There was always lots of things to check out at my grandparent’s place when I was small. Living at Forester we had things like electricity, running water and all those “town things.” They lived on a small farm where they raised about everything they needed to eat, had coal oil lamps, a fire place, and a well with a cedar bucket to draw their water. The first thing “Papa” did when we ,or anyone else, came to visit was draw a fresh bucket of water in case anyone was thirsty.(l always was because I loved drinking from that cedar bucket.)They had a pump organ and a record player (they called it the “talking machine”) that had to be cranked up to make it play. I loved those two things. I did not mind the lamps until we had to have them on the table to see our food. I thought they smelled bad but Grandma’s food sure smelted good.

Like all families ,1 guess, we had little routines that followed dinner,(our noon meal).Sometimes the women and kids walked down a trail through the woods to visit aunts and cousins. The men usually played dominoes or marbles. But one thing we hardly ever missed was “weighing time.”

I never knew how that got started but in those days everyone watched their weight but unlike today, they seemed to worry that someone outweighed them, even the women. Most women wanted to be plump and even laughed if they outweighed the men. Gramdma especially laughed if she weighed more than Papa. He was a small man and couldn’t have cared less.

The fun part was the method we used to weigh. Papa had cotton scales that hung on the porch year round. A long piece of iron .heavier on one end,with notches marked in pounds on the lighter end. A heavy piece of iron with a hook to fit in those notches showed your weight when it balanced. He called that heavy piece of iron a “pea.” He figured out how to weigh people with the cotton scale,„a loop of rope fastened on the cotton hook that the men stood in and the ladies and kids sat in. The kids wanted to swing but we had to sit still so the scales could balance. Weighing time was a simple thing but so much fun and everyone could take part and it caused lots of laughter.

I look back on those simple times that were part of “the good old days” and was part of what kept us together. We always ate our meals together, played games together, went to a movie or church together. We have all heard that “the family who prays together stays together.”

---Have a FORESTER memory or photo you would like to share with our readers? Please email them to or mail to Elizabeth Horn, The Waldron News, P.O. Box 1307, Mena, AR 71953.

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