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Casper: Mama was an old-fashioned conservative
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My mother was a conservative, the kind that would make John McCain look like a raging left-wing liberal.

She was neither a Democrat nor Republican. She never voted. I’m not sure that she had heard about women being given the right to vote.

It was a man’s place to vote, and my daddy always exercised that right. Mama stayed at home and didn’t mess in politics.

Politics happened in places like Washington and Atlanta, where no decent God-fearing Christian would go. After all, those places were full of politicians.

Mama thought that to go to any city was like taking the broad road to perdition. Atlanta was, in her mind, such a den of iniquity that no moral person would ever be found there.

I got the impression that unspeakable perversions occurred in the city on every street corner as a matter of routine course.

She was very leery of the city of Gainesville, population about 12,000 at the time.

Her opinion was that evil lurked everywhere, especially on those streets with theaters like the Royal, Ritz and State. Moving picture shows were not for children raised right in Baptist homes.

Truth be told, she was even reluctant to let me go to town in Flowery Branch, although I did go to the Rose Theater the few times I managed to scrape up the 11-cent admission.

I think that was because Mama actually knew people in our little town, and felt that they, like her, had the common sense and moral fortitude to never live in the big city.

Drugs were unknown in our area when I was growing up, except one would hear of a doctor once in a blue moon who got hooked on his own medicine. He usually left town.

Alcohol was a problem, even though you could not buy so much as a can of beer legally anywhere in Northeast Georgia. You could buy moonshine if you had the connections.

But you could not buy groceries on Sunday. A merchant who defiled the Lord’s Day in such a way would likely have been forced out of business by an unorganized boycott.

Some service stations were allowed to stay open on Sundays as a service to travelers. However, they had to wait until after church hours to open up. Mama liked it like this.

She did not like it when one of our merchants put a pool table in his store. It transformed an otherwise respectable place into a den of gambling iniquity, and she would not go there.

No doubt the proprietor really missed the three dollars a week she would splurge there.

My brother convinced Mama to go to the Skyview Drive In Theater and see "The Ten Commandments." She was impressed, but able to point out the Biblical inaccuracies.

Eventually, my daddy, a little more worldly, brought home a television set. Mama looked askance at the one-eyed monster that was going to shovel the mire of Hollywood into our very home.

She changed her mind when she and Daddy got hooked on "Live Atlanta Wrestling." I was sorry for them when my brother finally told them it was all fake.

Dave Casper is a longtime Hall County resident.

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