|Daddy's winter garden of cabbages, lettuces, broccoli, and cauliflower!|
As I was speaking with my Dad on the phone, I told him that I had spoken today with a co worker that he had met before, he had seen him perform at his church in a band, he had been the drummer.
Of course, that brought back memories for my Dad. Listen, you should hear what he has to say....
"Our school was the Big A School in Eastanollee (which is in Stephens County, near Toccoa) and it had three rooms and a stage. On the stage, we could do plays and play music. I played the drums. Big A School had no electricity, no running water, and no bathrooms. We had two outhouses, one for boys and for girls. And as a boy you were not allowed nowhere NEAR the one for the girls!
Daddy, did you have a place to play?
"We had one spot, a basketball goal and it was just over dirt, not paved.
What did you eat for lunch?
We had cathead biscuits with a piece of ham, or any piece of meat that you might 've killed.
(Note: Cat head biscuits...biscuits in the South are a light, soft bread, and if you say cat head, it means that it is big, like a cat going under a fence where the head of the cat flattens out? Cat head biscuit!)
Do you remember your teacher?
Our teacher was Roy Lee Sayers, and he would take the boys down to the woods and we would smoke cigarettes. I remember smoking with Bert Certain and L.T.
WHAT! He would smoke cigarettes with children? How old were you?
Oh yes, we were about 9 or 10 years old. We rolled our own cigarettes. Smoking tobacco was 5 cents a pack and we would take brown paper bags and cut them into pieces for cigarette papers. You could use newspaper but newspaper STUNK!
And I know that you walked to school.
Yes, we walked about 3 , it might have been closer to 3 1/2 miles to school, in all weathers.
And I know that in the winter, it was your job to build the fire in the fireplace when you got to school!
Hee, hee, yes, not everybody could do it, but I could, so it became my job.
I just had this conversation tonight with my Dad, and I thought I would share his memories with you. My Dad was born in April of 1927, so these school memories are from the 1930's when the country was in a deep Depression. I think it made those who lived through those times very tough and strong. Louis Zamperini, who is from the same generation called it "hardy" and if you look it up, that is exactly correct. I think we should all strive to be hardy.
My parents were kids during the Depression too. They have many similar stories! Glad I didn't live then.ReplyDelete
I am the same. My Dad is from a country background, but I am a small town girl myself. I hope I could cope through tough times but I am thankful I have not had to!!Delete
My Mom's a year older than your Dad and she too has some fabulous memories that I love when she shares them! I actually had her write them down for me and I'm planning on putting them together in a book along with letters my Dad sent her during WWII....they are the greatest generation! Your Dad sounds so sweet and I would love to hear more of his stories!ReplyDelete
That is a great idea to make your Mom's stories into a book! I want to do a post about my Dad when he was in Germany, just after World War II, so look out for it! xxDelete
You know how I love your Dad, and this conversation with him was a real treat to read - thank you!ReplyDelete
My parents were born in 1944 (Mum) and 1942 (Dad), and their school memories are about huge numbers of children in class (refugees from those parts of Germany who fell under Polish, Russian or Czech rule), ancient teachers (all young men were either dead or POWs, so that the German government asked retired teachers to come back to work), tiny meals (nobody had a chance to get fat in post-war Germany) and icy class rooms (fuel was precious, and winters were harsh). But there was finally peace, and both my parents were lucky children in that their fathers came home and their families were complete once more.
Yes, Meike, I know you always like to hear about my Dad!!Delete
And thank you very much for your comment here telling me what it was like for your parents after the war. As I mentioned to you, I want to write a post about my Dad In Germany just after the war...I just need to have some time to think on it a bit!
How wonderful to have this terrific conversation with your dad. You're so lucky that he can tell you all these interesting stories from the past. Oh yes, your dad is definitely hardy and he's passed these strengths on to you.ReplyDelete
I would love to believe that I have the strength of my Dad, that is a nice thought! Thanks, Kay!Delete
My late father was born in 1926 - so about the same age as your dad. He grew up in north Georgia - Elbert County. He always called biscuits catheads, too. :)ReplyDelete
Oh, Elbert county is not too far away! Cathead biscuits, it makes me hungry just to type the words!Delete
My parents told similar tales. They were hardy people of the depression too. It's a good goal for all of us to try and be a little hardier but sadly many are soft and don't appreciate what they have. Everyday I do try to be thankful. I never had to go through the trying times my parents did, but I'll never forget to appreciate what I haveReplyDelete
I also want to be thankful for what I have and hope that I can appreciate the fact that I come from hard, working class people, the salt of the earth, as far as I am concerned!Delete
Many people who lived through that time, even if they were very young, grew up knowing the value of hard work and were able to make do with whatever they had. One of Sweetie's former co-workers talked about how the doctor came in a buggy when he was born, and since he was a premie, they put him in a shoe box. It's amazing what some people have survived!ReplyDelete
Make do or do without, that is the expression I have heard my Dad use! We need to remember and appreciate the hardships that our parents and those before them went through, this country was settled by hard working people.Delete
Sounds like my Mother's experiences with school, she was born in 1922 and went to a one-room school house. Her family was desperately poor and she dropped out after 8th grade. She and her family became part of the Okie trek to California.ReplyDelete
My Dad was also very, very poor. I am not sure how far he got in school but he also had to drop out. He went back later and got his GED, I guess it was after he got back from Germany, he was drafted when he was 18.Delete
You know, I have always loved the book "The Grapes of Wrath", I bet you like that one too!
What a precious conversation, Kay! I had to laugh at the cat head biscuits...my father-in-law used to tell a similar story. His were cat head biscuits and butts meat, though.ReplyDelete
My Dad said he had cathead biscuits with whatever meat they had, they had to do a lot of their hunting!Delete
A wonderful conversation! I have never heard of a cats head biscuit! Probably because, well, you know, biscuits are something else here!! xxReplyDelete
Of course, you know I know what biscuits are in England! My very favorite is the custard creams. Can you believe that when I went to buy some at Tesco's in Eastbourne, they were sold out!! They need to make more!!Delete
Going to a one room school was an experience. I did for a short time.ReplyDelete
A one room school? That sounds too close for comfort!Delete
Sometimes it was. Grades 1 through 8 attended. No Kindergarten. It was hot in the warmer months and cold, cold, cold in the winter.Delete
Oh- What a great conversation. I had never heard the term cathead biscuit before but it make sense. lolReplyDelete
Hope you had a lovely day! This was a GREAT post- xo Diana
Cathead biscuit, must be a Southern thing! LOL.Delete
Thanks, Diana, when I spoke with my Dad, the talk of a drummer jogged his memory. And the drums that he played? They were only a couple of oatmeal boxes that he drummed on!! xx
I love these stories and will never tire of hearing them. I wonder what our children and grandchildren will think of our stories- will they seem as old-fashioned and nostalgic to them as our parents' stories are to us?ReplyDelete
I really do love to hear people's stories, every single person has different experiences. Things change so much, it will be interesting to see what a grand child will think of my 60's childhood. I hope to have a grandchild one day and will find out! :-)Delete
Enjoyed that. Even from our own generation, late 1950s, there are many things from school days that would be greeted with horror now. I got punched in the head by a coal man delivering coal to a neighbour during a bad winter then he rubbed my face with his hands so I was covered in coal dust. I had thrown a snowball which had unfortunately landed down his neck but I was about 10 and didn't really think I'd get him. He just thought it was funny but it was painful and hurt for a couple of days so a big jump from a snowball. Getting hit by other adults was treated as normal then though and my parents, although angry, said I probably deserved it as he was away up the road by that time. Put me off throwing snowballs.... at people who could catch me :o)ReplyDelete
Oh, poor you, just from throwing a snowball!!Delete
It's so different now, I am not saying that it is good to hit kids but it seems t me that kids are pretty much out of control and a great deal of time is just spent in trying to keep them in line when the time should be spent on educating them!
If you lived in Georgia, you would not have had to worry about snowballs!
My dad (passed away a few years ago now, from falling off a roof) was born in November of 1927 in Syracuse New York, but it was still a different world and there was an old family farm run by an uncle where they bred and trained Percheron draft horses, and my dad would get part of the winter off to go trapping with an Indian in the Adirondacks.ReplyDelete
If I have kids and they complain about school I'm showing them this. Your dad sounds pretty awesome. The only thing I know my dad did differently in school is that he was taught to shoot a gun. He still knows how too.ReplyDelete
J and H couldn't get over the size of your dad's garden and how robust everything looks!
Joy's main recollection of a hardy upbringing was being marched every Sunday to the (not so) local tabernacle for morning, afternoon and evening worship ie 156 services per annum plus weekday ones too.
Old fogey that I am, I don't think hardiness is compatible with a life where half the waking hours are spent looking into a 3 ins by 2ins screen.