How many times have you just sat and wondered how is it that I'm still in one piece? Did you ever fall out of a hayloft accidentally or maybe you had a little assistance from one of your dear friends? We were so small the ground seemed like it was a million miles away. Maybe we put Sky King to shame flailing through the air.
Friends, for you folks that have been under a root cellar all yo' life, at one time there were barns that stored hay, corn that had to be shucked, milking stalls, farrowing pens, barrels of short. Heh, heh, let some them Harvard city slickers "figger" that'un out. Tell that to some of today's modernization and watch 'em look at you just like you just slapped them in the noggin with bowl of boiled, dehydrated chit'lins.
Remember how the landing-pad when diving out of the loft, would be harder than an ex-mother-in-law's heart? Or possibly kind of messy as we say in the South, caused by the rains mixed in what you find in a barnyard. Only my country brethren can relate. Either way, you done had a bad day at Black Rock. I guess it was 'pert nigh' a miracle all of us didn't have more broken bones and skint, split hides than we might admit.
But unless you were barely two steps ahead of the grim reaper there was no way anyone would admit being hurt and desiring a trip to the miracle cure doctor. Better be tough! Not only aches and pains, but communicable diseases spread around the entire universe. Can anyone recall these problems as a youngster?
Jack, the illustrious Oracle of Delphi, reminded me of the seven-year itch and the preferred treatment many years ago. Sometimes called 'scabies' and a few names the preacha' couldn't repeat, this itch would make you squall the cows home. This nail breaking itch would cover a victim like a politician covers a vote at an upcoming speaking rally election. Beloved, now that's all over, far and wide. Daddy said he had seen blood drawn scratching and digging while tears flowed like the Johnstown flood.
Neighbor, the mixture of sorghum molasses and sulfur, similar to catheads dipped in red-eye gravy, to be fiercely spread over the red 'wep' torso. Another suggestion was to wash the bed sheets, blankets and quilts at least every two weeks, whether needed or not. A hot bath using freshly drawn well water was said to expedite the cure. I'm not sure if this extra dipping included the regular Sat'dy night submerging. Just a thought!
One thing about it, the entire school, not just the room class, knew you were not absent with sulfur and molasses emitting an odor from Rosemark University to Beaver Valley. No matter whether it was right or wrong, this was just way of life.
Friends can you just imagine what these curtain climbers would do today of they had to indulge in some of our cures we used a hun'ert years ago? Why they would crawl under a gum stump like a mole and hide for sure. But we did survive by the skin of our teeth. Maybe it wasn't as bad as we thought at the time.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.