Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Odd People

I really did not think Cudram could remove warts - but I did have this wart on the side of my finger. One day I saw Cudram walking toward our house. I thought I would trick him, so I went out to the road as he passed and I told him I would like for him to remove my wart.

He said, "Well, maybe." He asked for a pencil, so I had someone bring out a pencil. All the time I was laughing to myself. He took the pencil and marked around the wart and mumbled a few words as he did this.

Then he said to forget about it and it would be gone in a few days. Well, this was a seed wart, not east to get rid of. I had it for a very long time. I had used every remedy in the book. In about three days, I woke up one morning and my wart was gone, slick as a whistle. So, the joke was on me. I do not know yet what happened. Maybe he did have a special gift.

My girlfriend and I used to go to a house near where she lived. There was a strange family living there with one daughter who claimed to tell fortunes. We would give her a dime, and she would read the cards or our hand.

She would always say, "Don't tell my brother, Wesley. He would whip me." She had a little cloth tobacco bag around her neck and there is where she kept her dimes. Her name was Cora. We did not think of this as witchcraft or evil.

Cora was married, but separated from her husband. She had a small son named Peezie. They all looked strange to us. I suppose they were so poor that they were under nourished. Their house was crude logs and had dirt floors. Once they asked us to eat fried pies with them, but we refused even though we wanted to because we were afraid they were dirty.

Later, the family moved into another old house with an upstairs. Wesley, Cora's brother, bought an old T-Model car. He could not drive, so he took it apart and carried it piece by piece upstairs. He put it together, but forgot that he could not get it down. So, he just left it there.

The family that moved in that house later was a little off too, or at least we thought so. All the family chewed tobacco. The had a host of kids. One of the babies was born with a cleft palate and harelip. This little one could not eat well, so at about a year old they put sugar on tobacco so he would learn to chew. We got a big kick out of that as it confirmed what we thought - that they were weird.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Neighbors


Mrs. Ollie was a neighbor. Everyone loved her. She always had lunch ready by 11:30 a.m. each day. Everyone close by knew when she rang the big dinner bell outside high up on a pole that it was 11:30 and dinner was ready for her menfolks in the field to come in to eat.

But any other time the bell rang meant trouble. Her husband, Mr. Sid, had a heart problem, and this was her signal for help. If the bell rang, all neighbors within a mile or two around could hear, and they all dropped whatever they were doing and ran to her rescue.

Mr. Sid was always disabled ever since I could remember him. He always rode his horse to the grocery store or mailbox, which was with the many others in front of our house. Many times I have met him as I went to the store, and he would give me a nickel or dime to buy some candy.

We were never allowed to ask for money as this was considered begging. But he knew this and just wanted to be nice to us kids. I grew up loving them so much. Even after Mrs. Ollie was gone, I sent him a Christmas card every year as long as he lived. This pleased him very much.

We had a custom of making up nicknames for people. One neighbor's name was Robert. We called him "Hainty," meaning "a haunt." I never knew why. One was named Charlie. We called him "Hawk" Every day he rode on his horse to and from his cattle farm by our house. Sitting sideways, we though he resembled a hawk sailing.

Another neighbor was named Claud. His nickname was "Cudram." I did not know why. He was just an old man living alone in a little log cabin with his cats. He was thought to have special powers to remove warts.

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