Pete's News


Howdy folks! This here’s ol’ Pete and Rosebud comin’ at you again!

Well, it’s about time for all the young’uns up here in the holler to start back to school. There ain’t that many of ’em no more, not like it was when I was a kid. There ain’t no schoolhouse up here no more. They shut down our one-room school and opened up a brand new one in town. Everthing’s got to be new and up to date, y’know.

It seems like everbody’s tryin’ to keep up and be modern these days. Even ol’ Silas down at the store is havin’ a back to school sale this year, the first’un ever. How long has that store been down there? Silas’s daddy started it up sixty, seventy years ago and there ain’t never been no back to school sale. But now Silas is gonna have one.

Nobody ain’t asked me, but I don’t think we need no back to school sale now. It looks to me like if he was gonna have one, he’d a done it back when they was still a lot of kids still up here. Like I said, there ain’t that many kids lives up here no more. Oh, there’s still a few, but not near as many as they was before the sawmill closed. Most of the men workin’ down there had to move off to the cities to find work. ’Course when they left, they took their wives young’uns with ’em. About everbody that’s left up here now is old. Well, not that old but old enough to be outta school.

For another thing, what’s he gonna sell outta that ol’ store for back to school? Bib overhal britches? Them clunky ol’ high-top work shoes? Better yet, how ’bout he puts some of them tin surp buckets he’s got down there on sale? Thataway the little young’uns can use ’em for dinner buckets. That’s the only kind of stuff Silas has got down there, stuff that’s thirty years outta date, stuff they used to have back when I was goin’ to school.

People don’t want that ol’ timey stuff for their young’uns. Kids have got to have what the other kids have. Sometimes they wear bib overhauls, but they ain’t nothin’ like what Silas has got down there. They’re play-like overhauls, not the real thing. They’re fulla holes like they’re plum wore out. What Silas has got is the real thing, the kind that men wore when they was workin’ in the woods or down at the sawmill. They’re the kind their young’uns—boys and girls both—wore to school up here in the holler way back when.

Kids ain’t gonna wear ol’ fashioned stuff lke that to school no more. I wouldn’t if I was a young’un. I wore ’em back when I was a kid but I didn’t have no choice. I had to. And I wore work shoes too, but I didn’t like ’em even back then. I wanted blue jeans and fancy shirts like the town kids had, but us people up here in Gump Holler was pore as snakes. It wasn’t just my family. All of us up here was in the same boat. Everbody in school, boys and girls alike, wore what we had and we wore it ’cause we had to, not because we wanted to. But people ain’t like that now. Times has changed. Nowadays, most pore people has got a lot better stuff than the well-to-do ones up here in the holler had way back yonder.

Yeah, the times has changed but Silas’s store ain’t changed with it. Just ’cause he hangs out a sign sayin’ he’s havin’ a back to school sale don’t mean people is gonna flock in and buy him out of all that ol’ outta date stuff. Nossir, I’m perdictin’ there ain’t nothin’ good gonna come of this.

The people livin’ up here now go down to Silas’s to buy a few things they forgot to get when they was in town. But they’ll go back to town to get the stuff they need for their young’uns to go back to school. Either that or they’ll go to one of them dollar stores that’s popped up all over the place. Lord knows there’s enough of them! You can’t go nowheres without runnin’ acrost one of ’em.

And all the people that passes by on the main road down there, like the ones livin’ on over at Possum Trot and places like that, don’t never stop at Silas’s. They don’t know nothin’ about his store. What’s gonna happen if they see that sign he’s put out and pull in and stop? They’re gonna walk in expectin’ to see modern, up to date stuff and all they’ll see is that ol’ timey, outta date stuff. Then they’re gonna be mad. That’s when the trouble’s gonna start.

You know how them Possum Trot people are. They’re purty rough. I’ve heared tell that most of ’em pack pistols to church. I don’t know if that’s really so, but that’s what I’ve heared. I do know one thing. You don’t want to be messin’ around where there’s a bunch of rowdies hangin’ out, stirrin’ up trouble. I shore don’t. I think me and my mule Rosebud is just gonna stay plum away from down there ’til this back to school sale blows over.

Only thing is, I need a sack of flour for biscuits. And some of that oliver oil stuff to fry my taters in. Have you ever tried that oliver oil? I ain’t, but I’ve heared tell that it’s good grease. It’s s’posed to be good for you. But I ain’t for sure Silas has even got any down there. I guess we’ll have to ease on down there d’rectly and see if he does.

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