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Southern Raisin': Ask a senior

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When we were growing up often we heard some terms, as common courtesy, common denominator,  common fractions,  common interests and common sense or lack there of.  

Such as some city slicker th’owin’ a wet stick of black locust stove wood inside a pot belly and strikin’ a Diamond wooden match to float the burning jet in the neighbor hood of the anticipated blaze.  Then unintelligently slam the heavy metal cast iron door and not turn the handle to secure and lock.  Did you ever stop and think about some Harvard liberals are educated beyond their own capacity?  I can see it now.  The philosophers on Mr. Ben’s store front porch such as Mr. Harber would turn to Mr. T. D. and Mr. Leon with, “that boy ain’t got no common sense.” 

But wait, just suppose some young folks had to what we call ‘take care of themselves’ like our brilliant senior citizens did decades previously.  Can you imagine?  Adults would be inquiring from their ancestors.  How, when, where, what?  I surmise the intelligence would intercede with, “I’ll get hot, dirty, and sore.”  No kidding!

Friends, possibly the women will be asking Granny how to cut up and fry chickens?  The cluckers don’t jump in plastic bags at the store.  Mix up the dough for some cathead biscuits.  (all they know is those canned cardboard containers you slap on the edge of the counter that pop when they fly open. Sounds like a war down the road with a wop, wop).   Try cooking some of Miss Bonnie’s cornbread on a wood stove. 

These boxes on the store shelf where you mix in water, that aint’ cornbread, that’s hoe cakes.  My wisdom laden ladies know cornbread has tangy buttermilk ingredients.  The stoves don’t have timers or degree settings, just common horse sense.  Possibly, how to ‘can’, or make lye soap out of hickory ashes to wash clothes with drawn well water. 

The men will find out how to ‘cut up’ a hog and hand grind home made seasoned sausage.  Possibly, slaughter a steer or put in a garden.  You’d better learn how to ‘cook out lard’ if you don’t want the grub sticking to the skillet or possibly add a little pepper sauce flavoring, along with some fat back, to the field peas and turnip greens.

My Fellow Americans, you’d best learn “Gee” from “Haw” while teaching the long-eared blue-gum mule the difference between go, whoa, ho and no.  You could end up jumping a gum stump breaking the turning plow point.   Have you ever seen a computer clean out a barn stall and spread the right amount of manure?  I sho’ ain’t.

No one will need any paper money, as products and crops will be traded as needed. Blacksmiths will once again become high technical trained elite pillars of the community. The magnetos in the hand cranked phones can assist in fishing and the tan boxes th’owed in the creek.  One hunting game for a hobby might now become a necessity.

Kids would have to crawl out of gas guzzlers and straddle a Moline.  They could be digging post holes and flipping hay bales into the barn.  They might remove ’em shiny ear rings, belly and nose rings belonging in a hog’s snout, where originally intended.

Don’t depend on the ‘guv-mint’ for a solution.  Half of the politicians think ‘rasslin’ is real and the other half believe John Glenn’s space trip was filmed in the Painted Desert.  World Wars, depressions, plagues, weight-loss plans, and spray painting hair color on yo’ head hasn’t shut down our great country.  It is impossible to believe a little back drop recession will faze a wisdom loaded Southern Country Senior as he will survive.”

Neighbor, what would muddy up the water if all my brilliant Senior Citizens came forth, smiled and relayed, “ I ain’t gonna’ show you nuthin’ so just ‘figger’ it out yo’selves.”  Dear John, that would send their saddle home.

 My Fellow Country Southern Rednecks And The South Will Rise Again…GLORY

Otis 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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