By Otis Griffin
When you are a youngster barely able to climb up the rails of a baby bed, you don’t worry about nothing. ’Cause there ain’t nuthin’ to worry about ’cept when you get hungry. What did you do? Why, run to Momma and yank on that faded see-through apron and tell yo’ Mammy that you are starved to death. Now you knew yo’ Momma ain’t a gonna’ let you starve. The seeds of fanaticism and communism had been sown.
At that age if you wanted to play, just go outside and romp in the yard. Of course, in the country where I have lived all my life so far, as I ain’t quite done just yet, the yards were about seventy-five percent dust and dirt. Pert nigh forty-one percent grass and about fifty-three percent gnarled and knotty tree roots.
The last place we rented was a tenant house located by Gene Horne’s store on Pleasant Ridge Road, across from Peek and Bell’s grocery. How do I know this? Well, before there was a paved Austin Peay highway on the outskirts of the downtown Metropolis community of Rosemark and we wanted to go to Sears and Roebuck down on Watkins, we turned at that special corner. I reckon every time we made that excursion, Daddy would point out and remind me, “Bo, we used to live right there before we moved to Rosemark.” Not to be outdone, Momma would always chime in with, “that was where we were living when sister Jo was born.”
I didn’t understand why back ’en that little bit of news was so important to Momma and Daddy, but I do now. Without fail Daddy would remind us that I was born in my grandparent’s Faulk’s farmhouse out from Charleston. Reminding me, “that Dr. Rice from over at Braden delivered you and signed the paper.” I guess that proved I was born and not hatched. Although a few might still disagree. Could it be, maybe we shouldn’t get too big for our britches and don’t forget where you come from, when you are trying to get wherever you are a goin’. I wonder?
Beloved, can anyone recollect how little things mean so much to Southern country folks, but very little to other nationalities above the Mason-Dixon Line? Frankly it didn’t matter to a tree swinger at my age then, but as the years tumbled around, I began to have a heart tug slowly and silently, misty-eyed, scanning the area.
Friends, some folks have a special place in their memory bank about their early years. Maybe next door to the closet where everyone has some skeletons hidden under some old quilts. However, today’s generation could care less where they were brought up. When you talk to generations after us, some have moved more times than Geritol bottles in a case stacked up in the back of the Rolling Store van mobile. No sentiment what so ever. Oh well, their loss.
Country Roads Take Me Back Home, Now Only In My Sweetest Dreams — GLORY!
By Otis Griffin