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FIRST PRAYER I REMEMBER

I must have been three or four years old and we lived in the big house just above the company store in Springton, where my father, Roy L. Cook was bookkeeper or manager or something.  I remember him taking me down there and buying me an overcoat of the sailor style, which was stylish in the early 1930's.  Incidentally, there are now two houses standing behind the company store and when I was very young, we lived in both of them, the largest one was the last one we lived in.

The highlight of my day was about noon going to the window and watching the passenger train of the Norfolk & Western arrive and the hustle and bustle that accompanied it's arrival.  This was an especially exciting day when we knew my aunt Etta Mason would board the train in Roanoke and come up for a visit.  We all adored her and my mother was always glad to see her sister.

Now my aunt Etta was an accomplished cook and while there, decided to bake a cake.  This being before cake mixes, it would have to be from "scratch".   She proceeded to bake the cake and it turned out beautifully.  Only one thing was wrong.  In those days you did not just go to the store and buy a dozen eggs.   At times you had to rely on "cold storage eggs".  Evidently these eggs were well past their prime and the cake was not fit to eat.  I can assure you, we children were terribly disappointed.

People today are lucky.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are abundant, even imported from other countries when out of season.  This lack of fresh vegetables in winter at that time to me caused many problems.  I got several horrible sores, which caused me to have to soak in the bath tub with these huge tablets dissolved, can't remember for sure whether they turned the water purple or blue.

I digress.  My first prayer that I remember was delivered by my grandfather, Rev. H. I. Cook, when he had either ridden his horse or walked down from his farm, which was near there, he helped put my sister, Phyllis and I to bed and we had a family prayer with him at that time.

Musings of H. T. Cook, Lt. Col., USMC (Ret.)