Grandpa Shelton was my hero. I all but worshipped him. The reason for this is because he was always so jolly, so kind, so wise, and he always treated me with respect, and like I was somebody special. And he'd just about try anything! Like ride a motorcycle! On the back . . . with one of his grandsons driving! (in the photo, Steve Shelton, son of Wayne & Shirley Shelton - Kennett, MO).
At a very young, tender and impressionable age, I was allowed to spend the night with my Grandpa and Grandma Shelton. No two better people ever walked this earth. I don't believe a better example of ethics, integrity, and just plain old down to earth goodness can be found anywhere.
I could go on and on about their good qualities, but will cut it short by saying this: I have never heard neither say something bad about another person, never heard either say a dirty word (curse), have never known either to do anything wrong.
But Grandpa would stand for what was right! And he'd stand up ready to fight if he thought someone was gonna get something over on him! He was known for his pugilistic abilities, and once proved them when an old man in the middle of Kennett, Missouri decided he needed a cussin' and a whuppin'.
But he went too far when he told Grandpa he was gonna whup him. He messed up big time when he challenged Grandpa to a fist fight. Grandpa obliged him, and they duked it out! Right in front of the town square! Must of been a sight for sore eyes . . . two old-timers just a duking it out on the street there. I can just see it!
Grandpa was a worker; in the hardest of times, raising a huge family, teaching his boys how to work, be responsible, how to be the type of kin, neighbor, or friend a person should be. And he accomplished that!
As far as being a worker, I've seen him take three rows of that little scrappy cotton in the field just west of the house where they lived out at Simmons Chapel, and beat others who'd taken only two rows. On his knees, up and down those rows, never seeming to slow even a little.
He constantly challenged himself to greater exploits, often challenging those around him as well. I remember picking cotton one day with my little sister Betty Sue, (Betty Sue Black now). Now neither of us were considered cottonpickers. Up until the age of 11 when we left those cotton fields, I'd never picked 100 lbs in a day. My cousin Larry Shelton, (Norman and Louise's oldest boy), now he picked over 100, everyday. But no matter how hard I tried, I never did.
But they raised a huge family, and every one of the kids are some of the most wonderful people I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
Grandma Shelton was a devout Methodist, never have I seen anyone live as clean a life them. I know that they had their bad points as well as any other humans. But what I'm talking about is the example they lived in front of me. I've seen many Apostolics who couldn't hold a candle for them to run by . . .
Many times I was allowed to spend several nights in a row during the summer, and Grandpa always let me help him out around the farm. From those times which were so special to me, I've gained these experiences. I learned a lot on Grandpa's farm that children today miss out on.
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