Thursday, February 14, 2008
I Get No Respect
Newt insisted that his family show respect whether at home or in public. He only had to tell his children once that 'Old Man and Old Lady' were not acceptable terms for Mom and Dad, neither were Ma and Pa. His children were never to call adults by their first name. Showing disrespect to a teacher or arguing were likewise unacceptable. One day at a family gathering at Genevieve's parents, Jerry was playing with his cousin Ralph. They were nearly the same age and were enjoying playing together. Newt told Jerry to do something and Jerry answered, "phooey-on-you." Jerry thought he was being funny but as Newt stood up with a frown on his face, Jerry knew he'd made a mistake. Jerry started to run through the pasture toward the canal. That was his second mistake. About half way down the pasture Jerry paused to look back. That was all it took because Newt was right behind him. Newt subscribed to the concept of "spare the rod and spoil the child." Jerry received a sound spanking. It hurt a lot and since Ralph was there, Jerry was also embarrassed. One night after visiting his wife's parents, Newt pulled into his driveway to find Jerry's tricycle right in the middle of the drive. "Put your tricycle in the coal shed," Newt said to his son. It was dark and the coal shed was in the back yard. Jerry was afraid and refused to put it away, then threw a screaming fit. Newt said you can stay outside until you put the tricycle away. A short time later a police car pulled up in front. The sirens and flashing lights really scared Jerry but he stopped screaming. The policeman asked if he was hurt or if Newt had done anything to him. It was all a big mistake. The neighbors heard the screaming and called the police. I think that was the last of Jerry's temper tantrums.