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Meet the Folks | Ep. FO13 | … of Oak Springs - Bevins family new in town

Updated on November 9, 2015

They met by the flowerbeds

A flowerbed
A flowerbed

The Flower Beds around the Patton School

Caroline (McDonald) Truesdale and her daughter, Myrtle, had “looked after” the flower beds around the Patton School, which was located just to the west of their own home yard, along the south side of the Patton Road, since the school was built. Caroline and her husband, Lewis, had actually been founders of the subscription school, and oversaw the building of the school building, before it became part of the public school district a few years earlier.

On this particular late July day, Caroline and Myrtle had walked over to the school, as they regularly did, to look after the flowerbeds, with their hoes and clippers. As they worked, a man and a young man came around the corner of the school building and greeting them:

Edwin Bevins: You must be Mrs. Truesdale. I am Edwin Bevins, it is nice to make your acquaintance. This is my son, Howard.

Caroline Truesdale: Oh, Mr. Bevins. How are you? Quinton said you would be coming, to maintain the school buildings, but I didn’t realize you had arrived. This is my daughter, Myrtle. She will be a freshman at the high school this year. And, please call me Caroline. “Mrs. Truesdale” is my husband’s mother… but actually, she prefers “Victoria” as well. We are a friendly bunch.

Edwin: Yes, I’ve learned quickly how friendly folks in this town can be. I’m confident we will fit right in. My Howard, here, will also be a freshman… very nice to meet each of you. My wife is Esther. I hope you’ll get to meet her soon, as well.

Howard (nodding his head to each of the ladies): Nice to meet you.

Myrtle: Guess we’ll be in class together. Nice to meet you.

Edwin: Quinton mentioned that you had been responsible for the flowerbeds. Should I assume you want to continue to do that? I can certainly take that on, if you want, but you are more than welcome to continue. I have plenty of other duties on my list.

Caroline: Thank you, Edwin. Yes, we’ll continue, for now. We’ll let you know, right away, if we change our minds.

Edwin: Good. I’ll let you get back to your work.

They met near the flowerbeds

A flowerbed
A flowerbed

Another day, Howard and Myrtle talk near the flowerbeds

Howard: I have a part-time job at the stable, and I’m helping my father around the school buildings, this summer, but I really want to learn to be a farmer.

Myrtle: Really? Why would you want to do that?

Howard: My father used to work on the farm, and I helped him, growing up. But, he decided he didn’t like it, wanted to ‘get a job.’ He’s really happy with this opportunity, here with the Oak Springs School District. But, I still want to be on a farm. I miss it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help out on a farm, for the harvest season this year.

Myrtle: I’ve enjoyed learning to grow a garden, working with my mother. Would it be different, living on a farm?

Howard: My mother was in charge of the garden, when we lived on the farm. I think it is quite a bit the same, actually. She didn’t usually work in the fields, but she did help out, from time to time. My Dad always milked the cow, but Mom said she could. However, I never saw her do it that I can remember. It is not something I had thought about, until you asked.

Myrtle: I like asking questions.

Howard: I like answering questions.

They continued to find times and places to ask and answer questions.

He wanted to help with the harvest

Corn nearing harvest time
Corn nearing harvest time

Howard worked in the livery stable with G.W. Mason, stable manager

Mason: Howard, you’ve only been here a few weeks, but you’ve been doing a good job. I just wanted you to know that.

Howard: Thank you, sir. My Dad taught me, that if there was a job to be done, do it as well as you can. You are putting in your valuable time, he said, so you should get the most out of it that you can.

Mason: That was good advice, and you’ve followed it. Not all young men, your age, who have come in here, did all that well. I hope you keep up the good work.

Howard: I will do my best. May I ask you something?

Mason: Of course. What is it?

Howard: I enjoy this job, and want to keep doing it. However, when the harvest starts on farms across the valley, I’d really like to be able to work on a farm. I want to be a farmer, one day.

Mason: Really. A young man who knows what he wants, I like that. Actually, I do know two young farmers that mentioned last year they wished they had some help. Let me talk to each of them, and see if they still feel that way this year.

Howard: That would be very nice, sir. Thank you, very much!

Mason: No promises, of course. Money has been a little tighter, this year, it seems. I don’t really know what their circumstance will be. It can’t hurt to ask though. And, if I hear of anyone else that might need some farm labor, I let you know about that, as well.

Howard: Thank you. In the meantime, I’ll work even harder, here. I’d like to keep this job, part-time, through the winter, while I’m in school, if that is possible.

Mason: Of course. I like ambition. I’ll do what I can to help you.

Note from the author

This is the thirteenth episode of the short story (FOx) series, Meet the Folks | … of Oak Springs. This one is set in late July 1882, and ties in with Episode 53 of the Kings of Oak Springs. Each episode will explore, at first hand, some folks who lived in Oak Springs c. 1880. The stories are set in the Ozarks Mountains setting of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga historical fiction. These episodes are set in the early1880s time frame, following by a couple of years the 40 episodes of “The Kings of Oak Springs” stories. That series had followed the time period of the “American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1876)” collection of short stories. Some of these earlier stories are published on The Homeplace Saga blog, found at the link, below. These FOx episodes provide depth and background stories for the entire "Saga" series. “The Kings of Oak Springs” Episode 41 has now resumed the stories as 1882 began.

The first 40 episodes of the King Family series have now been compiled into eBooks, titled: "The Kings of Oak Springs" Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. See the link, below, to get yours.

“The Homeplace Saga” historical fiction family saga stories are the creation of the author, William Leverne Smith, also known as “Dr. Bill.”

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Okay, I have to ask: why didn't you use quotation marks on the dialogue? I'm sure you had a good reason and I'm just curious and not trying to be the grammar police. :)

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 20 months ago from Hollister, MO

      With the "name:" starting each line, to tell who is talking, it seems to me it is perfectly obvious this is dialogue... quotation marks redundant, in that case. I only do this in these particular series, because we are looking in on specific people. Just my writing style, I guess. Great question! Feels like a reverse Mailbag... ;-)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 20 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      This reads like a play -- and an interesting one, William.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 20 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much, Genna. I really appreciate your visit and your comment!! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 20 months ago from Central Florida

      It seems Oak Springs has welcomed a new family with strong values. What a wonderful addition to the community! I do believe we'll see a new young relationship bud right along with the beautiful flowers of Spring!

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 20 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Not too subtle, am I ... If you've read my first novel, "Back to the Homeplace," this might look a bit familiar... ;-)

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