Murdo Girl…1960’s…small town life

I don’t know how this is going to turn out. The little Murdo Girl is still writing, but I have to rein her in sometimes. She is far too obsessed with writing about all of her brother’s misdeeds. I asked her to please hold it down to one or two a day. We’ll see how it goes. I would like to learn more about some of the other people living in Murdo.


I love my brother, but sometimes it’s hard to know if he’s telling me the truth. Like yesterday.. I was really hungry when I got home from school, so I looked in the ice box for a snack. There were some pork ribs in there, so I ate a couple. They weren’t very good, but I was hungry. Well, when Dad and Billy got home we had supper… pork ribs. I told Mom that I had tried two after school and didn’t like them.

She said,“WHAT!” they weren’t all the way cooked.

Billy got this horrible look on his face. He said, “You ate raw pork? Do you know what is going to happen in a day or two?”

I said,  “what?” Then he said, “Worms, big worms are going to start coming out of your legs, but you can’t pull them out, because they will break off and you won’t be able to ever get them out.”

I yelled, “What can I do?”

Loretta Gustafson's Life in Photos 011

He said, (in a sinister voice), “You have to take sticks and roll the worms around the sticks a little each day. You have to be very careful until they come all the way out. Then you kill them by…

I started crying my eyes out and I was feeling a little sick. Finally, Mom told him to quit being so mean. Billy was laughing, which he got in trouble for, but I think he thought it was worth it. I had bad dreams last night and it’s all my brother’s fault.

Today, we put on a play called Cleopatra. Andrea was our director, and knows some of the story, but the rest, we just made up as we went along. I got to play Cleopatra, mostly because I have a long, red, formal dress that Kitty made for me. I also get to be the queen in all the parades. I’ll tell you more about the parades later.

Anyway, back to Cleopatra. The story goes like this; Cleopatra and Marc Anthony were in love. They lived in Egypt. One day, some guy came running into Cleopatra’s house and told her that Marc Anthony was dead. Cleopatra, (me), said “How did he get killed?” Well, since Andrea didn’t know that part, the guy (played by Valerie), said “he got run over by a chariot.”

Cleopatra started wailing and told Mark (my cousin Mark), to get the biggest and most poison snake he could find. While Mark was getting the snake, Stephanie and Cynthia changed the scenery. They brought a blanket out for Cleopatra to get bit by the snake on, and a music box that played a sad song. Everything was going along fine until the music box ran down before I was done with my death scene. Stephanie ran over to wind it up again. It went crank, crank, and crank. Well, that did it. We all started laughing, and I almost wet my red gown. I don’t know what we’ll do tomorrow, but Andrea will think of something. She’s a good idea person.

My Dad owns Francis Plumbing & Heating. His shop is in a building that looks like a gingerbread house on the outside, but it’s kind of dirty and dusty on the inside. Behind the bookkeeper, Lois J’s desk, is a great big picture of Custer’s Last Stand. It shows the battlefield and you could look at it for days and not see everything.


Dad’s shop isn’t on Main St. It’s in front of the Red Top Motel. Most of the other businesses are on Main St., like Sanderson’s Store, Macks Cafe, the Show House, Joy Payne’s dress shop, the Gem Hotel, the Ford Garage, Jones County State Bank, and the Murdo Hotel. There’s more, but you get the idea.


There’s probably about 850 people living here. That doesn’t count all the ones who live on farms and ranches. The country kids go to a school in the country until they get to High School, then they drive themselves to Murdo.

The lady said to tell you more about Murdo. It was named after Murdo Mackenzie who was a nationally known cattleman. The railroad was built to Murdo and farther, to help bring his many cattle to market.

I know this because there’s a plaque about him in front of the Super Value store.

If Billy doesn’t kill me, I’ll write about Berferd tomorrow.



11 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…1960’s…small town life

  1. scoper07 February 19, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    And I thought having a big sister was tough!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. lifelessons February 19, 2017 / 10:20 pm

    I am seeing a whole new side to Billy. This blog is in a way a younger sister’s eventual revenge, is it not?

    Liked by 1 person

      • lifelessons February 19, 2017 / 10:46 pm

        Yes. I didn’t question that. Sounds just like something an older brother would say. I always pined for an older brother but perhaps I would not have been as tough as you were in surviving the damage.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Francis McNinch February 19, 2017 / 11:11 pm

        It really was a typical brother/little sis reltaionship. He didn’t appreciate me at the time. I wrote about how sad I was when he graduated and went away to college. I listed all the ways I could think of that we would be better off…Mom could drive me more places since he wouldn’t be hogging her car..If the phone was for Bill, we wouldn’t have to ask big Bill or little Bill…

        Liked by 2 people

  3. sanjuan831 February 19, 2017 / 11:50 pm

    This is so much fun. I know I’ve read this before but it’s like fine wine, or any wine. You know what I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mari Jackson February 20, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    As an only child, I love hearing these stories.. they are just so Americana!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch February 20, 2017 / 11:26 pm

      I answered this, but it disappeared. I didn’t know you were an only child Mari. Val is too. That must be what makes you both so special.


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