Days Gone Bye: Picture This

Published 5:17 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

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(This is a retread from November 28th, 2001)

Bye Tom Boggs

Box cameras, Brownie cameras, flash bulbs you had to lick.  Black and white. You just hafta figure there’s not too much more valuable than an old faded picture from way back yonder.

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I was looking at some sho nuff old photographs the other day of some kinfolks back before the last century turned.  (That’d be the 19th century.)  How come you reckon it was that folks didn’t used to smile in those early pictures?  Might have been ‘cause their teeth hurt, or the lady’s girdle was just too dang tight, or could be time exposure where you could not move a’tall until the camera finished.   I got to looking at some old 8 mm film the other day, which are sorta antique compared to new fangled camcorders and such, but you know what? Those grown chullun and grandchullen can’t go back to being little, and get their picture made with the new stuff.   That’s how come those shaky 8 mm rolls just gotter be maintained. Of course those old movies don’t have any sound, but I can’t remember getting my chullun to say much of anything when I put them on a fancy camcorder anyhow.

Hey, I showed y’all a picture of the old Blackbelt League Baseball Team a year or so ago. I was talking to Ol’ Terry Barr ‘round at the bank the other day, and we got to talking about the umpiring of Cliff Williams and Sambo Jones.

Terry said he heard Bob Dennis tell about the time the high flying Clanton Ball Team was coming to play Linden. Bob was going around taking bets, and he asked Cliff if he wanted to place a bet on Linden, to which Cliff replied he reckoned he wouldn’t.  Bob went on to say that he told Cliff, “Well, Sambo’s umpiring.”  Cliff brightened up, pulled out a few dollars, and said, “Yeah, I believe I will take a little of that bet.”

After the game, the manager of the Clanton bunch went up to Cephus Holliman, the Linden Manager, pushed his cap back, shook his head, and told Cephus, “if we had yore umpire, we could whup the New York Yankees.”

With the changing landscape these days, you ‘near ‘bout need you a picture album to remember where things were.  The old jailhouse and courthouse in Linden are naturally the first two things I think about, ‘long with the missing football field.

How ‘bout the old wooden community house up on what was a sho nuff high bluff in Demopolis Town?

Look around the streets of Demopolis, Linden, Sweet Water, Thomaston, or even down yonder in Putnam.  Picture the stores and such that were once there with the merchants leaned up against the door, or sweeping some dirt out the door.

The mind’s eye paints a pretty good picture, or we wouldn’t all be reading this Days Gone Bye stuff every week, but the old black and white, holding in your hand, putting under a magnifying glass, kinda pictures are mighty nice to have around to help out that mind’s eye.

Enough words.  How come you don’t pull those pictures out from the old chiffonier to do the rest of the talking to you today?