Categorized | Opinion

Bread Comes Out of the Ground

By Otis Griffin

Otis Griffin poseDoes everyone realize that we live in the greatest country in the whole wide world?  Despite the fact the guv’mint does its dead level best to mess it up.
But wait, it don’t stop there.  We live in the wonderful, blissful South so that makes us rednecks the most smartest inhabitants in the world.    Friends, we can raise our own grub whether it be meat from hogs, ’maters, peas or mashed ’taters from the garden.
If you need some footwear, well skin a yearling; get fancy with a belt, so salvage the remains and wrap it around your waist.   Outer and inner garments are grown on the north forty as appraised by the flowery, white fluffy king.
If you enjoy breakfast, skip to the hen house and continue for a good supper sashaying to the smokehouse.  My hardworking neighbors know how to do it all.  But please don’t let it out, as ’em northerners will copy and try to catch up with us.  (Never happen).  We can make our own bread even though it involves some smarts and hard work which country folks are used to anyway.  The kids I grew up with were raised on cornbread.
Momma kept a close eye on the meal barrel and when it got low, all she had to do was point and tell Daddy, “gonna’ need some soon.”  Daddy would nod, turn to me, announcing, “we going to the mill Sat’day.”
This meant shuck and shell more corn each day in addition to the amount I was already stripping for the hogs and chickens.   City slickers that have never been snipe huntin’, skinny dippin’, midnight ’coon huntin’ or smoked any rabbit ’backy rolled in newspaper, they probably ain’t never been in a corn crib either.  However, between Paul, Maurice, Termite, Lynn and Emerson I’m sure each would be more than happy to assist in their concentrated present day endeavors.
Beloved, a Harvard intellectual liberal would not understand that cornbread initiated from corn if he could not study it under a microscope, measure it with a slide rule or vote on it.  Southerners understand that shelled corn kernels are taken to the grist mill to be broken down into edible ingredients.
I believe everyone in the world at one time or ’nuther congregated at Mr. Ernest Sanders and Son store and grist mill on Armour Road.  Back ’en it was a thriving business bolstered as a small emporium and located near the present residences of Ronnie Ray and Mike Thomason.  Usually we transported the shelled corn to the mill in two to’ sacks returning with about three fourths of our origin.
Daddy and Mr. Ernest were good friends and the milling afforded them the opportunity to do a little neighborly visiting.  No gossiping’ just talkin’.  I was so young that I stayed out of the way, which meant ‘be quiet’ as I’ll call you if I need you.  Mr. Ernest’s wife, ‘Miss’ Etta, occasionally showed up, but most of the time, the son, Mr. Fred Sanders and wife ‘Miss’ Bobbie handled the customers needs.  Unless you lived it, one can never understand or realize, just how busy these country stores were all over the area.
Of course, Mr. Fred didn’t allow his little gals, Joyce and Barbara, to sit home listening to the radio and the conquests of the Shadow or Green Hornet, as this family affair accented all to contribute.  Waiting in line to do some hammering was the easy part,but the previous indulgence and the aftermath created interesting days and nights.
Shucking, shelling, grinding, cooking, sopping…………GLORY!
— What do you think? Send Letters to the Editor to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.

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