Thirty Cents

Seems like when growing up, my brother Buddy was always there. He is two years older than me and graduated from high school in 1975 and I in 1976. I guess one of the biggest separation anxieties I ever felt was when I entered third grade. Buddy was entering fourth grade and at a different school than me. I had never really been separated from him before and now I didn’t have my best friend there with me, I felt alone. I am sure he felt it some to, however, our older brother Kenneth was in the sixth grade, so Buddy wasn’t as “alone” as I was. I was glad when third grade was over, I finally got to go to the junior high school. Together again, Buddy and I. We shared everything, we looked after one another. It was still in the 60’s and the government had not implemented the reduced or free lunch program, or if they did, for whatever reason we must not have qualified, because we did not eat lunch every day. One day in particular I remember, Buddy had about thirty cents. We got out for lunch at the same time. We ran to the little pink store on HWY 70, across from the Town House Motel. Mr. Burrus owned this little store. I remember us going in and each getting a soda and a bag of potato chips to share and a candy bar to half. I can see the little meat market in the back. This was our lunch and thirty cents bought it all. We looked forward to Saturdays, this was the day dad got paid and mother got to go to town and buy groceries. Saturday evenings were usually sandwiches. I know, that sounds so trivial, but it was a gourmet meal to us. I can remember the mayonnaise, onion, tomato, lettuce and lunch meat with pickles. What made it the best was how juicy it all was together. Sometimes there would be a bag of chips, but you must remember a house with seven kids didn’t get sandwiches all the time. Doesn’t sound expensive and it probably wasn’t to most, but it was to us. Having a sandwich supper could have bought a ten-pound bag of potatoes and a two-pound bag of pinto beans with money left over. As I got older, I too started helping the older boys mow yards, clean out flower beds and whatever was needed done. I remember Mrs. Alma Long, and her sister Ms. Gibson would give us work when there wasn’t much to do. Many times, Buddy and I would just move their furniture so they could vacuum behind it. Tom, or Mr. Long to us, would give us a job in the summer chopping his cotton out south of town. Often, in the summer, we would move irrigation pipes for him. That was the best job ever. Yes, it was hard to get through all the mud and the pipes weren’t that light, but it seemed to be cool all the time. I become nostalgic sometimes thinking about the good people that helped us as children. To start naming them would be an injustice, for there were too many. We are beginning our older age now and I talk to Buddy often. He lives about 70 miles from me and we are still taking care of one another. At this time of Buddy’s life, he is legally blind. I have taken him to numerous appointments for cataract surgery, but his blood pressure has been uncontrolled and twice surgery has been postponed. Well finally after being disabled/blind for nearly three years, he has received Medicare. I am not one that believes everyone needs assistance, but Texas being a state that did not vote to expand Medicaid caused him to have to wait a long time for Medicare. He never did qualify for Medicaid. Finally, next month he is scheduled for surgery. His lead surgeon this week denied his case secondary to difficulty and a new surgeon will be performing it. I am hoping it will all go well and that he can see again. He hasn’t seen me in quite some time, so he may be shocked at what he sees. LOL. I will be there with him and I will bring him home and I will be one of the first to see him see again. It will be a happy day. He is already going back to work in his mind, and he will. This memory is of two little boys that spent a childhood together and continue to move in to old age together. I have a lot of brothers and two sisters, I love them all equally, make no mistake, it’s just that Buddy and I were inseparable and so in need of each other as children that I recognize that little boy still when I look at him. I will make sure I have the thirty cents for lunch when I take him out of town. 😊

Copyright (Charles D. Grant)

Author: coffeewithcharles58

Married for 33 years to a wonderful wife. I have 2 grown sons and a beautiful daughter n law. I love life, past and present.

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