John Johnson's memories:
I have a few that are unique to me, having lived with Mama and Papa for
quite some time after "the divorce."
going into the woods with Mama to get her black gum tree twigs to clean her
teeth after she dipped snuff......
having Mama send me over to Irene Bigham's across the street to borrow a dip
of Tube Rose (snuff)....
Watching the old soap opera after school called Dark Shadow's, then being
afraid to play outside anytime near dark, for fear of vampires and
Hearing Randall Bigham's mother, Irene, outside at dark yelling for
him......."ran-DALLLLLLLL, RANNNN-dalllll" What was that habit Randall's
father had?? Twitching of the shoulder and yawning?
Sleeping under five quilts upstairs in the winter, and with a fan going in
the summer.....and having a "pee bucket" to keep from going downstairs.
Speaking of sleeping, having occasion where either Jennifer or Karen (yall
remember her BLANKET????? the one she kept until she was, what, twenty??)
spend the night, and them sleeping in a drawer (this day and time, would
that qualify as child abuse????? LOLOL) Speaking of KAREN, when she was
ALL OF TWO, she tells me some joke that ONLY a two year old could or would
understand, and looks at me, and says, "Isn't that FUNNY, Johnny?", to which
I MUST have responded, "Yeah, Karen, that's real funny." She put her little
two year old hands on her two year old hips, and said, "Then WHY AREN'T YOU
the Cash family next door - need I say more? What were the son's names??
Wallace (and I say this with love) staggering upstairs, saying "BEEEED,
Mama helping me with my homework after school, and Papa coming home from
work each day and asking me first thing, "Doogan, did you do your
Going uptown with Papa to get my haircut, hair tonic and all........and
walking on Main Street in Liberty with him and seeing the elderly black
gentlemen tip their hats to him, and say, "Mo-hnin, Mister Yates."
After I moved to Atlanta, being back in Liberty sometimes on the 3rd of the
month, and Papa saying to me, VERY SHORTLY after the mail (Social Security
check) arrived......."Doogan, run me up to the bank."
Being back at Mama and Papa's after we moved to Atlanta, and Mama took a
turkey out of the freezer. Papa threw a John Yates, and said, "Ethel, we
ain't taking that turkey to Kathryn's. Wallace give us (sic) that turkey."
And an hour or so later, being out on the back porch with Mama, and noticing
that she had NOT put the turkey back into the freezer. I must have said
SOMETHING like, "Mama, I thought Papa said to put the turkey back into the
freezer." She busted out laughing, and said, "I know how to handle your
daddy." (I NEVER ONCE corrected her when she referred to Papa as 'your
daddy'........) And by the way, I am in my late twenties (anyone catch that
one?) and to this day, I have NEVER EVER had baked chicken or fried chicken
any better than that Mama (God rest her soul) could make.
Coming home from school, only for Mama to be crying, since Laura Horton or
some other member of the Horton family on DAYS OF OUR LIVES was having
troubles (one thing we can all agree about our Mama, she had a heart of a
Being upstairs with Lisa laughing, and having Mama yell up the stairs for us
to "quit our snickering"...........
making a tent out of a quilt draped over the coffee table (kids nowadays
have no idea what they are missing, eh?)
Susan Yates SO BIG when she was carrying David, that I was afraid she was
GOING TO POP!!!!!!!
A couple of sad ones, yet touching........After Dole's funeral, overhearing
Mama tell someone, "I feel just like I've lost a son." Hearing Papa say
shortly after Mama died, "This is the biggest cross to ever go over me."
And remembering just how frail he was at her funeral. THAT'S LOVE for his
SOUL MATE, huh???
I SEEM to have a couple of memories of the Yates clan that do not
necessarily involve Liberty,
such as Dole Chastain chasing all the yunguns around the back of his house
with a burned newspaper over his face, with us screaming bloody murder....
Lynn, Lisa, and "Johnny" playing on some swings outside of a "fish camp",
having our parents tell us to "come on, we're leaving", not paying
attention, and the next thing I remember is chasing our parents as they
pretended to drive off in the car.
Rita and I playing in their OLD house in Piedmont, and her accidentally
spitting on me....Dole asking me if I wanted him to whip her, and me
whimpering "uhHUH", only to have him give her a butt burner...I am sure,
Rita, that the PHYSICAL scars healed.......Rita, if you like, I can help you
find a therapist for the emotional ones (YUST YOKIN!!!!)
LAST, but certainly not least, visiting with my cousins at their old home in
Mauldin, SC. Lynn had some HIDEOUS head gear that went with her braces,
which was way way ahead of its time....Her neighbor that lived behind her
yelling at her to "go home, looking at that head-gear makes me want to
VOM_ICK!!!!!!!!" Remember that one, Lynn?????