By Garland Davis
Orville was back in his hometown of Possum Creek, NC. It is a no stoplight town halfway around the mountain from the larger town of Possum Holler. He was back from Winston=Salem where he had worked setting poles to hold electric wires through the summer. Winter is coming and they don’t set poles in cold weather except in an emergency. That have their regular workers for that.
He was sitting on the front porch of Ledbetter’s store smoking a ready roll and drinking a Big Grape. He had heard his cousin Jebibiah, it was supposed to be Jedidiah but his mama and the county clerk who filled out his birth certificate had a combined education of third grade, was back from Balt’more. Jebibiah was the best they could do. Everybody called him Jeb except his mama, she called him Jed. She maintains that no matter how it is spelled, his name is Jedidiah and should be called Jed. She picked that name because she was watching Beverly Hillbillies when he was conceived. She loved the show and never missed an episode. Her old man had to go to work and didn’t want to wait till it was over cause it would have made him late.
Jeb/Jed pulled up in a new red, white, and chrome 55 Ford convertible car.
Jeb climbed the steps onto the porch and said, “Hey, Orv! How ya doin?’
“I’m purty good,” Orville answered. “You done took up car stealin’ these days? I know you ain’t got ‘nuff money to buy one a them tars on that there car much less the car.”
“You wrong there boy. I went up there to Balt’more and got me a job voting. I tell you, money is falling off the trees in Balt’more. I made almost ten thousin dollars in one day. Like pickin’ money up offin the ground.”
He continued, “I’m gonna get me a drank. What kind a Co Cola you want? I’ll get you one.”
“One a them Big Grapes.”
Jeb went into the store and shortly returned with the drinks and a couple of Phillies cigars. He handed the drink and a cigar to Orville.
Orville exclaimed, “Damn, a twenty-five-cent cigar. I’ll bet you be shittin’ in indoor torlets these days. Is it really that easy to get a job in Balt’more? I might just run up there when I git enough money for a Greyhound ticket.”
“I tell you, I bet I didn’t walk more than ten feet from the bus station when this feller offered me a job. I tell you Boy. Money is falling off the trees in Balt’more. Tell you what I’ll do. A ticket from town is $9.46. I’ll loan you $20 and you can pay me back when you come home.”
“Okay, I’ll do it!”
Jed, or is it Jeb, took two tens from his billfold and passed them to Orville. He said, “I’ll give you a ride home to git yer stuff and then drop you at the bus station over to the Holler. The bus leaves in about two hours and you’ll be in Balt’more by tomorrow mornin’.”
Shortly after dawn the next morning found Orville strolling along past a park about a block from the bus station. And there on the ground, under a tree, he spied a brand new $50 bill. Orville became elated and bent to pick it up. Suddenly he stopped and looked at the bill and said, “I ain’t gonna work on my first day in Balt’more. I’ll pick you up tomorrow!”