Clipped From The Evening Index

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 - . . TWr'-r--'-' 1 Christmas When I Was a Boy....
. . TWr'-r--'-' 1 Christmas When I Was a Boy. Ey Capt. W. R- McKinney. Christmas "when 1 was a bo" was something different from the observance of today. We had not then got into the ornamental branches. The people were a little more simple in their ways of doing and thinking. But I think they had just as good times then, some will think better times, than we have now. Sixty five years ago, in the lower section of Greenwood county, in and around Phoenix and Shatterticld, my range in those days, people began to get ready for Christmas by having plenty of things to eat. If it was cold enough. Christinas came about hog-killing time, or bog-killing time would happen about Christmas, ju-t whichever way you chose to put it. The good folks would have every thing ready for a big Christmas dinner sausage turkey. Un Christmas day the poo pie in the settlement, as a rule, went to church. I believe there was always a good attendance at the churches. Then they would go home , plenty of fresk hog meat, es, spare-ribs, etc.. tnutton. and went off there was a fuss. I can tell you. It was a great trick to slip up to a person's bouse wijh one of there things and shoot it off. We-would also bore holes in stumps, all them with gunpowder and set them off. It always affected the stump consider ably. These were sport of the small set Whenever a crowd of them got to getlter during Chri-tmas there would be games, such as mumble peg. roly hole, bull pen. etc. Another favorite trick was to stretch a rope across the road at night and try ti get an oilier et to come in a run. hell they hit that rope, they alway - knew it. 1 remember once, a crowd of u-at !'hoeiii set a rope across the ro.n. as a trap for a crowd that was com ing down the road by the old llutch isi u place. We set up a yelling am here tlu-y came full tilt. They Cer tainly did feel the ground that night Another thing that was a great fea ture was serenading by the young folks. We would have a couple of and have a big dinner. Neighbors nigger fiddlers, a drum or two made would be invited in and a big time fit ,,f ;, cheese box with a sheepskin generally given. I forgot to state , stretched' over it, a lot of bones like that the day always started off with ..u see. in minstrel shows now, triait- an eggnog before breakfast. This Kcs al,,i ;,u Mrts ,,f things to mak ;i fuss that was called music. Kvery was essential and universal. After the dinner, the young folks of various ages would have various amusements. We did not have many toys in those days. In fact, there were none of the gimcracks we have new. The gifts were candy, apples and things to eat. Fancy jringcr-cakes would be a feature, too. Our young Americas did not have" any fireworks like they buy now out of stores. ' Instead of that we made our own fireworks. One particular kind that. I remember vs a ball of yarn soaked in turpentine. We would set this afire and throw it up in the air. . When it fell to the ground, we would run and pick it up and throw it up again; . This was in the days before Roman candles, skyrockets and aJJ 'such dangerous things came into play. We did not have any cannon crackers cither, but we had something "just as good" if not more dangerous. " This wat a gourd filled with gunpowder and then tightly wrapped with stout thread. , When this thing where a crowd like this would g they would be invited in. treated .to cake and otlur things to eat a. id plen ty of toddy. rolielimes these par-ivs would get too much' toddy before the serenade was over. I remember on? trit to' the home .f a ,'o d obi citizen below I'll eui. Th? 'c:naders had such a good time and vtayed so long that when they went out to get on tjicir horse, no man got on his own horse, but climbed on somebody else's nag. There was a wholesale horse swapping in the neighborhood next day. Pistols were not in fashion in those lays, and if there was any row "in the Christmas." there was a knocking -down and an end of the matter right there. Nobody ever got hurt. The slaves always had holiday; and the mistress always gave each one some little present. I, knew one or two slave owners who worked their slaves during Christmas, but the settlement as a whole -did not do such thing and thought mighty little of tho-e who did. There was plenty of whiskey in evidence at Christmas time in the conn try. luft : t was a rare thing to sec a man drunk. All of the old people can testify to that. "Twistit'ication" par-tics were .igrcat thing in those days. It was the fashion for the young ladies to wear hoopskirts and four of them would till any ordinary room. I remember once we were out on a sern.ule down below Hold Springs and stopped at a ho'l-c wh re "Twistiticatioii" party was going on and we all joined in. I bad the old l.t'ty pomg; pretty and d. os n the b.i.ll an back we u ut i; t dn- for '. -e l.ig i Id Ii '.:r . augllt I re i v. c Mac I c!li"- il .-ut. Ti:- In -y s , u!d lv, inn . ',ic"i ever tlu-y went out on t!ie;c -er." rade-. and i-;eciaily aner they bad been "toililied" at a g.iod many bolts es. I remember once we stopped at an old fellow's hoiw down in Shat terlield and lie wanted to gi with us. lie said to me,. "Billy, you'll have to take care i t nie." I told 'him I would. Wheji we got to little Reedy Creek, not far from lbdd Spring, we had to cress n a log. The old man said to tpe. "Hilly, you'll have to lead me." Instead of leading him on the log. I led 1 1 1 in by the side of it. He i hveiv oaiui.!vr t:i Icr (Ires.. .mte went into the water wilh a splajdi. It was oer- bis head. Well. We gof him' on; ,.i:d went a j. n ilie hill to build a! tire to dry tile old man. The boy bad a big time I. re. They won h iioiiiing n un to t he : il take t i 1 1 1 about ding him ami would hold him j close to the tire :inil as long as they! could stand it themselves.. It great fun that night. Turkey shooting was another sport then. The match would be held in in edd field. There would be an abundance of turkeys to be shot for at these matches. The fine, shots in those days used rifles. There were no shot guns. The Rush boys were fine shots, about the best in the settlement." Old man Jakie Rush and old man Dave Rush were fine shots with a rifle. Things are changing all the time, and Christmas ways change too but the 4rue spirit should .al ways be the same. was I.. I , MWfc .ia'fcliWiit'iailMtSMi' 2m llx- '"','''"'''" '' ..";''''''!, : -.'.'.' -

Clipped from
  1. The Evening Index,
  2. 12 Dec 1907, Thu,
  3. Page 6

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