My people are Talkers–always were, always will be. When I say Talkers, I mean people who could tell you a story on the drop of a dime. Because of that, I hold in my heart some long, tall tales told by parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a cousin or two.
A few of these tales were hard to believe, but most were examples of ‘how it used to be.’
My mother told tales of growing up in Savannah, Georgia and family visits to Tybee Island for picnics, swimming, the excitement of The Tybrisa Pavilion with its famous crystal ball, big bands, and dime dances–and the day she and her sister would have drowned except they were saved by the ghost of an Indian boy who suddenly rose from a wave and pushed both of them ashore. She swore it was true, with a grin on her face.
My father usually responded with stories of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; like the rabbits he raised, intending to sell them to the University’s Research Center–except as the rabbits grew older, he grew more fond of them, so he never sold a one, and talked his mother into letting him keep twenty-five rabbits in cages in the backyard.
And then, there was my grandfather, born on a farm in Cordele, GA who loved to tease my grandmother who was born in Macon, Ga about not knowing a thing about country life. Of course, she proved him wrong by buying a bunch of Rhode Island Red hens that laid egg after egg in their garage and pecked his legs every time he went to get in the car— until he showed them his BB gun–just showed it; this was told to children after all– and then they turned tail and ran like a red line down the street, ending up at the Piggly Wiggly, from which they never returned.
Oh, there are so many more stories, and I’m sure you have many like them, too. The point is that the Past is colorful. And it is valuable. Many people say forget it, but every person’s Present and Future have depended on it. “How it used to be” gives us a guide to go by today, and sometimes a genuine caution about tomorrow.
Copyright 2015 Kaye Hinckley