June 23, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 3

 The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Annie Boxler was an old colored lady who worked for Grandma Steele for years.  She used to live in a little shotgun house right at the back end of Mr. Maurice Saltzman's lots where his home was located.  

I remember one summer night about 1933 or 1934.  I couldn't have been over six or seven years old.  It was a summer night; a moonlight night.  About midnight, Annie woke us up.  You could hear her calling.  She was calling Daddy and calling Mr. Maurice Saltzman.  She'd say "Ooooooh, Mr. Bruce.  Ooooooh, Mr. Maurice.  Somebody help me.  Somebody's breakin' in on me."  

I don't think we were really asleep.  It was one of those hot summer nights.  Back in those days you didn't have fans or air conditioners.  You just laid up there in the bed sweating, fighting mosquitoes until it cooled off and you could finally go to sleep.  I heard Mother tell Daddy, "Bruce, you ought to get up and see about Annie."  So when he got up, I hit the floor to follow him.

We were both wearing those old BVD underwear.  Daddy got his shotgun and we walked out our back door and started out through our garden towards Annie's house.  We got about midway to our garden and Daddy suddenly stopped.  He was just standing out there in the moonlight.  I didn't know why he stopped.  

About that time, a light came on in the back of Mr. Maurice's house.  We heard Mrs. Gladys and Mr. Maurice talking.  Mr. Maurice started from the back of his house going down through his backyard.  It was a long ways back there to Annie's house.  As he was walking, we could see the light from his little flashlight.  He was yelling, "I'm coming Annie!  This is Mr. Maurice.  I'm coming Annie and I've got a gun!"  I reckon he thought he was going to scare the booger off by yelling.  

Mr. Maurice got about halfway down to that old peach orchard and I saw Daddy raise his shotgun up in the air.  BAM!  Everything got just as quiet.  Mrs. Gladys hollered, "Mauuuuurice!"  We could see that little flashlight bobbing up and down as Mr. Maurice was making his way back to his house.  It was just a bobbing.  Mr. Maurice absolutely broke the track record for the 100 yard dash that night.  I mean, he was moving on!  That little light was just a bobbing and he was flying.  

I reckon if the yelling didn't scare the booger off, that shotgun blast did.
Part 1
Part 2

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