A Sunday in our little town

    By: Jim Smith

For The Tuscumbian     

               Today I was thinking about times past and thought I would try and write a little about them.

            I am sure that some of you are old enough to remember what Sunday was like in Tuscumbia and small towns all over the south.

            You typically got up a little later on Sunday but it was a very important day. First thing was that Mama fixed Breakfast as usual but seemed to kind of hurry you along.

            You knew that at 9:00, you had better be dressed, hair combed, shoes shined, and if you were past age 6; that you had your bible or new testament close by. You also had your dime or quarter in your possession for the collection plate. No later then 9:10, you had to leave for church. Sunday Scholl started at 9:45 and it was exactly 8 blocks to the church. 4 parking spaces from the end, right next to the same person you had parked next to for 5 years; the same every Sunday Morning.

            You went in the side door, spoke to Mr. Carmicheal, Mr. Schmidt, and the several other men standing in the hall. You went down the hall, looked in the room to see the usual faces. You put your bible down and talked with the other kids until time for class to start. After Sunday School class was over you had about 8 minutes before you had to go into sanctuary for service.

            After service; you went home and had dinner. Now here is a strange thing about the south. On any given day; the noon meal was called dinner; except for working people who got a (lunch break). They had lunch at work but if they went home; they had dinner. Did I lose you on that? Anyway after dinner it seemed like many Sundays were the same. Play a little, read, (yes, read) comics or maybe a real book.

            Some Sunday afternoons we would ride to Iuka to visit my Grandmother and Granddad.  That was always a good time.

            You notice there is no mention of shopping or going to the mall. On Sunday; there were no stores open. I can remember when they built the open air style service station across from Southland. It had no interior and everything was outside. Their oil, and everything else was outside. They were open 24 hours. (un heard of back then. They probably the only thing open except for McDaniel’s curb market in Tuscumbia. They did a big Sunday afternoon business.

            In time everything started staying open on Sunday but at first; there were a lot of people who did not think stores should be open on Sunday.

            One other thing that kids had to occupy their time was the radio. On Sunday afternoon, you could listen to “The Shadow”, and some of the other well-known broadcasts. Gang-Busters, The Fat-Man, Inner-Sanctum, and of course; “THE LONE RANGER”. Over the years, the time slot just after school got busy with the likes of Tom Mix, Sky King, Tennessee Ned, and others that became movies and some even came on TV. The ladies had Stella Dallas and Lorenzo Jones. Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, Lum and Abner were also favorites.  Every night you Had Gabriel Heater with his good news tonight program. You also had Walter Winchell; who always started off with Hello America and all the ships at sea. Some of the ads on the radio stayed around for years: you wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent was one. Duz does all was another.

            I am not sure if I am still on the same page but when I get started on old times and old things I lose track of my own thoughts. It is sad for me to think that kids today don’t have the chance we had to grow up and enjoy the simple things like we did.

            How many of your grandkids know who Black Beauty was? Do any of them know who Moby Dick was? Do any of them really know about Lassie come home and not the TV lassie? Most of them probably have never seen or heard the real Winnie-The Pooh stories. OK, I have quit writing and started meddling so I will quit for now.

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