Elnora at age Fourteen

Elnora at fourteen

After grandpa left, the house was quite for a while. The twins were preparing to go off to college. Samuette said she didn’t want to go to school in town. Samuette was afraid daddy would make her live at home. She wanted to live on campus. Samuette said experiencing college life for real was the experience she wanted. It didn’t matter to Samuel. He had a full scholarship in football to a school out in California. The Last of August came and the house was really empty with the exception of Little Earl and me.
Actually, Little Earl wasn’t so little anymore. However, we still called him Little Earl. He would tell me of the days Gramps lived with us. Every so often, Gramps would revert back to his childhood days. One day Little Earl told me he caught Gramps beating his clothes. Little Earl asked Gramps what had the clothes done to deserve such a beating? Gramps told Little Earl he was cleaning his clothes. When he was a child his mother toke the clothes down to the stream and made he and his sister beat them. Little Earl told him, he was not near the stream and we didn’t beat our clothes anymore. Little Earl was too young to remember the ringer washer and the number three tubs. He just took the clothes and threw them in the washing machine. Later he took them out and threw then in the dryer. All Gramps said: It’s just like the Bible foretold; man will become weaker and wiser.
I stayed busy with my state tours on the weekends. The speakers had gotten so few, we rode the church vans. One week we rode Pastor Dykes’ van and the next week we rode Pastor Jones’ van.  Most of the parents who wanted to go drove their own cars. Things went well until we came to the city where Lemon lived. He was now a basketball star.
Lemon lived happily with his Mom. Together they found his sister and his brothers. They were all living together. His oldest sister married, had another child and they lived in another state. The rude sister that jumped on the school bus had a job and assisted her mother and the family.
He made the team after shooting ball over the summer. Lemon Pettaway was awesome. Lemon could score from half court. After Christmas we took a break with our tours and I kept up with high school basketball. Daddy even said: “Look out Bill Russell! Lemon Pettaway is on the court”.
We listened to high school games on our radio because no TV Station carried high school games at that time. Lemon led his team to victory. They were state champions. Mr. Pettaway would even be friends with Daddy during basketball Season. My uncles would come by the house and listen to the games with daddy and Mr. Pettaway. One day, after a game, the announcer called Lemon over. He said: “You know you are a triple threat. You are the captain of your debating team. You are the highest point scoring man at this school, ever. You are on the honor roll. You have a while to think about this. Where will you go to college? Will you go to college? You don’t have to go. The NBA will make you a first draft. If you keep going
The way you are going, they would be crazy to let you slip out of their hands. Mr. Pettaway screamed Yo! That’s my boy! Momma said: What if he gets hurt? Uncle Bob shouted she is right. The boy needs an education to fall back on. The first time I ever heard daddy disagree with Momma. Daddy said: if he doesn’t get hurt, he is going to be one of the richest men on the planet. He’s my hometown boy. From that day to this Daddy, Daddy’s brothers, Mr. Pettaway, the church and the people in our little town called Lemon, Hometown.

Now, here I was facing Lemon, the hometown favorite.