Tag: memoir

Unraveling the meaning of “an eye for an eye”

Mr. Pall thinks he’s tougher than a pair of old leather boots, probably because he used to be some kinda wrestler or something. He isn’t nearly as tough as Dad, who last week had beaten a man unconscious on Main Street just because the man spouted…

Never give up

Even though I didn’t get a donkey or a new guitar, I knew Aunt Nolie was in my corner, wiping off my brow between rounds and telling me to “Get up!” at the same time. I’ve since learned how to “get up” from many…

Denying Religion

Almost every time I get to one of those revivals, the grown-ups say, “Cono, don’t you want to be saved?” “From what?” I say. “Why the Devil hisself,” they say and then they add a bunch of amens to go along with it. Unless…

Calf Slobber

My father is a worthless, sorry son of a bitch, no better than calves’ slobber. I’ve tried to find reasons to believe otherwise, I really have. How can a piece of apple pie be so good and so bad at the same time? Maybe…

A minimal meal

For a week, the whole house feels pain of one kind or another. Delma’s in one bed crying, Dad’s moaning and cussing in his. But the only sickness Mother and I feel is a mean rumbling in our bellies from lack of food. Since…

That Fightin’ Instinct

I yelled, “fall out!” But, there’s one in every crowd. His name was “Johnson,” an ex-merchant marine with big old biceps who thought he could fight a circular saw and come out ahead. He pulled the cover over his head as if that was…

A Boxing Tradition-Thanks, Daddy

So recently, my one-year-old granddaughter came to watch me box (see picture below). As many of you know, I love boxing. Not competitively, of course. I do it for fitness. We hit pads and bags, practice defensive, etc. We kick, too, but being a…

Searchin’ for the “Funny”

Dad never owned a car long enough for him to learn how to drive, or for that matter, long enough for me to learn to drive. Until we moved to Temple, that is. Dad was the odd man out, never having an interest in cowboying or…

Not always “home” on the range

Right before it’s time to go home, Mrs. Alexander starts to teach us a new song called Home on the Range. “Oh give me a home, where the antelope roam and the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word and the…

Cono meets a “Colored Man”

  1934:  We walk into the barber’s shop and Dad shakes hands with Mr. Kindle. The place looks pretty much the same as Grady’s in Ranger, but instead of a boxing poster, there’s a framed picture of President Roosevelt. Something else different too. There’s a colored man…