Published on September 7, 2021

How our paths at different times crossed at house in Richwood

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

Mark Twain, the ordinary man’s sage, said that truth is stranger than fiction. He clarified that by stating fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities…truth isn’t.

The occurrence of stranger-than-fiction events in our lives often has us scratching our heads.

There have been several such events in my life, but none “stranger” than what began on a sunny afternoon drive down FM 2004 in 1989.

We were in our 40s and newly married. This was not our first rodeo, as the saying goes, and trying to build a foundation of shared memories comes harder the second time around.

First marriages are easier in that respect because you’re young, bewildered, and experiencing things for the first time. The second time around is more like the old Avis rental car commercial catch phrase, “We try harder.”

As we were passing the entrance to Glenwood Bayou in Richwood, I casually said that I once lived in Richwood, to which he responded that he had as well. Well, how about that - a shared memory! My interest was peaked, and I said that I had owned a house there in the 1960s. He said he had owned a house there in the 1980s. My inclination for interrogation was peaked, and I said that I had lived on Hollyhock.

With a head motion akin to a bobble head, he said he had also lived on Hollyhock. With the inkling that my hair was getting ready to stand on end, I recited the exact address. With a look straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, he said that was the exact same house.

The air seemed electrically charged as we pondered the fact that we had walked the same floors, ate in the same kitchen and slept in the same bedroom, although second-time- arounders try not to think about previous sleeping arrangements!

We turned and drove by the house and pondered how the destiny of our lives had crossed without our even knowing it. My first child was six months old in 1967 when we bought the house, and he had a six-year-old in 1981 when he bought it.

I asked if the built-in oven was still turquoise and the bathroom tile yellow with turquoise tub and toilet when he lived there. It was.

As we sat in the car staring at the house, we marveled that truth really is stranger than fiction.
We drove away from the house with a shared memory, howbeit strange, to build upon. Years passed; grandkids came along with retirement.

Our bucket list of things we were going to do after retirement, like travel, go to bible school, and minister wherever the Lord opened a door, were checked off our lists.

We finally made our way back home to Brazoria County and to the kind of friends whom you can pick right up with where you had left off 10 years previously.

Most of them attend the Tuesday morning Bible study class at The Gathering church in West Columbia, and we stepped right back into the comfort of studying the word of God and Southern hospitality.

Our bible study group is co-ed and like us, most have enough gray hair to keep Clairol financially solvent for years to come. Occasionally people not old enough to possess an AARP card come, but for the most part, the attendees are more familiar with Andy Taylor than Taylor Swift.

Since we knew about half of the group, we set out immediately to make the new faces old friends.

We were drawn to a couple, Bill and Alberta Teague, who have the most welcoming smiles. Alberta and I found we shared a common love - cooking - but that’s not all we found that we shared.

You see, Bill and Alberta live in the same house in Richwood that I lived in, and later my husband. You can’t make this stuff up!

Alberta’s Banana Nut Bread

½ Cup Butter
1 ½ Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Cups Flour
3 Large Ripe Bananas, mashed
4 Tablespoons Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Pecans or Walnuts, chopped

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, milk, and vanilla; mix well. Stir the mashed bananas into the creamed mixture. In another bowl, sift flour, soda and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture. Add the nuts and mix well. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 325° for 1 hour then cover the top with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes more.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)