Saturday, September 17, 2016

Great Grandpa James

I tell tales about me Pops. I tell tales about me Grandpa Joe. But have I yet to tell tales about me great-grandpa James?

They says he could raise more hell without drinkin' or cussin' than anyone that ever was. He was a small man, it's true, less than 5'3", but that ne'er stalled him. He backed away from nuthin. I been told he participated in a thousand fights, and he lost them all. Each and ev'ry one. He opined one day, "If I find a guy I can whoop, I'd stay close by that guy, I'd follow him all over and whoop him each day". That's an Irish tude, idn't it?

But he remained just the same a dedicated peacemaker, never engagin' in battle save when necessary, no matter how often necessity occurred. A true, just peace, he believed in. And folks respected that.

In late 1800s west central Illinois where he was a farmer like so many, the barn dances circled from farm to farm each Saturd'y night. Many families and personalities competed poorly those days, and some to a disturbin', measured acceptance. Arguments and such, threats almost to McCoy-Hatfield levels, existed everywhere. Some tribes refused to appear at the weekly festivals when certain others intended to arrive; it was an upsettin' scene.

When it was me great-grandpa James turn to host the soiree, he sent out notice. Ever body was invited, and ever one must play nice. And perhaps most importantly, ever soul must attend and observe the rules. Ya know what?

Each body attended. Each family observed the rules. And indeed, a good time was observed by all.

A good time was had by all. It just depends sometimes, ye see, on the force of personality to influence attitude.

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