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Mr. Mothershed was an essential business

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

Howdy friends!

Been tough times on us all lately. I sincerely hope and pray that you and your family will be ok during these trying times.

On my sign last week I had up “Matthew 17 Verse 20 Will Defeat The Virus.”

I truly believe this with all my heart. We’ve got to have faith folks. We need to pray for our leaders and keep a constant faith in Our Lord that between them and our medical community we will find an end to this invisible enemy.

The CDC recommends for all of us to “Do The Five”.

1. Hands : Wash them often.

2. Elbow : Cough into it.

3. Face : Don’t touch it.

4. Space : Keep a safe distance.

5. Home : Stay if you can.

We can protect ourselves and others by taking these simple steps.

We’ve lost some good men lately, not from the Coronavirus, but simply because it was their time and the Lord called them home.

One in particular was Mr. John Mothershed, owner of our local Western Auto Store in town for many years.

I told a story about him on The Local Yokels Show last Saturday and The Panolian Editor asked me to put it down on paper for ya’ll.

My Daddy owned the service station across from the Courthouse in the late 60’s until 1975 when we moved to the highway where we are now.

The Batesville Square was a great place for a kid to grow up. My brother Mike and I ran all over that square to Mr. Howard Mize’s, Mr. Bufkin Lightsey’s, Mr. Pat Mullins’, Mr. Flint’s, Mr. Anderson and everywhere in between.

Mr. Mothershed had the Western Auto store that was located where the Civitan Building is now. Mr. John financed everything in his store. He also offered a layaway plan.

I guess I was around 10 years old when Mr. John had something in his store that struck my desire button something awful. A brand new solid white with red and blue stripes, chrome wheels, knobby tires, sissy bar and even a gas tank, the bonafide Evel Knevel bicycle. I had to have it.

I ran back to the shop and told my Daddy about it and he went back over there with me to look at it. In 1974 the sum of $120  was big money to pay for a bike. Most bikes don’t cost that much now in the big chain stores, but they’re not a genuine Evel Knevel bike either.

So, we worked it out with Mr. John. He let me put the bike on layaway at his store. School was letting out for the summer and I would use my paycheck from working at the shop to pay $10 a week on that dream machine.

You see my Daddy had a shop and he figured the best way to keep his two boys out of trouble was to put us to work. It was not a choice on our part, but after I was grown I appreciated the knowledge, skill and work ethic my Daddy taught me at a very early age.

By the time school was starting back I had paid most all that was owed on the bike. One last payment was left I believe. Daddy took me over there and he paid the last payment for me.

We lived on Tubbs Road. The seventh house from Hwy. 6 was where I grew up. Daddy got in his truck and followed me all the way home as I styled and profiled my brand new Evel Knevel bicycle.

I always thought about that bike every time I saw Mr. John. I bought a lot of stuff from him over the years from guns to guitars to lawnmowers.

A lot of discussion going on these days about what’s an essential and nonessential business. Mr. John ran a very essential business for decades. He was a very essential man for our community.

Take care of yourself, Friends. If you don’t have to get out then don’t. You might save yourself and your neighbor too.

God Bless the USA!