1945 was a great year to be an eight-year-old boy in rural Indiana. School had just let out and my big bro was headin’ home. Tommy and Mag’s families weren’t as lucky as ours. The war had snatched their brothers. I felt plum sorry for them… but maybe not as sorry as I shoulda. Momma had cried. All day. But all I could think ’bout was that Billy was on his way home and I could go a-huntin’ this afternoon… after I finished my chores, that is.
My biggest fuss was the bath I hada take that night. Mamma had been raised by her old aunt who insisted cleanliness were next ta godliness. Mamma had ‘dopted her ways and no matter how much Pa and me fussed up, Mamma still made both us fellers take a bath regular like. Once a week whether we needed it or not!
I tried ta explain ta her that God made dirt and that he put it all over the ground, so He musta liked it awful much. I told her that they learned us in Bible school about how God formed the whole Earth, then He said it was real good. Ifin the whole earth was good, that meant dirt were good too, in my reckonin’. She hadn’t heard any a my learnin’ and I never could get outta my Saturday cleanin’. I reckon I’m a gonna has ta fetch the Preacher man an’ make her listen ta him one o’ these days. Why it just weren’t right that a body scrub off what God had worked so hard and spreadin’ round.
But on the morrow, Billy would be here! Maybe I would let Momma have her way and not fuss up tonight. I been thinkin’ that even God might not be too bothered ’bout ruinin’ all that nice dirt fer a celebration like that.
Still, I sure will hate scrubbin’ off all that nice tan I been workin’ on all week.