Confessions Of A Crazy Fox is my memoir that spans most of the 20th century. It is an unusual Texas based story that has almost all the quirks usually associated with our great state, drama, scandal, greed, oil, religion, and humor. This is an brief excerpt that involves stories my mother used to tell. She took the job with Howard Hughes’ aunt in Houston Texas in 1930 to help save the family cotton farm at the beginning of the Great Depression.
“Mother went to Houston in 1930 and lived one of her favorite adventures working four years as a nanny for Dr. and Mrs. Frederick Rice Lummis; they had three children. Annette Lummis was Howard Hughes’ Aunt; she was his mother’s younger sister. Mother loved to tell stories about how the “rich” lived and Howard. They had an interesting relationship and mother probably told me more about it than she did anyone. That is because I quizzed her about it.
Mother, barely seventeen, found herself living in a strange and enchanting new world of opulence she never knew existed until she became a part of it. She always spoke in awe and appreciation of those years; they affected mom the rest of her life in a positive way.
Mother told me these “Depression era” stories over many years and I’ll relate what I remember. There are gobs of stories of Howard Hughes in print and a few I’ve read document what mother told me, but some of the things I’ve never heard from any other source. Mother saw Howard Hughes on a number of occasions when he came to Houston and stayed or visited with his Aunt. Mother said he was still close to her at the time because she moved into his family home and helped take care of him after his parents both died by the time he was 17. He was in his latter twenties at the time mamma met him and she said it was apparent he was already a strange dude, but she evidently liked his attention.
Mom said Howard mystified her as he did a lot of people, including his relatives. She said he was good-looking, very tall, and always friendly to her and the housekeeping staff. Howard’s cook traveled with him and he usually ate in the kitchen with the servant’s, right out of the pots the cook prepared his food in. Mom said Howard especially loved crème peas and seemed more at ease with the housekeeping staff than he did with his relatives. She felt that interaction was always too formal and polite. Mother realized later the reason Howard would eat out of the cook pots with the stirring spoon—he probably didn’t trust his aunt’s or anyone else’s dishes and silver was germ free.”
Mother and Mrs. Lummis remained friends for over 40 years. I last saw saw her in Hermann Hospital in Houston in 1972. Dad had to have a hip transplant and Annette Lummis came to visit, she was in her 80′s by then.
Confessions Of A Crazy Fox is available at: http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Crazy-Maria-Kolojaco-Mullins/dp/0984639284/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317649928&sr=1-1#