Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Things we just do not know

Cars of beauty and art:
 1968 Olds

My oldest brother Odis was known to say in answer to a question, “One never knows, does one?”

I am hit with something very often that I could not have guessed. Like in the last couple days my friend Jean, down in Opp (that is in Alabama!), said she had walked 42 years as a weaver. When I read that I smiled, between being a peanut farmer and a preacher, my dad & mom were weavers. Dad even became a loom fixer. 

Dad described it, and I did see an old loom in the mill. It took a long time to set up a loom with hundreds of ‘ends’ of thread. The loom went up and down separating every other thread then a shuttle is batted across before the strings come back down. Like many southerners I have one of those shuttles

I have played many ball games with my cousins at the Art Cloth Mill village using the wood bat from those looms, and a ball made from thread waste from the mill.

I have a picture somewhere that I cannot find, it depicts an old woman with a cane bent over walking by a wall. On the wall her shadow is a silhouette of a young dancer.

That picture hit me like learning my friend Jean and my parents had something in common.  Since getting older I have learned more and more the meaning of ‘You cannot judge a book by its cover.’

After spending many years in the military I now look at the old WWII men in their 90’s and try to picture that man running with an 80 lb pack, 20 lbs of weapon and ammo while wearing combat boots and steel helmet.

I try to picture a man jumping into combat as a 17-18 year old.

And being in Florida (Where so many of us old folk come to hide from the snow) I see older women. I don’t know it she was a doctor, lawyer, homemaker or stripper. She could be a scientist or worked for the president.

Sherry's family worked in textile mills, called cotton mills. Her mom was a spinner, making the tread fed into the weaving loom. Sherry went another way and worked in a hosiery mill.
. I rubbed shoulders once with a multi-millionaire. We sat and talked for hours as our wives and their friends shopped. I thought he was just an old man like me. This could go on, but you know what I am saying

Once at an RV park in Melbourne FL someone gave us tickets to the Melbourne symphony. Famous musicians, actors and singers were there. Had I met them on the street I would not have guessed their past. 

Strange thing about us old people. As sister Shirley used to say, “I wasn’t born this old!”  WE had lives, we did something. WE worked paid taxes, raised families and worked out problems that were mind boggling. BUT WE SURVIVED!

Life is good.

Nite Shipslog
PS: Thanks for all the Birthday Wishes for my Sweetheart. She had a good day!


Lisa said...

This was a great post. It will make ya think. I too will look at older veterans and try to picture them as young boys carring the load. Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes. Same with the women. A lot worked in mills. I think the work shows on those faces and bodies of the elder. Sometimes I see a centurion on tv looking healthy and young. The first thing I ask myself, “but did she work?, Did she have kids?’ Life was tough back in the day. Even I spent 4 years working in a mill.

Off to work

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Yep, we are survivors! We never know just what will happen or what we might do throughout our lives, but getting old is something we all have in common.

Mevely317 said...

Gosh, Jack. This may be my favorite post you've authored. (Yet, that is.) It's spoken to me on many levels. Odis' old saying sounds vaguely familiar. Perhaps it's time we bring it back into circulation?

We WILL survive …. ya!

Jean said...

The last years on my job we had push button Machines (looms) which was great. They bought the weavers buggies to ride around in since the jobs was too big and took too long to get around. This was only at the mill I worked in the other one still had some of the older looms until they started closing they closed the one I worked at first and move the machines to the other one. The weave room that I worked in still stands and is now a business. I enjoyed my job even though it was rough at times. When I first went to work there my parents were against it they said it would kill me, sad to say I've lived longer in age than them and all my siblings.

betty said...

The stories and advice the "older" generation has that could be shared with the "younger" if the younger would just listen :) Just thinking the other day of how much wisdom comes with aging and as we go through life's experiences. Thankful that we all do survive!


Glenda said...

So agree with Mevely, this is an awesome post! Happy that Sherry had a great birthday, well deserved, she's been through a lot of life experiences and thrived!!!