I was six years old in 1938, and we lived in town in St. Johns. During the summer we did some gardening on our lot.
My dad was of the old school, and when he butchered a pig or a cow, he saw to it that all the widows in our area got some choice cuts of the beef or pork.
My job was to take a small lard bucket of milk to a family having a tough time. There were two older boys on my route to the family. They just gave me a bad time. Sometimes I spilled some of the milk, and the family was short because there wasn't that much left in the little lard bucket.
One of the widows was a lady whose name was Julia Greer. She was a school teacher, and when she spoke, things happened.
I was told that her neighbors had a pig. It would get in her garden and root up everything. She had told and told them again and again to keep their pig penned. She lived in a two-story house. The window on the second story made a good location to accomplish her task, and her task was to shoot that neighbor's pig. She did and killed it dead.
I would listen to that story and think, "Is that the same lady I have learned to respect and love?" Needless to say, I was full of respect for her or maybe you could call it a bit of fear.
The two older boys would wait for me to go down the street. They would cut through the field and meet me before I could deliver the milk. One day I could see I was in for another butt-kicking, and, to say the least, I was not looking forward to it. About that time, Mrs. Greer came out on her front step, and in a voice that you knew she wasn't there for fun, blasted those two kids. They hunkered down and ran back home through the shortcut in the field.
Boy, talk about a buddy! She was then and there mine.
My family taught me to respect older people.
Someday I will tell you about my time with a very old cowboy, Prime Coleman.
By Ted Raban
June 8, 2014