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  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

A penny saved is worthless if it's nowhere to be found

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
Each time I see someone buy a can or take a dip of snuff I think of Grandma Trew. She carried a small, shiny can of Garrett's Snuff in her apron pocket along with a chewed root. Several times a day she removed the can top, dipped the root, then placed the snuff into her bottom lip. Somehow this was fascinating to me as a 7-year-old.

Every morning and evening when milking time approached, Grandma hung the apron with its interesting cargo on a nail behind the kitchen door. One time I retrieved and opened the little can. I dipped the root into the stuff and started for my lower lip. Something happened on the way and I blew snuff from every body opening for several minutes. To this day I have not taken another dip.

The water in most of the windmills on the ranch in New Mexico tasted bad, so chewing tobacco filled the gaps between good watering places.

Once, while riding a young horse, I was calmly loping along, relaxed and enjoying a good chaw. I made ready to spit when a covey of bluehead quail exploded from beneath my mount. During the ensuing wreck, I swallowed considerable juice plus a good sized wad of tobacco. The results are still burned into my memory. To this day I have never bought another pack of chewing tobacco. In fact, I get dizzy watching someone else chewing.

My father was a chain smoker, so I was raised under a blue cloud of cigarette smoke. Not one pack of cigarettes have ever been purchased with my hard-earned money.

The final part of this mystery involves my wife Ruth. Being raised in a large family, she is an excellent barber, and I have not entered a barber shop since marriage in 1970.

Now, let us review the facts. I've spent nothing on snuff, almost nothing on chewing tobacco, zero money on cigarettes, and not a dime for haircuts since 1970. The savings of these practices through the years should amount to thousands of dollars. Where did it all go?
Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew"
June 15, 2005 column
 
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