Friday, September 19, 2014

a traveling man

Murdoch was a fellow who enjoyed traveling, yet didn't own a car.  He used public transportation and his two feet to get him anywhere he wanted to go.  If a nephew or niece ever wanted to spend real quality time with him, you'd have to tag along.  You'd find him in his garden or heading out the door.

Many decades ago, when I was around ten or eleven, Murdoch asked me if I'd like to walk downtown with him.  I had no idea what I was getting myself in for.  We walked down to Columbia's Five Points, going to several grocery stores.  Murdoch kept up with every penny (literally) and made every penny count (literally).  He always had a little ledger in his pocket that kept up with every dollar, every cent he had in his pocket.  If he could walk four blocks to save a few cents on the cost of bread or coffee, he'd walk it.  He spent so much time walking around downtown through the decades, that the people downtown referred to him as 'The Mayor of Five Points'.  No kidding.

Many times Murdoch would make his trip to Gadsden on the Greyhound.  We'd pick him up at the station.  There were times he'd ask me if I'd like to go to town with him.  We'd walk from one side of up of Broad Street and down the other, pretty much doing nothing but window shopping.  Each time I recall, he always went in to The Coffee Cup for a cup of coffee.

Murdoch moved around, usually kept himself busy, even when he was visiting.  He spent a good bit of time outside around the house inspecting our plants.  When we had a garden, he'd spend many afternoons working on it for his brother.

Dad always talked about what a teaser Murdoch was in their youth.  He remained a troublemaker in a harmless funny way.  He'd say little things that he knew would stir up his sisters and quietly watch with a hint of a grin on his face. He knew how to push buttons in a subtle way.

Ol' Murd was a funny fellow, but I don't ever recall seeing or hearing him laugh.  He would chuckle, and I do remember that grin.
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