My Towels Talk Story
Between my bedroom and my bathroom early one morn,
I mislaid my towel and an idea was born.
I search all about without any success.
Little did I know, I was about to be blessed.
I searched relentlessly; still I could not find.
The memory was hidden somewhere in my mind.
I asked my towels to talk to me;
Wherever you are I can not see.
They could not walk, for they had no legs.
They had to be somewhere near my bed.
When I went to my bed and flipped back my sheets,
There my towels begin to speak!
"FUEL TO MY FIRE"
“You may run or you may walk, but eventually you will get there.” I can still hear my history professor, deep southern, raspy voice. As a child, I had a terrible speech impediment, and I became introverted around others. In the first grade, I received an arm of support that encouraged me to push through my wall of silence. Mrs. Hargrove’s teaching skills laced with motherly compassion; planted a seed in me to learn vocabulary and phonics. Any difficulties that I went through, taught me to gird up my strength, take in the logs of disappointment which added more fuel to my fire.
I was born in the West, Virginia. My father was a coal miner, and a hunter; my mother was a homemaker. I am one of fourteen children, and my family gave me an opportunity to interact with many types of personalities. It was like watching the blooming of morning glories.
During the abrupt passing of my father, was a special time between God and me. Once when my mother became ill, I had to care for my hair, and it was not easy. Soon, I developed my expertise, enough to care for others’ hair. I became the neighborhood cosmetologist at the age of 13, as neighbors began to request my services. I was thankful for the time I spent with my dad. To this day, I remember how impressed I was, he was the “front porch barber.” I can still hear his laughter as he cut men’s hair. When I cut hair, I often think of him. Losing my dad made me aware that you cannot depend on others to be there for you all the time.
My first school was a one room school house, I was there from preschool to third grade. I had one teacher. Everywhere I went, I carried a book. In middle school, I developed a great love for spelling, vocabulary, and history. In middle school, my love for writing grew, after my chores were done, I would write in the kitchen at the table until mama would ask “Bobbie Jean what are you doing? I always had same response, “Mama, I am writing something.” Writing gave me a sense of stability. By the time I reached high school, I developed a great love for vocabulary. I began to carry a dictionary everywhere I went, learning new words along the way. I was still very introverted, but determined to survive. In the 10th grade, I majored in college prep courses. This allowed me to absorb my grief through writing. I excelled in English literature, social studies, and American-history; these were great loves of mine. My basis for writing was strengthened through those courses. In my senior year, my writing interest increased until I began placing a writing pad everywhere even underneath my bed, to record my thoughts. In my 12th grade year, after taking my SAT’s and receiving my scores, a counselor spoke with me, she asked me what did I aspire to become? My answer was, “A WRITER”. She discouraged my pursuit, however it fueled my fire. By the time, I finished my senior year, I was really beginning to listen to my heart, I loved writing. Words began to flow from me. I graduated from high-school, and our family moved from West Virginia to Ohio, where I began to write even more. My mother encouraged me to read to the family after dinner especially on Sunday evenings. My family questioned me as to where did these words come from? My mother’s answer was, “they come from GOD!” I began to hide the poems under mattresses, and I lost several when I moved out. I remember two of my poems, they are An Evening View and Feeling Needed.
Later that year, I moved to Virginia, got my first job at a linens service, and enrolled in beauty school. My reading helped me greatly in cosmetology. I bought a little pink typewriter, and an old tape recorder to talk into. That was the beginning of my adult writing career. On Sunday mornings, I was in church, where I met my husband.
My husband, David was a Sunday school teacher. Within a year we got married, and some years there after I became a mother of 7 children. And once the youngest child went to school, I too returned to school. I completed my cosmetology degree, within a year. I worked for three separate beauty salons, and I never stopped writing. My creative ideas came at different times. While working at the Hair Cuttery, during lunch, I pick up an alphabetical soup can, I began to make words from the alphabets while spinning it around and around in my hand, I remarked as to “How much, we Americans eat!” “There should never be a time, when we are feeding our stomachs, that we should not be feeding our minds.”
I learned a hard lesson it was not soon after that advertisements seemed to be found on the back of everything. After a year, I opened my own beauty salon and I continued to write on everything, napkins, open envelopes, brown paper bags, hosiery board, church programs, many composition books, journals, and the bottoms of my appointment book. While my children went to college I continued to work in my salon. For the next thirteen years, I worked through good times and bad times. Poems, from every struggle and any situation, I wrote poems for friends’ funerals, and baby’s births. A customer’s visit was not complete until I shared a poem to help them ease their pain and reflect on God’s ability to solve it. The next big idea came early one morning while preparing for my shower I took my towels from the linen closet, and mislaid them. In my determination to find those towels, “I asked the towels to talk to me… I remember saying, “where are you, where are you, I know you are in here somewhere. “They could not walk, for they have no legs you have to be somewhere near my bed.” That birthing of a business enterprise, allowed me to use all that I learned from the past experiences to make sure that I took the right steps. When starting my recent company, “My Towels Talk” I realized in my effort to protect it, I needed to carry it to copyright, patent, and trademark office. Every great idea I had, involved words and writings. The name of the business came to me, “My Towels Talk.” Every struggle became fuel for the fire! I love writing: I sleep with it, I eat with it, and I am inspired by every facet of life. I credit my sons and daughters, for professional input and their assistance during the conception of several poems. I have finally gotten there!