December 2006
Farm Fresh Memories

Farm Fresh Memories


It was almost ten a.m. on Saturday morning as I turned off Lawrence County 131 and committed to pull up and park at The Flat Rock General Store. There’s this big old crowd gathered outside somethin’ like you would only see on Friday night at the auction house or for Saturday night live wrestlin’ at the National Guard Armory. As I walked toward the crowd outside The Flat Rock General Store I could see Farlow settin’ or standin’ on somethin’ well above the crowd. I was totally amazed as I got inside the circled up crowd, there set Farlow on what had to be a one-of-a-kind in the whole wide world, John Deere Mossy Oak Camo Backhoe with this here sign hanging directly from the bucket… FARLOW…"MERRY CHRISTMAS" — WITH LOVE!!! WILLERDEAN

Course all the regulars includin’ Slim, Essex, "Truth", Estelle, Ms. Ida, The widow Cora, my Daddy "pop" C.C., Heath, Dustin, Bro., Harley Hood, S.R., J.R., and "Hatch" were gathered close around with their mouths hanging wide open. There were lots of other community and area Flat Rock Folk present and the crowd seemed to grow bigger by the minute as word spread of Willerdean’s Christmas present to Farlow.

"Truth" the true sportsman, stood along side the John Deere Mossy Oak Camo Backhoe he seemed totally flabbergasted as he posed this question to Willerdean "how"??? Did you keep this a secret, did the John Deere Backhoe get Camoed, and did you have help? Farlow set stride his John Deere Mossy Oak Camo Backhoe with an ear to ear smile as Willerdean shared her Christmas surprise to Farlow story with The Store regulars and all those other community and area Flat Rock folk present.

Seems Willerdean had been plannin’ her 2006 Christmas surprise to Farlow for almost a year and carried it out with the help of her good friend and Farlow’s former boss John Thorn and several of The Store regulars. With John’s help she found and purchased a just-off-lease John Deere Backhoe out of the hurricane area of Louisiana and had it delivered to John’s place at Waco, Alabama. Then starting around November fifteenth the fun begin for Willerdean; with the dedicated help of S.R., J.R., "Hatch", and Bro. along with John’s crew of employees, the Backhoe was completely washed and cleaned. Then over a period of four weeks Willerdean and her crew completely overlaid the entire John Deere Backhoe (lock, stock and barrel) with Mossy Oak new Break-up Camo.

Additionally, John’s crew fabricated a full Mossy Oak Camo double shootin’ house complete with drop ladder and weapon pull cord to fit the back arm on the backhoe. This means Farlow can pull right up, park and hunt over any green field on their farm or his other leased land around Flat Rock. Willerdean also credits the help of Slim, Essex, Ms Ida and the widow Cora with keepin’ Farlow occupied during critical times of her carrin’ out her Christmas surprise and what a surprise it was! "Truth" commented further; sure makes me believe in Santa Claus and a whole bunch of them little Elves!!!

As Saturday noon approached down at The Store and Willerdean had finished her Christmas surprise to Farlow story, the big old crowd begin to disperse. Most of The Store regulars moved on inside as Essex, Ms. Ida and the widow Cora shared their own Christmas gifts and treats with The Store regulars and the few other community and area Flat Rock folk still present.

Course Farlow was still outside settin’ stride of his John Deere Mossy Oak Camo Backhoe in full grin and he provided the final Christmas wish from all The Store regulars at this holiday season…The love of family, simple blessings at Christmas, a happy New Year and above all— keep the true meaning of Christmas in your heart today and the whole year through.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL The AFC Cooperative Farming News "Farm Fresh Memories" readers and TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!!!


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