So Many Memories
I Joyce Maxey (Smith), in looking back on my days on the farm, I can’t remember one bad day. I’m sure there were a few.
There were two Gate Lodge homes, named one and two, and my family and I lived in the #2 Gate House. It was big and pretty, too.
Our family included my mother and father, Lillie and Jim Smith, my oldest brother, James (Jimmie, age 5 born in 1941), me, Joyce (age 4 born in 1942), my youngest brother, Richard (age 3 born in 1943), and my sister Sylvia (age 2 born in 1944). My youngest sister, Margaret, was born two years later at the Gate House. She was delivered by my father. Margaret was so tiny that she slept on a pillow, how about that for comfort! So in 1946, that completed our family. Five children. Our house was located at the West side of the Longview Farm along Longview Road and our dear old place is now under the Longview Lake. But I did go back before the Lake was completed and took one more look. I even went down by the Little Blue River where my dad and brothers went fishing. Then mom and we girls would go down later and fry the fish for our supper. There was a large outdoor rock fireplace which was so neat, nothing like that today that comes with your home.
I started to school in 1948 when I was 6 years old at Rockford School. This school was not on the farm, but about a half mile to the West on Raytown Road. My older brother Jimmie was a year ahead of me in school and our teacher’s name was Mrs. Warford. She was a jewel of a teacher. There were 5 in my class and their names were: Bobby Hornbuckle, Ronnie Smith (no relation), Mary Lee Strand, Judy Mopin, and me.
Everyone always wants to know what you did as a child growing up. Well we had one wagon, actually it belonged to my brothers, but they would share it once in a while. Sylvia and I would make mud pies of course. You had all day to do almost “nothing.” How about that! In the spring this was a special time of growing up on the farm. There were rows of bridle wreath on both sides of the road past the first gate house and around our house and on your way to the “big house,” naturally.
Summers were hot but the fun part was on the 4th of July when dad would have a cookout and roast hotdogs and marshmallows. Mom would make iced tea and lemonade. In the winter time the special time was Christmas. Dad would cut our tree and we all got to decorate it after the lights were on it. Then dad would make our star for the top out of a cardboard box and cover it with aluminum foil. The shining covering made our star special like the star of Bethlehem. Then we would go to the Chapel to hear the choir sing and a special treat, Santa. Everyone got to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what you wanted him to bring you. It was always a doll, but one year I wanted a table and benches for my tea set I received as a gift at school. Mrs. Combs and her kind heart gave us a bag of candy and oranges or apples. But that’s not all she would send to our house a huge box of clothing for all of us five kids. We always wondered how she knew our sizes.
Everyone knew my father as Jim or “Smitty.” He grew and took care of the roses as well as other flowers at the “greenhouse.” When he would come home every night after work, he brought my mom a rose or gardenia or carnation. Oh yes, we three girls got to smell them, how sweet the scent! I still remember!
R. A. Long was such a thoughtful guy in a lot of respects in creating his dream farm (as well as ours). Oh, I can’t leave out the Longview Chapel Christian Church. I love my Church and all the people in it. Such stories – I may get to share some other time.
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