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Today is Thursday, October 23, 2014

I’ll bet you had them too

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If you lay down your whittlin’ bladed case and quit trying to make a toothpick out of a piece of kindling, maybe you can recollect the sun rays pouring over the elm trees, breaking daylight.  There are many beautiful sights and experiences that only us redneck Southerners have had the chances and opportunities to enjoy. When is the last time you leaned back in your straw woven chair and calmly observed a newborn colt searching for breakfast?   
With assistance including some nudging, prodding and a little horse sense, it wasn’t long before formerly wobbly legs are showboating through the knee high pasture.  
After a thorough exam, the high stepper is hopefully pronounced healthy. The same for a litter of pigs just born, as the momma Hampshire sow provided them nourishment, tender love and care.  Only Southern country folks would understand what it means to have healthy stock enter the universe.  
How many times have you stared at the starving future delightful hams and gloated with, “they all look good?”  This was a glorious event that Daddy and I witnessed together many, many times in a farrowing house.  
Can you remember bending on your knees and cleaning each and every one of the little rascals?  Of course Daddy would reach down and inspect each one trying to turn him inside out or bottom side up’ards.     
With a smiling approval, daddy clipped each pig’s ‘tushes’ with some hand toted side cutters.  For you folks that have been under the Washington monument or possibly those know it all Harvard slide rule professors, “tushes” are little razor sharp teeth that jut out a smidgen on the side of the pig’s mouth.  Daddy explained as I was so young at the time, “Bo, Momma Hampshire sow don’t like to get hurt, so we gonna’ help her.”  I agreed.  The first few times I wasn’t sure exactly what I was agreeing to, but Daddy was always right as usual.  See how smart Mommas really are?    
Friends, I frankly don’t know for sure if there is such a word as “tushes” in Brother Webster’s big red book called a  dictionary, but  it was and still is a word for us rednecks.  If you stop and study on it, I doubt very seriously if Noah ever killed a hog in his life so it is easy to understand how the boy wouldn’t know dirty dishwater from black liquid shoe polish.
Oh we so were pleased when we had a big litter of healthy slop lappers.  Additionally bragging when a new born heifer commenced to bellowing.  Throw in a flock of chickens protected by Momma clucker and we would beam for miles.  City slickers probably don’t understand, but this was money in our pocket and grub on the eating table.  
Supposedly when I entered the universe I was healthy just like all my friends I grew up with.  What happened?  I’m not sure.  Maw and Paw Faulk, my grandparents, told me later in life that I was a pretty baby.  Momma and daddy agreed.  Maybe they were partial.  Frankly, some of my baby pictures resembled a drowned rat caught in a half full milk bucket.  For some reason I never did improve so I just accepted the fact and kept plowing the mule.  
Neighbor, did you have all the dreaded growing up pains as we did?  Our wonderful Rosemark neighborhood Doctor Flippin had all the answers.  I’ll bet there are a number of ailments these new computer punchers never even remotely knew existed.  Maybe the names have changed to protect the innocent.  That’s not necessary as the innocent ain’t done nothing wrong.  Change the name of the guilty as they are the ones that messed up.
Did you ever stop and wonder how in the world did you make it?  Sometimes it is enough to make a registered soothsayer drop the window shade, run and crawl under the four poster bed while covering up with a worn out quilt.  I have felt like it many times as I think I had ’em all.  
You name them and all of us agreed ... GLORY!


Griffin is the author of the book “Southern Raisin.” He was born in  Charleston, Tenn., and attended Rosemark Grammar School and Bolton High School.

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