Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Granddad blogging: cleaning up

Last time in Granddad blogging, he described the home he grew up in near Tucker's Cross Roads in Wilson County, Tenneseee. This weeks he talks about cleanliness and wall treatments.

And we took a bath once a week, whether we needed it or not, in the room where we stayed. Where the big fireplace was. We’d pull the shades on those windows. We must have had 10 foot ceilings, I don’t know, they were tall. And you’d buy curtains to put on the windows, but they never could get shades long enough to come all the way down to the floor. So when we took a bath, we’d have to get papers and put on the shades down to the floor, so people couldn’t see in and also to keep the cold out. We’d put papers over the door, and heated water boiling hot and pour it in a number two washtub. My daddy would take a bath in that number two wash tub, and put clean clothes on, which he changed once a week whether he needed to or not and poured the water outside. Then we’d make another washing, a tub full of water, and they’d put me in and I’d take a bath. Then my mother would take a bath in the water that I had just taken a bath in. And then we all put on clean clothes and that was it. Didn’t do any more bathin’ til the next Saturday night. We all had long handle underwear, sleeves came down to your arms, legs came down below your ankles.

That old school house had lots of cracks and crevices and loose windows and loose doors and the wind would come through. It wasn’t very substantial or solid, and we would paper it every once in a while. It was hard even to keep wallpaper on the walls. As I told you, this house that we lived in was very open, no insulation. And we’d take demaskin(?), real thin demaskin, and put it on the wall first, and then we’d put the paper over that, because the paper wouldn’t stick to the wall, but it would stick to the demastos (?) that you tacked onto the wall, and we would get that fixed up. And then when the wind blew real hard you could see that paper shaking and movin’ about. Eventually it’d crack and have to be repapered again.

People’d come over just to visit a lot. They’d come about dark, sit by the fire about an hour and go home again. We had a friend that came to visit us at nights a lot, Dillon Beaver?, and Mr Dillon never did wash his hair, I don’t reckon. It was greasy, Lord, it was greasy. When he came he always set over there on the south wall in a straight backed chair, and lean back his head onto the wall and the paper, and I don’t reckon he ever washed his head, ever. It was just as greasy as greasy as greasy could be. And when he would leave, there was such a big spot, that you can’t imagine, where his head had messed up the wallpaper. It would leave a great big old greasy place, ‘cause he’d move about this way and that about a foot and a half long and about a half a foot deep. And my daddy wouldn’t let my mother say anything to him about it, and he wouldn’t say anything to him about it either, but they sure didn’t like it. My mother sure did hate to see him coming when she just papered the house, ‘cause she knew he was gonna leave a great big greasy place on her new wallpaper.

Me: Didn’t your neighbor ever notice the greasy spot he left on the wall?

Granddad: Well, he had greasy spots all over the wall at his house, didn’t mean anything in the world to him.
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