Categorized | Opinion

It Was True

By Otis Griffin

How many folks can go back in time and relive the hard work it took to put some grub on the  table.

I know it was several generations earlier but tell the modern gap of the sacrifices and they will look at you like you slapped ’em in the face with a wet dirty mop.

The grist mills of yesterday are a vintage memory as revived by Pat Billingsley.  He and his older brothers had to shuck, shell, sort and load the wagon to haul corn to the mill.

Clear as day, Pat reminded me how his Daddy, Mr. Homer, would hook up two mules to the cotton wagon and transport the grain to Mr. Ernest’s grocery store mill.  How long did it take to fill a drum?  Might near half a day.

Getting ready, traveling, waiting, grinding, returning and storing from varmints.  Maurice relayed Mr. Carl drove the mules but he sat on the sacks in the wagon and fell asleep during one long haul.

A good black, cast iron skillet bulging with Momma’s delicious cornbread will stick to yo’ ribs, giving my country families health and endurance to provide for the welfare of their own self preservation.

For many centuries our Native Americans relied on pone for their strength, nourishment furthering the cause for their animals.  The Pilgrims were famous for the initiation of Thanksgiving.  But wait, how do you think our forefathers got those gobblers so round, fat and butter bally?  Nothing goes better with giblet than cornbread.

True hard-shell Southerners still celebrate the birthdays of the greatest President of our Confederate America, Jefferson Davis and the world’s most favorable General Robert Edward Lee.  Growing up, each birthday was circled on the old yellow Cardui calendar hanging on the kitchen wall.  Some times little things mean a lot.

Friends, one instance I have never forgotten.  Right in the middle of supper, Momma and Daddy were talking, straightening out the world.  Like all youngsters we were taught not to talk with yo’ mouth full.

However, Daddy had just filled up and with his left hand hauling a cornbread muffin, he pointed toward the calendar on the wall and replied, “reckon we got us a birthday today.”  I guess he got carried away with the General and squeezed too hard, ’cause crumbs fell half way across the table.

Maybe, just maybe we acknowledged the anniversaries with cornbread?  I never gurgled a word.

Matthew says in the Good Book that man can not live by bread alone.  Naww suhh, he must have fat back, mustard greens, black-eyed peas, both soaked with pepper sauce with a cuttin’ of a big onion on the side.

Now I’m not positive as I wasn’t there during the scripting, but it stands to logical Southern reasonin’ the reference was to cornbread.

Neighbor, can you remember when company was comin’ and put on the dog.

Mommas would have muffins, oven skillet cooked or maybe sticks for yo’ preference.  As you Southern Belle ladies know, it all came from the same mixing bowl, only shaped a little different.  City slickers weren’t aware. (Rednecks are smart).

We lived in a time of a man’s word was good.  Helping yo’ fellow man.  A woman would cook.  A man would work.  An honest day’s work for honest pay.

Sweating.  Proudly saluting the American flag.  Bow yo’ head during prayer.  Stopping for a funeral procession.  Backing the teachers and whooping kids.  Respect yo’ Elders.

All of the above were good.  Cornbread made from milk was good.  However, things change.  Today none of the above is truly good…as we remember.  But lo and behold, cornbread made from water today…ain’t good.

Lets Hope The Future Generation Don’t Crumble Like Watered Cornbread…GLORY!

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November 2012
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