Goff Moore Family
The following is a personal narrative of Mrs. Neal (Edythe Goff) Hand of Route 1, Box 83, Elm Mott, Texas, daughter of Clarence and Grace Moore Goff, of her childhood experiences. The Goff family lived on a farm near Waneta. Daddy started buying our farm land at age 14 years. He was the last of his family to leave home, getting married at age 30 years old. Our farm was located near Waneta and only one-half mile from where he was born and raised. I was born in a small house already on the land he purchased, while our farm house with large porches was being built across the road in 1929. My grandparents, Henry and Necy Goff, moved into the small house. I’m sorry I didn’t get to know my grandmother. She died in 1931. I remember my grandfather well. He spoiled me by buying me my favorite candy, a Baby Ruth bar and “red soda pops” every time we went to a store. I would sit on the wagon seat with him while he drove horses as Daddy and Mother pulled corn and threw it in the back of the wagon. Grandfather Goff knew he was born in the middle of March, but not the exact date, so he chose the 15th for his birthday. I just recently learned he picked the 15th because it was my birthday, too. He died at our home March 27, 1934, when my brother Ray was only a few weeks old. Ray and I both share great memories of our lives on the farm. 1 started my first year of school at Waneta, but we had to move to San Saba County for Daddy’s health problems. After seven years, he became strong again, and we moved back to our farm home. We remember our dear neighbors, Elbert and Berttie Clark and their family, living below us.
Ghent and Lucille Lusk and their boys lived on the other side of us. I remember my brother Ray enjoying playing in the sand with his toy cars and trucks. Our house was always filled with cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends and we enjoyed all the good food and laughter. One cousin, Aline Goff, and I played together often. Her hair was straight with bangs; my hair was curly and hard to have bangs, because of my “cow lick”. I don’t know whose idea it was that I should have my hair cut, but Aline gave me one, and I sure got a spanking for it. I also got a good spanking with a Christmas Roman Candle. Relatives were visiting around Christmas, when I said a bad curse word. Where I heard it, or what I said, was forgotten fast after Mother got through using the Roman candle for a paddle. Ray and I tried to help Daddy and Mother in the fields as we got older but I was never a very good field hand. I took over some of the household chores and had a hot dinner ready when Daddy, Mother and Ray arrived, cooked on our old wood stove. When afternoon came, it was back to the fields, even for me. I think I disliked most picking dry black eyed and purple hull peas, putting them in cotton sack, dragging them down the rows in the hot sun.
Ray and I were just not the hard working farmers Daddy and Mother were. I remember in the 30’s when we purchased the first radio in the area. It ran by battery. (Electricity did not get to us until around 1944.) We had relatives and friend coming to see us often, to enjoy the “miracle” with us. Mother could never understand how I could listen to radio programs and do my school homework at the same time. I still enjoy a radio and it stays turned on most of the time. I can see now, Mother reading the Bible by light from our old kerosene lamp, to Daddy, Ray and me and the beautiful glow of a fire in the fireplace. Daddy and Mother raised most of the food we ate, as their parents did. They canned most of it. The deep freeze was not purchased until after I married. We did enjoy a gas powered refrigerator. My job was to wash the jars well, because my hands were small enough to get inside the jars. We shelled peas until our fingers were so sore and it is still done today. Peeling peaches made the skin on our fingers wrinkled and very sore. We canned them by the bushel baskets in those days, not a few at a time as I do now for the deep freeze. Daddy had a cow so determined to eat our garden up every year, even though she had lots of good green grass. She was always breaking the fence or crawling over it somehow. A yoke on her neck did not help either. Daddy had a chemical called “High Life” and poured a little down her back. She tore down the entire garden fence get ting out, but she never got around the garden again. Mother and Daddy attended singings at Old Waneta school house and always enjoyed the fellowship with old friends. When they were married they were attending New Hope Church. They were long time members of Muse Baptist Church. Mother laughed about one Sunday morning at Muse Baptist Church, a small boy asked Ray to hold his “bottle of milk” while he sang. Ray was a teenager then. Waneta school house has been the gatherings place for the community so many years, as a school, as a church, and for singings. I have memories of young boys at Muse filling their fathers’ wagon with hay and picking up boys and girls all the way to Waneta, to attend Sunday night singing.
Good country gospel singing! I remember how we had to heat bricks on Mother’s iron by the fireplace before bedtime, wrap them in newspaper and towels and slip them underneath lots of quilts on our beds that Mother and Grandmother Mollie had made. It sure helped on those awful cold nights. Mother was very creative, doing embroidery work, making beautiful pictures with sequins and glitter. She also made pictures from foam meat trays and lots of things from foam egg cartons. One thing she made, that we cherish, was a beautiful multi-colored “Yo-Yo” bed coverlet that took so many hours to make. “Yo-Yo’s” are small circles of material hand gathered up in the middle, then all hand tacked together to form bedspreads, coverlets, pillows, or decorations. Even though our old farm house has changed through the years, the beautiful large magnolia tree still stands near the front door. We all share such great memories of that farm. Our children, Johnny, Barry, Brenda and Jim will never forget Mother’s delicious large biscuits and all the good food she always had prepared for us on our visits. No one can cook like Grandma! They loved to play in the sand and brought so much of it home on their clothes. Neal will never forget the terrible icy weather, in 1948, when we lived with Daddy and Mother that year. He helped Daddy farm. The mailman didn’t come by the farm in those days and we got our mail about 1 1/2 miles way. Neal decided he would try to get our car out of the yard and go get the mail. The ground was so icy, he slid into Mother’s big old black wash pot, breaking it. He finally made it to the mailbox and as soon as the ice melted, he went to Grapeland for a new wash pot. Certainly not only a necessity for heating water to wash clothes, it was used during “hog killing” time and making soap. The last 8 years of having Daddy and Mother living in their mobile home, with beautiful blooming roses they loved and cared tor, has meant so much to all of our family. Our Sunday family dinners will never be the same without them. They enjoyed so much their grandchildren, their spouses and all their great grandchildren’s’ visits who they saw often. Daddy died July 27, 1985 at age 89, and Mother died March 16, 1986 at the age of 79. Ray and I are so fortunate to have had happy, loving parents so long!