Sometimes at night, when I can’t sleep, which is increasingly the case, I think about the things I used to do, which I can’t or don’t do anymore; things that I would like to do one more time. Let me share some of them with you: Go rabbit hunting, at night, with Jerry Horton, Jerry Wilson and Bobby Jones. It was probably illegal, but I do not believe God held it against us, and, in any event, the statute of limitations has now run. I won’t do this again even though I know how much fun it would be.
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Go frog-gigging, at night, with Jerry Horton over at Sgt. Leverette’s wet-weather pond. I wouldn’t want to see all the water moccasins we used to see. They didn’t seem to bother Do-Tricks (Jerry Horton), but they sure did scare me.
See the Atlanta Crackers play the Birmingham Barons or maybe the Memphis Chicks at Ponce de Leon Park. This, to me, was more exciting than visiting the “Ted” to see the Atlanta Braves play, and I’ll bet it was more exciting than the new place will be. Better yet, see the Perry Pirates play the Charlie Wood Woodpeckers at Seabie Hickson Field in Perry; maybe Bubba Pierce would pitch.
Sell boiled peanuts on the streets of Perry with my brother, David, at 10-cents a bag and have the grand sum of $10 when we were through. Man, were they easy to sell!
Work, one more day, at Texas Steel Company in Fort Worth, Texas, and visit with Newby and Linsey and Preacher and Willie Lewis. Then, spend a day packing peaches at Tabor’s Packing shed under the supervision of Herb St. John. And, then, go on the feed truck with Joe Hodges to deliver feed to Mr. Henry Cullen Talton’s Store in Bonaire. Joe taught me lots about life.
After working a full Saturday at the feed store, eat a big steak that night at the City Café with Ed Thompson and Glea Gray and listen to Mr. Glea’s wonderful “true” stories.
Go to eat at the Brookwood Grill on Piedmont Avenue in Atlanta with Clark Fain and Connell Stafford and listen to Charly Marshall play the piano and sing “MacArthur’s Park.” And, the next day, meet Celestine Sibley, Bryant Culpepper, Wayne Snow and Warren Evans at Manuel’s for lunch and listen to Celestine’s wonderful stories and Wayne’s wonderful humor.
Rake the skimmings off the “syrup-makings” at Papa’s in Washington County and then later in the year be at the hog-killing with Grandma and Aunt Lillian helping to run the show. And what a show it was to a pre-teen!
Watch Lee Martin and Dwayne Powell play high school basketball and Pierce Staples play high school football and then see Herschel “run it,” one more time, for the “Dawgs.” Herschel played when Georgia beat Tennessee, Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech. Pierce played when Perry beat lots of teams including Warner Robins. Dwayne and Lee played when Perry beat everybody!
Stand in amazement at the base of Christ-on-the-Mountain in Rio de Janeiro with Connell Stafford. Spend one more day quail hunting at Mell’s place with Herman Talmadge and one more day at Millpond Plantation with Griffin Bell. What wonderful tales!
Fish, off the Georgia Coast, with Seabie Hickson, Hilt Gray and Billy Bledsoe and then eat a big supper that night in Hinesville with Bobby Branch. On the way home, plan another fishing trip to Cedar Keys with “Yellow-legs” as the guide. If you don’t know about Edgar Campbell (“Yellow-legs”) you won’t understand.
Dance at Teen Town in the Perry Armory with Janice Knighton to music by the Platters and start something that has lasted over 50 years.
On the rare occasions when Perry High School lost a basketball game, listen to Bill Holland talk about how “the referees stole it from us.”
Eat a slaw dog and drink a chocolate shake prepared by Mozelle Sutton at the Houston Drug Company. Very nice lady. Great store!
Get some political advice from Ruby Hodges and Sarah Kezar – actually, it would be more than advice, it would be directions. Follow their directions and then watch in amazement at how they could produce.
With Billy Bledsoe’s help, put up some political signs for Joe Frank Harris. No better man ever served as governor of Georgia. No more likely winner ever won. How sweet it was!
Spend one more day with my Walker grandparents (Papa and Grandma) and my Gray grandparents (Grandbuddy and Granny). They have been gone for many years, but they still influence my life, every day.
I could go on and on, but I need to stop and wipe the tears off my face.
Larry Walker is a practicing attorney in Perry. He served 32 years in the Georgia General Assembly and presently serves on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.