By Otis Griffin
As my country genius sages know there are many types of showers. To ’cipher a few there is a dusting, misting, light sprinkling, good little sprinkle, slow to an off and on, to a steady drizzle. These droplets of pecip are very important to my farmer friends, James and Elaine at Mt. Carmel and Richard at Burlison. No rain and it slaps a strain on the left hip pocket come gathering time in the fall.
As you know, city slickers do not have a clue about the correct amount needed to spring up some vegetation like my brilliant cultivating hands. Rain to them is a fog to a flood. No difference. Our Maker will decide whether we get a steady soaking rain or maybe a frog strangler to a gully washer or maybe a camel snorter.
In case you have hidden under a root cellar and never been to B and M Drummond’s emporium this will ’splain a snort. When a camel stands on his tip toes and stretches his long beak as high as possible blowing (snorting) water out of his nostrils so he don’t strangle. Simple!
But wait! I found out when I was a wart on a tad pole there was another kind of shower. Then we had no television, no telephone, only the evening Memphis Press-Scimitar paper and a tan Philco radio dialed in on station static and Derek Rooke’s farm news at the same time.
Also Sears-Roebuck catalog Santy pictures didn’t say one word about showers? So how in the world was I to know about a different kind of shower?
As we commenced the fifth grade, a new addition completed during the summer, had been added to Rosemark Grammar that consisted of a huge cafeteria, new classrooms and Mrs. Cason’s principal’s office. Also a new gymnasium with built in bleachers (For Momma) and roll out bleachers on the other side with boys’ and girls’ dressing rooms on opposite ends.
A high up stage with a big heavy curtain had been constructed on the west end to put on plays, singing and shows. I mean us cookin’ on the front burner.
None of my friends actually understood about showers. Some had older brothers and neighbors, my front porch store oracles that tried to explain about cleaning up, but none of my group had showers and never even heard of showers. Phil, Emerson and Arvis all had either indoor tubs or big galvanized wash tubs to take a bath. Thurman Tim, Bud Graves, Tommy and Lynn likewise splashed in a number three gray vat.
Since we graduated to the fifth grade we were allowed to play football which meant we could dress out in the locker room. Now the older boys Carl Houston, Ed Haley, future Allstate at Millington High, George Robert, ‘Bub’ Bomar were the big mean guns on the team and we were just little nubbins, but allowed to play.
At recess that morning before practice we had a discussion about uniform sizes and those funny shoes with bottom studs protruding back then. Marshall asked “when we finish are you going to take a shower and how or take it whereabouts?
Big Paul House questioned, “what is a shower?” Wayne responded, “I ain’t real sure, but grab and hold it we’ll take it to Mr. Albert’s corn field and tie it up for the night. Sounds good to me. One never knows what might rain down on you in the redneck South…Glory!