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One Candy Bar and Soda, Made a Little Boy’s Days in a 1950 Ford Truck

Updated on October 3, 2019
kenneth avery profile image

I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.

"King Cotton."


Let’s Face Something Here

about real life. The kind of life that is not found in Hollywood or fairy tales. Real life in every respect. From the food we eat to the pets we love. Real life is like a thin fabric that several zillion or so strands are used to make a year or so possible. Strange events and things are also happening each moment of this life I am talking about. We cannot see most of them, but “this” one we can. Or I did in the year of 1960, late August to be exact.

I was six at the time that “this” strange-but-delightful event took place. I was seven. Maybe it is the are, seven, for most children who tend to see things differently and sometimes think rather mysteriously when others around them are working to pass another grade. The little guy whom I am talking about is yours truly and frankly, I am very uncomfortable to write this in such a way due to I had a choice between publishing a piece about one of you and me, well, it is no contest. I would vote you right off.

In 1960, my dad made a living for my family and me by lending his many talents for share-cropping, a pretty good gig in these early years of my life. Fact is, he was darn good at it. I still sit in amazement when I think of my dad. And the truth is this: if it had not been for my dad, “this” hub would not be produced. Remember the strange events in the thin fiber we call life? You just read one. My dad, when he sees his name in text, takes off a few minutes in Heaven and looks down to make sure that I put him in the right light, because if anything, he was a staunch conservative. You know how guarded and close to the vest most conservatives can be.

Truck is Similar to The 1950 Ford Truck That My Dad Used


Each Day I Would Arise

from my warm bed to open my eyes around 6 a.m., and get ready to board my school bus and head to New Home School, which was not far from our home (where my dad did his share cropping),and while I am at. In hubs past, if you have read any of my works, you know that I have mentioned New Home School many times, and I can tell you, “this” place was a real place, and I have plenty of witnesses just waiting with a hot anxiousness to stand with me. And believe me, they would roar to my small office here at home and tell so many (true) stories about New Home School, that I would cry with joy.

At approximately 2:55 p.m. school was over. I was sitting securely on our school bus and listening to our driver, Mr. Lynlon Cox, an humble man who loved chewing gum to a fault. His gum-chewing reminded me years after New Home about why Cox loved chewing gum, but I could not find any of his close friends who might answer me. Oh, if I had known the answer to this habitual-gum-chewing, I would have a wonderful column to tell people why Mr. Cox loved chewing gum so much.

Then at approximately (give or take a few minutes), I would arrive at home at 3:22 p.m. to find my mom who was doing her housework and her being a natural multi-tasker would be sweeping a floor while our supper was cooking on our wood stove and her humming a church standard, “Amazing Grace,” and I have heard her do some might fine singing of this one song and she sang it so well that the hair on my neck would stand up. My momma was that talented. Which bears me asking I wonder what she is doing (right now) in Heaven. We could talk for hours upon hours about that. And then I would get y homework finished, I would head to where my dad was working a scant two miles to where he took care of the tractor and equipment as well as the 1950 Ford three-quarter ton truck that my dad used to haul cotton to Hamilton, Ala., to a place called Ray’s Gin Company, the place where all cotton farmers hauled their cotton harvest here to sell and then come home with scratch. (money, if you are confused.)

This is Similar to Cotton Fields Dad and Crew Harvested

Cotton picking in 1943 in Georgia.
Cotton picking in 1943 in Georgia. | Source

My Dad Has His Own

way of doing things. He would tell me what job needed doing around the tractor such as picking-up the empty motor oil cans that he had just emptied into the Ford tractor because a good farmer takes good care of his equipment because his equipment takes good care of him.

With the ground clean of empty motor oil cans (that I put into a big refuse can), and FYI, garbage, trash, and refuse are all put into those large trash cans. Another “job” (you will love this), that my dad gave me was riding with him in the 1950 one-ton truck that was packed to the brim with cotton that a few workers had hired to help him pick the share cropper’s cotton (and corn) harvest. Dad’s friends who lived in the neighborhood, (a) Ray Clark, Johnny Hall, and Dave Britt, were always at hand when work was available because in 1960, jobs were scarce in northwest Alabama, near Hamilton, Ala., and the jobs were scarce due to the fact that from the mid-1950’s through the early 1960’s leaving a hot trail to Detroit, Pontiac, and Adrian, Michigan in order to get work at one of the GM auto plants or one of the Ford plants who would hire most anyone. But my dad was one to follow his heart and building cars on an assembly line was not for him. In years to come, I learned to respect that.

I should have not went too far off point from my days with my dad, the 1950 Ford one ton truck, the loads of cotton, dad’s hired hands, and my “job.” I know that I am sounding repetitious, but someone might meet with confusion.

The day of the cotton-hauling was here. Dad was ready because he had to check Mrs. Verta Dobbs, (the owner of the farm). The 1950 Ford tractor and one ton truck with the same year. The truck was gassed-up and I climbed into the seat of brown plastic and I stood securely next to my dad who drove very carefully because he did not want to lose any of the cotton aboard because the cotton was Mrs. Dobbs’ and our living, so keeping the cotton from not blowing up was a matter of number one importance.

Dad and I did not talk much. But I was occupied to watch the landscapes going by from out of the passenger side window. Dad just stayed focus to the highway. And the cotton. In about 20 or so minutes we were at the Ray Ginning Company and we had to wait in line with the many trucks (loaded with cotton) waiting to have their loads processed—which meant as I loved to see it, an employee of the gin company would jump onto the cotton and take this huge pipe that a huge amount of air was coming into the pipe with the cotton as well. In minutes flat, he was finished. When he processed our load of cotton, I wanted it to take longer, but not so.

My Moment of Sadness Gave Way

to a grocery store, Green’s Grocery, that stood in the middle of Hamilton, our hometown, and there is a powerful reason for Green’s Grocery. This store is where my dad would buy me two things for riding with him and helping with odd jobs around Mrs. Verta Dobbs’ farm. He let me sit into the truck and in a minute or less, he was walking with this huge smile holding one Coca-Cola in one hand and a big candy bar in the other. What wonderful times these were.

I remember well the sound of the candy wrapper as I slowly ripped if off my “prize,” my jumbo candy bar loaded with peanuts, caramel, and chocolate. I ate as slowly as I did unwrapping my candy bar and friends, that was slow.

And before we arrived back at The Dobbs' Farm and Mrs. Verta’s cotton money, I had saved half of the candy bar and half of my Coke simply to share with my dad and to my momma who worked so much in our home. This, folks, is the truth if I ever told it.

I just wish that God would give me the right words to express just how wonderful my dad was as well as my momma. But the funny thing is: no matter how much that I begged them to take my gifts of my halves of my candy bar and Coke, they both swore that they were not hungry or, they had really eaten a big dinner (lunch for those eating in the country—12 noon.)

When I did realize why my dad and momma were really doing, I was an adult. But the day came when I paid them a visit to their resting place to just say, thank you, momma and daddy, for teaching me that sharing my candy bar and Coke really made me feel good back in 1960 riding in the 1950 one ton Ford truck heading home.

September 29, 2016_________________________________________________

In Humble Respect

to both my dad and momma, not only for raising me, but teaching me about sharing, giving, and being gracious in the gesture. Two lessons that I am still trying to master.

As for my candy bar and Coke, I still love these two items even at my age of 65. There is just "that" something, a distinct taste that I sense when I put a bite of that candy bar into my mouth followed by a swallow of Coke.

Friends, I tell you.Candy bars and Cokes may fade from our history, but not if I can help it. I just happen to know the two mega-companies' Customer Number(s) and email addresses.

Just in case.



© 2019 Kenneth Avery


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