He Owns The Knobs And Is Always Tellin’ Other Folk How Many Knobs He Has – It Sure ‘Peers He Don’t Know or Care Much ‘Bout Other Folks or Nothin’ Else …
It was Tuesday near on eight in the comin’ on dark evenin’ time as I parked my pick-up under the security light directly in front of The Flat Rock General Store. I removed myself from my pick-up and wandered through the old, double, front doors and landed a case of number 10 brown paper pokes on the counter. Slim had wanted me and Lynn to collect a case for him durin’ our afternoon trip to town.
I howdied at Slim standin’ all alone at the end of the counter. He howdied back, moved to the cash drawer and handed me the money to cover the cost of the pokes. I questioned him as to the location of any recently gathered Store regulars or other folk. Nextly, I asked him weren’t it near ‘bouts closin’ time. (Closin’ time varies dependen’ on Mr. Slim, the proprietor’s feelin’s, accumulated store folk, food, church, community events, horse feedin’ time, the weather and so on; course there are always seasonal changes in closin’ hours.)
Just now this here well-to-do fellar, wearin’ a fancy Red Steagall-replica cowboy hat and some pure fancy, hand-stitched lookin’, reptile skin-type boots, entered The Store. He walked straight to Slim and laid down a $50 bill. Here he commented, "I’m gonna pump $50 worth of diesel into the front tank on my new Kings Ranch Ford crew cab pick-up." Then he turned before Slim could offer any type howdy or appreciation words and exited.
Slim looked at me and commented, "He’s the ‘Big Apricot,’ I guess you noticed. Calls himself a cattleman and shows up ‘bout quarterly from up-round Lauderdale County or the Tennessee line. Mostly checking on his money investments in construction industry, truck-haulin’ stuff, etc., cross northwest Alabama. Farlow and Willerdean know of him. He don’t talk much ‘septin’ ‘bout himself and usually got his prissy, well-to-do woman with him. She’s snootier ‘n him.
"Them two don’t seem nothin’ like our folk ‘round here or common-country folk I know of, even from over cross the Tennessee River, especially like your friends Ed Loveless, Carl Parker, Jim Humphries and even Brown Noland. The ‘Big Apricot’ and her are too highfalutin for me. Must be transplants from off yonder other places. They know lots ‘bout themselves and ‘peers to me they want other folk to know such. I’ll just bet he may not know much ‘bout agriculture or cattle either."
Here Slim offers, "You know my motto: ‘Big Apricot’ or ‘Little Turnip,’ us Flat Rock folk gonna try to treat you some way you’ll like, take your money, say ‘Much obliged,’ ‘Come back soon,’ and with you and me both it is always ‘bout the more, the merrier." Here The Store phone started ringin’. Seems it was Essex with late-evenin’, supper-eatin’ instructions. Slim thanked me for the number 10 paper pokes, then he ask me to wait while he locked up. He further offered I sure hope folks never think or look on you or me as either one bein’ the "Big Apricot" type, would druther just be common, ordinary, ever day carin’ folk with it bein’ as much ‘bout them more so than us.
Somethin’ tells me lots of you Farm Fresh Memories readin’ folk just now carry recollection of a "Big Apricot" or two in your lifetime, past or present … Now ....
REMEMBER YOUR HERITAGE!!!
ALWAYS, THINK GOOD MEMORIES!!!