Sunday, August 27, 2006

True Confessions

Butch Class of 60: Now, folks, I know there have GOT to be more episodes in our collective lives that deserve, that need, to be confessed. A cleansing of the psyche, so to speak. These four or five little minor league confessions haven't even scratched the surface. So, fess up out there. Let's hear some juicy, heartfelt confessions. You don't even have to use your name or the names of the innocent.
Recognizing that confession can cleanse the soul, Peach Fuzz offers a forum for those seeking pardon for childhood offenses. Although we cannot offer divine forgiveness, we believe that fessing up, spiced with a dash of wisdom-with-age makes for good humble pie. You can rank the severity by sending us the Offense # and from 1-5 rotten peaches. (Oh one more thing... play nice. Don't confess for anyone else).

1. I was so ashamed that I was a part of this so many years ago... There was a very nice preacher that made a talk for about 15 or 20 minutes... seein' as tho we had no teacher with us that day in the bleachers, Mr. McClure's homeroom class ...disrupted the whole program by moving about in the bleachers, pea-shooting wads of paper, laughing and talking.

2. When I got married I was just 19 and I got so many nice gifts from people in town but moved right after the wedding and lost the book with the list of gifts, addresses. I did not send thank you notes to everyone who sent gifts. I have lived with this guilt almost 40 years and want to apologize.

3. I would stoop to anything to get to go the movies. I lied to my mother & told her Splendor in the Grass was a nature film. I lied to Margie & told her Psycho was a comedy. She went into the bathroom & threw up & wouldn't come out until the end. I abandoned her & watched the rest of the movie. She was scarred for life.

4. Back in the summer between 9th and 10th grade, I went to Baptist Church Camp at Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Danny Gestring and I got a ride back from camp as far as Wynne with some girls from there. A couple of weeks later, we heard that those same girls were at the Methodist Church Camp on Bear Creek Lake. Apparently, these girls really liked church camps.

You know we had to get down to Bear Creek before the weekend. Neither one of us could get a car, but I did have access to my Dad's delivery truck for a little local running around. This truck had a cover on the back to protect the groceries we delivered to our customers. "Ford's Food Center" was boldly printed on both sides. On Thursday afternoon (do you remember when most stores closed in FC on Thursday afternoons in the Summer?), we took the top off to protect our anonymity, left it in Danny's side yard, and lit out for Marianna and the promised land.

In a rented a boat and motor, we found the camp across the lake and went ashore trying to act like we belonged. There were Methodists everywhere, mostly of the female persuasion, and all wore the same camp T-shirt. Well, of course Butch and Dan the Baptists stood out Baptists at a Methodist Church Camp. We started asking anyone within reach about the two girls from Wynne. Before we made contact, a "grownup" escorted us back to our boat and watched closely as we motored out of sight. Did we do good, or what?

When we got back to the truck, it wouldn't start. I cranked it till the battery died. No luck. Now, I'm beginning to fear for my future. A man parked next to us offered us a PULL back to Mariana. Do you remember that the road out to Bear Creek was gravel? In midsummer it was really dusty, too. When we got back to Marianna, the man dropped us at the service station on the corner. The cab of the truck had about two inches of dust inside, about four inches in the bed and maybe an inch or two on Danny and me. There we were, stuck in Marianna with a truck that wouldn't run, nasty as coal miners, and it was getting dark. That was bad enough, except, did I mention that my Dad didn't know I had taken his truck out of town?

My prospects in life were dwindling rapidly. Then, suddenly, out of the darkness came my hero. Well, actually it was Tommy Devazier and Buddy Shoemake in Devazier's little Chevy coup with the extra loud mufflers. Not exactly two guys who were on my hero list at the time, but they were from Forrest City and they agreed to pull me and my lame truck back to FC for $10. We had an old and badly frayed rope in the truck. It broke four times and got shorter each time a new knot was tied. Most of the trip was made with about two feet between our bumpers.

He dropped the truck and the two "nasty boys" at City's Service Station around midnight. I called my brother, Charles, who came to pick us up. Overnight, the guys at the service station literally hosed out the interior of the truck and cleaned out all the dust. They found the loose coil wire that stranded us.

Next morning, Dad wakes me up with, "Hey, where's the truck?" Truthfully, I replied, "I had to have it towed to the service station last night after I couldn't get it to start when I got ready to come home." He never did find out about our little adventure. I realize that this doesn't qualify as a really, really bad thing, but I still haven't told my Dad. He might whup me good.

5. When I was in high school, my mom always expected me to have my room clean every day before I left for school... one morning during homeroom the whole school heard this announcement over the intercom from the office, "P_____, please come to the office, P____ , come to the office." Everyone in the class looked at me and asked, "What have you done now?" ...the only reply from me was "I don't know!" I knew I had done something, I just didn't know what! As all eyes glazed at me, I gathered up my books for my first period class and headed for the office. I felt like I was about an inch tall. I must have looked like I had just been caught with my hand in the cookie jar! I was all sweetness and innocence when I arrived at the office, Ms Montgomery told me to have a seat and wait for Mr. Hawley, he wanted to talk to me. About that time I looked up and through the front window I saw my mother's '57 Ford heading down the street in front of the school! I couldn't imagine what could have been coming next! Mr. Hawley summoned me from his office and I went in. He said "P___, your mother just came by to give me an excuse for you to leave school---go home and make your bed!" ...My mother had driven all the way to my school to advise the principal that I had to go home to clean up my room! ...I walked home, about 6 blocks, made up my bed, hung up my clothes, and walked back. From then on I always had my bed made before leaving for school.

6. In the Summer of 65, the DBS high school sorrority came in the middle of the night and kidnapped a bunch of girls around town to pledge. An annual traditional hazing event. We all ended up at the Fogg's house on Dillard & Forrest St. for a bunk in party. A girlfriend and I snuck out and walked the entire length of Forrest St down towards Stuart Springs and back... as the sun was coming up... talking about life. Smack down the middle of the street. Barefoot. In our nightgowns.

7. Okay, Butch. How about some petty theft. When my girlfriends and I were waiting one year for it to get late enough to deliver DBS bids, we happened to notice two great big vinyl Tony the Tiger signs at a service station on Washington Street. For some reason we thought that sign was really cool. Before you know it, one of the girls(I don't remember who) pulled a pocket knife out of her purse. We climbed up on top of the car and cut down one of the Tonys, rolled him up and made our getaway. The tiger ended up on the basement wall of our friend Annette's house where we got together for bunking parties often. We always feared that someone (an adult) would discover it down there and turn us in. By the way, Annette was completely innocent. She had nothing to do with the theft and wasn't even with us that night. I'm really ashamed at how childish and disrespectful we were of someone else's property. But, that tiger did look good on the wall. Hopefully, the statute of limitations has expired on our crime. B.J. Class of '68

8. Okay you guys--here goes another attempt to make you laugh! I'm not sure of the year, but I do know that I was in junior high so it could have been '57,'58 or '59. (Let's hope it was '57 cause I was so young and would hate to have been any older--It may have even been the fall of '56)! I was walking home from school--we always walked, no one had a car in those days--what would we done with it? Me, Gylinda Bounds and two or three thers were walking together down Washington Street towards my house on Fussell. We always passed the creek close to the Moncrief's house--(I'm laughing now)--this creek always had such a loud, rushing water noise coming from it and we stopped at the banister next to the sidewalk. Well..........I didn't always stop by the "little girls room" before walking home.......and didn't stop by that day........when we got to the creek, we stopped, and I had the most horrible feeling!!! You know the kind.......rushing water.......and I had on a dress!! (We weren't allowed to wear pants or jeans!) I think I began by crossing my legs while I was standing by the banister........then I grabbed my books in front as though they were slipping out of my grasp, catching them and pressing them just in the right place......I was all but holding myself by the time I straightened up!! I began to walk fast so I could get across the street and into the back door so no one would see me rush to the bathroom! Everyone was laughing at me....the sight of a girl not quite a teen, (if it was the fall of '56, I was only 12), running with both legs crossed, doubled up with books grasped just below the belt, shoes filling up...socks getting a good soaking....was too much for them to bear (is that the right "bear"?), anyway, 3 or 4 girls followed me, laughing so hard, they also had to stop at my house, but they had to wait for me.....we had only one bathroom!!


Blogger Butch Ford said...

Please replace my comment at the beginning of the Confessions section with the newly edited version I have inserted below. Upon further review, it occurs to me that confession without claim is no confession at all.

Butch Class of 60: Now, folks, I know there have GOT to be more episodes in our collective lives that deserve, that need, to be confessed. A cleansing of the psyche, so to speak. These four or five little minor league confessions haven't even scratched the surface. Let's hear some juicy, heartfelt confessions. Also, I believe that a confession made in anonymity is no confession at all, just a story. So, fess up out there and be brave enough to claim your confession (and your other posts). I don't recall anyone from Forrest City with the name of "Anonymous."

Mon Oct 23, 08:04:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Butch Ford said...

Dear Admin,
Thanks, ever so, for the invitation to rate B.J.'s confession. And, props to B.J. for "fessin' up" without hiding behind the "Anonymous" moniker.

I guess you can give this one a "two-peach" designation. It is, by B.J.'s own description, petty theft. By the way, what Exxon station was that? Was there a Sanders Exxon?

The burning question is about the girl with the pocket knife. What's with that? A Forrest City girl, in the 60's, packin' a knife?? A deadly weapon???? That would get you arrested and suspended from school for a year today. With that evidence coming to light, your little adventure could be described more like premeditated burglary than simple petty theft. It's a good thing that the statute of limitations has kicked in or we would have to launch an investigation. Think about accessory charges, possessing stolen property, harboring criminals. It boggles the mind.

We knew things would begin to deteriorate after our Class of 60 left town. By the way, who is B.J.?

Butch Ford
Class of 60

Mon Nov 20, 08:52:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.J. was (and is) a very honest, moral, fine person (can't say girl anymore) who would never do any harm to anyone. While growing up in F.C., she was well thought of and a credit to the school and the community, cheerleader and National Junior Honor Society member. Never had she engaged in this kind of illegal behavior either before or since. And, now that you mention it, it might have been a nail clipper instead of a pocket knife.

Wed Nov 29, 08:19:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Butch Ford said...

Reply to Anonymous about my comments concerning B.J.'s confession:
1. Refer to my comments above concerning Anonymous. I still don't remember anyone by that name.

2. I have no doubt about B.J.'s character. While I don't know her personally, her reputation, I am sure, is above reproach. If you will check her statement, the knife-toting person upon whom I attempted to cast, I hoped, humorous light, was not B.J. My entire comment was intended to be satirical in nature. If you, or anyone else, took it differently, you made a mistake. Satire, Anonymous. SATIRE!

Wed Dec 06, 06:35:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous B.J. (Billie Jean Rowland, Class of '68) said...

Don't worry, Butch. Your comments were taken as intended, all in good fun. And, I think you're right. It was Sanders Exxon station. Do you remember the little tiger tails the stations used to sell or give away to hang on your gas cap? I never had one of those myself.

Thu Jan 25, 05:50:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Billie Jean,
Thanks for your reassurances. I'm glad you understood.
I sure do remember those little tiger tails. I had a bunch of them. Vernon Sanders owned the station. He and his wife, Ruth, were good friends of my parents. Ruth was my mother's best friend in life. They were really a pair. Ruth was full of gusto and loved life. She made those around her feel the same. My mother was pretty shy and would avoid "having fun" in public. When she was with Ruth, she was a different person. Ruth passed away recently. I am so very sorry I didn't have the chance to talk to her one more time and relive some of my memories of her and my mom.

Sun Feb 11, 08:31:00 PM 2007  

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