When you were a kid, did you experience smoking your first cigarette? Well, I did and you’re gonna love what happened.
I need to first acquaint you with my grandmother, Amy Dawes (we called her Mawdie), who was a smoker, and my grandfather, Tilghman Ray Dawes (Pawdie). Mawdie descended from Germans and Cherokee Indians. She grew up in a house with her grandfather who was a wine maker; her grandmother owned a turkey business. I don’t remember Pawdie; he died in a car accident when I was two years old. He was on his way home from Paducah and had been drinking when a semi-truck hit him head-on. He called me “his little movie star;” that’s me sitting on his lap and his dog Ranger. I wish I could have known him. The first house I remember them living in was an old two-story house and there was a scary room which I will talk about in another story.
Mawdie worked at Ted’s grocery store which was within walking distance of our little block house. When I was old enough, I went with her to the store each Wednesday to help her price and put away the supplies. My aunt would bring her to our house and we would walk to the store. I had to use a wax pencil to write the prices on the can goods. She would give me a quarter and furnish my lunch. I thought I was rich because candy bars, cokes and ice cream cost 5¢ each so I could get lots of junk. I usually spent every penny too.
One of my girlfriends lived near the store where Mawdie worked and she would come to the store to buy cigarettes for her mother. Sometimes, if I had finished my work, I would go to her house and we would play. One day, we decided we would try smoking so she came in as usual to get her Mom’s cigarettes when in truth, they were for us. We happily left the store and went to her brother’s trailer which was parked behind her parent’s house. And, they would have killed us if they had known we were messing around in their trailer. Anyway, we opened the pack and lit up a couple of cigarettes and we really thought we were big shots too. When we tried to inhale (because that was what you were supposed to do), we both started coughing and gasping for breath.
Now, here’s the funny part – I had seen Mawdie light her cigarettes from the gas stove so my friend thought that it couldn’t be that hard and she decided she would try it. Yep, you guessed it, she singed her eyebrows and eyelashes and it smelled gawd awful. It stunk up her brother’s trailer so much that we had to open all the windows to get the smell out. She was really scared that she would get into trouble if her parents noticed that her eyebrows and eyelashes were singed and tried to fix them as best she could. Anyway, we smoked nearly every one of those cigarettes. I don’t think her parents ever had a clue, or never let on if they did. See how clever we were!
See ya next Wednesday. And, don’t forget to check your answers for Tuesday Trivia on Friday.