Nannie Maude Reynolds shares memories and thoughts about Winston County’s past.
In our society today, we hear so much about our teenagers getting into trouble. There is no doubt that they do. I read the newspapers and I listen to the TV. Many times I hear about our teenagers and the antics that they are capable of. However, I wonder if they are any worse than we were back in the day. Today the teenagers have access to more privileges than we did.
They have cars, cell phones and all other kinds of technology that we did not have. Had we had it, we would have been guilty of doing the same things I am sure. But, let me tell you of some of the things we did get into. I did not have the privilege of getting into a whole lot because my parents were strict. We had a curfew. We had to be home by a certain time or else. We had to go to a place where there was adult supervision. We had to go with whomever they approved of. We had to go only to places that were reputable.
Most of our dating was done at church or at church affiliated events. One time our class in high school planned an outing to Choctaw Lake. The class was to meet at Noxapater and ride a school bus to the lake for an evening of fun. We would make a bonfire and roast marshmallows. Now my parents thought Choctaw Lake was the Devil’s domain.
They did not approve, but we begged and we begged and finally Daddy agreed to let us go. We were to ride to Noxapater with Cecil Luke. He had access to his dad’s pick-up truck. Now Cecil did not have driver’s license, but we were not getting on the highway, just going to Noxapater and catch the bus. He had evening chores to do and we were late getting to Noxapater. The bus had already left for Choctaw Lake when we arrived. He was so sorry. He said, “We will go anyway.”
So without thinking at all, we all jumped back into the pickup and started to Choctaw Lake. As we went through Louisville there was a road block and the cops were checking driver’s licenses. Needless to say, we were caught!
The cops turned us around and sent us home. It was a Wednesday night and my parents were at prayer meeting. So the whole load of us went to prayer meeting. We agreed not to tell that he had gotten caught without driver’s license but that we missed the bus. But he could not keep quiet, outside the church in a group of kids, he spilled the beans, he told all. My brother, Bud happened to be in the group and Daddy knew the whole story before we got home.
Well, we never heard the term, “Grounded” but it applied.
His ticket for no driver’s license was $12.00. That was a terrible amount and his dad would not help him pay it. He had to work to pay it all by himself. Then there was the time this same young man took a group of kids to his own dad’s watermelon patch. We were not allowed to go. I cannot remember the reason we were not allowed. I remember hearing the truck go by our house after I had gone to bed. (Oh, yes,
I recognized the sound of the motor! We heard so little traffic at night!) They were yelling and having such a good time and I thought I was so mistreated. I heard about the episode later and I am not sure the dad ever knew who ransacked his watermelons that night. It was not my fault that I was not in that truck with the rest of my friends. Halloween was the worst night of the year for kids in Noxapater.
I also was not allowed to participate in those episodes, but that did not keep me from wanting to. I have known of the kids putting Mr. Lane Barnes’ dray wagon up on top of the store where the Vowell’s Market is today. They would not tell how they got it up there, but it was there for all to see come morning.
All the windows were soaped and messages written all over them. Every generation has its own problems. All parents feel anxiety over their offspring. Times they may be a-changing, but some things stay the same.
Looking back and looking at those same people today, they are good up-standing folks. Some of them are still my best friends today. I would trust them anywhere. A mischievous child does not necessarily make for a corrupt adult.
Editor’s note: Nannie Maude Dewease Reynolds has recently released her third installment in the fictional history of her family roots. Anyone interested may contact her at 662 724 4631 or 332 South Money St. Noxapater, MS 39346..