Today’s Historical Photo:
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If you are from a small home town, or have lived in the same town for your entire life you may hear someone being described like this:
“Oh Billy Jack? You must know him. You know Sally Rae, she lives over on Oak Street. Her mother’s sister Shirley’s friend was married to Billy Jack’s Daddy’s brother Tom. Anyway we spoke to Billy jack at the Drag Strip two years ago. He had a red shirt on.”
“OH yeah! He had a funny accent! I remember!”
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Not in jest, but that is how I hear things and have no idea what was said. My sweetheart thinks I know everyone she does. I wish I did. I wish my roots were that deep. Today as she read the Obits from home she said, “Hiawatha Mae passed away, she was 94.”
I am off in my own thoughts as she finished. I remembered a phone call, “Mr. Darnell, I’m Billie Glover, you were recommended, I need some work done.” We talked on the phone. I was cool then with a BAG PHONE in my truck, remember them? They weighed five pounds and were expensive. They predated the cell phone.
Anyway we made an appointment at 12:30 that day. I was driving a truck I wished I hadn’t seen. I left my job with plenty of time but my truck ran hot. I have always made it a point to keep an appointment. I had the phone, I could have called her, and she would have understood. But I pushed the truck and it died in her driveway at 12:27. I called my son Mark to pick me up.
She was a pretty lady much my senior, very nice. The job was simple and I gave her a price. I arranged to leave the truck until the next day, by that time Mark was there to pick me up.
That evening Sherry and I were talking over supper and I said, “You might not know her, but I left my truck at Billie Glover’s house, the sucker died on me.”
“YOU mean Hiawatha, of course I know her. They lived down the street from us on the Imperial. She is a cousin of Sonny’s. She married a Glover.” (The Imperial Mill was one of the local cotton mills, if your family lived in the Imperial Village, then you ID’d that as Living on the Imperial.)
But, that is the only person I have ever known named Hiawatha. I do not remember if I did the job, but I know I learned Billie’s name was Hiawatha.
PS: Wisdom from the Farmer:
My Isuzu truck looked something like this, I had decided to go small.