July 2009
Farm Fresh Memories

Independence Day Ought Nine in Flat Rock...

Individuals, Independence and Culturedness…

It was Thursday in the near early mornin’ when Slim rang me on my cellular phone. I hadn’t hardly had time to wash the Wednesday night sleepy from my right eye. Seems Slim had concerns ‘bout celebratin’ Independence Day ought nine down to Flat Rock. Through our phone talkin’, he further carried personal concerns ‘bout USA Independence Day and abuse of USA freedoms by individuals. Slim personally notin’ there are just too many folk overdoing and misusin’ USA freedoms.

Then he let loose ramblin’ on, way back, ‘bout, there’s, furthermore, when, people forget, before, why I remember when, overall, personally, more often than not, the pure reality, of life, beyond today, after all.... His comments were directed t’ward all folk in general, but it was all a landin’ straight at my end of our conversation.

I tried to offer back to Slim that individuals were all different in personality, by both thinkin’ and actin’ based on their particular way of bein’ cultured. I further stated people are cultured by association, based on region, then family, friends, church, work, etc., etc. and so on.

I offered myself as an example of individual culturedness—


I love Bishop’s 
pulled pork bar-b-que.

Even swam in a creek 
not so clear and blue.

I like my tea cold 
and with sugar too.

Hand picked cotton 
in the morning dew.

Hauled and carried hay, 
not one bale but two.

Drove a tractor, 
seems like since I was two.

Marveled at the crops as they grew.

Love chicken, Southern fried, grilled or in stew.

Held a hen egg warm and fresh, 
so very new.

Thanked God often for what I do.

Thought if city folks only knew.

Backed a four-wheel wagon,
like my Daddy taught me to.

Worked on the farm 
with a sometimes motley crew.

Drank Coke, R.C. and Mt. Dew,
even ate a moon pie or two.

Held a baby calf still warm, 
wet and just brand new.

Watched and taught 
my two sons farming
as they grew.

Picked cucumbers brand new,
before they graded number two.

Shot bobwhite quail 
from the point of ole Sally too.

Drank gallons of farm fresh milk. 
It is great on the rocks;
that’s with ice, I guess you knew.

Always enjoyed an orange sunset and sky of blue.

Split kindling in the winter
when there was nothing else to do.

I was country before country grew.

Even wanted to be President 
a time or two.

Drank fresh-squeezed lemonade 
as the summer brew.

Eat fried catfish whole or in filets, did you?

Love to hunt, but fishing 
is not something 
I really like to do.

Loved to eat, but love to play sports
more than anybody knew.

Been a Braves fan 
when there were only a few.

Believe the Bible, 
God’s Word to be true.

A gentleman who treats people “nice,” both old
and new, like my mother taught me to.

On the farm there was usually plenty to do —-
however, I did have time to date a pretty girl or two.

Actually played basketball 
in high top canvas tennis shoes.

Been in mischief only to get home and find out
my parents already knew.

Witnessed the sow give birth
and watched as her litter grew.

Even welded on scrap iron, 
never nothing new.

After the farm work was through, my Dad and I
would ride our horses an hour or two.

Skipped rocks across the pond 
a time or two.

Shot a red rubber flip, 
my Dad and I made brand new.

Was always totally amazed at the geese
and the formation they flew.

Experienced fire as it grew
from the single match I threw.

Graduated college like my parents
encouraged me to do.

Yes, I am Southern and a country boy, too.
Farming is something I am very proud
I got to do.

I finished off the examplin’ to Slim of my independence and culturedness. My phone was a carryin’ overheatin’ symptoms as was the redness of my right ear. So I offered to conclude our talkin’ of the fullness of folks individualness, independence and culturedness durin’ noontime eatin’ down to the Flat Rock General Store.

Slim agreed and furthered offered all The Store regulars had to carry out their own individual Independence Day responsibilities for a celebratin’ July 4th ought nine.

Kick back, celebrate with family and friends, do the "que," make some homemade ice cream, play whiffle ball with the kids and remember to Thank God often for all those individuals who have and do afford us so many USA freedoms.


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