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William Eugene (Billy) Jarvis—4 1/2 months
(Below is mother’s poignant story handwritten on the back of this picture)

“Dress worn by Georgia, Bill and Phyllis. Mother made it by hand—handmade lace bought along with the organdy. A bit later daddy bought a second-hand Singer sewing machine for $35 which I used until late 1930s then was allowed $35 on purchase of new electronic $200 domestic from Gurley’s Appliance. Made all of Georgia’s clothes, school costumes etc. and some for their girlfriends who wanted dresses just like Georgia’s. Also made Phyllis’ clothes through high school and a suit and some dresses for her to wear at college (Norman) we still have machine - still working.”



Childhood and Technology

Childhood means survival; there is no doubt that there is some angel who watches over little children and drunks. In my case the angel had help from “technology.” Here is an account told in my father’s own words about Little Billy’s close call.

“One day, when you were about two years old, I took you for a walk to the little neighborhood grocery store which was just below the senior high school on Fourth Street. This was a busy street even in those days because it followed the route of U.S. Highway 66 through Sayre.

“When we were about to cross the street on our return home, I paused for a few minutes. I don’t remember why I paused, but I will remember the rest of my life that, acting on some unaccountable impulse, you suddenly darted out into the street. I can still see you moving directly into the path of an automobile. At that moment I said to myself, ‘Well, there goes Billy.’ It was a sickening feeling. There was nothing I could do, and it would soon be all over.

“Suddenly, almost miraculously, the car stopped just inches before hitting you. Once I had picked you up, I reassured the flustered motorist, telling him what a good driver he was to be able to stop so quickly. He replied that it was a new car, only two weeks old, and that it had four-wheel brakes.”

In recounting the story, Daddy said, “If you look at the automobile record, you will find that four-wheel brakes were introduced for the first time that year, 1927, and this motorist must have been among the very first to get that new technology.”

Daddy had mixed feelings about the incident. While he decrees that a parent should always firmly hold the hand of a young child, he is eternally thankful for the four-wheel brakes which saved my life.


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