Saturdays have always been a bit strange for me. For most of my childhood, Saturdays were spent at my grandparents salvage store. Tucker Salvage was the hotbed of activity in rural north St. Clair County Alabama. Railroad salvage meant boxcars of a little bit of everything. My grandparents sold produce, tobacco, dog food, hand-cut meats, canned goods, motor oil, reams of fabric, Hee Haw overalls, records, tires, popcorn, meal, furniture and coca-cola in 6 1/2 ounce bottles.
Every Friday night and every Saturday morning from the time I first recorded memories until I was in about the 9th grade, my mom and dad would load up the Dodge with my sister and I, and we’d spend every minute at “THE STORE”. I didn’t play with the neighborhood kids on Saturdays. Didn’t go shopping on Saturdays. Didn’t do anything away from the store.
Mom ran the cash register, the meat cutting department, cut fabric and poured loose dog food and laundry detergent into brown paper sacks. Dad did a little bit of everything. He loaded and unloaded trucks. Answered questions from customers and help them find 30w motor oil and transmission fluid. In the early days he pumped gas and probably helped get the live minnows into buckets for fishing.
My sister and I tried to stay out of the way. Sometimes I’d grab my b-b gun and shoot at the gopher rats in “the green building”. Sometimes we’d rummage through the boxes, looking for a toy or a football. I remember not having a real football to play with so my buddy Grover, who’s mom also worked weekends at the store, and I wrapping a tin can filled with pebbles with newspaper and duct tape so we’d have a “football” to play with.
Once the store closed, I didn’t know what to do on Saturdays. It was new territory for a 15 year old kid. The rest of my friends had long found ways to spend the weekends but not me.
And so I think for that reason, Saturdays have always been sort of an undefined point of time for me. Even today.
The past two Saturdays we’ve had some things to do, but not nearly enough to fill up the entire day. So tonight, Cameron and the kids were sound asleep by 8:30. Nothing’s on tv to watch, so I’ve been sitting with my laptop and with Baseball Tonight on ESPN. A search of iTunes found a podcast of one of my favorite “undiscovered” bands, The Zac Brown Band. I heard them first a few years ago on The Rick and Bubba Show and mail-ordered their first CD. The podcast I’ve been listening to the past couple of hours is a live performance of them demo-ing some of the new songs from an upcoming cd.
Check them out if you have a few minutes of nothing to do. “Chicken Fried” is a fun song, sort of country/rock. But “Whatever It Is” is one of the best songs I’ve heard in quite some time. No link here, but it’s on iTunes.
Now it’s 10:30, about the time we’d just be getting home from The Store.