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

Aging and Exaggerating
Old timers' memories
tend to stretch the truth

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
One noticeable effect of aging is most of us tend to exaggerate a bit as we recall the old days. Here are a few examples I have heard lately.

"When I was a young lad walking to a country school every day we had to face a cold north wind both in the morning and evening and it was uphill both directions." Think about this a moment.

"I didn't know my Christian name until I was twelve years old. All anyone had ever said to me was, go get firewood." In my case it was coal or kerosene.

"Between trapping skunks, filling kerosene lamps every day and wearing a bag of garlic around my neck to ward off colds, I didn't have many close friends when I was young."

"The way to tell the rich folks from the poor was to study their clothes lines on wash day. Rich folks didn't have many patches and their drawers had elastic instead of draw-strings. Look at the sun through the seats of poor people's britches and the light just shines right through."

At one time or another most old timers had to carry water to the house in a wooden bucket which always seemed to be empty when water was needed. A favorite old time saying was, "If this house was to catch fire and burn down the first thing to burn would be the bottom of the wooden water bucket."

"We were so pour when I was a little boy I could sit down on a dime and tell you whether it was heads or tails." A cousin often stated, "Our family was raised on cottontail rabbits and skinny shickens. We ate so many shickens in the summertime we didn't sleep on corn shuck mattresses we roosted on the bedsteads at night."

"My daddy carried a sack lunch to work on the WPA. One day he and his buddy traded lunch sacks contents sight unseen, to vary the daily menu. Daddy got a cold biscuit filled spinach greens and his buddy got four native walnuts and a claw hammer."

"Me and my six brothers all slept in an upstairs room. We all wore boots but had no socks. At night we set our boots out the window on the porch roof to get rid of the stink so we could sleep."

"There were thirteen of us in our family and always one or two sick. No matter if we had the trots, constipated, a bad cold, the croup, fever, belly ache, headache or whatever Mama dosed us with coal oil and sugar. I asked her how she knew the cure for our ailments? She said she never tried to cure just tried to stop the complaints."

A 94-year-old man was asked what he thought of the modern world today? He replied, "We are being educated out of common sense into ignorance, doctored to death and preached into Hell. Other than that we are getting along pretty well."


April 20, 2010 Column Delbert Trew
More "It's All Trew"
Delbert Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164, by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by e-mail at trewblue@centramedia.net. For books see DelbertTrew.com. His column appears weekly.

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