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Dedicated to the lives and times of the men and women of the Old West, and to the spirit of the era, 1860 through 1890
Writins of Weakeyes Cody
Talented and witty writings
Stop And Taste The Flours @2009
With the coming of what the media refers to as difficult financial times, I am reminded of so many things in my early years that were reckoned as ‘hard times’ and those of you out there past seventy know well that this aint it.
Oh sure, my Four Oh One K looks more like an IRA and I’m beginning to think that doing it all the right way depends on how honest the CEO’s are who handled the money that I really never saw but thought I had are. Then the Union Presidents seem to be equally as questionable with the pension plans, and the hundred and five year old company that built my last three cars is talking about going belly up is highly bizarre. But I’m at this writing still well fed and can afford groceries even though I’ve watched the price of milk and stuff rise with every raise I ever got and every time the average hourly wage was hiked. But it ain’t hard times until we walk away from our homes and sit beside the railroad track waiting for a train and wondering how the old folks are tonight.
Don’t get me wrong. I know there are a lot of you out there that are already thinking that.
Late last year as I was planning on joining a family reunion back in my home state, I jokingly asked a friend of mine who comes from the same hills as I, what could I bring her from the motherland. “Nothing” She replied, then changed her mind and said, “Bring me some white self-rising corn meal, I can’t get it out here.”
Deep in the rolling hills of Central Oklahoma, I went to a Pottawatomie owned grocery and purchased a number of bags of Shawnee’s Best White Self-Rising corn meal flour. And while I was wandering around my old stomping ground, I also purchased four pairs of Round House Overalls. The brand I wore as a boy before whining for Levi’s.
I gave our friend five lbs. of that flour and kept some for myself. I sat down at my table after baking some of that cornbread and suddenly as I tasted it the years dropped away and I was in my mother’s kitchen laying butter between a slice of that same brand of cornmeal and the taste of home came rushing back sufficient to give me pause and think.
The bag of flour reads, harvested from grain grown in Oklahoma, milled by Shawnee Mills by local labor. The tag on the overalls reads Manufactured in Shawnee, Oklahoma since 1903. All that was missing as I sat there mulling this over was the presence of my mother and the smell of wood smoke from her old Majestic wood burning cook stove. It was the taste if home.
I don’t recall being financially challenged in those days. I went to school with kids dressed just as I was and who ate the same foods and shoveled the same stuff from the cow stalls as I did. But we were close then. We knew when our neighbor was hurting and we helped. There’s a saying going around, ‘Stop and smell the flowers.’
Which is good. Now, I have another, ‘Stop and taste the flours.’ For the flours of home may be what we all need right now. See ya in Globe,
~ Weakeyes Cody