2018-10-10 / Opinion

‘Things you miss when you’re old enough to remember’

By Roger “Buck” Davis

Getting old is a gift, not a curse. When you’re old enough to sit and think about what we called the Good Old Days, it brings back memories that can make you laugh, cry, break your heart, or jump for joy.

For example, I want to talk about the parades we used to have at certain times of the year in Colquitt. Everybody was excited to see Mr. Jimmy Lee King on his white horse, Star, leading almost every parade. All the people would come into town to see the tractors, floats, cars, and the marching band. It just made you feel great inside, and you thought that all the people in town felt the same way. We were children, and we didn’t know about the adult problems that our parents might have been having.

Every September, Mr. Hilton Jones, Goody Bush, and Dick Spancake would hide the new automobiles from the public until the show date. Now, as a teenager that was really exciting, and I could hardly wait until that special day. We would even try to sneak a peek in the covered-up windows before show day.

Fall is football season. The ball field would be full of people. Cheerleaders were jumping up and down, especially if we were winning. There was a coolness in the air, and the atmosphere - there were people yelling from both sides. I remember the coaches. There were Coach Lowery, Coach Thornton, Coach Tabb, and Coach McIntyre. I remember them calling the plays.

Later in the year, there was Coach J. E. Calhoun and the basketball games. You could smell popcorn as you walked into the gym, and it was filled with the sound of balls bouncing on the wood floor as the players warmed up. I was asked to run the big flat mop over the gym floor between quarters: I did, but I felt embarrassed sometimes to be doing it. I wanted to be back up in the stands with my friends.

I remember Mr. Curtis Warren was always yelling at the players or the referees, and Becky Brooks blowing her horn during the excitement of the game. The biggest crowd always showed up when we played Seminole County. There was always a strong competition between the two of us. It was only 14 miles from out town to theirs – as a matter of fact, the Seminole and Miller County Lines were almost at the Donalsonville city limit sign.

When Miller County boys made the trip there to the Tasty Freeze, they all had to be ready for some type of conflict. As older teenagers, the Good Old Boys would go to Totsie’s in Donalsonville to pick up our 6 pack of medicine that we all shared. It was enough for us to go and meet the girls from Seminole County. As a matter of fact, one of the Good Old Boys, Jerry Widner, married one of them.

When I was only 13 or 14, Grover Kelly’s mother, Ms. Dorothy, took us to a place at the Seminole County line called Cypress Park. It was the hang -out place for swimming in the summer. That’s where Grover met Betsy Bivings, and they had no idea at the time that years later, they would become man and wife. They’re still married today.

One of the most exciting times as a youngster was when the fair came to town. The candy apples, cotton candy, hot dogs, burgers, and the rides – the bullet, ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl, and others, and the games! Throwing the rings over the bottles, knocking those three milk bottles down all should have been easy, but they always took our money. Looking at the fair today, it can’t be the same one we used to go to. It used to take us all night to go from one end to the other. Now you can see it all in 15 minutes, and sometimes, they don’t even have a haunted house to take your girlfriend through. My, how times have changed.

We all like to hold onto the good memories, and forget the not so good. That’s human nature. As adults, now we know why sometimes our parents didn’t get as excited at the things we did, but remember that they once did. They were youngsters, once.

Next week: courting and breaking up with that special person.

May God Bless

RTD & Judy

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