My Pot’s Boiling Over and My Fryn’ Pan’s Burnt … Pearl and Will

 

Dafnie and Nellie adored Pearl and Will. Edie’s parents, their grandparents, doted on the twins. The girls would spend weeks at a time with Pearl and Will during the summer months. Will would give them money to go to the picture show and have enough leftover for popcorn and a drink.

While there, the girls spent time with their four uncles. Breakfast time was a sight to behold; Pearl made biscuits, she said, like you didn’t have time to make them. It makes sense; in other words, don’t overwork the dough. Pearl would have pan upon pan of drop biscuits made in round cake pans. She’d turn the pan over and stack those biscuits pan by pan; all the while those boys ate and ate their fill. One way the girls learned to eat a drop biscuit was to stick their thumb into the biscuit, wiggle it til there was a hollow hole, then pour syrup or honey down into that thumb well and eat that delicious biscuit with the syrup dripping from the biscuit, from their fingers, and from their mouths.

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For a short period of time, Pearl and Will ran a Mom and Pop hotdog stand. Their hot dogs and chili were declared the best in the county. Dafnie and Nellie liked to hang around the stand and eat a hot dog or two on the house. Then Will would give them some picture show money. Bobby Stegner would watch the horror shows with them. My mother, Dafnie, and Bobby would come out of the theater before the show was over and cry cause they were so scared. Bless their hearts.

Course I can’t imagine anything scarier than spending the night at the Funeral Parlor. The girls’ best friend’s father was the town undertaker. When they’d spend the night with Sue Ann, why of course it was in their home, which was the Funeral Home. To get to there required walking through the Presbyterian Cemetery.

Back at their own house they didn’t run out of entertainment; they would peek under Miss Henrietta and Miss Irma’s outhouse and watch them doing their business. They’d run away laughing and giggling when they got caught.

There was a young boy that bothered them something awful. The twins finally had enough, they cornered him and threw stones at him til he promised to leave them alone. Children have their own code of honor and fairness. Once enacted and judgement dealt, the problem was solved and there was no need to revisit; the situation was over.

Pearl and Will moved back to the house on Number One Highway. The uncles were grown and off to war. All four of them came back with a taste for the drink. The government was really to blame. They supplied the servicemen with as much liquor as they could hold. My great uncles weren’t the only ones that came back drunk and alcoholics. Their sobriety would have been a priceless gift to Pearl and Will, but it was not to be.

Later, much later, Will drove his Chevy Bel Aire from place to place as a Knapp Shoe salesman. I never saw one of the shoes, but I did see the russian dressing and white two-tone Chevy. I loved it, but never had the chance to ride in it. Today I wonder who has that car and lament that it didn’t stay in the family.

When our family went to see Will and Pearl, our great grandparents, we’d find them around a card table playing Parcheesi. It is an adaptation of the Indian cross and circle board game. Great Granddaddy’s mother was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, but, this is the cross the Atlantic Indian-no connection. If they weren’t playing Parcheesi, they were watching baseball; they loved baseball. Great Grandmother would be dippin’ snuff and spitting the juice into the colored metal water-glass that was popular at the time. It smelled and didn’t make me want to hug her long.

 

 

We always felt welcomed though. I loved them. Every night when I said my Now I lay me down to sleep prayers I would say, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless Mother and Daddy and,” then I’d list everyone in the family by name, then end with, “and please don’t let the Communists get us!”

 

A Child’s Bedtime Prayer
– Henry Johnstone

 

According to Wikipedia, the earliest version was written by Joseph Addison in 1711.

 

When I lay me down to Sleep,
I recommend my self to His care;
when I awake, I give my self up to His Direction.

A later version printed in The New England Primer goes:

 

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray to Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

 

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
His Love to guard me through the night,
And wake me in the morning’s light.

 

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
May the angels watch me through the night,
and keep me in their blessed sight.

 

Lord I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
thy angels watch me through the night,
And keep me safe till morning’s light.

 

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Angels watch me through the night,
And wake me with the morning light.

 

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Guide me through the starry night,
Wake me when the sun shines bright.

 

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Guide me safely through the night,
Wake me with the morning light.

 

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
When in the morning light I wake,
Show me the path of love to take.

 

If I should live another day
I pray the Lord to guide my way.

 

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
For if I die before I wake,
that’s one less test I have to take.

 

It is sometimes combined with the “Black Paternoster”.

 

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Bless the bed that I lie on.
Four corners to my bed,
Four angels round my head;
One to watch and one to pray
And two to bear my soul away.

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