Stories I Almost Forgot to Tell
Donald Davis in the Library Tent on the Grounds of the National Storytelling Festival
Donald says tonight’s tales are ones his Mom wouldn’t have wanted told. Maybe so, but they certainly were welcomed by this crowd. We hooted and howled at Donald’s childhood antics and his creative telling of them.
Donald says his friend David Morgan was “raised like a weed” and visited the Davis home when he needed to be told what to do. Together they took advantage of 84 year old “Ol’ Slick’s” generosity. They drove his old Jeep nearly to death across mountain meadows of milkweed and thistledown. The resulting cloud of airbourne fiber and seed choked the Jeep’s radiator, causing over heating and, in addition, reckless driving bent up the thing to an extent that ended their arrangement with Slick, who explained that “Boys, I’ve got a 70 year head start on you. Everything you ever thought of doing, I’ve already done.”
Donald was unlucky in love from kindergarten on. In kindergarten his true love Amelia sparked a fight between Donald and his rival for her affections.
In second grade showing out for Carol resulted in the teacher forcing Donald and his buddy
to stand on tiptoe with their noses in chalk rings she’d drawn on the board.
In fourth grade his crush on Linda prompted a birthday party visit where a projectile nosebleed ruined things.
In sixth grade a creative mixture of Post Office and Spin the Bottle gave him a chance to kiss his love... only to discover the kiss may have been a rabid one.
In high school he drove toward Lover’s Lane with a girl who had ‘A Reputation”, but when they reached their destination ... it was dreamy all right, but not in the sense he had dreamed!
So senior year, he and his two buddies decided to take each other to the prom... and saved each other from matrimony for a combined total of 52 years.
The next story was about his days as a school bus driver. That’s right, as a high schooler Donald earned a few bucks a month driving a school bus! He and his fellow drivers (the soon to be valedictorian and salutatorian of his graduating class) decided to use their bus driving as a cover for a day of playing hookey. What a miserable day! Everyone in the county knew them so they had to hide out all day to keep from being seen! They were caught and punished, of course, but the principal never told Donald’s father. He even described Donald to his dad as “one fine young man.”
Tutoring Tater and Timed Typing
Latin and Typing may not have been required courses but they were valuable in Donald’s mother’s opinion so he took them. According to Donald his Latin teacher had begun her career when Latin was still a living language. They called her “Old V.D”. Big Tater Underwood was failing Latin and the other kids were bribed by Tater’s mama to tutor him. They managed to teach him to conjugate “amo”
amo = I love
amas = you (singular) love
amat = he, she or it loves
amamus = we love
amatis = you (plural) love
amant = they love
... and he learned the endings after painfully long instruction. But when he was called on to conjugate a different word than the one he was expecting, he whispered for help to a friend who replied, “Damn if I know” So Tater proudly recited:
The typing teacher was a big woman who wore “teacher shoes” and required a Friday afternoon “timed typing” drill. “Nothing,” she repeatedly declared, “interferes with timed typing.” The boys saw that statement as a challenge. They tried a whole series of pranks to “interfere” but none was wholly successful. In the end Donald reckoned “She just had a 70 year head start on us.”