Thursday, October 2, 2014

Red Clay Roads

Afternoon family and friends,
One of my cousins wrote about how dirt roads make her feel and a flood of memories came to me. I remember them so fondly growing up in Jay.

"My" road was named after my 2nd great Grandpappy but I did not know that as a kid.
Morristown Road was its name. It was a clay dirt road and when it rained , it became a gooey clay mess, that you had to drive down in the ruts to make it anywhere. If you got out of those ruts, you were going to have yourself a ride to remember.

Riding on the bus was an adventure on those days and I admired our bus driver, Raymond Diamond's, ability to keep it on the road and in between those huge ruts.
I think all of us kids on the bus held our breath and if truth be told, I think we hoped that the bus would get stuck, but only if we were going to school. LOL.

Raymond Diamond was one of the most caring people. Yes, he was our bus driver but he was also our protector and teacher. I think that is what makes for a good bus driver. Often times, especially these days, they are faced with discipline challenges and he met those with a firm hand and a kind smile. I never knew that he was my cousin growing up and that his Daddy, Bernie was too.
I went to Bernie's store every week to buy candy. It was 3 pieces for a penny and for 10 cents, I could have candy all day long. I bought Red Hots, Coconut sticks, Mary Janes, Bubble gum, Sugar Daddy Mini's and my favorite Bit of Honey.. Man, those were the days and candy has never tasted so good as it did then.

Sometimes Daddy would take us to the five and dime in town. That was a wonderland of toys, candy, household items and all kind of geegaws for a pittance. The bins were filled with things of wonder and I remember going up and down the aisles with my eyes as big as saucers wanting one of every thing I could see. There was a coke machine at the front and for a nickel you could get the coldest 6.5 oz coke in a bottle. Coke back then, burned a little when it went down. It wasn't all watered down like it is today. And it was good, so good.

Daddy worked so hard but he always gave us a dime if we needed it and when I got old enough, I started working in the cotton fields to get my "candy" money for the week.. Years later I still feel guilty that I worked in the fields for candy and the people that I worked alongside were working for food. I was a young kid and I did not know that people were hungry or that my Grandmothers own family had been hungry.

Daddy always made sure that we had shelter and food. He worked for such little money and although there were 6 kids, I don't ever remember needing something and not having it. Most of the time I had my wants too and that was a blessed way to grow up.

I am so thankful for the Raymonds, the Bernies, and the Bauldree fields which gave so many people jobs. One day remind me and I will tell you of my cotton field days in which I learned about humanity. Of course at 10, I did not understand, but today I do...
I hope that you all have dirt road memories. Love to all, Kimmee

Raymond Diamond as he looked when he drove the bus...

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