Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Genealogy-Have You Ever Smoked Rabbit Tobacco?

Rabbit Tobacco Plant

Rabbit Tobacco Plant- I borrowed this picture

     I think we get so caught up finding stories and history of our Great-Great Grandpa or Grandma that we forget about our stories and history.  To our kids and grandkids, this is more relevant than way back when! Have you ever sat down and thought about when you were growing up? The funny situations you sometimes found yourself or what about your siblings?
     Have y'all ever heard of Rabbit Tobacco? I know there's a technical name, but it wasn't one we used. I also know that it has medicinal purposes, but that wasn't what we used it for.  I also know that it isn't marijuana. Above are pictures of the plant, with the bottom picture being what I want to talk about.
     I guess I was between twelve and thirteen, and my brother Larry eleven and twelve. My sisters were a lot younger, Susan probably was seven and Pam was four. We were living at the Big Woods on the mountain above Trenton, Georgia.  It's fall when the plants are drying up and the leaves are turning and preparing to fall off. We were wearing sweaters, so it must have been cool. If I was twelve or thirteen, that made it 1960 or 1961.  We were crossing a field, swinging sticks, talking when we spotted the Rabbit Tobacco. I'm not sure who suggested going into the house for a large brown grocery bag.  The kind they bagged your purchases in at A & P. They weren't thrown away, but placed under the sink for your garbage. So there we were with a pair of scissors and the grocery bag and matches.  Larry and I cut us a section of paper, pulled the dry leaves from the plant.  We rolled the  leaves back and forth between our hands until it was about the size of a cigar.  We then placed the tobacco at one end of the paper and rolled, like we'd seen our Dad, uncles and aunts do, into a huge cigarette! I think rolling it was half the fun. I don't remember Susan doing one, Pam for sure didn't. Larry and I each took a match and lit one end, then took a puff off of it. Now think about that dry paper bag and those dry leaves! Talk about a coughing spell! I'm surprised we didn't suck fire into our lungs! I can't say the taste was very good either.  I don't remember if we did smaller puffs and smoked the whole things, or just held it with the tips of our fingers trying not to breathe in any more smoke. I can say, it wasn't something I ever did again.
       This post has been linked to the Grand Social Linky.


Lorna - Raising Aaron said...

That it a very amusing story! The silly things we did as children in our attempts to "be grown up". My gusband has shared a story similar to your from when he was a child (I don't recall what he rolled). But it was rolled in ordinary paper and he coughed and gagged until green in the face! He never did take up cigarette smoking; likely because of that experience!

Judy Harper said...

This may be why I never took up smoking either! Fun stories though!

Grandma Kc said...

What a great post and a wonderful story. I've never heard of rabbit tobacco but I imagine any grandchild would love hearing this kind of personal story about their Grandma.

My granddaughter loves hearing stories about when her Mommy was little or when I was little and it is really awesome when you hear her share one of those stories with one of her friends! Makes a Grandma proud!

Connie said...

I have heard of Rabbit Tabacco. My dad use to call us kids Rabbit Tabaccy of all things. He was from the south. Cute story! Glad all survived ok :)

Sally Kabak said...

Wonderful story, never hard of Rabbit Tabacco. Thanks for sharing.

debra said...

Nope never had it but great story! :)

Vicki Valenta said...

I've never heard of rabbit tobacco, but we did once try to smoke grapevine. It was disgusting.

Did you know rabbit tobacco is a medicinal herb. I Googled it and learned a lot.

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

What a hoot! Great story. I've never tried smoking rabbit tobacco but regular tobacco when I was in sixth grade was bad enough for me. Not a smoker here, for sure, inhaling or not.

Good point about OUR stories being interesting to our grandchildren.

Thank you so much for linking to the GRAND Social. Wonderful to have you joining in.

Kaye Swain - SandwichINK for caregivers and grandparents said...

What fun family memories - and so glad it helped convince you not to smoke! :)

I never heard of this tobacco but I did try smoking with a couple of my parents cigarettes. Tried to "feel cool" driving down the road with the cigarette in my hand - just like the commercials.

The reality was they tasted AWFUL and made me COUGH too. I'm so grateful that whatever it was they smoked were so nasty and I never got in the habit. And now I have a fun story to help my own grandkids learn that lesson - hopefully WITHOUT following in my footsteps for that one ;)