We just wrapped up reporting from the Neshoba County Fair for WJTV. It was hot, but that’s nothing new. In fact, there’s not much new at the fair at all. I think that’s the attraction — it doesn’t change much from year to year. The lifestyle of the week of the fair is about what it was 50 years ago. There is comfort in the stability of something that stays the same when hardly anything else does anymore.
I think that’s why it was a jolt when Miz Jo told me our granddaughter Taylor and husband Michael were getting a new dining room table and offered us the old one, and she wanted it. I could visualize it fitting in our dining room perfectly. The only problem— it would replace our old table.
The lifestyle of the week of the fair is about what it was 50 years ago. There is comfort in the stability of something that stays the same when hardly anything else does anymore.
The old one is the first table I ate a meal from after I graduated out of the highchair. I have no idea how old it is. Older than I am for sure.
It’s an oak pedestal table. With the leaves inserted, it sat my whole family. Mamma sat at the foot, when she sat. Most of the time she was picking something up or putting something new on the table. She did that three times a day — every day. We all sat at the table and ate. It was a long time before TV trays came along at our house.
Daddy sat at the head of the table. He read a chapter from the Bible every morning at breakfast. He worked for my aunt and uncle. My uncle got the idea that he didn’t need daddy anymore. So, one morning before breakfast he called daddy and fired him. Needless to say, it was a shock. But dad took up his Bible and read his chapter that morning, anyway. It just so happened to be Luke 6, where it reads, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you.” My family’s life may have been entirely different had that verse not been in the reading that day. Daddy lived it. Everything turned out okay for us in the long run.
I remember the Rook games after church Sunday night at that table with church friends coming over for coffee. Christmas card addressing, homework being agonized over, stories told, and laughter.
I got the table when dad and mom moved to a smaller house and bought the furniture from the folks who moved out.
For years, the only times we ate at the table would be Thanksgiving and Christmas. I never read the Bible to the family from it. Maybe I should have.
The old table is in the garage now. I’ll cover it with a sheet of plywood and use it as a work bench. The one from the grandkids looks grand. It will catch the mail every day when I come in. Can’t wait to eat a meal off it. How long is it until Thanksgiving?