(Note: Max wrote this in 1981 on the occasion of the 59th birthday of Teresa Jeanne Poteete Liesch. Each of Jeanne's brothers and sisters also wrote a series of anecdotes about Jeanne and growing up at 201 McCord.)

Unlawful Excursions to the Abbott's

(Unauthorized for the Smaller Children)


Max Poteete 

The Abbott's seemed to have a fascination to Jeanne and Carol. Their house had never been placed on a foundation. It had been moved there in two stages and the gap between the front and the back had never been closed.

It was such fun to go there because they were so totally different in speech and habits from our mother. They trapped coyotes, raccoons and skunks. They would skin the animals at home and just throw the carcasses in the back of the yard. It really smelled. Mother went several times to switch "the little ones" – home. Ruth was too aloof to go, Lucille was too old and Peggy didn't respond to the earthiness of it all.

Old man Abbott always had a big lump in his cheek caused from Beechnut Chewing Tobacco. Mrs. Abbott was walleyed and when she talked to you, you couldn't tell where she was looking. She was a big woman, all corseted up. Bill Abbott didn't swear - - profanity was just part of his conversational style. He always had a three-day stubble, and that lump, and he'd tell yarns and spit.

He had an old horse he didn't feed or water. He'd chain the horse along the side of the road to eat grass but ever so often the horse would get loose and feast on Dad's corn and alfalfa and Dad would get so mad and blustery. Then they'd come to get the horse and Dad would sputter, and they'd lead the horse home.

Another neighbor was Mrs. Thomas whose husband had left her and the two boys, Milton and Stewart. Stewart was a confirmed drunk and a sign painter. Mother would shake her head and sell them milk for 10 cents a quart, but poor Mrs. Thomas never had the money to pay for it.

All in all, it was a colorful neighborhood, and a wonderful place to grow up!