Categorized | Opinion

Old Motoring Skills

By Otis Griffin

Otis Griffin poseOne of the most amazing accomplishments in my lifetime has been the changes in our mode of transportation.  As everything else delving back in time the evolution occurred so slowly you never could put your finger on it.
Upon entering the fabulous world I was toted in my sweet Momma’s arms just like all the rest of the squallers.  I didn’t have to do nothing but whimper to be transported.  Later I was reminded Momma was afraid I would get hurt.  This was my first training in the bureaucracy of fanaticism and socialism called spoilism that still remains prevalent today.
Decades later, at our sit down talks on the front porch, Momma and Daddy would remind me of my motoring all over the home place kin to a Davy Crockett western tour.  Momma would giggle and squirm when telling about the times we would go grocery shopping at Mr. Harrold’s emporium in Millington allowing Daddy to sling me over his shoulder like a sack of ’taters and keep on hoofing.
After years of being toted finally I got to ride in a stroller.  Now that was fine as I was pushed, pulled, rammed, bounced and banged all over downtown Rosemark and the church parking lot.  Seriously reminded I had my own personal tray for goodies and my ‘boo’ as I was told, referred to my sweet milk bottle.  Evidently I dreamed of pitching in the major leagues because it was noted how I would finish half the milk and chunk the glass bottle.  Could it be I wanted a swig of Pepsi, Nehi peach or a grapette in my ‘boo’ to wash down my moon pie?  Possibly Eldon Roark originated his Strolling column for the Press-Scimitar observing me as I scratched off in my torpedo stroller.
Neighbor, I finally learned to crawl…in about five years?  I guess I was a slow learner.  That is when the fun began for my parents, but hind aches for me.  Is it possible to relive some of the shenanigans of kids or grandkids and their snoopy ways?  I experimented with gravity deriving if you shake Momma’s ironing board in the kitchen, the heavy, hot iron will topple off the steamy board and bounce beside yo’ noggin causing a dent in the wooden floor.
Daddy kept his daily newspaper beside his easy chair for intellect after supper.  Possibly I got upset since I couldn’t read, so I tore up strips of the paper just like Momma when she lined a laying hen’s nest.  Momma th’owed a hissy fit, upset with the mess I made.  But I found out later, the chicken couldn’t read the fine print in the newspaper while setting anyway.
Neighbor, can you remember when a window shade must be held a certain way if you wanted it to roll up?  If someone doesn’t know the difference between a brake pedal and a clutch that was a self taught science in a slight yank to notch the shade as it would fly up and you stopped the momentum by a sudden tug.  Very, very simple at least to ‘pore’ country folks.  If shades weren’t affordable brilliant rednecks used wax paper held by friction tape.
Once I grabbed the shade hoping to observe its flight to the ceiling.  However, my calculations evidently went awry as I pulled the shade, brackets, nails, dirt, wasp nests and the wall down on top of my skull.
Daddy was going to dust my Martha White diapers and when he got through I probably would have needed about three sizes larger. But Momma said I bawled like a heifer, squalled and grabbed her apron strings again absorbing some more sympathy at such a young age.  Even toddler rednecks are smart.
In our wonderful South there is an old expression passed through several generations that slowed us down when we got too big for our britches or tried to move too fast.  My loving faithful can recollect as, “You got to crawl ’fore ya’ walk.”
The Other Half Is, “You Sho’ Gonna’ Cry ’fore ya’ Talk.” —GLORY!
— What do you think? Send Letters to the Editor to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.

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