Thursday, January 7, 2016

Why I Like Talking to My Husband

I am supposed to be the storyteller in this house, but the truth is, my husband is the real storyteller. He can tell more stories about his childhood than I can about my entire life, I swear.

Take this evening as an example. We stopped for a break after a day of working on things for our booths in the antique malls. He's been cleaning up a huge school bell, getting some pieces of picket fence and some old doors ready to go. I've been working on some small items and a dresser my son is buying.

We talk. A lot. It might sound odd since we're retired and spend a lot of time together. Sometimes days go by with no one else's company but each others. I guess we should get on each other's nerves and sometimes we do, but most of the time we're too busy. And we enjoy talking to each other.

Today as we sat talking in the kitchen, Larry mentioned that he was glad we had sold that old pot belly stove that he'd cleaned up a few weeks back. And that reminded him of a story.


Larry at the Holstein family cemetery
"There was this bar down to Olcott (the coal camp where he grew up) that had a big pot belly stove right in the middle of it, and they'd keep that thing red hot. The place had a high ceiling so they needed all that heat. They had two doors at the back. One door said MEN and the other said WOMEN. But if you tried to go through them thinking they were bathrooms, well, look out! Because they open to the outdoors and it was a five-foot drop to the ground."

A few minutes later we were discussing a big pot of beans we'd cooked for me to can. I was tired, and not feeling much like doing it and Larry said, "Well, they'll just have to go sour then." And then he remembered something else.

"That reminds me of when I was working for the City of South Charleston. We picked up the trash you know. And back then people didn't use liners in their trash cans, they just put it all in there and we had to dump it out. Pretty disgusting. There was one old guy you could count on. Every Thursday there would be a big old pile of sour pinto beans in his trash can, and it smelled, oh my God, did it smell! He'd come out and say, "Boys, I thank you for your trouble. And he'd give us a dollar bill tip. Shoot, I'd have given him two dollars not to have to empty his trash!"

Bill Holstein's grave
Larry grew up when times were hard and money was scarce in the coalfields. As our conversation continued this evening, he got to talking about his distant cousin Bill, who lived in a log cabin with his two sons, so far back in the hills most people would never have found that cabin. Talking about Bill reminded Larry of a story.

"There was a baseball field at Olcott where guys got together to play ball. People didn't have a lot of money, and a lot of the guys didn't bother to register or license their vehicles . It didn't really matter, since it wasn't like they were driving on the highways.

"Well, one day someone called the law on the guys at the ball field for some reason. Maybe they were being too rowdy or something.Anyway when they saw the cruisers, well, cars and trucks took off in all directions. One guy pulled up under a bridge and the law drove right over top of him. A Kirk boy took off for Bull Creek and a cruiser went after him. There was this big mudhole in front of Bill's house and the Kirk boy almost didn't make it through. Mud was slingin' everywhere. But he pulled out and took off up the road. The cruiser hit that mudhole and son, that was all she wrote. I never did know how they got that car out of there but it was sunk good, mud slung clear up on the roof."

So, who's the real storyteller here? I bow to the competition!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

9 comments:

Wanda Violet said...

Really great!

B. WHITTINGTON said...

Our boys have as many or more stories than we have Susanna. Larry reminds me of my Ray. One thing would remind him of another and on and on. He lived in the country on a farm. I grew up in a small town. We had such different experiences. We were still trading stories up til his death. He was interested in what I had to say and I wanted to hear what he had to say. Mutual admiration society.

Jenny said...

I love it! It sounds so much like my daddy telling stories. :) I wish I could sit & just listen.

Brighid said...

Wonderful stories!

megan hicks said...

And when we have the Holsteins as house guests, it's double-barreled storytime. You all need to come to Philadelphia again. Soon.

Granny Sue said...

Megan, we definitely do! Maybe this year :)

janet smart said...

Larry reminds me of Charley. He's a good story teller, too.

storytellermary said...

What a great team! <3

Quinn said...

I love a good storyteller! I call it a tie :)

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