Monday, June 21, 2010

Pockets Filled With Treasures...!


You know, looking back on my childhood (which ended way too soon) one of the things I remember about the men I spent the most time around was the clothes they wore!

I don't ever remember thinking about it back then, and only in recent years does it even come to mind!

Most of my relatives were hard working country folk...and dressed accordingly. Most wore either khaki pants or jeans. Some wore denim bib overalls, especially the ones that farmed or ranched for a living.

Sometimes the clothes they wore were the uniform pants and shirts from what ever job they had at the time, usually with a name tag over the shirt pocket, just in case they ever forgot who they were!

Back then, permanent press wasn't even around, so nearly all the clothes smelled like sunshine and country breezes. That came from being dried on the clothes line in the yard! There's a certain smell clothes dried on the line have that's hard to explain unless you have experienced it first hand. It's a smell that I can still remember to this day!

No matter what the clothes were made of, the main thing I remember most about all of them was the many treasures that lay hidden in those pockets! I'll bet a lot of you know exactly what I'm talking about!

Walk up to any grown cousin, uncle, grandpa, or dad...ask for a piece of string or wire or a scrape of cloth or paper and someone would almost without fail have it!

Not to mention the ever-present hankie and the best treasure of all...the pocket knife! Now, the pocket knife was NOT for loaning out! It was usually worn almost smooth on the handle, and usually so sharp you could shave the hair on your arms with it. The blade was usually very much thinner than when it was new, due to the fact that it had been sharpened so many times! No dull knives in those pockets! The pocket knife was a tool, and as most tools, was cared for with much attention!

It might be just a pen knife, a single blade, a double blade, or even the occasional Swiss knife...but they were all used a lot and treated with respect!

Those wonderful knives could make toys, help in car or tractor repairs, remove splinters, gut fish, plug a water melon, deftly slice any fruit and even peel an entire apple with the peeling hanging all in one piece!

Oh, and let's not forget the other necessity! The pocket watch! Even though many of the men wore wrist watches, many, if not most relied on a good ol' pocket watch to keep the most accurate time for them. It was like the watch you took to church, or to the bank if you had business there!

The pocket watch was such an important part of a man's treasures, it had a special pocket all it's own in a lot of clothing!

Yeah, those marvelous pockets were just loaded with treasures! Might not be the same for everyone, but you can bet that the grown men of the country kind always had some version of these treasure handy. It was like they could almost anticipate what the kids might ask for or need...and have the talent to carry nearly all of those needs in their very special pockets!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! We can discuss what treasures you have in your pockets!

17 comments:

Diane-Sage said...

I love pockets. I'm a dress kind of girl, mostly hippie, farm, laid back style. BUT many of them there dresses have no pockets, therefore I wear a cobbler type apron w/pockets. Why? So I can carry all kind of things in them. So guess that puts me in with your fellas Mr. Jim. *smile*
Hope you had a beautiful Father's Day!

HermitJim said...

Hey Diane-Sage...
I think a woman that wears a dress and an apron is a perfect picture to me!

I can just see you now...carrying all kinds of good stuff in those deep pockets! Staying ready for anything!

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Nick Cooper said...

I know what yer talking bout! TY

HermitJim said...

Hey Nick...
Bet you had some kinfolk like that, huh?

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Anonymous said...

Some great rememberances there HermitJim, I remember quite a bit of those same items from my own Grandparents. My paternal Grandfather lived across the street from us until I was 18, and as long as I remember, his 'uniform' was khaki pants and longsleeve shirt, the later buttoned all the way up, even in heat of south Texas summers.

Had an old Case stockman pattern knife and the gold pocketwatch, I don't remember the make of that. Straw hat I can't remember the pattern of - sort of a fedora, but not really. That too was worn most of the time when outside.

He always had good advice when I went to visit him. He'd often pray the Novina in the middle afternoon, and I'd wait until he was finished.

Lots of great memories, thanks for writing this post. He passed away in 1981, many years ago, but I can still see this face and hear his words when I listen.

Ben in Texas said...

Good one, Sir,, the first thing I thought of while reading my my Uncle who always had the sharpest pocket knife ever!! Don't remember the overalls, but dang sure remember the khaki's and particularly his pocket knife. He would pull it out and carefully remove the entire hull from a pecan without breaking the meat!!! And he could clean a perch (or any fish) faster than anyone I ever met .

Kathie said...

Ahhh, Jim, thanks for the memories, its not often I can remember things from way back when but my grandpa was a railroader, B&O, wrecker operator. He always wore "dungarees", had the pocket knife and pocket watch, a gold Bulova. I loved him dearly, sadly he passed when I was 9 years old, but he made such am impression on me when I really start thinking I am able to recall lot of great memories. Thanks for the post!
Kathie

JoJo said...

Good Morning My Special One
Good post. Our family was pretty much city folks, but I remember visiting a farm or ranch when very young and even then my dad had on a white shirt and black slacks. But he did have a pocket watch which is now in my posesion, I will love it always and pass it on.

HermitJim said...

Hey Anon 6:10...
Guess that many of the thingslike these we remember were just part of life back in those times.

As I turn older, seems like I remember more and more things like this!

Thanks so much for coming by today!


Hey Ben...
Bet he made it look pretty easy, too!

It's amazing just how many details come to mind when we stopp and think about it!

Hey, I appreciate the visit this morning, buddy!


Hey Katie...
Many men in my family (on mom's side) worked the railroad. I can almost guarantee that most all of them had a good pocket watch!

Hope all the memories are good ones!

I really appreciate you coming by today!


Hey JoJo...
Isn't it funny how the memories of the "uniform" worn by most Dad's stay with us?

I guess when they found something that worked, they stayed with it!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by!

Mechanic in Illinois said...

I always have a sharp knife,watch,and pen and paper on me. If I'm around my kids, money in my pocket too. And not coins,they're 25 and 26. If somthing happened to me they wouldn't go for my watch and knife,they would go for my wallet. Thanks for another great lesson.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mechanic...
Funny how that works, isn't it? Many of us older guys seem to carry about the same things with us. Just the way that we were taught, I reckon!

Hope the cook out went well yesterday! Time spent with family is always good!

Thanks for coming by today!

Felinae said...

Thank you, Uncle Hermit, for sharing these wonderful memories. :)

Have a wonderful day!
Hugs~Fel~

HermitJim said...

Hey Felinae...
Always a pleasure to see you, my friend!

I'm glad you enjoyed the memories and I'm really happy you could drop in today!

Bob Mc said...

Hey Jim, that’s me you’re talking about; but then I’m older than dirt. Never owned a clothes drier in my life, and neither did my parents. In the winter I hang laundry inside on some racks next to a heater. The heck with the calendar; I say spring has arrived when it’s warm enough to hang things outside on the line again.

I’ve carried a pocket knife ever since I was 9 years old, and so did every boy I knew back then. Still do, and there will be one in my pocket on the day I die. Carry a pocket watch too. I’ve tried wrist watches, but I tear them up just doing the daily activities that I do. Safest place for a watch is in a pocket. I sometimes wear a vest too. More pockets!

HermitJim said...

Hey Bob...
Guess many of us are from the old school that believed in wearing things because they were practical and not because someone else did!

Thank goodness there are a few of us left!

Thanks for the visit today!

Tatersmama said...

Ahhh... you've triggered lots of great memories here! My grandpa (tobacco farmer) always had all sort of special things in his pockets, and as a special treat, he let us pick a pocket and then carry around his stuff while we walked the fields with him. I don't think any of us ever lost a single thing, either!

And the smell of my dad when we hugged him - with his lined-dried shirts, pens in the pocket protector and his unopened pack of Camels... It makes me tear up just thinking about it.
Lordy, but I miss the man...

HermitJim said...

Hey Tatersmama...
It's funny how some smells and such can trigger memories that are so very strong!

My dad always had a pack of Camels and Kool's in his pocket as well. Hadn't thought of that in a long time!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!