September 2006
Farm Fresh Memories

Farm Fresh Memories


It was about nine a.m. on Wednesday morning when I stepped through the old double front doors of The Flat Rock General Store. I was rather excited— I had not been around The Store or seen Slim or any of the other regulars in nigh on a month of Sunday’s times six. Because of my Wax work, an Alabama beef tour, and other pressin’ activities I had not even been able to keep up with The Store happenin’s or the pursuits of individual Store regulars or other community folk.

It was saughter like a home comin’ for me and at first glance it appeared that most all the regulars were present inside The Store on this Wednesday a.m. However, my eyes and ears were a bit overcome as I moved about the store. All those present had this here intense appearance like they were taking one of Mr. Posey E. Thompson’s (deceased) Hatton High School vocational agriculture test and ciphering out the mathematics concernin’ the precise volume of a corn crib, or yards of material needed to pour a four inch thick slab of concrete.

But, as I approached Slim, he began to explain that all those present had this here assignment concernin’ The Flat Rock General Store and a tribute to its fifty-sixth year anniversary as of September fifteenth two thousand ought six. The Store regulars, includin’ Ms. Ida, The Widow Cora, my Daddy "pop" C.C., Farlow, Willerdean, "Truth," Estelle, Harley Hood, Bro., S.R., J.R. "Hatch," my two son’s Heath and Dustin, Essex and even a few other Flat Rock Folk were all workin’ on their individual tribute versions and, as usual, my assignment accordin’ to Slim was to put all them together in one proper and fittin’ tribute to The Store.

Course this means gettin’ my polished version of the tribute to The Moulton Advertiser man, Mr. Luke Slaton, and on to any other media sources. Additionally, like anything else down at The Store there would be an eatin’/celebration on the Saturday shy of Labor Day or September second of ought six at five in the evenin’ and this eatin’ had to be planned out and promoted about the community and Northwest Alabama area—

It should also be noted that there would be plenty of savory vittles for young and old alike, those both near and far that could travel to The Flat Rock Community House on this day. Likely also ifin’ you were to lack transportation means and would contact one of the regulars or other Flat Rock Folk, an individual would be obliged to get you to and from the celebration.

Here is the final completed/compiled tribute version from the regulars and all the other community and area Flat Rock Folk that felt led to participate in Slim’s Store project recognition.


The Coca-Cola sign out front is weathered, worn and hardly readable anymore.

After dozens of coats there is a character all its own, to the oil stained wooden floor.

Winter means the ole pot bellied heater is always a roar, from five a.m. till dark—— p.m. or more.

In summer no a.c. means you just prop open the windows and swing back the big old double front doors.

Sales are tallied on a brown paper poke and then the money is placed in a single cash drawer.

The glass front Store counter has sewing needles, thimbles, thread and cloth is stacked on tables about the floor.

Along a wire above the window hangs several water dippers and well buckets galore.

The lunch group comes to eat bologna, crackers, hoop cheese, sardines, with ice cold bottle cokes at the complete country deli store.

Rook cards, dominos, even a homemade checkerboard across a nail keg, are ready for play in the rear of the store.

The talk is always of current events, politicians, the preacher’s Sunday sermon and who it was meant for.

Store hours change summer to winter based on the feelings of the proprietor.

Outside, the ethyl and regular gas pumps carry several oil company stickers datin’ back forty-fifty years or more.

Not just a convenience store, you always stop for something else ———

A howdy, Let’s play one more, ya’ll come back now and visit some more,


Not unlike The Flat Rock General Store, there are many grass roots legacies of farm life and rural America that are critical that we carry on and keep alive for current and future generations!!!

I do hope that every "Farm Fresh Memory" reader has a relaxing safe Labor Day weekend with plentiful vittles and some fine homemade ice cream— enjoy…


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