Wednesday, December 20, 2017 – Got Your Petunia Covered?
This is station HWIT wishing you a good morning! It is a balmy 72 degrees this morning in The Lone Star State. And the sun is shining in a cloudless blue sky.
If you are headed to Texas for the holidays you will need to pack the following:
Fleece lined shirts
Hats with ear coverings
The morning temperature five days from now for Christmas Day morning in the Houston area is predicted to be 28 degrees. So prepare to protect your petunia. Cover it and keep it warm.
That is a good transition to Story Time with your host Fanny Faust. I understand, Fanny, that you are going to give us the background of your family’s story of “Cover your petunia.”
That is correct, Unnamed DJ. The origin of the petunia covering saying began sometime in the 1930’s in Flora, Louisiana. The bustling town of Flora served as a pumping station for Standard Oil and served as a sawmill town owned by Weaver Brothers Lumber Corporation. Side bar: Standard became Exxon-Mobile, Chevron, and BP depending on where you live.
Like most sawmill towns there was a commissary. While the Weaver Brothers Commissary served as the store for general merchandise, it also served as the gathering place for the town folk to catch up on the local happenings and to pick their mail at the post office. Think of it as the social media of its day.
In most general stores of the day there was a large log burning pot-bellied stove that served as the heat for the store. Like most fires of this type used for warmth, one tends to freeze on one side and scorch on the other.
I am going use the person’s real name because she has been long gone and lives only in the petunia story. I am not certain how far Margie Cook had to walk from her house to Weaver Brothers Commissary, but one frigid bitter cold morning she rushed into the store, ran to the stove and hiked up her skirt to receive the warmth of the fire.
As warmth was achieved she dropped her skirt, gave a contented sigh, turned around and announced for all to hear “It was so cold last night my petunia froze!”
Sadly for Margie Cook the petunia story was frozen in time and history. The postal clerk had just put up the mail and the entire Weaver Brother’s Commissary was filled with town folk from Flora who just witnessed Margie Cook flash her petunia and announce just how cold it was in Flora, Louisiana the night before.
For decades when the weather turns cold (like 40 degrees in Texas) family members communicate to ask “Got your petunia is covered?” I hope yours is covered.
Thank you so much Fanny. I will need to double, maybe triple my petunia coverings this Christmas. That’s all for today. Station HWIT – Peace and Petunias Out!