November 1, 2011

Little White Building and Pee

The little building that was the office at the Lexington Gin was not torn down for many years. It was still there shortly before the sewing plant that was located there was closed. The day it was torn down I could not help wanting it to stay; I had memories of sitting in there talking to the secretary while waiting for our cotton to be processed. Mrs. Green always took the time to talk to me. Now that I look back at some of our conversations I think she enjoyed the things that I would tell her about my family more than I realized. I am a kid and do not have the knowledge of what questions to answer or what parts to leave out. I she inquired about why my little brother and grandmother had came to the gin I answered. I did not leave out the real reasons at all. Daddy's on the couch, so Grandmother had to let an eight year old boy drive a not so safe Ford Tractor and trailer with two-thousand pounds of cotton six miles to the gin. This was information I am sure, now that she did not keep to herself. Then there were the Kings that lived in the house on the corner that I sometimes visited during the wait. The Kings were the really poor people or poor acting people of the area. They didn't have clean anything. I think that the old man had more than it appeared, but being clean and dressing the family was not on his list of priorities. The King's that is what they were to us. The one girl that was my age, Jane lived with her family in the oldest house in Lexington. No running water and the smell of the house are what I noticed the most. There were puppies everywhere. Puppies being part of my attraction to visit the house. I was not considered poor as them, but on the border line was my status at school. This made me hang with Jane from time to time. I would hang with her more away from school, because of the trips to the gin. One time I decided that I was going to help her out since she seemed to not have clean clothes to wear to school. I slipped some of my clothes into a paper sack and took them to school to her. I gave the things that had been given to me to her. I am in the same boat, but it made me feel better knowing I was just a little better off than the Kings. One of the things that gave me that idea was that one time the smallest toddler in their house squatted on the porch to pee. I thought this was terrible. On the porch was no place for anyone to pee. I am going to discipline the child not by just saying don't pee on the porch; I had to do more, pick the squatting child up and move him, why I don't know. Well all that did was get my feet wet on a cold winters day, that I had to ride a cotton wagon home. Six miles with pee on my feet in the wind. Cold was not even the word for it, more like frozen socks by time I got home. That is where I know I gathered the saying that I still often use, from my grandmother, "poor folks have poor ways."

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