Neighborhood Fruits #9b….”Shew me out of the Patch”… continued

Remember the “Row Sacks”, from earlier, well Mama would slit open the sack & scrape those Fish Eggs into a bowl with the Chicken Eggs & Scramble’em all up together. Um-m-m-m GOOD! Back to the tomato Plants…some time in late March or early April, when ever “The Poor Richards Almanac” said it was time, Papa’d get his seeds out on the back porch, send one of us to go get him a 5 gallon bucket of dirt from where we had been buryin’ fish guts and bring it to him. He’d mix up that fertilizer in that dirt real good & then take the ole egg cartons he’d have Mama save for him & he’d fill twelve (12) holes there with the mixture then plant one seed in each hole. When he was through he would gently water’em by hand to just the right moisture & set’ em on a shelf there on the back porch. The two weeks later he’d do it again for twelve (12) more. Now, some time in the first of May, again according to “The Poor Richards Almanac” he’d call us out again & tell us to “get our tools” & up in the yard we’d go. He’d then point to a spot on the ground & say “give me a One Foot x One Foot x One Foot hole right there! Then move two feet in a line & repeat it. I want twelve (12) holes & make’em in a straight line”. “Yes sir” we’d respond! Papa always seemed to pick the hottest day to do this! Then he’d wait two (2)  weeks & we’d go do the same thing right beside the first twelve (12) holes. When all was said & done there’d be 24 healthy Tomato Plants growin’. As time passed those first twelve (12) plants started producin’ Big Ole Tomatoes. And we were blessed with’em. Then in just a couple of weeks the others started to come in. WOW! Now with so many tomatoes bein’ available you’d think a few wouldn’t be missed. I had a bad habit of sneakin’ the salt shaker off of the table & sneakin’ up to the Tomato Patch & just ah helpin’ myself. Somehow Mama always seemed to show up wantin’ her salt shaker & then would “Shew” me out of the Patch with her ole broom. It beat gettin’ a Switchin’!…”hold’em Hook”!…..BG> 


Neighborhood Fruits #7…”Pear Cobblers & some Homemade Jelly”…

There was Older Gentleman, I’ll just say Mr. Smith, up on 4th Avenue South. I remember him as a very friendly & kind spirited man. Ironically he lived right across the street from the “Crotchety Ole Lady” who owned the The Orchard. The difference between them was Night & Day, a Warm Heart & a Cold Heart, Yin & Yang. Yeah, I guess you could say they were total opposites. He too was elderly. He lived alone in a Big Ole House on the corner. Many times I would see him sittin’ out on his front porch in a rockin’ chair & readin’ the daily paper. I remember feelin’ comfortable enough to walk & just start talkin’ with him. He’d lay down his paper & always seemed interested in what I had to say. We’d talk sports, fishin’, & school days. He always had a large pitcher of homemade lemonade on his side table & would offer & pour me a glass. On occasion he’d be out cuttin’ his grass, rakin’ leaves, or pickin’ up Pears that had fallen from this huge tree in his back yard.But he always had time to stop & chat. At times he say “Boy climb up that tree & shake that limb”, as he pointed to one heavy with ripe Pears, & I would. He always seemed to have an ole market basket layin’ around. He’d tell me to get it, fill it up, & take it home. He’d sit in an ole rusty lawn chair & enjoy one of his Pears as I filled the basket. Once I’d filled it I’d get one then I sit on the ground & enjoy it as he spoke, & I’d listen, of how his young’uns used to climb that Ole Tree. They were all grown by then & had moved far off. Thinkin’ back now he just enjoyed talkin’ to folks. He was always interestin’ to listen to & a joy to be around. As our visits would come to an end he always tell me “if ya need any more Pears just come & get’em. But don’t fall out of that tree”! That seemed to be a common phrase among adults to us kids. I reply “Yes sir & thank him for the Pears” as we’d part company for the day, & I’d head home. When I got home I’d give those Pears to Mama & she’d make couple of Pear Cobblers & some Homemade Jelly from’em. Mama would always put one of the Cobblers or a couple of jars of Jelly, in the basket I brought home, & make sure I took’em to Mr Smith & I always would…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

Neighborhood Fruits #1…”the grapes were ripe”…

Sittin’ around yesterday mornin’ my Bride & I were chattin’ about things that we wanted to do around the house. Then the conversation turned to “fresh foods & fruits” & how they fit into our diets. Who knows? At the same time I noticed somethin’ on the TV that sent my mind to wanderin’ again. Of course it really doesn’t take a lot to do that anyway. It took me back to the neighborhood I grew up in. We (my Mother, Brother, & I) lived with my Grandparents. Up in our back yard there was a huge fig tree on one side & on the other side a very large grape arbor that had two (2) vines growin’ over it. One from each end that Papa had planted many years ago & carefully tended it regularly. The grapes especially! I watched that Old Man, more times than I could count, as we’d be sittin’ on the little back porch, shoot birds out of that grape arbor with a home made Sling Shot! At 30 yards away & slightly up hill he could hit birds as they would land in there to “rob his grapes”. “Boy, get me my Sling & my bag of marbles from the house” he’d say. “Yes sir” I’d reply as I scurried to fetch’em for him. Upon my {{{ quick ! }}} return he’d look over his sling, to make sure all was good with it, reach down in his bag of little, light green crystal clear glass, marbles. He’d load one in the pocket of the sling, draw it back, & with a quick flick of his wrist, release it, & {{{ Whack ! }}}. Out of the arbor would fall a bird floppin’ around. Papa never seemed to miss! Then as out of nowhere at least one, usually more, cats would appear & pounce on that “Thievin’ Bird”. Then before I knew it {{{Whack ! }}} there would be a second bird on the ground, floppin’ around. And yes, more cats arrivin’. It was as though they could hear Papa diggin’ around in his marble sack & they’d come a runnin’. Feathers & Fur would fly, as always, then there was always a proud cat prancin’ off with a bird in its mouth while the others were still fightin’ over the second bird. I don’t know why, but it seems to my recollection, they always fell in pairs. The other birds would escape durin’ all of the fuss over their two fallen comrades. Sooner or later they would return & the process would repeat it’s self. But I must admit, my Grandmother/Mama sure turned those ole Concord Grapes into some wonderful “Homemade Grape Jelly”! When the grapes were ripe Mama would tell us, my brother & I, to go pick a couple large baskets for her. While we were pickin’ I remember we would first grab us each a couple of bunches & sneak off & eat’em first then get Mama hers. How sweet they were too!…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”Oh yeah, I am Grand-paw/Papa around here”…

{{{{{ YEAH ! }}}}}…our Internet is NOW back up, on-line, & functionin’ properly. Thanks to my Bride. After a couple of hours last night and then again this afternoon workin’ with the folks at out Internet Service we’re back. It was better for us that she dealt with those issues because I would NOT have been as calm as she was through the process. In this electronic world we are now lost without access to the cyber world. I can only relate it to a Drug Habit. Once start out on it you get HOOKED! I think maybe it was best that basically I have been without it. Now to be honest I have been usin’ my cell phone but I lack both the capabilities & functions on it as are on my computer. Now, “Hey Grand-paw – What’s for Dinner”? Oh yeah, I am Grand-paw/Papa around here. Guess I had better get at it… “Hold+’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”those ole wrinkled faces”…

Heads with White/Gray/Silver Hair. Heads just tryin’ to hang on to Hair. Heads with NO Hair @ all. They weren’t always like that. The bodies aren’t as slim, trim, toned, nor as muscular as they once were. Most of us don’t like to admit to it. Time/Life has taken its toll on us. But we are still more fortunate than some of our “Ole Runnin’ Buddies” that are no long among us. To those I say “it was fun while it lasted”…Salute!

Many of the faces are heavily covered with facial hair. Some of us still have a hard time growin’ it. Voices are a bit different. Some broken, some more gravelly than before, many are more mellowed than before, several are still soft spoken, & others of us are still just as loud as always.

Lookin’ around me at lunch today was a sight. But a good sight! There are several “Old Men”, Fifteen (15) to be exact & One (1) Teenager/Grandson, that joined together, as circumstances allowed, to renew friendships. Most are retired but there are still some that are workin’.  We all looked around to see who was there. Greetin’s, hand shakes, cussin’, & yes even some “Manly Hugs” were shared. At the same time we are all lookin’ around & noticin’ “who’s not here” since our last get together. It’s as though we are inquirin’ to the others if who ever is not there is OK. It’s kinda funny, yet also serious. And as always if they’re not there they ARE talked about, good or bad, & laughed about.

We take/make time, out of our busy lives, to break bread, slurp some hot soup, sop biscuits in gravy, or graze their way around a bowl of salad (Yuck!). Cause their Wife’s or Doctor told’em they needed to & then take all the smart-ass comments about it. All in jest!

We come from various backgrounds. Many of us were from the same neighbor hood. Many of us played “Little League” ball together @ Wahouma Park. Many of us went to grammar school together. Many of us spent endless summer days at the same Swimming Pool (Cascade Plunge).

We were a blendin’ of different High Schools. But the comradery was always, and still is, there. Many were Academicians, many were Jocks, others just were what ever they wanted to be!

Many went on to College, several went into The Military, others went on to find Careers, & some started families. The years passed by, as they still do. Over the years (for various reasons) many of us kept up with others & some didn’t. Our paths went in so many different directions. That’s life!

But destiny has been kind to us. It has, for what ever reason, chosen to reunite many of us back together, once, a month to share little more than an hour to an hour & a half together. But what a fun & interestin’ time it is. Oh-h-h and the colorful conversations that are over heard! Some true, some distorted, & many just made up!

I consider myself lucky, fortunate, & blessed to be a part of this “Fellowship”. I’m sure I could use many more adjectives (there’s a $0.25 word throw-in) to describe how I feel. But then I would be admittin’ that, when I actually was in class way back when, I really was payin’ attention.

It was good to see all of those ole wrinkled faces today & I look forward to seein’em again next month.Until then,..”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”over exert myself too early”…

Yesterday I got a slow start out of “The Big Pell” as I worked my way to “The Ham” gettin’ some personal errands tended to. I also attended a Visitation & Funeral, “Celebration of life”, of a friends Mother. Those aren’t the kind of things we like to do but sometimes they’re just the right thing to do. After that I got to compleatin’ ‘some additional errands before meetin’ up @ The VT for the Monthly WHS Get Together. I always enjoy seein’ & catchin’ up with Ole Friends. And yet again, last night, I wasn’t disappointed. It was, how ever, a late night last night for this “Ole Boy”. My head finally met my pillow at midnight. Just needed to let my late night ,for me, meal settle before I went to bed. I stayed to enjoy a nice “late dinner” (for me) with twelve (12) friends from the WHS group, after the regular monthly get together started breakin’ up. Was back up this mornin’ @ 5:10am. Needed to get my Brides Mug-O-Joe abrewin’ so it would be ready, for her to doctor up, so she could get out the door by 5:20am. {{{ DONE ! }}}}. Then I got my Pot-O-Joe abrewin’. Finally!, relaxin’ in my recliner, watchin’ the Local & World News. I like to see what the idiots around the globe did over night as I enjoyin’ sippin’ this magical elixir from my newest “Bama Mug”. I can feel my body slowly reactin’, wakin’ up, as I start to see the bottom of my 1st Mug. Guess I’ll shuffle over to the Pot for a refill. The good thing about this New Mug is it holds more which’ll empty that ole pot in two mugs instead of three. Don’t have to make that third trip. Wouldn’t want to over exert myself too early of the mornin’. Y’all enjoy your day & travel safely if you must fight the mornin’ traffic…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”Until next time my Brothers”…

Today, Saturday, My Bride & I were fortunate to be able to meetup with several/five (5) “Ole Friends” & their wives @ The Birmingham Boat Show. An event many/most of us thru the years have used as an opportunity to unite, refresh friendships, & just catch up with each other. Most of us guy’s have been runnin’ buddies from Grammar School days, High School days, Cascade Plunge, & Wahouma Ball Park days. A couple of us did time in the Military, a couple of others took the College route, as the others found their careers & started families. Yet as our Military & College Days came to an end we all just seemed to find one another as though we had never parted. Now all but two (2) of us are retired after various different career fields, families are raised, & we all brag on Grandchildren. Most of us have been Bass Fishin’ buddies since the mid to late 1970’s. A few of the others have joined us in those adventures in latter years. We just wander aimlessly just lookin’, admirin’, & dreamin’ of that Next Boat! Oh the options that are available now days along with extreme price tags! But, Toys do get expensive no matter what your interest may be. After a few hours we left the Boat Show. There we lost one couple to other activities. Yet met up with another across town for a casual dinner. The {{{{{ Cold Beer ! }}}}} began to flow as The Stories got to be “Tall Tales & Fairy Lies” of days gone by. The laughter at times got loud & out of control as one story topped the previous. But we didn’t reallyseem to care. The Management didn’t ask us to tone it down of threaten ot have us removed so I guess we didn’t offent the others around us too much. Everyone had a Yarn to tell! Too many to count. The Brides all seemed to enjoy the “Tellin’ of Tales” even as some of them, at times, really got vivid with details from yesteryear. I feel both blessed & fortunate to have shared my life & memories with these guys (& their Brides). No one bought a Boat but we had “One Hell Of A Day”! Until next time my Brothers (from different Mothers)…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>