Mixsonian Morrs and Barbara


On Gary’s birthday, October third, Gary, Corky, Grandpa Junior and Dad went to the Florida Gator football game together where Florida played Virginia and won 55 to 10.  They all were very happy when they got home and talked about the game for hours.  The following Sunday we went to Sunday School then came home and Grandma and Grandpa Mixson came for Sunday dinner.  After they left, we went over to see the new family that moved into the house right behind us, they were the Kelly’s and had a son named Mike my age.  After visiting them we went out to see Betty and Billy then came home for dinner.  Mom hadn’t been feeling good that week and wrote in her diary, “Oh, Boy, I’m not PG!”  She was not, not this time anyway.  

One day when we were at school Mom went by Toyland which was having a sale and she put a doll for Brenda and an electric train set for David and I on lay-a-way. We didn’t know this until Christmas when they were under the tree from Santa.  Over the following months Mom would takes us kids to Toyland and let us look around while she made the monthly lay-a-way payment.  I loved Toyland, the store was small with two or three isles that had every kind of toy on shelves that towered over my head.  I was particularly fond of the aisle with model kits of cars and airplanes and hobby supplies and over the following year or two I put together several small plastic airplane models.  I would glue them together, paint a few details and then put on decals that came with the model.

In the middle of October tragedy stuck when our next door neighbor, Agnes, father was killed by lightning, Mom said Agnes “Went all to pieces.”   For the next few days Mom and our other neighbor Melba took care of Agnes’s baby boy Donny who was only a few months old.  The following Friday Mom made chili for dinner and then we went out to Grandma and Grandpa Mixson’s where Mom and Dad left us for the night as they were going to Jacksonville the next day with Betty and Billy to have our English Ford get its 1000 mile checkup.  They came back and picked us up late the following day.

Brenda in ParadeBrenda on Girl Scout Float

On Friday before the Florida Gator homecoming football game all the schools in Gainesville had “conference day” and the kids got the day off from school so they could go to the University homecoming parade down University Avenue in the afternoon.  A good hour before the parade Mom drove us down to the University where we would park in the Chemistry Department parking lot where Dad worked which was just one block off of University Avenue.   As the time for the parade was to begin the police blocked off the road and people would line up on both sides of the street sitting on the curb or standing three of four people deep. The parade was staged in the empty field by the football stadium and proceed down University Avenue towards downtown.  The excitement would grow aParade comings the time for the parade to start grew near and the kids would walk out into the middle of street see if the parade was coming until finally someone would yell, “I see it.” The parade usually started with several convertible cars with their tops down and some official or other persons of importance sitting on the back of the car waving at the crowd.  The parade would have several marching bands, the University’s band of course but also from the local high schools.  Between the bands would be other marchers carrying banners of their organizations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and so on. There was always a group of men and women on horses which came after the last band so the band members wouldn’t have to step in the horse poop left in the road as they marched. There were clowns, Shriners with grown men with funny hats ridding miniature motor bikes and go-carts that were much too small for them around in circles and almost colliding with each other. But best of all were the floats from the fraternities Paradeand sororities at the University. They would be large elaborate things often with moving parts of the Florida Gator chomping or otherwise beating the opposing team’s mascot.  Some floats would have people throwing candy out into the people lining the side of the street and the kids would scramble to get a piece. One year Brenda was on a float for the local Girl Scouts and Mom ran out and took a picture of her has the float passed by.  It was great fun.

On Saturday morning Mom and Dad took us kids out to Betty and Billy’s to spend the day while they went to the football game.  The Florida Gators played the LSU Tigers and lost 0 to 9. After the game Mom and Dad came back to Betty and Billy’s and we had dinner with them and came home afterwards.   

Corky spent the following week with us while Grandma and Grandpa Junior went to Atlanta to spend the week with Aunt Carole.  The following Saturday was Halloween and which we were all excited about.  Brenda dressed as a Gypsy, David in a pink rabbit suit and I had a skeleton outfit and Mom took us trick-or-treating going house to house down one side of the street and then back on the other. There were many kids with and without parents out and we had great fun.  In later years David and I always dressed up as hobo’s which meant we took some old torn or ripped clothes, sometimes one of Dad’s old shirts and then put black makeup on our faces.

Updated: 04-18-2022