Lloyd L Chapin (Airtight Lloyd)

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. 

There once 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”.

  One should never forget about the old woman and the snake. Never.  

"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.  

Chapter 1

Why I Am

  In late 1943 my grandfather, Rev. Robert Purser (1899-1950), worked at the Pryor, Oklahoma ammunitions powder plant and sharecropped a farm in Adair, Oklahoma where he was a pastor of the First Baptist Church there. Grandpa Purser was a proud, hard working, man. He was about 5’11” tall and weighed about 200 pounds. He wasn’t fat but very hefty. He had balding brown hair and brown eyes. My grandmother, Cora (1903-1990), was a housewife and had eleven children including my mom who was third born of the eleven. Grandma Purser was a thin woman with a wrinkled face and usually had her eyes pulled together with a frown.  She had brown hair usually worn in some type of a bun, brown eyes, and never wore lipstick or make-up of any kind. She wore long dresses to just below the knees that she made herself from decorative flour sacks.  My mother, born Lois Pearl Purser (1925-2004), was single and only eighteen years old. Mom hated the name Lois Pearl and preferred to be called Jayne or Jaynie and never used Lois except on legal stuff. It was in Adair my mother lost her youngest sister. Her name was Myrtle Alice Purser and she was but only a few months old when she passed away. I would later, at age twelve, build a headstone out of concrete for her grave. Mom was a very good-looking lady with a great body and she liked to show it off. She was tiny, only 5’2” tall and weighed 120 pounds. She had brown eyes, long brown hair and curled it daily. She wore tight blouses to show off her boobs but never revealed any cleavage or skin.

 

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 1943.

 

Sometime 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.

 

Mom 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 life.

 

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.

 

Around May 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 first memory is of my mother rocking me in an old wooden rocker and singing “Amazing Grace”. I was probably two years or so old. About a year later we moved to Coffeyville, Kansas and Clifford went to work for the City Water Department.

 

Chapter 2

Earliest Years

           

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.

  

Chapter 3

 

Elementary School

 

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 Elementary School.

 

Summertime finally arrived. Summer was my favorite time of year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under Construction - To Be Continued

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