Many children’s stories opened up with the phrase, “Once upon a time…”. When I was a child, the old timers started many of their stories with, “When I was a boy…”. It was the men in Liberty overalls form of “Once upon a time…” Now, I am probably labeled an old timer by most even though I don’t wear overalls.Continue reading “Once Upon a Time…”
We were at a reunion gathering of our extended family when a distant cousin excitedly called his wife over to see my dad’s hands. He was amazed that Daddy’s hands looked like his deceased father’s hands. I looked at my hands and they looked like Dad’s. Two of my brother’s hands are also similar.Continue reading “Hands of My Father”
Mother’s Day rolls around every year to give honor to our mothers. We shower our living mothers with presents, special meals, and recognition. Those who have gone from our midst, we shower with accolades of remembrance and honor.
This year I thought about the generational line of women in my life from my grandparents to my four granddaughters. The grandmothers to the mothers of the future.Continue reading “Generations of Mothers”
I was raised in a working-class family who had risen out of Depression Era poverty. Most of our neighbors were either poor or slowly rising to middle-class status. Our exposure to rich people was rare.Continue reading “Work With Your Own Hands”
My daddy was born in 1914 in the ridges of Northeast Alabama. He was deserted by his father when he was a school-age boy and “raised” by his single mother in the midst of the Great Depression. He was raised dirt-poor.Continue reading “Daddy Bought a Nissan”
I remember waking on a cold Fall morning to the sound of symphonic rain on a tin roof. Long before there were weighted blankets, there were Momma’s hand-made quilts piled high in a frosty room. Oh, how I wanted to just lay there for just a little longer, but the ruler of my mornings had already sounded the getup alarm once before, “Harry, it’s time to get up!”. Continue reading “Momma’s Biscuits”
Our collective great-aunt, Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama just had a press conference with a “Stay-At-Home” order. Don’t you just love Aunt Kay with her South Alabama drawl; all our Southern politicians of old talked like this once upon a time, it was a requirement. I really like her, I really do. I would like to sit and have a chicken liver dinner with her, complete with potato salad, baked beans, and ice tea.
I remember some of the old timers testifying in my childhood country church, “I thank the Lord, that things are as well with me as they are!” If you had asked them to explain, they would have added: “There are a whole bunch of people who are in worse shape than me. I may not be rich, but I have enough. I am so thankful for what I do have. I could be dead. I should be dead. I can still do for myself. God has been good to me and mine.”
This subject has been incubating in my mind for a few years. I am quite qualified for this subject because I was reared in the midst of old men. My Dad was forty when I was born so by the time I could listen with good reason, I was saturated with the wit of “The Greatest Generation”. I am further qualified because now I am looked at, as that once revered title of, “Old Man”. I have been a “hoary head” since my forties.
Old men are not what they appear to be. They look weakened, wrinkled, frumpy, and a little dazed but that is not what they are at all. Inside is a spirit that can still run like lightning, pick up a rock and throw it beyond reason, and make some giggly girl tear off his chatty ring at recess in the Spring. He is old but still a boy deep inside.