Living on the farm in the ‘20s, Juby only went to the nearest town, Fitzgerald, about once a month, only when she had specific needs. When Jim was ready to start the first grade, in those days there were no preschool programs or kindergartens, she went shopping for school clothes. She saw some of the town lads wearing short pants and she thought how cute Jim and John Russell (later Buck) would look in them. She bought a pair for each on the spot.
Preparing for church the next Sunday she brought out the short pants for the two boys to wear. The boys were not happy. On the farm none of the men ever wore short pants because the long pants protected their legs from weeds and the normal wear of farm work. They complained but Juby was unyielding, and she was very pleased with the results. When she had made sure that everyone was ready to go, she started for the front door, looking out the side window on the way. What she saw was two little boys climbing on a barbed wire fence. They never did that because of the barbs, but on this day, they wanted the barbs. They sat down on the top wire, got a couple of barbs into the seats of their pants and jumped off. Juby warmed their bottoms with a switch, but they did not have to wear the short pants and be laughed at by their friends. Also, Juby learned that there was a limit to how far she could push her authority.
Another story about Jim and Buck occurred a few years later when they were both in elementary school. Now Jim was an easy-going lad with many friends. Buck also had many friends, but Buck was likely to have a fight with one of his “friends” about once a week. These were friendly fights, no one ever threw a punch hard enough to cause a black eye, but wrestling in the dirt was one of Buck’s favorite sports. The fights were frequently after school and Buck would come home with his clothes and hair full of dirt. My Dad (Jake) told me that one time he asked Jim, “Why don’t you help Buck out when he gets in a fight?” Jim’s answer was, “Dad, if I helped him he would have me in a fight every day.” That ended the discussion.