September 2011
Farm Fresh Memories



It was Saturday in the early mornin’, nearin’ nine, as I lined up my pickup for parkin’ outside The Flat Rock General Store. A heavy population of Flat Rock folk includin’ several store regulars was all a buzz outside as I headed for The Stores old, double-front doors.

Slim was wearin’ his old turtle-shell hat for sun protection, as he was mowin’ alongside The Store with his brand new Gravely zero-turn lawn mower. "Truth" pulled his mower close to the gas pump and noted he needed more petro for finishin’ off "Yard Maintnance" over at Estelle’s hair beautifyin’ factory. Bro. was already on the opposite side pumpin’ gas into his own ridin’mower offerin’ he was a headed t’ward "Yard Maintnance" mowin’ up to the Baptist church before the weather heated up. Farlow and Willerdean was waitin’ turns for pumpin’ gas into a push mower and a ridin’ one on their pull trailer, preparin’ for "Yard Maintnance" work up to their farm shop and Wedge construction. It appeared to be "Yard Maintnance" day all ‘bout Flat Rock.

I moved on inside and howdied at Essex leaned on the far end of The Store’s counter doin’ store proprietorship operational duties in Slim’s "Yard Maintnance" absence. As I found my way to the gatherin’ area ‘bout the old potbellied heater in the rear, there was a crew of more store regulars from the widow Cora, Ms. Ida, Dustin, S.R., J.R., "Hatch" and, the main Music man himself, Mr. Harley Hood. Additional, my friend Jamey Keil was seekin’ drivin’ directions t’ward Flatwoods Farm for personal deliverin’ ’em a new Gravely zero-turn mower just like Slim’s and like our ought seven Gravely at Potters Mud Creek Farm, a very fine "Yard Maintnance" machine. Jamey had the gathered crew’s attention as he was offerin’ ’em this two-foot brochure-type picture of a beautiful "Hot Pink" Gravely — a fightin’ for a cancer cure zero-turn mower. The Gravely "Yard Maintnance" company had sold raffle chances to help fight cancer and Joyce and I had seen the very "Yard Maintnance" mower on October last at the Sunbelt Expo over in Moultrie, GA. It was, in my eyes, too purty to use in "Yard Maintnance" work.

Here Slim moved in for a coolin’-down water break and Bro. stepped inside the old, double-front doors and offered Essex should write down 15 dollars for "Yard Maintnance" gas on the Baptist church’s charge ticket. Willerdean offered Essex please do the same for their $22 of "Yard Maintnance" gas for Farm and Wedge Construction. Then "Truth" hollered in that Estelle would come by and pay for the 12 dollars worth of "Yard Maintnance" petro when she finished up for the day over a her hair beautifyin’ factory.

Here I spoke my good-bye howdies and headed out for some personal "Yard Maintnance" with our ought seven Gravely over to The Cabin at Potter’s Mud Creek Farm. As I drove off in my pickup, I started thinkin’ ‘bout the circumstance I had encountered of a middle-aged couple a lookin’ to purchase a "Yard Maintnance" lawn mower down at the hardware a few years back — it played out like this…


I was down at the local hardware on Friday last
Havin’ ’em cut me a piece of
Unbreakable plexiglass
When this here middle-aged couple
Pulled and got out fast.

They headed straight for the mowers
Lookin’ for ’em somethin’ to cut grass.

He was out front and went motorin’ by,
It seemed one had really caught his eye.

Over here, Hun!!!
I really like this one.

Electric start,
Easier on your heart,

Self propelled,
Just follow it, Dear,

Three year warranty—
It will last you for years,

Free blade sharpenin’
Oil changes the first year,
Sounds like it’s callin’ you, Dear,
It’s the same company that made my ridin’one!
I really do like this one — Hun!!!

Seems as iffin’ my "Yard Maintnance" intentions may go
mis-directional t’ward a noon nap as when I got to The Cabin,
there was a rain shower fallin’ — eliminatin’ the possibleness
for me doin’ well with my "Yard Maintnance" intentions…


I am on a roll, another Farm Fresh Memories reader - number 7? Ha! Dr. Donald Smith, D.M.D., and Smith Farms Blountsville — Thank You!!! Dr. Smith and I agree we have both "been there and done that" after my July Farm Fresh Memories article. He said "two rednecks," I say "country boys and probably Southern gentlemen," I am very proud of my growin’ up and my "Southern Heritage," and hopefully I can continue to share lifetime stories through my friends, Flat Rock folk and The Flat Rock General Store regulars… Thanks also to the fine folk at Cooperative Farming News and the beautiful new magazine format!!!

Joe Potter is a true Southern farm boy/Ag man. He is also a humorist, poet speaker, writer, and he and his family own Potters Mud Creek Farm near "our" Flat Rock at the tri-county corner of Colbert, Franklin and Lawrence Counties. You can contact him by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to 5840 County Road 339, Russellville, AL 35653. He would love to tell his story at your meeting or program.