Farm Fresh Memories
THE FLAT ROCK GENERAL STORE SHOCKER!!!
By Joe Potter
There on the back wall of The Store hangs a honkerin’ big ole piece of white butcher paper and in dark red marker writin’ are these words—
SLIM AND ESSEX
It was Tuesday round bout’ 10 a.m. and there was a big ole bunch of Store regulars plus several other folk gathered around the old potbellied heater in the rear of The Store. Slim and Essex had just pulled off an "April Fools prize," the D.I.V.O.R.C.E shocker, on all the regulars and a passel of other community and area Flat Rock folk. It had it all —- the other woman, a P.I. spy, failure to communicate, nobody understands me, trouble in paradise plot. Everybody was pulled in. ’Course that was ten years or more ago, but Farlow recollected it seems like it was just last year. It was a pure team effort for them two, and folk should suspect nothin’ less as April one, ought eight is just about to corner. Just a minder "folks need to be on full guard."
The widow Cora noted it may not come from Slim and Essex. It could be from other folks and could even be directed toward them. There’re the times Bro. kept gettin’ calls from Tammy Faye Baker, Harley Hood got a letter from Elvis offerin’ for him to play Vegas with him, Ms. Ida won a famous Peabody duck, Estelle got a certificate for a free hair-fixin’ at her very own hair factory and Slim won an actual used porta-potty. Then there’s the time "Truth" won a load of driveway gravel for just 50 dollars to be delivered by John Thorn. Turns out in fine print it was just a red wagon load.
I almost forgot the time I won a set of matching 42-inch black and white long-screen HD televisions.
Yep, Willerdean notes "folk are a bit fearful of bein’ snookered" cause April one is ’bout to corner and it usual turns out much worse than just one more day toward another birthday year.
The Store clock is hittin’ on high noon and they’re still here Slim, Essex, Ms. Ida, the widow Cora, Farlow and Willerdean, "Truth," Estelle, S.R., J.R., "Hatch," Bro., Harley Hood, Dustin, Heath (the new Moulton ALFA insurance agent) and even my Daddy, "pop" C.C. (I Love You "pop").
Folk are showin’ up from other parts too, ’cause it’s "EATIN’ DAY AT THE STORE"! Mr. Wilton Fortenberry, from over to the PPPP, Russellville; John Thorn, Waco; Mr. Braxton Craig from over to Concord; the UPS Lady; a couple of CAT big equipment servicemen; Orland Britnell, the new ACA President and the auctioneer himself and my good friend, from over to The Moulton Stockyard, Mr. Roland Gargis. Not purely ’cause it’s "EATIN’ DAY AT THE STORE," just ’cause….
There’ll be plenty of vittles. I made a fish fryer full of beef-a-roni (heavy on the beef and tomatoes); Willerdean made two double iron skillets full of crusty Mexican corn bread and Estelle made dessert, yellow sheet cake with warm chocolate for pourin’ topical. For drinkin’, there’s real lemonade, Southern sweet tea and ice cold sweet milk— Are ya’ll hungry??? Then let’s eat!!!
Mind your guard in care of a serious April Fools snookerin’ from a non-suspectin’ friend, family member or co-worker. I’ll be watchin’ Slim, Essex and the other store regulars with two eyes.
Joe Potter is a former vocational agriculture teacher, FFA advisor and retired county agent (Colbert County).
REMEMBER YOUR HERITAGE,
ALWAYS, THINK GOOD MEMORIES.