Frank and Louise Stockard lived most of their young lives with their fathers parents, Charles and
Elsie Stockard along the benches above the Clearwater River in Idaho. The ranch was between
Greer and Fraser. Charles brother Albert lived half a mile away on a ranch, these
poems were written by Frank and tell the stories of their childhood.




I had a greatuncle
He was a fine man

He lived all alone
And cared for his land

He came from Tennessee
And he came here to die

He never went back
I still wonder why

A lady in his past
A secret hell keep

He's been gone many years
His silence is deep

He would sit in the shade
Of his old apple tree

And hed talk of his childhood
In Green Tennessee

He had an old cowhide
At the side of his bed

It was worn and soft
You could tell it had been red

He saved all his quarters
In an alkaseltzer jar

And gave them to me
When I wandered far

I remember clearly
The inside of his house

It was always so perfect
As if cleaned by a spouse

There never was a man
Who could compare

When you sat at his table
And with him would share

His home cured bacon
His eggs and the rest

This was my Uncle Albert
And he was the best.

By Frank Stockard
December 1986

*******



I remember the Christmas'es
Of long ago

The smell of the white fir
The beautiful snow

I lived with my grandfolks
When I was a boy

And my world was happy
And filled with joy

My grandad would read
By an old kerosene light

While grandma peeled apples
Till way in the night

I'd play by the fire
With an old tin truck

And maybe with a cricket
If I had some luck

All the time I'd be thinking
Of our Christmas tree

Pulled home by the horses
And Grandad and me

Homemade decorations
Made by Grandma's hand

I knew it was the prettiest
Tree in the land

I dreamed of the presents
That Santa would bring

While grandma and me
And my sister would sing

Around the old piano
From our old hymn book

Until from Grandad
We'd get that look

Then off I'd go
To my feather bed

With a smile on my face
And dreams in my head

Of the Reeds and the Walkers
Who'd surely come

And all us kids
Would have such fun

We'd smoke in the barn
And skate on the pond

And eat store bought goodies
Of which I was fond

We'd butcher some hogs
That We'd have to cure

And in a few days
We'd start a new year

I always thought
It would be this way

Till I got very old
And my hair was gray

Now I'd trade all I have
Or give it away

To sit at grandma's table
On Christmas Day.

By Frank Stockard

*******



To My Sister

I remember the times
Of days gone by

When we would walk over the hill
My sister and I

We'd catch the train
Called the Galloping Goose

I'm surprised my Grandma
Would turn me loose

My sister would follow
Along behind

Packing two suitcases
Her's and mine

The train would stop
Along the track

And take us to Lewiston
And bring us back

My sister would spend
Her quarters on me

I'd always forget mine
I was retarded you see

One time we stopped
Down around Lanore

An old Indian man
Stepped up through the door

He fastened his dark eyes
On the seat next to me

And I, a small boy
Wouldn't reach to his knee

He came down the isle
And sat down next to me

His long black braids
Were something to see

Out of his buckskins
He pulled a beaded bag

To pay the conductor
For his last train ride

I have many fond memories
Of days gone by

We did lots of traveling
My sister and I

We never were sure
When we hit the hay

Where we would be sleeping
The very next day

We made many trips
From the ranch to the track

We traveled many miles
But we always came back

Our memories are good
Of the days gone by

So when you read this
I don't want you to cry

Love Frank
December 1986

*******



Winters of Long Ago

I remember the winters
Of days gone by

When the snow was so white
Not a cloud in the sky

The big yellow pine trees
Down by the spring

Would sway in the breeze
The bluejays would sing

My sister and I
Would pull our old sled

Up the steep hill
While our cheeks turned red

Then resting on the top
We could look back down

To our grandfathers ranch
Where love did abound

Our grandma would be
In her kitchen so warm

Baking fresh bread
For our toast in the morn

I can still see the flour
On her smiling face

And the blue and white apron
Trimmed with white lace

Our grandad would be dressing
To go down to the barn
Through the deep snow

He'd feed all the horses
Extra forkfulls of hay

Thats how he was
That was his way

As the sun turned red
And slid out of sight

We'd take our last ride
In the fading light

Our memories are good
Of these days gone by

But why did they end?
I never knew why.

Merry Christmas
December 1987

*******







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