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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Walking With Jackie the Ripper

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Living in this beautiful Spring River area, Jackie and I understandably spend a lot of time walking by the water. Once in pursuit of a large gander there at the Spring Jackie made a futile attempt to walk on the water.

It was a big mistake. Not only did she sink into the frigid depths, but the irate gander took a plug out of her back. Talk about adding insult to injury!

She totally ignores the geese now. Won't even acknowledge their presence. It doesn't seem to bother them one whit.

We have visited some of the small springs in our part of the world, and I recall many of them as sites of family picnics back in the 1930s. Most of my recollections of the summer afternoons spent gorging on pork and beans and potted meat are happy ones, save one. Let me tell you about the "save one."

First I need to refresh your memory. Many of you in my age group may recall the almost complete absence of cash during the period of time now know as the Great Depression. If I was ever so bold as to ask for anything which could not be obtained by barter, I could lay odds that my request would be met by the often used phrase, "Money doesn't grow on trees, you know." I heard that a lot. Finally I just quit asking.

As a matter of fact, my husband informed me once as I was stoking up the fireplace on a cold winter evening, "Watch how many of those logs you burn. They don't grow on trees, you know." He didn't like it one bit when I hit the floor laughing!

Anyway, we had been swimming on the afternoon of which I write, and Daddy yelled several times that he was ready to go and for us to get out of the water or he would leave a few of us. (We were a sizable family and two or three would never be greatly missed.) when we showed not the slightest indication that we had any intentions of getting out of the water, Daddy, whose temper was very short, stomped to the truck, piling in the quilts and inner tubes, and Mama added to the confusion by beginning to cry because she didn't want him to go off without some of us. (Remember, this was before tranquilizers, and Mama had a lot to put up with.)

At this point I need to tell you that my paternal grandmother, Mama Cash, had somehow got a-holt (an Ozark colloquialism meaning "to obtain") enough money to buy me, her favorite grandchild because I was good and listened to her, a pair of brown leather sandals which were to be used when school started in a few weeks. In total disobedience to explicit instructions, I had worn those precious sandals to the creek that day, and in my haste to get into the back of the pickup so as not to be left behind, I forgot them. Totally forgot them!

About a mile into the trip home I remembered my sandals and started shouting at Daddy to go back and let me find them. He was mad and wouldn't do it. To this day, my heart breaks when I see a little girl in brown leather sandals.