Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ludlow Porch Child Abuser.....NO!!!!

I've been going through my head about somethings that my Dad did when I was growing up that today would be frowned upon and child abuse.....I never thought so.

I know it was a different time but kids are still kids then and now. My Dad was not really the disciplinarian in our house, it was my Mom you didn't want to piss off. I really don't think my Dad spanked me more than two and maybe three times. If you ask him he would have told you NEVER because I never did anything wrong.....Time does fade your memory. My Mom on the other hand would keep switches in different parts of the house so she was never more than five steps away from one.

My Mom was not one of those "You wait until your Dad gets home" kind of Moms. She would grab a switch and smack the fat part of your legs at the drop of a hat. Don't get me wrong she was not a child abuser either, she only did it when I needed it and there were more time than not I would get away with murder. I spent a lot of time outside, away from the switches.

There are a few things that my Dad did that would get him reported today but I loved it. I knew what time my Dad would be home from work when he had a real job. I knew the direction he would come home. We lived on Brookcrest Cir. in Decatur at the time, just down from Towers High School. We lived near the top of a hill, a hell of a hill, it was a lot longer and steeper when I was a kid but I have been back not long ago and it's still pretty long and steep. I would ride my bike with the banana seat and the three foot sissy bar to the bottom of that hill ever day that I could and wait for my Dad. 

He would show up right on time and roll his window down and I would ride up next to the car and hold my handlebar as tight as I could and he would grab my right arm and become my motor and push me up that hill about 25MPH. There was no chance of me falling and being crushed by the car, that would never happen and in never did.

Like most boys of the 60's I played little league baseball and football, soccer had not been invented yet, at least in Georgia. Like most boys of the 60's and I guess pretty much any time frame, it was not uncommon for me to get dirty at practice, real dirty. Well you see my Dad was doing okay he owned his own company with branches in three city's and he used his cars for work and did not want a dirty kid messing them up, me being the dirty kid. 

When he would come after work to pick me up from what ever the sport of the day was and I even a little dirty he would put me in the trunk of the car. Okay it's not what you're thinking, he did not lock me in the trunk I would just sit in the trunk with the lid open and ride home. I loved it and would always try to look dirty when he came to get me.

It was my job to clean the gutters at our house. We had a split level house on a hill and it was a long way to the ground from the top floor. I would tie the hose around my waist and drag the ladder out and climb up on the roof. I would lay on my stomach and slide down the roof to the gutters and pull all that good old Georgia pine straw and drop it too the ground but had to pick up later. When I finished about ten feet I would untie the hose and spray the gutter clean. I know this doesn't sound like a big deal but I started this at about eight years old. I loved this also.

One more thing that I'm sure they would have thrown him under the jail for. In the mid 60's fireworks were illegal in Georgia. All fireworks, I was seven and I thought it was a stupid law and I guess my Dad did also because when he would travel to a state that sold fireworks he would always bring me back a bag of firecrackers, I ask for Blackcat when he could find them but I was happy with whatever he had.

 At that point in history there were no disposable lighters yet and matches were kind of a pain in the butt for a seven year old so my Dad came up with the perfect solution. He was a smoker at the time and smoked cigarettes and cigars, his cigar of choice was the Swisher Sweet Cigar. He would light up a 5 inch Swisher Sweet and get it started and hand it over but only after the instruction of "Do Not Inhale" I didn't really understand what that meant until I inhaled one time and I thought I would die and from that point on I understood what that meant.

 The neighbor kids would all show up to watch and I'm sure we were the talk of the neighbor hood. "That man is letting that little boy smoke a cigar right out in public. This is a very fond memory and I would not trade anything for it but I'm sure with the nanny state we live in today he would be in jail. 

 That's too bad.

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