Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Follow-Up To Dad's Gun...

I was talking to my Mom about Dad's old gun yesterday, and got a little more history about it.

The story about how Grandpa King came to own the gun is probably like many other stories from those times, and could be a good indication of things to come.

It's the time of the Great Depression in America. Jobs are scarce, part time work was almost impossible to find. Homes were lost and families , unable to feed themselves, left the cities looking for work in the harvest and and other farm work in the country.

Many of the people that fared the best, although not that much better, were the Farmers that owned their land and were able to at least to grow their own food to feed themselves and their families. Such was the case with Grandpa and Grandma King, who had a small place in the country, complete with some farm animals, such as goats, that helped to furnish food for the family.

The story goes that one day a man and his family, traveling by in a wagon, stopped by and requested a little help from Grandpa king. It seems as though they had no food or money, and one of the children was sick. The mother was no longer able to furnish the milk needed for the child. The father was asking Grandpa King about making doing a trade for one of the milk goats, and although he had no money he did have a nice gun...a Winchester Model 1873. He offered to trade the Winchester to Grandpa King for the milk goat for his family . Both men must have been satisfied with the trade, I'm sure that a handshake sealed the deal because that was the way most business was done with country folk back then. Still is the way that most things are done today with most country folks. A man's word, his handshake...that's all that was needed to do most business.

Anyway, that's the story the best as my Mom remembers it. Grandpa King owned the gun until his death, then the rifle became my father's. Lots of history behind that old gun, as there is with many things that we all have around if we just ask and research a bit.

Wouldn't it be something if we could get back to the old ways of doing things? I'm talking about the way that a man was as good as his word, and a handshake was all it took to do a deal. For most country folks, that way of life is still the case...but for the Folks on the Hill, it is a foreign way of doing things and always will be. Maybe what they need the most, is a small dose of "the common man" in their soul! Maybe that would help...just maybe!

C'mon, my friend...let's get a fresh cup of coffee!

10 comments:

Did it MY way said...

My handshake, and my word is worth more to me than my life. My dad and my grandfather would have liked your family. I have five generations from Kentucky. The only reason I was born in Detroit was because my dad left Kentucky for the lure of big money in the factories up north.
Great Story!

Ken said...

...great follow up...blood-gun,pure and simple...rest assured Brother,handshakes,and a mans word,still mean the same to me too...i will stake my life on both...

HermitJim said...

Hey Tony...I never doubted it for a minute, my friend. The common man is what built this country and gave it the backbone it needed.
It will be the common man that joins with others and that will, hand in hand, will offer America the backbone again to pull out of the hard times ahead!

Thanks for the visit!


Hey Ken...eye to eye, shoulder to shoulder, the army of common men will still be the strength ans concience of this great country...I got your back and you got mine, that much I know.

Thanks for the visit, my friend!

FarmerMechanic said...

Jim,
My family and I still do business that way to this day(although on the high dollar transactions we draw a contract).The smaller stuff is always our word and a handshake. Even when I repair stuff on the side I often use bartering rather than cash or check. I put a clutch in a guys pickup and he gave me a half of beef. I helped another guy fix his field drains for a months of weekends and he gave a me classic car he had in a barn that I wanted. Lately a fellow gave me a bunch of goose meat if I would make up a batch of jerky and smoke it and give him a portion back. If you become "known for keeping your word" people will keep coming back to you to trade and barter.

Mayberry said...

Great story Hermit, that really is something. Farmer I wish we all could get back to that....

HermitJim said...

Hey FM...letting your reputation state what you are all about is a good way to build a business, and some friendships. Barter is an excellent way to pay or get paid for services, I think.

Thanks for coming by...


Hey Mayberryglad you liked the story. Always good to learn a little family history through passed down stories.

Thanks for the visit, my friend!

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Farmer Mech, Mayberry,Did it My way... we're headed to those days again. I don't spit in my hand, but it's profference is gooder than goat's milk... which, as the guy whom traded with my great grandpappy seemed to know, is pretty good stuff...

Lydia said...

Great story Jim,

I agree with Cygnus that we're headed in that direction again. I see it in my small little town already. Not a bad thing, I would say.

lydia

HermitJim said...

Hey Lydia...glad you came by today. Glad to hear that folks near ya are doing it the old fashioned way. Speaks well of your neighbors, I would say.

Thanks again for stopping by ...always glad to see ya!

hsjacobus said...

What a fun read! Being into genealogy I love stuff like this and it's funny you mentioned the handshake method of doing business. That's the 2nd time in one week someone's mentioned it:) It would sure cut a lot of red tape if everyone would simply agree to a few simple rules and not try to find every loop hole around them. Keep it simple like a handshake!