Thunder Bank
Bev Vines-Haines
Doorknobs Winner
I sold tomatoes and okra door to door in 1981.  A full two quart baskets for a dollar.  Loaded it all in my wagon and usually managed to fill and empty it three or four times a day.  I also grew those vegetables.  My father gave each of us kids a patch of earth every spring.  All we had to do was till it and plant.  My brother and sister sold me their patches for just five dollars each every season. 

With the free hand tiller borrowed from my father, ten dollars to my siblings and another ten dollars for seed and plants, I was in business.  My first twenty sales paid for it all and the rest I buried under Ol’ Thunder’s dog house. 

I was a middle child.  I am convinced middle children do all the worrying for entire families.  Aggie and Jake, my siblings, frittered their summers away with friends.  My question, did they not listen?  Nearly every night at our dinner table our father gave a clear warning.  “You kids better be aware.  I hate the dole.  If I lose my job this family will starve to death before I take welfare.”

I wasn’t so much striving for perfection as I was covering my own behind.  I liked to eat.  I liked money for comic books and movies.  I didn’t figure out for at least ten years my father was just spouting his opinion.  He owned his company and could not be fired.


First published: May, 2013
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