December 2005
Farm Fresh Memories

Christmas Time in Flat Rock—- —Santa Claus…is coming!!!

Christmas Time in Flat Rock—-
—Santa Claus…is coming!!!

 There was a crowd that included most all the regulars, Ms. Essex, the Widow Cora, Ms. Ida, Farlow, Willerdean, Truth, Estelle, S.R., J.R., Harley Hood, and Hatch down at the Flat Rock General Store Saturday morning when I arrived. ’Course there were some part-timers and a few other lucky folk that just happened to stop by.

It was about 36 degrees outside and Slim had the old pot-bellied heater fully fired. Ms. Ida had baked her famous cinnamon rolls and the Widow Cora had made her specialty bite-size sausage biscuits for all to enjoy. There were some homemade pear preserves and Slim had opened a full gallon of pure Florida orange juice. Of course there was hot coffee for all of us older heads.

The talk was as brisk as the morning temperature and included a lot of subjects like adjusting to the time change, colder weather, harvesting progress, football, hunting successes, Thanksgiving blessings, and Christmas dinner menus and after Christmas diets.

As the Christmas conversation continued, talk turned to Santa Claus, gifts and memories past.

Slim started as he spoke of even the smallest of gifts, a special memory of Santa and his early youth. He recalled a stocking full of fruit and nuts and the one single small wrapped gift, a box of .22 rifle cartridges. Just the gift he had wanted to help provide food for his family’s winter table.

Ms. Ida next recalled her special childhood gift, a gift she still has today, a Sears Silverstone portable AM radio. Just the gift she had requested from Santa as a 12-year-old.

The Widow Cora had special memories of the two gifts that she had requested from Santa several times in person and also through numerous letters to the North Pole. On Christmas morning of her senior year in high school her requests finally came true under the family Christmas tree. First, a beautiful pair of shiny black heels and her first ever pair of stockings. There was also a note requesting that the gifts be worn to church on Sunday and then saved hopefully for her spring high school graduation. What a special memory this was for her.

Estelle recalled her first cosmetology set from Santa. It started her on a life-long career and also helped her to find her husband and best friend of more than 23 years, Adam Butch "Truth" Broadfoot. That was her very special Christmas gift.

S.R. recalled family gifts from his 12th Christmas. He received a Roy Rogers cowboy outfit and his younger sister got a Dale Evans outfit, both complete with hat and guns. That was his memory of a very special family Christmas.

Harley Hood spoke of two very special gifts that started him toward his musical career, a guitar and a full Elvis Presley costume, a total Christmas surprise.

"Truth" expressed true excitement as he spoke of two special gifts from Estelle just a few years back. He received a one-of-a-kind Mossy Oak hunting jacket and two tickets to the Auburn University — University of Alabama football game, or the Iron Bowl as it is known in the South. Of course he carried Estelle, still the love of his life after 23 years.

Some of the younger folk spoke of multiple gifts on Christmas. Many were games and electronics.

As for me, there are many special memories of Santa, special gifts, food, and lots of time spent with my family on the C.C. Potter Family Farm at Flat Rock. I have memories of one very special family blessing, just five days after Christmas, December thirtieth, Nineteen Seventy Three, my second son, Dustin Torrey Potter was born. Dustin, I love you and I am very proud of you and your family.

Just as I finished my memories of Christmas, Santa, family and gifts from years past, the talk turned to this year’s Christmas wishes.

Slim started and told of how his Christmas wishes had changed with age toward such things as family time, health, a few more years to enjoy life in Flat Rock and The Store, maybe even some traveling.

Ms. Ida then added her thoughts with a prayerful wish for the United States military and their families. She also hoped for world peace, or as close a thing to it as possible at Christmas, and for life’s simple blessing to continue.

With all those present down at The Flat Rock General Store filled with good food and Christmas wishes, the Widow Cora finished with a final thought of her concerns over the commercialization of Christmas. She encouraged everyone to remember the true reason for the special season!
Merry Christmas and
Happy Holidays!!!


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