Family and Close Neighbors – A Mixed Blessing?

We grew up in a really small town in Georgia. The phone directory looked like a church bulletin! Our telephone was on a party line with the town’s biggest gossip, and even without the phone, the neighbors knew all your business. We had one neighbor who felt the need to check out our dates.  When they would come to pick us up, she would suddenly remember that she had forgotten to check her mailbox.

We had the privilege of living close to all our relatives, too. One perk was that we could call around and see what our relatives were having for supper if our Mom was fixing liver and onions. The down side of that was that if you did anything wrong, somebody would tell your Mom before you even made it home. We could walk to both grandparents’ houses and our great-grandpa was still living downtown on the corner. We lived close to town, which consisted of two traffic lights, a drug store, a dime store, the Gulf station, and a mom and pop grocery store. Oh, yes! There was a movie theater. On Friday nights, if there was a kid-friendly movie, like “Lady and the Tramp”, my older brother and I would walk to the theater. We had to pass right by our Great-grandpa’s place and we would “butter him up” for popcorn money. He seemed to keep a pocket full of silver half dollars. He didn’t know that we’d already gotten money from Mother and Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa and the two elderly sisters who lived across the street!

One night we came home from the movie and spent the night “hugging the toilet”. Our Mom kept asking our Dad, “What in the world could have made those kids sick?” A shiny half dollar bought a lot of popcorn, frozen candy bars and real cherry Coke in the 1955!

When I got to be a teenager, a friend’s Mom pasted a Bible verse on the dash of his ’57 Chevy before he went out on his first date that read: “Beware! Your sins will find you out!” By Granny! She may have been right!



  1. Mildred said

    All so true! That one neighbor would also sweep her sidewalk REALLY well if we had a date!

  2. seniorhiker said

    As an older brother I had to come check out your blog in case Mildred was putting out a story that was too one-sided.

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