By Dottie Dewberry For the WPT
MABEN — Back when I was a child, my family would take us to the “picture show” down at Artesia.
It would cost 15 cents to get in and a nickel for a bag of popcorn or for a snow cone. There wasn’t much for sale, but hey, snow cones were a treat. After we paid out admission, we could go sit in any seat in the rows of hard auditorium seats. Generally the kids sat close to the front and the adults sat in the back. Rowdy behavior got a reprimand from the “picture show lady.”
Here would be a short comedy show (Woody Woodpecker) before the feature, which was usually a western. My favorite was always Roy Rogers, but there were many cowboys, and maybe we would get to see a different one each week. Cowboys like Rex Allen, Gene Autry, Audie Murphy, Randolph Scott and Bob Steele were always trying to catch the stagecoach robbers, the bank robbers and the cattle thieves. They would either be shooting at the crooks or fist-fighting them. It was always exciting, because television had not made it to our household yet. Personally, I did not know it (TV) had even been invented.
Back in those days the good guys wore white hats; they also wore guns, which they invariably used to shoot at the bad guys. That was the theme: good guys catching the bad guys. It worked for me then and it still works for me today. In my small and growing smaller town, we have some good guys that may not wear white hats, but they should because they are always helping those that need help. Sometimes that would be me.
Recently, as I was out and about my car decided to just up and quit — the battery of eight years decided it had worked long enough. With help from some good guys, we got the car cranked and I made it home. That was scary.
Anyway, the next day, I called the Maben Auto Parts Good Guy, Donald O’Brian, and told him my problem. Lo and behold, the next day Donald and his sidekick Bennie Perkins showed up with a battery and were banging on my door so they could change out the old for the new. Yep! Two good guys with white hats live in Maben.
As my car was out of commission for a day or two, I was using my truck, but it too needed some maintenance: plugs, plug wires and windshield wipers, plus an oil change. OK!! But who does this in our town? The Maben Auto Parts Good Guy told me that the Tire Service Good Guy, Joe Pierce does this, so he called Joe and set up the plan and in about 30 minutes I was flying down the road in my little red Nissan pickup truck, running like new.
Good Guy Joe has always kept a watch out for my about “every-three- months” oil change and telling me when to rotate the tires or when I need to buy some new ones, which he had on the shelf. Joe will check your oil, gauge your tires, add windshield washer fluid and change your oil. He also services my lawn mower, which he picks up and returns. Yep, Joe is one of the good guys in Maben.
The good guys are not always guys; sometimes they are good girls. For instance, the girls of Dew’s Place are Good Guys! One short phone call and my bacon and biscuit is sacked up and is on hold until I finally make it to Maben for breakfast. They do this with my order of chicken spaghetti every other Wednesday, too.
Barry Cole’s grandkids Rileigh and Braden love to go to the “gravy store” where they get hugs and kisses from the Good Guys at Dew’s Place, which serves them biscuits and gravy. Way to go Pam, April and Laurie!
All around town are “good guys and good girls” who make shopping at home first worth the effort.
One of my all-time favorite places to go is to the Maben Public Library, where there are always new books, good conversation and a pleasant atmosphere. Our librarian, Good Guy Mary Boutwell, always serves with a smile, provides help with the internet, the fax machine, the copier or just help in finding a new book to read. As for myself, I might call the library to just ask what a word means: for example, elephant bells. She is always obliging in finding an answer.
You can tell by looking that I obviously love to eat out at Larry’s of Maben. My last good guy is restaurant manager John Crowley, who always has a smile for me, time for conversation and maybe a bowl of ice cream. John floats around the restaurant , visits with patrons from Maben and those from neighboring cities (Ackerman, Eupora, West Point, Starkville, Columbus, Caledonia), and assists in making their visit pleasant and delicious.
Recently, my daughter, Deirdre, was laughing at me when I was expecting special services at wherever we were. She told me I was spoiled. Well, yes, I am. I am spoiled by the Good Guys in Maben, who make my life easier.
Whether these people wear white hats or not; they are truly good people, who serve the town with a smile.