At the Bunch house

September - November 1954

Uncle Leland and Aunt Pearl Bunch in their living room, September 1954.

This wider view gives a look at the design of a nice formal living room of the period. At least we always considered it very luxurious when we would go in from the country to spend the night with them. They were always very generous with us - in fact we would have had a hard time making it without their generosity.

This picture of Uncle Leland comes the closest of any I've seen to depicting the way I remembered him when I was a teenager. I worked for him on the farm, and spent a good bit of time riding around with him in his pickup as he looked at the crops from his perspective as the County Agent for agriculture.

A plaque at the local REA office in Newport honors him for his initiative in bring electricity to the rural parts of Jackson County. My family benefitted from that directly, having electricity in our homeplace by about 1937 as Dorothy recalled.

Uncle Leland was so passionate about the crops in the county that he would be looking at them and assessing them as he drove down the rural two lane blacktop roads and sometimes almost run off the road. I remember being a little nervous riding with him because he was more interested in the soybean field than he was in driving. But I never knew him to have an accident.

I turned 15 this year and drove a tractor for Uncle Leland during the summer at their farm down by Remmel, Arkansas. I had gotten my driver's licence at 14 and drove our old Plymouth from home down to the farm, probably 15 miles. Perhaps it was this summer that Junior Burlison also worked some on that farm and he rode with me back and forth to work. The old Plymouth had a hand accerator knob as well as an identical knob as a choke right beside each other on the dash. One morning on the gravel road just south of Diaz on the way to work I thought the car was running a little lean so I reached to pull out the choke and pulled the accelerator knob instead. The car roared off at high speed down the gravel road and after a moment of panic I figured out what I had done and pushed the knob back in. After his heart got back to normal, Junior thought the incident was very funny and told it on me for years.

Aunt Pearl and Uncle Leland at their kitchen table with Cecil and Florence Guthrie. Edgar's notes identify them as associated with Black River Association Ministries. I remember hearing the name from Aunt Pearl. Sue is on this side of the table. This table has many fond memories for me. They regularly had one of us kids in to spend the night with them, and we always ate at this table.

These exerpts from the above photograph do a pretty good job of portraying Aunt Pearl and Uncle Leland as I remember them. They were an enormous positive influence in my life, encouraging everything that was good and showing it by example.

Aunt Pearl and Uncle Leland in the back corner room which served as their bedroom but also as Uncle Leland's office and as just a casual sitting room. We often spent time with them there, and sometimes Uncle Leland would play Rook with us in that room or on the dining room table. I remember Uncle Leland as being mostly serious, and he certainly had a passion for his work as the County Agent for agriculture in Jackson County. But he did have a sense of humor, and was generous with us kids. In the upper right drawer of that desk, he always kept a box of Clove gum - and he would take us in there and give us a piece when we came to visit.

This is from a photo sent to me by Janet Nave Nix in April of 2019. It is added here as a best guess about the time period. It is taken on the lawn on the west side of the Bunch house on Dill Street. For some reason, that is the place where we took a lot of family pictures. The house itself is quite memorable for me since I spent many nights there during my school years for school events, Boy Scout meetings, and miscellaneous other reasons for just spending the night with Aunt Pearl and Uncle Leland. In that house was the first time I ever took a bath in a real bath tub. At home, we didn't have running water at that time, so we didn't have a bathroom. We took our baths in the back yard in a galvanized tub.

To a Nave gathering in November.

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