Airing some family linen

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At our last meeting, we were discussing people’s names and the effect their names had on people. I neglected to mention Grandpa Boman. His name was Thaddeus Augustus Boman. You can readily see why he signed his checks and all with T.A. His peers in the community just called him “Bud.”
His brother was called “Josie,” short, I suppose, for Joseph. There is a sad story about those two. Although they were brothers and lived only about a half-mile apart, they didn’t speak to each other for a half-century or so.
Accounts vary about the reason for their estrangement. The one that makes the most sense to me begins with the fact that a pretty school teacher boarded with Grandpa and Grandma. Uncle Josie had a crush on her. One day before church or something, a group of men were taking a smoke and were kind of making fun of Josie’s courting of her.
Grandpa was a member of the group. Probably some harmless kidding about the affair, as men will sometimes do.
Anyway, Josie heard them … and never forgave Grandpa. There was also the matter of the landline between their properties. Josie chased Grandpa off what he considered his property with an ax. It was sad. The two brothers’ mother elected to stay with Josie, a bachelor, and thus lost all contact with her grandchildren.
Mother said that when she rode by in the wagon with Uncle Josie, she would smile and wave at them, sadly. And, rarely, some of the girls would sneak over and see her for a few minutes.
In his later years, when he lived almost a hermit’s life, he lived by himself in a house I can barely remember being built. It was finished in the inside only in the kitchen area. Chickens roosted in the other parts.
Uncle Josie had a black stallion. About once a year — it was kind of an event — he’d ride that beautiful black horse to town to get a haircut (Uncle Josie, not the horse), with his dog, King Boris, following along. Kids would holler, “Here comes Josie, Here comes Josie.”
He looked exactly like a southern general who had come on hard times after the war, but still had a certain aura of greatness about him. But I’m off the subject here.
One of my cousins was nicknamed “Hot.” I suppose it was because he would fly off the handle pretty easily, especially after he came home from the war. His daddy, John, would take a sip every now and then, if pressed. John’s drinking buddy was nicknamed “Scud.” Once in a great while, they would go down to the state line, have a few and get into a fight. According to a pretty good source, they would always get whipped.
Well, Uncle John went to Memphis on some business — he was a cotton buyer. It is said that he called long distance — and that was quite a deal in those days — and hollered over the phone: “Hey, Scud, come on up here. I’ve found somebody we can whip!”
Bob Sanders is a veteran local radio personality, columnist, author and raconteur of note. He can be reached at bobbypsanders@gmail.com.

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