Days Gone Bye: The Mail Still Runs (Retread from 25 Sept 2001)

Published 5:18 pm Saturday, August 5, 2023

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Been awhile since I’ve used a three cent stamp on a letter or a penny one on a post card. Seems like the mail is kinda slower now than it was, but it still gets here…most of the time.

Got a letter the other day from Claud’s older brother, Sammy Neilson, talking about Ol’ Coach Chink Lott. Sam said you always worried when Chink put his arm around your shoulder to talk to ya on account of you had to look out from getting hit with that pipe he was always waving around.

Sam went on to say that Chink didn’t care too much for baseball, but he did have a couple of signs. Pipe in the right hand for bunt, and pipe in left hand for steal. That was about it.

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He went on to write that Coach Lott also didn’t care too much for basketball, and about the only games Demopolis won were the ones where local fellows Elmer Pruitt or Rick Manley were refereeing.

Now, football. Sammy agreed with what Eddie Jackson had told me. Coach Lott was way ahead of the times with his football coaching. Of course, Sammy felt he had to mention to me that Chink always had some new ploy to get the Tigers fired up to play us Linden Red Devils. I have it admit it worked all the years I was dressed out in red and white.

Got a letter from my old buddy, Spickey Chadwick. Said he was checking cotton with Melvin Mashburn one time, and got sorta waylaid for three hours talking with Thomas Miller about the big war. I recollect one night after a church meeting in Linden, I stood and listened to Thomas and his brother, Charles, talking about that Second World War. One of the most interesting and information packed nights I recollect.

Spickey said he got to talking with an elderly Black lady one time when he was checking cotton. She was a teenager when the infamous outlaw Rube Burrows and Dixie Carter got in a gun fight up there in Linden Old Town. Said she peeked under a window shade, and saw the whole thing. That’s heavy stuff, and I wish I could have talked with that lady.

Then, I got a letter from James Murray Brown, son of my all time favorite grocery store owner, Mr. J.T. Brown, who was Spickey’s granddaddy. Murray was commenting on my columns, and folks he remembered. Said one of his best buddies in high school was Tom Quinney. Murray said Tom was a wonderful and sweet man, but loved to sleep, in class or anywhere. When Tom’s name was called out to go up and get his high school diploma, those seated around Tom only heard a gentle snore.

Murray went on to tell about Dr. Dunning coming back to his office in Linden about eleveno’clock on Saturday nights waiting for the cut up folks to drop by for stitching up. Then, finally, Murray wrote about one night he and some of his buddies were invited to go on a coon hunt with Grits Thomas, who was known for his coon dogs, as well as for his football playing days. Legendary stories related to the boys that night, made even better by the added flavors Grits put into them.

I’m glad the post office delivered these letters to this old writer, so I could pass that important information on to y’all.