Scott County Historical
Scott County, Virginia
Mildred McConnell's Scrapbook Articles
The Good Ole Days
We were poor but we were happy and always had plenty to do, either work or play, and life was simple and beautiful.
The time will never come again, but some things and sometimes, that I would like to relive are: I want to trim the lamps with oil carried from a country store with an Irish "tater" stuck in the spout. I want to eat sweet tators baked in an oven on the "hearth" over red hot hickory coals. I want to swing the fly brush to keep the flies offen' the table. I want to go back to where all the everyday towels were made of salt sacks and where there was only one store towel, which was put out when the preacher came. I want to go back where they made sausage and souse meat; where pumpkin is sliced and hung on quiltin' frames to dry. I want to go back before germs, vitamins, and termites were invented. I want to go in the "big house" and set by the fire and see the old-fashioned dog-irons, the iron shovel and tongs made in the country blacksmith shop. I want to go back to the time when no such thing as daylight savings time was ever heard of. People got up at 3 a.m. in the morning and went to bed at 7 p.m. unless it was apple butter time, or molasses makin', then they stayed up until 8 p.m.
The parlor was the sacred place, there was where all the sparkin' was done; there was the bed the preacher slept in, and that was a bed! Two straw ticks, one big feather bed with fat bolster and pillows.
Yes, I want to go back where they drink sassafras and boneset tea to thin their blood in the springtime; where they churn with the old up and down churn; where they turn the cream jar around as it sits by the fire in the big house so it will get in the right "kester" for churning; where they always lick their knives before they cut the butter; where goose quill toothpicks are still in use; where they still "battle" the clothes and use bluin'; where they fill the straw ticks right after thrashing time; where the children wear long underwear.
Yes, I want to go back to the country and get my fill of cracklin' bread; I want to see the old "what not" in the corner of the big house; I want to engage in a spellin' match in Webster's old, blue-back speller, the finest in the world, and read from McGuffey's Reader, none better; I want to see the school children, one after another raise their hands and say: "Teacher, may I go outdoors?"
I want to see the people eat again and shovel it in with their knives; I want to go to the neighbor's to borrow a cup of sugar; I want to go back to where they eat three meals a day-breakfast, dinner, and supper and where the word "lunch" will never be heard again.
Yes, I want to go back and make another corn-shucker out of locust. I want to strip some cane and strip it and dip the skimmins' offen the bilin' molasses; I want to go to the neighbor's for a bushel of seed corn, to pull out the old trundle bed and sleep the sleep of the just once more:
I’d like to call a few doodle bugs outen' their holes; but I want to avoid the Spanish needles, the cuckle burrs, the seed ticks, the beggar lice, and the chiggers that made life unbearable; to avoid stone-bruises forever.
Yes, I'd like to see the old side-saddle hangin' on a peg on the front porch, covered by a satin riding skirt. I'd like to prime the ash hopper, and get a sassafras stick to stir the soap.
Backward, turn backward, Oh time in thy flight; Oh Lord! Let me go back once more to this land of simple things.