Today’s guest post was written by Kenneth Roper
I was about 5 or 6, don’t think I had even started to go to school yet, and it was my job to take the water to my thirsty brothers and dad, hoeing corn up above the house. Daddy had a 2 1/2 gallon bucket and a long handle dipper. He had me to always take some of our four Fiests to take care of any Copperheads on this journey. We had a big spring just below the cornfield and tater field and it was hard for a little boy to carry a pail of water, especially uphill a bit. But I remember the sound of that dipper hitting the sides of that bucket as the boys took impatient turns to drink a dipper full. Daddy always drunk last and he wore an ole Stetson Hat that was full of holes. The band was always wet and there was two red cherry trees that provided a place to rest “in the shade at the end of the row.”
I was too young to do any hoeing like my older brothers, didn’t know the difference from ragweeds or corn, but I watched and learned how they’d reach almost into the next row to pull fresh dirt up around the corn. Every now and then I’d hear a hoe dinging a rock and one of my brothers would complain. If it was a big rock, it got taken to one of many rock piles they had made. But daddy assured us that the smaller ones would help hold moisture longer.
After setting the water bucket in the shade, daddy would let me and sometimes Harold go over to the creekside of the field and play on a huge sawdust pile. Charlie Solesbee and old man Trim once had a sawmill set up there, many years before we got Trim Cove. There was a big Yellow Cherry tree nearby and it had 4 big shoots coming from one stump. We gathered lots of yellow Cherries for mama to can along about July.
One time Harold and I was playing with our cars made out of Carnation Cream Cans and ran into a hard lump right in the middle of our roads. Harold tugged and finally removed it and rolled it down the sawdust pile. But it left a hole and when I was filling it back up, I saw what I thought was a poor Blue Jay’s wing and wondered how it got there. Then the Blue Jay started to unfold and it was one of the biggest black snakes we ever saw. We started hollering for the dogs and they came at an instant, grabbed that thing and commenced to slinging. Daddy and my brothers came running over to see what all the commotion was about. Daddy said that thing was about 7 feet long and made me and Harold go home to get cleaned up. We had had enough excitement for the day anyway.
I hope you enjoyed Kenneth’s memories as much as I did!