Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
To carry her weekly column in your
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Online Since 1999
||Times Long Ago...
Times Long Ago
My earliest memory is the end of World War II when I was about 3 years old.
(Yes, I'm that old.) It was a traumatic time with people actually celebrating in
the streets. Church bells were ringing and people weeping because it meant their
sons and husbands would be coming home from war -- alive..
I grew up in a small town in North Carolina in a big old Victorian house that
had been divided up into apartments. I barely remember the upstairs apartment as
we later moved downstairs and eventually to the best apartment in the house. It
had wallpaper and a linoleum rug! It even had a bathroom in the corner of the
kitchen so we didn't have to go across the back porch anymore to the old
Daddy rode a big black bicycle to work at a game room where he hung out and
learned to shoot pool. We were not supposed to say he worked in a "pool
room." We had to call it a "billiards parlor." I suppose it was
considered a second-class sort of job. He made enough to pay the bills, though,
and to bring home comic books, candy bars and soda pop.
We wanted a car, but daddy didn't know how to drive. My uncle taught him on the
runway of the small local airport where he couldn't run into anything. I suppose
airplanes didn't count. The entire family rode in the back seat and "helped
him" learn. Then he bought an old 38 Oldsmobile that a farmer had used to
haul hay. After hosing the mud out and putting in a back seat, it was our
chariot until we could afford something better.
We had kerosene stove in the living room that provided heat in the winter. In
the summer we raised the windows to keep cool as no one had air conditioning in
those days. The old house and yard was shaded by trees, including a peach tree
that never had peaches and a walnut tree that produced a lot of nuts to crack
with a hammer.
I walked three blocks to school. (Yes, uphill both ways.) I wore plaid skirts
that my mother made on her treadle sewing machine. The old school had radiators
to keep us warm. It was there that I learned about books and reading. Across
from the school, there was a library where children could get a library card and
check out three books at a time. I probably read the entire children's section.
Television came along and we got a black and white set to keep up with "modern
times." We only received one channel with a lot of snow, test patterns, and
technical difficulties, but I no longer had to go across the street to watch
Howdy Doody at my friend's house. Most shows in the early days were of the
variety type, and we watched everything that came on. Daddy liked wrestling, and
my sister and I named our kittens after our favorite wrestlers, like Gorgeous
George and Bobby Managoff.
In the summer we played hopscotch and jump rope or climbed the lattice work on
the porch. We sometimes rode our bicycles to the playground several blocks away.
On Saturday we paid a dime to go to the movies to watch Roy Rogers and then came
home and played cowboys and Indians with cap pistols that popped like
firecrackers. Like other kids then, I owned a BB gun. I never shot out my eye
out in case you are wondering. On Sunday, mom sent us across the street to
Sunday school at the First Baptist Church with a dime for the offering plate.
Mom and Dad are both gone now and the old house was torn down years ago. All
that is left is the memories of times long ago -- misty memories of the things
that made me who I am today.
Copyright 2015 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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