Talk about understanding a man better by looking at his parents. Woosh.
Myrtle Dobson was an amiable and social woman, but she didn't hesitate to whack her son [James] with a shoe or belt when she felt it was required. Consequently, Dobson writes, he learned at an early age to stay out of striking distance when he back-talked to his mother. One day he made the mistake of mouthing off when she was only four feet away and heard a 16-pound girdle whistling through the air. "The intended blow caught me across the chest, followed by a multitude of straps and buckles wrapping themselves around my midsection."