The robbery

Everyday of my senior year I traveled the following route:  1- high school for three hours, 2-stop at the store and eat with Aunt Lottie, 3- on to Vo-tech for classes, 4-back to the store to work.  Mom and dad expected the route to be adhered to as though it were church.

On a Thursday, I left the high school and went to the store.  I ate my usual chicken soup and a Dr. Pepper.  Aunt Lottie and I talked.  After the usual thirty-five minutes I left and went to school.

Unbeknownst to me, two men had been observing our store (casing the joint) for a couple of weeks.  After I left, they came into the store.  They proceeded to beat Aunt Lottie with an ax handle.  Now, Aunt Lottie had a HUGE hairdo and it took a lot of beating.  She realized she was dying and managed to fall over the safe at floor level to protect the money.  The robbers grabbed the cash register and ran.

Immediately on the scene, a neighbor realized Lottie was dying and rushed over to my grandmother’s home.  My mammy (who had inoperable brain cancer) came over and sat on the steps to send people away.  As they had torn the phone from the wall she called for help before she walked over.  I still cannot believe she walked over to protect the store or had the presence of mind to call the sheriff’s office.

Ambulance was dispatched.  My three uncles had also been called and were in hot pursuit.  I am ashamed to say that they beat the robbers after they crashed on the courthouse lawn.  The robbers later told the judge that a train hit their car.  Which is weird because there was no train in the area.  The judge was worried the police had roughed them up.  The robbers were worried that my uncles would come back to finish the job.

Before the trial one of the the robber’s father came to try and make amends.  He began by saying how sorry he was and how it was a shame that Aunt Lottie would not be able to testify against his son.  My mom stopped him and explained that Aunt Lottie was alive.  Her big old hairdo had protected her head.


“The” pick-up line

Valentine’s Day approaches.  As it does I am reminded of the MOST EFFECTIVE pick-up line that ever existed.  I almost dare not think of it.

In the early 1970’s my mom and dad owned a small grocery store.  We (the four of us) lived right beside it.  We lived our lives in it.  We also saw everyone in the community live theirs.

Miss Suzie lived about four miles from the store.  She lived with her son Benny.  Miss Suzie had land and money, but she refused to own a car or a phone.  These play into the line I assure you.

Every day Benny would walk to the store and ask my mom to use the phone.  Every day my mother said that Benny was free to use the phone.

Benny would get on the phone and call a different woman each and every day.  Every day Benny would say the same pick-up line “Get up N####, what’s wrong wit chu?”

The reason I know this line was devastating to the ladies?  Each and Every Day a different car or truck would pull up and get Benny.   Woman of all stations, colors, persuasions would come get Benny.   He would grin at all of us and take off into his adventures.

I promise you, when he and Miss Suzie passed I cried.  The world’s greatest pick-up artist and his mama.


Thank goodness for google (and old age)

WAYYY back in 1995 I was teaching at a very small school.  How small?  Senior class was comprised of 24 brave souls.  I was young and still relatively “pretty.”

WAYYY back in 1995 students did not carry cell phones everywhere.  Students in 1995 did not google everything on the planet.  Students in 1995 did not wanelo, instagram, snapchat…you get the picture.  Students in 1995 DID go down to the video store which was 23 miles away.  23 miles away in the town that I call home.

WAYY back in 1995 I had a friend that worked at the video store.  (JG) JG is now deceased.

I received a call on the phone in my car on the way home from work on a Friday afternoon.  JG said that she had a rather delicate question to ask me.  I told her that she could ask away, that as a scientist nothing is off-limits.

“Well, um” JG sputtered “Well, um, have you got a video?”
“Turned them all in yesterday.  All early.”

“NO” JG warmed to the subject “Um, well, have you ever appeared in a video?”

“Why? Did I turn in a video of me and the kids?”

“No” JG goes silent for a moment “Not that kind. Did you ever appear in a porno?
“A what?  No. What?  No.  What????”

“One of your students was just in the video store asking for your tape.  He said that KB told him you were in a porno.”

“No.”  I sighed “But I might be on a crime show tomorrow.. .”

thank God that google exists so you can avoid the stupid in life.  Thank God for old age so you can not hear the stupid in life.  Thank God for the ability to totally ignore the silly things that teenagers do on a daily basis.

I still get a smile from the day I got asked about my “career.”  Miss you JG