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Give me a dollar’s worth please

I’d pull up to a service station in Daddy’s Pontiac, and hold one finger out the window, indicating I only had a dollar for gas, and that way, I didn’t have to tell Sweet Thing sitting next to me in the mid-50s that’s all I was buying, but we wouldn’t need the whole five gallons that buck bought anyhow on account of I knew of several places to temporarily park that automobile … for the purpose of saving gas, you understand.

Shucks, seems like just the other day they were advertising that molene was going up to fifty cents a gallon, and I vowed I wouldn’t pay that much. Well, I did, and you did, and we have multiplied that some. I always figured gas prices were artificial or something, but whatever.

Wonder how much a penny box of matches, a penny piece of blow gum or a carton of six cokes for a quarter might set ya back these days? My detailed research informed me that in 1953 Linden folks could buy a gas space heater from Gardner Hardware for $13.75, and Nathan Levy would be happy to sell the ladies sho nuff nylon stockings for 97 cents a pair.

Check out Demopolis business establishments no longer selling stuff: Sam’s Café, Meyer Brothers, Mackey Jewelry, Ulmer Furniture, Merchants Grocery, John C. Webb and Sons, Joe Sumerlin Contracting, Clinkscales, M & L Club, Froshin’s, Braswell Brothers and Braswell Hardware, Lowe’s Jewelry and even Ace Hardware. Two staples were Marengo Motors and Loyd Jones Chevrolet, and speaking of automobiles no longer can you find Jeffrey Motor Company in Linden or Skinner Motors selling Nash Ramblers over in Thomaston. The list exhausts me just remembering.

Shoot, we used to walk into stores just to say howdy to the merchants with no thought of buying anything even if I did have a dime or a quarter in my pocket. Just thinking about stopping by Selby Hardware to visit with Edwin Selby, and find out what he knew going on around Linden Town. You already know we’d duck our heads in the barber shop to see if any good tales were being spun by some of the older fellows sitting around, whether we boys ought to hear ‘em or not.

Hey, how many of y’all took shop or Home Ec in school? I ‘member one time the boys and girls swapped up for a week or two. I don’t recollect how many chairs and stuff the gals made out there in shop, but I do clearly remember that the sewing and cooking the likes of us boys turned out most certainly left a heap to be desired, although my classmate, George Braswell, did come up with some pretty fair biscuits one day.

By the way, of no particular interest to anybody, I was walking over the old abandoned football field in Thomaston some years back, and I coulder sworn I located a stain from my bloody nose still on the grass where Don Crocker popped me in the snout with his elbow back when our helmets didn’t have face masks.

Sorter an unusual rambling column this week, so nothing to lose by reporting, for no particular reason, what a lady told me fifteen years or so ago. She told me that you could lead a cow upstairs, but that critter would not come back downstairs. Never have gotten around to installing a set of stairs out among my cows to test that piece of information, but that same lady did share with me that a duck’s quack would not echo. Y’all ever ponder on that piece of information before? I never did, and it’s not likely I ever will on account of there are not that many canyons and mountains in these parts to warrant experimenting with a duck’s echo or any other set of echoes for that matter.

Y’all get all that this week, Dear Readers? No telling what we might come up with me after the passage of another whole week, and ‘especially since that will be a whole new year dawning upon us. Happy New Year to you and yours.

— Tom Boggs is a columnist for the Demopolis Times and a native of Marengo County. His column,“Days Gone Bye,” appears weekly.