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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life in A Company Town and Other Things

Here is a conversation from the luncheon in which several women who've lived in Sugar Land for quite a while got together and told tales. I posted some of their stories about Dr. Slaughter earlier. In this entry they talk about the ins-and-outs of living in company housing plus other funny stuff.


Nancy Pruitt: "Mrs. Gary taught me first grade. I remember getting up during class ..."

Maxene Gary: "And I told you to sit down ..." (Laughter)

Nancy Pruitt: "No! Mrs. Brown was in the classroom - remember her? She taught phonetics ..."

Maxene Gary: "And used a ruler on the kids ... " (makes a gesture of hitting her hand with a ruler to lots of general laughter)

Nancy Pruitt: "Right ... Well, I finished what I was doing and went back to my seat. Wayne Gandy (looks over at Dot Gandy) sat right beside me. As I was sitting down he stuck his pencil under me (gestures holding a pencil with the point facing upward) and I sat on it ... (Laughter) ... I guess it was a case of the 'good' sitting next to the 'bad'.

Dorothy Gandy laughing with everyone else: "Whatever it was it didn't work - at least on Wayne." (More laughter)

Dorothy Harrington: "I graduated from high school here in 1934. There were 25 in my class. That was the biggest graduating class they had up to that time. Of course, everybody went to the same school.

"I met my husband ... he had come from Navasota. We were two country kids who'd come to town. So, we kind of liked each other ... Had something in common ... (Laugher)

"We got married in 1937 and moved back to Sugar Land. At that time you put your name down for a house ..."

Maxene Gary: "And you fought for them." (Laughter)

Dorothy Harrington: "You hoped someone would move out of town or die. (Laughter)

"And when that would happen about half the town would move because someone wanted this house, someone wanted that house and so forth.

"Well, my husband had been working for the company for about a year so we were low man on the totem pole.

"We moved in with the Halls in a little brick house on Brooks Street. Kenneth was just 2 years old.

"There were 4 rooms - we had two and they had two. There was one bathroom."

Maxene Gary: "Did you share the kitchen?"

Dorothy Harrington: "No - I didn't get the kitchen. Imogene had the kitchen. (Laughter)

"We had to buy a cabinet and little three burner stove. I had to wash dishes in a pan ... We lived there for 3 years.

"Eventually, our family was about to grow, so we needed a bigger place. Fortunately, my husband's parents lived in a big house on 2nd Street, so we moved in with them.

"In the end we bought a lot in Belknap for $2000. I believe my husband's mother eventually bought that house on 2nd Street for $3000."