I remember the days when my dad would work from seven in the morning until five in the afternoon.
Every day the bus would stop on the corner and daddy would get off the bus walk a couple of houses and would be home and super would be sitting on the table. We would all eat and then I would have to do the dishes. (no dishwasher). My sisters were older, they were married and having children. Mama would cook and I would clean up the kitchen. It never cross my mind to complain. That was our way of life. Then we would sit on the screen porch until it was time to watch television. My married sisters would clean their kitchen then sit on their porch until the radio programs came on. Either way it was family time sitting on the porch sharing our day. Daddy would always have a story or two to tell about what happen during his work day; as he was going in out of the homes in the Columbus area , as he worked on their telephones. I would always listen to every word my daddy said. For me it has paid off in researching his Waldrop line. In listening about his family Sometimes daddy was in the right Church but in the wrong pew.
At night I would sit at the Dinning room table doing my homework, Daddy would sit at the other end of the table reading his telephone repair manuals , to keep up with changes made in the red, green and other colors wires inside the newer telephone. Doing my homework was fun with daddy at the other end of the table and mama bringing us ice tea. Mama would sit in the living room and do her embroidering while waiting for us to get thru, so we could watch television together. Being the youngest child made my parents and I closer. When my sisters lived at home, Mama and Daddy had just gone thru the depression and times were hard for everyone. Also they went thru World War II when everyone was concerned what was going to happen next. Daddy was two young to join the Army during, World War I he was married with children during World War II. Daddy was made the Block Warden for Civil Defense. Daddy was in charge of seeing all lights were out , shades were drawn ,so flickers of light couldn’t be seen thru the thick plantation blinds from the lights in the Mills while crews worked all night. Daddy’s duty was to keep the neighbors off the streets and inside their homes. I do not remember the Air Raids, but from what I was told they were very freighting ,also the neighbors feared that the enemy were hovering over their homes ready to bomb them, like they were bombing in Europe. THANK GOD THAT NEVER HAPPEN! But, none the less , Daddy had the neighborhood prepared.
Downtown, today the Historical District , is where Daddy was in charge. There was a house where two bad women lived, as my mama would say, yes they even had a red light on the front porch. The hardest part of daddy’s job, as a Block Warden, was getting those two ladies to turn off the red light on their front porch. My daddy was for the most part a kind and polite man. He was brought up in Southern ways to respect a Southern woman even if she didn’t deserve it. Well, you would have to know my Mama. Mama was a 99.9% Christian most of the time, and at other times she was a 100% Christian. Mama had a hard time dealing with these two prostitutes, but kept quite, for there wasn’t a whole lot she could do about it. Only once did mama try to save their souls and tell them about the Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Well, the prostitutes didn’t take that very kindly. A heated discussion started and it got rather warm, so I am told. Another Christian lady across the street decided to called the police, for as she was scared mama was going to get hurt. By then Daddy, had walked up and got in the middle of it. One of the ladies ran towards mama with her fist and was going to fight her; until this prostitute (as I was told) ran in to the back of my daddy’s hand. When the police drove up, they asked daddy what was going on. He told them the ladies were in his yard and one lady was going to hurt mama. The policemen then turned, handcuff the ladies and took them to jail. The ladies had came after mama in her own yard, as she stood on her front porch; so they were charged. As the years went by, my older sisters teased mama about that night. Mama would always say “I wasn’t surprised at your daddy defending me, but I was surprised when the prostitute fell backwards and she didn’t have any underwear on. That was what shocked mama! (You have to remember these were the times when men defended God, Jesus, Country and Southern women.)
Even today there are still a few Southern Gentlemen; I will have to say this about my friend Ron. My daughter Jan, Ron and I were inside a restraint on Warm Spring Road, about a year ago. We were waiting to be seated when Ron went to the restroom. we had been there for a while, the waitress came up to seat us. she saw Ron wasn’t there, so she pushed us to one side and seated the party behind us. When I told her Ron was here and will be back in a second, she went on sitting others. Before leaving I ask to speak to the manager to complain about being seated. An arrogant and already angry manager arrives. The conversation soon became quite warm, while others, were listening and watching. The manager had a rule, no party could be seated unless all was there. I tried to tell him Ron was there, but was in the bathroom. This didn’t matter to the manager. He started to get louder, as he was coming toward me to get in my face. All of a sudden, Ron steps in between the manager and me, facing the manager. I can’t remember what Ron said but, with Ron 6′ 2″ and the serious look on his face, made the manager back off. The manager, noticing the customers standing there watching, suddenly accused us of not wanting to pay our bill. Ron stated to all in the room, we had no problem with our meal and never had refused to pay and will gladly do so; but would never recommend coming here again, as long as he was manager. I don’t mind not going back there anymore, I can do without the fish, but I do miss the hush puppies. Awwwwwwman, those were some more good hush puppies!!!
Daddy, was known to have had more than a few fights in his life. I remember Daddy when he would go down to Choppy’s on Victory Drive, as he would say shooting dice and drinking with the boys. Daddy on the Friday night, was paid by Southern Bell Telephone Co. He would put his money for mama and the house in one pocket then ten dollars in the other, to gamble with. Well….somehow a couple of men knew how daddy kept his money separated and they wanted the rest of his money. So the fight begins. Daddy was 65% a Christian and the rest was what he had learn growing up in Washington county, Alabama; where all country boys did a little drinking and a little fighting. Now mama would not allow drinking in our home, one she was a Christian, two she was president of the PTA and three she was the President of The Woman Christian Temperance Union. (WTCU). But, as the story goes, these men tried to steal Daddy’s money which belonged to Mama and he took the three men on and got his money back. Well, daddy comes home all beat up and mama shook her head and asked him, ” Harry , what has happen to you?” I remember daddy saying, ” Hell, mama you should seen the losers if you think this looks bad.” Then daddy handed mama the money he had gotten back. Mama couldn’t say to much, she knew daddy grew up drinking. (But, only after his papa died and daddy was 18 years old; or his papa would have taken the strap to him.)
With all that went on in our lives, I was still safe and secure. I know what my purpose in life was, taught to me by my parents, it was to first be a Christian, read my Bible, attend Church, get an education, get a job so if I had to take care of myself; so I could hold a position by typing, Bookkeeping and taking short hand. I even was taught , if I did get married, to know how to cook, clean, sew , manners and how to set a table and entertain for social events. All of this came in use in my life. I was taught how to take care of myself, if I married or not.
With the way I was raised, with mama and daddy, I felt safe and secure. I was taught who I was and be prepared to face life no matter what path it took me. It wasn’t until I was married that I saw the world thru different eyes. I Thank The Heavenly Father for my Glory Days and my Christian friends that I had so much fun with. But at the same time, I was taught by ministers like Rev. John Park Winkler, how to prepare myself and live a life with my husband’s advance Multiple Sclerosis, which took a chunk of life out of my children’s (Jan, Norma Kay, and Wally’s) lives and Glory Days.
My early Glory Days were so precious to me; where I was dating and having fun with many of my Church friends and hardly a day went by that wasn’t something planned. After I was sixteen, I was turned loose with the Church Youth group and we were on the go most all the time. When we were out for the summer we went to Church Camp in Waycross, Georgia. We stayed in a training camp for the Milwaukee Braves and when we would get ready to leave for home we would write the players. The next summer when we arrived, we would take off to the building where we left the letters to them and we would find a letter for us from the players. Little did we know, we should have kept those letters, that one day they might have been of some value. But those letters stayed with us, in memory, as life moved on. One of the highlights of our summer was after Church going to Ida Cason”s. We (the youth group) would leave after Church on Sunday, go home eat lunch, help clean the kitchen, and be ready when Billy Case, Bobby Shehean, or Johnny Manning would pull up in their car and blow their horn…..which meant…let’s go. I would run out the door with my bathing suit on and one of daddy’s shirts with no shoes. We would drive to Ida Cason Callaway Gardens and spend the afternoon swimming, tanning, eating, riding the paddle boats; then high tailing it down Pine Mountain to get home change cloths and get to Church (Disciples of Christ) for the youth meeting, attend Church that night, and then go out for milk shakes at Castleberry by Five Points, near the East Highland Methodist Church. As I left my teenage years, I found my Glory Days continued as my life progressed. I came to realized, after being married and having children, that every day in my life can be a Glory Day.
During my early Glory Days running back and forth to Ida Cason’s, it never cross my mind I would one day be sitting in the home of one of the Callaways eating, sitting around talking, and going to the Steeple Chase the next day. I really enjoyed meeting Cason and Beth Callaway III and their children Cason IV, Carrie, and Marshall. I adore Marshall, their son, he is one of the finest young men I have known. There was also Mark Silvers and few other young people that went to Hardaway, with my son Wally. Beth with all she had to do was one of the most gracious hostess, she had prepared a meal fit for a King and Queen. With all Beth had to do with the Steeple Chase, and all the house guests that came home with her children for Steeple Chase, she was still a great host. The next day we piled on a used school bus, that was bought off of eBay, by one of Cason IV’s friends; with all the young adults, Ron and I made the enjoyable adventure to and from the Chase and the Callaway home. Fun was had by all on board the magical bus. One day I will have to play darts with Cason III, so I can have my picture up on his game room wall, with all his friends who have played darts with him there. But then, that is another story. I am grateful to my friend and buddy Ron Rollins for a wonderful time and being entertained by his friends Beth and Cason Callaway III and their children. I have been to the Steeple Chase twice, back in my Glory Days, that would have been just a Dream for me.
Thanks for letting me share my memories with you.