Opinion – 3/14/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 14, 2003

The Panolian Editorial

For additional opinions and articles,
pick up the 3/14/03  issue of The Panolian

There’s No Telling the Tales That Await Us …

Killed my first mosquito the other day. Two actually.

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But they were Arkansas mosquitoes, so I don’t know if they count or not.

After living in a low humidity and mosquito rare area for the five years before I came here, I’m trying to get psyched up for a Mid-South spring and summer.

Not that I haven’t experienced them before. I have. For most of my life. But one can become spoiled to low humidity pretty darn quickly.

But nevertheless, I, like most of you probably, am getting a touch of spring fever.

Have had the enjoyment of riding horses several times lately and noticed there are lots of jonquils blooming and those yellow bushes – I don’t know the name – are starting to bloom, too.

I was telling my mother about having ridden with Paula Johnson the other day and that I rode a gaited horse. Mostly, I’ve ridden quarter horses. And there was my burro, Pedro, when I was little. I cried when "they" wouldn’t let me name him Trigger. But that’s another story.

Anyway, my mother, who is 84, was asking me about the horse’s gait and recalled from her childhood a particular gentleman who rode a gaited horse.

She sounded out the four-beat sound.

"He was the only one who wasn’t afraid to ride by our house when I had scarlet fever," she said.

She remembered that her mother would bring pots and pans to her for her to put her pained hands on to cool them.

"Didn’t you have malaria, too?" I asked.

She laughed and said she had that mosquito-borne disease several times.

"Everybody did," she said. "Daddy kept extra quinine and would give it away."

I’m glad Sugah told me about the man on the gaited horse. I’d never heard that story before.

As I get older, I appreciate the stories she can share all the more.

And when her generation is gone, sadly many of those stories will be, too.

So, maybe it’s a good idea if we all slow down and listen to the living history lessons that are waiting to be shared by our elders.

There’s no telling the stories we’ll hear.

(Kate Dickson can be reached by email at: editor@panolian.com)