Cranks My Tractor

Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 09:24 AM.

He loved the Atlanta Braves, although through the years that I worked at the newspaper, the Braves were never very good.  But still, we talked baseball and about other topics a grandfather would talk to his grandson about.

When I look at those chairs, I can almost hear Mr. Reese humming a little tune, “tat a tat tat tat.”  He was a like a blues or jazz singer stuck on the same tune.  His humming seemed to be loudest on Fridays, particularly paydays.

As I got older and was allowed to drive the newspaper’s van, I would chauffeur Mr. Reese over to a house where they seemed to selling something in Dixie Cups out the backdoor.  He seemed to hum a little louder when we would make those stops on Friday afternoons. That was ok…

Mr. Reese didn’t even own a car or want one; he caught rides back and forth to work.

He was a good man, who enjoyed life and took it easy, a lesson that we all need from time to time when we get in a hurry. 

Whatever was in the Dixie Cups seemed to get him in a little trouble at home though, because his wife, “Ms. Helen,” did not approve of it.  Ms. Helen was a school teacher and one of the best cooks around.  She made these pecan candy things that I was always happy to help eat when I would go over to Mr. Reese’s house, which was pristine.

Mr. and Mrs. Reese never had children.  They would have been good parents.  To the day he died, Mr. Reese thought it was his fault that they lost the one child that she was carrying.  He told me the story many times.

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