When Company Comes a Callin'
Companys a comin'
I’ve already attempted set the stage for my family’s lifestyle in the early 1950’s in upper east Tennessee in a few previous hubs by stating first and foremost, we were poor folk, and yet my mind keeps carrying me back with additional gems of information and recollection that lighten up my mind with new ideas that I once felt were forgotten for all time. Such was the remembrance of when ‘company comes a callin’ by virtue of a recent dream of my early childhood days.As a family we were all proud of our own accomplishments and mom had more than enough to share with family and friends when they would come a calling on us from time to time.Since no one had a television back then one of the only ways people had to communicate and/or learn of what was happening was by families visiting one another.Oh, we did have phones, but we all had ‘party lines’ back then, which meant that we had to share the same line with neighbors and even strangers in the neighborhood that we didn’t particularly care to share our most personal information with.So to avoid the possibility of ‘vital information’ falling into the wrong hands, families would visit and just sit around and ‘share’.
Did your family ever have 'company' visit?
I never stood a chance...
The kids didn’t get in on it much because we didn’t know what the adults were even talking about most of the time.Usually the kids would be allowed to play together but it could be devastating when the folks that came a callin’ didn’t have children of their own for me to play with.I remember having to sit there with my little hands folded and my mouth shut.Do you realize how painful that was for a six or seven year old boy that’s use to hoop and hollerin’ from daylight till dark?I thought it was bad enough havin to take a bath on Saturday to be clean for church the next day, but havin to get cleaned up in the middle of the week for company, who didn’t even have kids to play with, just so you would look nice for the company, was for the birds if you know what I mean.I thought it was bad when company came a callin’, but when we was the company, it was worse.Remember guys?Remember your parents lecturing you about ‘keeping your hands to yourself ’ and ‘Don’t Meddle’ and being reminded constantly that “children were to be seen and not heard.”
I remember, if we were doing the visiting, I had to stay right there in the same room.Mom said she didn’t want to hear of me going through other peoples stuff when unattended so I had to remain in plain view.Occasionally reference would be made as to how nice little Sammy looked or what good manners I had or some similar accolade while all along I was hurting inside.If those people had just heard the preparation I went through, the dos and the don’ts and me having my very life threaten almost if I didn’t mind or act like the perfect little gentleman they all knew me to be—whew, I’m just glad TV came along soon after…
© 2011 SamSonS