killed him right on the spot, so the next day all the neighbors knew about it—my Daddy knew about it but he didn’t know who was drinkin out of the bottle and so about three weeks later the grand jury met and my Daddy was foreman and ever day he would go in and come in that evening and I’d look to see him comin' and I thought I could pretty well feel when he heard about me drinkin' whiskey. So one day, I saw him comin' and I felt like that was the DAY! They’d had Horace before the grand jury and they asked him who had been drinkin' out of his whiskey and he name me. And I could just see my Dad falling out of his chair when he heard, cause he was tough on whiskey. The third or fourth day Dad went to the Court that— was the day I thought he’d heard about it. Sure enough, he come and called me in and he asked me about it and I told him yes I had and I figured he was really gonna be rough on me but about all they asked me was how the fight started which I didn’t know cause I wasn’t there. Anyway the Hight boy wasn’t billed. They just declared the old King boy was a bully and he had a bad reputation so they didn’t do anything about it and they turned Horace White loose.