I titled this "Granny's Parakeets" to get your attention because you all grew up knowing your Great GranMa who you called Granny. But, be aware your Great GranPa was also involved with the parakeet birds as the story will indicate.
You never had the opportunity to know your Great Grand Father but, I can tell you that he was a rough, gruff, tough, cussing, hard working disciplinary type of man who had a heart that melted like butter when it came to animals and other things he was fond of.
The parakeets was one of them and over the years your Great Grand Father and Granny had 3 different parakeets.
The first to arrive was a gift from my sister Eileen who worked with a Jerry Quinn at Bell Telephone in Fort Worth, Texas and he raised parakeets.
Granny named him JoJo and he was blue, yellow and white in color.
Tough old guy as he was, your great grand father took a liking to JoJo and enjoyed his talking very much. Of course he never fed or cleaned JoJo's cage because he left that to Granny.
However, he did decide that JoJo deserved the comfort of a large cage and he and I went to the lumber yard, got the materials and spent all one day and part of another making JoJo a cage which had a wooden frame and used telephone wire for the bars of the cage. I got the joy of painting the wooden part blue.
JoJo wasn't around too long because he liked being out of his cage and flying around the house which we often allowed.
One day he was out and someone came in the back door not knowing and JoJo flew out the back door.
The Lueders men and farmers from the country side enjoyed sitting downtown shooting the bull and whittling away at wood with their pocket knives. For a time there was even benches sitting in front of the stores for this purposes. However, after awhile the merchants got tired of sweeping the sidewalks off and the benches disappeared.
I was down town with my dad during one of these bull sessions and I recall Mother phoning Daddy and telling him about JoJo getting out.
My Dad immediately dropped the conversation with his friends and we rushed home and my Dad looked all over the place trying to find JoJo.
We never did find JoJo and my dad was really upset and missed having JoJo to talk to.
I think everybody in Lueders was aware JoJo had escaped because I recall someone out in the country talking about a blue colored parakeet landing on their screen door but, when they went out and tried to catch him he flew off again.
Sadly, JoJo was gone forever and never seen again.
The second parakeet was "Topper" - Topper never was too popular because he just never did learn to talk very much.
For awhile we had thought him to be a female because female parakeets don't talk. But, then we learned females have brown beaks and males have blue beaks.
Topper had a blue beak so he was a male but, he was one of those that just didn't say much of anything.
Topper was found dead in the bottom of his cage one day and buried down by the back yard mesquite tree with all the other Smyth animals and pets.
Aw!! But, then came Pretty Boy who never knew when to shut up.
Granny says she could be down in the basement doing laundry and hear Pretty Boy upstairs jabbering away to himself.
One of the reasons was because Pretty Boy's cage stayed on the bar between the breakfast nook and the den and thus Pretty Boy got in on all the conversations at the dinner table.
Pretty Boy was a most memorable and remarkable bird who chattered non stop and would respond to sentences much like a person.
You could ask, Pretty Boy "Where's E R" and Pretty Boy would usual reply back, "Gone to Town"
He learned to say "Love Donnie" because he would sit on my brothers shoulder and Donnie would lean his head over against him and say. "Love Donnie"
Marie Watkins who lived next door was a very close friend of my sister Iva and was over at our house a lot.
As I was refreshing my memory with my mother to write this story, Mother laughed and said, "Marie was over at our house more then she stayed home."
Because of this, Pretty Boy picked up another of his sayings which was "Here Comes Marie"
He picked this up because our front gate was made of metal and would rattle when opened and closed.
Mother said, when Donnie would hear the gate rattle he knew it had to be Marie and he would say "Here comes Marie" which Pretty Boy picked up on right away and it became one of his favorite sayings.
Mother also told me that she could remember how fond Buster Winkles was of Pretty Boy because on his visit with my Dad he would always talk to Pretty Boy.
|Pretty Boy's Vocabulary consisted of the following:|
|Hello Pretty Boy||Love Pretty Boy|
|Good Morning||Where is Everett|
|Love Donnie||Mama Come Here|
|Where is E R - Gone to Town||What You Say|
|Mama, Pretty Boy wants out||Marie|
|Here comes Santa Claus||Here Comes Marie|
|Lueders No. 8||Where's the Paper|
|Put on the Coffee Pot||Welcher|
|Where You Going||What|
|Bring the Paper In||Iva's Going to Church|
|Where is that Bird||Shut Up Bird|
Granny put together a scrap book about Pretty Boy and the book indicates he was purchased from Atkin's Bird Farm on August 8, 1953 and the last page indicates he died on January 21, 1958 so Pretty Boy was around for about 4 and half years.
The scrap book has 4 pages about Pretty Boy and 15 pages of pictures and articles from newspapers telling about the antics and vocabulary of parakeets around the world.
Granny told me that Pretty Boy got sick and wouldn't say anything and was just sitting in the bottom of the cage and then when they could tell the end was near they sit up all night with Pretty Boy.
When the end came, Pretty Boy was buried in the Mesquite Tree Cemetery with all the other Smyth animals and pets.
You might note that Granny saved one of Pretty Boy's feathers and it is in his book.
I choose not to put the 15 pages of newspaper articles on the web site but, to see the 4 main pages of Pretty Boy's Book, Click:.. HERE
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