Author Topic: HILLBILLY VIEWS: Brother, I Fixed Your Cigarettes!  (Read 1476 times)

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HILLBILLY VIEWS: Brother, I Fixed Your Cigarettes!
« on: October 20, 2009, 02:57:13 pm »

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Brother, I Fixed Your Cigarettes!

My only brother was a generation ahead of much so that when his army commanding officer told him that his mother had had a baby (me) he was ready to argue that the senior officer must have it wrong, surely his sister, who was a year younger than he, had had a baby. I'm pretty sure he was rather shocked when he got home from World War II and there was a toddler walking around the house. Not too long after that, my two year old self got even with him for dissing me. How did I do that? I remember it well....

World War II and its aftermath was a time of world turmoil...not only in the battle zones but also on the home front. My newly widowed father traded his ration coupons for women's stockings for (canned) milk coupons to feed the baby (me). Hill folk have always figured a way to work through hard times. The history books talked about people planting "victory gardens" and I remember asking how these "victory gardens" were different from every day gardens which everyone in the neighborhood planted? I don;t remember getting an answer but then, I really didn't need one. I know, I'm digressing from my story.

Tobacco was rationed during war times and i don't really remember it being too plentiful after the war was ended. At any rate, when my brothr came home he had developed a smoking habit...manufactured cigarettes...not roll your own like many folks did. Think I remember a camel on the package that he kept sitting in the window of his bedroom. On this particuoar day, Daddy had a new rifle and he and my brother were sitting on the garden steps taking target practice against the bull bats that used to flock over for hours. I had been sent in the house and told to stay,. Daddy was not to be disobeyed so I was in the house trying to find a window to watch from. If I sat on my brother's bed, I could see them perfectly, so there I was...watching...and then...I spotted that carton of cigarettes and a large empty ash tray. Very carefully, I opened each pack of cigarettes and then...each cigarette and carefully piled all that tobacco in the ash tray..until all the cigarettes were gone.

Much later, I remember telling Harry, "Brother, I fixed your cigarettes!" The only thing that saved me that day is that Daddy picked me up and carried me the 150 feet down the hill to my grandmother. Daddy didn't smoke cigarettes....he would occasionally light the tip of a cigar...chew the other end flat and throw the whole thing I doubt if he was that upset....but my brother was angry for a long, long time.