SEEING THE ELEPHANT- PART 9
Well the time came for us to travel to Poison Springs. Pard and Pard and I drove the 95 miles to the area and arrived on Friday in the late afternoon. We help put up tents and set up our campsite with a row of tents for our entire unit along with a company camp fire. About 15 of us showed up for the reenactment.
Some of the boys were starting to cook dinner which included canned pork n beans as the main course. Pard took one look at that and said let’s go to town and search for better fare. So we jumped in my car and struck out for town. We were about 4 miles from town and were passing what looked like a beer joint with a flashing beer sign. I had made the decision to keep going when Pard said it’s a grocery store. I made an immediate U-turn and we went back; parked; and went in.
If you have ever seen an old movie that has a country store with chairs around a pot-belly stove, this store was the epitome of that store. We had our Confederate uniforms on, so we were accepted at once. Everyone wanted to know about the reenactment that was to be held the next day. Pard displayed his usual extroverted personality, which means everyone was his friend. He quickly became the center of attention and was loved by all. Pard got some crackers and a can of tuna and I got a ham sandwich. We found out that the owners were cooking Bar-B-Que for sale the next day. We asked them to save some for us.
Pard was still talking with the owners when I sat in one of the chairs by the pot-belly stove. The stove wasn’t lit due to the exceptionally warm weather for the end of March. There was an older lady sitting there also. And after a few words of conversation it was revealed she was the mother of the brothers that owned the store. We began talking about old times and she shared what it was like around the area back in the 1940’s. I didn’t realize how many people came to work in the ordinance factories that were in this area of the state. Apparently the population had doubled back in that day and time.
Pard and I finished our meal and hated to leave such good company, but we drove back to the camp and reentered the 19th Century.