Funny Things from Yesterday: Clean your plate and you can have some dessert

Robert N. Tidwell, Sr.

It seems like a few years ago folks could get together much easier for family gatherings and visits than we can nowadays. I can remember many times we visited our kin folks on Sunday afternoon and had dinner with them. Those Sunday dinners could not be beat.

As my mind goes back across the years to those days, I remember many visits to Aunt Ivalene and Uncle Kermit’s house. They lived in downtown Logan, Alabama.

I’m sure each county in Alabama had a little community like Logan. Logan had a general merchandise store with a gas pump, a gristmill, a Baptist church, a Methodist church and Logan School. Logan has changed over the years. The gristmill is gone, the store is gone, and the school is closed. Most of the people I knew have gone also.

My cousins, Peggy and Ray, were little children back then. Ray was the youngest and still had to sit in a high chair at the dinner table. We had just eaten a good Sunday dinner and were about ready for dessert when Aunt Ivalene noticed that Ray’s plate was still loaded with vegetables which he had not eaten.

She said to him, “If you clean your plate you can have some dessert.”

Ray didn’t seem to understand that “clean your plate” meant eat your food.

He picked up his plate and turned it upside down on top of his head. Mashed potatoes and gravy stuck in his hair, peas slid down across his face, and creamed corn trickled over his ears. He was really a mess.

After the laughter died away and Ray was cleaned up, we decided that he had done the best job of anyone in cleaning his plate, so he got to enjoy his dessert along with the rest of us.

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