By Otis Griffin
Can anyone remember when you could go to one place or one individual and handle all your woes and business? We could go to Mayes-Howard lumber yard on fifty-one highway and get all our supplies to repair a house (big or the little one) and a barn. Just one location. Nuthin’ special. If we had stock to sell, either Dixie National or South Memphis would take each and all. Just run ’em out of the truck and in a pen. One location. No specialties. ‘Doc’ Hall at Kerrville was everyone’s veterinarian. Doctored any and all animals. No specialties. Our feed store had all our supplements, shots, wormin’ and salves for all our stock. One location. One mechanic worked on cars, trucks, tractors, wagons or cultivators. One.
Friends, our modern society has gotten carried way with specialization. If you have a broken leg and can finally get an appointment to actually see a Doctor, chances are he will tell you, “oh I don’t set broken legs, I’m an arm settin’ Doctor.” Wait another three weeks.
If your left leg is broken, it probably won’t be too many years before the leg Doctor will tell you, “oh, I don’t set left legs as I only set right legs.” Of course, you wait another three weeks for the ‘right legged’ Doctor. I thought one ‘sawbones’ could….Wrong again!
Growing up when someone broke the law they did time at the Penal farm. Sure enough the convicts wore the black and white striped uniforms with leg chains in the hot sun, cleaning out ditches and fence rows sweating like crazy, while paying their debt to society. I thought if you did wrong, you served time. Not so today.
My Daddy lived ’til he was ninety-six and I thank God he lived long enough to see those brilliant intellectuals buying two dollar bottled water. Can you imagine? Now you Southern Country hard working farmers can remember drinking water out of creeks, canals, ponds and lakes. I can’t say I’m real proud of that, but when you’re hot, and need relief, you do what you have to do. Well, I ain’t ashamed of it either. I will admit that I drank some bottled water. But, it was in a gallon jug wrapped in a to’ sack with snarled baling wire to keep it fresh. We dug a hole in the ground at the end of the rows hopefully under a shade tree for coolin’ storage. Warm, but wet! Yeah, it was glass bottled and I thought the water came out of a dug ground well.
Neighbor, it normally took five weeks to get a pullet up frying size decades ago. Now the fancy smart chicken raisers fry ’em in two weeks. What in the world are they feeding these baby chicks? Then we hang a tooth in the drumstick. What growth hormones, steroids, weight gainers have the cluckers eaten? What? It can’t be good for us. The Good Lord made the decision to take five weeks and I trust him a lot more than I do some smart aleck intellectual. Does that answer why so many good neighbors end up with the punies? I guess I thought.
Beloved, remember when we thought roaches were a nuisance and we sprayed them with DDT? We thought back when a joint was a bad place to be on Saturday night and you sho’ didn’t want yo’ Momma and Daddy to find out? We thought tweezers were used to pull splinters out of your fingers or possible extract some briars from your arms and legs after picking blackberries and fighting chiggers. Now you find ’em in an ashtray.
I guess I was just a plain country red neck who thought everyone was friendly, helpful, considerate and honest and it would always be that way. That’s what I get for thoughting.
Evidently My Thoughts Weren’t Right… Or Left… GLORY!
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