By Otis Griffin
Now a days it seems like the only way you get to visit with folks you have known a life time is at a funeral. Well, maybe at the hospital when you bump in to a friend or maybe relatives of an old friend. What we have taken for granted is catching up with us. In most cases when you approach your old acquaintances and sincerely glad to see them one more time, invariably the present will reverse to the past and it sho’ won’t take long.
Neighbor, these modern facilities are fascinating (expensive and paid for by who?). The technology and ‘smarts’ as we say in the country, will make a Berkshire sow yodel in alto gear. We didn’t have nuthin’ like ’at when I was coming up. As time changes everything. Nawww Suhhhh!
Restlessly stirring, shifting, waiting, wondering, hoping and praying, it never ceases to amaze me how the past will spring its nosy head. Before long, forgotten or sometimes hopefully forgotten instances will creep in the locked back door of a conversation.
My dear friend, Jim, just asked me the other day, “Bo, did you ever wonder how in the world did we make it?” “Yep”, I replied, “but I try not to very often.” Skeeeers me!
Friends, in the country there are a jillion ways to get hurt and wounded. If they were out there we didn’t any trouble locating them that’s for sure. Maybe they just rained down on us. Did it ever happen to you?
Ease down memory lane or possibly the cow path lane, but as you wind your way back’ards in time do you slyly peek to see if all your manacles are still in place? Do you remember when you hung your left arm on a bent, rusty nail in the barn stall during an international corn cob fight? The usual reply at the supper table was, “Momma I don’t know how that happened?” “We were just playing!” Of course you could have lost a cathead in the newly opened gully. Simply submerge the floundering wing in some coal oil and pretty soon you are ‘pert nigh’ good as new.
Neighbor, many years ago we were playing cowboys and Saturday afternoon matinee cattle rustlers in the barn lot. Dennis was imitating Gene Autry hollering, squealing, and twirling the dirty plow line over his noggin like a lasso. It was a good thing he wasn’t on Champion as he would have gotten bucked off with all this carrying on.
My country friends know you can get hurt playing Junior Fessler in the barn lot. Well, Dennis thought he got lucky, but really it was unlucky. The loop fell over the heifer’s head just enough to please Dennis, but not the heifer. She got mad and terrified. Now Dennis had this rope wrapped around his wrist and hand as the heifer tried to drag him to Idaville. I didn’t take long to go from Cowboy Gene to screaming and sounding like wife Dale Evans in just one second. Smiley was over there just laughing and falling down.
As the rope unwound crisply, this created quite a sensation. This is called a ‘halter burn’. I have heard this particular injury called a lot worse than that. I’m glad the preacha’ wasn’t around. You’d gulp loud enough it would make a screech owl sound like baby’s whimper. We had to do a little scientific doctoring of our own.
We sloshed some miracle cure coal oil on the new wound for starters. Then ‘dob’ a little salve, rubbing deeply and sho’ enough, almost good as new. Of course, he couldn’t grip a broken bat handle for six weeks. But he proudly showed off his newborn injury to anyone within ear shot!
How did we survive? I ain’t real sure ’cause we sho’ didn’t have all these modern facilities and high tech learning. We just used the remedies, cures and medicines that were stored in the sheds for the livestock or the fancy ones in the overhead kitchen cabinet fiercely bound in a brown paper grocery bag. Sumpin’ must have worked!
Just Struggle and Strive as We are Hopefully Trying to Stay Alive — GLORY!
By Otis Griffin