Poems, Prayers, And Promises
Our friendship is like the beautiful shadows of evening,
Forever growing, till life and it's light pass away....
Ode To A Legend
by Jimmy Holmes
November 8, 2001
He rode into town on a nag called Mopehead
With a git-tar across his knee,
Went straight to the Ranch an’ said to the Strawboss,
“I can whup any man I think I can,
“An’ I can outrun any three!”
Well, the Strawboss laughed,
And scratched his ass,
And looked down at Five-Foot-Nothing.
Then realized, by the look in his eyes:
“This little shit ain’t bluffing!”
So the Strawboss put him right to work,
And he took on the best of the best —
He’d whup the ones he thought he could,
And he’d outrun all the rest.
And his fame just grew, without any bounds,
And the Comer Spread’s did, too,
Till the word got around, from town to town:
“Them Comer boys is TIGERS!”
And the name of the man —
The little man —
The “biggest” of all the Tigers —
Who can whup any man he thinks he can,
And outrun any three?
Well, the Strawboss still laughs,
And scratches his ass,
And says, “He’s a helluva man, that ‘Pee Wee’!”
By E. S. Glosson
My uncle Clint was born some time before the nineteen hundreds. He was a strong robust kid that would fight at the drop of the hat and usually dropped it himself. He attended a one room school about five miles from his Daddy's farm after the cotton was picked and hauled to the cotton gin. Work came first, school second. One day He went to school toting his slate in one hand and his lunch bucket in the other, (a syrup bucket that had been emptied and revised to carry lunch in) containing one syrup biscuit that his mother had poked a hole in and filled with sorghum syrup, a hard boiled egg, a green apple from the tree in his back yard, a big wedge of left over corn pone and a buttered biscuit with sugar in it for desert. He had to start to school about sunrise to get there on time. He strolled down that dirt road in his bare feet, dressed in worn out overalls and a flour sack shirt his mother had hand sewn together for him. When he arrived at the schoolyard most of the boys were playing kick ball before classes begin. Clint was in charge of keeping the Pot bellied heater filled with wood, so he couldn't play with them. The bell called all the children in for the start of classes. Clint was busy with his chore of making the fire. He had a straight poker in his hand stirring the fire up, when an older boy came by and spit right in his lunch bucket. Well, he might as well have spit in Clint's face. My uncle Clint bent the poker over his head and cut out for home. The teacher was a man that thought he was a General, commanding his troops. He sent two boys to bring Clint back for a strapping with a long razor strop he kept in his desk. Clint whupped the tar out of the two and sent them back crying. The teacher sent four boys; they came back in the same shape. He kept adding boys till twenty- seven boys tried to bring Clint back. He fought, gouged, kicked, bit, threw rocks, and held on to a railroad track he ran up on during the struggle. A farmer that knew Grand Daddy came along and made them leave Clint alone. When he got home the only clothes he had on was his hand- sewn collar. My Grand Daddy was some more- mad. He loaded up his double barrel shotgun with double ought buckshot and went hunting a teacher. By the time he got to the school, the teacher had high tailed it to his house and wouldn't come out. My Grand Daddy gave him till the next day to get out- of- town or he would turn loose the "greener" on him. I know you've heard of somebody pulling a midnight bankruptcy when they couldn't pay the rent and left in the dead of night. The teacher had his rent paid but still pulled one. My Uncle Clint grew to be a strong robust man. He held many jobs. One in particular was with the L & N railroad in Ohio. He shoveled coal for the steam engine from Ohio to parts unknown. Every time he had a lay over, no matter what town, he got drunk and got into a fight. He always said, " There weren't no mule he couldn't break, no woman he couldn't love and no man he couldn't whup. That brag held up until one night in Cleveland Ohio. He was in a bar naturally, drinking demon rum and flirting with the ladies. In came one of the biggest, meanest men he ever saw and announced, " I can whup any SOB in this town." This was just too good for Clint to pass up. He roared back " Here's one SOB you can't whup", and they tied up. The man was as good as his word and whupped the tar out of Clint. The only gentlemanly thing to do was to buy the winner a drink and quietly vacate the premises. Clint found him another bar down the street and went back to the usual, drinking and teasing the Bar maids. He no sooner got down to some serious drinking when this same fellow barged in. "I can whup any SOB in this town". Clint just couldn't refuse a good fight so he stood up to his full six foot two height and bellered back, "Here's one SOB you can't whup". The man again was as good as his word and commenced to wear Clint out. Clint bought the customary winners drink for the man. He then snuck out of there to find a safer place to drink. Sure enough, by the time he settled down with demon rum, the bully showed up. Clint took him on for the third time with the same results. After that whupping, he decided it was time to head for the hotel where he was staying, to lick his wounds and drown his pride in the bottle. Clint was so good at fighting his buddies talked him into taking to the ring. They explained, "You're gonna fight no matter what, so you might as well get paid for it". His first and only bout was in Cleveland, Ohio were he stayed when he wasn't on the train. The referee explained the rules to both men, but Clint was just ready to get it on so he could get back to his favorite past time. The first round was spent with Clint trying to keep the other from peppering him with jabs. The second round he had enough of the jabbing, so he hauled off and kicked the fighter in the gonads, on his way down Clint buried his foot up to the ankle in his ribs and drilled him up the side of his head with the brogans he was wearing and this was long before kick boxing was popular. They cried foul and wouldn't pay him the five dollars he earned, so he floored the ref and left, never to enter the ring again. He had many stories about his episodes while he worked for the railroad and the best one that I remember was the time he was working the night shift. They had a shack with benches around the wall, and a pot bellied stove in the middle that they stayed in till the crew working would come in to be relieved. There was a knot hole about neck level in the wall and every time the in coming crew would come in, this prankster would stop at the water bucket and fill his mouth with ice water and spit through the knot hole at who ever was sitting in the line of fire. One night He picked on the wrong one. He hit Clint with a mouth full of ice water. Not at all to his nature, he said not a word and the prankster and friends had a good laugh on Clint. The very next night Clint went to the woods, done his business, made him a paddle and scooped up a liberal amount of his business, toted it at arms length to the shack and smeared it all around that knot hole about a quarter inch thick and sat in the shack, waiting patiently for the in coming crew to arrive. Sure enough the prankster got a mouth full of ice water and headed for the knot- hole. He soused his lips up against the hole to get a good shot and not only stuck his nose, but his whole face in Clint's business, but no water came out. All they heard was gagging, cussing, and puking for the next few minutes. The trick was never tried again. Later in life Clint found a woman that stopped all his fighting, nearly all his drinking, and most of all, his womanizing. They settled down in Sylacauga, raised a family and ran a little grocery store next to our house on Twin Street. The stories I have relived here was told under the shade tree in his front yard where all the listeners would sit around on straight backed, cane bottomed chairs, spellbound at his yarns. Most of them were true; we believed all of them. Every time he ran into one of the twenty- seven from his school days, he whupped him. The twenty- fifth was took care of when Clint was sixty- two. At sixty nine, he told me he got all but two of the twenty seven and if he saw those two, they would tote a whupping too. He died shortly after that and never got the chance to clean the slate. I imagine he is still hunting them now- where ever they are. A true story handed down by my mother and Uncle Clint. Only three daughters remain out of his family and they reside in the Sylacauga area.
By Mickey Woods
Most of us remember the days when we used the old screw in type fuses at
home. No one ever kept any spare fuses, I guess because you could put a penny
behind the fuse, and everything worked well until you bought a new fuse.
Having a very scientific mind, one day I was sitting at the house alone and
got to wondering if a penny would work in a table lamp if I put it behind the
bulb. So having a little change in my pocket I decided to try it. I unplugged
the lamp, took the bulb out and put the penny in , replaced the bulb, plugged
it in and turned it on and lo and behold, it worked fine. As everyone knows
we scientific type are also mathematically inclined. So I got to thinking, if
a penny works that well, a nickel ought to make the light shine five times as
bright, being it is five times what a penny is. So I go through the whole
procedure of putting the nickel in the lamp. When I turned the lamp on all I
got was a loud pop and my nickel was welded to the inside of that lamp. After
I pried my nickel loose, I put everything back like it was and kept my mouth
shut for a change. I was telling one of my daughters this tale about 30 or 35
years later in front of my Mother, and she said, I always wondered what
happened to that lamp! Thought for a minute I was still going to get a
whupping. Didn't keep my mouth shut long enough.
Anyone For A Cold Suds?
By Mickey Woods
Being poor mill village folks, like most all were, I was always looking for
ways to save a few dollars. Having a very scientific mind I came up with
this idea. I was going to save my Mother some money on soap. We had
a spring and had to carry our water. We had shelf on the porch to set
everything, water buckets, wash pans and the like. The weather had turned real cold, so
I made up a lot of suds one day just at dark. I put them in a saucier and
shaped it just the way I had seen them do butter and I was going to let it
freeze overnight. When my Mother needed some soap, all she had to do was
cut off what she needed. I was proud of myself until I went rushing out the
next morning to take a look at my handy work. You can imagine how I felt when
all I found was some saucers full of soapy water. Boy did my feathers take a
By E. S. Glosson
It was on a hot July day. I was in my front yard working on my bike.
Seemed like I worked on it more than I rode it. It was wore out when my Daddy bought it for me and I finished wearing it out.
Anyway, I was trying to get the chain adjusted on it when a friend came by on his schwinn motor bike,( It was really a bicycle with a motor on it) and said,
"there's gonna be a girl fight at the end of twin street!! I said," who's fighting?" He hollered out their name's as he was leaving. Man!! that was two of the best looking girls
in the mill village! I got the chain on as fast as I could. I don't mean to be ugly, but do you know what hearing of a girl fight does to a fourteen year old boy's mind?
I could just visualize them rolling on the ground, tearing each other's clothes off. I tore out of there, pumping that bike as fast as my skinny legs could pump.
I rounded the curve at my Uncle Grady's store and I knew I was doing ninety. I got about to the Nelson's house when my britches leg got caught in the chain sprocket,
threw me over the handle bars on the pavement and durn near skint me all over. Do you think I was hurting? No way, All I could think about was, "Rolling on the ground,
tearing each other's clothes off! I got my britches leg out of the sprocket in nothing flat and took off again, hoping I wouldn't miss any of the action. By the way,
I didn't care who won the fight as long as I could see them "Rolling on the ground, tearing each other's clothes off." I got to the little dye ditch, we called it,
about where the Walton's lived and the chain came off!! I was gonna miss the whole fight cause I couldn't stop my wore out bike, no brakes!! That bike wasn't gonna stop till
I got to Seminole street at the railroad tracks! I did what every red blooded American boy would do in a situation like that,
I jammed both feet on the pavement and skidded to a stop. And I was bare footed!! You think that hurt? Not on your life. I was gonna get to see a girl fight!
There was already a crowd gathered round the two young ladies. Just as I got where I could see, one ripped the top button off the other's blouse.
I never said a word and no body else did either, But Man! I sure did think, "It is fixing to get good! they broke apart and called time out.
the combatant asked, " Has anyone got a pin?" A pin? My fourteen year old mind was screaming, " don't give her a pin," don't give her a pin!!" But sure enough, this ugly
little girl, ( I mean ugly as in Bow Yow, You know , the kind that teacher pick's to take names while she was out of the room.) Stepped forward and said,
"I'm not on your side but I'll give you a pin." My heart fell to my shoes. Soon after the pinning, both Mothers showed up and ushered the girl's home.
No rolling on the ground, no tearing each other's clothes off. It was then, that the pain set in. I hurt all over and limped home pushing my wore out bike.
If there's a moral to this story, it's this. If something sounds too good to be true, It just might be.
The Day Miss Spicey Waggled Her Tail Off
by Jimmy Holmes
October 27, 2001
Grandpa Jim had said it at least a thousand times. Everybody had heard it: “Miss Spicey, one of these days, you’re gonna waggle that tail completely off!” Then he’d let out a big “grandpa” laugh and scratch Miss Spicey’s ears affectionately.
But nobody really worried about it happening, of course — nobody, that is, except Little Ben. And he didn’t tell anybody he worried about it.
You see, Miss Spicey, the family’s female Shih Tzu puppy, was always so happy to see Little Ben that she wagged her tail furiously every time he came around.
And Little Ben had not yet learned that Grandpa Jim, on occasion, at least, tended to exaggerate things.
So he worried about it — a lot! But still, he didn’t tell anybody.
The day it “really” happened, Little Ben and Miss Spicey had played together for hours in the yard outside and on the rug inside, and both were tired out and ready for naptime. So Little Ben went into his bedroom, while Miss Spicey headed for her bed in Grandpa Jim’s room.
It was a cool, quiet day, and the entire family was napping.
Then Little Ben felt a scratching at the side of his bed and looked over to see Miss Spicey there, her tail waggling more furiously than ever. She wanted to play some more.
“Miss Spicey,” said Little Ben, “you know what Grandpa Jim said — if you keep waggling your tail so hard and fast, one of these days, you’re gonna waggle it completely off. Stop waggling so hard!”
But when she heard Little Ben’s voice and saw him looking at her, Miss Spicey just turned up the speed on her waggling tail, and, all of a sudden, Little Ben saw it fly completely off and hit the bedroom wall with a “WHUMP!”
Little Ben looked in horror at poor Miss Spicey’s tail lying on the carpet near the wall. Miss Spicey was still jumping up and down, wanting to play, not even aware that she had finally waggled her tail off.
Little Ben quickly jumped out of bed, ran over and picked up Miss Spicey’s waggled-off tail, then stood there, looking at it, while tears welled up in his eyes. Then he looked down at Miss Spicey and exclaimed: “Now you’ve done it, Miss Spicey! You did just what Grandpa Jim said you were going to do! How will I ever get your tail back on? You can’t go around without your tail!”
Then Little Ben remembered the Scotch tape. Only the day before, he’d watched Grandpa Jim use it to repair a broken crayon. “The Scotch tape!” he said to himself and to Miss Spicey. So he hurried to the kitchen drawer where the Scotch tape was stored, then slipped quietly back into his bedroom with the now-tailless Miss Spicey right behind him.
Working frantically, he positioned Miss Spicey’s tail as well as he could and wrapped Scotch tape around it to secure it to her body. It drooped a little, but at least it stayed in place.
But it just hung there. There was no longer any waggle in it at all!
Little Ben started to cry.
Suddenly, he heard his mother’s voice: “Benji,” she said, “time to get up! You shouldn’t nap all day, or you won’t be able to sleep tonight.”
Miss Spicey was gone, and Little Ben didn’t know where she was.
When he came into the kitchen rubbing his eyes and crying, his mother was alarmed.
“What’s wrong, Benji?” she asked. “Why are you crying?”
So Little Ben told his mother the whole, sad story. He was especially sad that Miss Spicey’s tail would no longer waggle, he said. That was the cutest part about her, and now he would never see it again.
Taking Little Ben in her arms, his mother drew him to her and smilingly tried to explain that he had only dreamed the whole thing while he was taking his nap, that it wasn’t even possible for Miss Spicey to completely waggle her tail off, and that Grandpa Jim was always exaggerating things just for the fun of it.
She had just about convinced him that the whole thing was a bad dream when Miss Spicey came mini-galloping into the kitchen, jumping up and down at the sight of Little Ben, her tail waggling at near-supersonic speed.
“See, Benji!” said his mother, as Little Ben quickly got down to greet Miss Spicey. “I told you the whole thing was a bad dream. Miss Spicey’s just fine!”
Then they both noticed the Scotch tape around Miss Spicey’s tail.
His mother was surprised and mystified, but Little Ben exclaimed: “Mom, it worked after all! It just took a little while!”
About that time, Grandpa Jim, up from his nap, came into the kitchen. He asked what was going on, and Little Ben told the story again, as Miss Spicey jumped and waggled her tail.
When he’d heard everything, Grandpa Jim laughed heartily, rubbed both Little Ben and Miss Spicey on the head, and sent an amused glance in the direction of Little Ben’s mother, who was still sitting in her chair with a strange look on her face.
Then he walked over and put something in the kitchen drawer while nobody was looking his way, all the while chuckling to himself that he’d now heard the whole story twice.
So it’s still a mystery how Miss Spicey’s tail got waggled off and then Scotch-taped back on that day.
Only one person knows the full story — and, as he says, with his big laugh, “I ain’t tellin’!”