Two Carolyns


Our daughter, Carolyn, was named for a woman I so admired when I was a girl. Actually, she was a girl, too, just 8 years older than I. She was in my mother's first grade class the last year before she quite teaching to have a baby, me!

The girl's name was Carolyn Rae Cole, and she was the daughter of Mildred Rae and Bras Cole of Stephenville, Texas.

I grew up in Carolyn Cole's house almost as much as my own. Her parents and my parents were best friends. I remember several times when either my daddy or Mr. Cole did not come home when expected, and the other was called to go look for him. Once, when Daddy had stopped smoking, he passed out at our farm. He hit his head on the side of the stone water trough, and Mr. Cole found him there on the ground.

We always spent Christmas Eve with the Cole family. Their son, David, was only a year older than I, and many Sundays after church, the adult friends (plus other adult friends) would feed us all a Mrs. Mac's Boarding House-style, family-style Sunday dinner, and then they took all of us kids to the movies, and they did their "thing" for a couple of hours.

I remember one Halloween, the one before Eisenhower's first election. Mr. Cole was a yellow dog Democrat, and my daddy was a Republican who loved Eisenhower. Daddy and I snuck over to the Cole's house and, with bath soap, wrote "I Like Ike" all over the windows of Mr. Cole's car. He was furious, and thought Mrs. Cole had done it as a joke, so he made her clean it off.

One year Daddy decided he didn't know what to get Mother for Christmas, so he gave Mrs. Cole some money to go to Mrs. Cox's Store (Coxes Department Store later) to find something for Mother. She bought a Martha Washington bedspread. It was anything but Mother's style. And, boy, was she mad when she discovered that Mrs. Cole had bought it for her.

Back to Carolyn Cole. She was the Queen of the Centennial in Stephenville, and I remember she got a trip to go to Hawaii, and she learned to hula. I was so impressed!

Carolyn Cole was a beautiful, smart, happy, and likable girl whom I admired greatly. For that reason, I named my middle daughter Carolyn.

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