yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


from the collection of Fred Stephens


originally published in the Wolf Creek Banner, Milan, TN, June 9, 1944

Grandma called it "kelessness," industry calls it unnecessary expense, the Safety Departmet calls it 88 out of every hundred accidents, but the man who is the victim of it calls it a sad day in his life when carelessness caused him injury.

Negligence, indifference, absent-mindedness, trifleness, listlessness, carelessness by any other name carries just as many regrets.  Life may begin at forty but it appears to be fairly enjoyable at sixty-five.  Let's prevent injuries caused by carelessness by eliminating carelessness, let's prepare to enjoy a ripe old age unmarred by injury caused by carelessness.  Let's put the garden rakes and hoes back where they belong when we get through with them instead of leaving them flat on the ground to be stepped on in the dark and whale the living daylights out of you.  Let's get the electric fan up off of the floor where it will eye, like a snapping turtle, ready to grab the first stray dress hem in its teeth and put Gypsy Rose Lee to shame in the time it takes to get one ready for sun bathing.  The cellar stairs should have a break.  For years they have been a catch-all for everything from Junior's sled to a parasol that Cousin Emma left there three years ago.  It is a wonder the German booby trap experts have never thought to incorporate cellar stairs in their program.  Let's be careful instead of careless.  It doesn't cost any more and pays big dividends.  Let's be careful at home, at the plant and on the way to and from.

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