There is a Clothesline in My Backyard

There is a Clothesline in My Backyard
 Just as I was coming into awareness of my surrounding as a child, there was the ending of one practice and the beginning of another. It was not the invention of, but the introduction of the washer and clothes dryer to the Wilford household. That would put me back at about five or six years of age. We moved to a brand new home where the subdivision was still being built and new people were still moving in. It was a while ago. I am depending on my memory to date things so please hold the dates in time loosely.
I used the word introduction because I truly don’t remember our home on 25th and Washington ever having an electric clothes dryer. I don’t recall seeing one but I do remember seeing a clothesline in the yard. Say what you want, but if you are familiar with the word clothesline, you are up there with me. Young people today don’t know the word clothes hanger and some believe that clothes are born on these covered in plastic. Hey young people, “All clothes are not born equal.”  

On the day that momma did the laundry,(let me pause), laundry had a day then. Today you can throw a load in at your leisure. On that day, I remember that the dirty clothes were washed on washboards but washing machines had made their arrival.

I’m not trying to date us and say we didn’t have a washer, but I will say, color televisions were in the stores and in some homes, but not every home had one. If you had a black and white, you were well off. 

I am trying to hurriedly write us to our destination. I’m sorry but If I close my eyes, I don’t see an electric clothes dryer. I do see a clothesline in my backyard. A what you say? A clothesline? In the back yard, there were two poles dug in the ground a distance away from each other. A cord or wire was stringed between the two of them. After clothing was washed and clean, they had to be dried. The wet clothes were spread out and fastened to the clothes line by what was called clothes pins( I feel like Alex Haley telling Roots). On any given sunny day in the hood, you would see backyards filled with not flags flying but clothes being dried by the hot summer breeze!! 

 I would like the record to show that no one, as I recall, had clothes lines in their FRONT YARD. They were ALWAYS in the backyard OUT OF PUBLIC VIEW. Before Vicki ever had secrets, women had unmentionables. 

Since I was a young boy, I was never charged with this task, so I never read the manual on what was to be hung and what wasn’t. I would like to offer my observation and take a stab at it. Feel free to inbox me later with pertinent information that you feel I may be lacking. Who can fault me for attempting to recall what my eyes saw at such a tender young age?  

On the clothesline, I see sheets, socks, towels, shirts and pants. HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS HERE. What I don’t see is bras and panties. Let me repeat, what I don’t see is bras, panties, and girdles. I don’t see undergarments.

I don’t believe that it was because we were trying to avoid a freak fest or to keep from tempting the neighborhood pervert. 

I truly believe that there was an unwritten rule that WOMEN DON’T HANG THEIR LAUNDRY(clean or dirty) ON THE LINE FOR ALL TO SEE. 

What the hell happened? Electric dryers?

 Somehow women stop using clotheslines and advanced to dryers but nobody thought to pass on the lesson, “YOU DON’T HANG YOUR SECRETS AND UNMENTIONABLES ON THE FACE BOOK CLOTHESLINE?

Some of which we don’t want to see and that which we don’t need to see!! 

Can you imagine the garments that would hang if we still had clothes lines today? My boy told a lady, “I see what you on!!” The clothes line would reveal what you were on!! We would see thongs, boy shorts, crotch less drawers, and some stuff so small that would only require one clothes pin to secure it. WE DON’T NEED THAT. Spare us the details. 

Dear Miss, what you hang on the clothesline tells a story about you that we don’t need to know. Some things should be kept secret. This message is not for men. I’m glad momma didn’t hang men underwear, well never mind. Holy and dingy day would kill me to have to discuss. 

Hey Girl, a man should be surprised at somethings and not be able to predict everything about you. 

(Disclaimer) Uncle Will is not saying you can’t be cute and sexy with it. (Yes, I like Uncle Charlie, Snoop, and Uncle Luke, have gotten older and have assumed the role of elders.)

 If the older ladies won’t say it, we will. I am not saying you have to wear white Kmart bloomers. I am saying, what you wear is NO ONE’S BUSINESS but yours. 

Home Girl, Keep it in the down low and keep the dryer setting on “low.”

To save some gutter thinking person, Let me walk you back out my hood. 

There is a clothesline in my backyard. 


Uncle Will

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