I had not meant to write so much about the Matneys, but it kind of got away from me. So here is some family stuff.
I had expected Friday to be a quiet day with no big plans. I wanted to spend some time at home getting a few things done and maybe go visit my friend Charlisa who has been down in her back. But at 7 AM my mother called to tell me that my great uncle Dub’s memorial service was to be held that morning in Tipton, OK, which is about two hours away from Duncan. Yikes! I had to jump through some hoops and get on the road. Mom and I had known that Uncle Dub had died, but my great aunt Mildred was suppose to have called with the details. She never called my mom with the memorial plans, although she claims she did. It is so typical "Aunt Mildred" that it was really kind of funny.
I have posted about the Matney side of the family in the past, but not much. We tease about the Matneys being loud and rambunctious, prone to exaggerate and a bit competitive. My grandmother, Essie Mae, was the second oldest child of ten children born to William and Lula Matney. William was part Indian and Lula was German. Together they made three beautiful daughters and seven handsome athletic sons with dark wavy hair and blue eyes. The Matney boys were quite popular in west Texas and southern OK with their good looks and amazing athletic ability. Several of my great uncles played college football and professional baseball. Several of them became coaches. Several uncles served in WWII and were heroes.
Yep, them Matney boys could play some ball – whatever sport you named, they could do it. The story goes that there was some famous OK football coach who was being interviewed. When asked who was the best athlete he had ever coached (with expectations of some famous football player as the answer), the coach replied, "Homer Matney."
Out of the ten Matney children, three were still surviving and living in this area when we moved back. With Uncle Dub’s death, there is only two Matneys of that generation left. Being a close family, I know that is hard on my Uncle Homer and Aunt Mildred, both of whom are in their 80’s. My mother is only a few years younger than her aunt and uncles. She and Aunt Mildred are more like sisters. Aunt Mildred's first words to me when she saw me at the funeral were, "Why Lou, you sure have aged." I just hugged her and said, "Aunt Mildred, it is always a pleasure to see you."
There used to be lots of Matney reunions, because family was important, and the Matneys always seemed to really enjoy each other. There was a passel of first cousins at the Matney family reunions, and they were loud and fun. Although my mother is actually a first cousin, my brother and I were just old enough to hang with the younger first cousins. When I was little, I wanted to marry a Matney because I thought they were so handsome, and they always seemed to be laughing, hunting, fishing playing ball, etc. Many of the cousins inherited the Matney athletic ability and played sports – two cousins making it to professional baseball. Both my brothers inherited the athletic ability and are still amazing at any sport. After that first generation, none of the cousins was big enough for college or pro football. I guess God decided that would just be too much in one package.
It was good to see the Matneys again even if it had to be at Uncle Dub’s memorial service. He had two daughters just younger than me whom I used to play with, but we have grown apart. He had several grandsons whom he loved to watch play sports. His daughter Debbie said it best, "If you want to talk to my dad, you have to know two things. You have to know football. And you have to know his grandchildren walk on water.