When I was a kid, we lived way out in the country on a dirt road. My Dad raised hogs, so we always had about 20 or 30 of them at any given time. My dad had a agreement with several restaurants in Atlanta that he would pick up their garbage cans twice a week, so he could feed it to the hogs.
Every Saturday night, my Dad, my three brothers, and I would cram into the cab of his pickup truck, and go to town on the garbage route. This was a very exciting thing to do, because we got to stay up late--we usually didn't start the trip until about nine p.m.
The first couple of stops were kind of boring--we went to Rich's downtown store, in the basement of the building. It was kind of creepy down there, so we kids usually stayed in the truck while Daddy loaded the barrels into the truck. After Rich's, we went to Smith House, around to the delivery dock in the back. It was near the Atlanta Federal Prison, so I was always afraid the prisoners would get us. Strange what little kids think!
But when we got to Harold's Barbecue, the ancient black woman who was the cook always had a greasy bag of french fries ready for us. Sometimes she would give us a chocolate milkshake to go along with it. We always went in through the back door of the place--I never saw the front of that restaurant until I was in my late 20's.
The last stop, long after mid-night, was always the huge Garrett's Produce Stand, across the tracks in Lakewood. We stayed there for a while each Saturday night, talking the old Mr. Garrett. He always gave us fruit or a candy cane.
Those Saturday night trips to collect the hog slop were some of my best memories of growing up in the country.
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