Wednesday, November 27, 2013


MY THANKSGIVING STORIES.  We are invited to kin-folks Thanksgiving dinner later this week.  The hosts suggested that each person to come armed with their favorite Thanksgiving story or memory.  I do not speak well in front of a group of  people.  I do OK in one on one conversations, but more than two or three people I don't.   I thought about what I want to say, which is a Thanksgiving memory.  I thought maybe I should  corner each person there, one on one and tell them my story.  But better still, put it on Facebook and my blog and let them read it for themselves, if they want to.  If they don't, that is OK too, I won't know the difference.

First I want to briefly tell you my second Thanksgiving Story:  It happened Thanksgiving 1963.  That was just several days after Kennedy was killed.  At the Naval Mess Hall in Lakehurst, New Jersey, our Thanksgiving dinner was a solemn occasion - nobody felt like being thankful  or happy.  Who knew what would happen next?  What did happen was the Navy just rescue the men from a sinking foreign transport off our coast.  Our Naval base was the nearest to bring them for food.  I think it was a ship from one of the northern countries of Europe., like Norway.  They all were given orange flight suits to wear.  They were happy and THANKFUL to be alive.   Although we could hardly understand a word they said, after dinning with the happy to be alive crew it rubbed off on us.  Another good reason to go to the E.M. Club to get plastered.

My 2nd Thanksgiving Story, which is more memorable:  Back in the early late 1950s or early 1960s a group of friends and I decided to go hunting early on Thanksgiving morning.  Larry Southern knew of a place in White, Georgia, near Cartersville of endless dirt roads.  Our plan was to take turns with two of us riding on the fenders and when we saw a rabbit shoot it.  We have been out on dirt country roads countless times and rabbits would run out in front of us.    Maybe we arrived at the destination about 2am, and proceeded to ride the dirt roads, taking turns at fender duty.  We did not see any rabbits.   We gave up and came upon an abandoned  country unpainted shack.  We built a fire in the fireplace and sat around and talked about life and gossiped.   We were not getting much accomplished , we decided to drive back to Marietta.  Out on the highway going to Cartersville we had a flat tire.  We were driving one of Larry's father's old  junk car somebody traded him for a better car (hopefully).  The old heap had  no spare.  We sat in the car and talked and gossiped some more.   Daylight began to slowly shift in.  When it got light enough that we could see some things around us we saw we were parked across  the road from a house.  Beside the house was a pasture and behind the house was a little hill.  Near the top of the hill was an outhouse, maybe 50 feet from the house.

Larry said he was going to use that outhouse.   We knew he meant it.  He loved to use outhouses.   Monty and Johnny tried to talk him out of it.  He wouldn't want to listen their reasoning.  He got out of the car and walked beside the house and up the hill.

Something you need to know about Larry:  He was then a shy person.  He would do sneaky things but hoped he would never get caught, it was too embarrassing.   When he did get caught he scratched his forehead  so his hand would cover his face.  We have seen him scratch his forehead more than once.

Larry went into the outhouse and shut the door.  The rest of us  sat there and talked and speculated what would happen if he got caught.

Then I saw a little grey headed matron looking lady walking up hill with some newspapers in her hands.  I told my friends and we were having laughing fits watching each step the lady took.

She opened the door and  dropped her papers..  Out bounded Larry trying to pull up his pants with one hand and scratching his forehead with the other.

He ran down the hill, jumped in the car , started the engine and  we rode off, flat or no flat.

We got down the road a very shot distance but around a bend and out of sight and we gave out of gas.  This time we were in front of a service station that sold tires  and gas.  We started to pool our money  to discovered that every one of us was broke.
Somehow I got elected to go to Larry's house, or his parents' house, get his car and his money was hidden in his car, and drive back to White, Georgia.

I hitchhiked back to Marietta.  I lived with my family close to the 41 Hwy, or 4-Lane, as we called it locally.  My last ride carried me as close as two blocks for our house.  I walked into our house.  My family was having Thanksgiving dinner.  Invited  down from Chattanooga was my mother's brother Tom Petty and his wife Mary Jo.  I hurriedly ate, standing up - I was on a mission.  I took my car and drove over to Larry's house and got his car.  Luckily, his parents were not there - I would look awful guilty trying to explain everything to them.  I left my car at Larry's parents and took Larry's car and drove back up the 4-Lane to Cartersville.  That was before the I-75 was built. 

Right after the first street turning off into Cartersville, I gave out of gas.

Back then we ran out of gas a lot.  We did that a lot and just dealt with it as it happen.  It was also a way of life to park on hills with the front aiming down in case we had to push our car off.
I was out of gas with the mission incomplete.   The only thing I knew to do was to start hitchhiking towards White and worry about Larry's car later.  After all, they need the money to get gas and a tire for the heap.   As I was walking backwards on the northbound lane of the US41 with my thumb out I looked over to the southbound lane and there was my four friends walking backwards with their thumbs out.  I hollered and we joined up.

I do not remember the details of what happened next.  We got Larry's car, put gas in it and went back to white and had to walk to the owner of the service station's house to get him to open on Thanksgiving to sell us a tire and some gas.  I think he sold us a used tire for $5 and sold us gas. 

It was something I think I will remember until I can't remember no more.

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