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