August 2005
Farm Fresh Memories

MY THOUGHTS OF SULTRY SUMMER NIGHTS, IN AND AROUND FLAT ROCK...

 
MY THOUGHTS OF
SULTRY SUMMER NIGHTS,
IN AND AROUND FLAT ROCK...

It was about dusk when I entered The Flat Rock General Store Thursday evening. Ms. Ida and the widow Cora each had one of the old hand type church fans swinging full blast. It was near hot as blue blazes for dusk on a summer night in late July. Slim had the old double front doors on The Store propped clean back, plus all the windows pushed full high, except for the one with the rattley old window fan running at high throttle.

Farlow walked in close behind me and remarked something about the extreme heat. He also noted that in years past on any given summer night, Slim would have had some individual hand turning the old six quart white mountain ice cream freezer filled with either full sweet vanilla or fresh peach homemade ice cream.

Farlow’s mention of this sultry summer night with no ice cream made me think about my summer nights growing up in Flat Rock and things like homemade ice cream that were part of my life.

Like a really good country garden supper of skillet corn, fried okra, Crowder peas, cool sliced tomatoes, iron skillet corn bread, some sweet milk and, for this country boy there had to be some type of meat, country fried steak, chicken, meatloaf, etc. A meal that most folk today could only see getting anything near close to this would be at The Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Course it seems that the only thing that I can relate to you through my “Farm Fresh Memories” articles is food. But, there were/are lots of things that we, as rural farm people, take somewhat for granted about summer nights as we live and/or grow up in the country.

Like fireflies, bullfrogs, crickets, falling stars, camping out on the creek, fishing by campfire light, possibly even an orange sunset or full moon shining bright. There were lots of other things, the week of summer revival or a weeknight Braves baseball game on the old local AM radio station.

Some summer nights included work things. Plowing on a sultry summer night, the old Thirty Twenty John Deere sound would automatically change from a roar to a hum at sundown, something that is hard to experience in a cab tractor today. Also, there were eggs that had to be cased for shipment to Snowshell in Hartselle or a load of square hay bales that would have to be put in the barn after supper. Maybe there would be a semi trailer load of ammonium nitrate in fifty pound bags to be unloaded in the tractor shed one at a time, no fork lifts and pallets (there have been times when I set every bag to the side to be set off the truck).

Summer nights on the weekend might include Opry on the radio, a drive-in movie or just maybe charcoal grilled hamburgers.

I really love the cooler seasons of fall and especially mild winters but, there is something special about the experiences of sultry summer nights in the country.

GOD’S PERFECT SUMMER’S NIGHT!!!
A COUNTRY BOY’S DELIGHT—-

A GLOWING SUNSET DESCENDS WESTERLY
JUST OFF TO MY RIGHT

SINGING COYOTES GREET THE NEW OF NIGHT

FIREFLIES MOVE ABOUT THE NIGHT
AS SPARKLING DIAMONDS SHINING BRIGHT
A FULL MOON ILLUMINATES THE STILLNESS OF THIS NIGHT

THERE’S STARS EAST, WEST, NEAR AND FAR
ONE, TWO, THREE—
GOD KNOWS JUST HOW MANY THERE ARE
QUICK— A WISH FOR THAT FALLING STAR

A BULLFROG BREAKS THE SUDDEN QUIET
WHILE CRICKETS SING WITH DETERMINED MIGHT

MORE—FIREFLIES DOT THIS COUNTRY BOY’S NIGHT
AS INDIVIDUAL DIAMONDS SHINING BRIGHT
A TRULY MAJESTIC SIGHT

ALL DESIGNED AND CREATED TO COMPLETE —
GOD’S PERFECT SUMMER’S NIGHT!!!
FOR THIS COUNTRY BOY
WHAT A DELIGHT!!!

Whether it be summer, winter, spring or fall it is more important than ever that we as farm folk and rural people always remember our heritage, and recognize and acknowledge the simple everyday, God-granted beauty about us, what a special blessing. Course these things need to be noted and passed on to our future farm and rural generations as well and those that may have never lived or experienced such a special blessed way of life.
ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR HERITAGE!!!
THINK GOOD MEMORIES!!!
Joe

Joe Potter is a former vocational agriculture teacher, FFA advisor, retired county agent (Colbert County) for Auburn University and is currently regional sales manager for the Wax Company of Amory, MS. Additionally, he is still involved in C.C. Potter family farm at Flat Rock, the farm where he grew up. He is also a humorist, poet, speaker, writer and a true Southern farm boy/ag-man. His book, Farm Fresh Memories, is available for $15.00 plus shipping; order by phone at 256-332-0676 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..