The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Insurance Man

By Kathy Barker Smith © 2014

Online: January, 2015

Aunt Grace O. BuffinAunt Grace O. BuffinDoes anyone remember when the insurance salesmen would go door to door? Well my Aunt and I were the only ones living at home; my uncle had already passed away by this time. This happened in 1971, I was just 7 years old at the time. This insurance man came once a month and each month I noticed my Aunt giving him money. What was going through my mind is, "this man is stealing my Aunts money and we need it."

She was always telling me not to be wasteful. Here came the insurance man rolling in and my Aunt told me to go outside and play, she had business to take care of, so off I went; or so she thought.

I was peeping in the window and I finally saw her handing more money over again. I stomped around and went on the porch, plus I was doing other stuff too.

When the insurance man came out of the house, you know back then you had real high porches or we did, as the insurance man got about even with me, I jumped off the porch and grabbed him around the neck and demanded he give my Aunts money back and that he was stealing and wasn't a nice man.

He's screaming and hollering for my Aunt, here she comes running out and grabbing me, telling me, "you get right up there on that porch now young lady and sit on that glider." As she was apologizing to the insurance man, I'm still angry and I knew it wasn't over with yet.

Kathy Barker Smith and Aunt GraceKathy Barker Smith and Aunt GraceFinally the insurance man heads for his car, my Aunt sat down beside me and as she was trying to explain, why she gave him money, all of a sudden this huge Kaboom noise took place. I can remember my Aunt putting her hand over her mouth saying, "lawdy have mercy on my body what was that?" I had shoved potatoes in his exhaust system and how I thought of that at 7 years old I'll never know.

That day I was told I was meaner than the devil; not a snake or a rattlesnake; but a devil!

Later in the years as I grew older, we laughed about this a lot.

Oh yea, I never saw that insurance man again; a new one started coming.