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Stories My Dad Told, The Worst Lickin’

My father was a plumber and an electrical repairman as well as a general do-it-yourself repairman. He taught me many valuable lessons.

Dad with two of his sisters.

Dad with two of his sisters.

Corporal Punishment

I don’t know how you were raised, but my parents believed in heartfelt corporal punishment. I don’t think I am the poorer for it, nor am I traumatized. And even with the sincere spankings I received, I don’t believe they would compare to the ones my dad spoke of from his father behind the woodshed.

I learned discipline from my father. Not in terms of corporal punishment, but being determined in whatever you do, and sticking with it.

— Ryan Reynolds

Dad's fishing trophy

Dad's fishing trophy

Men Are Private

I admire my father and always have. I wish I had told him more than I did. He worked hard all his life so my mom could be at home with us. That is unusual these days.

My dad wasn’t the kind to just sit us all down and tell a story. I wish he was. We girls had to beg and nag and needle him to get a story out of him. It was always worth the effort because he could tell the best stories. One day we asked him about the spankings he got from his parents.

My dad

My dad

Field Corn

Before telling my dad’s story I need to explain field corn to those of you who may not have been raised like I was. Field corn was NOT the same as sweet corn you buy in the store. Sweet corn has large nibblets full of moisture and sweet flavor. Field corn has small nibblets and little flavor. It is grown mostly for fodder for cows. The harvesters chop the whole plant: stalks, leaves, ears of corn and all. It is chopped fine and fed to cows. Because field corn usually doesn’t pollinate itself as well as sweet corn, the farmers will sometimes plant several rows of sweet corn down the middle of the field corn plot just for pollination. Unless you know where those rows are, you can’t really tell the difference. But I suspect boys looking for fun and a snack don’t really care.

By the way, for those who don’t understand the slang, a “lickin’” is a spanking.

Tired mothers find that spanking takes less time than reasoning and penetrates sooner to the seat of the memory.

— Will Durant

The farmer caught them.

The farmer caught them.

The Worst Lickin’

He got a little twinkle in his eye and the corner of his mouth turned up just a bit before he began this tale.

I’ll never forget the worse lickin’ I ever got from my dad. Me and a friend was out galavantin’ and we passed some ripe field corn. My buddy suggest we make a fire and cook some o’that corn right there nex’ ta the crick in the middle o’ the field. Wayell, since he brung his camp cook kit and since I’m apartial ta fresh corn on the cob, I’m agreeable. But that farmer caught a whiff o’ the smoke and come to investigate. When he com’ a bustin’ through that corn barkin’, “What you kids doin’ thar?” Why, we took ta the hills. But that farmer recognized me and called ma dad.

He was waitin’ for me when I come home. He said we was headed for the woodshed for a talk. Wayell, I didn’t want any o’ that sos I took ta runnin’ with Dad right behind me. I didn’t know where ta run to, so I jus’ run around the block. Mom stood there inside the screen door yellin’ to me as I passed.

“Now, Nelson, you better stop now! You know it’ll jes’ go harder on ya.”

As I rounded the corner I could hear he yellin’ to ma Dad too.

“Now, Clinton, you know ya kaan’t out-run that boy. You better jes’ come on in.”

Each time I heared Dad’s wheezin’ a little closer behind me I would run faster. And each time I heared him puffin’ harder I would slow down some too. I knew I could keep out of his reach as long as I needed to but Mom kep a talkin’ ta me as I passed the house.

“Now, Nelson, you best let heem katch ya. You’re jes’ makin’ heem madder at ya.”

To this day that was the worst beatin’ I ever got. And he wouldn’t a caught me if’n I hadn’t a listened to Mom and stopped.

What kills me is, it was my buddy’s idear an’ his cook kit, an’ that broke-nose never got inta a lick a trouble over it.

Typical.

My Grandfather, Clinton Scott

To make the story more comical is to picture my grandfather. He was a short rotund man, built like a barrel. Dad always said you could tell he was “on the level” because his bubble was in the middle. All the carpenters out there will get that.

I can still picture that large round man trying to outrun my dad as a young squirt. My impression of him as a teen and preteen was a warm cuddly teddy bear, sitting in his overstuffed chair smoking a pipe that smelled of cherry wood. He was overstuffed himself and cuddly to hug. Living in California and he in Indiana, I didn't get to see him much before he passed at the age of 65. I hope that isn't an omen for all Scotts that they die in their 60s.

My dad with his parents in the 1950s.

My dad with his parents in the 1950s.

Dad himself used to tell a story about one time when Mother went off to fill a lecture engagement and left him in charge at home. When Mother returned, she asked him if everything had run smoothly. Didn't have any trouble except with that one over there,' he replied. 'But a spanking brought him into line.' Mother could handle any crisis without losing her composure. That's not one of ours, dear,' she said. 'He belongs next door.

— Frank B. Gilbreth Jr.

Final Thoughts

I never ran from my dad or mom but there were a few times I thought about it. I was never in THAT much trouble that I couldn’t talk about it. Even if I was guilty, I got to have my say.

I hope you liked this story. It is a bit of a challenge to put Dad’s accent and inflection into the story but that was part of his charm.

Please, let me know your thoughts and stories on corporal punishment in the comments below.

Comments

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 03, 2021:

From billybuc,

I couldn't find you in the feed to comment. Sigh! If I had, I would have told you I love these stories about your dad. They bring back so many memories, and I thank you for sharing them with us. He was, and you are, fine storytellers.

Blessings always

bill

Bill,

Sometimes this feed is hard to find. I'm glad you were able to comment anyway. These stories mean a lot to me. I'm glad they resonate with you too. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 03, 2021:

Mary Norton,

I do miss him terribly but I love rereading his stories and remembering the way he talked and the way he made us laugh. He was remarkable. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 01, 2021:

it's fun to read your Dad's stories. I am sure you miss him so much but you have wonderful memories of him.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 27, 2021:

RoadMonkey,

I love the classics. They don't write books like that anymore, do they? My dad didn't like to hit us and mostly left that to mom. I think he didn't trust himself, thinking he could hurt us with his strength. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

RoadMonkey on February 26, 2021:

Really enjoyed that story. My dad never hit us but my mother gave us a few smacks. It was expected in those days. The quote about tired mothers finding a smack is quicker than reasoning certainly sounds good. And I remember reading the book "Cheaper By The Dozen", it was very funny.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 26, 2021:

Carb Diva,

It's funny how some people are. I told him I loved him often but he rarely used the words. I can count on one hand the number of times he told me he loved me. Once right before walking me down the aisle. And a couple right before he died. Otherwise, it was an unspoken thing with him. When my girls and I were divorced and alone, we found a Christmas tree sitting on our front stoop every year anonymously. Only after dad died, they stopped. Also, a turkey every Thanksgiving. I thought they were from my mom but after dad died they never came again. It was like losing Santa Claus. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 26, 2021:

DDE,

I think I miss everyone's articles. I have to tune in every day to be sure not to miss something. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 26, 2021:

surovi99,

I'm glad you enjoyed the humor. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 26, 2021:

Peggy W,

Oh, it seems like losing the puppy would be enough of a punishment. I'm sorry. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 26, 2021:

Pamela99,

How funny. You know the only spankings I remember as a kid were the ones where I felt I didn't deserve it. I took some spankings the siblings set me up for. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 26, 2021:

Eurofile,

Oh, no, really? I wasn't that courageous. That's funny. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on February 26, 2021:

Your dad was quite the character and, oh my, your descriptions are perfect—I can see in my mind's eye your dad running around and around the block and your rotund little grandpa huffing and puffing behind him. I adore the accent by the way. Love these stories.

Your love for your dad shines through in your writing; even if you didn't speak the words, I know in my heart that he could see the love in your eyes.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 26, 2021:

Hi Denise stories about your dad has a great stack here. Somehow I have missed your hubs. This is a lovely trip down memory lane.

Rosina S Khan on February 26, 2021:

I enjoyed your father's story a lot. But in my growing up time, my parents didn't spank me or my siblings for doing something wrong. We got bitter scolding and we knew it right there the action couldn't be repeated. Thanks for sharing this full of humor article. I enjoyed it, Denise.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 25, 2021:

Stories about your dad are really cute.

Corporal punishment used to be the norm instead of the exception. I can only remember a few spankings when I was young. The one I remember best is when my brothers and I ventured too far down the country lane, and one of our dogs, who was still a pup, followed us and was run over on the main road. All three of us got a spanking that time.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 25, 2021:

I did like the story, as usual. Your father was quite a character! Your father's accent just makes me read the story a bit slower. I don't think I ever got spanked but maybe once or twice, and it must not have been a big deal as I don't remember much. We were pretty good kids anyway.

My husband has some stories like those of your father. His grandmother spanked all the kids sometimes when they acted out. She would say, "I am going to spank all of the crack out of your ass." :) I think that is hysterical, and those kids deserved it! I love your stories, Denise.

Liz Westwood from UK on February 25, 2021:

You retell the story very vividly. I can recall a few occasions of running from my Dad.

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