Snuff Dipping

She Just Couldn’t Get Enough of That Powerful Stuff (I mean, Snuff)!

The poem you are about to read is true. My grandmother did dip snuff. She dipped it all of the time. A lot of women I knew (yes, I said women) when I was a boy dipped snuff. Of course, back then, people did not know that it caused cancer and other problems (not that it would have made any difference with some, but they did not know it then, as we do now). My grandmother died of mouth cancer, probably caused from dipping snuff. I wrote the following poem a few years ago when I was thinking about her one day.


I would sometimes stay with my granny;
After I got old enough,
And one thing I still remember;
Is how she loved her snuff!

She had to love her snuff;
There is no doubt about it
Because I cannot remember;
Ever seeing her without it!

She dipped it when she laughed;
She dipped it when she’d weep;
I’ve even seen it in her mouth
When she was sound asleep!

She dipped it when she cooked;
She dipped it when she cleaned;
She dipped it more than any person
That I had ever seen.

And one thing that surprised me;
One thing I can’t forget;
Is during all that dipping,
She would hardly ever spit!

But she had no trouble talking;
She lived here in the South;
And sometimes when she talked,
That snuff ran out her mouth!

The snuff would be on her apron;
The snuff would be on her face;
The snuff would be on her teeth;
The snuff was all over the place.

I always wanted her to quit,
And sometimes I’d let it slip.
But Granny would just smile at me;
Then take another dip!

And when I had to leave her,
I’d almost wanted to cry;
I always loved my “Granny”
But not that kiss goodbye!
Wayne Dunaway

It is amazing what we notice most about the people we know and love. My grandmother was one of the best women that I have ever known and I spent a lot of good times with her when I was a child. But for a long time the thing I seemed to remember most is the “snuff” and “kiss goodbye.” And I am really saddened by that fact. I let focusing on one thing that I really did not like rob me of focusing on the many things I did like about her. I let one imperfection…get in the way of focusing on her affection. I hope I have learned not to let a few things that someone does that I do not necessarily like, or approve of, stop me from seeing the many good things about them. I hope I have learned, at least to some degree, to focus on one’s faith and not their faults. I do not want to be like the fellow who said: “The faults in others I can see, but praise the Lord, there’s none in me!” And I hope we can all learn to deal with each other “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4:2). The main reason that I would need to “bear with” anyone is because they do something that I do not like or approve of. We do not need to “bear with” (tolerate, endure, put up with) those who are always doing the things that please us and things that meet our approval. It is when affection is more important than imperfection that we will be able to live together in harmony in our families, in the world, and in the church.

By the way, I do not think it is good to dip snuff……or smoke…or drink diet drinks…or drink too much caffeine…or eat too much…or be a couch potato….or fail to get enough exercise…or worry…or complain…or talk bad about others, but I “bear with” some who do some of these things, and I hope they can “bear with” me in any number of these and other things that they don’t necessarily like about me. Of course, if we do not want to “bear with,” then I guess we will just have to “bail out.” But then we will miss…the kiss.

Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway

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