Mom and Pop - Soapbox Rewind
*NOTE* Charlie will be back with a brand new soapbox on Monday, in the meantime, here's a soapbox rewind from 2009. - TeamCDB/BW
I guess it may be a sign of my advancing age or a healthy case of nostalgia in fond remembrance of a simpler time in my life, but sometimes I find my thoughts wandering back to a time and place in my young life when my responsibilities consisted making sure the wood box was full and keeping my grades above the passing line.
It was a time when we left our windows open all night long in a fruitless effort to deflect the humid, oppressive, Carolina summer heat.
The front door was hardly ever locked and a man who didn't keep his word or wouldn't take care of his family was not considered a man at all, unwed teenage pregnancy was a truly rare thing and same-sex marriage totally unheard of.
The schools I went to didn't have discipline problems because they just didn't put up with bad behavior or even arrogance. If a student insisted on being a problem that couldn't be handled by corporeal punishment they would be sent home for their parents to deal with. They weren't allowed to stay around and disrupt the rest of the class.
You could drink the water straight from a free-flowing branch and pick blackberries and take them home for momma to make a cobbler out of.
Few men were abed when the sun came up, a farmer's day started early and ended late. There were no 401Ks, unions or government programs to pick up the slack if a man was kicked by a mule or the crops failed. There was only God and the man's neighbors, but that was enough.
Momma and Daddy's word was law and I would have no more thought of sassing them than I would have of lying down on a red ant hill.
Almost every boy I knew carried a pocketknife and it was seldom out of his possession, even at school, but they were never used for anything more aggressive than cutting a fishing line or skinning a squirrel.
Owning a gun was a passage of age and I got my first one when I was about twelve. Of course, by then I had been shooting for years and the first thing I was taught was not to point the business end of a gun at anything you didn't want to kill, whether you perceived it to be loaded or empty.
In the pre-Walmart days of my youth, there were neighborhood markets and corner drug stores and there were more than just logos and brand names. The "Mom and Pop" businesses had faces, and if your medical prescription wasn't filled properly Dr. Hanson would make it right and if you got a less than fresh piece of beef, Mr. Herrin would make sure it was replaced.
People knew the postman and the people in town could have milk delivered right to their front door every weekday.
Enemies of America were clearly identified, and everybody in America knew what Adolph Hitler looked like and nobody had any delusions about what he wanted to do and everybody right down to little boys in short pants were vowed and determined that he wasn't going to do it.
There was a time when I had never met anybody who didn't believe in God.
Hollywood stars were real men who fought in the war and made movies that celebrated the wonder of the American dream and the bad guy never won.
There was no such thing known as home invasion, if you invaded a man's home there was a better than midline chance that he or one of his sons would grab a shotgun and blow a hole the size of a frying pan in your sorry hide and nobody but your momma would grieve for you.
We're well over a half century and a million miles away from those days, times and trends are in an ever-accelerating race with survival and the old ways are just that, old ways.
Of course, all was not perfect, there were some terrible things as well. People died from simple diseases and there was the abomination of segregation and the Jim Crow laws.
I know its only wishful thinking but I wish we could have done away with the bad and kept the good.
I'd sure like to have a drink of water out of a gurgling little branch.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
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Check out "Mudcat" from Beau Weevils - 'Songs in the Key of E'