Just some thoughts:
If during your childhood growing up days you had someone in your life, an older person, someone other than your parents who took some interest in you, you probably were lucky.
An older person say maybe a grandparent, an uncle/aunt, a good neighbor. A person who took some special interest in you, seemed to accept you with all your growing up faults and you liked to be around. One such person for me was one of my grandfathers. My dad’s dad, Walter Adamson, or W.W. as I often heard him called. He never seemed to find fault with most people, never really picky.
There is one special week I have always remembered. I was about nine or ten years old when my grandmother died, his wife. Shortly after her passing my cousin, who was a bit older than me, spent a week with him at his house. Looking back it was a great week. He had a small farm, a pond and also two old mules, Kate and Tom. At the right late afternoon time he would sit with us as we listened on the radio (no TV) to The Lone Ranger, Straight Arrow or Sky King. Later in the evening we would listen to Gangbusters and he would tell us stories about John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, The Dalton or Jessie James Gangs. Three chairs in a circle just listening. He did have an old clock that would chime on the hour. Often well into the night I would wake to hear that clock. I’d pay money to once again hear that old clock chime a midnight hour.
I don’t remember anytime that week he told us what time to go to bed or when to take a bath, no questions like “did you brush your teeth,” or “no you can’t ride the mules.” In fact I don’t recall hearing the word “NO” hardly at all that week. We caught fish in the pond, even an old turtle. We cleaned them and he fixed them for a meal. I don’t think I ever did or have since eaten more eggs in one week. Eggs for breakfast, eggs for lunch and maybe a bit even in the evening.
One memory I do have and a lesson learning one at that. Often he would need to go to town. Town was Shelburn. Shelburn, Indiana. Shelburn is almost non-existed today. “Boys I need to go into town to the mill to get some feed for the cows, you boys think you will be alright if I leave you here?” “Sure, sure we will be, we’re gonna to the pond to fish.”
Well for whatever reason while grandpa was gone my cousin and I decided we needed a little dip into grandpa’s Red Man chewing tobacco. He probably had not gotten more than a mile or so down the road and off we went to find the Red Man. (I can still see those Red Man pouches.) Well we found his packs, got our chew and it wasn’t long before we began to feel the effects. They were not good. Not good at all.
Grandpa later pulls in the drive and one grandson is sitting leaning against a porch post the other (me) laid out on the front porch. And not from fishing fatigue. And I mean “laid out.” As he walked from the car, “you boys ok, you look a little pale.?” We uttered some type of sound but neither of us got up.
Later we recovered. You know Grandpa never said one word to either of us about our chewing experience. No scolding, no what were you thinking. Nor did he ever say anything to our parents about such. (Or at least that we knew of.)
You know that’s a pretty special friend. One that accepts you for who you are and can keep secrets about you. Especially secrets you’d just soon most folks not know.
May 24, 2019
Posted June 13, 2019