Bernice and Pud Oats 10 May 1988
ONE MOORE LOOK — Bernice Oats and her husband, Pud Oats, take one more look at each other in their country kitchen, complete with wood cook stove in the background. When they first married, they had a $6 wood cook stove with two burners. (Staff photo by Betty Hensley) Charleston couple cooking in old-time country kitchen By BETTY HENSLEY News Staff Writer CHARLESTON - Bernice and Arvol "Pud" Oats are enjoying their country kitchen outside their home in Charleston, in the east end of Delta County. ' No, this country kitchen is not the one in their white rambling residence. This country kitchen is a project of love for the two, who now reside in the home place Pud grew up on. Mrs. Oats' parents were W. Lile Owen and Delia McGuyer Owen. Her'mother's family, the McGuyers, were some of the earliest settlers in the Charleston area. But back to their country kitchen. kitchen. It is in an old one-car garage that used to sit on the corner of his parents' home. They moved it to the north side of their house and put barn-red metal siding on it. The country kitchen is about 12-feet-by-24-feet. His mother, Mamma Oats, as she was called, once ran two old cars through it. The Oats' 1988 country kitchen is a redo of the garage, a project that has grown with the help of their two children, Annell Patterson and Ted Oats. Now the 1 Oats' grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, will be able to know what an old- fashioned country kitchen was like. The Oats did add a small, breezy front porch on the east side entrance, entrance, once the old garage was in place and jacked up with blocks. A wash table is on the left, because everyone knows the field hands always washed up before a meal. The kitchen has electricity, but the whole thing centers around a massive wood cook stove, complete with six burners on top, an oven and a reservoir on the right to hold water for steam. Oh, yes, there's a warming closet up above the range top. The Oats bought the stove a few years ago, but have only had it put in place lately where they could really begin to use it. It is shiny black with chrome trim. • When their daughter, Annell, was a senior in high school they moved to Dallas, where they resided resided for several years before returning returning to Delta County. Their son, Ted, is a pilot for Southwest Airlines, and he is presently serving a training stint with the Air Force Reserve in Florida, flying the F-4. Annell and her husband have a mobile home, just to the north of the Oats' home. Her husband has a carpeting business at Rockwall, and they have commuted back and forth for the last two years. Inside the country kitchen, the stove is on the right or north side. To the left, is a sitting bench. Like County building new jail but doesn't have funds to run it ARDMORE, Okla. (AP) Carter Carter County is building a $3.1 million jail in an attempt; to meet state jail standards, but county officials officials say they don't know how (hey are going to get the money to run it. "There is no money available. "They tell us to build it, but they don't tell us where to get the money to operate," said Commissioner Bill Lyons. "We will have to find an alternative way of funding." A one-cent county sales tax, another bond issue and housing federal and other prisoners in the Pud Oats said, "Everyone likes to- sit by the fire when they come in." On the right side, Mr. Oats has mounted a match holder by the stove, where wood is stacked, and he has made a cabinet to hold wax paper, plastic wrap and foil, made .as an opening door from the old glass-rubbing washing board that Mrs. Oats used for over 50 years of their married life. The Oats also have two cabinets they've repainted light blue. A breeze flutters through the west window, the only one in the kitchen, and blows blue and white checked gingham curtains. A rectangular table is set for 10 persons, three on each side, and two on each end. The tableware is a blue enameled finish against a checkered table cloth. Roses with honey suckle are the center piece in a crock vase. A white enamled coffee pot sits atop the stove. Mrs. Oats' other kitchen kitchen cookware are cast iron pots and frying pan, mounted on the wall. Her jars of canned goods are on the cabinet top. At the table, she serves guests homemade rolls, browned in that wood stove oven. Perfect timing every batch. And to make the hot rolls even better, she offers butter and homemade plum jelly. Their pastor of the East Delta Baptist Church, still a bachelor, brought some of his young preacher friends over for some of Mrs, Oats' country kitchen fare Ihe other day. Mr. and Mrs. Oats have a somewhat pleased feeling that they finally got to do somelhing they had always wanted to do — rebuild a country kitchen so that their grandchildren and children would be able to see how folks really used • lo live Ihe good life — around the kitchen.