The Hard Part

I was named after my Grandfather Holland Mitchell. Holland and Arthur Mitchell had five children, LaWan, Bolton, Claudie, Elmer, Robert, and Mary. We do not know what Holland’s occupation was, but whatever it was, he and his wife were able to provide for their family. They lived in Big Spring Tx and I vaguely remember the house where we would visit our Grandmother. I have one picture that we think is out side their house and it is not much to look at.


Elmer Hyder Mitchell was the middle son and was my father. We are not sure when, where, or how Elmer met my mother Rowena who lived in California. We got to meet our Aunt Mary who still lived in Big Spring. We asked her more questions about us and our adoption then we did about Rowena and Elmer. We did learn that Elmer was in the Air Force at one time and he may have met her near one of the Air Force bases in California. He went AWOL from the Air Force and that is when they moved to Big Spring to be near his family and in hopes of not being found.

One theory is that they got married because Rowena was pregnant, with me. My Aunt Irene, on my mothers side, and my Aunt Mary, on my fathers side, were the largest source of information on our parents. We asked the questions we could think of at the time but now they are both gone. As Dee and I researched more, the more questions we have with no one to ask. Each of them gave us family pictures and we discussed those mostly. Dee took a lot of notes.

My father worked many odd jobs from farm hand to truck driver. He was even a taxi driver for a while. The memory I do have was when he drove a truck for 7-UP and I believe RC Cola. I think that is where I developed a love of RC Cola, Moon pies, and peanuts. Nothing like peanuts in an RC and a Moon Pie. I know he didn’t make a lot of money because he was always writing bad checks for food, and clothes and ended up in jail several times. Dee and I figured that a new kid was born 9 months after he got out of jail. Except for Dee and I, everyone else is almost a year a part. Dee and I are 19 months apart.

The earliest picture I have of me is from when I was about two, I guess. Sitting the yard holding a guitar. It had to belong to one of my uncles as I do not remember my father playing it. I guess it is where I got my love of music and playing the guitar. I have never been good at it but I like to pluck along and act like I know what I am doing. I own four now and haven’t played them much since I broke my shoulder but that is another story.

Me and Dee at Grandma’s house

Dee and I both remember different things but one thing we both remembered were twins. My Aunt Mary said that there were no twins. Aunt Mary seems to think that Dee and I were like twins. We were inseparable and seem to share the same brain. Dee did find something in a family tree on that there may have been two still-born children. That may have been the twins we are thinking of.

I do not have much else to say at this point. There is not a lot either of us can remember. It had to be a hard life because our parents were not around a lot that we can remember. Our father worked several jobs and they kept him out or gone a lot. Our mother worked several jobs and was also gone a lot. We didn’t starve and we shared clothes. Family lived close by and it seems took care of us when they could. There were many times I was left in charge of everyone and had to lock the door and not go out or let anyone in. Dee is still afraid of the dark from being locked in the closet when someone would come to the door. I can’t say I am afraid of the dark but i do like to have a light on when I walked into a room at night. We both remember cinnamon toast which we both still love and sitting in a jail cell. There are so many blanks to fill in and no one to help us. The next part is the hardest of all. It is when our world that we knew came crashing down and our lives would change forever.

My fathers family:

Left to right: LaWan, Bolton, Claudie, Elmer, Robert, Mary & Elmers arm is around our Grandma Auther Mitchell
Young Elmer as teenager, looks like a mug shot doesn’t it
Elmer in grade school
Uncle Bolton in grade school
Aunt Claudia
Uncle Robert
Aunt Mary
Uncle Robert and my father
Uncle Bolton holding me and our father holding Dee

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