Tales from the Porch
Many of the children in the family have not had the experience of meeting and knowing Erma and Curly Fruits. His real name was Richard Milton Fruits and my brother is named after him.
Because of his curly hair he was called Curly by everyone and he is the only grandfather I ever knew. In fact, both of my blood grandfathers died before I was born. Curly and Erma married after I was born and before Rick was born.
Many times, I listened to his quiet talk out in the yard near Pruitt, AR and on the front porch there near Beaver lake. It was at his side that I learned that he worked for Shell Oil and saved as much as he could in their profit savings plan and he retired at 50 to Arkansas. They had a plate on the wall that said to not buy anything you could grow. He said to me that if I would save 7.5% I too could retire early. I didn't have a choice on when but I sure listened to him and how I lived since was greatly influenced by his words. ( Yes, and Barb's hard work and saving)
When Erma and Curly lived near Susank, KS we would spend our evenings around the piano and sing. Down in Arkansas we continued that past time only it was with a guitar. I think Carol picked up the guitar playing and we sang a lot.
No matter the time and place, you could almost always depend on a spirited discussion there on the porch. I'll bet that Erma would like the idea of having Barack Obama as president and cuss and discuss the spending loud and long. I don't think they were complicated people. The lived hard and loved everyone that came to visit.
I do wish there was some way I could give the girls that go to Rogers for Girls weekend at the lake one weekend with Erma and Curly. They would have loved all the laughter and love but you would have to keep an eye on the booze as Erma would put some in her stash for later. Oh well, Curly would have loved all you young girls.