By Margaret Montgomery Thomas – Special to the Navarro County Gazette
Corn Silks and Cotton Blossoms
My great uncle and poet, Whitney M. Montgomery, married at 55 years of age and moved near Kidd Springs in Oak Cliff, Dallas. Although he never left that area, he longed to return to where he grew up among the cotton fields of home.
In the early summer of 1960, my dad sent my husband, Gene, to Dallas to bring Uncle Whit back to Eureka for a visit with family. As they were leaving that day, his stepdaughter Teddy gave him a $10 bill for spending money while he was gone.
Leaving his home near Kidd Springs Park in Oak Cliff, Whit’s first stop was the famous Buckeye Liquor Store, in South Dallas. There he purchased two bottles of whiskey and the $10 was depleted.
Not an aggressive drinker, he faithfully had a toddy before his noon and evening meals daily.
On the plus side, along with his whiskey, he purchased a carton of 7 Up. Always there would be two or three bottles of 7 Up remaining after his visit. That was my greatest delight regarding his visit as we never had a soft drink in our home, and I got to drink every 7 Up that remained!
Fishing while in Eureka was always a must. Daddy would hire John Kendrick, who lived on our place, to go with them fishing. John’s assignment was to keep Uncle Whit’s hook baited and to keep him from falling in the tank.
(Yes, tank ~ no lake fishing back then)
Fox Hunting and Wolf Hunting was an active sport for men during those days. My Dad owned several fox hounds. One named Dawson was his very favorite. Naturally a fox hunt was on the agenda for this visit. The first night hunting they made camp, let the dogs out, near the Friendship Baptist Church in Eureka. Others on that hunt were Judge Gus Mays, Spec Fretwell, Ennis, Dick Lee and Scott Harvard, Navarro. That first hunt had to be one of the best ones ever as my mother said they arrived back home from the hunt around 4 a.m. the next morning!
Shortly after Uncle Whit returned to Dallas he wrote the poem, Unpedigreed, which was never published. And that was his last trip to Eureka, as approximately three months later he moved to a local Nursing Home in the Dallas area.
By his poems you know his heart remained in the country his entire life.
There was no greater pleasure for him than to come home to Eureka, see old friends, and those old fields he used to know.
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