Memories · My Thoughts

Places from my Childhood

A little girl running - places from my childhood

Places from my childhood in Branson, Colorado, floated to my consciousness today. There are four places I loved: the store, the Community church, the jailhouse. I’m in Branson, visiting and took a walk today to a friend’s house. I passed the church and the jailhouse on the way. A smile crossed my lips as memories surfaced for each place.

On my return trip, I passed the foundation of the store. As I walked by, I marveled at the size of the foundation—as a child, the building looked so big. Today it looked so small! Memories overcame me! In my book, This Tumbleweed Landed, I wrote poems about each of these places. I’d like to share them with you!

Branson Community Church

Branson Community Church - places from my childhood
Branson Community Church
The Branson Community Church
small and quaint.  

People that touched my life
Maynard Bowen,
Walt Graham
Ministers of God, who took the time for me.  

The Loudens
The Gilstraps
The Smiths
The Warners
The Cummins
Mabel Survant
Mrs. Jamieson  

Sunday School teachers
and family friends who let me sit with them,
singing my songs out loud when I couldn’t even read.  

Beautiful old hymns and singing.
They loved me, taught me, and encouraged me.
A safe place to be on Sunday morning,
and a nice place to meet God.  

Youth group on Sunday night games
and talking about God
Youth group picnic and camp-outs at the Gilstraps
and the annual Christmas programs.  

One year, at the Christmas program
I was an angel
with the other young girls.
Donned in our white robes, wings, and haloes,
we walked in a straight line carrying lit candles.  

The girl behind me got too close
and caught my hair on fire!
Our teacher quickly handled the situation,
and I wasn’t burned.  

The program went on.

The Jailhouse

The Jailhouse
A landmark
That everyone wants to be pictured in.
Close the door, stand behind the bars
and smile.  

Two cells
A window in each
And also, a hard bed of concrete in each.

Numerous stories
about notorious criminals
who slept there and broke out!  

A special place for us!
Scott Warner would steal
cigarettes from his mom.
Bub and I would break
a piece of the salt lick
stored in Grandad Horner’s garage.
It was for our cattle.

We would meet at the jail.
Smoke then suck on the salt lick
to hide the smell of
the cigarette smoke.

I felt so sophisticated.
So grown-up,
So fashionable.

Clara and Millard
Uncle Gay and Aunt Helen
But I never liked
The taste of it.  

Years later Bub and I told Mom
About our clandestine adventure.
She said she knew what we were doing.
She teasingly said,
“The smoke billowed out of the jail’s window.”  
But she never questioned us
Or Disciplined us.  

A growing up safe adventure!

The Store

The Branson Store - places from my childhood
The Branson Store
Dust, hard wood floor; aisles of adventure. 
Goods for sale—
Eggs, milk, and beef;
all the regular staples of life.
The McMillans owned it— 
Roy and Mokey.

Oversized paintings on the walls— 
a gold miner,
wild animals images 
long forgotten; 
painted by Julian Hancock.

But my favorite part
the candy!
A big wooden display case,
taller than me.
Glistening glass windows separated me 
from the mouth-watering delights.So big, so
So many colors, sizes, shapes, and 

I had a quarter—
I could buy the moon!

My walk awakened memories of these three places—they flooded me with Candy’s laughter at the store, Scott and the adventures of cigarettes in the jail, and so many people who loved me in that beautiful quaint little church.

Do you have childhood memories of special places? Share them in the comment section.

~NEW PODCAST to be released Thursday, March 17, 2022, discussing my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? : Live on Purpose Podcast at

~MY FIRST AUDIOBOOK IS AVAILABLE: Go to Audible to buy my first audiobook, Let Me Tell You a Story

~Do you listen to podcasts? Here are three podcasts with interviews about my new book & some Flippo stories:

~Buy a copy of Flippo’s biography on my website: or at Amazon.

~Here’s a variety of Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas”:

Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? meme

~Are you on a spiritual path? Do you want to heal from the horrible effects of the pandemic of 2020? Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks: