Judy, Me and Edie
My Best Friend Edie and Her Sister Judy
I know I put this photo on my Halloween poem, but I had to share it again. I feel now, but not then that our town is like a Hallmark Card; with the community sharing Holidays.
My friend Edie and I shared so many fun times together. You can see in the photo Edie was the smallest, therefore, it was my job to protect her, and I did.
Edie lived next door to me, and I always had an adventure for us; which almost always got us into hot water with our parents and the church ladies..
I don't remember if I shared this one or not. We or I rather decided it was time for a day vacation--we were six years old. Edie had a horse named Strawberry a most humble equine especially with us.
I led Strawberry up to the porch and Edie held him while I ran home to get Polly Grandmother Jernegan's Parrot. We voted that Polly needed a vacation too.
Grandmother Jernegan was asleep for the afternoon, so I got her walking stick and when to Polly's cage. Polly was so happy she sang all the way to our destination.
Strawberry and Polly
Edie was holding on to me and I had Polly on the walking stick across my lap. I admit it took us awhile to get on the horse; but we finally made it. We always had fun when her mother went to Eastern Star meetings or played cards with her friends
We packed a bag with peanut butter and crackers, and bacon to feed the special creature we would be visiting. For energy I took some of my Step-Grandmother's chocolates.
However, as always when she slept, we asked permission of the back doorsteps and they always agreed to let us go.
We had to pass the Baptist Preacher's house and his wife was one of the nosy Church ladies. We tried to be very quiet, but Polly would not follow our request as she sang to her heart's content. I was the only one who took her on adventures, and she loved them.
As we not so quietly passed the preacher's house, we saw a curtain move. Edie was always so sweet, but this time she said, "The old church lady saw us, she is like a bat that flies all around being nosy. We laughed and Polly sang. Strawberry seemed to like the adventure as well.
The Boy's Club House, the Pond and the Old Blind Gator Sally
Edie and I were brought up in church and we knew that each day we should help someone or a living creature. And that was our mission for this day.
Finally, we made it to the boy's club. I am sure we looked a little strange now that I think about it. At the age of six we were very mature we thought we could take care of ourselves.
Edie waited quietly under the tree that I place Polly in. We were at the Boy's Club building. (Years later, Edie and I were Girl Scouts, and our meetings were in the same old building) Then, we stood by the pond that was home to Sally the gator
Edie was Methodist and they sprinkled with water for a blessing--so she said. We decided to sprinkle Sally and maybe she would be cured and could see once again.
We visited her by walking there when Grandmother had her naps, but this time we went in style on Strawberry.
I walked down to the pond to cross to the middle of the island that Sally sunned herself on. I started placing the bacon around the edge into the water and made a noise with a stick so she could hear me.
Finally, Sally slowly came out and started eating her bacon. We were so happy that we were doing what the Sunday school teacher taught us to love your neighbor.
Sally ate all the bacon and then moved out on the middle of the island to sunbathe. Edie and I were talking at the same time Polly swished her tail and almost knocked me down.
We heard a scream and looked around and there stood my mother and Edie's daddy. Edie and I said at the same time--the preacher's wife.
We were put on restriction, and this was nothing new. Edie and I communicated from open windows. I told her that if I died the word restriction would be on my tombstone.
Halloween Carnival and Trick or Treat
We made our costumes and were very proud. I met Edit at the Halloween Carnival. She came with her mother, and I came with mine.
There were so many booths with everything from Fortune Tellers, Girl Scouts selling Pronto Pups (A wiener rolled in pancake dough and fried.) We loved them. A booth of cupcakes and brownies and one our mothers had a coffee and pie booth.
There was everything, but a kissing booth and Edie wanted one because her boyfriend came with his parents. He rode on the merry-go-round with us and held Edie's hand. Well, nothing wrong with that after all we were first graders.
Our Mothers Took us Trick or Treating
We might live in a small town, but that did not stop our mothers from picking out the houses we would be going to for our treats. First, we went to Mrs. Jones house and got cornbread. We thanked them and giggled all the way back to the car.
Then, to Aunt Othie's house, and finally we got a lot of candy. We went to more picked-out houses, but not many. Then, it was time to go home. Judy Edie's sister went with her friends. We heard through the grapevine that she would not be seen with babies (that was us.)
It always happened after getting home it was candy checking time., My mother already knew who gave me candy or cornbread; she still had to check everything before I got one piece. The following Monday, Edie told me her father requested from the school board for Edie, and I should be separated in the second grade because together we spelled trouble.
Surprise We were in Trouble Again.
Edie and I were put with different teachers in the second grade, which did not get our approval.
I sent her a note to meet me in the bathroom at recess. I had a new experience for us to share. My mother was given a pack of sample cigarettes. It was a little pack with only four in it. And, I had them in my sweater pocket with matches.
After lunchtime, we went behind the shrubby and crawled under the school building in a small space. Then, I gave her a cigarette and showed her how to light it. I knew because I had seen my mother smoke with her card playing friends.
Of course, we choked as tears ran down our faces. Just when we decided we were not smokers someone pulled us out by our feet. And, to make matters worse that someone was the school principal Mrs. Harris. We knew that I would be on restriction again, which gave me more time to plan our next adventure.
The same Mrs. Harris who hired me years later to teach Phonics and reading Skills to first and second graders. Oh yes, she remembered Edie and I and laughed about it as she told it in PTA meeting. And the worse part my mother was there that night.
We Were Blessed to Grow-up in the 1950s and 1960s
This was a time that families had dinner together in the evenings. Blessings were said before anyone picked up a fork. Good manners were the norm in our homes.
My parents knew the parents of my friends and anyone new in our school had to pass--their inspection. Strict was my mother's middle name.
And, her favorite term for me was: You are on Restriction. My 'Sperm Father' I called him--had certain rules for me to follow through my mother; and endorsed by my sweet step-father. We got the name Sperm Father from Edie hearing her mother say it to her father.
The only activity I wanted to be part of was playing basketball in high school. However, my 'Sperm Father' did not want me showing my legs or any part that a lady should not show.
I did play one game before I was caught by my stepfather. I was put on restriction and could not go to the beach--now that hurt. I told my friends if I died make sure my mother put 'Here Lies Restriction' on my tombstone.
Yes, I had an opinionated mouth on me--that is why restriction became my tag.
Life in the 1950s-1960s was a wonderful time in United States of America--it will never be seen again. My parents did not lock our doors at night because there was no crime in our community. I keep my doors locked--it is no longer 1950s. And, have my two best friends with me--Smith and Wesson--I live in the country with no policeman or policewoman walking or riding their beat.
My stepfather was a policeman for a few years until another mayor was elected. Small towns are brutal with politics sometimes.
God Bless All the People of the World
© 2020 Barbara Purvis Hunter