February 15, 2013
All Things Southern/Some Yankee
I am all about Southern. That does not mean that I totally forgot the first seven years of my life. I spent them way up north. The one time I have been back there I felt as though I was at the edge of the earth. It seems that I was so far up that I could go no farther. On my drives to work I notice the regulars that you see along the way. I have always wondered what random people lives are like. My Grandpa picked my brother, mama and me up every Tuesday to spend the day with them. He had a black Ford. The roads were made of concrete; to this day when I get on a concrete road it reminds me of Wayne Michigan. I still recall one random person and wonder why this little boy was running down the street crying. I am in the back seat of my grandpa's black Ford, on Tuesday to spend the day with them. I am and always will be a sponge soaking up what I see along the way. This little boy in my mind has lost his mama. I am sure that whatever was happening to him was really bad the way he was crying. The same thoughts are in my mind each morning that I see the guy at Mickey D's. Today he had lots of cans. I am told they are like a nickel a piece now. It seems to me that today, he had enough to more than pay for his coffee, that he always drinks. Today I did not see the lady with long hair that seems to be in another world as she walks down Wood Avenue. She was walking yesterday and had on a heavy dark-grayish-blue coat with fake fur around the hood. I am told there is a half-way house around UNA somewhere maybe that is where they stay. When we lived on Morley Street in Wayne there was a man that looked a lot like the man with the cans in North Florence. My daddy was familiar with the winos and hoboes of the neighborhood we lived in; I am thinking this is why it did not bother Daddy for this man to sleep in the junk car in our driveway. This really bothered Mama, so I at seven or younger decided one day to make the hobo get out of the car and out of our yard. Tell me why a grown man would run from a small girl swinging a broom? The man ran, he really did. I am not sure if he came back or not. He must not have or I would remember I think. Our re-location to Alabama was the greatest adventure of my life. The experiences of my life before I was seven are not all that great. The food was not as good; much of the time there was not any and my mama was not the best cook in the world. It was so cold and even colder in the wet bed that I had wet and was not changed. Southern is better to me for many reasons. Southern Comfort to me is really more than a brand if whiskey. Southern Comfort to me is having normal comforts of home.It really probably means more to me than most, because of the comfort that I finally experienced when we came to Alabama. We went to a home that was warm and the food was great. I wondered all around the twenty acres that was my daddy's parents. There was nothing I did not try to figure out about the cows, barns and gardens. The barn lot was my first stop for my little mind to begin its wondering. The salt block that was placed for the cows to lick was yellow. It was the same color yellow of the small buttercups that grew on the bank of my new southern yard. This object was of great fascination to me. I could not figure out what is. It had been licked by the cows, so it looked like something melted. I came to the conclusion that it was a yellow garbage can that had been melted burning the trash. In time I would learn different, but I still remember how neat that yellow blob in the barnyard was. It was an honest mistake for a seven year old that had always seen grown-ups burning stuff in the yard. This is just another thing that I have gathered along the way. Much of which I gathered on my own and figured out I was wrong on my own.