Aunt Ader’s Place Part 6

img_1578Aunt Ader’s Place held more thrills than Disneyland.  Much of my large extended family gathered on a beautiful Halloween.  The women packed the hysterical children into a caravan of cars and made the rounds of a dozen houses scattered about the country neighborhood.  The twenty-odd children piling fighting their way out of cars must have looked like Attila and his ferocious Huns as we descended on the locals.  The drivers quickly gave up the battle and headed back as sugar-fired kids battled for Tootsie Rolls in the back seats.

Ensuring the madness continued, just as evening fell, we returned to a roaring bonfire in Aunt Ader’s front yard.  That was all it took to turn us into wild people, rabid in hot pursuit of each other.  Eventually, we wore down and settled in to roast hot dogs and marshmallows  on the open fire.  Many were burned beyond redemption, but some were even eaten.

As the evening cooled and the fire burned low and we sat on logs around the fire the stories started, first the old favorites like Bloody Bones that no one really believed.  As we quieted and the little ones drifted off in their parents arms, the older folks started with “true” scary stories: the time a mad-dog tried to drag Great-Aunt Bessie’s baby  from a pallet in the yard, the time so long ago when a hog devoured some cousin’s neighbor’s kid who fell into the pen.  Cousin Ray told a a man seeking shelter from the night who was turned away from several houses because he seemed suspicious but was eventually was taken in.  The next day the family’s mutilated bodies were found and murderous man never seen again. They later learned, the same thing had happened somewhere else. The beauty of all these terrible stories was that they all happened long ago to perfectly expendable people we’d never met, so we were able to enjoy them guilt-free with no emotional investment except a tingle of horror.

Finally, the delicious tales ended and we piled into cars for a dreamless ride home, to the sound of Mother and Daddy talking low in the front seat.  Of course, Mother assured us those stories were just tall-tales, not to be believed, but that didn’t hender my pleasure at all.

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Eat Your Mushrooms

imageTwo old guys were sitting around talking when they got to the the subject of marriage.

“Have you ever been married?”

“Yeah, I was married three times, but it ended in tragedy every time.”
Continue reading

The Case of the Mysterious Spotted Dog Murder

Our life with Annie, our surly, farting Dalmatian was complicated by her partner in crime, Greg, the ever-present kid from across the street.  I use ever-present in the strictest sense.  Greg’s mom worked nights.  In a casual relationship never addressed by any of us, Greg made a beeline to our house as soon as he got home every day, hit the pantry for a snack, and let Annie out of prison.  Greg was well known for investigating our premises, keeping himself abreast of what all that was going on at our house, while he dawdled about, picking things up, questioning, “What’s this?  When did you get this?”   We’d chat about his day.  Afterwards, he and Annie would go off on a ramble, since we lived in a rural neighborhood with many large wooded areas. They were a common sight, known all over the neighborhood.

At any rate, one afternoon he and Annie stumbled on a construction site, just as a human skull was unearthed.  Naturally, the ensuing hub bub was tremendous. With law enforcement and news crews arriving, Greg and Annie managed to be front and center, part of the big story. Greg was ecstatic, carrying the news all over the neighborhood, taking full credit for the entire situation.  Anxious to milk the situation for all it was worth, Greg made a hasty trip back to our house to retrieve a gag item of my daughter’s, a dummy arm and hand intended to hang from the trunk of a vehicle, giving the impression of a body is in the trunk.

Returning to the wooded area near the site of all the excitement, Greg tossed the “arm” to Annie, initiating her favorite game of “keepaway.”  Annie burst from the woods, arm in her mouth, ripping through the yellow crime scene tape.  Greg was right behind her, yelling his head off. It was like a scene out of a Monty Python movie. Annie, no novice, at being chased by shouting strangers, headed home, dragging the incriminating arm.  Winded, she scratched at the back door, still clinging to her prize.  Shortly, she was followed by Greg and a bevy of law enforcement officers, asking to see the arm.  She’d hidden in the bedroom, reluctant to part with such a desirable prize, but I brought it out for their examination.  I was so glad not to be Greg’s parent that day.

Oh, the skull turned out to be that of a Native American who’d probably died more than one hundred years before.

https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/not-quite-the-proverbial-turd-in-the-punchbowl/

https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/pooping-with-brian/

Murdering Bum (from Kathleen’s Memoirs of The Great Depression)

Boy was Mama ever mad when I got home!  Rob Grissom, was sitting kicked back in front room reading when I walked in.  Lord only knows why Daddy tolerated him.  Mama just said he didn’t have the gumption to run him off.  As much as I hate to admit it, she was probably right.  Daddy was a soft touch.  Rob just showed up once in a while and hung Continue reading

Excerpt from Kathleen’s 1940’s Memoir

Though I was raised during the depression, with parents who farmed and probably never had more than a few dollars in their possession at one time, I never did without. My mother, Lizzie’s canned goods were stacked up high against the bedrooms walls. She sewed everything our family wore except overalls and pants. My father, Roscoe repaired Continue reading

Bill and the Bed Slat

      Biil and his mean mama

Biil and his mean mama

My mother was hard on my brother, Bill. Totally unconcerned about his tender psyche and self-esteem, she spanked him when he was a tender child. She was a tiny, “not tall” woman with a squeaky voice to match, sounding a lot like Minnie Mouse. It was ridiculous seeing her flap away at one of us with a plastic fly swat, but she gave it her best shot from time to time, anyway. Not wanting to be part of such a ridiculous show and avoid further embarrassment was the most likely inducement to better behavior.

Bill maintains he got more than his share of spankings, but most of us feel she neglected him. One day when he was about six, he confronted her, “Mama, you wupped me five times today!” Stricken by this accusation, she answered him, “I know son. I should have wupped you more, but I can’t give you all my time. I have four other children who need wupping.”

The last time she brutally beat him, he was eighteen years old, over six feet four inches tall, and had ragged her one day till she wanted to murder him. After a final smart remark as he went out the back door, he bent over and waggled his behind at her. Overcome with fury, she grabbed up a bed slat conveniently standing beside the back door and threatened him.

“Bend over and grab your knees, boy!” He thought it was the funniest thing he’d ever heard. He bent over, grabbed his knees just as she demanded, and waggled his behind at her again for good measure, just in case she hadn’t seen enough the first time. She drew back and smacked him across the rear as hard as she could manage. POW! The percussion verberated across the woods like a rifle shot!

Bill fell to the ground, proclaiming, “You broke my back! You broke my back!

Terrified, she imagined herself going to jail for child abuse, even though he was past eighteen and towered more than a foot above her, leaving two little girls without the comfort of a mother. Mustering bravado, she threatened. “Get up from there or I’ll get you again, boy!”

He hopped up and strode around the corner of the house, laughing to my dad who’d enjoyed the whole episode. “That smarts! I didn’t think she could hit that hard!”

Happy Birthday Bill. Watch out for Mother!