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Phyllis Hotsenpiller Hays (momma) grew up in a rural Ozark community. She was the last of four and came seven years later than the rest. Momma grew up on a farm rebounding from the horrible times of the Great Depression. Her daddy and brother worked the farm and daddy also worked in town. Momma loved her big brother and learned everything about farming from him. Momma also loved reading. When the chores were done she would while away the summer days under a big oak tree reading one of Americas classic novels. Her sisters took care of the domestic chores but one by one they married and left home leaving Momma with more responsibilities.

Momma loved being on the farm and tagging along with her brother to the rodeo. Momma loved riding horses and became a trick rider in the rodeo.

Life was good for Phyllis Hotsenpiller until age 13 when her daddy became ill with a brain tumor and after long suffering with horrible headaches he died.

Momma’s momma, Grandma Hotsenpiller, was a good Christian woman and never turned her back on a single soul. But her momma could not handle the weight of losing her husband and not knowing what to do with the farm. Momma worked the farm until the farm sold and momma was sent to live with her oldest sister. In the blink of an eye Momma’s life was forever changed and she was now forced to grow up all at once.

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