Life In The Fast Lane

      When our cow was fresh we always had whole milk, and mother would separate the cream and churn butter. Back when I was a kid we didn't have margarine, we had something called 'Oleo' which came in a one pound white block with a packet of yellow coloring. I remember as a boy, of five or six, mixing it up for my mother. I remember the cards we put in our front room window for the iceman, it had green for 25; yellow for 50; orange for 75, or red for 100 pound blocks of ice. The iceman had a leather apron across his shoulders and back, and he swung the ice on tongs over his shoulder to bring it inside and put in mother's old icebox.

     All through the war years we had a garden with fresh vegetables, and daddy always raised a couple of pigs to slaughter, we had a cow, and momma had a couple of dozen chickens (barred rocks) and so we had eggs. She would have the feed store save the cotton bags that 100 lbs of feed came in, and when she had enough bags she would make all us kids matching shirts from the patterned cotton.

     We went without shoes from June thru Labor Day, then we got one pair of shoes and one pair of sneakers to last out the school year. A grown man worked for 'real wages' then following the depression, pay was from $0.85 to $1.25 an hour back in those days, and at the end of every September schools let out for two weeks so all the kids could go pick cotton. Sunday was for church, and if you were too sick to go to school or church you were too sick to play outdoors.

     Schools had pass or fail grades, and you got held back if you didn't pass; if you acted up in class you got licks at school, or your dad busted your behind at the house. ADD or ADHA hadn't been "invented" yet so Johnny got to be Johnny, and Mary was Mary, just kids growing up, and learning how to get along in the real world around them. Every home had a mom and a pop, and Mary didn't have two mommies. We would all sit down at the table as a family for meals, and Mothers and Fathers never once thought of being our best friend, they were too busy being our parents.

     Life has changed, and I can't honestly say it has changed for the better, and I'm not too sure I like it out here in the fast lane.


© 2003/2010 ~ David L. Griffith
"This true tale is spun for you by the cowboy night writer!!!"

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