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The wisdom of your neighbors
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“That man could crawl through a barrel of fish hooks and not get a scratch on him.” The late Troy Stevenson once used his mountain wisdom to describe a gentleman of questionable virtues.

Like you, we all have heard memorable quotes or witticisms from our friends. I have over the years written down many of these nuggets on notes of which many of them have been misplaced. Here are some pearls of wisdom from your neighbors which fortunately I found in pants pockets.

“I don’t have any ice cream in my refrigerator,” was once a reply of Lloyd Truesdale to a buddy who asked Lloyd why he had not been coming to church lately. The friend asked Lloyd what did the ice cream have to do with his attendance. Lloyd’s reply was, “that is as good an excuse as any.’’

‘‘Watch how your boy friend treats his dog and his mother,’’ is the lesson told to the Anderson family women by the Anderson men.

“You can be a kid’s friend, but you can’t be his peer,” is advice that the late Red Lynch used in how a young coach can help a kid who needs some direction. If you played for Red then you know this is off the field advice. He was tough, fair, and firm and his practices were so challenging that the players had no friends.

“Bring me your uniform tomorrow,” was the late Bill Basden’s reply to any kid who told him that he was thinking of quitting the band. Bill Basden managed the most successful program in Kershaw County school history and his members were either ‘all in’ or watching the performance from the stands.

“If I need one swing set, I ask for two,’’ is how one unnamed school administrator told a green elected official how to peruse a public budget.

“No one leaves smiling,’’ was the mantra that the renowned economist John Kenneth Gailbrath and his fellow members used in WWII to control excess profits from industrialist with government contracts.

“If a man cheats on the golf course, he will cheat in business,’’ was a byline of the late Bruce Rush. Bruce also believed that after age 18 a person could not lie, cheat or steal. Before you critique the age, pause a moment and think of your youthful indiscretions. “Really mother, I don’t smoke or know how that Playboy magazine was in my drawer.’’

A male visitor who was thinking about moving into a rural community where the late Henry Higgins ran a country store once asked Henry what type of neighbors he would find in the neighborhood. Henry’s reply was the question, “How are your current neighbors?’’ The man’s answer was nosy, quarrelsome, and unfriendly. Henry’s answer was that is what you will find here. A short time later the wife entered the store unaccompanied by her husband and happened to ask the same question which Henry replied with the same question. The wife replied that her existing neighbors were warm and friendly. Henry’s reply was that is how you will find the people here.

“If you ever sit down at a poker table and don’t see a sucker, get up,’’ is advice that Perry Beckham passed down to his sons who later handed this info down to their children.

A couple of years after my father passed away my brother said that he was looking for a reason to buy a new suit, so he asked my mother why don’t you remarry. My mother’s reply was that she had a good man for 53 years and she did not need another one. Besides she had friends to remarry and they are now cooking three meals a day.

The neighborhood of Boogertown wishes you a great day.