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Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Sometimes I spend some time reminiscing about ‘the way it was’ before TV and Internet….

When folks would listen to The Lone Ranger, Amos ‘n Andy, the major league baseball game of the day or week while grading tobacco in a hot pack house.  Before the days of TV or even FM radio.  It was AM radio, poppin’ and crackin’ or nothing.  All were content. Listen to the radio for a while, turn it off and talk about what was going on in the neighborhood, about what someone told us about at church on Sunday, about someone who was sick or had passed away, maybe planning to get married or have a baby.

No 24-hour news sources.  We knew little about the daily activities in Washington and Raleigh.  We were busy workin’, no radio on a two horse turn plow.  After church on Sunday, and after lunch, sometimes there would be a gathering on someone’s front porch, some passing time in a swing or a few straight chairs or just sit on the steps and talk, sometime plan for the coming week. Neighbors helped neighbors.

One thing is for sure, ’bout this time of the year, someone would be turning over the soil, maybe plowing or discing, sometimes with a single mule or horse, sometimes in teams of two.

Most had plenty to eat, like veggies canned in Mason jars.  Seldom did anyone freeze anything.  There were few refrigerators… restaurants, maybe an occasional ‘hamburger shop’ in town, but that was a long ride.  Not really worth gearing up the mule or horse to a wagon to make the trip.

A chicken was on the ‘favorites’ list for Sunday lunch.  Many times before they became Sunday lunch, they spent some time under a basket, never realizing they were on the ‘doomed’ list.  Sometimes the main course came from the ‘smokehouse’ where pork was stored, hang the sausage and liver puddin’ up to dry and hope ‘chiggers’ did not do damage to…

Times were different, but most shared the same lifestyle, few motorized vehicles, a couple of pairs of blue jeans, a couple of homemade shirts made from a sack of feed for the animals, a pair of shoes was all that was needed, if you took care of them.  Hand-me-down clothing was very important. a way of life for most in the neighborhood…..

When the bumble bees were first sighted in the spring, shoes were no longer a necessity, except for school and church.

Sorry, many memories have faded, others are as vivid as ever. That’s the way it was for many on RFD 2, north of Bladenboro in the 40s and early 50s.

What men learn from history is that men do not learn from history.  Economists’ Law I

In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.  Paul Harvey

Historical fancy is more important than historical facts.  Anonymous

robert g hester


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