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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MISS MATTIE Chapter 1

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The town was named Samsville.  A man named Sam stopped one day and decided to build a house right where he stood.  In order to have mail delivered they needed to have a name for the town so they named it after Sam.

People weren’t bothered about deeds there at the time, but of course later things changed, and there was some government regulations put in place. It seemed too many people were claiming the same property so something had to be done.

Sam started out by buying pelts from the trappers around there, and when he had a wagon load he would haul his load over to the big city.   From his profits he bought some canned goods, dried beans, rice and such.  Before long he had himself a general store. The next business to come into town was a blacksmith shop and other shops came soon after until there was a small town grown up around Sam's store.

There was another man who started a feed and grain store and he took on a partner named Mays.  Mays was married, and had three girls and then his wife left off bearing children. They couldn't figure out why that was and it bothered Mr. Mays because he had always wanted a boy.

Mattie was only five when she asked her mother, “Why did you name me Matthew? I hate that name.”  Her momma said; “Well your Pa wanted a boy so bad, and when you turned out to be another girl he decided to name you a boys name; besides, being called Mattie ain't so bad, is it?”   Mattie replied, “Well I guess not but I expect I will have a lot of trouble with it in the future.”  

Mattie and her folks lived on the edge of town, and had fresh eggs every morning from their chickens.  On the backside of their lot they kept some hogs for meat and to make lard.  Because their family was small (only three kids) they could get by with only two hogs for the year.  

Sometimes they had ham and sometime it was fat back. The fat back was a versatile piece of meat you could cook it in beans or fry it until it was crisp for breakfast.
 
To those folks anything pork that was cured and smoked tasted real good.  They used cracklings for baiting their traps as well as cooking it in the cornbread.  It wasn't too bad just to eat by it self for snacks.

What Pa didn't have in boys he made up with dogs. He had more dogs than most folks. When anybody came to visit they had to start hollering down the road apiece or else start running.  Those dogs didn't get to hunt much and they were always looking for something to chase.  Every so often one of them would get after a chicken and Momma would have to whack the dog with the broom. That would send him under the house howling.

Pa always said, “Them dogs paid for their food by guarding the chicken house and the hog pen.”  Nobody ever stole any of their chickens which was more than most people could say.  Everybody figured that the chicken thief was the lowest form of humans on earth because they took food out of your mouth.  

Mattie had two sisters who were older than her and they got to wear new clothes till they were passed on down to her. Sometimes Momma would put some different buttons on the clothes so it would not be the same as when the older sisters wore them.

Pa worked at the feed store which he partly owned. They sold ever kind of feed, seed, hay, coal, and kerosene.  In a good year they also sold potatoes which made the grocery store owner angry because he charged more than Pa did.  

Mattie was about eight years old now and she had learned to cook and help Momma.  Life was pretty simple in Mattie's town; you mostly got up ate, worked and slept.  Of course the kids went to school before doing chores.

On occasion the bootlegger would show up behind the blacksmith shop and sell some moon shine.  When he did you could bet that some body would get drunk and raise a ruckus before someone tackled him and hauled him home.

Everything changed on a day that everyone remembers. It was the day that a man came to town, and said he was a preacher.  Now as far as the town folks knew all preachers were the same, but there was something different about this one.    
 
To be Continued    

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