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 Texas : Features : Columns : Spunky Flat and Beyond :
Spunky Flat and Beyond - A Memoir


The Schemer
by George Lester
George Lester
The Lester family always had plenty to eat. The table might not be set with gourmet food but at least it was nourishing and plentiful. Even in those tough Depression days now and then we would allow ourselves something special. For instance, our mother would sometimes fix hot dogs for lunch. That may not sound too exciting by today's standards, but in the middle Thirties, it was a reason to celebrate.

When we had such a treat it was necessarry to ration the special food so that each would get a fair share. This worked out just fine until brother Sam figured out a way to get more than his allotted amount. He knew that I was very sensitive and the slightest mention of something distasteful during a meal would turn my stomach. I would leave the table, run outside and usually lose my lunch.

Knowing this, and knowing we were having a treat, Sam waited until I was about to take my first bite of that long-awaited hot dog to remind me of a scene we had witnessed a few days earlier. As we were walking about the farm we came upon the remains of a dead buzzard in an advanced state of decay. The sight (and smell) was most revolting. It only took one mention of this to send me flying out the door, my appetite completely lost for the moment. My mother asked Sam why I had left the table and he "innocently" guessed that I just got sick for some unknown reason. While she was outside checking on me, Sam took advantage of the situation and took my portion of the hot dogs.

When I told my mother what had happened she repeated the story to our father. Sam got quite a tongue lashing and was told to never do it again under the threat of corporal punishment. With the average boy that would be the end of it, but not with Sam. A few days later he told me that the next time we were sitting at the table if he twitched his nose, that would mean that he was thinking about that dead buzzard. I dismissed it as just a teasing remark.and had completely forgotten about it when we were about to partake of another special treat. Sam smiled and gave his nose that distinctive twitch. That was all it took for the sight and smell of that deceased fowl to flash through my mind and I was gone again. No prized meal for me that day. I knew that I was beaten. How could I go to my parents and tell that Sam had twitched his nose at me? Looking back now, I suppose that had a lot to do with why I was such a skinny kid.
George Lester

7-29-2004
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