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Families share memories on Facebook

Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011, at 11:10 AM

This photo was taken in the late fifties on the Alvin J. Smith farm near Pyletown. My sister Kathy and I are standing in front of the country home that my family rented in the mid-to-late fifties, before Malden Air Base closed.
Remembering the Dexter years

My sister has recently started the impressive project of scanning all our mother's old photos and posting them in an album on Facebook, that amazing online social network which has hooked so many of us (for better or worse).

Each of us use this new method of communication for our own purposes. There's no doubt of its addictiveness. We hear of the abuses every day in the news, however, the remarkable website has revolutionized the way we communicate.

My sister has always used Facebook sparingly--until recently. About a month ago, she dragged out one of my mother's scrapbooks and started scanning old photos and posting them online.

Oh, please--let Facebook never die!! The photos are priceless! Several members of the family have joined Kathy's list of "friends," so they can download copies of old photos that they've never seen.

The old farm house in the above photo is no longer standing on the Pyletown Road, but it was a happy place in the fifties, when my family lived there.

My younger brothers, sister and I roamed the huge yard and the big old barn, which is still there. The boys went to school right across the street at Boyd Elementary, and my sister remembers riding the bus to Pyletown to a one-room school. I was in high school by that time, so I never experienced the one-room school house. I'm sorry for that, as I've heard many good things about country schools.

I recently met one of the family members, and he told stories of how cold his upstairs bedroom was. Funny, but I don't remember that! In my mind, the old house was idyllic! I had the bedroom on the top floor, southeast corner. My two rowdy brothers had the top floor across the big upstairs hall. My grandmother lived for a time in the little bedroom with the Murphy bed, and my little sister slept with her. Mom and Dad slept in a downstairs room that had a fireplace we never used. We functioned with a bath and a half, which was relatively luxurious in that day and age, though the downstairs bathroom was an add-on and wasn't insulated.

By modern standards, I'm sure the house left a lot to be desired, but we thought it was wonderful. Of course, it wasn't air-conditioned, but I don't remember being hot in the summer. There always seemed to be a breeze up on the hill.

The Putnams lived down the road, and their son Bobby and I dated for awhile, until his classmate Dale DeJournett climbed into the back seat of Bobby's parents' old blue Ford, while we were parked at Leon's Dexter Queen one night.

The rest is history--some happy, some sad.

I can get lost in reverie on Facebook now, browsing through the old photos. The past comes back, vivid and clear. When I look up, I have to shake my head to realize where I am and in what decade. I look at that old photo of my sister and me, and it feels like yesterday, as if I could transport myself back to that time and relive those happy days before our world fell apart.

In her later years, not long before she died, my mother admitted that she never recuperated from the move the family had to make after Malden Air Base closed. Mom took my brothers and sister and moved back to the family home in Springfield. and Daddy went to Ft. Rucker, Alabama to keep flying. I had the happiest choice, I guess, as I went off to college to join that young man who had crawled into the back seat of Bobby Putnam's car.

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MD, I can vaguely remember that old home place, and I remember the Putnam's place, I'd run down through there on some of my gravel pit crawls in my rockhounding days at home. My scanning of old family pix is still in the organizational stage, but...........I've got cousins in CA, AZ, MO, AR, Panama City, and elsewhere about the globe that will be surprised at the quantities of photos on album(s) soon to appear on Facebook. It is way handy!!!! Regards, to all, kkr

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Tue, Aug 9, 2011, at 10:10 AM

I love facebook! I just posted a question to see if the Puxico Homecoming was going on today -- and voila!--I had the answer from a friend immediately!

Good way to keep in touch with old friends and relatives. I can't imagine how the system works, because it's mind-boggling to me that it can store all our photos in album after album! Will it crash one day?? I sure hope not!

That Zuckerman kid is a genius!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Aug 9, 2011, at 2:44 PM

Madeline, I hope your sister has enough sense to save all the pictures. Facebook will be gone one day, and given the pace of technological developments it might be in the not too distant future. Nothing on Facebook exists except as electronic impulses stored on computer harddrives. It is somewhat ironic, but there is a real possibility that 4,000 years from now less will be known about our civilization than we know today about the Egyptians ... because at least they had sense enough to build out of stone and carve and write on stone!!

-- Posted by FJGuy on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 4:27 PM

Good memories. I remember the Pyletown school as having two classrooms. 1st and 2nd grade in one room - 3rd and 4th in the other. It had a small room in front where you picked up your lunch and took it to your desk. It also had outhouses. I wonder if the old building is still there. I doubt it.

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 6:46 PM

I don't know about the Pyletown school, but the old Boyd school is gone. I think a private home stands in that spot now. I don't know if the old structure burned, or if it was demolished.

I've been down to Pyletown; the old store is still there, covered in vines and debris. The sign is all that's left to identify it. I didn't think to search for the old school.

I understand that Pyletown was the site of some Civil War skirmishes. I would like to know about that.

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Aug 11, 2011, at 6:12 AM

Can you pull up old FB entries? A relative/FB friend posted some family recipes which I meant to print, but they disappeared before I got it done.

-- Posted by gardengirl on Thu, Aug 11, 2011, at 3:53 PM

Gardengirl, I know of no way to pull up the old stuff, unless it's been put into an "album." Then it stays on the individual's "wall" as part of their profile.

FJguy, that's truly a sobering thought. I think my sister is storing the images on discs; however, those aren't completely reliable, either. She's lost several priceless old photos when the disc became corrupted. I don't believe it's an option to carve them in stone....!!

-- Posted by Madeline1 on Tue, Aug 23, 2011, at 4:35 AM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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