This is Robert Hathorn’s story.
There are some things that you need to know about my grandma to appreciate this story. She lived with her two sisters off an unpaved road in the middle of nowhere. She went to bed at 11:30pm just after the Johnny Carson Show on weeknights and at 10:30pm on weekend nights just after the News. There was a storage room in her carport that held tools, a freezer and a container of gasoline. She owned three guns – a .22, a .38 and sawed-off double-barreled shotgun. And she was an excellent shot.
So on to cousin Robert’s story…
It was late, late round about two o’clock. I didn’t have enough gas to make it home so I pulled in to Aunt Thelma’s. I cut off the car lights and eased the car down the road to just in front of the carport. I walked up into the shed, turned on the light, got the gas can and walked out. Didn’t think nothing about it.
I’m putting the gas in the tank and BAMM! Let me tell you, I hit that ground. I felt the hot wind whirling round that bullet. I’m laying there in the gravel. You know wasn’t nothing but sand and rocks in front of the carport. I got a mouth full of sand and I’m trying to talk to her. Another crack. BAMM! This time that bullet skidded across the roof of the car.
I got my breath and I yell, “Don’t shoot, Aunt Thelma! It’s me, Robert. It’s me, Robert.” I’m calling her y’all and praying at the same time.
Then I hear Aunt Christine. “Shoot him, Thelma. I’ll drag him under the carport.” My right hand to God, Aunt Christine said that.
I’m still talking telling them it’s me. Aunt Thelma says, “Stand up boy!” I get up with my hands up. My legs just a shaking. Aunt Thelma and Aunt Christine standing on that side porch with hedges. None of them got their glasses on. Aunt Thelma holding that double-barreled shotgun on me like she in the movies, man. You know she held that gun high up against her shoulder. I’m just praying there’s enough light she can make me out.
Finally, she drop that gun down and laugh. “Boy, that’s a good way to get killed.”
Aunt Christine starts walking in the house and turns around and says, “Scaring folks in the middle of the night.” I’m thinking I’m the one shaking and can’t get my hands down. Let me tell you the next time I needed gas in the middle of the night, I pulled over and slept in the car. I waited till first light and rang the doorbell.