PapPaw Jones was someone who didn’t suffer fools. He was a gruff old man, if you didn’t know him. Of course, he was the one I thought hung the moon.
We lived in east central Alabama on a little spot in the road named New Site, on Hwy 22 East. Everyone knew Mr. Marlin. He was known for his coon dogs, his horses and his word. If he gave it, you could count on it. like a handshake.
Photo by: buddawiggi
I remember so well the time we had a BIG palomino horse we called Cindy. She could be rode by all four of us kids, at once, and still be as calm as an old friend. A man came by and asked how much PapPaw wanted for the horse, and even though he didn’t want to sell her, because we loved her so much, he priced her not thinking the man would ever pay the price. He didn’t blink. He stuck out his hand and shook hands with PapPaw saying, “I’ll go get my truck.”
PapPaw came into the kitchen and fell into his chair. Big Mama asked him, “Marlin, what is wrong with you?” He said, “I didn’t mean it. I priced her so high, I didn’t think he would pay the price for her. But I can’t go back on my word. I shook hands on it. How am I going to tell the kids?”
Big Mama knew it was bad, but when he explained the entire story, she said he would have to tell us what happened.
We watched as the man loaded our Cindy on his bright red truck. She held her head up and looked back just once. With her saddle and bridle gleaming, this is the last time we saw her being driven away.
PapPaw explained to us a great lesson this day; one which we had a hard time understanding, but one which stuck with us in the long run. Once you give your word about something, and you shake hands, which is as good as it gets. Character is something you have when nobody else is watching.
This lesson stuck with me all my life. When I give my word, I try to always do what I say I will do. If I have not, it is not because I did not try. My PapPaw taught me this…along with so many other lessons. A lesson about a the handshake!
Story submitted by: Dee Bradley 10/2/2013 Owner and writer at, Deliska.Net
So, what are your thoughts on The Handshake? Is this still a valid and binding contract today?
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