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Archive for March, 2015

I was an Outlaw.

My horse galloped across the yard as fast as I could run him trying to get away from Roy Rogers and the rest of the posse. The Lone Ranger came around the corner of the house trying to cut me off, but I slapped my behind and jerked my reins to the left and headed towards the corn crib.

It was summer and Dad had a week’s vacation from Coats and Clarks in Albany, so we headed to Granddaddy Butler’s farm in Moultrie Georgia. While he helped pick tobacco and mom helped in the kitchen, my siblings and I played. For me it was cowboys and Indians or outlaws.  I have a lot of cousins in that part of the country, and back then when we came down with me being the city slicker I had to play the bad guy. It was either that or an Indian. I wasn’t much with a bow and arrow but I deadly with my two finger pistols. I can’t remember ever being one of the good guys. However, I can remember how raw it was between my legs from riding my tobacco stick horse all day trying to evade that posse of real country boys.

In my mind’s eye I can still see those stick horses with the cotton string tied to one end for reins tied up to the hitching rail. Which in this case just happen to granny’s back porch. I can also still see that clean swept yard in the mornings having been swept with a gallberry broom the evening before. There wasn’t a blade of grass within a 100 feet of the house either. Granddaddy told me that was done so he could see what critters came up to the house during the night. He had plenty to see though when they came from the field in the evening with the tracks of our horses left between our little footprints.

Granddaddy was a sharecropper for a widow lady and he and grandma lived in an old styled farm house on the back side of the old Spence Army Airfield. The kitchen was separate from the house joined by a long porch. I can remember that screen door going into the kitchen and the wood stove. There was a pie safe cabinet from which she would get cold biscuits and give us one. I would poke a hole in it where she would pour cane syrup. I can even see the old butter churn.

It doesn’t take much these days for my mind to drift back to days of my youth. I guess that comes with age. When we have the Butler Reunion each year in June and I see my cousins, I think of those days. I can still hear and see in my mind the Yellow AT-6 Trainers taking off the airfield runway. They are long gone now as is my granddaddy’s old farm house.  Even the old tobacco sticks are a rare find today. So I guess this is my way of keeping them alive.

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