Frances (Frankie) Holden

"My Flight to the Superintendent's House"
"Bad Haircut Day"

I do have one story that I'd like to share. Also, my sister, Maxine, got lost on the mountain during one of our picnics there. I'll see if she'll register and share that story.

When I was in Bonny Oaks (about 1944-1949) from 6 years old to eleven, we frequently got our haircuts in the basement of the Little Boy's Building. You know the kind of haircut, shingled up the back with 2 twigs of hair on the sides.

Well, this one particular time I was standing outside the Little Girl's Building sobbing my eyes out over this atrocious haircut (at least it was to me), when Miss Margaret (I think she was the matron of the Big Girl's Building at the time) stuck her head out the window and told me that if I didn't stop crying, she would have Miss Hazel (matron of Little Girl's Building) cut my hair some more.

Well, the tears were coming hot and heavy, impossible to stop, so Miss Margaret sent me to Miss Hazel.  When I got to Miss Hazel's room, there she sat, with comb and scissors in hand. All it took was her act of standing and that was my cue to run for my life, and to save what little hair I had left.

I bolted out the door, flew down the stairs, and headed down the road for who knew where.  I had no idea where I was going, but I saw a gang (surely it had to be a mob) chasing me and I picked up speed.  I hesitated for about a minute, wondering if I should just give myself up. However, thinking about myself being bald gave me the impetus to keep running.  I headed for the Little Boy's Building, where I knew there were still other kids waiting for haircuts, and sought out the one person I knew who might run away with me.  Of course, I was in a hurry and didn't have time to explain my emergency, so I waived that option and bolted out the door again. I'm sure those kids standing there were dumbfounded and wondering what the heck was going on.

So from there, I headed to the only place left where I might seek refuge--the Superintendent's House.  Still crying, and scared to death, I started banging on the door.  Miss Lindsay came out on the balcony and wanted to know what was wrong.  "THEY'RE GOING TO CUT MY HAIR!", I wailed.  She told me to wait, she would be right down.  While waiting, I looked behind me and saw my sister and another girl delivering clean linens.  They looked surprised and puzzled.

Miss Lindsay opened the door and showed me into Mr. Lindsay's office.  I was too desperate to be intimidated.  I sat in the biggest chair I had ever seen, facing the Big Man. I sobbed out my story of how they were going to cut all my hair off.  He promised that he wouldn't let them do that.  I then mentioned my fear of getting a spanking, and he promised that he wouldn't let them do that either.

He drove me back to the building and I heard him telling Miss Hazel that they were NOT to cut my hair OR give me a spanking.

He was truly MY HERO.


I remember us Little Girls were sometimes taken swimming at what was probably not much more than a mud hole, Duncan's Creek.  The water was actually brown and no telling what was on the bottom.  But to us kids, it was a glorious place.  I can see us now, laughing and having the time of our lives.  I don't think any of us really knew how to swim but we would take a running jump and dive right in; we were so daring then.

"Best Friend"

My best friend was Nancy Driggans and we enjoyed singing together.  Sometimes during church services, she and I would get called up front to sing.  Our big number was "I Have a Little Light and I'm Going to Let It Shine".

Nancy had a big sister, Lucy, and I think she had a couple of brothers there.

"My Sister's Bible Verses"

Every Sunday, we had an assignment to memorize a Bible verse and be able to stand up in church and recite it.  So during the week we would all scan through the Bible looking for the shortest verses we could find.  My sister, Maxine, did even better than that though...she made them up.  Here's one of her classics:

"And the Lord said, Let's Go Fishing, Men, And I'll Make You Fishers of Men."

I'll never understand how she got away with it, but no one ever questioned her about them.  I can only think that the preacher didn't want to admit he had never heard that one before.

"The Blanket Toss"

As most of you all may remember, back in the 40's we didn't have computers, video games, or even television, so we had to be rather creative when it came to entertainment.

One of the games we played back then was the "blanket toss".  A bunch of girls would surround the blanket with a firm grip on the edge (hopefully), and one girl (I think this time it was Dixie Kesselberg), would lie down in the center of the blanket.

The object was for everyone to lift at the same time and toss the girl in the blanket into the air.  Well, everything was going as planned until one of the girls lost her grip while Dixie was in mid-air on the way down. Unfortunately, this caused everyone else to lose their grip and balance, so Dixie came crashing down to the ground.  Well, I reckon the only one who didn't see the humor in this was Dixie.  She wound up with a broken leg.  Hey, accidents happen!

Speaking of Dixie, she once received a fantastic gift...a small guitar.  Now, you can just imagine the sound emanating from someone who had never even seen a real guitar and knew nothing about chording.

One song I remember Dixie singing was Frog Went a Courtin'. This was the only song I had ever heard that was sung in just one note.  No ups, no downs.  I think the whole song was sung in b-flat, but to us girls, it was music.

To Dixie: As you can see, some of us still remember you and wherever you are, I
hope you have been blessed!


Every year there would be an Easter egg hunt on the grounds of the Superintendent’s Building, and a prize would be given to the one who found the most eggs. Now I swear that the bag they gave me was 4 feet deep and just as wide; it was enormous. Surely, if I had spoken into it, there would have been an echo!  I thought they expected me to fill that bag!

When the time came to start the hunt, kids started running everywhere and in every direction; I was confused. It seems that every time I saw an egg peeking out, some kid would come from nowhere and grab it. I didn’t know where to start or in which direction to head, so I think I just stood in one spot most of the time. I finally wound up with four eggs…four magical eggs that were all mine!  At least they were mine for about 2 minutes. My oldest sister, Rosene, came up and asked how many I had, then asked if she could have two of them. Of course, I said yes.

Well, the time finally came for everyone to tally up their findings. Needless to say, I didn’t spend a lot of time doing that.  The crowd gathered around the steps of the superintendent’s building with great anticipation. Mr. Lindsay looked down at me and asked how many eggs I had. I looked in the bag for confirmation and said, “I had four, but I gave my sister two.”

He looked out at the crowd and said, “Folks, how about if we give this little lady a prize for having the LEAST amount of eggs?” Everyone applauded. Mr. Lindsay then handed me the grandest prize I had ever seen…. a little tea set!

The Real Santa's

When I was at Bonny Oaks, the women at the phone company used to donate Christmas gifts for the kids.  I didn't know that for a looong time.  I always thought they were from Santa.

I think they should be remembered for doing this!