Remember When: Getting stuff done early on a steamy summer day

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By W.B. Evans

Editor’s note: When Bill Evans passed away in July, we had a few of his recent columns stockpiled, waiting to run. With his family’s permission, we will continue to publish them from time to time until we run out, in his honor.

Didn’t seem like the sun was up yet and Mama was shaking the cover and rousting me out of bed. It was a Tuesday, and either Aunt Bess or Mama had one of those afternoon ladies’ meetings.
On a hot summer day like this one, it was “up an at em” early, so to speak, to get as much done as we could before the heat of afternoon.
Main Street, at 8 in the morning, was a-bustle with folks. The filling stations were pumping gas, washing windshields, checking radiators or looking for flats. The grocers were piling the cabbages and green beans in big baskets in front of their stores.
Ladies in the dry-goods stores were folding up the cloths they covered the counters with at night. A rack of clothes appeared in front of Belk’s, announcing a special sale.
Store owners were giving the sidewalk a final sweep before business really began.
Mama was busy picking up loaves of white sandwich bread for chicken salad and pimento cheese sandwiches. Mr. Courtney, at Lancaster Bakery, took her order for two dozen tea biscuits and some date-nut bars.
Sure glad I got my porch sweeping taken care of yesterday. Today I had to stay clean and get into my Sunday best so I could wait on the ladies and pass out them white doilies.
Mama and Aunt Bess had to whip up the sandwich spreads, cut the edges off the bread and make the punch. The Ice Man would deliver a big block of ice for the punch bowl.
Now, it sure seemed like a lot of work just to sit around and talk a spell, but ladies enjoyed that kind of stuff and I got to eat some fancy little snacks.
So life goes on, and a busy summer day with an afternoon ladies’ meeting comes to an end.