Goin' inta bisness fer my own self

 I am reminded of old John, the last surviving member of the family which used to own the plantation that built the little town on the river. John was not born with a full deck to play the game with, so he was left all alone sitting on the porch swing, swinging back and forth singing songs of the Old South.

Some of the local city council considered this a great shame on the community, couldn't stand the loneliness of it all and voted to give John a monthly remittance so he could afford groceries and other necessities. That passed easily, but John was an independent old cuss, and refused to accept charity.

So someone came up with a good idea. They would offer John a job. What job? Well, there was a Civil War cannon that had once been the Main Battery of the regiment raised by John's Great Grandfather, "Captain John McCormack", they called him, and it was still sitting proudly on the lawn of the City Hall It was made out of brass, the Council could furnish the supplies, and he could polish that cannon. So they offered the job to John and he enthusiastically accepted. They gave him a big can of brass polish and some rags and he was there every day, polishing that cannon and telling passers-by its history in the Battles of Cemetery Ridge, and The Wilderness, and Sharpsburg.

Then, nobody noticed exactly when, but he quit showing up. One night at City Council Meeting the fact came to light. They were worried he might have fallen sick. So a member was delegated to investigate: Charley Briggs.

Charlie drove out to John's house to find him swinging back and forth in the old porch swing, singing "Oh, Susanna!", and joined him for the last couple of verses. Then asked if he were alright, or if he had been ill or something.

"Nope, doin' fine, thank you."

"Well, we noticed you haven't come into town to your job recently."


"Don't you like the job? We could get you somethin' else."

"Nope. Like it jus' fine."


"I see. Well how come you haven't been coming to work? Don't you need the money anymore?"

"Oh, no, 'taint that."


"I see."


"Uh well we miss you, you ought to come in and tell folks about the great battles your cannon helped the Confederacy win."

"Yep. Reckon you're right."

(long pause)

(continued pausing)


"Well, Charlie, it's like this. A feller don't get nowhere workin' fer somebody's elst. So I been savin' up my money and I've ordered me my own cannon, an' I'm goin' inta bisness fer my own self !! "