CEARLEY: Many precious memories | Columns

Reminiscing through the years of my life, it’s hard to believe these past 90 years have gone so fast.

Growing up on the farm, there are many precious memories — the chores I was assigned to do on the farm, helping with the care and harvesting of the crops, helping Mother plant a large garden, harvesting it and preparing the vegetables for canning. In those days, farmers preserved food for the winter months. I helped raise the chickens, and would get attached to them and, also, the 12 baby turkeys I raised when their mother died. I really got attached to them for they thought I was their mother. I could not go into the house without them circling it looking for me, and I would get a book, sit under a tree to read and they were satisfied as long as I was outside where they could see me. Broke my heart when Dad said it was time to sell them.

The after church dinner was on the ground events. I really enjoyed them. Folks, you have not lived if you have not ever attended a dinner on the ground after church activity. Those farmers wives could cook! I remember the first school house I attended, which was in Dennis. My grandfather, AH Bunch was the postmaster in Dennis for over 20 years. He also signed my birth certificate for back then babies were born at home, so the postmaster was allowed to sign the birth certificates. I remember attending a revival service with my grandmother, Alice Bunch, and if the preacher said something she could relate to, she would shout! I was only about 3 or 4, but remember that my grandmother was what they in those days called a “shoutin’ Methodist.”

The Dennis community was a busy thriving community then with two large general stores, a cotton gin, a post office, a school that went from first grade to the 12th grade, a creamery station and a doctor’s office. When we moved to Tin Top, there was only one small store, a small Baptist Church and one Church of Christ and a one room schoolhouse, which started with grade one through sixth grade.

But there was a lot of activity that took place there. Now, Dennis has no stores, but the post office is still opened, but was moved to another location. There is a very popular golf course now on the property of the house I was born in. The last time I visited Dennis, the schoolhouse I attended was still there but covered with weeds and vines. A lot of beautiful homes have been built there and horses raised there because I understand Parker County is the prime place to raise horses. On what was the main street in Dennis, the stores are no longer there, the post office relocated, my Grandfather and Grandmother Bunch’s home — which was at the end of the main street — is no longer there and the doctor’s office which was also located At the end of the street is no longer there. At one time the Young families and the Bunch families were much of the population of Dennis and as far as I know, none of them are there now. Several of my aunts graduated from the Dennis School. I have the diploma of one of them.

The Tin Top community has changed a lot. The little country store my Dad had is now Mary’s Cafe. The two story house I grew up in is gone with a Family Dollar store in its location. The old barn has been torn down, also. There is a road that leads to the Brazos River separating the Milmo Farm with a convenience store on one side of it. The Baptist Church and the Church of Christ are still there, and the Church of Christ has added on, for at one time it was only a one room church. A lot of building has taken place in Tin Top especially across the bridge turning immediately left after crossing the bridge. Th Lee Walker home is still standing (barely) and the house on top of the hill entering Tin Top to the right is still there and in very good shape for someone occupies it. I have no idea how old that house is — but I know for sure it is my age, and a whole lot older — well over 100 years old.

A lot of history in these two communities alone — really sad to see them die as communities. All residences during that time were very compatible and came to the rescue of their neighbors when in need.

The two best cures are a good laugh and a long sleep!

Nancy Ann Young Cearley is a Parker County native and graduate of Weatherford High School. Contact her at 817-594-7055.

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