When I was a kid, we attended church with a sweet couple, Hague and Marie Snowden. Their daughter Jill and I became fast friends (and still are to this day). That friendship, coupled with church activities, allowed me to spend a lot of time with “Brother Hague and Mrs. Marie,” as I called them. Brother Hague was of the same generation as my Granddaddy, and like my Granddaddy, he said phrases we don’t often use anymore. Those phrases are one of the reasons I chose to have the “Granddaddy Sayings” column in our magazine each month. Not only is it a way to honor that generation, but it’s also a way to hang on to them just a little while longer (and yes…by them, I mean both the sayings and the generation).
On most weekends, the Snowdens would drive up to spend time in the country away from Houston (or “The Slab,” as Brother Hague called it). He often said they were pouring concrete down there faster than any grass could grow. (He was right then, and I think he still is today.) Anytime Brother Hague heard any of us teenagers complain or grumble (as teenagers are so prone to do), he’d say, “You know what you need to do? Spend some time picking cotton!”I lost track of how many times I heard him say that to SO many of us! It was his way of telling us how grateful we should be that we didn’t have to spend time in the cotton fields. He had, and he knew what it was like…it was anything but easy.
A few weeks ago, I was preparing to begin the regular hosting of my Dad’sSunday morning radio program on KMVL and I was explaining to Weshow amazing it is to do all these recordings digitally–to be able to sit in the comfort of my own home and edit a program on my computer, rather than actually having to record tape in the studio, then spend time to edit and splice it together, because you need to change the order of a song or remove an unwanted word or extra breath. What a remarkable change from the time I spent working on the radio!
That conversation led us into one about how technology has changed almost everything we did as high school and college students. We reminisced about writing research papers, which led to trips to the library, searching through the card catalog, then finding the books, and making photocopies of the pertinent information so you could take it home and, if you were lucky, type it on your own typewriter. And that doesn’t even begin to include a discussion on White-out…you know, the liquid kind BEFORE correction tape!
As I began to talk about how students nowadays have no idea how easy they have it with the internet and computers and Wikipedia….it hit me. I was just saying, “They ought to go pick cotton.” I get it now, Brother Hague. I get it.
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