April 15, 1964
Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. Today’s tax deadline day. Daddy had to get his tax forms filled out and in the mail before the end of the day. In time for the postmaster to stamp it sent. He figured and refigured and added up numbers all day. I overheard him telling Wes that he didn’t see how in the world a person who didn’t make much money could have such problems with taxes. Wes just smiled and patted Dad’s shoulder before he escaped out to the pressroom to tinker with the press.
Zella touched her sausage curls to be sure they were properly stiff before she shook her head at Dad and informed him he should have filled out the forms weeks ago the way she did. Daddy almost growled at her before he went in his office and shut the door. Dad hardly ever shuts his office door, but when he does, it’s best to leave it shut until he opens it.
Zella glared at the shut door and then began muttering under her breath about how pathetic Daddy was at paperwork. Even if his work was the paper. She banged on her typewriter so hard that I peeked over her shoulder to see if the type keys were making holes in her paper. That made her hit the keys even harder as she told me to stop making a shadow on her paper. Like I was getting in the way of her sun.
But thank goodness Dad did open his door and bring out the envelope all sealed, signed and stamped for government delivery. Then thank goodness, Aunt Love had the Jack Benny Hour on TV when we got home. Jack Benny was, of course, complaining about paying taxes. And thank goodness, Dad dropped down in his easy chair and laughed until he almost fell out of it. I don’t like Jack Benny. I can’t imagine what was so tickling Dad’s funny bone. Adults are beyond understanding sometimes. But if Jack Benny’s silly jokes got Daddy to forget about being cranky about those taxes then I was willing to smile and pretend I thought the show was funny too. At least this one time.
Do you ever watch the Jack Benny show? Then maybe you can tell me what’s so funny about holding onto the first dollar a person ever made?