22 September 2009

Now, my brother Willard could take a leaf and blow on it and make it sound like a turkey hen yelping! He could also take the tubing from aerosol cans and put them together and suck on it and it surely would sound like a hen a-yelping. But I want to relate a true story about a fellow who fooled a gentleman on how to make a sound like a turkey yelping.
It happened in downtown Opp , Alabama way back in the '70's. A local UPS truck driver stopped at the Auto Parts Store and made a delivery. While there he took two STP cans, rubbed them together, and at the same time he yelped with his mouth. The proprietor of the Western Auto Store next door happened to be listening and was greatly impressed. Later a worker in this gentleman’s store looked and saw the owner rubbing two STP cans together to see if he could make the same sound that would imitate a turkey hen yelping. It didn’t. Shortly thereafter this incident made its round among friends and everyone enjoyed a good laugh at Mr. H’s expense.
I was directing a session at the Wiregrass Christian Camp in Chancellor, Alabama many years ago. During the morning chapel service I was making announcements and mentioned that after the evening hike we would enjoy eating watermelons that friends had brought. I mentioned that these watermelons were peculiar in that they had seeds only on one side. I continued talking and soon I saw one of my counselors raise his hand. Now I had hoped that one of the campers would fall for my joke but no, this preacher ~ who was in graduate school at a major university located in the eastern section of the state of Alabama ~ asked, “Brother Elliott, what about those watermelons with seeds on just one side?” Of course I had no recourse but to answer that the seed were only to be found on the inside of the melons.

Later, when the sun had set and we all gathered under the lights near the pavilion, the melons were cut and everyone was enjoying cold watermelons. I had eaten my slice down to the rind and had broken the slice into two pieces and, to have some fun, I began rubbing the outside of the rinds together and in the shadows, where no one could see very well, I began to yelp while rubbing the rinds together. The kids began to laugh and thought I was pretty good at making the sound of a hen yelping. Everyone was enjoying the melons and having fun. About 10 minutes later, this preacher friend and graduate student appeared with two pieces of watermelon rinds in his hands and said to me, “Brother Elliott, show me how you made that sound.” I said to myself, "You are in trouble". (You see this fellow was much bigger than me and a dear friend but I could just see him choking me for fooling him once more.) Well, anyway, I said, "Jimmy, be sure to place the rinds together with some of the lines touching one another and then begin rubbing". He did and I yelped. It was then with lightning speed I wrapped my arms around his waist and arms and quickly said, “Jimmy, I hope you love me.”
These two football players from the Pleasant Home University (I am going to be very careful here and be politically correct so my life will not be in danger ~ you may choose the names of the universities of your choice in telling this joke) went deer hunting and got into their tree stands early one morning. It wasn’t long until along came a couple of football players from Hacoda College. They quietly spoke to one another and the HC football players went deeper into the forest. About 30 minutes later the PHU football players heard a shot back in the woods. Soon they saw the HC ball players dragging a 10 point buck that weighed nearly 200 pounds! The players from the PHU bragged on their kill and made a suggestion to the HC players that it would be easier on them if they would drag the deer by the antlers instead of its hind legs. The HC players thought they would follow that advice. Some 30 minutes later one of the HC players said to the other one, “You know it is easier to drag this deer by the antlers!” The other player replied, “It sure is, but we are getting further from the truck!”

'nuff said.

10 September 2009

Fire at Will

In 1970 my family and I were living in the city of Greenville , Alabama and I was working with the Walnut Street congregation. I became good friends with Max Autrey and asked if I could hunt squirrels on the family plantation that was located in the Butler-Lowndes County area, and that contained some 3,500 acres. The area consisted of beautiful ridges and fertile valleys with a couple of streams of water. It reminded me so much of where I grew up in northwest Georgia except the ridges were not as tall. When I began hunting squirrels I noticed that there were turkey and deer tracks everywhere and I had never hunted either one. So I laid down my father’s old Excel single shot 16 gauge shotgun and bought me a Winchester 12 gauge shotgun. To say that I was a novice would be an understatement of the fact. But I did see the wild game. Some turkeys were black and others were bronze. I saw two varieties of quail and even small herds of deer. I finally killed a wild turkey one morning during the fall season and that lit a flame in my heart. The area at that time was a virtual game preserve. I was in ‘hog heaven’. I would leave before daylight and spend the entire day hunting. The only noise I heard besides the sounds of nature was an airplane that would occasionally pass over the area. I remember that one morning while I sitting at the base of a tree that a squirrel came down and barked at me like it was going to attack me. There were squirrels everywhere with hardwood trees in abundance.

My two oldest sons, Tim and Joel, really wanted me to take them hunting and so one Saturday morning I took them. It was a very cold frosty morning. We parked on a ridge, walked across the valley and crossed a stream of water and it was there on the side of a ridge, where I saw so many squirrels, that I instructed them to sit very still and listen very carefully for these pesky rodents. In the distance and across a beautiful green field that was now white with frost I heard loud noises being made by turkeys. I told the boys that I was going to walk around the bottom of the ridge and try to find out what all the noise was about. I also told them if they had a shot at a squirrel to go ahead and shoot. While I wanted them to have a successful hunt I did not know at that time the full consequences of my instructions to them and how it would affect my hunting. So I left them and began walking slowing around the beautiful frost covered field when in my peripheral vision I caught movement and I thought it was perhaps large birds flying across that field. It was then that I looked and what I saw startled me. It was a large herd of deer running and what a beautiful sight that was to behold. I could not begin to tell how many antlers I saw. It was like a dream come true. I had never seen such a sight before in my life. My heart was racing and the adrenalin was flowing freely. Will they come near enough for me to get a shot? Which one will I shoot? These thoughts flooded my mind. But in an instant, the answer came. It was then that my oldest son shot twice and my dream came to an abrupt end. That herd of deer turned on the afterburners and I saw them no more. Soon after, the boys came and in their hands were two dead squirrels. They said, “Look what we killed.” What could I do but brag on their accomplishment. I did say to them, “you should have seen what I saw”. Of course I had to take a picture of the boys with their very dead squirrels to give credence to their story telling about how on a frosty morn they became great hunters.