2018-01-10 / Opinion

First time for everything

By Roger “Buck” Davis

That first step you take as a child, that first bicycle ride without falling, that first time you stay home by yourself, and who could ever forget the first time the preacher scares you so bad at a revival you think the devil is coming to get you the next minute.

Now I don’t remember my first step, but I do remember my first time riding my bicycle without falling. We were living behind Tully’s Service Station. I learned to ride on the street between the library and Miss Ella’s shelling plant, right in front of the water tower, which is now the parking lot next to the fire station. I had a lot of cuts and bruises before I made it all the way from one end of the street to the other. What a feeling, especially since the bicycle came from the good old Western Auto.

I don’t know how our parents knew when I was old enough to stay by myself, but one day Mom and Dad had to go somewhere and wouldn’t be back until late and they said, “Fix you what you want from what’s in the fridge and turn out the lights when you go to bed.” After they drive off, you feel free and don’t have to answer to anybody. You can do what you want, watch what you want on the three channels that we had back then, stay up as late as you want.

Things were going great until you looked around, and it was getting dark. Then you wonder what time mom and dad are getting back, and you say, “I will just stay up until they get back.” Wrong, you start to hear things outside and noises that you never heard when your parents were home. You begin to get sleepy, but you are a little afraid to go to bed before they get home.

Then you think, I am 12 years old, and all most a teenager, what is there to be afraid, so you jump into bed, pull up the cover and stay awake until you hear that special noise of the door opening and one of you parents coming into your room to check on you. Acting like you are asleep, you say, “Y’all got back earlier than I thought. Did you have a good time?” You brag about everything went fine, and you were not the least bit sacred. After they kiss you good night, you think, “Boy, am I glad they are back,” and settle in for a good night’s sleep.

In this computer world that we live in today, you can see devils, demons, and all kinds of monster computers generated on any given night on the tube. But when I was a boy of five attending revival at Salem Free Will Church, the visiting preacher was talking about the devil himself and he did it so good I could visualize just what he looked like, and listening to this evangelist, he had me convinced the devil was coming to get me that night.

I was so afraid when he asked did anyone want to come down and be saved from this devil, I shot out and down that aisle so fast Mama couldn’t grab me quick enough. But then she walked me back to my seat and told me she thought I was a little young yet and when I was a little older I could be baptized. Funny thing, I was 27 years old before I went down that aisle again. I guess I was finally old enough, and I am sure it made Mama proud.

Now the last thing you think of is losing one of your parents. But it happens, as we lost my mother, Clyde, right after her 57th birthday. Even though there is a first time for everything, that is the one thing in life that you can never be prepared for. There is no book of instruction for losing a loved one.

Life gives us a lot of opportunities to do things for the first time. Some we do well, and sometimes it is a total disaster, but when you sit down and think about the good ones, it makes you feel proud of yourself. Remember sometimes we have to make a few mistakes when doing something for the first time, to appreciate when we do some of them just right. After all we are only human beings, and nobody is always perfect.

May God bless. RTD.

On the way to warm Tampa, FL.

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