By Otis Griffin
When my close friends and I were old enough to play football at Rosemark grammar,
the actual reason, so Arvis said, “ Mr. Simpson needed enough bodies to field a team.” Some big ole boys boasted the likes of Ed Haley later an All-American at Millington State University, George Robert and ‘Bub’ Bomar, Herman Ray and J. W. Pitman. Tommy, the brilliant statesman, ‘figgered’ this thing out. Commenting, “we were used as tacklin’ and knockin’ down dummies.”
But we got to dress out and suit up since we were told “that was nice”. Pert nigh like feeding and loving on a turkey the months of September and October so head butcher O. D. could take a double bit the last week of November and stretch a tom turkey neck on a stump. Sacrificial is the same.
We were too young to understand, but during the hot summer, Rosemark grammar added new buildings. This included a locker room and showers. Many years later we relived the initiation of getting wet with new fangled equipment.
When we finished practicing, our coach, Mr. Simpson told us to take a shower.
The only kind of showers we knew about was a steady rain or a souped up drizzle. Big Paul House wanted to know, “where do we take this shower to?” Wayne said , “It comes out of the sky.”
All of us avoided the big, mean boys and waited until they dressed and departed the brand spanking new locker room. Phil’s older brother, Boo, (L. H.) (everybody has a nickname in the South) had explained a little about the new showers so Phil guided us.
There were about eight of us in the same grade, so we had known one another for a day or two. We removed our raggedy, so called uniforms since no one was in the locker room but us wild apple knockers.
After dropping the horrendous material on the new concrete floor, we stood silently sweating and stinking. Phil said, “we gonna’ take us a shower”. What is a shower?
All were afraid Mr. Simpson might return and not knowing any better we kept our sweaty fruit of the looms on. No fifth grader wanted a grownup to witness a naked, scared skeleton in the school locker room. Can you imagine what the sages would say while relaxing on Mr. Bens’ front porch?
Never participating, but listening as Phil turned on the water. No one told us about hot on one side and cold on ’tuther.
The water spout came out of the roof and sprayed all over. No one knew about flow adjustment.
Some spouts dripped, others would beat you to death with no hot and cold correlation. Just tutoring rednecks.
Can you imagine all these corn shuckers fighting to get under the flood. Besides the giggling, pointing, poking, grabbing and making fun of one another, the floor was slicker than goose grease. There were no ridges for solid footing so we often fell and got banged up. But no way anyone would squall and be called a sissy back then.
While we were distracted, Mr. Simpson eased in the back door grinning like a mule eating saw briars. What now? Later. Slippin’ and a slidin’ and a peepin’ and a hidin’ some wet memories….Glory!