Lloyd L Chapin (Airtight
Getting old SUCKS.
Thinking I need to write this before I'm not here anymore.
I've done a LOT of different things in my life and this is my recollections of my journey.
I am writing this mainly for my four beautiful daughters.
Crystal Dawn Chapin
Sunna L'Annette Clark
Samantha Y'Vette Chapin-Brodsky
Constance Michelle Chapin
First, let me tell you a story about the old woman and the snake. I was told this story by a Den Mother of a Cub Scouts Wolf Pack I belonged to in 1951. I heard this story again in 1979 from a biker with a sidecar.
was an old woman walking in the forest. While
walking the trail in the middle of her path was a deadly rattlesnake.
The snake was dying and the woman began walking around the serpent.
As the woman safely passed, the snake asked her “Please, please help
me. I’m dying”. The old woman said, “No, I cannot help you. If I pick you
up you’ll bite me and I will die”. The snake replied, “I will not bite you. If you take care
of me and nurse me back to health, I will be your friend for life and protect
you forever. The old woman picked up the rattlesnake and took it home with her.
She nursed it, fed it, and nourished it back to full health. Life was good and
they went everywhere together. One
day she was carrying her snake and they were walking through the forest and the
snake bit her. The old woman fell to the ground in excruciating pain and the
snake bit her again, again, and again. As
the old woman lay there dying she asked the snake “Why? Why did you bite me?
You said you would be my friend. You said you would not bite me. You said you
would protect me forever.” And the snake replied,
“You knew I was a snake when you picked me up”.
"Be it known"
I am NOT politically correct in most anything I say or do. If you know me you know I have always spoke my mind and I hold no punches. Sometimes I shoot from the hip and wish I had handled things a little more gracefully. There will be things in print here some will like, and some will hate. But it is all true and needs to be told, at least for the sake of children and my peace of mind. Some will have their feelings hurt and others will be mad as hell and embarrassed.
My “one day
to be” father, Leonard Leroy “Bud” Chapin (1919-2004) worked at the
gunpowder plant also. My father was good looking too. He had brown eyes and
thinning light-brown hair. He was 5’11” tall and weighed about 175 pounds.
He and my mother met at a drugstore soda fountain in Pryor, OK in 1943. Since
Leonard only had one arm he wasn’t required to go to war. WWII was in progress
at this time. He had lost his left arm when he was sixteen years old while
driving a car with his arm and elbow resting on the driver’s side window sill.
He had been drinking and sideswiped a concrete bridge near Ponca City, Oklahoma
losing all but a four-inch stub hanging from his shoulder.
Leonard’s father, Gordie Chapin and his mother Lola lived near Shidler,
Oklahoma where grandpa Chapin took care of an oil lease.
Anyways, the “love affair” between my mother and father began in late
during early spring of 1944 my grandpa Purser, still a First Baptist preacher
and sharecropper moved to a farm near Norman, Oklahoma. I was born August 12,
that year at 7:30 in the morning on a kitchen table at that farm. I was born a
bastard and not for certain I even had a name yet.
I was only a
few days old when my grandmother, who I shall call Cora from here after, called
to my mom, “Jaynie, grab your baby and come here”. Cora had brought someone
from the “welfare department” there to take me away. I was to be put up for
adoption, as no “Bastard” would be allowed to live in the Purser household.
wouldn’t let them take me away. She grabbed me up and went to the fields to
see her dad. She loved her dad very much and he was always on Mom’s side
during constant conflicts between Cora and Mom.
Grandpa Purser gave Mom bus fare to return to Pryor to meet with my dad
Leonard. Upon meeting with Leonard and after him seeing me for the first time,
he revealed to her that he was married to a woman in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. Fearing
repercussions of having to pay child support and having to face his wife with
this news, he fled to California, which was a “safe haven” for such types
back in those days. Mom never saw Leonard face to face again for the rest of her
It is early
1945. I think I had a first and second name by this time. I was called Lloyd
LeRoy. Leonard’s middle name was Leroy but Mom had capitalized the “R” in
my name. She began calling me LeRoy.
1945 the war had ended and Mom met a U.S. Army war veteran named Clifford R.
Jones in Claremore, Oklahoma. Clifford
and his brother Casey lived in Chelsea, Oklahoma. Clifford had been a prisoner
of war and held by the Germans at Stalag 4B in Mulberg, Germany. Cliff was
considerably older than Mom. He had solid white hair and was about 9 years her
elder. He was born in the year 1916. Mom explained to me in later years that she
never had fallen in love with Cliff but she needed a place to live and someone
to help support her child and Clifford seemed willing.
So Mom and Cliff married and during August 1945 he adopted me and gave me
the last name Jones. So there I was, Lloyd LeRoy Jones.
My next memory is of me dancing for
my uncle Earl Purser with Mom and what I thought was my real father Cliff,
watching. I think I was about three years old so it would’ve been about 1947
or 48. I would swing my leg up real high as the “ragtime” music would ooze
from an old wooden radio. In the kitchen there was an icebox that had a large
block of ice about a square foot big in it. There was a quart of milk in a heavy
glass bottle with a paper lid on it that was left by the milkman once or twice a
week. I hated the taste of milk but
I could tolerate it with cereal or oatmeal if it had lots of sugar on it.
My step dad got me a tan colored,
shorthaired, long-tailed, mongrel puppy during this time of my life and I was
just crazy about dogs. I couldn’t have been happier. My mother named him
Ginger. Ginger grew fast and was soon as big as me. I think I was about four
then. We played together almost all the time because I can’t remember there
being many toys. He was very protective of me and followed me everywhere.
Sometime during 1949 Ginger began growling at people and biting them if he
thought I was being threatened. Soon he became chained to the doghouse because
we had no fence. Ginger couldn’t run and play freely with me anymore.
I remember he barked a lot because he hated to be chained.
One morning after waking from sleep I went outside to see my pal. He was
gone. There was a chain with an empty collar. I was told he must have run away
but I knew better. I was heartbroken because I knew he would never return.
To pacify my want for another dog,
Mom bought me a colored baby Easter chick. It was kind of cool at first but
nothing like having a dog. The chick soon became a chicken and was sort of “a
pet”. Mom didn’t let the
chicken in the house anymore but it would still try to come in. I remember it
getting caught in the screen door one day and from that moment on we called him
“Old Crip”. He hobbled
everywhere he went. One day “Old Crip” disappeared and no one knew where he
went. But I do remember having fried chicken for supper that evening. I didn’t
love that chicken though so it didn’t bother me.
I miss my dog.
We lived in a small three-room wood
frame rent house on the eastern outskirts of Coffeyville and across the field to
the south lived a family with a boy about the same age as me. They had a bitch
dog that had puppies and Mom would let me go over there and play with them but I
couldn’t have one for my own. Soon the puppies grew and they were all given
away. About a half-mile on farther
east of our house was Forest Park and they had slipper-slides, merry-go-rounds,
swings, and monkey bars. That was a very neat place to go and Mom and I would
walk there often. We walked everywhere. Neither Mom nor my dad owned or drove a
car. It was about a two-mile walk to downtown Coffeyville but walking is all we
knew and we didn’t mind. Dad walked one and a half miles to work and one and a
half miles back home five days a week.
August 12th came and I
got some pretty neat toys this year. I got a red cowboy hat and a lever action
rifle that shot a cork. I also got a western style cap pistol and holster. I was
five years old.
September came and I was enrolled
for my first year of school. I went to kindergarten at Lowell Elementary School.
It was just a little over a mile from our house. Mom walked me to school the
first two or three days and she was there to walk me home. After that I walked
to school and back by myself. There
were no school buses in Coffeyville, Kansas in 1949. Many days I remember
walking home from school and watching the new Saber fighter jets flying in the
sky. Jet airplanes were kind of new back then. Especially in Kansas. Then while
walking home one day, a kid threw a big stick and it hit me in the face. I went
home with my first black eye. Mom was furious.
So we moved from the east side of town to the north side. Now we lived in
a rent house only about four blocks from Whittier Elementary School. This house
was a wee bit bigger than the last one and had a better back yard to play in.
Winter came and Mom took me to see
Grandpa and Grandma Purser during Christmas vacation. Dad stayed at home. I
remember riding in a real long train all the way from Coffeyville to somewhere
in Oklahoma. The train was so long
I could see the smoke coming from the smokestack on the black engine and the
coal car right behind as it rounded the bend.
Christmas 1949 was the first memory
I have of seeing any relatives other than Uncle Earl. Ever. I don’t remember
where Mom went on Christmas day that year but I remember waking at Grandma
Cora’s house and there was a huge Christmas tree. There were presents all over
the place. My cousins Billy, Kenny and Bodiddle were there. As were my uncle
Wayne, aunt Vivian, uncle Paul and his children, uncle Earl, uncle Dale (Pee
Wee), aunt Betty Dean, and uncle Joe. Joe
was my mom’s youngest brother. He was only one year older than me and he was
my favorite. Cora began passing out presents to everybody. Lots of them. Except,
there were no presents for me. I didn’t really know these people and was
mostly withdrawn and keeping to myself. Later
Cora was in the kitchen fixing breakfast for everybody. All my aunts, uncles,
and cousins were still in the big room with the Christmas tree. I don’t know
where grandpa or my mom was. As I walked into the kitchen Cora snatched me aside
and said to me, “Do you know why you didn’t get anything for Christmas?”
“No” I replied. “Because bastards do not get presents,” she said.
I was only five years old and had no idea what a bastard was.
The day after Christmas, Mom showed
up and told me that we were having our Christmas when we got back home. I asked
her what a bastard was. I got no answer but I knew it made her mad as hell. Mom
told me she was going to have a private talk with Cora. It really wasn’t all
that private because I could hear them yelling and screaming at each other. To
my knowledge, that was the last time my mom ever spoke to grandma Cora. We left
Oklahoma that day, on a Greyhound bus.
I finished kindergarten at Whittier
Summertime finally arrived. Summer
was my favorite time of year.
Under Construction - To Be Continued