Monday, March 16, 2009


This morning, I added a new song to the playlist. It's "No Charge" by Melba Montgomery and is a song that I remember from a long time ago! What I didn't remember was Melba's very southern twang. I won't keep this song on my blog very long, but the lyrics are really sweet! Do listen to it, especially if you have children. I was one of those kids who kept a tab of what my parents owed me, but I was also one who ran a tab at Miss Eller's store . . . until my daddy found out. Ha! Miss Eller's name was actually Ella, but everyone called her Eller, and I was an adult before I knew any different! She ran a very tiny, dark little country store near my house that my friend, Robin, and I would ride our bicycles to almost daily. We'd always get a snack and drink "for the road." There was a sawmill behind Miss Eller's store, and some of the best looking guys would come into the store when the bell sounded. Robin and I would just step aside when the tanned hunks with sawdust in their hair would come in, or we'd take a seat that wasn't occupied by the older gentlemen who spent more time with Miss Eller than we did. I guess we weren't old enough to be considered ladies because those men never offered us their seat! What we noticed was that these guys would reach into a box, pull out a little book, and Miss Eller would write the amount of their snack in the book, and they'd leave without paying. Robin and I asked Miss Eller if we could start a "tab" with her, and she said, "sure!" She reached under the counter and gave us each a book and said that we should write our name on the top and then put it in the box. We thought we were $%*#in' in high cotton! Everything was going well until one day my daddy stopped in there and, in general conversation, asked if she'd been seeing a lot of me and Robin. Miss Eller didn't mean to say anything wrong, but she was telling daddy how excited Robin and I were to have a tab. [gulp] He wasn't pleased! Daddy didn't run tabs or credit with ANYONE, and his 13 y/o daughter would certainly not be in debt to a country store! The good news is . . . he paid my tab! The bad news is . . . there was no longer a tab in the box with my name on it! I'm sure I tried to bill daddy, though, the next time he sent me to Miss Eller's to get a pack of Red Man for him while he was mowing. Can you believe it . . . kids used to be able to go to the store and purchase tobacco products, but that was back in the day of little country stores, old men who spent many hours visiting there, sawmill hunks, snacks on credit, and kids who spent the summer on bicycles--even when there were escapees from a nearby prison! But that's another story.

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