Snow of 47 and Birth of a Baby
Grand Kids as you get older like GranPa is now, you will become more appreciative of your upbringing and start reflecting back on your own childhood memories.

Each of us remember things from our childhood which stand out in our memories and GranPa has a few from his childhood he thought you might like.

Here is one of them:...................................

Two winters of my childhood stand out in my memory and one of those is a big snow storm and the other is the winter Lueders, Texas had a bad ice storm and all the power and phones lines came down due to the weight of the ice which collected on them..

I don't remember the year of the ice storm but, one of the biggest snow storms to ever hit Lueders before or since occurred in the winter of 1947 and 48.

I've always referred to it as the "Snow of 47".

Lueders received 12 to 18 inches of snow overnight with drifts even higher and at our house just east of the football field we couldn't even get the cars out of the garage.

The night of the storm, a lady who lived in the house south and behind our house was having a baby and the doctor had to come out of Anson or Abilene to delivery the baby.

In those days it was pretty much the norm to deliver babies at home.

On his way to delivery the baby, the doctor had come through on the dirt road running from the Anson highway into Lueders and which was the road going by the Mullins, Winkles, and Stamford farms. When he got to the dip were the dirt road crosses Cotton Wood Creek the snow had piled up down in the bottom and the doctor had gotten stuck.

So, there in the middle of the night the doctor walked from near the Cotton Wood Creek bridge to these folks house below our house which was about 2 miles.

To lighten his load during the knee deep walk through the snow, the doctor only took one of his doctor bags and left another one in the car.

Low and behold the bag left behind in his car contained an instrument the doctor discovered he needed.

A trip back to the doctor's car was necessary so, the ladies husband walked up to our house to get my Dad to take him back over to the Doc's car at Cotton Wood Creek to get the bag with the instrument in it.

When my Dad tried to get our 1941 Ford car out of the garage he could not because the snow had piled or banked up in front of the garage too deep to get the car out. He got the car out about 4 or 5 feet and there it was stuck. Stuck so bad, my Dad couldn't even get the car back inside the garage.

This was about 4:00 AM in the morning. Since my Dad's car couldn't go, they didn't figure anyone else could get down the road in a car either so, the husband walked back to Cotton Wood and got the instrument bag.

As I recall, the baby ended up being safely born and the mother also survived.

I would have been 13 at the time and as I write this in 2005 that baby would now be 57 years old.

I can not remember the peoples name but, "Goynes" comes to the top.

That was the end of a story GranPa has told a few times over the years and for nearly 60 years I wondered who that baby was and what happened to it.

End of Story  -  Not Quite  -  There's More

Lueders High School where GranPa graduated in 1953 has a web site with an electronic mailing list called the "Pirate Chat Line" -- You can send an e-mail message to this one address and all the Lueders Alumni who are registered and signed up will receive a copy of the e-mail message.

In March of 2005, GranPa put his memory and story about the Snow of 47 and the baby's birth nearly as it is written here on the Web Site.

Several of the Lueders Alumni responded with clues to who the baby was and after a few phone conversations with the Goyne Family GranPa was able to tell The rest of the story and here is what I posted back on the Pirate Chat Line.

I was excited to learn who it was that was born that night but, saddened to know I can never talk to the person.

We learned, Jim Bob Goyne was born on December 31, 1946 and his parents were Robert James Goyne and Eula Jean O"Donnell and died on January 25, 1990 just past the age of 43

We were able to learn this, Thanks to messages from Don Latimer - Class of 56, Carolyn Mullins - Class of 65, Sharon Hines - Class of 57 and my 3 different phone conversations with Sid Goyne who told me how to locate Jim Bob's immediate family.

I first phoned and spoke for about 30 minutes each with Jim Bob's mother Eula Gene and his younger brother Dennis.

Next, I had a wonderful conversation of nearly 2 hours with Jim Bob's wife Roberta Luann "Middleton" Goyne.

Also on the phone at the same time I was talking to Roberta was her mother and father, Harold and Opal Middleton who have lived in George, Washington the past 41 years. Harold is age 86 and Opal is age 78.

I will now tell you what we have learned to be the "Rest of The Story".

Don Latimer determined that Jim Bob Goyne was born on December 31, 1946 and his parents were Robert James Goyne and Eula Jean O"Donnell - Sadly, Don also learned Jim Bob had died in Royal City, Grant County, Washington.

Don remembers the same snow storm as I did and has confirmed his memory with that of his sisters that the storm occurred in late December and the snow stayed on the ground well into the middle of January in 1947.

Therefore, if Jim Bob was born on the December 31 and it was around 4:00 AM in the morning when his father Robert came up to our house to get my dad, E. R. Smyth to take him back to the doctors car then the snow would have occurred the night of December 30th and 31st and I would expect one of those things we called a "Blue Northern" had blew in a few days before the snow came.

So, my memory coincides with Don's memory and if the snow was on the ground well into the middle of January it explains why I always remembered it as the Snow of 47. Mistakenly, I always considered it the winter of 47/48 and as it turns out it was the winter of 46/47

From the comments of others, Jim Bob was a little rowdy in school and in his third grade he had a teacher by the name of Peggy Houston who apparently didn't put up with much foolishness and would pull Jim Bob's hair when he acted up and word is that she was not bashful about pulling the hair of other students as well.

Jim Bob however had a solution and that was to have all his hair cut off or what was a very short GI haircut.

After getting his hair cut off, Miss Houston resorted to pulling Jim Bob's ears so, apparently he went from bad to worse relative to Miss Houston's disciplinary measures.

Ironically, I wrote the subject story on the night of March 5th and Peggy Houston died on March 5, 2005. Don't believe me, check the date and time it was 3:01 AM on March 6th when I finished writing the story and hit the send button.

Don mailed us Peggy's obituary on the Pirate Mailing list but, in case you forgot, she was raised in the Rockdale Community and attended Paint Creek Schools. Peggy was 76 years of age when she died two weeks ago.

At the time of his birth, Jim Bob's father, Robert Goyne worked at the Stone Mill in Lueders which was owned by Joe Kell.

Jim Bobs' mother Eula Gene who is now age 80 and lives in Omack, Washington said, She never really knew much about the snow except her husband Robert had told her it was knee deep on his walk back to the doctor's car and she said somebody went with him but, she could not remember who it was. (Note: Way back in my mind, I think this might have been Red Felts or Sandy Raughton but, I see more Red Felts then I do Sandy - What does Carol Felts or Edith Raughton recall??) Eula Gene said it was Dr. William's who was the father of the William's that ran the drug store who delivered Jim Bob at 9:00 AM that morning of December 31, 1946. I told her my story said the doctor had to come out of Abilene or Anson but, she said that was not correct but, she could not remember the town he had to come from to get to Lueders.

Roberta said that Jim Bob had always told her, he had been born in a Snow Storm.

Sid Goyne didn't know any details of Jim Bob's birth because he and his other brother, Punny Goyne were living in North Dakota and were in law enforcement at the time.

Later on, Sid and Punny were influential in Jim Bob's mother and father moving out west themselves.

And so it was in 1951 that Jim Bob's parents moved to Riverdale, North Dakota were Morrison-Knutson had a construction contract on the Garrison Dam Project.

Over the years, the construction firm of Morrison-Knutson had contracts on the dams at Moses Lake, Grand Coulee and other places in the western states of North and South Dakota, Montana, Washington, etc.

On large Dam projects such as this, the construction companies build a cement batch plant on site and it was Jim Bob's father Robert Goyne who was placed in charge of the batch plants for Morrison-Knutson.

They first lived in Riverdale and then other locations as one construction project was completed and another one started.

In between some of these projects they came back to Lueders for a period of time. His mother said, Jim Bob actually started the first grade in Riverdale but, they came back to Lueders before his 1st grade year was over and interestingly enough he couldn't enroll at Lueders because the State of Texas and North Dakota had different age requirements and he could not enroll in Lueders to finish the year out because he was too young.

By now the exact years are a little fuzzy to her but, apparently it was in one of these periods back in Lueders that Jim Bob attended what we know to be the 3rd grade and more then likely he was there for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade and I base that on the fact Eula Gene said Jim Bob had started the 1st grade in Riverdale but, moved back to Lueders prior to completing the year.

Robert James and Eula Gene Goyne raised 4 boys and no girls. Jim Bob was the oldest and his younger brothers were Clyde, Dennis and John.

His Mother, Eula Gene said, Jim Bob Graduated from Brewster High School in 1966.

Jim Bob was drafted and spent 2 years in the Army and went to Vietnam were he was a Crew Chief on the helicopters. His wife said he was always proud of having served with the Pink Panthers unit in Vietnam.

Jim Bob married Roberta Luann Middleton on July 1, 1972 and the following year on June 5, 1973 they had the first of 2 boys and named him Michael and the following year on July 15, 1974 their second son, Denny Ross was born.

After his Army stint, Jim Bob was employed by the Irrigation District in the state of Washington as a Drag line operator and became such an expert it was Jim Bob who trained and certified all the other operators to meet OSHA standards.

Now folks, you got to remember out west we are not talking about irrigating a garden or farm, we are talking about digging ditches the size of canals and doing other earth work to irrigate a whole state.

On Monday January 22, 1990 which was the day Jim Bob suffered the injuries from which he died 3 days later, the student didn't show up but, Jim Bob was sent to the job site anyway and therefore was on the drag line by himself and indications are around 10 AM in the morning he got off the Drag Line for a snack and some how fell down and hit his head on the pickup which caused an aneurysm in his head and he could not get up.

When he didn't show back up at the irrigation office at quitting time they went looking for him and found him on the ground beside his pickup which meant he had been laying on the ground since around 10 AM that morning and the temperature that day was 17 degrees.

Sid said he was still alive but, rigor mortise had already set in and his joints were getting stiff because he had about frozen to death.

Jim Bob was taken to a local hospital but, was then transferred to a hospital in Spokane, Washington. His wife Roberta was able to talk to him shortly after he arrived at the hospital and he explained what happened but, that night the aneurysm started hemorrhaging and Jim Bob slipped into a coma from which the doctors said he could not recover.

The doctors said he would be a vegetable if he lived and the family made the decision to pull all the plugs. So, 3 days after the accident, on January 25, 1990 just past the age of 43 Jim Bob passed away.

Jim Bob had 3 other brothers younger then him and they were Clyde who had 1 girl and 1 boy, his brother Dennis had 3 girls and 1 boy and his brother John had 1 boy and 3 girls.

An irony of the ending of Jim Bob's life was that he entered it in very cold weather and a snow storm and then he left this life in almost the same manner after laying on the ground most all day in 17 degree weather and not being able to move.

I am saddened by these facts and it makes me thankful for my being given 70 years of living thus far.

I am also most appreciative for the warm and friendly conversations I have had with all the Goyne family and Roberta's Mom and Dad Middleton who were most gracious and interesting to talk with.

I trust I have not made any errors in transferring my conversations and notes to this writing.

AND, Thanks to all the Lueders Pirates who's information allowed us locate the Goyne family and tell "The Rest of the Story"

GranPa was disappointed to learn he could not talk to the baby who was born that snowy night in the small community of Lueders, Texas.

But, then Kids let your old Gran Pappy tell you there are lots of disappointments in life. The goal is to minimize them and work at making all your memories happy ones.

The End

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