Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fred and Cecil

Do you ever read or do something that triggers a memory?  Well, I had that experience while listening to a conversation concerning ladders.  Remember, I came from a tiny village where everyone knew everyone else's business.  I am sure that it wasn't always appreciated, but being the nosy caring people that we were, it just happened that way.  Some of our information came from the postmistress who saw everyone in town at least once a day and some of it came from the family who operated the central phone office.  Yes, we still had a switch board phone system in the town where I grew up and everyone had a phone with a crank on it to ring the operator.  

You could always call the phone office if you wanted to know the correct time, where the fire was or what was happening at the school.  I really don't know how they knew the correct time as that was the days before cell phones or computers and that is how I find out the correct time today.  I guess they just looked at their clock which was probably fairly accurate and gave that as the correct time.  As for the other things that went on, I am guessing that they just learned a lot with their job.  You know how Sarah was on the Andy Griffith Show, well I imagine most phone operators who lived in small towns were pretty much  the same.  

I have gotten off the subject a little bit haven't I?  Oh well, you needed to know all of this too, I am sure. I will tell you about Fred and Cecil.  Fred was a carpenter in the community.  I am not sure if he was a full timer or just knew more than the other guys, who were mostly farmers or worked at the institution in the neighboring town.  (The institution was for mental patients, and that is another story)  Anyhow, Cecil and his wife decided to build a new house in town.  Their larger two story farm house was all the way out in the country, across the highway. ( I never did know why they wanted a different house, unless it was to downsize.) 

Cecil, couldn't build this house alone as he was also a busy farmer and besides, he just needed help.  Cecil hired Fred to help him.  They were progressing quite well on the house when they got into an argument.  They were putting on the roof and Fred wasn't doing things the way Cecil thought things should be done.  

Fred says, "Cecil, this has to be done this way to give things better support." To this Cecil replied, "This is my house, and I am paying you to do things the way I want them done."  This discussion went on for sometime and could be heard around the neighborhood.    After a time, Cecil told Fred to just take his tools and go home.  Fred obliged and left.  

Later in the day, people noticed that Cecil was still up on the roof, and all alone.  It seems that when Fred left, he also took HIS ladder.  Cecil was too embarrassed to ask for help.  I guess he got some things done and I am sure when he didn't come home, his wife would have went looking for him.  

Fred did go back and help Cecil finish building his new home and I am sure that Cecil even listened to him for advise.  


  1. This is a GREAT story. Fun stuff you got to experience in your small town.

  2. It's the week of roofing stories!

  3. Great story, I love to hear the stories from the "olden Days" they are some of my favorites.