Tuesday, February 13, 2007


As a follow-up to Just This Side of Total Fear (posted on October 3, 2006), my cousin Mark sent me this email. He and I just met again after 20 or 30 years (see post below) and I asked him to read this post and verify the details. Turns out, my memory was “spot on” except that I originally, thought it was another cousin. Mark is the gentleman in the beige sport coat, back row, with my hand around his neck. He writes:

Mushy (not my real name),
You are right-I think we both grew up some that night. I have seen some foggy nights since then but that was a surreal experience for us. I remember we met an ambulance coming out from Lawrenceburg. That must have been around 1963 or 64. Hardly a foggy night passes that I do not recall that night.

I remember the Mockingbird Trailer Park and visiting yall there.

Now, I’m going to test your memory. Do you recall letting me try your new bow and arrow. That must have been one of the craziest, most dangerous, stunts I ever pulled (on purpose that is). Talk about not thinking something through. Do you remember me shooting that arrow straight up? We would run as fast as we could to avoid the risk of being hit when it landed! How did we ever survive? I’m laughing now but it sure wasn’t funny then as I recall.

By the way - I never did know - did you ever find that arrow? (BTW, I did not.)

On a more positive side-what fun we had when we were at Grandmother’s for holiday meals (usually Thanksgiving or Christmas with a rare Easter or 4th of July).

You can probably remember chipping the ice, mixing it with the salt and turning one of those old White Mountain ice cream makers. I don’t know if I’ve ever had ice cream since those days that tasted as good as it did back then. What do you think?

Some of my fondest memories of Grandmother was when I mowed her yard. I was 10-11 years old. That yard looks small today but back then it seemed as big as a football field. And mowing with a 20 or 22” push mower meant several hours since I mowed the side yard too
(another lot just south of the lot her house was on) just to keep the critters (snakes and field mice) at bay. The good thing about mowing that side lot was it wasn’t landscaped with a prodigious amount
of petunias as the house lot-so I didn’t have to take care to move those creeping petunias.

I doubt I ever truly appreciated petunias until after Grandmother passed on.

The rewards were always there though. After cleaning up after the hot and dusty chore, I’d drink what seemed like a quart of ice water. That water didn’t have any added fluoride or chloride - it came from a hand dug well-that was some great tasting water. I imagine that well is condemned now as most others are.

Usually, there was time for a nap. Most of July and August it was in the 90’sF but with an old oscillating floor fan creating a steady breeze - I could “sleep like a log.” In the late 50’s, central air conditioning just hadn’t made it all the way to Lexington, AL yet. Of course, we didn’t miss what we didn’t know about though. As I recall, it was 1961 when our family first had a central unit.

Typically, after a refreshing nap, I would awake to a real treat! Sometimes it was coconut or chocolate cake sometimes it as caramel, sometimes lemon, but most often it was my favorite, homemade chocolate pie and a tall glass of sweet milk! Mmmmmm!

I could go on for a while about that pie but I don’t think there are words in the dictionary to adequately describe how good it was. I always made sure to tell Grandmother I thought it was the BEST!

I don’t expect I’ll ever find a better treat - but I’ll always have these memories!

What an age of innocence compared to the way some children are raised today.

Talk with you later.


Les Becker said...

Oh, Mushy, how I wish I had memories like that! Thanks so much for sharing them - and your cousin, too!

BRUNO said...

This is the kinda stuff I like to day-dream about, too.(literally!) Like an ol' dog, in a warm, sunny spot, all stretched out. At that point where you're barely awake, almost to the "sweet-dream memories" spot---and then your cell rings, and scares the snot outta you, and once again, it's life in "real-time"!

Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Reading this (and the Mockingbird Trailer post) was most enjoyable.

What an age of innocence compared to the way some children are raised today.

Too true.

Fathairybastard said...

Man, it must run in the family. Another great set of memories. Funny your cousin talks about shooting an arrow into the air and the both of you running. I used to do that with my buddies in Missouri. We also lost a few arrows that way. Found out much later that this sort of thing actually goes way back. Some Indians had a game where they would stand in a circle and take turns shooting arrows into the air, with the objective of see who's a punk and who isn't. I always thought it was a lot of fun, and hard not to instinctively dodge the things when they were coming down. Another great post.

Michele said...

Sounds like memories are flowing! *S* It's great to get together and relive them with others!

DirtCrashr said...

We've got my Uncle's (Mom's bro) 80th B-Day this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing my cousins - we've missed the last several Christmases and other events...

Mushy said...

Dirtcrashr - you'll love it!