What goes up must come down

Published 7:58 pm Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One of the best things about writing a weekly column is the response that I get from readers about something I have written. I’ve had people come up to me and ask if Samson was a real cat, or was he fictitious, and I had to reassure them that he is definitely real. And, yes, he does weigh 21 pounds. Actually, at his last visit with Dr. Alethea Gammage, he weighed 20 pounds and six ounces. He had been sick, so that was definitely an off week.

People who live in other states have emailed me about how much they agreed with this or that issue, or how much they enjoyed my memories of growing up in Greenville. I can honestly say that I had a very blessed childhood.

My grandparents, Jim and Nettie Vee Grayson, owned Court Square Grocery Store right across from the Butler County Courthouse. I loved going there. I loved the squeaking wire turning rack that held all the different little packages of toys and wobbled as it turned.

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And, since I was their youngest grandchild, my grandfather always let me choose anything I wanted from it.

My grandmother (we called her Ma) made the best homemade doughnuts, and they sold them out of a side window. If you look at the building closely today, you can still see the outline of that window. The big whirring fan that sat on the concrete floor never seemed to bring much relief from the summer heat in that little kitchen, and boy, was it loud.

If any of you remember Jim Grayson, he wore suspenders on his pants that surrounded his very protruding stomach. He was quick with a laugh, and he loved to carry on foolishness.

On this particular day, he had been given the assignment of babysitting me at the store while my parents went to the hospital to visit a friend. Being so little, of course, I couldn’t go. I was only about four years old.

As my parents drove off, I began kicking and screaming wildly because I wanted to go with them. Somehow or another, my foot got caught in Pa’s suspenders. The more I squirmed to get down, the worse it got.

The next thing Pa knew, my foot had unhooked his suspenders, and his pants fell clean to his ankles right there in front of the entire city of Greenville. He had to do a Charlie Chaplin walk from the edge of East Commerce Street all the way inside the store just so he could lock the door, put me down and then get his pants back up.

The next day, Butler County Sheriff Henry Stanford paid Pa a visit.

“Jim, I sure hate to do this, but I’m going to have to place you under arrest.”

“What in the heck are you talking about, Henry? Arrested for what?”

“Indecent exposure.”

Small town life. You gotta love it.

Regina Grayson is the Managing Editor of The Luverne Journal and The Lowndes Signal. She can be reached at regina.grayson@luvernejournal.com.