The Spiker Family Gathering Place

Geneaology and History Portal

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Title:       As I've Heard Aunt Jean Tell It 
Author:   Willa Dean Bonnell Spiker  
Date:       2006


Dorothy and Jean were a rough & tumble pair of “tom boys.” They liked looking for the biggest snakes they could find.  One day Kitty came running in all “big-eyed” and excited.  She told them, “I bet I’ve found one you can’t handle.”  Now that was the wrong thing to say.  They took up the “dare”.

Now, Aunt Jean giggled as she told how they went up the Grant Meadow looking for a BIG snake.  Well, they found it.  Dorothy put a board behind it’s head and Aunt Jean grabbed the snake.  It immediately wrapped around her arm and it was a really big one!!

She couldn’t get it off and Dorothy had to help her unwrap it.  There they were running down the meadow.  Now Kitty knew they’d chase her with it so she tried to run and fell off the fence crossing.  (I think they called them a style?)  They didn’t catch up tho’.  They went in the house spoiling for some fun.

When they got to the dining room they found Brad asleep on the fainting couch.  Holding the snake right over his face they woke him up.  He tried to sink lower on the couch & yelled, “Oh, God!” and “I’m gonna kill you.”  Naturally they ran.  The kitchen was right next door and they walked in all innocent like and said, “Did you call us Mother?”  They story they tell is she jumped in the air 3 times before her feet touched the floor.  Knowing they were in trouble they headed outdoors. Went by a chicken coop with an old “setting hen” and her brood and the mama went cluck cluck cluck cluck.  By now she was laughing so hard I don’t remember if she ever said what they did with that snake.

Title:       Wood Thing Inn
Author:   Willa Dean Bonnell Spiker  
Date:       2006


Some of my children wanted me to tell this story (true) about Aunt Jean Haught.

We were driving out the “Harrisville Ridge” talking about “things” we saw on the way.  We passed a beer joint owned by Freer Kiester.  It was called the Woodpecker Inn.  Now as you all know, Aunt Jean was a “prissy” thing, well, maybe not prissy exactly but very dignified, wouldn’t say anything the least bit naughty.  She called it the “Wood Thing Inn”.  Our children thought this very funny.  We used to tease her a lot about it.  By the way, the place is no longer there.


Title:       A Little About Bob
Author:   Willa Dean Bonnell Spiker  
Date:       2006


Bob and I were married Nov 2, 1946 and lived on a 150 acre farm purchased from Port DeBrular.  It was located on Bear Run between the property owned by Jake Pierce on one side and Earl Pierce on the other.  We lived there 7 ½ yrs. (Bob had previously been in college at W.V. Tech in Montgomery, WV.)

We moved to Clarksburg when I was pregnant for our first child, Cathy Roeanna.

Bob and his cousin Burns Harlan were real close and when his Mother Kate (who was sister to Gay Spiker) came to visit, he would come to our house.

We would spend many week-ends, when roads were too bad to get to church, playing Rook & Canasta.  We’d play all day Sat & all night.  Bob would go milk then come back to eat and play all day Sunday.  We ate a lot of popcorn and fudge.  Didn’t have chips & dips then.

They hunted squirrels and fished a lot and caught frogs.  Bob would row the boat into the bank, Burns would catch them in his hand and I carried the sack to hold them.  One of them held the flashlight to search out the frogs.  Some people used “gigs” but we didn’t. They would skin them and I would roll them in flour & salt & pepper and fry them in country butter that I had churned.  Boy, were they good!  Some people fried just the legs, but we fried the whole thing. Looked like a little man stretched out in the pan, muscles still twitching.

One time we were in the boat up by what they called the Grant meadow when water had filled up the boat till we were afraid it would capsize.  Burns decided to try to get out.  He got one leg in the boat and the other sank into the “muck” clear to his crotch.  Couldn’t get in & couldn’t get out.  We laughed till we cried.  I don’t remember how he finally made it out.  We sure had fun!

Another time we saw lights down the river across from the “Sophie house” and went to investigate.  A boat full of men were hunting frogs.  Now they didn’t have permission and we felt the frogs belonged to us as Brad owned the farm, and therefore the water, so we ordered them out.  They didn’t go at first but Bob and Burns threatened them and they finally went to the other end of the stream and got out.  One of them was my boss at the sewing factory.  I figured I’d get fired the next day, but it was never mentioned.

Another good time we had was “seining”. I remember two times in particular.  One was when we were doing it in daylight.  Someone said, if anyone stopped to ask, we’d say we were swimming.  But the funny thing about it was – Uncle Glen was wearing his hat.  Now you don’t go swimming with a hat on! Enough said.

Adelene always said it wasn’t any fun unless we about got caught.  We always hid when a car came along.  You see it was against the law.

We used small-holed chicken wire and ran a chain through the bottom of the wire to hold it down on the bottom so we could drag for the big stuff.

One time in particular thy didn’t have enough men to do the job (we women ran along the bank or down the road, hiding when a car went by) so they used Dorothy.  She was so short and the water below the swinging bridge at that time was so deep she had to bounce “tippy-toe” to hold her end up so her chin wouldn’t go under water.  It’s nowhere near that deep now.  I think there was Hayward – Dorothy – Bob – Burns – Lynn & Brad.  I don’t know how many fish we got but some big ones and sure did have fun.

One time up at the Grant meadow hole we got a big turtle.  I think once Brad got a finger caught in a turtle’s mouth.  We had pulled the catch up on a sand bar across from the Bull Barn.

Naturally, I have lots more stories I could tell but can wait till another time.