Black Salve and Jerking Knees

dad % me % vickie


The NaBloPoMo blog question I’m going to look at today is:

How much does your culture come into play in your day-to-day life?

Well, first off, take a good look at the picture of me at the top of today’s post and then remember that, to answer this question, we’re going to have to define culture in the broadest sense of the word. 

I come from a family that assumes that the little guy is always right and the big guy is wrong. 

That anyone with more money than they can easily carry in a bucket got that money by cheating someone else, probably one of my ancestors.  

My grandparents claimed, until the day they died, that Grandpa invented the formula for Coca-Cola.  Swore Grandpa was cheated, by desperate times and the need for money to pay a hospital bill with a baby on the way, into selling the recipe for the equivalent of a handful of magic beans. 

Grandpa told the story of knocking on a rich landlady’s door during hard times in the hopes of moving into one of her run-down rentals across town. 

The landlady took one look at the baby in Grandma’s arms, my dad who was three-years-old at the time. “No.” The old biddy stood in the doorway of her fancy Victorian and shook her head.  “I don’t rent to families with kids.”

“Okay,” said Grandpa.  “Don’t rent the place to nobody else.  We gotta have someplace to live.  I’ll just go on and drown the boy in the bay, and the wife n’ me’ll be right back.”

The landlady rented them the apartment.  My best guess is that fear of crazy people was the motivator.

The same grandpa swore up and down and sidewise that he was given the formula for magic black salve that could cure cancer and bring back the dead by an Indian who saved Grandpa’s life and soon thereafter died in his arms. Some rich, educated crook of a doctor stole the recipe from him and left town.  Didn’t leave Grandpa so much as a wooden nickel.

Dad’s favorite saying was, “He’s so crooked he has to screw his socks on.” 

Followed by, “He’s got more money than brains.”

And let us not forget, “He’s nothing but an educated idiot.”  Usually in reference to one of his bosses.

When, in the fifth grade, I sold one of our Siamese kittens to my teacher and then, six months later, the teacher asked for her money back because the kitten had died, Dad made me give her another kitten. 

“‘Course she’s cheatin’ you,” he said.  “But, two wrongs don’t never make a right.”

So, coming out of this culture, guess which way I lean on any political issue?  Oh, I do my best to be logical and keep that knee from jerking so hard it tips me from my comfortable chair.  But, really, what can I do?  Once a redneck, always a redneck. It’s not like I had a lot of choice in the matter of who I grew up with.  But, it should also be clear by now that, coming from my family?   I am one story telling mother of a redneck.

About Author and Speaker Pamela Foster

Pamela Foster is a speaker and author. Her first book, Redneck Goddess, is available at local bookstores and on Amazon. Her second book, Bigfoot Blues, will be available in August 2012.
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8 Responses to Black Salve and Jerking Knees

  1. Oh no, Pam. We might have a problem. The founder of Coca Cola is John Stith Pemberton. I wouldn’t put it past one of my snobby, aristocratic ancestors to steal a recipe. They weren’t a nice group of folks, let me tell you. I just wish they would’ve saved some of their wealth for me. My great-grandfather was exiled from Virginia because of his strict Baptist ways and the next thing you know, self righteousness was added to the endearing traits of my family. 🙂

  2. Oh Claire. Maybe we HAVE known each other in another lifetime. That is too funny to be coincidence. Although it should really be noted that Grandpa also claimed to have invented the ball-peen hammer.

  3. truthsbyruth says:

    Oh, Pam. Good post.

  4. Sylvia says:

    HaHaHaHa! Good way to start the day!

  5. I really enjoyed reading your post, Pam. There is no doubt you come from a cultured line of folks. I wondered who came up with the original formula for coca-cola. Now I know. 🙂

  6. Sandy Caudle says:

    Good reading also enjoyed the pic of your young Dad Didn’t know he hunted did you have to be his dog sometimes. My Dad was a avid deer hunter we would head to the hills in his 55 Pontiac to go hunting .

  7. It’s an awesome post designed for all the internet users; they will obtain advantage from it
    I am sure.

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