THE BOY WHO COULD SEE TOMORROW

© 2018 Bill Murphy

People often ask writer’s how their stories come to be.  I my case, it’s usually that I first meet the characters – in my mind – as if meeting a flesh and blood person for the first time.  Then, these factious people tell their stories to me.  Their story simply unfolds. Such is the case of the boy who could see tomorrow.  I met his parents first.

Their story is, I’ll admit, a dark tale. It’s neither dark in the spooky sense, nor is it evil.  It’s just a story that we hope will never happened… period.  Some things, although not specifically sinful per se, simply should not be.  I’ll not ask you to enjoy this story.  Just think about it. 

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THE BOY WHO COULD SEE TOMORROW

Paula Wilson, the Mother –

Bucky was our middle child.  His birth was special, as was his life.  He was not suppose to be… and that in more ways than one.  His older sister, Connie, had a difficult beginning herself.  I was sick much of her pregnancy, and her birth was a long and difficult affair.  The small country hospital where she was finally delivered didn’t make matters much easier, on either of us.  Connie was a late talker and walker.  But when she blossomed, into a beautiful, radiant bloom.

The doctor’s told us that I’d probably not be able to conceive again.  That’s why Bucky was such a welcomed surprise.  We thought of him as our miracle child.

My pregnancy with Bucky went as smooth as silk, and his delivery also.  He was such a healthy baby.  We considered everything about him such a blessing.  He was always spot on with his developmental abilities – and even early with some.  He was an early walker and talker, much to our amazement.

His special ability, if I can call it that, was difficult to spot at first.  There were small clues to be sure, but when one is not expecting something like this, it’s difficult to grasp, and impossible to understand.  Looking back now, I think the first clues were those exhibited at feeding time.  Even as adults, all of us have differences in taste.  So it’s not surprising when a small child refuses strained spinach or squash.  Bucky was always a good eater. But when he didn’t like a food… say… beets – he’d turn his head away before he’d ever sampled it.  See what I mean?

By the time he was three, my husband and I knew that Bucky was different.  Evidence of his unique ability began to surface more frequently.  And it frightened us.  But Bucky was far too young at the time to discuss it with us.  And there were his frequent headaches. He whined and cried, holding his head.  They didn’t last long, but were frequent.  The doctors were baffled.  They could uncover no reason for them, none at all. Of course, we didn’t discuss with the doctors our growing knowledge of Bucky’s ability to seemingly peer into the future.

The first time Bucky seriously spoke with me about this was when he was 4.  He was having another of his headaches.  He’d crawled into my lap, cuddling close.  He turned and looked into my eyes.  “I don’t like the headaches,” he said.  “I don’t want to see tomorrow.”  Then his little arms squeezed me tightly, as if he was attempting to bury himself into my body.

I’ve never believed that seeing into the future could be a good thing.  And I’ve never believed in so-called fortune tellers.  I can’t see how this would be a natural and normal, in any form.  If it were possible to see into the future, it would open wide a door to opportunities ripe for corruption and ruin.  It would not be a blessing.  It would be a curse.  But somehow, my son was gifted with this curse.  He could see into tomorrow.

Franklin Wilson, the Father –

Bucky was the son I always wanted.  I was one happy camper at his birth.  I considered changing jobs when he was born, just to have more time with him.  Traveling like I did may have brought in more money, but then, money isn’t everything.  I missed the day he first spoke a recognizable word, and when he took his first step.  I missed a lot of his early days.  Perhaps this was why I was the last one in the family to admit the truth of Bucky’s unbelievable ability – or maybe that should be… disability.  It was a disability, for sure.  It set him apart from all of us, from everyone.  It made him different.  Our great love for him was intermixed with fear and dread.

Yes, I know that in certain cases, a glimpse into the future could be a reassuring and positive thing – but for the most part – personally, I have far too much stress coping with the present, to add knowledge of the future on top of that.  And this ability could be exploited – a unique tool to increase personal gain, wealth, influence, leverage.  But that would be like having the keys to every safe in town… and this could not be good.  The weed of temptation finds itself in every garden – there’s no point in watering and fertilizing it!

Once I accepted the unassailable fact that my son somehow possessed this dangerous ability, it shook me to the very core.  Oh what an tremendous responsibility had been give my wife and I – to raise and protect this ‘innocent’ child – a child who was of such great danger to himself, and to others.  Only a fool would think of it otherwise!

Our first ‘scare’ came when Bucky was almost 5.  I’m not sure what we were thinking at the time, but to give the lad as much ‘normalcy’ as possible, we enrolled him in a local daycare/kindergarten.  Bucky loved it!  By this time, we’d talked to him about the fact that no others ‘saw tomorrow’ as he did – and that they would be alarmed if they thought that he did.  We strongly urged him to keep his ‘visions’ or what ever they were, to himself.  What were we thinking?  Bucky was only a kid!

Bucky’s group was scheduled for a field trip on Friday.  They were going to the Municipal Opera House, for a tour, and hear the orchestra practice.  Friday afternoon, when his mother arrived to pick up Bucky after school, she was directed to the principal’s office.  Something very strange had happened concerning Bucky.  It seems that there had been a change in plans for the field trip.  The orchestra’s conductor had fallen ill – so the Opera House tour was off.  Instead they’d gone to the zoo.  This was not known until after school on Thursday.  The conductor was hospitalized late Thursday afternoon, and the school notified after the end of the school day.  It was then that the plans were changed – to take the kids to the zoo instead.  Thursday night, the principal called Bucky’s teacher, and told her the change of plans.

Then Thursday morning, as Bucky’s teacher greeted each child as they entered the building, the first thing out of Bucky’s mouth was, “I’m glad we’re going to the zoo today instead.  That opera stuff is boring.  I can’t wait to see the elephants, they’re so neat!” How did he know?  The change in plans had not as yet been announced to the children.

Monday, the daycare was called, and told that Bucky was ill.  And the family made plans.  This scare of discovery had been too close!  Bucky never went back to the daycare. Within 3 weeks we moved to Birmingham… 500 mile away.

Connie Wilson, the Sister –

Bucky was born the summer before I started 1st grade, which would have made me six, barely old enough to be somewhat of a help with Bucky.  Dad was ecstatic when Bucky arrived.  He’d wanted a boy, and Bucky was the answer to all his prayers and dreams, or so it seemed.  I admit to being thoroughly jealous, up until the newness of the new baby wore off.  Neither Mom nor Dad had any siblings, and where we lived, so far out in the country, meant that neighbors were few and far between.

I was not often around other babies or small children for comparison, but Bucky seemed to me to be just like what others were like.  We went to church, but not on regular basis.  Dad traveled in his work.  Although it was only a two state area, it was the states of Iowa and Nebraska, meaning a lot of driving for little business.  Dad needed his down time at home on weekends.  But we still considered ourselves Christians.

The first time I remember seeing Bucky using his – strange ability, was when I was in 4th grade.  It was a school day, and I was walking to the front door to board the school bus, when Bucky stopped me.  “Don’t go,” he said,  “I don’t want you to get hurt.”  But I pushed past him, laughing.  Little did I know – that he knew.

At recess, Moli Trent applied greasy sun-screen to her arms, and then climbed the jungle-gym.  I was behind her, my hand slipped when near the top wrung, and I fell – breaking my arm in two places.  Bucky knew it would happen.

This awareness of future events happened more and more often.  But even once a month was too much for me.  They frightened me.  Bucky frightened me.  And then we moved to Birmingham, I thought that things might be better.  They weren’t.

Paula Wilson, the Mother –

After the day care scare, my husband and I had a long delayed pow-pow.  What to do about Bucky?  We were both in agreement that Bucky’s gift was laced with danger, and not just to himself.  We where forced to look at the big picture.  His ability posed a threat not only to our family, but – if we were honest about it, to all of humanity.  I’m forced to agree that in some specific cases, a peek into the future could be a positive thing, but on the other hand, in the grand scheme of things, this unique ability could adversely cause great havoc.  Yet – think about it – if one knew what tomorrow will bring, can one still alter tomorrow and make it different?  I think not.  And I was not about to test this hypothesis with some hair-brained experiment.

This was way over our heads.  This was an issue, a problem, out of our league.  But still, try as I might, I could see no reason to believe that Bucky’s strange talent was anything but a curse, an unwanted and unneeded freakish ability.  It could serve no positive purpose.  But it could propel him, and our family, into great turmoil and danger.  But what were we to do?

For starters, we decided to homeschool Bucky.  We thought about moving to some remote and desolate location, to live off the grid, to hid ourselves from the world.  But we are not off the grid type people.  We moved to Birmingham to get away from the daycare fiasco, to distance ourselves from the fallout we feared it would bing.

Birmingham is definitely not off the grid, but at least, no one knew us, or knew of us, there.

Franklin Wilson, the Father – I’m not sure what the founding fathers of Birmingham were thinking when they turned over that first spade of soil.  There’s actually a lot of level ground in Alabama… but not in Birmingham.  And yes, we did buy a home in the suburbs of that great city, where it is much, much hillier.

We got a fantastic deal on the place!  The home was in foreclosure, and we bought it, as is, from the bank.  The former owners had gone thru a bitter divorce.  The struggling, weak willed mother, who got the house, was left with two traumatized teenage daughters.  She allowed the two girls to redecorate the house, any way they wanted.  The colorful result was a cross between psychedelic brothel and carnival fun house.  And the girls painted it themselves, in what looked like one weekend.  You’d have to have seen it to believe it.

It took us several weeks to restore the place to its original sanity.  The house was set on a hill, a very steep hill, especially in back.  The backyard had no problems with drainage, the 25+ degree slope took ample care of that.  The driveway was on the left side of the house, with a large parking pad beside the house, where it opened into the garage/basement area.  The front of the house and entry way, were at ground level, with steps leading upstairs to what for all practical purposes, was the ‘first floor.’  This contained the den, dining room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  All were large and spacious.

Just off the rear of the house, and at ground level to the house, was an addition – a small ‘mother-in-law‘ apartment with 3 rooms.  This apartment could be accessed from steps inside the garage and leading down, or directly from an outside door on the rear of the house.  A small, brick and stone patio wrapped around two sides of the apartment.  Above this patio, a small narrow balcony had been added off the master bedroom upstairs.  It was almost 20 feet from the balcony to the patio below.  The view of the backyard from this balcony was breathtaking.

Connie, who was eleven at the time we moved, begged to have the sub-basement bedroom.  But we thought she was too young at that time.  We promised it to her when she turned sixteen.  Until then, Paula and I would share it as our office/hobby/crafts area, and where she would homeschool Bucky.  Connie then asked for the first bedroom off the upstairs hallway, and we agreed.  Bucky’s room was just down that short hallway and directly across from their shared bathroom.

Within a month, we’d settled in to our new normalcy.

Connie Wilson, the Sister –

It’s been six years now, since that terrible night that changed our lives forever.  I seems more like sixty.  Gone are the happy days with a happy family.  Gone too is the crazy house in the hills of Birmingham – at least it’s gone from my life – as is Bucky.

That night, Dad was downstairs in the hobby room, working on his electric trains.  Mom fell asleep watching TV in their bedroom.  I thought Bucky was in his room.

Because mine and Bucky’s bathroom was right across the hallway from his bedroom, all he had to do was crawl out of his bed, and walk in a straight line, out his door, across the hallway, and into the bathroom.  From Mom and Dad’s bedroom, if Bucky got up from Dad’s side of the bed and walked straight, he’d walk through the sliding glass door that led out onto the narrow balcony directly over the stone patio below.  This patio had a wooden railing.  Whoever built it, didn’t use pressure treated wood.  The railing was rather rickety, and Dad had not as yet gotten around to replacing it.  Mom left the patio door open that night.  She enjoyed the cool night air of Autumn.  Bucky’s death was a terrible accident!

The investigation dragged on for over two years.  No charges were ever filed.  The authorities were divided over what had actually happened.  The lead investigator was of the opinion it was an accident.  He theorized that Bucky had gotten into bed with Mom, then later, groggy with sleep, walked off the balcony thinking he was going to the bathroom.

The chief of police believed that either Mom, or Dad, had actually staged this accident, and pushed Bucky off the balcony.  But he had difficulty proving it, because he could never uncover a possible motive.  He flatly refused to believe our accounts that Bucky could see into the future.

Bucky’s death, coupled with the trauma of the long drawn out investigation, took their toll on Mom and Dad.  It changed them, hardened them, stole from them their very joy and joy of life.  They drifted farther and father apart.  I now live six months with Mom, and six with Dad. The divorce was finalized in March.

For many months, the investigators attempted to pit me against them, wanting my assistance in extracting the truth from each.  To be completely honest, I have no idea what to believe.  Both Mom and Dad clearly loved Bucky, although they hated his unusual ability.  But I can’t believe that this would bring either one, or both, to kill him.  I hope it was just an accident, an awful accident.

A few months before the divorce, one of the officers even asked if I had done it.  He said that sometimes children love their parents so much, that they can do unbelievable things for them.  I loved, and still love, both my parents, that much I know for sure.  I know I do.  But if I did do it, I can’t remember that.  I don’t think that I could do it.  If I did, then I’ve pushed that memory far, far away.

I loved Bucky too.  I really did.

 

 

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AN ANGEL IN THE CLOSET

Sk. In Closet copy© 2018 Bill Murphy

We often hear of skeletons in the closet, of deep dark sins and secrets hidden away, musty and dusty and, we hope, dormant and forgotten.  But what of angels in the closet?

My family has one of each – and both are from the same closet!

I come from two large families, with a total of 13 uncles and aunts plus all their wives and husbands. This large collection of unique individuals has gifted me with a wealth of stories and life experiences.  One of my favorite story-treasures involves my mother’s older sister, Lillie Fairchild Padget, and her husband Fred Padget.

Uncle Fred and Aunt Lillie (who everyone in the family called Sister) lived in Bogalusa, Louisiana.  Uncle Fred died of a sudden heart attack in 1947, and Sister moved next door to us on Evergreen Street.  Now Uncle Fred had an evil skeleton in his closet, which Sister packed up and brought to Jackson when she moved from Bogalusa.  She kept it not in a closet, but in a large trunk.

Not long after settling into her new home in Mississippi, she joined Griffith Memorial Baptist Church on Silas Brown Street, near our home.  And she began to sew.  She made for herself a beautiful, white Easter dress.

She was oh so proud of that dress.  It was of the finest silk, and rivaled the elegance of any wedding dress!  That top quality garment hardy cost her pennies to make!  The smooth, lily white material she already had.  It was brought from Bogalusa in the trunk.

You see, Uncle Fred had been an officer in the Bogalusa chapter of the KKK.  Sister made that beautiful dress, a dress to wear to church to worship and honor her Lord and Savior on the day set aside to celebrate that marvelous day He arose from the dead!

Sacrilegious? NO!

Read your Bible.  Over and over again we read where God used the weak to defeat the strong, the fearful to instruct us in bravery, and the ugly as a radiant example of beauty. This former skeleton in a closet, a dark symbol of sin and shame, my dear Aunt Lillie transformed into an angelic statement of love and devotion to our Lord and Savior.  I know that He looked down on that silk’s new form, and smiled.

 

 

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BARE BUNS

Hamburger© 2017 Bill Murphy

When I began this blog, I vowed that I would not stoop to ranting and raving – ever! Therefore, consider the following as only an OBSERVATION – over the course of some 70+ years.

As for ‘bare buns,’ I’m not speaking of those you see everywhere on 36 inch waist individuals who insist on wearing 48 inch pants – with no belt.  I hope this fad soon goes the way of the duck tail haircut.  I’m talking about HAMBURGER BUNS.

Hamburgers have an upper and lower bun.  Back in ‘my day’ BOTH of these buns were smeared with condiments.  Yes, they really were – and at EVERY place that made burgers!

But not today.  Today, the bottom half of the bun is as naked as folks in a nudists colony.

Although I don’t agree with this short cut, I can understand the reasoning behind it.  If you’re in the business of selling burgers, sales volume means sales profits.

Lets say that you can make 100 burgers in and hour and can sell those 100 burgers in an hour.  It would not be wise to MAKE only 80 burgers per hour.  (You’d lose 20% of your profits!)  It takes time to paint that bottom bun with condiments – time that merchants today think of as wasted time.  (Who looks at the BOTTOM bun besides Bill Murphy anyway?)

So the bottom is left as naked as a newborn.

And then there is the COST of those ‘wasted’ bottom bun condiments.  The merchant POCKETS the cost of these un-used/unneeded condiments.  (Profits go up!)  The boss can now go to Hawaii this Summer!

Also, by their very nature, when you cook hamburger meat, it becomes GREASY.  Placed on top of a spread of mayo/mustard/ketchup mix, the grease has no where to go but over the side!  Drip, drip, drip. T he nude bottom bun gives the hamburger a built in grease trap.  Tasty!  Otherwise, time would be WASTED by de-greasing each patty.  And as we have seen, wasted time is wasted profits!

There you have it.  It’s all a capitalist ploy to make money, at the expense of old geezers like me who remember the good old days of a COMPLETE hamburger.

That’s not a rant.  It’s “Just the facts, ma’am” – like Sgt. Friday said.

Some ‘old fashioned’ things are good fashioned things!

 

 

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GUILTY AS CHARGED

moses-573811_640© 2018 Bill Murphy

The past few months, an issues of spiritual importance has weighed heavily on my heart.  I’ve found myself asking hard questions, and pointing fingers.

Suddenly, I find myself guilty of my own ‘sin.’

This week, our church is having a form of vacation bible school – but this is a one day affair.  Judging by the amount of effort being put into it, one would think it was a full week (or 2 weeks) event!  The props and decor, which include a life-size, hand painted, cut-out figure of Goliath – are nothing short of fabulous.

My contribution was Jonah’s whale, with a cut-out in the side revealing the (living) character dressed as Jonah – sitting inside.

There was technical difficulty, a mix-up in communications, and I received the construction parameters late, which only left a limited time for construction.  Whew… I made it!

Then, late the night before we were to leave the following afternoon for a 6.5 hour trip to Mississippi, I received a call.  The tablets of stone, the 10 commandments, were too small! Could I make new ones?  I wanted to say no… but I said yes.

My dilemma was… I had to ‘design’ these props, gather and or purchase the supplies, and then construct them – all in the time remaining to arrive in Mississippi at least by midnight the very next night.

I actually did it!  I got to work the following morning – but I took a short-cut.  I made things more comfortable for myself.

You see… the 10 commandments are a somewhat lengthy read.  That would have required quite a bit of lettering on my part.  My reasoning was that I didn’t have the time – and that this is for a CHILDREN’S program anyway.  I opted out and located kiddie-friendly versions of the 10 commandments.  Instead of: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s… mine just said, “Don’t want other’s stuff.”  We got to our Mississippi destination by 10:30.

But while on our way, it came to me… guilt.  I was guilty of the same thing which I’d been seeing in others!

For months now I’ve come to realize that we’ve come to make corporate worship far too ‘comfortable.’  And this comfort has pushed aside and thoroughly muddied our concepts of respect and reverence for what we once called… The House of God.

Folks my age remember what was called ‘Sunday clothes.’  Today, in order to welcome the weak, the poor, the huddled masses – dressing for church is a thing of the past. What’s good for Monday thru Friday – and even Saturday – is good enough for God!

And dress is only the tip of the iceberg!

But how can I call the kettle black?  Didn’t I cut a big corner?  Didn’t I save a few minutes (or hours) to make it convenient for myself?  Didn’t I put personal comfort and desires above the Holy Laws of God?  Yes, I did.  I’m guilty as charged!

P.S. I my defense, I still refuse to wear a hat inside and during a church service.  There are usually several (male) hatted heads in my laid-back place of worship.

 

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BC, AD, and PCP

telephone© 2018 Bill Murphy

In school, we learned that history was divided by the birth of Christ… BC before, AD after.  Allow me to add another time-division… PCP – Pre Cell Phone.

You’ll have to be less than 50 in age to appreciate the amazing changes that we old geezers have seen and experienced.

I remember when our home phone number was 32246. No prefix. No area code. Think about that for a moment. In my home town of Jackson, MS –  that meant the number of telephones was limited to 99,999 telephones… which included private homes, schools, businesses, hospitals, public services… everyone!

We had only one telephone in our home… no extensions.  It was a ‘land-line,’ and all connections were made ‘physically’ over wires.  My aunt and uncle who lived across the street had a pedestal phone.  I always wanted one of those. I think they were classic, as far as telephones go.

Our telephone was located in the hallway, near the center of our home.  It sat on a small shelf, in a ‘nook’ recessed into the wall, with a flat shelf underneath which held the phone book.  There were numbers, 0 thru 9, arranged around a dial.  Each call required 5 ‘dials.‘  WHERE you talked was limited by the length of the telephone cord.

There was no such thing as recorded messages. ‘Speed dialing‘ was determined by the dexterity of your fingers.

Then came prefixes, which allowed the number of telephones within an area to increase. Our prefix was FLEETWOOD.  It was dialed as ‘FL.’  New telephones were required for this, for the addition of these alphabetical letters.

To make a long distance call, you had to call the phone company and be connected to the circuits which led out of town and to distances beyond.  There were extra charges for long distance… and it was not cheap.  You were charged by the minutes you talked.

With the advent of area codes, you no longer had to call the ‘long distance operator’ to make a long distance call.  But… the long distance calls still costs extra.

The first person I knew who had a ‘cell’ phone was my mother-in-law.  But it was not called a cell-phone.  It was called a ‘mobile phone.’  It would not fit in your pocket!  The thing came in a box about the size of two shoe boxes joined side by side.  It had a receiver to talk into and listen with, just like the telephones at home.  She had hers sitting on the ‘hump’ on the floor of her car, between the front seats.  It was next to impossible to use with the car in motion.

When wireless transmission really took off, there were not that many ‘mobile phones’ around. But there was plenty of PAGERS.  Both my wife and her sister worked for pager companies.  A pager was a small hand-held wireless device, that when your pager was called, it buzzed, and displayed the phone number you were to call.  It could also display a brief message.  But… you had to call the pager company and tell them what pager to page, and give them the number/message you wanted displayed on that pager.  Because my wife worked for the pager company, she put the pager software on our home computer… and I could page her directly!  “We’re out of milk,” I could tell her while she was on the way home.  What a time saver!

The first time this modern technology really rocked my world was in the mid 80s. Carol and I were on vacation in Maine.  We were walking down the main street of Machias, ME.  Carol noticed something in the window of shop and commented that her sister would like that.  There on the street, Carol paged Mary Ellen, describing the item.  Mary Ellen paged Carol back, and said, ‘yes,’ she wanted it.  Carol made the purchase.  From Maine to Mississippi, the deal was settled almost instantly.  That was truly amazing at the time!

And practically overnight it seemed, we had cell phones.  Gone were the days of being anchored to a wire when you made a call.  Now you could talk anywhere… outside, up a tree, under the house.  And just as suddenly, that expensive bane in the budget – LONG DISTANCE – was a thing of the past.

Today the world is at our fingertips.  ‘Back then,’ if your family didn’t have a set of encyclopedias, it required a trip to the library to learn the capital of Ireland.

But… all this miraculous ‘convenience’ has come at a terrible price.  We’ve loosing the gift of gab.  Our kids are not learning to communicate, not face to face.  Today people can hide behind a tiny screen and lash out and rip apart the lives of others.

Today we’re still chained to copper wires.  Today’s chains are the chargers – which people continue to lose – or to borrow… because they lack the responsibility to bring their own along.

When I was growing up, there was a box to be checked (hopefully) on our school report cards.  That box was: PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS.  Our kids today, sadly, are in training to lose this ability.

Oh, what were you saying?  I was reading a text.

Dipper… not the ‘big’ one.

Snuff©  2018   Bill Murphy

The only person in my family that I knew was a smoker was my Uncle Hilton, who lived across the street.  But, my maternal Grandmother, Emma Fairchild, was a dipper – a snuff dipper.

But one day, she made up her mind to quit.

I think I was pre-school at the time, or perhaps only 1st or 2nd grade.  She announced to the family the big news of snuffing out her snuff habit – and then did a very strange thing:  she asked my mother to pick up a new jar of (Garrett’s) snuff for her.

“Why?” asked my mother, “I thought you were quitting.”

Mamaw Fairchild explained that YES, she was definitely quitting the dusty habit.  However, she wanted a fresh bottle ‘just in case.’

Mom bought the bottle… the very bottle in the photo above.

Mamaw Fairchild put that new bottle of Garrett’s on the mantel… where it sat, unopened, until the day she died – many years later.

My mother saved the bottle, emptied the contents, placed a bright artificial flower bud in it, and placed that amber bottle on a shelf in our home.  Mom also removed the Garrett’s label.

This cherished story from childhood illustrates yet another reason why I hold my ancestor’s in such high esteem.  Mamaw Fairchild made up her mind, and stuck to her decision.  This little bottle is a physical reminder of her determination, to make her bad habit bite the dust!

 

 

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BACK IN MOLASSISSIPPI

DixieSorghum

© 2018 by Bill Murphy

Once a Mississippian, always a Mississippian I say.  I was born and raised in the fair Magnolia State, and until age 70, lived here.  I currently live in SOUTHERN Illinois, a far cry from the graft and guns of Chicago.  In the previous sentence, I used the word ‘here’ because I am HERE as I write these words, visiting friends and relatives.

I’ve just returned for a store which shall remain unnamed. The name doesn’t matter.  It’s just a deep-south-Mississippi type place.  OK.  It was Dollar General.

The store was crowded.  There was only one cashier on hand to accept my one dollar for my one item.  But I was the 9th one in line.  Patience is a virtue scripture tells me.  Mine keep trying to slip from my grasp.

There was one other ‘employee’ in sight, obviously one in management.  He kept ambling to and fro, in places that only employees should go, inspecting and moving around items that customers would not be allowed to handle.  I say he was ‘ambling,’ because his movement could in no way be labeled as walking.  It was more a slow shuffle, an amble… what one does when they have all the time in the world – and are using it.

Mr. Molasses was obviously being paid by the hour, and Dollar General and the 9 of us in the check-out line were NOT getting our dollars worth.

Yes.  I was back home… in Mississippi.  I didn’t need the cotton fields, cornbread, boiled peanuts, and Ole Miss bumper stickers to reming me.  And I sure didn’t need a map to tell me that I was back home in MOLASSISSIPPI.

 

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