Apprehension caused by fear of the unknown had already become a daily pall over the aura of The Muddy. America had been and was fighting a war in a place referred to as Europe (The Orphan had not yet studied geometry and did not know of such places)
with a breed of Germans called Nazis who were led by a paperhanging ogre named Adolf Hitler.
Earlier, amid much crying by The Muddy for fear that The Husband would never return, The Forbidding Giant had mounted a mule and rode off with some brothers and neighbors to “…register for the draft…” because America wanted to know all of the people available to wage this war. The Forbidding Giant returned home
soon for all of the troop together could not find this registration place. Beside, farmers were needed at home to grow food and cotton to feed and clothe people so they were “deferred.”
Suddenly all of the world changed even more than just the changes caused by the war with the crazy Nazi paperhanger – but more dramatically for The Orphan since his life was to soon be uprooted and changed beyond recognition!
On December 7, 1941 (when The Orphan was seven and one half years of age), a mysterious people called “The Japs,” in a sneaky, surprise attack, “…bummed…” a place named Pearl Harbor (which was owned by America), and sunk the US Navy.
The Muddy and The Forbidding Giant hovered around the battery-powered radio (there was no electrical power in that area of Mississippi at that time) to listen as the revered American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt decried the sneak attack and said it was a date that would go down in infamy. This infamy place
sounded to The Orphan like one of those really bad areas that a preacher The Orphan had to visit each Sunday would scream about at the top of his lungs with a beet red face and bugged out eyes. The Orphan knew the Japs were in big trouble – as were the Nazis!
A new relationship now began to exist between The Orphan and The Forbidding Giant and he eventually became The Daddy full time. The Orphan had become old enough to be intrigued by the adventurous Father and now would dog The Daddy’s steps continuously. (The Orphan, since he had completed one grade in school, and
by following the instructions of The Real Granville, now discarded any childishness as he had discarded the stuttering and began to learn the ways of The Daddy.)
Later, sometime after America declared war on The Japs, The Daddy came home from Walnut where he had been stacking lumber for 12 hours for $.75 and told The Muddy,
“…A place outside of Memphis called DuPont near the Naval Base at Millington is hiring people for seventy-five cents an hour to make powder for the big guns to be used to fight the war. We can be rich - because the Walnut lumber yard is still
paying only seventy-cents a day for twelve hours of stacking lumber…”
There was much added apprehension in the air due to the anxiety felt by The Mother because of her continual fear of the unknown. The Daddy was elated because The Daddy was continually in search of adventures.
However, The Daddy assured her that all would be well, borrowed a Ford Model T truck, loaded all of the possessions and all of the people and moved them 80 miles away from the 65-acre cotton farm in Walnut, Mississippi, to 1401 Florida Street in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Orphan was only one of the passengers on this trip from the farm to Memphis. The Mother had added a first “sister” to the lair some four or so years before, and another one about two years later.
In the early days Big Momma named The Muddy’s offspring. Big Momma had named The Orphan Granville Thomas Frazier in remembrance of Uncle Granville Thomas Frazier (an older brother of The Daddy), and Grandfather Tom Frazier who were both killed in a steam plant explosion by being scalded to death.
Big Momma then named the first sister Cynthia Romagene Frazier, a name that was for three aunts: Aunts Cynthia, Roma and Jean. Because we had run out of aunts and Big Momma had gone to whatever heaven was reserved for her, The Muddy was able to pick the names for her next offspring, a second sister she named Mary
The life of The Orphan was to become a continual,
“…since you are The Oldest, you must (fill in the blank) …”
Upon arriving in Memphis, The Orphan was almost instantly transported into a world that had no previously established referents.
There were streets. The streets were paved. The streets were named. The State was Tennessee. The language was different. Water came out of a faucet. Food came from a store. There were sidewalks. There were three different homes in quick succession -- even one in a State called Arkansas -- in less than a year (The
Daddy always searched for adventure and The Mother always went where and when he said).
The Orphan was first enrolled in a grammar school in Memphis called Riverview and found himself a stranger in a strange land with a different language than that spoken by The Orphan.
The Daddy then decided that he wanted to farm as well as make gunpowder at DuPont so the family moved to a farm near West Memphis, Arkansas, where The Orphan was enrolled in a Grammar school named Hulbert for part of one year. The Orphan was in a different strange land. This stay was short lived but led to
adventures with a butting Billy goat, which adventures The Orphan will leave to the imagination of the reader. Suffice it to say, though, the goat was not always victorious.
The Orphan attended four schools during his second year - all of which were disconnected in teaching content and style. The Orphan learned that education could be a whim of a local group of “parents and teachers” as well as the extension of the ego of certain teachers.
This was to be valuable to The Orphan forever as he would never revere authority simply because it had been appointed.