I Remember The Stranger In Our Town

TEXAS FLAGThe following came to us via Maxine Burns of Austin, Texas. We enjoyed it and think you will as well!


A few years after I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on. As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family.

In my young mind, he had a special niche.

My parents were instructors. My mom taught me good from evil, and my dad taught me to obey. But the stranger…he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventure, mystery, and comedy.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history, or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present, and seemed able to predict the future.  He took my family to its first major league baseball game; he made me laugh, and he made me cry.

The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to hear what the stranger had to say. She would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was never allowed in our house, not from us, our friends, or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears, made my dad squirm, and my mother blush.

My dad did’t permit the liberal use of alcohol, but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely) about sex, his comments sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked…and NEVER asked to leave!

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?

We just call him T.V. and he now has a wife that we call Computer. Their first child is Cell Phone, and their second child is I Pod. And recently born is their first grandchild, I Pad.

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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2 Responses to I Remember The Stranger In Our Town

  1. Maxine Burns says:

    Hi Fredda!
    Well, that is an interesting story….”The Stranger Who Came to our Town”. I’ve seen that before in an e-mail. But I’m not sure what is happening here….because that did not come from me.
    I have no idea why that would show that it was sent by me. Hopefully, my e-mail hasn’t been hacked!!! Bummer!!! I need to check this out!

    • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

      Hmmmm…..that is very strange. Usually, a hacker doesn’t send out a tribte to the 1950s! LOL I’m sure I don’t have it, but I think I’ll check my email and see.

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