By Wayne Dozier
Growing up in a small community had its advantages as well as it’s disadvantages. I only know of the advantages. I can’t recall ever wishing I lived somewhere else. I am so thankful for being able to grow up in the country and have my life influenced by so many great people. As I grow older I recall just how important one person is. I remind myself how many times one person said or did something that has influenced my life. It makes me realize that God may want to use me in the same way. I try to ask God daily to let me be that special person in someone’s life. Saying a word of encouragement, pointing out the good of what someone says or an action that they do could influence another person the rest of the days of their life.
I want to write about many daily experiences and how they have made my life so fulfilling.
Hog Killin Day
When I was young, I remember on cold winter days we had hog or cow killing day. Killing the hogs was so much more fun. I don’t know why. We had a family called the Crosby family that did our meat processing; they had it down to a knack. Mose Sr. was always in charge with his sons, Mose Jr. and Monroe helping. We did not have the Federal Government inspecting everything so we could kill our own animals and sell it in the store to the public.
They always let me help do anything that I wanted to do. I got to shoot the rifle and kill the animals. I got to slit their throats and bleed them. We would then take a hog and slide it into a 50-gallon metal drum that we had poured hot water into. We had a big fire going under a large black wash pot to heat the water. This made the hair more flexible and we would scrape the hair off with a large butcher knife. We then hung the hog up by it’s hind feet. There was a tendon that you could hook to that would hold up the entire weight of the animal. We then put a #3 wash tub under the animal. I got to slice the stomach open and all the insides came pouring out
into the tub. Cows were not put in hot water, but after killing them we bled them; then hung them up and they were gutted and the hide was cut off. It could be sold for a good price. I usually did the most exciting things. I got to help cut the animal in half. We would then cut the head off. Many people would take the hog’s head and grind it up and make what we call today souse meat. Many families that did their own butchering at home would have a smoke house. This was a small building used only for the smoking of the hams and bacon. However, before the hams and slabs of bacon could be smoked, they had to be cured by covering them with salt to preserve them. This would take several months before they were pulled out of the salt bin and washed and then smoked in the smoke house. Dozier’s store only sold fresh meats so we did not do all of this. We sold pig feet, pig tails, and pig ears and all the other portions of the hogs and cows; steaks, ribs, roast and all the other items of beef and pork just like you buy today in the grocery store. We would cut up the pork and grind it up to make sausage. My job was to feed the meat grinder. We did the same to cows and made ground beef. People were always glad to get fresh meat. I cherish the memories of those days. It taught me many valuable lessons that I have taken with me through my whole life.
I would like to take this opportunity to make a point that I feel is being neglected in the raising of our children of today…I am not saying all parents/grandparents are doing this but I’m afraid many are. Did you notice how many things I mentioned that the adults let me do even though I was very young. They may have told me what and how to do a job, but then they let me do it. I’m sure I made a lot of messes! Now days parents/grandparents don’t seem to have the time or should I say, don’t want to take the time. I know we don’t have the same kind of jobs around the house as we did back in the olden days. But cutting the grass, trimming the yard, painting, washing the family car, cleaning up the house and the list could go on…..I’m afraid many parents/grandparents of today have an attitude that I want it done right so just let me do it. Are we treating our future adults of tomorrow right by doing this? I have felt this opinion coming from talking with many children and teens over the years. I now read this from many of the testimonies that the prisoners write!!!
THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT WHAT I THINK-WHAT DO YOU THINK??
Mr. Dozier is the Founder and Director of Family Home and Parenting Ministries and a resident of Elmore County.