September 15, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 15

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Back in the mid to late 1930s, everybody met the train.  Morning and evening.  The gathering place was the post office to get the mail.  We had a little ole train called the Doodlebug; a mail train that brought the mail in the morning and back in the evening.  Everybody was always waiting to hear the whistle of the Doodlebug.
The Doodlebug
The Doodlebug ran about 10 in the morning and about 3 in the evening.  Old man Tom Hardin was the postmaster.  He'd let out a shrill whistle for little Harry Jenkins to bring the mail wagon.  It was Harry's job to harness an old gray horse to a wagon and head to the depot to pick up the mail and bring it back to the post office.  The old gray horse was named Mag and she belonged to Buck Smith.  Always following along behind Harry and Mag were two old dogs named Blue and Trailer.  They followed that wagon just like it was part of their duty.
That was about the only excitement on the Island back then...when the Doodlebug came in the morning and back in the evening.
Cows grazed in the fields here in town.  The Penistons had sheep.  They were mostly on the other side of town.
Kids made clover chains.  Kids would tie stems of clover together and see how long a chain they could make.  We'd walk around town with 150-200 feet of chained clover.
All those little things.  Roosters crowing early in the morning.  Cows lowing, pigs squealing, calves bleating.  Long, long ago.
For those of us who do remember those times, they were wonderful.  There wasn't much money or much entertainment.  Maybe it wasn't so exciting but it was a wonderful time to be living here on Sicily Island.
Great events that happened in my time... 
Mr. Curtis
Mr. Curtis bought the drug store and started serving double-dip ice cream cones.  Ice cream cones had two sides on the top of it.
Soon, following the ice cream, was koolaid.  We could take a nickel pack of koolaid and mix it with water and make a gallon of drink.  Orange, grape and strawberry.
They started making big drinks of RC Cola.  Three or four more ounces than you'd get in regular coke or orange sodas.
All of these were great events.  Great new inventions.  Great happenings.
I think back to a time when there were four telephones on all of the Island.  Four that I knew about.  The Peck Plantation had a telephone. 

Lovelace-Peck House
Uncle Wes Ogden had a telephone in his store.  The Chambers Hotel had one and they had one at Charlie's Nite Club.
Chambers Hotel
I remember when everybody had to buy ice to put in their icebox.  People would buy a big block of ice to put up in the top of their icebox.  The first refrigerator I saw ran on gas.  Alvin Seal had one.  Later on came the ones that ran on electricity and most everybody then had an electric icebox.  That was the end of the old icebox.
Oscillating Fan at
I can remember when there were only three or four people on the Island who had electric fans.  I remember Mr. Alvin Seal had an electric oscillating fan.  It moved back and forth and I thought that was wonderful. 
I saw the time when that changed and everybody started getting fans.  And then I saw the time when everybody went to what they called attic fans.  After that, it was air conditioners.  Now most everybody has air conditioners.
One of our most modern inventions was the television.  It is great.  It is wonderful.  But at the same time, I'm not the only one who feels this...thinks this...I think it is becoming a curse on the land.  It's one of the worse things that ever happened.  People don't visit like they used to.  They don't sit around and talk or communicate like they used to.  Everybody is at home locked up watching their television.

Courtesy of Library of Congress

Note:  Parts 1-14 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog. 

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