The Old House in Lockney

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My aunt shared with me this portrait of my great-grandparents’ home in Lockney, Texas. (Click for a larger image.)

The watercolor was painted by Ted Bell in July 1977. My great-grandparents, Herman Cunningham and Annie Jennings Cunningham, bought this house in 1936 and lived in it until they both passed away in the 1980’s.

This painting of the house is exactly like I remember it. The windmill was one of our favorite playgrounds. We used to climb it, which was probably dangerous. You can see a tree between the house and what I think was a small barn or shed. There was a knothole in that tree. My great-grandfather used to whittle and carve out of nut seeds and fruit pits—little owls, little baskets. He had hidden one of his owls in the knothole of that tree. He called me over to show it to me, and I remember being filled with wonder. I also remember feeling very special. I didn’t see my great-grandparents much, and when I did, it seemed there were always so many people that a moment of attention from my great-grandfather, whom we called Pa Pa,  felt very special.

The tree in the front of the house near the road had low-hanging branches that were perfect for climbing.

The barn had brand new kittens inside it, and the whole farm was littered with Pa Pa’s Prince Albert Tobacco cans.

It was amazing to be able to see it again in this watercolor. I’m so glad it exists.

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9 thoughts on “The Old House in Lockney”

  1. I spent many hours in one of those trees in front of the house. I remember one summer I did needlepoint from the tree. I lived across the road from this house the first 5 (about) years of my life.

  2. My grandfather used to whittle animals out of peach pits–monkeys mostly. I tried it when I was a boy, but the pits seemed too hard. When I asked my granddad how to do it, he said anybody could whittle, you just needed a sharp knife and persistence.

  3. I was in a water color class with Ted Bell years ago and I purchased a painting that he did in the class. It is still stapled to the board he used to paint on. Would like to know more about him and his works. If you could give me more information on him I would appreciate it. Thank you
    Larry

    1. Hello. Ted Bell gave my parents a water color he painted when they were in a revival in his church many years ago. Just this week I began researching him and finally found information connected with Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas, where Ted’s family and friends have set up a memorial art scholarship fund in his honor. If you go to the university’s site and search his name, you will find information on Ted who passed away suddenly in 1978.

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