by my friend, Ben
It were Friday an’ I sure were lookin’ forward to the weekend. I were. The reason I were glad the week were over were because they’d timbered the ol’ Justice place. They did. That meant we were workin’ extra hard at the sawmill all week long. We were.
I were just about to get in my truck when I seen the Sheriff drive up. I did. I reckoned he were gonna talk to Mr. Hanson, him bein’ the owner an’ all. But as he got outta his car he called out to me. He did. He come over to my truck an’ said, “Ben, you know Goody Taggert don’t ya?” I told him I did. Me’n ol’ Goody perty much growed up together, ceptin’ we didn’t see much a each other, him livin’ way out on the other side of town an’ all. Bout the only time we saw each other were at school until I had to quit. I did. Goody were a big ol’ boy what didn’t know his own strength. He didn’t. He had a right quick temper too. He did. But I always liked Goody. He were usually good natured an’ got along real well with folks. He did.
He’n his ma an’ pa had a farm about ten miles on the other side of town where they raised sugar cane. They did. I’d heard that Goody got into a fight with a feller what cheated him at a carnival what’d come to town. He did. The feller ended up dyin’. He did. Goody didn’t do it on purpose, but he were gonna have to go to jail for a spell. He were.
The Sheriff said, “Ben how’d you like to make a little money tomorrow? I have to go out an’ get Goody an’ take him over to Salyersville to the prison. My other deputy is sick an’ I need someone to ride along when I deliver a prisoner. I reckoned since you knowed Goody an’ he knowed you, that it’d be easier on him if it were you, rather than someone else.” I said I reckoned I’d be able to do that. I did. Fact were, I kinda felt sorry for Goody. I did. I knowed he killed that feller, but he weren’t really a bad feller down deep inside. He weren’t.
As the Sheriff got back in his car he told me he’d come by an’ pick me up about eight in the mornin’. He did. He said the county would also pay for lunch, so I should be thinkin’ where we’d eat on the way back. He did.
I asked him how come Goody were at home instead of down at the jail. I did. I knowed the Taggert’s didn’t have no money for bail an all. I did. The Sheriff said Goody’s ma an’ pa needed him there to bring in the cane crop, so he let his pa pick him up two weeks ago. He did. Now that struck me as kinda funny, but I never said nothin’ I didn’t
It were right at eight o’clock when I heard ol’ Blue let out one of them howls like he’d treed a coon. I did. I knowed it were the Sheriff. I did. When I opened the screen door he were just pullin’ in the yard. He were. Ol’ Blue were at the car door, his tale a waggin’ an all. The Sheriff liked ol’ Blue. He did. An’ ol’ Blue liked the Sheriff. He did. I reckon part of it were cause they didn’t see much of each other. So I reckon they made the best of it when they did.
Ol’ Blue followed the car as far as the barn an’ then went back to the front porch. He did. I’d left him plenty of food an’ water, an’ iffen it got hot he’d find his favorite spot in the holler he’d dug out under the house. He would.
The Sheriff an’ me made small talk all the way into town. We did. But as we were drivin’ by the jail I just had to ask him about lettin’ Goody go home. I did. He said, “Ben, Goody gave me his word, an’ so did his pa, that he’d be waitin’ for me when I got there this mornin’. I ain’t worried. He gave me his word. That’s all I need. You see Ben, the Taggert’s are folks that don’t have much in the way of earthly goods. So givin’ their word an’ keepin’ it is what gives them pride in livin’ an’ bein’ trusted by folks round here. Ol’ Tom Taggert’s run a bill at near every place in town, an’ he always pays when he sells his sorghum molasses an’ that little bit of tobacco he raises. Goody will be there waitin’. You’ll see.” I asked how long Goody were gonna be gone. I did. The Sheriff said they gave him twenty years, but five were suspended an’ with good behavior he could be out in ten. I asked who were gonna bring in the Taggert’s crops while Goody were away. I did. The Sheriff said he didn’t know. I told him I’d see about roundin’ up a few folks an see what we could do. I did.
Well, sure enough as we drove down the lane to the Taggert place I could see Goody’s pa sittin’ in an ol’ rocker on the porch. He were. The door opened an’ his ma came out an’ stood behind him. She did. On the steps were Goody. He didn’t move as the Sheriff stopped the car. He didn’t. The Sheriff got out an’ I did too. Goody’s pa said, “Howdy Sheriff. Nice mornin’ to ya.” The Sheriff asked Tom how he’d been doin’. He did. “Fair to middlin’ I reckon. I appreciate you lettin’ Goody help bring in the crops before he goes.”
It were about that time Goody took a look at me. He did. He got up an’ come toward me an’ said, “Benny! I ain’t seen you in a year or more!” He hugged me until I thought I were gonna lose my breath. He did. He said, “Benny, it sure is nice of you to come out here with the Sheriff. It’ll make it a sight easier havin’ you along for the ride. I ain’t lookin’ forward to Salyersville. But I’ll be okay.”
Goody turned an’ went back up the porch steps an’ his ma came an’ gave him a big hug. She did. I could see tears runnin’ down her cheeks. I could. Goody turned to his pa an’ I wondered iffen he were gonna get up. He didn’t. He just reached up an’ took Goody’s hand an’ said, “I love you boy. Be strong. Your ma’n I’ll be over when we can. An’ we’ll be here awaitin’ when you get to come home.” His voice cracked a little, an’ Goody chocked a little as he said, “Thank you pa. I love you an’ ma too.”
Goody didn’t talk much on the way to Salyersville. He didn’t. I could see him looking out the winder as iffen he were takin’ it all in an’ wonderin’ how long it’d be before he’d seen it again. I did. An’ I reckoned somewhere in his mind he felt good to be a man of his word. I did.
CONCERNS: Susan Phlegar has had some back problems lately. Kathy Sirgy is also having back problems and may be facing surgery. Former member, Ray Reiss, was involved in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana. He will have months of therapy ahead. Sharon Breeding, a friend of Martha Foy, is having some health issues. So is another friend, Lauren. Stephanie Dixon’s boss’s son, Grayson, (eye damage) Phillip Pierce’s mother, Jim White’s mother is home. Jim will still be in Lynchburg on an occasional weekend to help out. Del Bolin asks prayers for Sharon and Billy who both have cancer. Connie Crites’ brother and Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick, are both being treated for cancer. Ken Teatino (Mark McRoy’s friend) was at Duke for cancer treatment complications. Jenni Cullum has a new room number. It is 233.
No phone yet. She may be having hip surgery soon. Remember Jim Hunter, Alma Martin, Helen Nicklas, Joni Beach’s mother, Brice Reid and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 17-22
Monday: John 5:19-47
Tuesday: Philippians 1:19-30
Wednesday: Genesis 7:1-24
Thursday: Lamentations 1:8-16
Friday: Romans 8:12-25
Saturday: Psalm 133,134
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 24-29
Monday: Psalm 46
Tuesday: John 14:1-11
Wednesday: Psalm 23
Thursday: Isaiah 26:1-4
Friday: Matthew 5:1-16
Saturday: I John 2:7-11, 15-17
Lisa Flora’s uncle died last week. He was her father’s brother. The burial was at Franklin Memorial Park.
Sunday, September 19 (today) is Super Sunday. We fresh-froze the left over bar b que from Labor Day and it will be on the menu. All that was left was mostly chicken. Plan to stay and enjoy this monthly meal together.
WEEKEND BIBLE SCHOOL
Our weekend Bible School will be October 19-21. If you look on the wall in the foyer you will see the “needs” tags. Stop by and take a look at what you can provide for that weekend. On Sunday, October 21, the morning service will partly devoted to the finale. The Peaks picnic will also be part of this weekend.
PEAKS OF OTTER HIKE & PICNIC
A sign-up sheet is on the foyer table for the annual Peaks of Otter Hike and Picnic. The last few years we have had really good weather. It’s a good time to get together in the fresh mountain air and enjoy the beauty of Fall.
Stephanie Dixon will tell us about her week working with the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala as soon as she is ready.
STEERING COMMETTEE MEETING
There will be a steering committee meeting after the meal on Super Sunday. If you have anything the committee needs to discuss, let one of the members know.
We will be reviewing what information we have on improving the lighting in the annex, as well as the sound system and other upgrades in the auditorium.
Don’t forget to save the pull tabs from all cans and bring them to the building. Even the tabs from soup, vegetables and other items can be used. If you ever go to the Ronald McDonald House to volunteer in the kitchen, if you haven’t done so, be sure to take the tour and especially see how many pull tabs are collected from all around the area. It’s rather amazing. These bring in a notable sum to help keep this great facility working.