(This is a true story by my uncle. For some reason it amuses me. The thought of a child’s grandparents tying him to a tree when he keeps running away to torment a neighbor tickles me. Imagine if someone did that now- they’d be a nationwide news story. My great-grandparents died prior to my birth, so I didn’t know them, but my uncle tells great stories.)
Back in the late
forties and early fifties I would sometimes stay with my Grandmaw and
Grandad while my Mom and Dad were at work. My grandparents lived on a
farm down a dirt road a couple of miles from Roopville.
Grandad let me ride with him to take a load of laundry to the Old Wash
Woman who lived a half mile down the road. I didn’t know where we were
going but I was riding in a mule drawn wagon and I was having a good
The Old Wash Woman had a
bunch of big cast iron wash pots in her back yard. Every morning she
would draw water from her well and fill the pots then build a fire under
them. She would go from pot to pot stirring laundry in the boiling
I didn’t know why we were there. I just enjoyed the wagon
ride and was mesmerized by that Big Black Woman stirring something in
those pots with a stick.
After that day, every time Grandmaw would
turn her head I would take off down the road to the Old Wash Woman’s
house. I was curious, but I was also afraid of her, so I would peep
around the corner of the house and watch her stir those pots. For all I
knew she might be cooking little boys like me.
Every time I would
come up missing, Grandmaw would have to get Grandad out of the cotton
field to go find me. He was getting irritated.
One day they were
both trying to chop cotton but were not making much progress. Every
time they would look up I was running down that dirt road in my flour
sack sweet pea.(Grandmaw saved all her old flour sacks and made those
for me to play in).
Finally Grandad figured out a way to keep me
from running off. He tied a rope around my waist and tied the other end
to an oak tree in the edge of the yard. They could keep an eye on me
while they chopped cotton and I ran round and round that oak tree for
the rest of the summer.