Where were the other kids while this was going on? Where was your mother?
You know I don’t remember where the little brothers and sister were during those moments. My mother was probably in the bathroom, washing blood from her face or something. My brother Don just happened to pull up with his friends. All I remember after that is Don trying to beat Buss up and his friends were holding him back. Buss ran into the market, my brother found a couple of rocks and threw them into the two large windows of the market shattering them.
I don’t remember anything after that until I saw my mother in a bed at Ruby and Del’s house. They were an older couple that worked for us. Ruby was our housekeeper and her husband sometimes drove us to school. They were originally from Mississippi. Ruby’s hair was white. She told us something about a lightning strike and her hair turned white at a young age. Del was a very poor and slow driver and I use to hate having to ride with him. One of Ruby’s favorite phrases was, “It’s fixin’ to pour down rain.” I don’t know when they left our employment but for all the years, my mother and Fred would use that phrase if it looked like rain, and we all remembered them fondly.
I don’t know how mother got to the hospital for her broken nose or how many days passed till I saw her at Ruby’s. I think I was staying there also and probably my little brothers and sister, because where else would we be? I couldn’t stay home because Buss would have probably tried to rape me or at least sexually harass me.
I don’t know how long we stayed there or how long it took her to heal. But I do know we were back home and things as usual, as always soon after.
Don didn’t live at home so it was odd that he just happened to show up at that moment when he did. Buss never liked Don, had no use for him as he did me. Don got lucky and moved out probably about a year after we moved to Vinita. He lived with friends. How lucky he was to have escaped.
There was another time that Buss and mom were fighting, arguing at first in the kitchen. Again, I was trying to keep my little siblings occupied outside. Well, Teresa, probably about eight, kept running up to the house and looking in the window. I remember her running back to me crying and screaming. Then she would run up to the house again, look in the window and come running back to me screaming for me to do something. I couldn’t take anymore.
I ran into the market and got a knife. I ran to the house and opened the door, hiding the knife by my side. Something was said by one of them and then he said something to me and I told him to shut up. He told me to shut up. Then I said, “You shut up!” He told me again to shut up and I came back with, “You shut up!” and pulled that knife from my side in a threatening gesture at him. My mother saw the knife, gave me one nod and then she picked up a kitchen chair and hit him dead center in the stomach with it. He ran out the other door, she followed and I also went toward him. Somehow my mother got him in a headlock as I approached. She looked at me as if she expected me to stab him in the face. I have thought about that over the years and think, “How in the hell did she think I could stab him in the face; come on!”
After a lot of struggling, he got loose and he fell. He scrambled to his feet but fell over a little curb that was there. Again, got to his feet, all the time we were following him. He fell over a small shrub, got up only to run a few feet and into the picnic table and bench, and fell over the bench. Finally he got enough footing to run without falling and ran down to the sale barn, away from us. Now maybe his falling had something to do with only having socks on his feet, no shoes but I like to think he was terrified of me coming at him with a knife and perhaps knowing I was going to try to kill him, again!