George Smith: In an old file cabinet, some 'stuff'
Sep 08, 2013 | 2822 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sometimes the memories from the forgots have aged, without notice, into the back drawer of the memory until, on a lazy day, you open an old filing cabinet and begin going through your...

Stuff . . .

In the bottom drawer is an old folder of son-and-heir’s young years as a jock.

In the folder is an Alabama football program from 1979. The “kid” is on the cover, one of five game captains for Wichita State.

There are also certificates of All-County football honors, of East-West All-Star Baseball, a copy of a letter from the late Paul “Bear” Bryant on his having a “good mother.” There is no mention of his dad. There’s also some clippings on basketball and track from his years at Saks High School.

Had I not been the sports editor in those years (wouldn’t write about him), he’d probably be a legend in the minds of others rather than just his old man’s.

Stuff . . .

A picture someone emailed me back in 2003 of Barney leaning against the Mayberry police car. Saddam Hussein is in the back seat. It’s a trick photo of course, but good humor.

Stuff . . .

A fading photo of a small woman wearing an apron and a handkerchief tied three-cornered around her head. She is somewhere in her 80s, her name is Zone Cobb Brooks and she is my great–grandmother. There are memories of the times I played under the giant chinaberry tree in her front yard. She was 97 when she died.

Stuff . . .

A hardbound book entitled “Up Front.” Published in 1944, it is a collection of Bill Mauldin’s cartoons from Europe in World War II. His heroes are two tired, dirty, bearded infantrymen by the names of Willie and Joe. They made Mauldin famous.

On the inside of the front is the name “Don Butsch” written in green ink.

Stuff . . .

A copy of the magazine Alabama School Journal dated September of 1963.

On the cover is a lovely young lady and small cotton-topped boy. There is a five-foot stack of books between the two. From inside:

“School beginner Barry Smith of Anniston eyes with awe a sampling of the volumes that lie between him and a high school diploma.”

The teenage girl is Linda Lee Biggers. She had graduated from Anniston High in the spring of ’63.

Yeah, he’s my “kid.”

Stuff . . .

The A section of the New York Times, Nov. 5, 2008. The top headline is one word:


I saved it because Obama was (and is) the first person of color ever elected president of the United States. Thought it might be worth a lot someday. My guess is I couldn’t get $1.50 for the price paid back then. But I’m still going to keep it just on the chance he does something good for our country.

Stuff . . .

Nineteen of those little-bitty packages of black pepper you get at restaurant drive-throughs. I have no idea why I saved them. They are now in the trash.

Stuff . . .

Four shoeboxes full of cassette tapes of the old country music. And yeah, I still have a player for them. Roy Acuff and Eddy Arnold and Hank Williams are in there. In fact, I also have a turntable to play my LP vinyls. I’m keeping the cassette tapes ‘cause I KNOW my heirs won’t want them, but will have to figure out how to get rid of them . . . without hurting my feelings.

Stuff . . .

Two boxes of deposit slips from First National Bank of Anniston. Not only is First National an old memory, its building on Quintard is under the sentence of a wrecking ball.

Where did all the money go?

Where did all the time go?

The good news is there is still time for some new “stuff.”

See you in church . . .


George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or email:

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