Pap And The Big Rock

Pap's school picture

Pap and his buddies found much mischief to get into when they were kids. Most of the time no harm was done.

One Sunday afternoon, the group of boys were up on the mountain-enjoying one of their favorite pastimes-rolling rocks off the side of the mountain. They would push or pry the rocks until they began rolling down the mountainside-contests usually ensued as they bet on whose rock would roll the greatest distance.

Pap and his buddies came across a huge rock-one of the biggest they had seen in the area. They picked up sticks and tried to dislodge the rock-Pap said they gave up more than once-but each time one of them would pick up their stick and try again. After a good while of pushing and prying the rock finally came loose from the mountain and started rolling-gaining speed as it went. There was a Chestnut tree in it’s path-the rock just splintered the tree into matchsticks and kept on going until it went out of sight. Pap said he’d never forget the sound the big rock made tearing through the woods like a bulldozer.

When Pap arrived home from school on Monday afternoon-he noticed a neighbor man standing in the yard with his father. As Pap walked up the path they called for him to join their conversation. Pap’s father asked him “Jerry, Mr. Anderson tells me a big rock tore down his fence, flattened his corn corn crib and almost hit his house-do you know anything about it?” Pap said he couldn’t believe the rock had traveled that far-over a mile-but he knew it had to be the same rock-so he fessed up to pushing the rock off the mountain. His father said he’d have to pay for the fence and the material to build the corn crib back-but Mr. Anderson interrupted and said “Now I hell-I don’t want no money but they can sure fix my fence and help rebuild the corn crib.”

Pap was shocked by the destruction when he went to help Mr. Anderson. The rock had come off a bank about head high-left a huge hole in the ground-rolled over the fence-through the corn crib and stopped just short of the house. Pap was sure glad no one was in the yard when the big rock plowed through.

The Anderson’s never did move the rock. Pap said the last time he was by there-the big rock was sitting just were it landed all those years ago.

I was a scaredy cat as a kid (actually I still am)-I don’t remember doing anything really dangerous-Do you?


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  • Reply
    Kay B.
    February 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I got to stay with my aunt and uncle one summer while my grandmother worked (she would come get me on the weekends). They lived on an old dairy farm in a converted chicken house not far away from the old barn.
    Me and several of my cousins would sneak away to that old rickety barn and would climb up onto the rafters and walk across them bare-footed (no wearing shoes in the summer time until going to town or to church on Sunday) There were stacks of crates of old milk bottles on the barn floor and a lot of the bottles were broken.
    We were too young to be afraid and the good Lord looked after us.
    If my aunt and uncle or my grandmother had known what we were doing, all of our tails would have been blistered.
    I don’t like to think aboutwhat would have happened if we had fallen onto one of those crates!

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    May 5, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Wow! That was kinda scary. Can’t imagine even wanting to see something that big coming down a hill through the woods. The only thing I’ve ever done that could be considered dangerous is my penchant for going into abandoned buildings. Not really scared, more thrilled and wary of the surroundings. xxoo

  • Reply
    April 30, 2009 at 2:30 am

    That is such a funny story; at least it’s funny since no one got hurt. 😉
    One year when I was about 5 years old, our family spent the summer in Michigan while my dad was on location working. The hotel where we lived was right by a railroad track (and looked over one of the great lakes). My older brother and I, along with some other kids who’s families were staying there, would gather up big rocks (as big as little kids could carry) and place them on the tracks. I don’t know if that was dangerous to the trains or not. We’d also place coins on the tracks so they’d get smushed.

  • Reply
    April 29, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Great story. I have a rock story: My brother and sis were playing out in the pasture. All of a sudden I hear this blood curdling yell, and looked up to see my brother holding the top of his head and crying to beat sixty. Come to find out, they were throwing rocks up as high as they could. Brother threw his and ducked down with his hands on top of his head. The dinner plate sized sandstone rock came down hard, but his hand caught most of the blow. He lost a fingernail.

  • Reply
    April 29, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    A young man of honor. Kids don’t see the consequences of the things they do–but learning to look down the road is part of growing up. Great story.

  • Reply
    Matthew Burns
    April 29, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Wooooo-weeee, that was funny. It sounds exactly like the stuff I done when I was a kid. I remember we used to roll old tires off the tops of the hill and then let them go, one time one of them rolled and rolled, it would jump rocks and crash through brush, and it ending up smashing into my Granddad’s truck door. I was his pet pig so I wasn’t punished although I do recall that all of the old tires were hauled off after that.
    Also, I want to add, that picture of your pap that you have on here looks just like your girls, Chitter & Chatter.

  • Reply
    Farm Chick Paula
    April 29, 2009 at 9:58 am

    What a great story- I’m sure your Pap was pretty surprised when he saw how far that rock went!
    It’s funny they never moved it, too!

  • Reply
    April 29, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Oh how this made me laugh! Thank God nobody was hurt. Amazing that the rock rolled all that way.
    We liked to climb onto the barn roof, which we weren’t supposed to do. One day, Dad came around the corner looking for us, we were supposed to be going somewhere. We were all very quiet, perched on the edge of the roof like chickens, when I leaned just a bit to far and tumbled head over heals onto a bale of hay sitting on the ground. After I got my breathe back, I got my behind spanked!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    I have always enjoyed your recent posts. They are always like a visit home.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    April 28, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I love this story. It was great. I laughed some and remembered some of the cappers I’ve pulled in my lifetime. Keep up the great work.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    What a wonderful story. I was a tomboy and was so curious about every thing that crawled and crept. I was constantly picking up ants, snakes and such. I was forever teasing my brother by putting them all into the bathtub for him to find when he came in to clean up. I also was never scared to jump into deep water. My poor mama…I don’t know how she put up with me. {: blessings,Kathleen

  • Reply
    April 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I too was a careful child, honest! I just happened to have a brother two years older than myself with adventurous inquisitive tendencies like your Pap’s. Guilt by association for me, and way too many incidences to pick a best one from, besides not sure about the statute of limitations on shenanigans.
    But I enjoyed this story and I like how the neighbor handled it, that is a good lesson for us as neighbors and parents for sure.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Another great story about Pap in his childhood. I’m so glad that rock stopped where it did and that no one was in the yard.
    My brother had a BB gun when he was about 10. We decided that the windows in the old chicken coup would make a good target. A BB hit the wooden structure and ricocheted and hit me in the eye. We were lucky that it didn’t do any damage…it did sting a lot and I had a red mark there for a couple of days.
    We did shot all the windows out of that chicken coup. To top off the pain in my eye, I had pain in my hind end from where Dad gave me a tannin’. Brother too had a sore bottom.
    We did lots of stupid things when we were young, like wading in spring run off. Neither of us knew how to swim. It’s a wonder either of us are here. LOL But it was great FUN.
    Have a great week, my friend.

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    April 28, 2009 at 10:33 am

    yup – guilty as charged. blew up the mayors mailbox with an m80 firecracker. disabled the float switch on the water tank. my best friend – jim – was the police chief son so we had a little protection from consequences.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Now that’s a story! Glad it ended well.

  • Reply
    lori wyant
    April 28, 2009 at 7:37 am

    I did lots of stupid/dangerous things growing up and am so grateful (and amazed) I was never injured, killed, or maybe taken to jail.
    One of the most fun me and a group of naughty girls I hung out with did was ‘go to the country’ and ride a cable car over a dry river bed. We stumbled across the old cable car while exploring one day and a few of us would stay on the ground under the car and hold on to it until one or two girls were loaded in, then we would let them fly! I guess we determined the car was in good enough condition not to break and fortunately it never did!
    Not sure how many times we revisited this property to ‘play’ but one night we go caught by the police who were nice enough to just call our parents and tell them we would be home soon. (I was the 15 year old driver with a hardship license – not sure how I didn’t get in trouble for that either?) LOTS of dumb and dangerous times for this gal when I think about it.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    April 27, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I was always scared to do any meaness, but Daddy said they have turned over out houses. Now that could be a nasty mess, huh?

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    April 27, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Reading Coach Daley’s comment I see a word I haven’t heard (or seen) used since I left Tennessee: “Stob”. I believe it is a peculiarly southern word because if I told someone here in Indiana “I stepped on a stob” they would have no idea what I meant.
    You sure are a good story teller, Tipper. Maybe you ought to go to Jonesborough this year.
    He should have got in trouble more than he did. My brother Ed was an incredibly smart kid; knew all kinds of things.
    We lived by the Clinchfield Railroad. Ed knew the railroad put small packets of explosives, about the size of a fig newton, fastened onto the rail so when a train ran over one or a set of them, they read the bumps as a signal … maybe to stop at the next siding or maybe to come on through the next yard, anyway, Ed somehow figured out what they were for and even how to read a set of “tarpeders” ( that’s what the packet was called … torpedo, actually) for its signal.
    He showed me one time how to make a train stop by putting a set of boxes of matches on the rail.
    Oh, Lordy, how dangerous that sounds now. Thank goodness, he only did it once and there was no accident from the stoppage.
    Maybe the train was going to stop anyway.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I have a rock story that is so bad. When I was five or six, a couple of us started throwing rocks (big rocks) at passing cars. Got caught and Granny got me good. I think back how stupid and dangerous it was.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I was like you, a fraidy cat. I hardly ever got into trouble. It seemed my dad was always one step ahead of me. I now know that’s because of all the trouble he and his brother and sisters got into growing up. Don’t you just love hearing those stories from your Pap?!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Your story made me smile (because no one got hurt). When my horse gets nervous or doesn’t want to do as I say he rears. When I was little I drank pond water as pretend soup. That is the extent of the dangerous things I’ve done that make my mom worry.

  • Reply
    Greta Koehl
    April 27, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    This sounds so much like my dad and every last one of my uncles. Did I do anything dangerous as a kid? Mostly no. Stupid? Yes.

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    April 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I never did anything like that! What a crazy rock story 🙂 Those are the memories that stick with you though!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    The only dangerous thing I remember doing was swinging across a nearby ravine on a rope like Tarzan. At the time it didn’t seem so dangerous but now I realize I was a terrible swimmer! It never occurred to me that I could fall in. blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    Helen G
    April 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    “Most of the time no harm was done.”
    I loved that line, Tipper. No, I was kinda like you, a scaredy cat, plus we lived in the city and there wasn’t that sort of mischief to get into back in the day. We were ornery kids and loved a good laugh, but we knew if there was a chance of anybody getting hurt we’d get our butts busted.
    Great post.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Oh, yea, done plenty of stupid things in my childhood and teenage years. I was lucky.
    Live and learn, huh?

  • Reply
    Coach Daley
    April 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    That is a great story. Pap and I would have made great friends.
    In the Delta region of North West Mississippi the land is as flat at a table top. It was the flood plain for both the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. To effectively farm it ditches had to be created to drain the land and clear fields.
    Along with new ditches the small little swampy tributaries were also deepened and widened. Many of these were permanent bayous that drained the land and were as full as a river sometimes.
    The Cassidy Bayou ran right along the edge of my little town. I played down by the bayou frequently. The usual fear was the mighty Water Moccasin. But one winter there was a little snow on the ground so it would have been too cold for them to bother anyone.
    My friend Danny and I were throwing sticks into the swampy water on that day. I had my school jacket on because it was quite chilly. We came across a big stump and both lifted it from one side so we could roll it down into the water. A stob on the bottom side of it caught the bottom of my jacket and began to lift me up into the air. Danny tried to grab me but I was already on my way.
    All I can remember is the cold splashing water right on my face and the stump rolling over me. When I stood up I was soaked through and through. Danny and I just laughed and laughed, but I had to ride my bike home wet and freezing. My mom was furious but put me into a warm bath. I think she felt sorry for me because I wasn’t even supposed to be playing down at the bayou and I was expecting a good whipping.
    It didn’t dawn on me until the next day or two how lucky I was because the stump could have trapped me under the water. It was too heave for Danny to push it by himself.
    Did I ever go down to the bayou to play again? What do you think?
    Coach D

  • Reply
    April 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Boy, your Pap was a handsome young man! (and still is!) That story is definitely one for the books.
    The most daring thing I did as a kid was corning cars when I was a teenager. It was so much fun. Nowadays a person could get shot doing that!

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