Blackberry cobbler, dance halls, and other great things


Here we are at the beginning of another summer where mosquitoes are big as buzzards waiting to bite me and snakes and other slithering creepy things are outside in the garden just waiting to “scare the hell of me” as my friend’s little five-year-old grandson said of a mouse once.

I can remember the time when going barefoot in the sandy dirt roads of southeastern Georgia and picking blackberries for a cobbler didn’t faze us kids. Heck, we probably scared more rattlesnakes than we even knew existed, and I’m here to tell you, they grow ‘em big along the banks of the “Hoopie” and cotton fields in that neck of the woods!

But “those were the days”! Coleman’s Lake and McKinney’s Pond were the local hot spots for good fresh fish and seafood. Everybody for miles around came to either place at one time or another and usually on the weekend. Each place had their own huge dance hall complete with the gigantic record player which played the popular tunes of the day, three for a quarter. On a weekend, there was standing room only usually and things were hopping! Folks would eat till they nearly popped, then danced the night away.

Both places had swimming pools with water so cold your lips would turn blue. Both also had bowling alleys and skating rinks at one time or another. Great places for families to spend Sunday afternoons after church or have family reunions. How many kisses were stolen in the softly lighted dance floors? How many “I love you’s” were spoken? How many cars got in the ditch on the way home because they weren’t exactly looking at the road? Ohhh yes, those were the days!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had that awesome kind of innocence and carefree lifestyle today? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go to Coleman’s Lake or McKinney’s Pond where you could leave your keys in the car and not worry that it would be stolen? Your little kids could go into the restaurant and play the pin ball machine and think they were cool while their mom and dad were in the next room doing the “shag”. Or the kids could all pile in the car and drive out for an afternoon of bowling or skating and swimming and be home by dark without their parents having a “hissy fit”. Wouldn’t it?

And how about that blackberry cobbler? Frozen blackberries just don’t cut it. Those blackberries that come picked from the side of the road that your bloodied hands picked that had road dust and those little brown seed looking things on them that must be washed good before you use them – now that what I’m talking about! That’s blackberry cobbler. With lots of sugar! And real whipped cream out of one of those squirt cans. Not cool whip! There’s a difference, you know.