Frankly Speaking ...

Of Texas in 1940 & one

by Charles Chupp



Book Details

Language :
Publication Date : 5/2/2008

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 156
ISBN : 9781436331654
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 156
ISBN : 9781436331661

About the Book

     Hugh Chupp and Thelma Brownlee tied the nuptial knot on May 30th, 1925 at De Leon in Comanche County Texas. Hugh was 26 years old, an eighth grade graduate, a bronc buster and a horse trainer. Thelma was 17, a junior at De Leon High School and had an ambition to be a glamorous flapper. That was the extent of their schooling, but the subsequent sixteen years would provide education.
     Rumors that their wedding was of the shotgun variety were proven baseless when their first son didn’t see daylight until November 22nd of 1929.
     The roaring twenties were in session, even in rural De Leon, and the good times rolled until Black Friday, October 25th, 1929 — and the arrival of Charles Elvin a month later. He did not cause the Great Depression, nor did the Great Depression cause him. Times got tough but Hugh and Thel were blessed with yet another son, March 15th, 1933, as they moved from one rundown shelter to another, usually when rent was due. Benny Wayne was born December 18th, 1939, and Hugh and Thel ceased production.
     Hugh haunted the corner on Texas Street where day labor was chancy and often non-existent. He watched as the Houston and Texas Central freight train rolled through town and envied the hobos who adorned the empty cars and went on down the tracks looking for the Promised Land. To his credit he resisted the urge to climb aboard and leave his troubles behind.
     Despite the hard times and the gloomy forecast for the future, the little family managed to stay together when it would have been easier to quit. As a matter of fact Hugh and Thel shared their shelter and food with Nancy Brownlee, Thel’s widowed mother. Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” was hanging tough in the eye of the hurricane.
     “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” is one version of an old adage and the Chupp family managed to weather the storm. Grit and good humor was a major contributor to their will to hang on, and when good times crept across America in the early days of 1941 they managed to move up a rung on the ladder of success. A stroke of good fortune elevated the Chupps from day labor to tenant farming.
     The story is an eyewitness account, recounted here for your amusement and edification by the eldest son of Hugh and Thel. And, the story may sound familiar—you may have lived it too.

About the Author

Charles Chupp is a retired Senior Right-of-Way agent, author, artist and hometown philosopher. He has authored five previous books and has written a weekly newspaper column for better than fifty years. He still composes his tales on a lined pad with a Scripto pencil. Information about his books, and hundreds of his “I Got NO REASON TO LIE” columns, are available at He called the area outside of De Leon, Texas, where he grew up, “Poverty Knob.” He now lives in-town—within the “Poverty Sink” addition. Recently windowed he brags on his daughter, Tracy, his son, Ace, three grandchildren, Audrey, Mercedes, Taylor Ann, and two great-grandchildren, Angel and Ilia.