I was born in a small town--referred to quite often by yours truly as "Podunk, Alabama"--mid-day Monday prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. My Mother tells of returning home from the hospital and preparing her usual Thanksgiving feast for our family and the paternal grandparents. The family, which consisted of the parents and two older sisters, had moved from the Nashville, TN area during the year before my birth.
At the time of my birth, my father was "officially" an electrician and unofficially every thing else. He definitely had an entrepreneurial mindset, became a jack-of-all-trades and mastered a couple of them. He worked for a residential building contractor (Jim Walter Homes) just long enough to get the discount on his "shell-of-a-house" -- which he would complete. He then set his sites to greener pastures (this was shortly after my birth). Actually, he wanted nothing to do with the lush green pastures that surrounded our home or any other aspect of the 240 acre farm, other than providing a safe haven for his family while he went out into the big bad world to make a living.
Daddy became an insurance salesman and a darn good one at that. The family photo album is riddled with those glossy black and white photographs of my Dad, sporting that cheshire grin, shaking hands while accepting yet, another one of those silver plated goblet awards from some other cheshire grinning, monkey suited individual. He loved it and eventually put that entrepreneurial mind to work. He went to several insurance companies, waving those record breaking sales records before them, seeking to establish himself as a "freelance" agent with several different companies. And, eventually, he managed to pull it off. By the time his plan was complete he was a freelance agent selling for six different companies, covering a district across North Alabama and middle Tennessee, working his own hours and training new salesmen for the companies. One of those he trained was Jack [not Spratt].
Even though it was usually late evening when Jack and Daddy would arrive at the house, Jack would often stay for a bit before heading home. Our bedtime was always 8:00 pm, school day or not, even if Daddy had just arrived. When I was just a small one, I would sneak out of bed, into the hallway, squat down close to the doorway, just out of sight and listen to the grownups talk about life away from the farm. One night Jack was telling about some of Dad's techniques or better yet--antics. As Jack told--in other words--...They were going into an elderly couple's home attempting to sell hospitalization insurance. Daddy told Jack that he was to be the yes-man, was to listen and learn and hand him papers from the briefcase when asked. Secondly, after handing him the first set of papers--rummage through the briefcase and discreetly, yet quickly, open then securely close that little bottle of ether stashed within.