Cora Bell Brian Greenhaw still laughs about the night that Ford and Sam, her son and brother, took a bath at her home and put Sloan's White Liniment on a good case of itch. It set them on fire and they couldn't keep from running. Cora's home was out in the country. It was a very cold night and the two young men took off running around the house in their birthday suits. Yes, it killed the itch, and almost took the hide off of each young man.
Norma Jeff Brian Brisco won't forget the many pranks of her younger brothers. One day before her marriage she and Frankie started to go to a Sunday afternoon singing convention at Howard schoolhouse. The brothers had already visited the buggy and had exchanged the front and back wheels. They rode on their necks almost to the schoolhouse before deciding to make the change.
When I was eight years old, I was down at the Salt Fork of the Brazos River where some men were working on the washed-out bridge. As I was listening to them talk, one of the men said, "Well, I am going to see my Lou this Saturday night." I only knew one Lou and that was my sister, Loucille Brian Evitt, that's who we called Lou, so I said, "Lou who? Lou at our house? " The other man really got a laugh at his at my expense. My brother Walter always had big ears and he couldn't wait until he got to the house and told everyone.
Well, Lou really worked me over with her tongue.
Alfred Aaron Brian was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Merkel, Texas. He was asked to come to Sweetwater to bring the main message to a Negro Baptist Association. The Negro moderator introduced Alfred in such a wonderful manner that he could never forget it. It was as follows. "This Reverend Doctor Brian is such an outstanding preacher. He is a man with very high forcenarity (undefined). In the Brian family there are five preachers and one deacon, all brothers, and they are the most constipated (consecrated) bunch of men that I have ever seen." No one laughed but Alfred never got tired of laughing about it after leaving there.
Melton Dessex Brian was helping stack feed for a neighbor family. That day at noon he was really embarrassed when a grown young woman of the home spoke up and said, "Dud, will you please pass the thirty-thirties," meaning the red beans. It took a long time for Dud to live this down.
One day Alfred, Walter and I were in a grocery store in Lubbock, Texas. Walter was over at the fruit counter looking at some grapefruit. He picked up a real large one and said, "Look here, this is the largest lemon I have ever seen." It was a few minutes before he could be persuaded that it wasn't a lemon but a grapefruit. Well, it was just another one of those times when a country boy had come to town.
Dalton Delmont Brian, better known as Dock, always kept things moving rather lively when he was around. One day the Watkins man came by in his hack, pulled by two spirited horses. Dock ran out and stopped him, asking him in this manner, "Hey! Do you have any wax?" The man answered, "Yes." Dock's reply, "Then give me some." The man gave him a package and then asked Dock for the nickel, and Dock said, "I don't have one." The man gave him the chewing gum very begrudgingly but Dock was satisfied with his mouth full of gum.
Samuel Ellis Brian, known as Cobb to his boyhood friends, was in his first year of school at Estacado, Texas. The teacher came around one morning to see who had dirty hands among the girls and boys. She discovered Sam had rusty hands. He began to cry and say, "We have nothing at home to wash our hands with but old lye soap." This was the truth. My mother made lye soap all the time to wash the clothes and dishes and for us to bathe and wash our hands with. One of my older brothers was going with this young schoolteacher but this ended the romance between them as he couldn't face her after the lye soap farce. Cora Brian Greenhaw was a bit embarrassed about the incident and went to the store and purchased some soap for our family. I can look back now and see that the hard days we had were the making of us. If I hadn't had the hard times at home to season me I could have never withstood the hard times I encountered in college. Many is the time I had to face things without money.