Tuesday, May 25, 2010
More Dalton stories...
here are some more stories from Aunt Dolores:
Mama and Daddy had a very close relationship and were very loyal to each other. This doesn't mean that it was a perfect relationship. They had their ups an downs. I think that the biggest problem they had in their marriage was when Daddy drank. They had a lot of trouble over that, but when he didn't drink, they got along very well. Daddy was quite demanding in certain ways. He didn't like Mama to go any place without him when he was at home, so she never left in the evenings, except on rare occasions.
In many ways, he was very considerate. He always kept the cars clean and filled with gas--I don't think Mama ever pumped gas after self-serve was available. He would always go get the car and warm it up for her when they went places in the winter. He really tried to help her clean up with kitchen when there were just the two of them where after we left. I think he mainly got in the way, but he tried.
They never criticized each other to anyone else. He liked to get up early and watch the morning news, and she liked to sleep later, so he would turn on the TV with low sound, then he would call, "Ethel, there was an earthquake in Turkey", or "Ethel, there was a ....whatever it was", and it would about drive her nuts. Daddy also liked to go to bed early--very early, like at dark or earlier. He was usually in bed by 7:00 pm, sometimes sooner. He said she would "stay up all hours". That meant until the 10:00 news.
Mama and Daddy both had a pretty good sense of humor, but Mama was by far the best. She could laugh at about anything. I remember once when Daddy tried out Donald Whittaker's new scooter (gas propelled). He couldn't figure out how to let off the gas and stop the scooter, so he just had to keep going until he ran into a fire hydrant. Mama about died laughing. Daddy was quite insulted and said that if it had killed him, she would have stood there laughing.
When Nan Nell was about 8 or 10, she would fight with Mama, mostly over what Nan Nell was supposed to wear, or over practicing the piano. Mama would act like she was going to slap Nan Nell and Nan Nell would run from her. I remember one day when Nan Nell ran out the back door, around the front and in the front, out the back and so on. Mama was chasing her and Nan Nell was screaming, "Don't beat me, don't beat me," like she was used to being beat. Mama was laughing so hard that when she came through the living room, chasing Nan Nell out the back door, she would have to stop and catch her breath. She was laughing so hard she could barely chase Nan Nell.