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Gerty memories shared by Mooney “kids”

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All five attended Gerty School

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Gerty School class of 1953 held their 65th school reunion June 30, 2018. There were 15 graduated in the class of 1953. Three from the class of 1953 attended; Mary Francis Mooney Guinn, Pete Hester and Wayne Nichols. There are seven classmates still living; Janie Curtis, Gloria Wellington, Joyce Morris Turpin, Clem Tollett, Pete Hester, Wayne Nichols, Mary Mooney Guinn. Mary was born June 9, 1035. Mary was the second child born to Gid and Vera Swetnam Mooney. God Mooney was born April 29, 1908 in Heart, Arkansas. His family traveled to Oklahoma in a wagon when he was a small child.

Vera Swetnam was born September 9, 1916. Vera was born in the Non area and lived there her entire life. Gid and Vera married February 28, 1932. They were blessed with five children. G.H. (George Hugh) was born April 23, 1933; Mary Francis was born June 9, 1935. Jo Ann was born November 27, 1938. Norma Lee was born October 9, 1941. Brenda Diana was born February 8, 1956. Mary Francis was named after her grandmother. Mary was known as “sis” to the family. Mary started to school at Lizzard Lope. Mary and G.H. walked 2 miles to school. Mary attended Lizzard Lope school for 4 years. While attending school there a boy (Calvin Burditt) was whirling a dead black snake. The snake came out of his hand and wrapped around Mary’s neck. She is terrified of snakes dead or alive. When she got the snake off her neck she got a tall weed and wore it out whipping Calvin. G.H., Mary, and Jo Ann attended school at Non for 3 years. They walked 2 miles to Non school. When the Non school went out, the Mooney children attended Gerty School. Brenda attended Gerty School the first 5 years of her education. She graduated from Calvin after Gerty School went out in 1967.

Mary and Fern would walk from Gerty School to Non almost every Friday after school. That was a 7 ½ mile walk.

G.H. graduated in 1951. Mary graduated in 1953. Jo Ann graduated in 1957. Norma graduated in 1959. Brenda graduated in 1974.

We grew up in the Non area. We lived on a farm and grew peanuts, cotton, and corn. We always grew a large garden. Mom canned the vegetables and dried the fruit for winter months. Mom dried the fruit on top of a sheet iron barn. Mom made delicious fried pies from the dried fruit for us to take in our lunch to school. Daddy raised hogs to butcher in winter. Mary was a “tomboy.” G.H. dug a hole and drawled into in with his arms to his side. Mary put the dirt back into the hole and packed the dirt around his nick. Mary packed the dirt to tight, G.H. couldn’t get out of the hole. Mom and Grandma Mooney had to get G.H. out of the hole. Mary and G.H. would play at the spring creek. They would swing across on grape vines. Mary and G.H. walked about 3 miles to Parker store. They carried eggs to sell and corn to be ground into corn meal. They purchased 12 bars of “PG” Soap. They had only 11 bars of soap when they arrived home. They claimed not to know what happened to the other bar. Mary skipped school with Fern Linton. The coaches wife hid them at her house so they wouldn’t get caught. G.H. liked history. His history teacher would go hunting and fishing with him. Norma and several of her class mates chewed “Beach Nut” tobacco. Norma took her lunch money to Slim Hightower’s store and bought penny candy to take home to Brenda. Brenda was waiting for Norma to get off the bus every day.

Benny Wheat, Jo Ann and Norma drove the cows up to be milked every day. Mary was the only one that didn’t milk cows.

While attending school at Gerty, Mary, G.H. and Norma got the measles. Granma

Mooney, Gid and Jo Ann took the measles from them. Grandma Mooney passed away from the measles. While Grandma Mooney was sick, there was about 20 family members visiting. Vera, Mary and Jo Ann cooked for all the family during this time. Vera would fry around 50 fried pies every weekend. Mary and G.H. cut wood to keep the family warm while Grandma was sick. Gid, Vera, G.H. Mary, Jo Ann and Norma went to cut wood in the wagon one Saturday. Coming home Gid, G.H. and Norma were riding on the seat of the wagon. Norma hit G.H. in the nose with her hand and claimed daddy hit a bump and her hand just flew up to hit G.H.

Mary married Jim Guinn June 5th, 1954. Mary now lives in Coalgate. Mary and Jim had four children. The youngest, Terry is deceased. RoLonda lives in Okemah. Rick lives in Wardville. Gary lives in Coalgate.