By Otis Griffin
After Daddy had scouted around and located what he hoped would be a good place to live in Rosemark is when the fun began.
Since there was a family renting and living in the house from Mr. Simonton at this time, it got kind of crowded for a while. During the war the guv’mint had passed a law that made sure that no renters got th’owed out of their dwelling even if it was sold.
Daddy reminded me later that you could not raise the rent if you tried to run ’em off. But we just moved in with the family already there and made the best of it. As rednecks say, “you do what you got to do to survive.”
A ‘pore’ ole country Southerner seems to have a little love and compassion in their heart. I do not believe this housing arrangement would go over very well in our present day society. Mainly ’cause ain’t no one house big enough for two families, even kinfolks.
If you don’t believe it, well just try it. You will find out real quick you just hit a gum stump in the middle of the field with a mule drawn turning plow.
Friends, what is so hard to understand nowadays was how difficult it was to communicate back a hun’ert years ago or so it seems.
Many times we relived the drudgery of buying a dream home and maybe it takes longer to tell about it than it did for the actual deed signing.
First we didn’t have one of Mr. ‘Babe’ Howard or actually his Daddy’s telephone So the only way to see Mr. Simonton was to drive to his house. If he wasn’t home ask his wife when he would return and play catch, as catch can.
Daddy told me many; many times it was hard to get the crew together. Enlightening me with, “don’t forget that gasoline, like most everything else during the war was rationed and once you used a coupon that was it.” Continuing, “of course, unless you knew somebody!” I imagine, “Miss” Bernadine and “Miss” Dot could refresh yo’ memory on that not so small item. Hard to believe, but reg’lar hovered between fifteen and eighteen cents a gallon, which was above the roof even back ’en.
Some folks might remember directions years ago were a little different from today’s modern facility locators.
If you ain’t lived it, one has no idea what I’m speaking of. First of all, there were no road signs. Actually, not much of sumpin’ to drive on that could even be partially called roads.
Mostly the base was some gravel thow’ed on the ground topped with sand and some hot asphalt mixed in with some more gravel, dirt, rocks and more hot, steaming asphalt mix sprayed out of a nozzle. Neighbor, it seems that one thing was funny about this house buying was the fact right next door and across the pasture Daddy had previously boarded at ‘Miss’ Kitty’s while employed at the Millington Powder Plant.
So the house was not hard to find after all. I got a kick out of the fact that Daddy had taken what we called the long way around many times. I was too young to know any better and sho’ didn’t care.
Besides, I was like ‘Gabby’ Hayes touring with Roy. As he said, “I was just along for the friendly ride.”
Finally after several expeditions, he got his compass bearings, eventually motoring the shorter route. But Momma said he didn’t want to admit it and if someone brought it up he’d chop off the conversation real fast.
Sometimes a Redneck Won’t Admit Nuthin’ —GLORY!
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