Monday, April 6, 2009

Wilmer and Delmar


Years ago when I worked at the nursing home or as they like to be referred to the Retirement Home, I met two brothers. They were old time farmers and when they got too old to farm and one of the brothers became ill they both entered the retirement facility. Delmar had suffered a stroke and had trouble with his speech but that was alright because his brother Wilmer would translate for him. Now these men were old bachelors and had lived together in the same house that they grew up in for all of their lives. They were plain folk. They were also two of my favorites.




I would often stop by the local store and pick up their too-back-ee (tobacco) for them. They would give me a list of supplies and I would walk up to the counter with a couple of packs of Levi-Garret chewing tobacco and a couple of bottles of snuff in the amber bottle. Oh and they would always ask me to pick up as they would say “one of them girly magazines”. Hey get your mind out of the gutter. When they said “girly magazine” they didn’t mean Playboy they meant Ladies Home Journal or Better Homes and Gardens. You see they liked looking at all the pretty dishes and the pretty pictures. Yeah, I loved those guys.



One morning I arrived early and found Delmar and Wilmer involved in a bitter brawl. Both were shouting and hollering and Delmar was pushing Wilmer back into the corner with his wheel chair. I stepped between them before Wilmer could get his fist in Delmar’s face. “What are you boys fighting about” I asked as I wheeled Delmar back to the table. Delmar looked up at me with his lopsided face and made a few grunts. I put my hand on his shoulder and said “you sit here while I get me a cup of coffee and one for you boys then I want you to tell me the whole story.” Wilmer turned a chair around and straddled it and said “yes, ma’am Miz Gladys”.

I sat their coffee down in front of them and settled in to hear their story. Dilmer grunted a bit more and Wilmer began to translate. “Wail, it all started when we wuz youngins. See we made us a beer brewery out in the barn but Ma and Pa didn’t know nuthin bout it. We would brew us up a batch of beer and cap it off then hide it under the floor boards of the house. Ma would make us sweep every morning afore we went to school. We would do our chores then haid off to the schoolhouse. She never suspected nuthin cause we did the sweepin and our hidy hole was under the rug in Ma and Pa’s bedroom.” He took a swig of his coffee and added another 3 packets of sugar. “We had quite a stash goin under them floor boards. We had more than we could ever drink ourselves so we thought we’d share it around. Delmar started talkin it up at the school house and we had quite an offerin for our extra brew. Delmar counted it up and if’in we sold them at a nickel a bottle we could buy us a model T. So we upped our production out in the barn and packed them bottles under the floor boards as tight as we could. We did this nigh-on a fortnight. Delmar was keepin a tally of all them bottles and all them orders. We figured we could deliver in a month givin the homebrew time to set up.”
Delmar grunted a few times and tapped on the table with his good hand. “Al-hight I’m getting to that Delmar, keep you pants on. Anyways so we got all them bottles packed tight underneath them floor boards and no body but us done know about them. One of them hot winds starts up from down there in Old Mexico. You know one of them Sonoran winds and it blows all day and all night for days. Them temperatures were in the hunderds day and night. Then one night we wuz all tryin to sleep but there was just no way to keep cool.
Now our daddy had done fawt in the Spainish American war with Teddy Roosevelt. Ma said ever since he came home he wuzn’t quite rite in the haid. Anyways the heat got to them bottles and the brew started bubbling and expanding. The next thang we knew them bottles started to exploding. Pa started screamin and hollerin and runnin around the house in his birthday suit and Ma was screamin and tryin to calm Pa down. Me and Delmar were runnin around tryin to figure out how to save them bottles of beer. Then they started blowin the floorboards off the floor. Welp when Ma finally figured out what wuz happening she started chasin Delmer and me with her switch. Pa was hidin under the bed and them beer bottles were still exploding beer all over the place.”




I wipped the tear from my eyes and caught my breath. “Oh Wilmer. That is the funniest story I have ever heard, but that doesn’t explain why you and Delmar and fighting.” Delmar hollered something incoherent and banged on the table some more. Wilmer but his hand on his brother’s shoulder and said “I didn’t know they would explode.” Then he looked at me and said “Cause he thinks I did that on purpose because he said he wouldn’t let me drive the Model T when we got it.” Delmar said something in his Delmar language and Wilmer said “I love you too bubba.”

11 comments:

Lucy said...

Oh I loved this post. I love listening to the stories older people have filed up in their heads. So many experiences; so little time to tell them all. You should record them telling all their yarns.

Cher said...

Great story. I have several yarns my F-I-L told me before he died. Guess I should tell 'em on my blog before I die!

The Texas Woman

Katherine Aucoin said...

I loved this story. Stories like this and the ones my grandparents told me are just so hysterical. They were raised in a more strict enviromnent, but had way more courage to do things they weren't supposed to do than I ever would.

LiLu said...

That picture just made my life. I keep thinking of the two muppets who were like Siskel and Ebert making fun of the show.

Peggy said...

What a great story! I wish we had recorded my mother-in-law's stories before she forgot them. God Bless.

pam said...

I loved this wonderful story. What a lifetime of stories these two men must have.

morethananelectrician said...

That was too funny. I like stories from elderly folk. A lot of it is because they have worked on these stories over the years and make them flow so well...almost like a comedian.

xoxo~ Meg said...

I love the stories the older folks have to tell! I can remember being mesmerized by the ones my grandpa told me. Thank you for posting this one!

Thanks for the advice on Cabo too sista...we need to meet down there one day...when it's safe.

VE said...

Great story. I never had a model T, I had Mr. T crayons though...

Toad said...

This so reminds me of my grandparents. Thank you

Suzy said...

God they are adorable. Maybe my sister and I could bring them some beer.