Joe Garland

Joe Garland writes, 1958

Since you have invited old timers to write, I will try to get up one more piece.  I have been thinking about it anyway ever since old Mossback [Mose Fried] started bragging again.  And, I am sort’a fed up with Uncle Nat’s hogwash, too.

I never saw ery other fellow that was as well satisfied with himself as old Mossback is.  He says if he had it all to do over he wouldn’t make any changes.  That just gets my goat.  Shucks, if I had it to do over I’d make a lot of changes, but I have heard it said that everybody wasn’t alike, and I’m awfully glad of it.  I judge I wouldn’t want to be like some people.

For instance take Uncle Nat, don’t know anything about him and don’t much want to.  He seems to be what folks call “old sore head” he ain’t satisfied with the government and he don’t like to help put out the wash.  He don’t like the women’s dresses or any other such thing as I have heard of.

Now there is another fellow living over about Ink.  He says the catfish is hungry over there and come to his pasture and eat up his grass.  I think he is just another blow hard.  Then there is the women writers, but I ain’t gonna comment on them.

Now listen you fellers, I been talking about.  I propose that we have a meeting like they have at the Summit.  I don’t know where the Summit is but our place would do as good as anywhere.  We might invite Kruschev and get his ideas about things in general.  I will furnish the watermelons right out of my own garden.  I just double dare you old roosters.

I think I would qualify for an old-timer.  My folks brought me here to this place where I now live when I was ten years old; that was 1883.  I have never moved away from the old home.  We are still living in the house my father built in 1884.  We have added on to it some.  We managed somehow or the other to raise ten children and they are all still living and so is the old lady.  I am thankful to the good Lord that we are still in good health, as far as I know.  I am getting a little deaf and my eyes a little dim, but I am writing this letter without glasses.  Folks that don’t know me may doubt this statement.  I still do lots of work on the place, and right out in the hot sun too.  Sometimes I reflect back on the “good old days” when “Maggie and I was young” but I keep too busy reading and working.  It always pains me when any of the other old ones passes on to their rewards.  My generation has just about passed.

© Shirley Manning 2004