Whitesburg KY

Time to dig out long johns

It looks like it is time to dig out the longj ohns and brogans. At least that is what we called them, what we looked forward to in many instances.

The long johns, which many people called long handles, meant we could stay fairly warm without having to wear so many layers of clothes. The brogans were usually our new and only pair of shoes for the year. We went barefoot in the summer until after the first frost.

After we had gotten our brogans broken in good, they got a good rubdown in lard to keep them soft and somewhat waterproof — or at least water resistant.

The bad thing about the brogans was the sprigs (nails) that held the bottoms (soles and heels) on. The sprigs always seemed to be sticking in our feet, especially our heels.

We would have to beat them down with a hammer and add a layer of cardboard inside the shoe, but the cardboard didn’t last very long and we would have to add a fresh layer.

Cardboard was also used on the walls of the house, inside for insulation, and put on with carpet tacks or in many cases, roofing nails.

Mail order catalog pages were used were pasted over the cardboard. Anything was better than looking through the cracks to the outside, and it kept the snow from blowing in during the winter.

The long johns were washed once a week, dried, and put back on since we usually only had one pair. If you had more than one pair, you were well off.

We didn’t know we were poor because no one told us. We assumed everyone lived the same way we did. We raised most of what we ate, including our meat.

Nature has reclaimed the areas we used to raise our food. Nothing looks as it did through the eyes of a child. When left alone, the farmland will be reclaimed very quickly by nature.

The same goes for homes. If left unventilated, they will rot to the ground. When they are occupied they get enough ventilation to keep mold and mildew from being a problem.

You can tell if a house has been unoccupied for a long period of time as soon as you enter it, just by the smell. If you don’t circulate air into your closet once in awhile, your clothes will smell about like a deserted house.

Some people simply hang their clothes outside once in awhile to let them get ‘aired out a mite,’ then hang them back in the closet.

That’s all from the funny farm until next time.

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