The Shock of My Life

3 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill

When I was about 6 years old, my sister, Judy, and I went to spend the summer with our grandparents on their farm on the south side of San Antonio, TX. Grandpa and Granny had a cow, some chickens, several peacocks, a goat and a large Victory Garden where they raised a lot of the vegetables they ate. We had a free run of the place, all day every day, once we had finished our assigned daily chores. What a grand time we had. One of the things I remember about our stay was, every morning my Grandpa would milk the cow, bringing in the pail of milk for Granny to strain, through cheese cloth, before putting it away in the refrigerator for the day. My sister and I had our own small drinking glasses, and would stand at the counter waiting for our morning glass of warm milk, right out of the cow. I’m not so sure I would consider that a “treat” nowadays, as we did then. I never did learn how to milk that cow. It seemed like a lot of work to me.

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One of our chores was to gather the eggs every morning. There would be a dozen or so eggs to find and some of the chickens didn’t want to get off the nest. When they pecked at me, it hurt, and I would sometimes throw an egg at them. Of course, when Granny found out about that, there was the green willow switch that found the back of my legs. That went for chasing the Peacocks around the yard too. But, they were better flyers and usually made it high into one of the trees before I could get even close to them.

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You might find this hard to believe, but the neighbor down the road from Granny’s house had a couple of very old Giant Century Plants in their front yard, and we smaller kids liked to climb up the pedals and slide down them. They had thorns down the edges of the pedals, but they had been worn down over the years and were dull, so with practiced skill, we could slide down them without getting scratched. I have never seen a Century Plant that big since; not even in pictures on the Internet, if in fact that is what they really were.

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But, the thing that gave me “The Shock of My Life” was of all things, an old metal bed frame and springs. Yep, an old metal bed frame! A couple of the older boys had scrounged up a car battery, along with an old Ford Model “A” coil (and I don’t know what all else), and had somehow wired it all up to that metal bed frame. Then with the operator holding onto one of the wires, we would all line up, holding hands, and he would grab hold of the bed frame. We all jumped and the girls screamed, as the electricity went thru us. But why was the last boy in the line jumping around so, I wondered? That is, until it was my turn to be at the end of the line. When that jolt got to me, let me tell you, it was electrifying!

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I guess you could say I got my Electric Shock Treatments early in life. DiVoran says, “Maybe those electric shocks had a calming effect on you, and that’s why you are so laid back.” Maybe she has something there. Who knows? I’ll never tell.

 

—–The End—–

2 Responses to “The Shock of My Life”

  1. Louise Gibson September 3, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    wHAT A GREAT STORY, bILL. yOU BROUGHT BACK MANY MEMORIES OF MY OWN CHILDHOOD. VISITS TO MY GRANDPARENT’S FARM. i WOULDN’T DRINK THE MILK FROM THEIR COW (hA!) SO MY gRANDMA WOULD PUT IT IN A BOTTLE TO DECEIVE ME

    Like

  2. Old Things R New September 3, 2014 at 7:43 am #

    Your post brought back good memories of visits to my grandparents farm. I would get up early to watch my grandfather milk the cow and and I would love to have one of those glasses of fresh milk! Now my brothers, they would have been the ones hooking a battery up to an old iron bed!

    Like

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