February 2010
Farm Fresh Memories

It’s Nearin’ Valentine’s Day…

There’s Anticipation and Gleefulness In Flat Rock…

It’s a picture perfect winter Saturday in the mid-afternoon and there’s a Beau Day man gatherin’ and planned eatin’ over to The Cabin at Potter’s Mud Creek Farm. A heavy accumulation of men folk like Slim, my Daddy "Pop" C.C., Farlow, Bro., "Truth," S.R., J.R., and "Hatch" was gathered. Additional, the music man himself, Mr. Harley Hood, and friends was a set up along side the outdoor fire ring and was a pickin’ and a grinnin’. There were other men folk like Mr. Wilton Foretenberry, Orland Britnell, John Thorn, Mr. Galen Grace and Clint Lauderdale standin’ close and a sharin’ warmth from the dry wood-loaded fire ring.

Some of the man-group was a clappin’ to the musical sounds while others were a sharin’ trophy huntin’ pictures from ought nine. Even more was a story tellin’ ‘bout huntin’ happenin’s and/or a laughin’ ‘bout the one that got away.

As hostin’ fellars, me, Heath and Dustin, were workin’ on late evenin’ eatin’ vittles — smoked sausage, ribs, deer tenderloin, chili, baked beans, slaw, lightenin’ bread, cokes, coffee and Southern sweet tea. As Heath and Dustin were a linin’ up the savory, Beau Days, season-endin’ eatin’ buffet, I was struck by the reality there was no Chinet for usefulness in the consumin’ of our delectable buffet.

Here Slim noted the dilemma and offered Essex was proprietorin’ The Store on this day and there was bundles of Chinet in the rear storage area used for eatin’ day purposes down to The Store. I rushed for my pick-up and a quick Flat Rock General Store run as Heath and Dustin finished up dessert, bread puddin’ and pineapple upside-down cake.

As I ended my three-minute run to The Store and lined my pick-up for parkin’, there was several transportation modes parked around The Store. As I entered and headed t’ward the storage room, to my surprise a full settin’ of women had collected around the old potbellied heater. There sat Essex, Ms. Ida, the widow Cora, Willerdean, Estelle, three of her hair factory customers, the Beauti-Control lady and the UPS delivery lady.

Here I hovered, spoke my "Howdys," and offered my intentions to Essex. She returned my "Howdy" and offered there was a gal gatherin’ goin’ on a celebratin’ the endin’ of 24/7 football, huntin’ season and the return of men to a normal family life for the comin’ near seven months. Estelle took the floor at this point and offered the women was a enjoyin’ refreshments, a plannin’ for comin’ church functions and The Store’s annual "writin’ my feelin’s to my sweetheart" Valetine’s Day contest for twenty ten.

At this point, I proceeded with my Chinet run as the women continued to direct their gal-gatherin’ along with anticipation and in a near gleeful manner. Soonly, havin’ gathered the needful Chinet and directin’ myself at exitin’ the old double-front doors, I heard Willerdean take the floor and exclaim with gleefulness, "It is goin’ to be a special weekend. There’s no more huntin’ or football, and I just know Farlow will be at home and not in front of the TV!"

I gathered myself at my pick-up door, made my three minute return Chinet run to The Cabin. All those man-folk gathered comminstin’ to consumin’ and enjoyin’ the delectable man day buffet.

Happy Valentines Day to love birds of all ages!!!


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