I suspect some background is needed to understand the story I'm about to tell you. This is a true story if you believe in the way I was raised in a little country church of the Pentecost persuasion. I'm not here to make you believe, only to let you read about a true life happening, in my actual family. This is not a story handed down from generation to generation. This is an actual happening with family members whom I believe in. I will tell you the actual events and close with my commentary and explanation of today.
My grandparents on my father's side were born at the turn of the 1900's, poor, real poor country people. Not stupid, common sense people of the earth, who relied on mother earth in ways the modern ones cannot understand! Simply put, the ones of the modern area would never survive, what they went through. Early in life my grandpa was hooked on the shine, moonshine that is, during prohibition he drank anything available. My grandma was described as a hellcat in her early days. She was a strong headed redhead. She bear three children by the time she married my grandpa. Not my grandpa by blood but he's my true grandpa, by being there, and doing. It's now the 30's the depression is in full might. My grandpa James worked for the government projects that created jobs at this time. My grandma Betty was in charge of raising three young-ins, heathens I suppose is more accurate, from what I heard!
Poor as dirt country folk, living off the land, no electricity, no running water except in the creek across the road. Wood cook stove and heat in the winter. Poor, proud, mostly uneducated. James had no schooling. Betty some grade school, good enough to read and write, the three children had some grade school, the youngest if I recollect made it to the eighth grade.
Hunting, fishing, frog gigging, coon hunting all the necessary ways to put food on he table and sell the raccoon pelts for some jingle in their pocket.
I must paint this scene, I dare say few anymore must go through these ways for survival, but to survive was the everyday norm, creating adventures, tall tales, deaths, prison sentences. I still remember to this day visiting my uncle Smitty in prison, you don't forget something like that as an impressionable nine year old. It's too real!
Saturday and Sundays were for visiting, where distant and close family members would pop in just to have a good time, telling their tallest tales, eating, togetherness in a way I don't see today. No matter how crazy, how mean, family was family. All their differences did not matter it was pure family enjoyment
My grandma and grandpa after some very uncertain times, some scary, some bloody, settled into a groove by being saved, baptized in the river by a Pentecostal Preacher. This former four room house was turned into a church by ripping out the walls, placing one of them pot bellied coal/wood stoves in the middle and a few benches, an outhouse to do your doings in. Cold as a ice block in winter and full of spiders in the summer. No electricity, kerosene lanterns, made for an eery sight, sometimes when the preacher be a rolling the word of the almighty, let alone an oak log in the pot bellied stove would pop like a firecracker, then seems all hell has broken loose! There was no such thing as just Sunday School meetings, oh no! There be Sunday night service, Wednesday night service. There be traveling ministers called evangelist, then there would be services every night for the heathens that show up in search of salvation.
My momma was and still is a good old girl, but my daddy, well he had problems from growing up across the wayward side of the tracks, if you know what I mean. His upbringing, and his real daddy not being around and his ma, had a temper, way back then! He was a product of his upbringing. He refused to go to school and spent a couple years in the state reform school to reform his lack of schooling. I do believe he never got any smarter, but making him do hard labor and a mule kicking him in the head at that reform school forever shaped his mind. Drinking, fighting, bars, I suppose they thought that was manly back then. The town I grew up in at one time had twenty four bars, taverns, night clubs, plus the girlie houses all within a couple blocks of the courthouse with the big jail right behind it. There was an Air Force base in my town, and a Army base only twenty minutes away by train, and the train ran almost to the courthouse, so I do reckon Im'ma tryin' to tell y'all, it was a Dodge City type of rootin-tootin,fightin' fuckin' town on Saturday night.
WELL NOW! SEEMS THIS HERE REMINISCING IS TAKING AN UNEXPECTED MAGNITUDE OF WORDS. THE BACKGROUND IS MIGHTY IMPORTANT FOR UNDERSTANDING, I'LL CONTINUE WITH PART TWO OF THE EXORCISM OF SISTER SARAH. YES YOU READ RIGHT, BEFORE THE MOVIE "THE EXORCIST" WAS "THE EXORCISM OF SISTER SARAH," AND I DO NOT MEAN TO MAKE FUN OF THAT, BECAUSE IT SCARED THE HELL OUT OF A 12 YEAR OLD LAD. THAT LAD BE ME!!!