Today’s guest post was written by Randy Harris.
My mother and father lived in a little hamlet in northwest Georgia called Sugar Valley. They were out and away from everything but about 15 minutes to the nearest town, which was Calhoun. Now, my Dad, known as Papa Clent to most everybody, had Mr. MacGregor’s garden!
His rows were straight as trace line. There wasn’t a weed for two counties that dared set up house in his garden. His corn was straight with pretty tassels and when he pulled a roast’neer, it was meaty and full.
Well, one year he planted peas. Like English peas, but the doggone deer kept getting in them and eating them down. It was war and one thing you can count on with a Harris is when we go to war, we go to win!
He put up a 8 foot hogwire fence and the little vermin would jump it flat footed. That made Daddy madder. He was a short man with a HUGE presence and we teased a lot about him being like Elmer Fudd; he was gonna get him a deer (instead of a bunny wabbit).
Well, Daddy went down the road a piece to where a ranger with the national forest (Chattahoochee National Forest, John’s Mountain distric) lived.
Daddy said, Mike those dat-blasted deer are eating my peas and I can’t have that so what do I need to do to get rid of them. Mike said well Clent, deer love them some English peas and they’ll do most anything to get to them, but if you want my advice, go out there and set you a pole in the middle of the garden. Drop you a power line out there and then hookup one of them motion sensor lights and then set a radio to some of that God-awful Rap crap and that’ll scare them off.
In one of the light plugs he screwed in a strobe light and in the other he put in a plug-in receptacle and then plugged a radio into and set it to one of those wacko-wacko stations out of Chattanooga. He was all set. (We don’t understand Rap music in my family.)
When them deer jumped that fence, that light was gonna trigger and that would be that and his peas would be safe. Life was good, right?
Well, a night or two later Daddy said he woke to what sounded like a woman being beaten while they chanted in the background. He said for a few seconds there his blood ran backwards. He rolled over and all that light flashing in their bathroom window looked like ET had stopped to pick him some tomatoes for the trip. For a second he thought he was having a nightmare and vowed to never eat banana pudding before going to bed. He could see the silhouette of Mama standing there looking out back taking it all in.
He said Coot (Her God-forsaken nickname. They deny any knowledge of how she got it. I’d deny that one too!), what on earth is going on out there. Mama quietly said, I’m standing here watching them deer out there break dancing in your garden while they eat your peas!
Pop gave up!
Pop died in 2010 and Lord knows I miss that character. They broke the mold on him. He was also chief deputy in Gordon County and when he died his visitation was supposed to be from 4-7pm. We had to open the line early and it ran solid until almost 9pm. I can only hope I leave that kind of legacy! Needless to say, I’ll never be able to fill Papa Clent’s shoes but I do try to keep his stew alive. Not many folks today eat Brunswick stew any more but I haven’t met anybody yet that don’t like Papa Clent’s Stew. It’s my way of keeping a little bit of him here.
I hope you enjoyed Randy’s post as much as I did. I don’t know what I would have liked to have seen more the break dancing deer or Randy’s mother taking it all in 🙂
Last Night’s Video: Why I Drink Postum and Granny’s Simple Hot Chocolate Recipe.