During his early
years, Daddy was quite happy with the kerosene lamp, an innovation
at the time; Grandfather had grown up using candlelight. Since even
matches were a scarcity in Grandfathers early home, live coals
had to be continuously maintained and were sometimes carried long
distances for starting fires. So Daddy felt lucky to have a supply
of matches and his fairly bright kerosene lamp.
During many long winter evenings, after early nightfall, the lamp
created the ambience for family games of dominoes, pitch and chess.
One long winter when Daddy was 17 or so, he read every book from the
lending library of the Mooney Allen Drugstore. His favorite stories
were the adventure novels of Jack London and Rex Beach. In later years
when I was a little boy he read Jack Londons Call of the Wild
to me, in little installments every night, and I was enraptured.