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As I See It

Watermelon Trick Boosted Cotton Production At Weigh-In

   Saturday afternoon we were pleasantly surprised with a thunderstorm that gave us an inch of much-needed rain at our house in Bruce. We got another thunderstorm Saturday night.  Be assured we were very appreciative.

   I appreciate the e-mail I received from Dewitt and Zilla Spencer. Dewitt is a retired Calhoun County Superintendent of Education and his wife Zilla is a retired teacher. I appreciate the nice comments they had. It really helps to hear from the readers so let me hear from you any time you can.

   There is a popular song entitled, “Grandpa, Tell Me About the Good Old Days.” This song implies that children are just waiting for us to tell about those days and at a certain age that is probably true. However, some of us have used those stories to tell our children how easy they have it compared to when we were growing up.     

    When our children would complain about school I would even tell about how far I walked to meet the bus and about having to walk logs across the creek to get to the bus. They did not appear to be impressed. Maybe if they had known that I was telling the truth about walking the logs they would have enjoyed the story a little more.

   Every time I think of “the good old days,” I also have to think of those things I did not like about those days. I do not miss picking cotton by hand.  School was dismissed at noon for that very purpose. Beside it being very hot in the fields and being stung by “stinging worms” I simply could not pick much cotton regardless of how hard I tried. The most cotton I ever picked was the time my cousin and I decided to put a watermelon in our sack. We did and after it was weighed we made sure we emptied our own sacks. The watermelons were used more than once. The good thing was that we never got caught.

   I do not miss having chickens and having to gather up the eggs. I promised myself that when I became an adult I would eat something else beside chicken but a preacher has to like chicken! So I could not keep that promise.

   I do not miss the threat of polio that everyone feared. My mother had a dread of polio and practiced everything she had ever heard to keep us from contacting it. During very hot weather children had to take a nap during the hottest part of the day (a practice I could enjoy today). Swimming was out because she believed polio could be contacted swimming. That was not much of a problem because she always told us not to get in water until we learned to swim. I was an adult when the polio vaccine was given on a sugar cube but I was thrilled it had arrived. I think everyone rejoiced as much as I.

   I don’t miss “hog killing” time. I considered that a most unpleasant job but the meat sure was good especially home made sausage and cured ham.  But it was the only time we had a balloon        with which to play. Everything was not all bad!   

  Let me hear your un-favorite thing about “the good old days.” I will do my best to include them in this column.

    (Billy McCord is a retired school administrator and an Elder in the United Methodist Church. He is Pastor of the Shady Grove UM Church in Calhoun County. and a member of the Calhoun County School Board. Contact him at:

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