and thanks for dropping by.
My name is Norris Chambers. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to my Old Timers Tales web site. With the help of Texasconnection.com I am able to offer this web site to you. Here you will find a brief history of my background, family and whatever else might have contributed to the tales and philosophies of a real OLD TIMER.
I was born September 6, 1917 in Brown County, Texas on a 160 acre tract called the Old Rushing Place. It had been homesteaded many years ago by a man by the name of Rushing. He sold it to my grandfather for $6.00 an acre in 1893. That was the same year my father graduated from Medical College in Chattanooga, Tennessee and came to Texas to begin practicing medicine. In the mid teens, my mother and father moved to the Rushing place and he began farming. I had an older brother and a sister who grew up and left home about the time I was born. My brothers oldest son, Clifton, was actually four months older than I was. We were raised almost as brothers, and spent our early years together, along with his five other brothers, as they came along.
In 1925 I attended Cross Cut school during my first school year, staying with my brother during the week. I did this because we lived so far from the school. The second year, I rode a horse to a little country school about six miles in the opposite direction. The next year I went back to my brothers house in Cross Cut. The next four years I stayed with my sister during the school term. She had gone to college and was teaching first grade at Cross Cut.
In 1931 I was ready for high school. There was still no bus service into our area, so I rode a horse to the end of the bus line the first two years in high school. The other years a bus came to our house. I graduated in 1935 in a class of about 10.
I went to school in the winter and worked on the farm in the summer. My brother owned a garage in Cross Cut and lived a mile east of town.
After graduation, I took advantage of a scholarship I had received from Brantley Draughon College in Fort Worth. I attended school while working at various boarding houses and cafes. While there I learned radio servicing as well as shorthand, bookkeeping, etc. I didnt have to take typing because I could already type well enough to graduate. After finishing the schooling, I returned to the Rushing place and continued to help Papa on the farm. We raised calves for the market as wells as hogs, chickens, etc. We didnt make much money, but had plenty to eat.
After returning in 1936, I built a radio shop near the house and did radio repairing as the need arose. I also did part time work on oil leases and got a full time job for about a year with an oil company in the area. I worked in the construction of the irrigation system from Lake Brownwood at the staggering wage of 25 cents an hour. I also worked on the WPA for a time, earning the whole sum of $15 a month. During 1937 and 1938 Clifton and I found time to do a little wandering around and found employment in some areas. I worked for W. Lee ODaniel at Eagle Pass for awhile before he became governor of the state.
In 1937 I met Ella Moselle Sudderth who lived ten miles east of us in the May community. We had a happy courtship until she graduated from school in 1939. We were married less than a week later. We lived with my parents on the Rushing place where I continued to do some radio repairing and some farming. I got a short job now and then in the oil field. In 1940 I worked in Brownwood in the construction of Camp Bowie and we moved to town. Shortly after that job, I got a job at San Antonio Air Depot as a clerk in the administration office. I later transferred to the shop where I was employed as an aircraft electrician. Our first child, Ella Dianna, was born there in Sept. of 1941. In 1943 I quit civil service and we moved to Grand Prairie, where I worked at North American Aviation, building B-24 bombers. We bought a new house in Grand Prairie and lived there about a year. Our second daughter, Patricia was born in the Spring of 1944. Shortly thereafter I was drafted and joined the Maritime Service, taking my basic training on Catalina Island, off the coast from Los Angeles. We sold our house in Grand Prairie and Ella and the girls moved back to Cross Cut, where Papa and Mama had bought a house. The Rushing place was vacant.
I went to New York after basic training and finished training for Radio Operator at Hoffman Island. I received a radio telegraph license from the FCC and later an Amateur Radio license and a radio telephone first class license. Just before I was to take my first voyage, the war was over and I returned to Cross Cut.
In October of 1945 we moved to Dallas and I worked for awhile for Otis Elevators, then I opened a radio shop in Grand Prairie and we bought another house. After about a year, we sold the shop and house and moved to Brownwood where we built a house and opened another radio shop. In the summer of 1947 I was offered a job at Consolidated-Vultee in Fort Worth, and we moved to White Settlement, where we have lived over 50 years in the same house.
At the plant, I worked for eight years as a Field and Service Electrician, then in the Flight Test Research and Development area until I retired in 1974.
In 1955 our third daughter, Veronica, was born and Roger, or youngest, came along about two years later. We had at least one child in the White Settlement school system for 26 years. I served 13 years on the school board and Ella spent many years as a PTA officer and president and a leader for Girl Scouts, Bluebirds, Cub Scouts, etc. In the late 1960s she worked for Monnigs Department Store in Fort Worth.
From 1947 to 1975 I had Radio and TV repair shops that I operated on the side with the help of Ella and a few hired hands. I had three at one time. I also tried several mail order businesses, wrote a few stories and made rubber stamps and did printing. We managed to stay busy. We found time for the activities of the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star as well as the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs.
I retired in 1974 and we built a cabin on Lake Granbury. Ella retired in 1976 and we worked with bluegrass clubs until 1982, during which time we printed a bluegrass magazine every month. We attended shows and festivals and met many interesting performers and fans. I operated my printing shop until 1994, and still do a printing job occasionally. In 1991 the White Settlement Historical Society established a museum next door to our home. We have spent many hours there preserving the history of our community.
All of our children attended college and obtained degrees. One is a lawyer, one a school teacher, one worked in hospitals as a lab technologist and one has worked in several fields and is presently employed as an office manager. We have five grandchildren and three great grand children.
We still live in the same old house and are active in the Chamber of Commerce, Historical Society, fraternal organizations and senior activities. There are many details that I do not have room to include in this introduction. That is why I am writing the Old Timers Tales. Through them I can relate in considerable detail some of the experiences of a long and fulfilling life.
Thanks for listening, and I hope to see you again and again as the stories are told.
Back to my Home Page