My mind was filled with
treasured childhood memories of the many times I had journeyed down these same
roads with my grandparents. I'd often made the trip back to St. Charles, where
I would delight myself in the overflow of their love, which grew as abundantly
as did my grandfather's rice fields.
these parts, I was known as "Chick Tuck's granddaughter" and that said all that
would ever need to be said of me. I laid claim to this identity and wore it like
a royal robe. While not a wealthy man, the power of his word made him seem so.
Pepaw was known
mostly for his strength of character. He taught me that a contract is only as
good as the person behind it, and I took note of his skill as I observed the way
he guided the farm help through some pretty rough times.
vividly remember the voices as they'd call out from the sidewalk's end, "Mr. Chick.
Mr. Chick." Here in the middle of a dark summer night, I'd carefully peek through
the curtains and hear the screen door flap behind my grandfather as he approached
a waiting farm hand or neighbor.
At breakfast I would learn that he had given advice or money for emergencies,
and sometimes the loan of his truck. With each of my visits, I could expect to
hear the voices return. He continued to hand out whatever took care of their needs.
Pepaw would allow me to drive the farm with him as he made his inspection. His
pickup truck was full of clipboards, tools and plenty of dust. Off we'd go, Pepaw
with his arm resting on the open window and me sitting midway between the door
and his side.
we'd explore the wonders of the rice fields and stop for a visit or two with passing
farmers. Always, though, no matter what their rank or status, they called him
The best summer at the farm was when Pepaw decided it was time for me to drive.
After his day was done, we'd get in my grandmother's big Ford and head out to
the nearby landing strip. There I would drive at will while Pepaw sat silently
in the passenger's seat reading his newspaper. Every now and then, he'd look up
and give me a few pointers.
Now and again I'd take a short trip with my grandparents, and Pepaw would brag
about what a fine traveler I was: "She can go to California and back on a pack
of potato chips and a Dr Pepper." If only that were true.
have been few times as comforting as those on the farm with my grandfather. In
his arms and on his lap was the best sleep I ever had, and there was never any
storm too fierce for him to handle. And though few words were ever exchanged,
I was more certain of his love and adoration than most anything else in my young
I grew up
knowing that if I never became anything more than Chick Tuck's granddaughter ...
well ... that would be enough for me.
Copyright ©2001 Jeanne Moseley
About the Author
North Central Texas