G.M.C. Massey, my grandfather, provides this winter weather warning: don’t forget your shoes.
Another thing that demands attention at this time is a freak weather action. Along in December 1897 the weather had been very warm and murky for several days, perhaps weeks. We boys had been slipping off our shoes every day to play ball (town ball) and we needed to have as little weight to carry as possible, so we bantered one another and got a promise out of about a dozen of the boys that we would come barefooted the next day.
We did that very thing and I was living about a mile and a half from school. On that very morning when time for recess came it was listing rain. I thought that I could see what we were up against. At the noon hour it was very much heavier mist and was turning a lot colder. Then when it came time for evening recess, it was snowing. We knew by that time we were in for a spell of weather. When it was time for school to dismiss there was on the ground, about 2 inches of the prettiest snow that you ever saw. Some of the boys’ parents knew that the boys came to school barefooted so there I was barefooted and had to do the best that I could. I hurried off home ahead of the rest of the children. I ran to the store (Frank Gibson’s) and I took a little rest there and then forged on to Aim Harris’ and warmed up there; ran next to old man Milam’s and got my last reprieve till I made it home. When I got there I was in so much pain with my aching feet that I really felt that my feet were off and gone entirely, but my mother took over then.
My mother was scared to death about it and she just knew that I was going to be sick, But, I just warmed up in some quilts and did not go to the fire till I had the feet very good shape.
But I learned a very good lesson from this, and of course from there, I was very faithful to have my shoes, and coat near me in the time of seasonable changes. That is now sixty-one years behind us and it is as ever present as if it had happened yesterday.