Seems like me and Calvin ain’t never done a thing ever but work hard

Posted by | January 27, 2011

“Some boys git it in their heads that they can make a sight of money selling liquor. The law cracks down on them almost as soon as they git a start. We see it happen every day around here. You’ve got to keep the law paid off a good and plenty or else the penitentiary is where they’s going to land. Now if they does pay off, where is the profit left from selling? Ain’t none. So there they is. I told Cap if he had it in his head to do that, he better be clearing his head of it right now.

Doris Uhlmann photo“I don’t blame him one bit for having his mind set on making a little money to have fun on. Seems like me and Calvin ain’t never done a thing ever but work hard all our lives. Some folks find pleasure in going to meeting on Sunday. But it’s no church I’ve had sight of here in Knoxville where the ones coming in and out ain’t dressed up fit to kill. Some says it’s all the same in the eyes of the Lord about how you dress. But I knows if He’s got sense at all, He knows our clothes is too wore out for Sunday strutting. I know they’s shabby in my own sight.

“Calvin and me both can read right well. In times back we use to read the Bible pretty much. But seems like you always come across something you can’t make out straight. So we just stopped reading it. Looked a pure shame, as wore out as we was, to read things that upset your head.

“I guess I got on to the main of it, though. I know that Jesus Christ died to save sinners. And all that me and Calvin have to do is trust in Him. And we do. And we believe in Him. I don’t see where they’s any way to keep me and Calvin out of Heaven. Calvin moved away from the mountains to keep a killing from happening. That clears what’s said about not killing. We ain’t never stole and have always told the truth. We never brought false witness against nobody.

“They’s more to it, but I counted them off one day and we is all right. Calvin and me ain’t never harmed a living soul in our lives. So I ain’t bothering about Hell if I never gits inside the door of a Knoxville church. When me and Calvin gits there I’d be more than glad to do what I could to help others git in.

“They’s some folks, not a thousand miles away from here, that are going to need a heap of help. Ah, Lordy, yes!”

Lola Simmons
Knoxville TN 1938 or 1939

Such as Us: Southern Voices of the Thirties
by Tom E. Terrill, Jerrold Hirsch
UNC Press, 1978

Lola+Simmons Knoxville+TN Tom+E.+Terrill Jerrold+Hirsch moonshining religion+in+Appalachia appalachia appalachian+mountains+history

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