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Bucking Calf Books

Flour Sack Shirts and Homemade Jam: Stories of a Southern Sharecropper's Son

Flour Sack Shirts and Homemade Jam: Stories of a Southern Sharecropper's Son

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Sharecropping was a hard life that made for rough, work-worn hands and sore bent backs but it also built a work ethic of honesty, and a belief in fair dealing. It was a family affair everyone had to pull his or her weight and contribute. An honest day's work for an honest day's pay. A clich , true, but it was the reputation that my dad had with all those who knew him. Clyde and Naomi Crabtree Holley were my parents. My dad was industrious, inventive and virtually indefatigable. He was practical, straightforward, tough-minded and plainspoken, and, from my standpoint, a strict and harsh disciplinarian with a handy razor strap My mother was grit and grace with a heartbeat. She worked as hard as any man, then turned around and loved everyone around her selflessly. From the flour sack shirts and dresses she sewed to the homemade jam she made from growing, picking, canning and storing fruits; her resourcefulness, initiative and originality seemed endless. Her culinary creations were a special treat to the entire community, and her patterns, handiwork and crafts as skilled and creative as anything I've encountered since. Where dad was tough and unbending, my mother was gentle, kind and compassionate, although she did keep a peach-tree switch nearby, and knew how to use it. What I had was hard-working parents with calloused and blistered hands who provided me with everything that I really needed. Once in a while, play and fun replaced work. Rainy days, Saturday afternoons and Sundays after church were times set aside to relax and re-wind, visit neighbors and friends with my parents or walk the hills and valleys. A complementary, yet conspicuously opposite pair they were, but together they created a sense of balance in my life. To my young mind, being sharecroppers meant that we were poor folks. There were times when I was ashamed that I didn't have the clothes, toys or spending money that some of the kids of our more affluent farm neighbors had. And naturally, there were always a few in every community who looked down their nose at us, holding us accountable for the life we were born into. While that same few might have been dismayed by our lack of wealth, even they couldn't find fault with hard work and a harvest reaped. My parents were quick to dismiss their haughtiness as ignorance. We moved many times, and with each move we made new friends, but remained connected to our former neighbors. For me, each new community provided new faces, new experiences and new adventures.

Author: William L. Holley
Publisher: Bucking Calf Books
Published: 11/25/2013
Pages: 190
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.54lbs
Size: 8.50h x 5.50w x 0.44d
ISBN: 9780989505307

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