Precious Memories

My good friend Luke from Oklahoma called me yesterday. As we were lamenting the recent ugliness at our nation’s capital, Luke said, “You know it was a lot more fun being 20 years old in the 70’s than it is being 70 years old in the 20’s.” I could not agree more! However, it got me to thinking about growing up in the rural south during the late 50’s and early 60’s.


We were the last of the war babies in our little community of Hopeful. Hopeful had a church, a school, and a peanut mill. There was a pasture adjacent to the school, and every Friday about six of us rode our horses to school because we would camp out somewhere along the river every Friday night.


Our Dads owned most of the land along the Flint River, and no parents ever worried about us being harmed, but maybe they should have worried about the harm that we might cause. One Friday night, we decided that it would be a wonderful idea to mount up and go steal some chickens for dinner rather than eat sardines and soda crackers.


These were free range chickens, and we planned to swoop in, and scoop them up by leaning down from our stirrups. The plan would have succeeded had not one of our gang fallen from his horse. Upon falling, he promptly yelled, “Cader, help me.” Now Cader is a rather odd name and was well known in our little community. The owner of the chickens distinctly heard my name being shouted out, and promptly called my dad on the 8-party phone line.


When I got home Saturday afternoon, I sensed that all was not right in the Cox household. As my crimes were laid bare, I knew the jig was up. Dad didn’t believe in time out or a loss of privileges but was a firm believer in corporal punishment. On that particular day, I was beginning to fear that he had capital punishment in mind for me. Let’s just say that my butt was too sore to ride my horse for a week. And, thus ended the career of a budding chicken thief!


Surely 2021 is going to be a better year than 2020 was. I get my first Covid shot this afternoon. Take care and stay safe everyone!