September 2010
Farm Fresh Memories

Facin' Death…. Gettin' “That” Heart Wrenchin’ Phone Call!!!

TWO SPECIAL SONS (Heath and Dustin), TRUE HATTON
HORNETS, AUBURN TIGERS, DEVOTED HUSBANDS,
GREAT DADDIES AND REAL CHRISTIAN MEN…

REMEMBERIN’ MY FIRST SON—JOSEPH HEATH POTTER
SEPTEMBER 03, 1970 - JULY 07, 2010

Since the birth of my two sons, Heath and Dustin, I have always thought in threes, (Joe, Heath and Dustin). Most of this writin’ is my thoughts and memories of Heath. There are so many I can never, ever pencil ‘em all down.

Movin’ him to Auburn at about two weeks old. "Throw it higher, Daddy. I can catch it." A broken nose on the fourth of July. Don’t you let that calf go again (only lettin’ go when he was dragged loose as the calf rounded a round bale of hay). A window pane missin’ from the door to the garage — and no glass (a cooperative cover-up effort by Dustin and Heath). Two brothers, a rock and a gashed head in the strawberry patch. Three peas in a pod (33 lb. Hampshire pigs) and Heath Potter, Northwest Alabama 4-H Feeder Pig Champions.

Dr. Landers in the pasture with Heath standin’ on a pickup tail gate needin’ a junior high football physical, "Drop your pants and cough Heath." A neighbor tellin’ me about the Ford Bronco and the water wagon comin’ up through the soybean field without a driver — upon a closer check, it was Heath lookin’ through the steerin’ wheel. Heath rollin’ his new red Honda Prelude at 16 and not getting’ a scratch. Mornin’ prayer at the flag pole in high school. Playin’ trumpet in the Hatton Hornet band. Letterin’ in four sports (golf, baseball, football and basketball) as a high school senior. Workin’ hard scoutin’ cotton in high school and college.

Gettin’ his A.S. degree from Northwest Shoals, Auburn Ag Ambassador, earnin’ a B.S. and M.S. in Horticulture, from Auburn. Marryin’ his sweetheart Donna after his B.S. Havin’ his first son Kamron born in Auburn the day he did his orals for his Masters. His landscape business Kolorscapes. AFC Decatur manager trainee. (A friend questioned me: with Heath havin’ his own business, why he was a workin’ for AFC Decatur? I explained to her, with Heath’s ambition and work ethic he expects to own AFC Decatur in about three years.) The birth of his second son Kole. Operatin’ Greenland in Florence for Lauderdale Farmers Co-op. Followin’ in has daddy’s footsteps as a county agent. Later sellin’ Alfa Insurance and, at his death, Silveus Crop Insurance.

Heath called one night and asked if I was in town, wanted me to get Donna some ice cream. I carried it by Flat Rock to their house, walked in and handed it to Donna, she laughed and said, "I didn’t want that, Heath did."

As we renovated The Cabin, Dustin and Heath was puttin’a tin top on the new addition, Dustin called about dark and said Heath had cut his arm really bad and they were headed to the Keller Hospital emergency room. I took off and arrived more than 30 minutes before they got there. I was worried sick and questioned Dustin as to why it took them so long, his reply, Heath wanted to stop at McDonalds and get sometin’ to eat.

A few years back, us three guys left late one afternoon for a wildlife meetin’ the next day in Eufaula. We ate on the way and there was a serious gas problem…yes, it was Heath and not the first time durin’ the travel. I was drivin’ as we traveled down below Auburn, Dustin inquired as to "how much farther." I turned and gruffly responded, probably about 10-12 more farts. There was a burst of laughter from all three and we have laughed about measurin’ travel distance several times since then, actually just a few months ago.

Dustin and Heath both lovin’ and sharin’ "The Cabin" at Potter’s Mud Creek Farm with family and friends, "always, the more the merrier." This particular night I called to tell the boy’s I had made chili at The Cabin, Dustin said he had supper but picked up his share for another night; Heath picked up his for their supper. I called later to ask Heath about his chili, he said, "Daddy there was only one thing wrong with it, I didn’t get enough." I carried him the rest of mine. Heath’s cell phone command to call Donna was "call Hot Babe," I had heard him call her several times. One night at The Cabin he asked to use my phone to call Donna, he said his phone’s battery was down. I pitched it to Heath and said. "Just say ‘call Hot Babe.’" There was this very funny grin; yep, Daddy had got him real good.

Heath was a true/pure Auburn "War Eagle," agriculture, horticulture and sports person, as well as a real sportsman and outdoorsman.

"Thank You" Heath from all of us for 39 very special years!!!

You were truly one of "The Apples of My Eye"!!! I do believe in my heart you turned out to be just the man God wanted you to be….

Duck huntin’ was a special part of Heath’s adult life, not just "the hunt" but the time with friends in the duck huntin’ blind or at The Cabin. I wrote this poem for him after he described a special mornin’ in "The Duck Huntin’ Blind" with some close friends a few years back. This is for all of Heath’s duck huntin’ family…

The Duck Huntin’ Blind…

You can find us here, most anytime (in season).
Down at the duck huntin’ blind.

Sometimes we take a gun, shells and duck call.
But, the most important equipment of all
Is a camp stove, skillet and cookin’ supplies.
Down at the duck huntin’ blind.

It is like a floatin’ chuck wagon, cookin’ establishment.
We have breakfast, lunch and often cook three times.
Down at the duck huntin’ blind.

Breakfast is Southern style, lunch — chili or camp stew,
Supper — meat entree, with three, dessert and sweet tea.
Down at the duck huntin’ blind.

Occasionally, we know when the ducks fly in.
It don’t take no callin‘, cause they smell the country cookin‘.
Down at the duck huntin’ blind.

The huntin’ is o.k.
But, the dinin’ is fine!
Down at the duck huntin’ blind.

So ya’ll wade on out here anytime!!!
To the duck huntin’ blind…

Just a week later, almost to the hour, I lost another "Apple of My Eye"…my Daddy "Pop" C.C. Corbett Calvin Potter, August 13, 1923, to July 14, 2010…. He taught me so many very valuable life lessons — work; honesty; a good sense of humor is so important; to get an education, but always use your common sense; how to drive anything; build things; how to unravel a feed sack at the seam; till the soil; make sawmill gravy; treat all folk fair and equal; how to hunt, fish and play ball; to work hard, then play just as hard.

My Daddy "Pop" C.C., you were so "Blessed" with the good life almost all of your 86 years were spent on the farm. "Thank You" Daddy, you will be sorely missed. I Love You very very much!!!

REMEMBER YOUR HERITAGE!!! ALWAYS, THINK GOOD MEMORIES!!!

Joe Potter, Potter’s Mud Creek Farm is located at 5840 County Road 339 (County Line Road), Russellville, AL, near "Our" Flat Rock, in Lawrence County; e-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..