Harvey & Roseleen
It seems like the lives of Harvey
& Roseleen was a beautiful dream. From my perspective as their firstborn,
they were a simple couple who spent their entire lives virtually within the city
of Coleman, Texas. A couple of excursions were the only times they left the
area. The first was to the top of the Panhandle of Texas. That is where they
happened upon me. The next one was about six months to the Midland, Texas area
around 1950. Dad tried and tired of the house painting profession. Then we moved
back to Coleman. Oh! Yes! There was the trip to Arkansas. Dad had found an
opportunity to homestead in the Ozarks of Arkansas. We left one early morning to
scout out the homestead area. We drove from Coleman through Ft. Worth and
Dallas. We entered Arkansas just south of the Texarkana corner and suddenly we
were driving into the mountains of the Ozarks. Twisting and turning, up and
down. One side of the road was straight up, the other straight down. Remember
this was way before turnpikes and freeways. It seems to me that we may have
driven an hour like that when all of a sudden, Dad said, "This is enough for
me!" My faulty recollection shows that we literally made a U-Turn the first
opportunity and arrived back in Coleman shortly after dark. Both my brothers
say it wasn't quite that abrupt.. but I will retain the loss of homesteading
Arkansas to the overall picture. I think I was the
one of the family that discovered that there is life on the other side of the
Dad spent his working years as an automobile mechanic in
Coleman. He gained and earned a very good reputation of being an excellent
mechanic and a wonderful man. I don't know of anyone who did not like Harvey
Metts. His word was as good as a bond. He simply stayed out of the way of people
who tried to take advantage of him. He was an expert in diagnosing the ailments
of just about any automobile. He didn't have much use for my Edsel, and quickly
arranged for a replacement wanting to make sure I made it back to
He continually collected "valuable" stuff. Car parts, that
could be fixed some day; radios and other devices that just needed a little
tuning some day etc. etc. etc. One thing for sure if a neighbor or friend needed
something, chances are that Dad had the item in a box or closet. Might need a
screw or spring.
Dad was not a man who vainly looked for the "Pot of
Gold.", but he was continuously coming up with what could become a source of
extra income. He would read an ad in Mechanix Illustrated; send off for the kit
and start a unique venture. So we were explorers of a sort, right here in little
old Coleman. He raised quail, parakeets and African Night Crawlers. Mom raised
Dad spent his final years tinkering and helping neighbors.
He got to where he didn't get under the hood, but he could give friends a mental
roadmap of where to go under the hood.
Dad's heart literally gave out
on his seventy fifth birthday, October 24, 1989.
struggled without her cowboy, until she had made her own trail through Dad's
treasure trove. For the next nearly twenty years she faithfully attended her
Church and her family. She seldom ventured out unless she gladly participated in
her brother, Chester's tours. She was accompanied to Missouri once by Georgeanna
and Billy to attend the wedding of Lyndi to Neil. She really enjoyed that trip.
There had been a couple of other trips with Dad after they had discovered life
on the other side of the Ozarks.
Since I was taken to the
uttermost ends of the earth, I was only able to get brief glances of Mom's life
in Coleman. I do know she was comfortable and definitely not a recluse. She took
care of her aged mother for several years. She made a neat pair of footies for
just about anyone who requested them. There were arrows to indicate left and
right feet. All the while, she was keeping an almost daily diary. Her life
revolved around her Church, her siblings, her boys and her grand kids. She was
always hinting and insisting on pictures. Her siblings, who are wonderfully
unique, would regularly gather at the Ballard place at the corner of Magnolia
and 14th St. The house is ably maintained and kept open by Jim Ballard, who
would be any body's Uncle.... well not just anybody. Mom loved those sessions
around "Etta's table."
Mom had a couple of responsibilities. The
first was her garden. Some say she has trained it to generate itself...we will
test out that theory next spring. Her other duty was to harvest the pecan crop.
I forgot to mention earlier that among Dad's projects he was always trying to
develop a softer shell pecan. He studied and practiced pecan tree grafting. His
field became 4 or 5 pecan trees all around his house.
Anyway, Mom cared for (as much as a tiny woman can care for huge pecan trees.)
the trees and each fall would scour the whole yard gleaning the precious pecans.
We have found just about every type of pecan cracker that exists, in this house. She would then
patiently shell and pick those pecans and put them in zip lock bags in her
freezer. That way she had a gift for just about anyone who visited, and for
Christmas to those who had found life on the other side of the
Mom drove her own car until a few weeks before she found
heavenly transportation at 90, November 9, 2006. She left a freezer packed with shelled pecans.
She left an interesting collection of gadgets and she left her cowboy's treasure
trove virtually undisturbed after almost twenty years.
She left three boys who
will take some time in fully realizing what an awesome upbringing they
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