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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Story Time at Grandpa's

Early in my youth, I would stay at my grandpa’s house in the country. In the summer, when it was hot we would sit on the porch at night, and he would tell us stories, which were always true. Well at least we never questioned the veracity of them.

As soon as I had learned to read, I spent a lot of time reading stories. It didn't matter what kind they were, as long they were adventurous, and included kids. One of my favorites was about a youngster, about my age who went to stay with his grandparents, due to some family financial problems.

He was always under foot, but he loved it there. They had ducks, chickens, horses, cows, and above all a pack of hound dogs. Sometime the dogs would play with him, but most of the time they slept under the porch where it was cool.

His grandpa was very well known, when they would go to town, many men would say hello, and then in whispered tones would talk about something secret.

Every thing was a game to the boy, whether it was feeding the chickens or chasing the ducks, or pulling the dogs ears. There was something he never could figure out until later. He would see smoke coming out of the chimney, and he would think grandma was cooking. He would run into the house to find the cook stove was cold. He would go back outside, and the smoke would still be coming out of the chimney. Then he would begin to play, and simply forget about it.

About once a month grandpa would do something strange! He would go off to the woods, and bring back several galvanized tubs, and set them around the house, and fill them with water and fresh cowhides. It didn't take but a couple of days for them to begin to rot, and the smell would become overpowering. One or two whiffs of that, and you couldn't smell anything for several hours. During this time the boy and grandma would go, and visit other relatives for a few days and when they came back, everything had returned to normal.

Sometimes the sheriff would visit and he was curious about those cow hides; whereupon it was explained to him that they were soaking, and getting ready for tanning. The sheriff said; smells like you should bury them!
Later the sheriff found out that grandpa was the local bootlegger, and that he had some false rooms in the house where the stills were. The smoke he saw coming out of the chimney, was the mash cooking, and the rotten cowhides covered up the smell from the still.

The sheriff didn't really want to catch grandpa bootlegging, because he used some of the corn liquor for medical purposes, or so he said.

Kids love stories and I have discovered that the Bible is the greatest source for them. A story a day from the Bible is a good regimen to follow.

Proverbs 22:6 train up a child in the way he should go - - is a must for parents not just a suggestion.

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