Saturday, April 29, 2006

TOPIC: Childhood Memories...
One of fondest childhood memories comes from a hard time in my life. My mother and father were separated. My brother had died just a couple years before. Life had been unpleasant and ruthless (in some ways) to me. I was forced to work in order to have any money for "the little extras".
I worked for a man who owned hundreds of acres of tobacco fields. He picked us up for work at 5:30am in the morning. We arrived home around 6:00pm each night. We worked in the sun, the rain -- no matter what. And we didn't have those cushy harvesters that are used for bulk barns. We cropped tobacco (pronounced "bakker") by hand, then put it on a belt that went to the top of the harvester, where the girls would loop it on the "bakker stick". After we worked in the field all day, we went to the barns, climbed the wrungs and hung the tobacco. Since I was the smallest lad in our group, I was usually the one sent to the top of the barn, where temps were 120+F. Did I mention the snakes that would scare the bee-jeebers out of you in the top of the barns?
In some strange way, I have fond memories of those times. BUT, the best memory is of lunchtime.
We would go to this small, dirty little country store for lunch each day. The drink cooler held ice cold (not like today -- REAL ICE cold) bottled drinks. I'd get a small sandwich, an icy cold Pepsi bottle and a small bag of peanuts. After opening the bottle, I would pour the peanuts into my Pepsi, place my thumb over the spout and shake gently. Ahhhh, the taste of ice flakes, mixed with peanuts, in a cold Pepsi... mmmm... what a childhood memory.
Maybe I'll stop by the store tonight and get a Pepsi and some peanuts. Nah, it just wouldn't be the same...

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