Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tenneesee tales



I brought my knitting along to help pass the time while waiting for the oil to be changed in our car. Little did I know that entertainment was waiting.

An older gentleman sat in the waiting room and he engaged anybody and everybody in conversation.

He told us about his work up north. How crooked all the contractors are (correction - he said 99% are crooked). How there would be no potholes in Chicago except for the fact that they use inferior materials and bribe the inspectors to look the t'other way.

He was hungry and told us how much he loved biscuits.

"Sausage biscuits, peach biscuits, chocolate gravy biscuits. You put anything on a biscuits," said he, "and I will eat it. "

"My grandma made the best sausage," he continued, "mixed ground pork with spices, put it in a one or two pound sugar bag and sealed it with paraffin. That was the best stuff."

He went on to tell us how old he was (80) and how much he weighed (265).

I asked him if he helped with the butchering process.

"No, I can't kill anything, but my daddy was real good with animals. He never ever got bitten by a dog, and he can break a horse like nobody else. He would sneak up behind the pig with a claw hammer, hit it between the eyes and when it went down, he'd slit its throat."

"One day Dad and I were crossing the Bald River on horses. My horse started to flounder and go under. Dad told me to get off it, and pull its tail up. Wouldn't you know it, that horse started to swim."

"Now, my grandpa - he was a big man. Killed a man in a backyard brawl. Think there was moonshine involved. There's two sides to my family - one Christian, one moonshiners. They claim they ain't kin to the t'other, but they are."

"Anyway my grandpa was in prison and worked on a chain gang in Georgia. He escaped and carried that ball and chain all the way back to Tennessee. Built his house on top of a hill so he could always see if anybody was comin' for him."

There was a rare moment of silence.

"Do you crochet?" he asked me as I knitted away and listened to his tales.

"No," I replied.

"My grandma could crochet. She crocheted everything. Bedspreads, tablecloths. She could even crochet in the dark."

By this time his car was ready and he left. I continued knitting, thinking about his stories and his way of life.

A half hours worth of entertainment - all for the price of an oil change.

4 comments:

Becky said...

Hahahahaha ... only in the south. As you have discovered.

Anonymous said...

You found my long lost Uncle !! Please send him home.

momawake said...

Now that sounds like fun! Good thing you can knit and listen at the same time. :)

thatmom said...

I love it!

Sadly, I see myself in that story but instead of being the listener, I am the 80 year old story teller with a captive audience! Just you wait another 25 years!