Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Flea Market

My Grandad's House

Nearly every Sunday when I was a kid, we’d all have breakfast at my granddads house. We’d have homemade bread and gravy. Granddad would make the gravy, and he liked it really white. It was good gravy but different to us because we usually had browned gravy with our meals. Someone would always get a tomato to eat with their gravy, and usually someone would go out to the henhouse and get some eggs to fry up as well.

After everyone had eaten their fill, we’d typically load up in the back of granddads truck, the older kids would throw an old mattress in it so the ride would be soft and we'd head off for the flea market in Bartow out in Pocahontas County. We’d always stop and pick up Grandmaw Mary and take her with us, she just loved to go to the flea market, where as she put it she “liked to look through others people’s junk”. Grandmaw would also get to see her sister-in-law, Ruby and her husband George Cromer, who sold handmade knives at the flea market.
The Burns Brood

On the way, we’d stop at Bob Bland’s above Circleville where everyone would get a pop and an ice cream. You’d be surprised at how fast an ice cream will melt when you are riding in the back of a pick-up truck in the middle of a West Virginia summer. About half-way up Elk Mountain, the ice cream would be gone and we’d start singing songs to pass the time, songs like “D-E-L-T-O-N…Delton, Delton, Delton” after the guy who blew his house up in Bennett Gap by sticking electric wires in a gallon jug of gasoline and flipping on the breaker, or so the story went. We’d also chant a tune about “Old Granny Grunt” and how she sat on a stump and commanded an audience of bulldogs who barked at her genitalia. Of course, no trip was complete without singing that classic ode about diarrhea, “you’re walking down the hall and you hear something fall, diarrhea, uh, diarrhea”. There were only a few set lines to that song, and the real joy of it was in making up new verses to go along with the cadence.
Pretty soon, we’d get to the flea market and spend a couple of hours there. After we’d made our purchases or complained about the lack of selection that week, we’d pick up Granny who’d always be at George & Ruby’s table, and go out to the Dairy King that was just down the road from the flea market. We’d usually get an ice cream or a hamburger and fries, whichever we wanted. The Dairy King only had a walk-up window to order at, and picnic tables out to the side to eat at.
My brother Jason, my uncle Tom and me.
I remember one time, Grandmaw Mary ordered a hamburger with mustard, paid for it and then stepped to the side so other people could place their order. Everyone else that ordered and gotten their food, and were eating, after about 20 minutes, the girl came to the window and looked at Grandmaw and asked, “May I help you?”. Granny retorted, “Yes, you can, you can give me my hamburger with mustard! Did you have to kill the cow to get it?” They had completely forgotten about grandmaw’s order. Even at her elderly age, Grandmaw commanded their attention really fast and it wasn’t long before they gave her the infamous hamburger with mustard AND her money back.

After that trip every time we went to the Dairy King, Grandmaw would always ask Mom, “Do you think if I cut a fit on ‘em again that they’ll give me another free hamburger?”


gambling said...

Well, all I can say is. Im hungry.

Tipper said...

Sounds like breakfast was a feast the picture of your brother, uncle and you is priceless.