February 2007
Farm Fresh Memories



 It was near noon when I walked through the old double front doors of The Flat Rock General Store on Wednesday. I had not seen the folks down at The Store in goin’ on two weeks.

There seemed to be this odd carrin’ on about The Store on this Wednesday, all the regulars were present includin’ Slim, Essex, Ms. Ida, the Widow Cora, Farlow, Willerdean, "Truth" and Estelle, Bro., S.R., J.R., "Hatch," Harley Hood, my Daddy "pop" C.C., Heath and Dustin plus a few other local and area Flat Rock folk. Like I said there was an odd carrin’ on about The Store. The men were all cleaned up and rather somber, most were settin’ around rather listless; on the other hand, all the women were dressed in Mossy Oak camo and most held near full smiles or grins.

I had experienced this situation in years past and I was fully aware of the reason for all the odd carrin’ ons. It was the end of huntin’ season and The Flat Rock women were celebratin’ in dress, with refreshments and, I would expect, some huntin’ tales. Estelle commented somethin’ about the time and havin’ to be down at the hair factory for an appointment perm at 2:00 o’clock. She was sippin’ some warm spiced cider as she offered her tale about "Truth," the true sportsman and love of her life.

Seems in his earlier huntin’ years as they traveled south well after dark to some leased deer land, there was this monster buck in the pick-up headlights as they crossed the railroad. Estelle didn’t offer complete details but she did say with a big smile as she kissed "Truth" and headed out the old double front doors of The Store, "There was a deer decoy, game wardens (conservation officers), lots of lights, a lost deer rifle and heavy fines—lesson learned."

Essex could hardly wait to relate her tale of Slim’s encounter with the shootin’ house. Seems there was a new deer land lease and he decided to walk in early without directions from those that were familiar with the property. Well—Mister Go-it-on-my-own actually wound up on the property next door to the leased land well before daylight and the shootin’ house was yes—can you say privy/John outhouse.

Willerdean was next and spoke of doing some serious nursing after Farlow’s first experience with a climbing tree stand. She mentioned somethin’ about holdin’ on tight and ridin’ a thirty-foot pine to the ground.

There were several other huntin’ tales offered up by the other Flat Rock women like—encounterin’ the bull on the cowpath before daylight with a bow; extreme cold, being well layered and the sudden stomach virus; and would you believe there’s the one about climbing the treestand at five a.m. with the deer rifle only to find you’re wearing the bird huntin’ coat with nothin’ but twelve gauge shotgun shells in the pockets and, yep, you’re about three miles from the deer camp.

Needless to say, it was an interesting afternoon down at The Store for all the Flat Rock folk and true there’s no more huntin’ till roundbout October. Now "let me tell mine…."


Joe Potter is a former vocational agriculture teacher, FFA advisor and retired county agent (Colbert County).