Teachin and Preachin - An Excerpt

I saw something the other day about making hominy, and it got me thinking...we don't teach our kids the old ways anymore.

Sometime around '97 or '98, while we were living outside of Berryville, AR, we would visit this little store on the square, Carr's Dry Goods. It must have been there for 70-80 years, maybe more. This place was heaven to an old bumpkin like me. Wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling, this entire place was covered with merchandise, anything from yards of fabric to clothing, leather goods, and boots. It always amazed me that this place still had Wrangler jeans so old they had the leather patch on the back pocket, not the plastic one that comes on them now. Anyone that knows the ole Bumpkin knows since I was old enough to wear long britches, I would only wear Wrangler jeans. Still do, and I always will. They also had a huge "collection" of old Levi's, faded so much the red tag was now white.

Now around this time Carr's was closing, and we went by during their closeout sale (sad day when these store have to shut down). In the back of the store they had boxes and boxes of old boots, new, but with an inch of dust on top of the lid. I found a nice pair of lace up work boots in my size. I pulled 'em on, threw my foot up on the bench, reached down with my hand and speed laced my boots. Now these were the type with hooks, not with eyelets. As soon as I did that, the salesman, an older gentleman, asked me where I learned to do that. I told him my Dad taught me.

You'll hear on the show as I talk about my Dad, but he worked as a lineman when I was growing up. Everyday he wore 18" tall boots (with hooks) to work when he was still climbing. It would take a lot longer to get ready if you had to lace up 18" boots every morning one eyelet or hook at a time. He taught me how to speed lace my boots, and it's something I still do to this day.

After I explained to the salesman where I learned it and how to do it, he replied:

"My grandson is a lineman for Carroll Electric. He lived with me for a while, and I never saw him lace his boots like that."

Now that's just sad that nobody showed him how to lace his boots. It might be something kind of silly, but it is part of an entire outlook of our society that we don't show our kids, or coworkers for that matter, how to do anything. We aren't handing down old traditions and ways of getting things done.

With that being said, I have heard time and time again that my Grandpa spent a year in the Federal Pen for running moonshine. I would love to learn how to make my own moonshine. If I have a cousin or uncle out there that has Grandpa Griggs's moonshine recipe, I want it. Some may think of it as a black mark on the family, but I look at it like a badge of honor. There is something about having something pass down through generations, even a moonshine recipe.

Another thing that gets me are these kids that don't know anything about cars, and I can't always blame them. These new cars nowadays have me lost, just like a lot of you old bumpkins out there, but I'm pretty good on old beaters. If any of you dads know how to turn a wrench, buy and old beater truck or car and get your kids out there to fix it. As long as it isn't a daily driver, they won't hurt anything. Take your teenage boys, and girls for that matter, too. I know of a few of younger girls that love to work on old hot rods. Get outside with your kids and teach them how to do things.

My baby girl is crafty. She is always finding things on Pinterest for us to do. My friends and coworkers have even got to a point where they send her stuff, just to hear me moan about doing it. Now it's all in good fun, but it gives us something we can do together. Now my oldest boy worked a lot during high school and was involved in his own things, but my younger son and I got out all the time and worked on the El Camino we had in the driveway. It got him back and forth to school and gave him something to work on and learn on.

So don't hold all of this knowledge to yourself. You would be amazed, if you asked, how many people would want to learn how to do these things. If you are making hominy, the ole Bumpkin wants to learn, and probably a bunch of other people, too. We need to reach out to family, coworkers, and neighbors and start handing down all of this knowledge. Connect with people, connect with your kids, and start something today.

Till Next Time Bumpkins!

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