Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Growing Up with the Automobile]
“Mother was descended from another big bug, too,” Bert went on, “an artist fellow she called Whistler. Once when I was a kid an invitation came for her to visit a Mr. and Mrs. Whistler who were staying at a famous Inn at Camden. Of course Mother didn't go. Where would she have got the clothes to have frocked up in?” he queried.
“But that will show you the kind of folks my mother came from,” he said. “Now Dad was different. Although his people were big landowners once, they weren't a bit bookish. They were farmers, and liked to hunt and fish, and do all sorts of out-door things.
“Dad was an artesian well driller. His work took him all over the low country boring wells, so that the small towns could have waterworks. Sometimes a well-to-do farmer would want one, too, so's he could irrigate his land, or have running water in the house.
“It was a pretty discouraging life, as I recall it. Sometimes Dad would strike rock, and not have even an inch to show for a long day of hard work. He used to charge on a sliding scale of a dollar a foot, base rate, and on the few occasions when he was successful in boring a well at a fairly decent profit, he'd have a big fish fry and invite all the neighborhood to help him celebrate.
“Dad was the kind of a man who believed in setting a good table, but he wasn't much for dress. If Mother hadn't been so smart with her needle, I guess we children would have looked like a mighty crumby little bunch sometimes.