I recently corresponded with a lady in Alabama by E-mail who was a neighbor when I was growing up on a farm near Blanket. She lived with her family less than a mile from where we lived. She is a little older than I am but I donít know how much. I have been accused of being older than Godís dog. I donít know for a fact that God even has a dog. Everybody has one so He might.
We decided that though we grew up during the Depression, it was still a good time and a lot better than growing up today. People were friendly and everybody helped everybody else. If a neighbor killed a hog, everybody got some meat. Crime was almost non-existent. If you needed something your neighbor had, you borrowed it.
If we got sick, it was no problem to see a doctor. We had three in Blanket and they spent most of their time sitting on a bench in front of Ernest Allenís drug store. If you could manage to scrape up two dollars, you could see one or all three for six.
We didnít get to go anywhere much but when we did, we enjoyed it. Going to town on Saturday was a high point in our week. When we did go to town, we spent the whole day, mostly visiting with people. We would go anywhere to have something to do. We even went on rabbit drives. We had little money to buy stuff with and anyhow, we didnít need much.
Back then, we had something called ďAll day singings and dinner on the grounds.Ē These events happened in the summer months but folks would sit in a country church all day listening to gospel quartets. The only way we had to halfway cool ourselves was funeral home fans.
The ďdinner on the groundsĒ was the best part. Lord, we had good food brought by the women. I havenít seen a genuine five-layer chocolate cake since. The kids called it ďdinner on the groundĒ but nobody ate on the ground that I know of. I would have to get that good fried chicken, potato salad, fresh black-eyed peas and chocolate cakes and pies.
Another event we all attended every year was the De Leon Watermelon and Peach Festival. Nobody ever missed that, even though most folks got there by traveling several miles in a wagon or buggy.
Tom Brokaw called us ďThe Greatest GenerationĒ but we didnít know it. It probably would have caused us some embarrassment. We were just a bunch of poor people doing the best we knew how. If we needed something, we invented it. We invented air conditioning to get rid of the funeral home fans. We invented the automobile to give our horses some relief.
We were responsible for the establishment of numerous large corporations which keep our younger generation today from starving to death. They include Dairy Queen, Sonic, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King and Wendyís and a few I canít think of.
We won World War II because we had more reasons to win it than any other country. We still do.
I have noticed recently that the national news media seems to be trying to elect our president. I guess they have forgotten our existence. We may be getting crippled in the knees and short winded but we are perfectly capable of doing that.
Maybe it is about time to let them know that we are still here and Tom Brokaw was right.
Harry Marlinís column is featured every Tuesday on the Brownwood Bulletinís Viewpoint page. E-mail him at pilgrimB17@verizon.net.