Apr 28 2008
02:00 pm
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collett:

Hello Readers, My dear friend Pelea Meador (Class of 1944) , sent me a letter a few days ago, helping tide me over with a column and my upcoming surgery. I can always count on Pelea. She wrote me about her "tobacco" experiences of her childhood. Pull up a chair, and join me in reading about Pelea's remembrances of...


Remembrances of all these habits of people (and kids who tried them) in my long agos, bring back smiles. The folks, I think about, tried some or all of these "glamorous" habits and suffered for it! At least, I did. The amazing thing that happened was that I don't recall any of the kids "taking up" these nasty habits. My stories on chewin' and dippin' are short and bitter so they will be first.
Grandpa Peters chewed and spit into a can. I did it only once, forgot to spit, swallowed, and after the room, bed, and whole world stopped spinning around, I left the rest to Grandpa. I don't know whether my brothers and their friends ever tried this because they never told.
My try at dippin' was a little more complicated. The names have been changed in this story for obvious reasons. When I was about seven years old, two older girls, "Jane" and "Willie", decided to teach me to "dip." Of course my mother, despising snuff and tobacco of any kind, never knew that I had "sneaked off" and was eagerly awaiting my first "dip" on the girls' back porch. They had enlisted the help of a little neighbor girl, "Jessie" to steal the golden aromatic powder from her mother's little tin box.
Now, just as they had a big "dip" ready, I pulled out my lower lip and just as the snuff touched it, I took a deep breath, and WHEW!!! Snuff, spit, and everything else in my lungs came flying out all over them as I fell into a fit of coughing and choking.
Well, "Jane" and "Willie" thought that I was dying, and, knowing right from wrong, started trying to get "Jessie," who stole the snuff, to get on her knees to ask for God's forgiveness for doing such a terrible deed.
Of course, "Jessie" was about eight years old and could not comprehend the situation. However, when I recovered, I high-tailed it home as fast as my legs could carry me.
"Jane" and "Willie" were remorseful and did not let all this end here. They kept praying on their back steps that "Jessie" would get on her knees. "Jessie" would NOT get on her knees.
When the prayers got louder, and louder, so one by one, neighbors came to see why the girls were loudly crying and praying and trying to get "Jessie" on her knees. By dark around 8 or 9 PM, there was a crowd of 25 to 30 or more onlookers and it was getting quite loud. My mother took me by the hand and walked up the road to see what all the commotion was about.
People were crying and praying and then someone decided that they needed a preacher to come and try to get the Holy Ghost to come down on "Jessie" to get her on her knees. The preacher came, threw her arms shaking into the air and called upon the Holy Ghost. Some of the by-standers did the same. I was scared half to death so mama took me home in a hurry. To this day, I don't know what happened there that night. What I do remember is that I never went back there and never took another "dip".
I would like to think that I had a part in putting the fear of God into three other girls that day for that fear was certainly felt by PELEA PETERS !
Thanks Pelea for an entertaining story...Next week Pelea will tell us about her experiences of "SMOKIN', and I promise it will be just as entertaining.
Until next week, keep the emails coming........Ray

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.