June 2010
Farm Fresh Memories



It’s Friday near’ bouts 5:30 in the late afternoon. There’s folks a hoverin’ all ‘bout the front porch of The Store. Many of The Store regulars, includin’ "Truth," Bro., S.R., J.R., "Hatch," Willerdean, Ms. Ida, Estelle, Heath, Dustin and the music man himself, Mr. Harley Hood, are all a wearin’ white Flat Rock softball jerseys. Farlow is a standin’ on the porch near the outdoor L.P. propane grill a wearin’ his red "Eat More Beef" apron. It’s not eatin’ day down to The Store, but everybody is exchangin’ "thank you’s" with Farlow and Slim for some fine grilled "Beef Dogs" and Pepsi.

There’s this white butcher paper sign a hangin’ flat on the front porch wall. There in red marker, the writin’ reads—

FRIDAY 6:00 P.M.

Additional, there draped across that sign in big black marker letters is the word "CANCELLED."

As I finished off my first "Beef Dog" and Pepsi, Farlow took the floor and ask for more takers on seconds for "Beef Dogs."

At this point "Coach Slim," as so proclaimed on his white Flat Rock softball jersey, took the floor. He proceeds to offer out why on such a beautiful Friday afternoon in Flat Rock the softball game with Wolf Springs was "Cancelled" —- "Fresh Cow Patties," a heavy concentration of "Fresh Cow Patties." Seems "Truth" had forgot his duties to gap off Flat Rock Field on Wednesday for Friday playin’ purposes, thus allowin’ cow grazin’ clear up till Friday creatin’ the presence of heavy deposits of "Fresh Cow Patties."

Slim’s explanin’ for the game bein’ "Cancelled" brought on some laughs, head shakin’s and even a scoldin’ for "Truth" from S.R., notin’ he had offered to gap off Flat Rock Field for the Friday game.

Here Estelle took the floor and with a full-mouth grin thanked Slim personal for cancellin’ the game cause of "Fresh Cow Patties." She recollected as to why there are faded-green specks ‘bout the front of her Flat Rock softball jersey and the fact there was a near-green softball in the equipment bag. Seems in a game with Mount Hope, that there was a "Fresh Cow Patty" directly in front of her second base position, and yes, there was a batted ball that made a direct center target hit just as she had a play for the ball, causin’ serious spatterin’ and a green-tinted softball.

Estelle’s "Fresh Cow Patty" recollection story brought on more Flat Rock softball stories — that one time against Old Bethel when Harley Hood got four strikes and still struck out. In one game with Saints Cross Roads, when Heath and Dustin both hit a softball in the back of a pick-up travelin’ on County Road 129. More funnier even in a game playin’ Hatton when Willerdean got a good ball hit and started runnin square dab t’ward third base. Then there was the game with Tharptown when Slim was a havin’ leg-standin’ problems and Flat Rock only had nine players with Slim. "Truth" put a foldin’ chair at home plate and the umpire let Slim bat a settin’ down in that foldin’ chair. Course he couldn’t run, so when he hit the softball, he was throwed out at first.

More Flat Rock softball story recollections continued, too many for me to pencil down at this writin’. ‘Bout this moment in time, two Wolf Springs softball players dressed in their red jerseys showed up and expressed some confusion over the "Cancelled" game. But here, Farlow took over and made it worth their gas drivin’ trip by platin’ ‘em some grilled "Beef Dogs" and Slim offered out some ice cold Pepsi for drinkin’.

Be sure to gap off the field well before your next community softball game or try hard to hit it away from the "Fresh Cow Patties"….

Happy Summer!!! Good Chillin’ and Grillin’ to all Farm Fresh Memories Readin’ Folk.


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