I have often wished that the “old-timers” would record in some way what they remembered of their young life, and what they knew of their parents’ lives. I really wanted to interview an elderly man who lived along the lower end of the San Pedro River, but I waited too long.
I am sorry that when I was younger and my mom was still with us that I hadn’t asked her more questions about her earlier life, although I later learned more. She, who was named Lula Flora, but was usually called Lu, had been born on April 11, 1895, and she was 18 years old when she married 46-year-old Will Giles who was from a ranching family in New Mexico, the state that my mom’s family had ended up in after having been in Texas and Oklahoma. Will Giles had been married, and after his wife had died their two very young children were under the care of members of the Giles family on their New Mexico ranch. A daughter named June was born to my mom and Will Giles in January of 1918, but June died from pneumonia in 1919 and was buried on the Giles’ ranch. Then on mom’s birthday in 1926, the daughter Betty Jo was born in Clayton, New Mexico, but Betty Jo never knew her father Will Giles because he had died in Clayton, New Mexico at the age of 60 years, just three months before Betty had been born. My mom often said that Will Giles was so good to her that she was spoiled.
Mom ended up marrying George Kishbaugh, the man who would become the father of myself and my two brothers, Bill and Charley, and we, with our half-sister Betty, were raised in Hayden, Arizona where my dad worked for Asarco. Our mom was a tall, attractive lady with brown hair and eyes, and she could really play the piano, even with one finger missing. The story I heard about that is when she and her brother Earnest were kids, he kept telling her to keep out of the way when he was chopping wood. It might have been a “dare” game between them when she got her finger chopped off. I understand that when I was a baby my mom played the piano for dances at the Green Lantern in Dudleyville, and that Louis Mendoza, Sr., who had his M&M Grocery Store in San Pedro, and Lanny Parker, father of Forrest Parker who had his Parker’s Grocery Store in Winkelman, also played musical instruments for the dances. I imagine there were some good times held at the Green Lantern during the Prohibition days!