Friday, May 3, 2013

Adventures with Young PaPa

Days Gone By
 by Lavoy “PaPa” Caldwell

Back in the day, before Nintendo and Xbox, before motorbikes and 4-wheelers a young man, growing up in the South, was somewhat challenged to find things to occupy his time and mind.
Of course Daddy could always find things to occupy a young man’s time, but those things were not as entertaining, actually it was more like work. 

I was extremely fortunate that I had both sets of grandparents and one great grandmother that lived within an easy bicycle ride so I would go visiting… A typical day would start with young PaPa passing by Granny Delia’s house for a big ole breakfast of eggs, sausage, glass of milk and the best blackberry jelly ever made. Then I would pull weeds in the garden to pay for my food and a chew of tobacco. After sitting on the porch and listening to Granny Delia and Miss Pearl Hall talk about things for a bit, I would have caught my second wind and be off again, with a fresh chew of Beechnut, seeking out a new adventure.
My next stop would be MomBonnie’s and DaddyJohnny’s. I would stay there long enough to eat lunch and start a fight with my little sister Renee and cousin Daniel, then it was off again with a piece of fresh pound cake wrapped in wax paper stuffed in a bag along with fishing tackle and a pack of Beechnut that Granny Delia gave me. 

Last stop would be MawMaw’s and PawPaw’s, hopefully in time to catch a ride to the store with PawPaw and Fay. My aunt Fay was bound to a wheelchair and lived with MawMaw and PawPaw. Every day PawPaw would drive to Mr. Cecil Parker’s store and play dominoes and Fay would go with him. PawPaw would get Fay a small bottle of Coke and a bag of peanuts and if young PaPa was good and had not taken too many of PawPaw’s cigarettes, he would get a Coke and peanuts too.

If I happened to be too late or Mr. Cecil and PawPaw had gone to the river, I would go fishing. A can of worms and a cane pole was all the tackle a young man needed to catch a mess of bream for supper. There was an abundance of creeks and ponds to fish in and I knew all the best places. A piece of pound cake, a hand full of apples, and an official GI issue canteen (Uncle Junior brought it back from the war) full of lemonade or sweet tea was all the provisions, this young adventurer needed.

 After spending most of the afternoon lazing about in the shade of the “Big Rock” catching a nice stringer of hand sized bream it was back to the bicycle and reversing course from earlier in day. I would stop at MawMaw’s and clean the fish making sure to get a couple of Camel’s for the ride home, pass by MomBonnies and start up again with sister and cousin, then back to Granny Delia’s for some cold biscuits and the best blackberry jelly ever made and a glass of the sweetest tea known to man. 

I would arrive home just in time to help my Mama round the house, watch a bit of television and fall fast asleep. 

Tomorrow is a new day with a new adventure, and fresh fish for lunch if I get there in time.


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