Bring it on Down to My House Honey

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The little boy front and center is my dad Kenneth (aka Ken, aka Benjamin, aka Ben).  My dad grew up in Central Texas during the hard lean times of the 30’s and 40’s.  He was the second child in a family of eight children.  His family was dirt poor and barely had enough money for food and clothing.  In order to survive they all spent many long hours out in the fields, picking cotton.  Life was hard, but they got by as best they could.  The one thing of great value that they possessed was their talent.  The whole family consisted of a hodgepodge of talented musicians, singers, songwriters and storytellers.

His family had very few possessions, but there was always an old guitar or fiddle in the house.  When my dad was about six years old, he was allowed to start learning to play the guitar.  He was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn and like the rest of his family, was blessed with a natural talent.  He learned to play by ear while listening to a songs on the old battery-powered radio and then figuring out the correct chords to play.  In no time at all he was playing entire songs and singing along.

One Sunday after church my Papaw, who later became a minister himself,  invited the Preacher over for Sunday dinner (in the South dinner is the meal served at noon and supper is the evening meal.  (For a of humorous explanation of supper vs dinner check out the Real Southern Men blog:  http://real-southern.com/2011/07/13/twanglish-lesson-supper-vs-dinner/)  After dinner, which I’m sure consisted of fried chicken, pinto beans, collard greens, cornbread, and tea cakes for dessert, my Papaw was eager to show off his son’s newly developed talent to the visiting Preacher.  Papaw said “Ken go get your guitar and play us a little something.”  Little Ken acted shy at first, but with a bit of prodding from my Mamaw, he tuned up his guitar and belted out the following song:

“Well, bring it on down to my house honey there ain’t nobody home but me.  Bring it on down to my house honey I need your company.  Yeah, your momma won’t fret if you bring it over here.  Preacher won’t know and the neighbors don’t care.  So bring it on down to my house honey ain’t nobody home but me.”

To this day my dad is still hilarious and full of mischief.  Thank you Dad for showing me the importance of music, the art of storytelling and most of all for having such a great sense humor.

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About Lori Carter

Hello, my name is Lori and I’m a true child of the seventies. I grew up in a small Texas town. If you’ve ever seen the movie Dazed and Confused then you’ve seen a glimpse of my past. I’m a mother, storyteller, lover of nature, cooking and exploring natural folk remedies for addressing today’s health concerns. I hope you enjoying reading my little blog and I welcome any comments you may wish to share with me.

22 responses »

  1. He sounds like an awesome fellow. He has a great sense of fun and that sure helps get through the hard times.

    Growing up in Newfoundland lunch was dinner and the evening meal was called supper. It was confusing when I travelled elsewhere and heard supper called dinner.

    My grandmother Maude and my uncle Bill learned the accordion on their own an both played/play wonderfully. I didn’t hear my grandmother as she died in her forties. Two of my sons learned the guitar mostly on their own. I’m sure your dad would love this tribute to him. Hope you shared it with him!

    • Thank you, Pauline. He is pretty awesome. He taught me how to play the guitar by ear too. His whole family can play all kinds of instruments and sing beautifully, but very few of them were musically trained. I’m going to show him this story today. I hope he likes it!

      Blessings to you!

      Lori

    • Pam, Yes we are so blessed, but I miss our family gatherings. It’s seems like when Papaw died a part of the families heart went with him. I might have to make a trip to Elgin on Easter Sunday so I can hear some good singing and see my sweet family again. 🙂 Love you to stars cousin!

  2. Lori, I love reading about your childhood. I don’t what it is exactly, that gives me this sense of warmth and community, but when I picture all of you, I see a family who truly loves one another.

    “The whole family consisted of a hodgepodge of talented musicians, singers, songwriters and storytellers.” This line made me grin from ear to ear.

    If I am ever out your way, I will to stop by and meet you — I just have to! We’ll put my husband on the cajon, I’ll grab a hair-bush or something I can sing into and we’ll have ourselves a good ol’ fashion hoedown!

    Xoxo

    • Cara, you should see our family reunions! We all eat and tell funny stories then break out the instruments. We have someone on the piano, a couple of guitar players, a bass player, a steel guitar player, a fiddle or two and some of the best singers on earth. There is just something about a family singing harmony that touches the soul. Sadly, the family is scattered all over now, living busy lives and we don’t get together like we used to. That’s why I’m writing our stories, so they will live on with the next generation.

      If you did come, everyone would hug your neck, bring you a plate of food then drag you up on stage to join in!

      xoxo!

  3. that’s what i’m going for. being remembered by my kids and friends as a story teller, but i’ll never have the “real world” education that man had.

  4. 🙂 I would certainly enjoy knowing your Dad! What fun he must be! The lyrics of that song are absolutely hilarious – nothing like impressing the local minister! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this Lori. Love it!

    • Dor, You would like him, he’s a lot of fun. Up until the last year he played in a Western Swing band and traveled all over the Southwest. I’m so glad you enjoyed this story! 🙂

  5. When I am next in Texas we are all getting together! I am now so guilty of dinner misuse as it was always dinner and supper in my house. Supper was almost always kind of snack-y whereas dinner was the big hit. This is much the same in Italy and likely why it made sense to me so early 🙂
    Awesome is not nearly descriptive enough for this post!

    • Sounds great! We can meet for supper 😉 Sincerely Michael, thank you so much for the support. It means the world to me. My family has a jillion of these folk stories and we always tell them when we get together, but we get together less and less as the years go by. I know I’m not a real writer, but I want to get these stories documented before they get lost forever. It really delights and inspires me when a real writer such as yourself enjoys them. 🙂

  6. This is just wonderful. Thank you for sharing this about your father. He is truly one great man! Puts a smile to my face, that’s for sure!

  7. Lori! I love your dad and your stories about your family. I almost missed this. It’s a really wonderful post. As good as any recounting of family stories I ever read.

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