Categorized | Opinion

At the Time it Really Wasn’t All That Bad

By Otis Griffin

Otis Griffin poseOver the years most folks tend to forget the bad times and maybe this is the way we are brought up just to remember the good times.  Regardless how bad times seem to get, the good times take precedent.  It is a joy and very rewarding to sit and converse with most Senior Citizens.  Some of our book-learned citizens still make fun of the way we rednecks abuse the ‘so called’ English language, but there ain’t a true Southerner that I can’t communicate with and we truly understand each other.  The ones that I have a problem with are these educated beyond their capacity ‘wanna’ be Harvard professors.
Neighbor think about it, how many times have you heard a Southern gentleman talking to his coon dog or a little Southern Belle rubbing, petting and talking ‘kitty cat talk’ to her favorite fur ball.  Yep, you’ve heard the coon dog talk back many a late night run and just watch the little feline snuggle and show affection.  These folks are very well educated as all true Southerners are caring and sharing.
In some instances, book learning, education, common sense, knowledge, and experience are wrapped up in a ball to come out as Wisdom.  I believe my Senior citizens are blessed with…Wisdom.  Friends, one doesn’t get to be a Senior Citizen by being a fool.
Who would ever attend school at the age of sixteen or even fifteen today??  Absolutely no one!!  Bless their little Jerry Springer TV watching hearts.  No sir, they would be embarrassed and we certainly wouldn’t want anyone to know a youngster was that age and trying to get an education.  Besides, some are too cool to even attend a class if there is a way out of it.  Who needs it??
Daddy was sixteen when he finished the eighth grade.   When his father passed away and as he said, “I became the ‘Man of the House’ and this further delayed the learning process.  How long?? Just a few short, six years before Daddy was able to return to school and enter the ninth grade at age, Yep twenty-two.  Since Kilmicheal High School was over seven miles away from home Daddy had to move in with my Aunt Genise who had gotten married at the ripe old age of fifteen.  Of course, this was not uncommon back then and occasionally occurs even today.  To pay for his room and board, Daddy drove the old Ford school bus Picture this.  Picking up kids that you attend class with.  Of course, back then there was no such thing as driver’s license, so at age twenty-one if you could hold the fire breather between the ditches you were hired.  But that’s not all.  Seems like at that age, another stipulation occurred, the only way Daddy could attend Kilmicheal School was to play football.
The equipment consisted of a leather helmet and some leather shoulder pads.  I found out later this helmet was what we called an aviator cap and it would not even snap.  The shoulder pads were just pieces of leather sewn together with sea grass string.  Daddy said the pads rubbed his shoulders raw so the first chance he got, the pads hit the sideline.
Am I giving you a hard luck story??  Absolutely not!!  This was a way of life if someone wanted to learn to read, write, decipher and count money!!  What folks take for granted today was a struggle and battle just to keep their head above water, so to speak.
When years ago folks were counting pennies and nickels just to get ahead, now a days this has thrived into multimillion-dollar business.  That is the sad part.
When dollars and cents become more important than the youngster‘s education.  Back then when maybe one or possibly two teachers could serve as a well-rounded facilitator, today each are specialized.
Yes, we have come a long way.  However, where hitching posts served to rest the horses and mules, today nine football fields are necessary to corral all the new, sleek, fast automobiles at the institution.  Ain’t it funny how time slips away.!!????
Beloved, when the prayers were taken out of the classroom, guns and lack of discipline came in like a thief in the night and stole from our future foundation of our great nation.  The sad part is the so called smart, learned Justices that make these idiotic decisions do not have kids or grandkids of their own in Public schools.  Yet, we as the working public allow this foolishness to continue.  If someone has never bridled a mule, how in the world can they instruct me??  They can’t….  Sometimes I think they are trying to saddle the head, as most guv’mint officials don’t know one end from the other.
It is not the kid’s fault, but the parents, when they say, “don’t touch my child“. If the parents would touch the child at home, there would not be all this “rig-a-ma-row”.  There will be a judge, jury, juvenile officer, counselor, detectives, CIA, psychologist, three ambulance chasers, two guv’misnt officials on standby. Secretly hoping our educators make a mistake, so someone can sue the state or county or just anyone.  If the parents would discipline the youngsters then, and join forces with educators all this mess would begin to clean up…maybe just a little.
Beloved think about it…  The smarter we get, sometimes the dumber we act.  If I’m going to be yo’ Preacha’ of Education you had better pay attention.  What started out as an educating process has developed into a green pygmy fire drill.  I admire and respect our educators and we have come a long way since our forefathers founded this great country, but it seems like we certainly have a way to go.
Southern Incubated……Southern Matriculated……and Southern Educated—GLORY!
— What do you think? Send Letters to the Editor to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.

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