Our house in Texas was off of something called a Rural Route. I can’t remember the numbers now but it was always fun to say “turn right off the freeway on to Rural Route such and such.” Cibolo is a small town. I was recently asked to point it out on a map only to discover that it didn’t even warrant a dot until you got to the blown up insert map of San Antonio and surrounding areas. Even then it was just the tiniest of dots. I think when I lived there it had between 600 and 700 people. I believe now they are up 1000+. Progress y’all! It’s funny because if you look at the demographics for my hometown there is almost no one there in my age group. Mass exodus.
There really is a Volunteer Fire Department. One of the Lieutenants lived next door to us. He was divorced also and had two children that stayed with him every weekend and all summer long. Their mother lived in “the City”, which in our case meant San Antonio. His son had Down Syndrome and was in a wheel chair, one of those motorized kinds. The daughter was spoiled – I have a feeling that her brother got most of the attention and so she acted out because of it. It must have been noticeable enough for me to notice it, and remember it, as a child.
I went to J. Frank Dobie, except then it was called an Intermediate School and housed 5th and 6th grades together. When I moved to California for the 7th grade they actually wanted to put me forward a grade. That’s the difference in the Texas public school system and the California public school system. Our school had stairs but no elevator. This is significant because I got thrown from my horse once because a bird flew under his stomach and it startled him. Because I was young and foolish, and also because I fancied myself quite a good rider, I wasn’t paying attention at the time and I didn’t have my feet properly in the stirrups. As a result when Chief bolted I came out of the saddle but my one boot was stuck so I was holding on desperately to the rear of the saddle trying to get my foot out of my boot (I was riding English) before I got kicked to death. I really screwed up my ankle when it came free and I fell (but I didn’t get trampled – yay for small miracles!) and I had to have crutches for several weeks. Stairs and crutches are an awful combination.
As I’ve mentioned before, the area I grew up in was mostly military. There were / are 3 Air Force bases in the area, Lackland, Randolph and Brooks, in addition to the Army’s Fort Sam Houston. My mom was working as a civilian at Fort Sam, her best friend (who lived just down the street from us) worked at Randolph AFB. Almost ALL of my friends were military brats like me, a few were locals – small town born and raised. Some had been there for generations.
In my class we had the preacher’s daughters from two different churches, the town mechanic’s son, the grocer’s kids, the Sheriff’s daughter (she was one of my “best” friends), assorted policeman’s and fireman’s kids, the dentist’s daughter and the doctor’s son (who were “going together”) and the guy who owned the Dairy Queen’s daughter. It was truly the epitome of small town life.