A short story about life in Brownville
by Dorothy Smith Nipper

We only lived in Brownville a few years. By the time I was old enough to start school we had moved to town. But we visited our families every week and in the summer that was my DISNEYLAND, ha!! I loved Brownville! No matter what direction I walked I could find family. I remember carrying clothes in wash tubs with Mama Bush (Ethel) to the top of the hill to a little creek where she'd wash them in a big black pot with a fire under it. That was an all-day chore but she had the whitest sheets I've ever seen! I also remember she'd threaten us young ones that if we wet her beds we would march up to that creek in the middle of the night and wash them!!! 

I remember her setting the big wash tub full of water in the sun so we could all take a bath at sundown. Gosh, I hated being the last one to use it......it was cold, ha!  I loved the time of year when we'd go pick berries or fruit. It was like these hidden orchards were treasures that only your family knew about.

OH but I had a fear of OUTHOUSES!!! I was always afraid some horrible thing was in there! And at night someone always went to the spring to get fresh water for morning face washing. Don't think about asking me to go out there especially after your family had just finished telling you one of those horrifying ghost stories they loved to tell. And wasn't it funny how we today try to get grass to grow and back then they were proud of their dirt yard and even had a special STICK broom to sweep it with, ha!

I remember burning off fields and this one time I was helping Mama Bush and I had gotten a splinter in my finger so she got it out and wrapped my finger in a kerosene soaked rag. I think they thought that was a cure-all. Anyway, I wanted to strike the match (duh) so she let me and as fate would have it my rag caught on fire, so here I am running to find some water and aha there was a big bucket full of water. So I'm running toward this bucket with my finger in flames (did I mention the bucket belong to Mama Bush's BILLY GOAT WITH THE BIGGEST HORNS I'VE EVER SEEN!!! ?). So you can see this picture. He was not about to let me anywhere near his bucket, needless to say I ended up with a big ole blister and it was the biggest laugh I think my Grandmother ever got.

I remember Brownville as a wonderful place where every farm animal could be found and all those cool overflowing springs. For a young girl growing up in the city, it was like a trip to Disney Land to visit my grandparents, where all my aunts and uncles and cousins would be especially for Sunday Dinners! I realize that times may have been hard for people raised in Brownville, but for me It was a place of family and love. Too bad someone didn't try to restore the whole little community and preserve it.

You can print anything I write you. Anyone that knows me knows I am an open book, even though some of my family might wish I'd tear out a few pages.

I ran off some copies of some of the pictures for mama and daddy (J. B. and Bernice Smith) and they really got a big laugh going down memory lane. From the way they talk my whole family lived all over the town at one time or another, ha!

Thank you so much for stirring those memories again. I'll get some pictures for you soon. Until next time,

Dorothy (Dot) Smith Nipper