The Old Ways

‘Come and get it kiddo…we have liver with fried onions,’ Neva J. proclaimed. ‘You know that it is good for your blood the doctors say,’ she continued. ‘My blood has been feeling fine,’ Billy B. answered. ‘I hear that Gone With The Wind is on at the Orpheum this weekend…I want to hear Rhett Butler tell Scarlett that, ‘Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn,’ Jane laughed. ‘Buckley said damn the other day in class and Mrs. K. washed his mouth out with soap,’ Chet observed. ‘I do not usually condone curse words and no one should ever take the Lord’s name in vain…but I do enjoy watching Gone With The Wind,’ Neva J. said with a lilting laugh. ‘You know Mr. Dillard has the most mannerly sons I have ever encountered,’ Neva J. said. ‘Yesterday Billy B. and I went to his home to pay our insurance premium and one of his boys answered the door…he called me mam and thank me for dropping off the payment,’ Neva J. continued. ‘Did you know that their father has a chair that aids him in standing…he had polio as a child,’ Jane said.

‘I have got to practice my cursive writing more…you know the old saying…reading, writing and arithmetic, Billy B. said with a concerned look on his face. ‘Gas has gone up…I paid 32 cents a gallon this morning and Ethyl is 35 cents. It won’t be long before I will not be able to fill up the 57′ on a five dollar bill,’ bemoaned Neva J. ‘I suppose we will be alright as long as we can afford bologna, said Billy B. ‘Hot dogs are my favorite…right out of the package…cold and good,’ Chet grinned a Cheshire Cat grin. ‘It will be good to return to my summer job at Western Auto…Mr. Slim says that he will raise my pay a dime an hour…imagine 60 cents an hour…I will be rich,’ Billy B. exulted!

‘I just do not like thongs as my primary footwear in the summer…I have trouble getting them to stay on my feet,’ said Jane. ‘On seventh street, all the kids go barefoot all summer but I tried it and do not like the feeling…the rocks hurt,’ Chet said. ‘My shoes make my feet sweat…I think that they look like leather…but they are not leather,’ Billy B. moaned.

Well, the badminton net is strung and I have some new birdies…did everyone bring their rackets,’ Neva J. asked? ‘Will there be Cokes and Sweet Tea,’ Jane asked? ‘Do not forget Oscar Meyer…and do not scare them with the fire for the hamburgers,’ Chet smiled.

‘Cousin Gene has been drafted…probably headed to Vietnam,’ Neva J. said with a sigh. ‘Six U.S. soldiers were killed yesterday,’ Chet said with a stone-faced expression. ‘Why are we fighting in Vietnam…I know three people who have been killed and many more who are not the same when they return to the States,’ Jane said. Mr. Feazel said the other day in class that we should negotiate a peace treaty and withdraw…he is a minister,’ Billy B. said. ‘Many boys are moving to Canada to avoid the draft…I do not blame them,’ Neva J. mused with tears in her eyes. ‘You know all I have heard is that we must do what our President tells us to do and if he says to go to another country and fight and die…then it is our duty…but I can not shake the nagging question in my mind…what if he is wrong,’ Chet asked?

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