Lessons My Granddaddy Taught Me - Don't Drink!

Title: Lessons My Granddaddy Taught Me - Don't Drink!
Category: Moral Issues
Subject: Alcohol

Lessons My Granddaddy Taught Me – Don’t Drink! I was in Books A Million, waiting for my wife to find some books for our seven year old granddaughter Abigail. I was checking out new titles when I saw Justice Clarence Thomas’ new book, My Grandfather’s Son. Laura Ingraham, who had clerked for Thomas a number of years ago, interviewed Justice Thomas on her popular radio program. He is very appreciative of the things his grandfather taught him. I was reminded of my own grandfather, the most unforgetable character I have ever known. He lived with us on our Mississippi Delta farm for some time, but when he felt that he was imposing, my parents let him move into the house on the lower place until they could build him a small house near our home. I spent a lot of nights with him, listening to the St. Louis Cardinals or the Memphis Chicks. He loved his grandchildren and we loved him. As I look back, I realize that he taught me more than I realized at the time. For example, when he saw me carving something with my pocketknife, he told me that I should be cutting away from my leg, not toward it. I assured him I was being careful, but the scar I still carry on my thigh is proof that I should have listened to my Granddaddy. When I was about eleven years old, I discovered a quart jar full of some liquid, which, when I took off the top smelled like fermented hog slop (table scraps that had fermented). I realized that our huge neighbor Elgie has hidden a jar of his homebrew in the road ditch near our long driveway. I smelled it, and probably tasted it. Then, I looked up the gravel road and saw my granddaddy walking toward me. He was known for his humorous, but innocent practical jokes, so I decided to pull one on him. My granddaddy had poor eyesight, so I knew he hadn’t seen me. I poured out a little of Elgie’s homebrew, set the jar aside, and waiting until he was close I stretched out in the road. If a car had come along I would have heard it on the gravel road. I had thought I would make Granddaddy believe I had drunk some of the homebrew and passed out in the road. What I did not consider is the fact that he would see me lying in the road and assume I had been hit by a car. He got me up, made sure I was all right, and believe me, when I realized he had thought I was dead, I tried to act intoxicated. I had never seen many people drunk but I did my best to fake it. At supper that day, he told my mother and father again just how badly I had scared him. I was anticipating serious discipline for frightening Granddaddy, but he was about to complicate things for me. He told them that when he found me in the road, I had drunk enough of that homebrew to cause me to pass out, and he thought a car had run over me. He stressed that I had nearly scared him to death. The more he talked the more disturbed I was becoming. He shocked me by telling them that when he got me on my feet I had given him a "cussing"! He told them I had called him an old SOB, among other things. I was shocked! I didn’t talk like that, and I would never have called him anything like that. If I had denied being drunk, my parents might have punished me for frightening my grandfather. When he told them I had cursed him I knew I was in trouble. He made it seem that I was totally out of control, that I did not know what I was doing. I decided the best thing for me to do was keep my mouth shut, as much as I wanted my parents to know that I had not used that language, and had not been disrespectful of my grandfather. Neither did I want to admit that I had traumatized him. I had no idea I would scare him so badly. The way I saw it, I was going to be punished, but I didn’t know whether it would be Mother’s switch or Daddy’s belt. I understood in time that Granddaddy was trying to convince me that the consumption of an alcoholic beverage would cause me to say and do things I would not have done otherwise and they had left it at that. Maybe. Just maybe, my parents would let the "lesson" be punishment enough. Granddaddy had seen lives destroyed in his own family by alcoholic beverages. Over the years, I had to sit and listen to that story many times. I was grown and married before I finally told my parents that I had not been intoxicated - and that I had not called my granddaddy those names. I had decided that it was better to let them think he had taught me a lesson about drinking alcoholic beverages than to admit to a prank that frightened him so much. My son has a Prohibition era black and white picture of a whiskey still in full operation in his office at the District Attorney’s office in Monroe, Louisiana. I can identify a number of relatives in that photograph. Granddaddy gave me the original many years after his "lesson" on the evils of alcohol. Johnny L. Sanders, D. Min. 2396 Hwy. 552 Downsville, LA 71234 Search Sermons at pastorlife.com www.thebiblenotebook.blogspot.com