Great Jehoshaphat and Gully Dirt!
186 Pages
English

Great Jehoshaphat and Gully Dirt!

-

Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

Description

**This is a COPYRIGHTED Project Gutenberg Etext, Details Below**
GREAT JEHOSHAPHAT AND GULLY DIRT! By Jewell Ellen Smith Copyright (c) 1975. All rights reserved.
Please take a look at the important information in this header. We encourage you to keep this file on your own disk, keeping an electronic path open for the next readers. Do not remove this.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **Etexts Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *These Etexts Prepared By Hundreds of Volunteers and Donations* Information on contacting Project Gutenberg to get Etexts, and further information is included below. We need your donations.
Great Jehoshaphat and Gully Dirt! By Jewell Ellen Smith Copyright (c) 1975. All rights reserved. October, 2000 [Etext #2357C]
The Project Gutenberg Etext of Great Jehoshaphat and Gully Dirt! ******This file should be named gjagd10.txt or gjagd10.zip****** Corrected EDITIONS of our etexts get a new NUMBER, gjagd11.txt VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, gjagd10a.txt We are now trying to release all our books one month in advance of the official release dates, for time for better editing. Please note: neither this list nor its contents are final till midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement. The official release date of all Project Gutenberg Etexts is at Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the stated month. A preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion, ...

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 08 December 2010
Reads 73
Language English

Exrait

**This is a COPYRIGHTED Project Gutenberg Etext, Details Below**
GREAT JEHOSHAPHAT AND GULLY DIRT!
By Jewell Ellen Smith
Copyright (c) 1975. All rights reserved.
Please take a look at the important information in this header. We encourage you to keep this file on your own disk, keeping an electronic path open for the next readers. Do not remove this.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**Etexts Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**
*These Etexts Prepared By Hundreds of Volunteers and Donations*
Information on contacting Project Gutenberg to get Etexts, and further information is included below. We need your donations.
Great Jehoshaphat and Gully Dirt!
By Jewell Ellen Smith
Copyright (c) 1975. All rights reserved.
October, 2000 [Etext #2357C]
The Project Gutenberg Etext of Great Jehoshaphat and Gully Dirt! ******This file should be named gjagd10.txt or gjagd10.zip******
Corrected EDITIONS of our etexts get a new NUMBER, gjagd11.txt VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, gjagd10a.txt
We are now trying to release all our books one month in advance of the official release dates, for time for better editing.
Please note: neither this list nor its contents are final till midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement. The official release date of all Project Gutenberg Etexts is at Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the stated month. A preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion, comment and editing by those who wish to do so. To be sure you have an up to date first edition [xxxxx10x.xxx] please check file sizes in the first week of the next month. Since our ftp program has a bug in it that scrambles the date [tried to fix and failed] a look at the file size will have to do, but we will try to see a new copy has at least one byte more or less.
Information about Project Gutenberg (one page)
We produce about two million dollars for each hour we work. The
fifty hours is one conservative estimate for how long it we take to get any etext selected, entered, proofread, edited, copyright searched and analyzed, the copyright letters written, etc. This projected audience is one hundred million readers. If our value per text is nominally estimated at one dollar then we produce $2 million dollars per hour this year as we release thirty-two text files per month, or 384 more Etexts in 1998 for a total of 1500+ If these reach just 10% of the computerized population, then the total should reach over 150 billion Etexts given away.
The Goal of Project Gutenberg is to Give Away One Trillion Etext Files by the December 31, 2001. [10,000 x 100,000,000=Trillion] This is ten thousand titles each to one hundred million readers, which is only 10% of the present number of computer users. 2001 should have at least twice as many computer users as that, so it will require us reaching less than 5% of the users in 2001.
We need your donations more than ever!
All donations should be made to "Project Gutenberg/CMU": and are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. (CMU = Carnegie-Mellon University).
For these and other matters, please mail to:
Project Gutenberg P. O. Box 2782 Champaign, IL 61825
When all other email fails try our Executive Director: Michael S. Harthart@pobox.com
We would prefer to send you this information by email (Internet, Bitnet, Compuserve, ATTMAIL or MCImail).
****** If you have an FTP program (or emulator), please FTP directly to the Project Gutenberg archives: [Mac users, do NOT point and click. . .type]
For a list of all archives, visithttp://promo.net/pg
ftp metalab.unc.edu login: anonymous password: your@login cd etext90 through etext99 etext00 etext01 dir [to see files] get or mget [to get files. . .set bin for zip files] GET INDEX?00.GUT for a list of books
**Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor** (Three Pages)
***START** SMALL PRINT! for COPYRIGHT PROTECTED ETEXTS *** TITLE AND COPYRIGHT NOTICE:
GREAT JEHOSHAPHAT AND GULLY DIRT!
By Jewell Ellen Smith
Copyright (c) 1975. All rights reserved.
This etext is distributed by Professor Michael S. Hart through the Project Gutenberg Association at Carnegie-Mellon University (the "Project") under the Project's "Project Gutenberg" trademark and with the permission of the etext's copyright owner.
LICENSE You can (and are encouraged!) to copy and distribute this Project Gutenberg-tm etext. Since, unlike many other of the Project's etexts, it is copyright protected, and since the materials and methods you use will effect the Project's reputation, your right to copy and distribute it is limited by the copyright laws and by the conditions of this "Small Print!" statement.
 [A] ALL COPIES: The Project permits you to distribute copies of this etext electronically or on any machine readable medium now known or hereafter discovered so long as you:
 (1) Honor the refund and replacement provisions of this "Small Print!" statement; and
 (2) Pay a royalty to the Project of 20% of the net profits you derive calculated using the method you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. If you don't derive profits, no royalty is due. Royalties are payable to "Project Gutenberg Association/Carnegie Mellon-University" within the 60 days following each date you prepare (or were legally required to prepare) your annual (or equivalent periodic) tax return.
 [B] EXACT AND MODIFIED COPIES: The copies you distribute must either be exact copies of this etext, including this Small Print statement, or can be in binary, compressed, mark-up, or proprietary form (including any form resulting from word processing or hypertext software), so long as *EITHER*:
 (1) The etext, when displayed, is clearly readable, and does *not* contain characters other than those intended by the author of the work, although tilde (~), asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may be used to convey punctuation intended by the author, and additional characters may be used to indicate hypertext links; OR
 (2) The etext is readily convertible by the reader at no expense into plain ASCII, EBCDIC or equivalent form by the program that displays the etext (as is the case, for instance, with most word processors); OR
 (3) You provide or agree to provide on request at no additional cost, fee or expense, a copy of the etext in plain ASCII.
LIMITED WARRANTY; DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES This etext may contain a "Defect" in the form of incomplete, inaccurate or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other infringement, a defective or damaged disk, computer virus, or codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment. But for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described below, the Project (and any other party you may receive this etext from as a PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext) disclaims all liability to you for damages, costs and
expenses, including legal fees, and YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE OR UNDER STRICT LIABILITY, OR FOR BREACH OF WARRANTY OR CONTRACT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
If you discover a Defect in this etext within 90 days of receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending an explanatory note within that time to the person you received it from. If you received it on a physical medium, you must return it with your note, and such person may choose to alternatively give you a replacement copy. If you received it electronically, such person may choose to alternatively give you a second opportunity to receive it electronically.
THIS ETEXT IS OTHERWISE PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS". NO OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE TO YOU AS TO THE ETEXT OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY BE ON, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of consequential damages, so the above disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you, and you may have other legal rights.
INDEMNITY You will indemnify and hold the Project, its directors, officers, members and agents harmless from all liability, cost and expense, including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following that you do or cause: [1] distribution of this etext, [2] alteration, modification, or addition to the etext, or [3] any Defect.
WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO? Project Gutenberg is dedicated to increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be freely distributed in machine readable form. The Project gratefully accepts contributions in money, time, scanning machines, OCR software, public domain etexts, royalty free copyright licenses, and whatever else you can think of. Money should be paid to "Project Gutenberg Association/Carnegie-Mellon University".
*SMALL PRINT! Ver.04.29.93 FOR COPYRIGHT PROTECTED ETEXTS*END*
**This is a COPYRIGHTED Project Gutenberg Etext, Details Above**
GREAT JEHOSHAPHAT AND GULLY DIRT!
By Jewell Ellen Smith
"Great Jehoshaphat and Gully Dirt" is presently out of print. It is reproduced here in its entirety. Copies of the first edition of the original work are available by e-mail fromnkemp@busprod.com, orWSmithMD@aol.com.
Copyright © 1975. All rights reserved.
All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.
Click Here to go to the Jewell Ellen Smith Homepage.
Chapter 1
An usher I'd not seen before carefully wheeled my chair down the center aisle and over to the right so that I would be facing the pulpit. Most Sunday mornings I sat on the opposite side of the church. But this usher didn't know that. Oh well, no matter.
The usher was saying something to me, but before I could adjust my hearing aid, I had to push my shawl back and slip a glove. By then, he had quit talking.
He let my chair roll to a stop so close to the chancel rail. I could have reached out and kicked it with my foot—that is, I had been in the mood to kick a chancel railing and if I could have moved either foot.
I was almost in a kicking mood!
No, no! I shouldn't think of such a thing as kicking that brass rail. I should be wishing I could kneel down before it. Somehow, though, my mind wasn't on praying.
The usher stepped back, then hesitated.
"Will this be all right, Mrs. Goode? Can you hear Dr. Shirey's sermon from here? Or would you rather be a little over toward the choir and the organ?"
"This is fine. Thank you kindly." I was surprised the man knew my name.
He smiled and handed me the morning bulletin.
The minute the usher's back was turned, I clicked off my hearing aid so that I wouldn't have to listen to the pastor's sermon, the organ, or anything else. I just wanted—well, I didn't know exactly what I wanted.
The only reason in this round world I kept coming to Central Avenue Church was that it was right across the street from Crestview Rest Home, and I had to get out and away from that place once in a while. Crestview wasn't so bad, as nursing homes go. In fact, it was all right. Still, any rest home is a sad comedown from one's own house—and such a change.
As the congregation filed in, I looked about me. The sanctuary, quiet and beautiful with its stained-glass windows, its high, arched ceiling, and its deep carpets, was the only serene spot I had found since I came to the city. Out on the streets all was rush, confusion, turmoil—enough to drive one to distraction.
Here, too, I managed to block out for a little while the feeling of helplessness I'd had since I became so frail. The doctors kept saying that my general condition was good and my arthritis might improve some. But as yet I couldn't see much change.
To make myself lift my head and quit looking at my stiff, swollen knees, I turned toward the nearest window. I liked those green velvet curtains and the matching cushions on the pews. Both were the exact color of an Arkansas pine in early spring, when it takes on new life and puts forth myriads of tender buds, each a creamy, candle-like shoot, lovely enough to adorn a sacred altar.
I gazed at the candles on the altar and at the open Bible, crisscrossed with its narrow scarlet ribbons. The sight of that Bible was always a pleasure. It brought back memories my old church down at Drake Eye Springs—small, standing so calm in its grove of aged white oaks.
That little church had everything a big church has—except a steeple. But the colored folks up at Sweet Beulah Hill had a
steeple. They had built a tall belfry and spire for church, and Sweet Beulah's bell could be heard for miles.
But it wasn't green curtains or candles or the memory of old country churches with their Bibles and bells that drew me to this large sanctuary. And it wasn't the quiet beauty of the room that made me want to come. It was my duty to be in some church.
Besides, the young minister had invited me to attend. I didn't care for Dr. Shirey's sermons. Not yet. But I did like him, and no doubt his sermons would improve. After all, a preacher is like wine. To warm the heart, each must age.
Young Dr. Shirey visited the nursing home every Tuesday afternoon, talking and passing the time of day with each of us. He always let me talk of my late husband Wallace, of our children and grandchildren. Lovely youngsters, little Vic, Nan, Jodie. Dr. Shirey seemed to understand why I refused to go live with any of my children after my health failed so.
Sometimes the young preacher and I discussed religion. One day I took up practically an hour of his time with the tales about my preacher grandpa, Grandpa Dave. Dr. Shirey was intrigued with the old man's ministry. And for some reason or other, he was delighted to hear about Grandpa's double buggy and his matched white mares, Martha and Mary. He said it made him wish he could have been a country preacher back in horse-and-buggy times.
I was much concerned for Dr. Shirey. Standing there now behind the pulpit, he looked bone tired. And no wonder, for besides his parish work he was forever running here and there—to the juvenile detention home, the clinic for alcoholics, the mental health center, the Black ghetto. Often, he told me, he got discouraged over it all.
Never did I mention to him how I felt: bewildered, lost, like an autumn leaf caught up in an angry storm and carried far away from its forest, a leaf that longed to stay where it was, there to turn golden yellow, then brown, and finally, late on a winter evening, to flutter to the ground and to its sleep beneath the trees.
Nor would I ever breathe to my young pastor that some days I was utterly cast down, so broken in heart that I wished I were a little girl again and could run and hide under my grandma's bed.
I couldn't confide such a thing to Dr. Shirey. It would show I had lost courage —as so many older persons do when change comes with the years. Half the patients at Crestview are like that. They don't want to keep up. They want to look back. My roommate has that attitude, and I try to tell her not to give up, to face the present, to look to the future. It's all right to remember bygone days with a grain or two of nostalgia, but there's no need living in the past.
I was doing just that—remembering bygone days—while I waited for the choir to finish its anthem. When I was a little girl in Arkansas, in the section of low Ouachita hills that lies between the Mississippi River and the Red, our manner was slow and simple, down to earth as gully dirt. The horse-and-buggy days were already fading away, but we didn't sense it. The swift pace that was to come, virtually overnight, was still undreamed of. There were not many automobiles, no superhighways, no jets, and no spacecraft. In south Arkansas, the fastest thing on wings was a thieving chicken hawk, and anything in the sky bigger than a buzzard was referred to as a "flying machine."
There seemed to be fewer problems then. Nobody had yet thought to build nursing homes and institutions for this, that, and every other kind of person with a complaint. The elderly, maimed, halt and blind were sheltered beside the hearth of their blood kin.
The Negroes I knew—Shoogie, Doanie, Sun Boy, Ned, Little Stray, and all the rest—lived out in the country close by us. I couldn't have managed without Shoogie, for she was my main playmate, even though my sister Mierd and my brother Wiley were still living at home. Why, if it hadn't been for Shoogie, I never would have learned to build a good frog house in the sand. I'd love to see Shoogie again. After she married Doanie's oldest boy, they went off to the West Coast. I'd like to be with her, climbing pine saplings, wading in the branch, and jumping deep gullies!
We were all eating our white bread then and didn't know it.
There were no alcoholics. A heavy drinking man was a sot, a sinner. Women didn't drink—or if they did, they didn't tell it. And as for mental health, it was an unheard-of term. Any persons slightly off were said to be "curious," or at worst, "touched in the head." They were tolerated by family and friends, while those considered dangerous were sent off to be locked up in the state asylum.
Ah, old man Hawk! He must have had a mental problem! I hadn't thought of that old coot in years. I wonder what a psychiatrist would have said about him. And Miss Dink. She didn't have a mental problem; she was just blind and had to be looked after. Fortunately her niece, Miss Ophelia, gave her a home. And Ward Lawson, Miss Ophelia's husband! Now he was sure a sot drunkard—an alcoholic if there ever was one.
One summer afternoon Mama had let me ride with her in our buggy to visit Miss Dink, who, at that time, was living with the Lawsons on the run-down Crawford place some few miles beyond Rocky Head Creek.
I had a gourd dipper in my hand and was skipping along the edge of the woods on my way down the path to Miss Dink's spring. My hair, braided tight, was tied with ribbons that flipped and rippled as I bounced along the trail. I could smell honeysuckle blooms and climbing jasmine, and I was wishing I had the time to chase the yellow butterflies that were swooping and fluttering zigzag from bush to bush. But Miss Dink had wanted me to hurry to the spring and bring her a gourdful of fresh water. She had said, "It ain't far from the house here to the spring, sugar. Just stay in the trail till you hit the branch and turn down left a little ways."
Then she had skimmed her bony fingers over my face and braids to find out how I looked. "Ah, Nannie," she said to Mama while she still had her hands on my cheeks, "I can tell you and Jodie won't have no trouble a-tall marrying your baby off. She's pretty as a pink. What color's her eyes and hair?" Miss Dink patted my head.
"Her eyes are sort of greenish blue, like a gander's. And her hair's about as yellow as a crooked-neck squash when it's good and ripe. But that don't matter. If Bandershanks does as well as she looks, she'll fare fine."
"Just so she ain't got buck teeth. Many's the old maid I've seen with teeth like a beaver."
"Well, we can't be sure about her teeth yet. She's still got her baby set." Mama looked down at me.
I kept thinking about Miss Dink's eyes. Mama had told me she was losing her sight. Poor thing. The minute she said I was pretty as a flower, I knew she was plum blind, for I wasn't pretty. It hadn't been two days since Wiley had told me I looked exactly like a billy goat.
Mama was saying, "Bandershanks, you take Miss Ophelia's gourd out of the water bucket on the porch and run get some fresh spring water. Follow the trail now, like Miss Dink said."
I was following the trail, but I was beginning to think I wasn't ever going to find that spring. Then I heard Mister Ward Lawson yelling at his wife.
"Good God A' mighty, Ophelia! Damn you! What in God's name are you doin' down here, roamin' round at the branch this time of the evenin'?"
"Just looking for berries, Ward."
"Berries, hell. You're lookin' for my still, that's what you're doin'. Huckleberries ain't ripe yet!"
"Still? What still?"
"My whiskey still!"
Miss Ophelia dropped the basket on her arm. "Lord help my time. You must be lying to me, Ward."
There they were, right down the trail in front of me—Miss Ophelia wringing her hands and twisting them up in her flimsy apron, Mister Ward shaking his fist at her.
I darted behind the nearest sapling.
"Naw, I ain't lyin'! I'm aimin' to turn out some first-rate whiskey and roll in big money doin' it!" Mister Ward grinned and let his clenched fist unfold so he could push his hair up from his eyes. His fat, sweaty face was as red as his hair.
"Don't you know somebody'll turn you in so quick it'll make your head swim? Folks in this settlement ain't gonna allow no whiskey-making!"
Mister Ward spit out a wad of tobacco and wiped his shirt sleeve across his mouth. My papa didn't ever let his shirt get as dirty as Mister Ward's.
"You wanta bet?"
"There ain't a drinking man in Drake Eye Springs, 'cept you! They'll ride you out on a rail, even before the Law gets wind of it."
"Hell, gal, that's where you're wrong! Ain't nobody findin' out about my still. It's gonna be hid good. Quit wringin' your damn hands! That's all you know to do ever' time I try to tell you somethin'. Com'ere. Lemme show you the spot I got picked for settin' it up at." He grabbed his wife's arm and they started up the branch. The bottom of her skimpy skirt caught on a briar vine, but Mister Ward wouldn't wait for her to untangle it, so it got torn.
I had already noticed when Miss Ophelia lifted her apron that her dress was stretched so tight against her stomach it was like a sack on a rooster. But Miss Ophelia didn't look much like a rooster. The freckles, thick on her face and arms, made her look more like a poor little brown speckled wood thrush wearing a bonnet and being dragged along by one wing.
She kept stumbling on with Mister Ward, and he kept shouting to her about some contraption he wanted to build. I couldn't figure out what he was talking about. But, whatever it was, Miss Ophelia didn't like it.
"See this level ridge? My platform for the mash barrels is gonna be right 'long here under these willows. Ah, here's