December 2009
Farm Fresh Memories

Ho, Ho’s Governmental Helicopter!!!

It’s Headin’ Straight T’ward Christmas Time
In Flat Rock, “My True South”…

It was Saturday in the nine o’clock a.m. as I come upon The Flat Rock General Store for the pure needfulness of the parkin’ of my pickup. Here I spied all notions of people, and there were transportation modes of all sorts parked some distances, makin’ foot walkin’ necessary.

And—there it set—Ho, Ho’s Governmental Helicopter, right square dab twix the intersection of County Roads 131 and 129, clear in the pure center of downtown Flat Rock, a carryin’ the Alabama Governmental Seal clear on both sides.

Slim had pulled it off, a usin’ some political strong armin’ what with politicians bein’ needful in an election-vote-gettin’ year. He had Santa Claus delivered to downtown Flat Rock square in front of The Store. At this moment in time, jovial old St. Nick, full dressed in white beard and red suit, was a wavin’ t’ward two sides as he moved ‘tween the Governmental Helicopter and the front porch of The Store where there was a big, old John Deere green rocker chair a waitin’ for him. All ages of youngun’s from C.C. Smith, Hatton, Old Bethel, Mt. Hope, Wolf Springs, Flat Rock plus addin’ on some other miscellaneous places stood in a humongous big, old line stretched straight arrow west a lookin’ at Mississippi.

Most near all Santa’s helpers (The Store Regulars) was on hand, all dressed up in full Mossy Oak camo and a sportin’ Christmas red bandannas ready for necessary assistance purposes. Bro. started things off a holdin’ a portable speakin’ megaphone attempin’ to offer both younguns and parents some useful line stayin’ and movin’ directions. "Truth" and Estelle began instantly a loadin’ and unloadin younguns from Santa’s lap. Heath, Dustin and Ms. Ida were takin’ pictures. Essex, the widow Cora and Willerdean were passin’ out Christmas candy goodies. Slim and Bro. were standin’ alongside The Store steps a greetin’ both younguns and parents. "Hatch," S.R. and J.R. had been offerin’ assistance with parkin’ since earlier in the mornin’. All three carried a certain look of tuckeredness as the hour glass hit on 9:30 o’clock...

Mr. Harley Hood and Friends had set up on the far side of the porch from Santa and were providin’ some wonderful Christmas holiday musical sounds.

My Daddy "Pop" C.C. and Farlow were off over by The Flat Rock Community House. "Pop" was offerin’ some younguns John Deere Gator rides and Farlow had his Mossy Oak camo backhoe all shined up and was allowin’ some younguns up and down rides in the shootin’ house attachment on the rear arm of the backhoe.

My four grand younguns, Kamron, Kole, Ashlyn and Anna Kate Potter, all showed up and they all carried this glimmer in their eyes like they’d just experienced Sarturday night full live on the midway over to the North Alabama State Fair.

Yep, with lots of help from a full passel of Santa’s helpers, Slim had pulled it off…. He put Santa Claus and Christmas believin’ up top for lots of both big and little folks on this beautiful Saturday in Flat Rock — "My True South." I sure believe. Do you believe???

And I heard him say, as the governmental helicopter flew away, "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!"


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