“It was the same year that an earwig climbed up my petticoat in the lunch line.
” And it was the same year I was taking piano lessons, but I couldn’t remember the day and I would walk over and knock on the piano teacher’s house and I would say ‘Is it time for my lesson?’ and she would say ‘No, it’s on Wednesday and is the check in the mail?’ and then I would knock the next day and she would say ‘Come on’ and if you had nails, she would cut them to the quick because she didn’t like nails clicking on the keyboard and I remember I had bruises on my back because the piano teacher kept thumping me on the back to keep time.
“And my parents didn’t care if I didn’t practice my piano because they ‘didn’t want to hear my banging’
” And it was the year, for the first time in Selma we had a black boy in fourth grade and Mamma said ‘Always be kind. Always be nice to him. But don’t bring him home to play.’
“And I didn’t have any friends that year as I had a big wart on my hand and no one wanted to be my friend because they would have to hold hands with me and touch my wart, when we stood in line. I stood by the honeysuckle vine in the playground and just chewed on honeysuckle all recess. Earl Dean didn’t have any friends either neither did his sister as they both had psoriasis and they had these big red bumps all over their skin
“And one day my mother grabbed me by the hand and we went to see Cecil Moore who worked at the A&P and she said he could cure my wart because he was the 13th son of a 13th son and they had the power to make warts go away. And Cecil Moore opened my hand and there was the wart and he rubbed it one way and he rubbed it the other and he said to me ‘Do you believe I have the power’ and I said ‘Yes Sir’ and he said that in ten days to two weeks the wart would fall off.
“And it did fall off and nothing else had worked, I had tried Compound W and everything.
“When it did fall off , I put it in a medicine bottle and put the cap on and when we went to the A&P , while my mother was shopping, I asked people if they wanted to see my wart and I showed it to everyone in the store and when my mother found out what I was doing, she dragged me to the car and swore that she never saw anyone who could embarrass the family so much…”
That is what I love about down South. Everyone you meet has great stories. And this woman couldn’t believe that I didn’t know that the 13th son of a 13th son can cure warts. I mean what do they teach us Yankees up North?