How My Twin and I Helped Win the War
Ron Knott b. 1937
When my twin brother, Roland, nick name Roe, and I were born we lived in the Village of Noble, LA. Noble was a village of about 200 souls in 1937. The town had been much larger around 1900, as several large sawmill companies moved in and logged the thousands of acres of virgin pine timber. They brought in hundreds of Spanish families from Mexico for the hard labor. After the large sawmills cut all the timber and moved on, the Spanish stayed on at Sabine River about 10 miles west of Noble, so there were a lot of Spanish in our school.
During the time of the big mills, Noble was one of the largest cities in Sabine Parish. Noble had a bank, drug store, two big saw mills, and a big commissary. By the time we were born, though, all industry had left Noble and it had only three small grocery stores and a post office. Noble was a sleepy bedroom community. They did have a high school.
I was told that we lived in the Cox house at the time of my birth. It was a rental place with no central heat or air condition. My dad bought what was the office from the large timber company and that became our home. I saw the check years later that he paid $700 for the building. It was only about 1200 s/f. They were able to make three bedrooms out of this small office. Granny had one bedroom, Aunt Maggie and Onnie, her son, had a bedroom, and Momma, Dad, Roe, and I had the other.I don’t remember it being so, but I am sure we were very crowded. They made a kitchen out of a couple of joining closets. No bathroom. We used a wash tub out near the well to take a bath. I still remember that cold water.
The house did have a large front porch with two big swings that were good for cooling down in the evening. Also, my mother would swing us and sing Christian songs until we went to sleep at night. I still remember those sweet soothing songs.
NO SEWER/RUNNING WATER
The Village of Noble had no sewer or water system. Our “out-house” was about 150 feet behind the main house and it sure was dark and cold making that necessary journey in the winter time. My grandmother used a ‘slop-jar’ in her room during the night an emptied it early in the morning. A ‘slop-jar’ was a big mouth bucket that fit her rear for late night disposal. We had to draw all our water from a hand dug well. It was about 20 feet deep and supplied plenty of water in the rainy season. During the hot summer months, we sometimes could only draw muddy water.
Noble had no hospital and our nearest doctor was seven miles north in the village of Converse, LA. My mother used Dr. Murdock there for all her needs. They did not have the fancy machines back then, so they had no way of knowing a mother was carrying twins. My mother told other women how she thought she was deformed because she was so big. Roland was born and everybody was happy. Then the doctor called Dad about 15 minutes later and said he had another boy (me). Just teasing, the doctor called Dad again and said he had boys all over the delivery room. Dad almost fainted.