Vol. 11


No-Shoe Sunday

1959; Plymouth, North Carolina, USA

On one crisp Saturday in the fall of 1959, Suzy Waters and her brothers, Charlie, Gary, and Carl, Jr., were playing king of the mountain. This was a game played on the huge mound of peanut plants before they were put into bales. The goal of the game was to make it to the top of the “mountain” without being pushed off by the other kids. They had played all day long with their eleven cousins who also lived on Styons Road in Plymouth, North Carolina.

That afternoon one of Suzy’s cousins had a brilliant idea — to bury all of the children’s shoes so they wouldn’t have to go to church the next day. They all loved this idea much more than the thought of waking up early and putting on their Sunday best. So, instead of cleaning their shoes like their mama and daddy had told them, they dug a big hole out in the field to bury every single pair of shoes. Then they hid their tracks very well, which later led to their downfall.

That evening their parents became slightly suspicious when all fifteen of the children had “lost” their shoes. Eventually someone spilled the secret to their parents. Jack and Melrose Waters were furious, but it was too dark and late at night to make the kids look for the shoes. Therefore the kids woke up when the sun rose to dig up the fields and look for the pile of shoes. To their amazement, the shoes were not found. During this time each child had only one pair of shoes to call their own. The children would wear them to school during the week and would then clean and polish them on Saturdays for church the following morning. Suzy’s parents were so enraged they made all of the children go to church in their socks! They were as mad as fire when they had to purchase each child a brand-new pair of shoes.

Now my grandma Suzy Waters Arrants tells me this story before bed every time she spends the night with us. It is by far my favorite of her stories. I cannot wait to tell my grandchildren about their great-great-grandmother’s adventure back in 1959. I will cherish her sweet memories forever.

Alli Grant Avery; North Carolina, USA



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