The Austins lived just across the pasture from us. Jody Austin “drank.” In our neck of the woods, “drinking” meant a man was considered disreputable, prone to beat his wife and children, and probably didn’t work. It sounded a lot like today’s alcoholic. Jodie qualified magnificently. It was rumored that he had shot a man in a bar. Folks left Jody alone. Every Saturday night Jody hosted his “drinking” buddies for a binge. The festivities started with a huge bonfire. As they sat around on barrels, old cars, and broken lawn chairs, they tossed their cans out in the darkness. They got louder, sometimes had a friendly fight, occasionally rolling all around the fire, finishing off with a little singing…a treat for all the neighbors.
Jody and his gang of rowdies got sufficiently drunk, they started crowing trying rouse the rooster! Jody had a fine crowing voice, but roosters are territorial, determined to keep their harem to themselves. Since roosters habitually are “early to bed and early to rise,” it usually took about four tries to get Rudy the Rooster going. His initial response was usually half-hearted and anemic. Roo-ooh- ooh-ooh-ooh-oooooh. He obviously needed his rest. Jody’s buddies took a turn crowing. Rudy was riled now and ready for a rooster fight, but couldn’t find a single rooster to whip. The partiers thought this was high humor. They all took turns crowing. After a particularly authentic crow, Rudy called back “ROOH-OOH-OOH-OOH-OOOOOOH!!!” The longer the competition went on, the madder Rudy got. He must have hated Saturday nights and drinking.
First in a series
Turning the tables on a kid who’s spent most of his life (I am being intentionally ambiguous here so neither of my kids feels neglected) creating embarrassing situations is refreshing. We went out of town for a few days, leaving our college-aged son home, after specifically asking him not to have guests over. He was certainly old enough to be responsible, for what that’s worth, but we just didn’t want to deal with any problems on our return.
Needless to say, he had friends over. I probably would have never known, had one of his lady-friends not gone to the freezer for ice. I got this phone call.
Him: “Mom, what in the world are that frozen bat and squirrel doing in the freezer?”
Me: “Oh, I forgot I put those in there. Just leave them alone. They aren’t hurting a thing.”
Him: “But why are they in there?”
Me: “I found them dead in the yard and thought maybe they’d died of rabies. I meant to call animal control to see what to do, so I put them in the freezer in case they needed to be tested, then forgot. Why?”
Him: “Cindy went in the freezer and stuck her hand down in the bag looking for ice, pulled out the dead bat, and now she’s freaking out.”
Me: “Well, I told you not to have anybody over. Just wrap them back up and put them back in the freezer, unless Cindy Lu Who wants them. I’ll take care of them when I get home. I told you not to have anyone over!”
Sometimes, things work out perfectly.
Connie and Marilyn were adorable little girls, born a little over a year apart. Born fouth and fifth of five children, we all doted on them, with the exception of my brother Billy, who was displaced by all that cuteness. Mother dressed them in pastel shades of the same style dresses as much as she could. Connie was fair and blue-eyed with cotton white Continue reading
The Awfuls were awesome. Even though their name was Alston, the neighborhood mothers thought Awful was a better fit. We all envied them as they roamed the neighborhood with a freedom we only imagined. They weren’t mean; they just got to do exactly as they pleased. They were everywhere, playing on the railroad track, staying out Continue reading
When my Grandpa Roscoe and his brothers were young, they never missed the rare opportunity to attend a dance or church social, no matter how hard they’d been working on the farm. They’d work like mad all week to get through in time to ride out to any barn-dance, Continue reading