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I first met Wendell H. Kennison some several years ago on a memorable September morning as the front door of my office suddenly popped open and a soft, resonant voice ever so gently inquired, "What's Cookin'?"

Now, I didn't know "What's Cookin"' since I had been busily engaged in trying to operate a calculator that wouldn't "calc" and a typewriter that couldn't spell.

After brief moments of greetings and salutations well punctuated by verbal exchanges of common interest, we then held a session of world problem-solving that would have baffled the best of mediators. It took me a few moments, however, to realize that, indeed, I must be face-to-face with Metcalfe County, Kentucky's, answer to the late and great Courier-Journal humorist, Hon. Joe Creason.

Thus, you witnessed the birth of a friendship akin to the everlasting and one that is mutually cherished to this good day.

For the expeditious use of words, adages, similes, metaphors, hyperboles and general phraseology, I'm proud to unhesitatingly recommend the erudite pen of Wendell Kennison.

I admire his unique ability to lay before the reader such a varied array of characters so different and far fetched as the stars of the universe while so deftly parlaying their settings and activities into such commonplace and jovial situations that any reader feels right at home. That's Kennison.

Just turn a page, and we'll all do just what this page title implies, Let's all read to-gether — FOREWARD.

Earl D. Harvey,
retired Metcalfe County, Kentucky Director Pupil Personnel(1944-77)

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This booklet is dedicated totally to the good people of Metcalfe County, Kentucky. Kentucky has a great reputation for being the center of stretched truths, the tallest of tales and earthly humor found nowhere else in the world.

I wish to thank everyone who has passed on such jewels of wit and humor to me; for without you, these "Smiles" could never be.

As long as there are Summer Shade, Casey's Fork, Beaumont, Subtle, Eighty Eight, Edmonton, Center, Willow Shade and a hundred other colorful places, each with its own colorful people, Burley Burlap and "Smiles" will live forever.

Always smile,
W.H. Kennison and Burley Burlap

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Before I get into th' meat of this story, I want to thank each and every one fer th' many phone calls and letters inquirin' as to why "Smiles" wuz not in th' paper fer awhile.

Ole Burley is kinda like a bucket of water, after you dip so much out of th' bucket, it gets dry. I found myself writin' serious stuff and that's jest opposite of what I intended.

I found out a long time ago that jest as soon as you start actin' serious, you start havin' trouble with yer stomach, yer blood pressure goes up and you start to worry a lot.

All these people who act serious have th' bellyache all th' time. Well sir, 'nuff of that stuff. On with th' show!

I know a lot of fellers who mess around with bees and some of 'em suggested that maybe ole Burley should get his self some bee gums and get started in th' business.

I'm really not sure if I want to make th' effort as over th' years, I've had some terrible experiences with bees.

I remember th' time I got caught in th' smokehouse with a whole passel of bees. I wuz checkin' on some side meat when th' wind blowed th' smokehouse door shut. When th' door came to, th' latch fell down on th' outside, lockin' me in. All th' ruckus caused some bees nestin' next to th' roof to swarm all over me.

Well sir, that ole smokehouse is still standin' today. It has th' usual door in th' front and a funny shaped door in th' back, where ole Burley made a hasty exit.

I also remember th' time ole Uncle Sot had a run in with some bumble bees.

Uncle Sot always kept a jug of ole "Bustskull" in th' bushes along side th' path to th' "privvy."

One day, as usual, Sot liberated th' jug from th' bushes, went into th' "privvy," settled down like a snowbird on a nest, pulled th' cork and took a long swaller. In th' process of shudderin' and quiverin', which is th' natural reaction after a snort of "Bustskull" Sot dropped th' jug which made an awful racket when it hit th' floor.

This racket highly disturbed some bumble bees who wuz nestin' under th' seat of th' privvy. Th' mad bees attacked th' first patch of hide they saw.

Well sir, if you've never seen a man with a privvy door around his neck, his head stickin' thru th' quarter moon, runnin' full tilt down th' path with his overalls down around his ankles, chased by a bunch of mad bumble bees, you jest ain't lived.

I would really like to hear from anyone out of Kentucky who reads this book. (Specially those in Indiana and Illinois.)

Thought fer today

Set a good example fer th' young folks 'cause they are th' ones who'll be runnin' this country someday.

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Well sir, Ole Burley, on th' advice of Earl Harvey, stopped by Guy Sikes' house to swap a few lies with Guy.

It turned out that all I done wuz listen. Guy done all th' lyin.' He started off by tellin' me about th' time he wuz over to a friend's house a few years back when a travelin' preacher happened to drop by.

John, th' man of th' house, wuz choppin' out corn so only Guy and John's wife got to listen to th' sermon.

First th' preacher read a few verses from his Gideon Bible, then he commenced to preach in earnest.

He told of th' pearly Gates, th' Streets of Gold, th' singin' and rejoycin' and th' good times to be had on that glorious day. Now John's wife had been listinin' real close to all this.

Th' preacher shouted, "Sister, don't you want to be there on that glorious day?"

John's wife sez, "Yes, indeedy, but promise you won't tell John 'cause he'll get drunk and mess up th' whole thing!"

There's also a story I know that Guy don't know I know. (I can jest see them English teachers squirm in' on that sentance!)

It seems that Guy wuz helpin' a friend do some work way over in some distant holler. Th' ground wuz so pore that you couldn't raise a fuss on a sack of fertilize.

While they wuz workin', an air plane flew over. Guy looks up and sez, "Friend, I knowed this land wuz PORE, but I didn't know th' buzzards had to have motors to get across!" Whew! Ole Jimmy Isenberg had better watch out!

Another story I heard conserns two fellers we'll call Bill and Tom.
Seems Bill and Tom, to relax, drank some "Slop Holler Sauce" and played a few hands of poker.

On this occasion, Bill had won a good size shoat from Tom. Now Bill and Tom decided to load th' pig into th' pick up and search fer greener pastures.

They sat th' pig in between 'em and off they drove. About this time. Bill's wife thought she would check around and see where Bill wuz since he hadn't been home in two days.

She hadn't gone up th' road very far when she seen them drive by. Seein' that Bill wuz OK, she headed fer home.

Somebody stopped her on th' road and asked her if she found Bill. She said yes she had seen him go by in th' truck with Tom, but fer th' life of her she couldn't figger who that ugly fuzzy faced feller wuz ridin' in between Bill and Tom!

Well, I have to go check on my T'baccer stick crop. I lost a lot of money on T'baccer sticks last year. I had 40 acres planted in T'baccer sticks and dry weather stunted 'em. They all come up 4 inches too short. I'm gonna keep 'em watered real good this year.


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A few years back, I wuz sittin' around th' courthouse yard of a small country town in th' western part of th' state jawin', spittin' and whittlin'.
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All us loafers wuz discussin' real important things like what th' fish were hittin' on, th' price of ginseng and possum hides and if th' ole maid over on th' creek wuz really an ole maid —
when this slick lookin' stranger ambles up.

He sez. "Pardon me gentlemen," (Everybody looked around to see who he wuz talkin' to). "Could you tell me if this town has a
criminal lawyer?"

Phil T. McNasty aimed a stream of amberry at a passin' June bug and answered, "Yep! We've had one fer years but we can't rightly prove it."

A good friend of mine here in Summer Shade had a nasty accident
recently. He kept hittin' this big feller's fist with his nose! Consequently, he had to have a skin graft to replace all th' hide he lost in th' hassel.

My friend said th' doctors took skin from another part of his body and grafted it on his nose. They did a real good job; you can hardly tell where they operated.

I was real curious as to where they got th' skin to do th' job. This feller's nose is a real schnoz and it: took an awful lot of hide to fix it.

I asked him if he knew where they got th' skin, and he said he didn't rightly know but every time he got tired, his nose wanted to sit down!

I asked Jess Martin if he wuz smart in arithmetic, and he allowed that he wuz top cat in that department.

I thought I would try him out and told him that I would give him a problem to solve. He said to give it my best shot.

I said, "Now Jess, if you had $5.00 in your left pocket and $3.00 in your right pocket, what would you have?"

Jess thought it over a while, and answered, "Heck, I'd have somebody else's britches on!"

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All my life, I've heard that beauty wuz in th' eyes of th' beholder. This story I'm about to relate proves this theory.

It seems that this city feller decided to come to th' country and do a little huntin,' He drove up to this ole farm house and asked th' farmer if he could hunt on his place. Th' farmer bein' a good ole boy said he could hunt if he would be very careful because there were goats and cows about.

Th' city dude allowed that we had seen all th' current "Wild Kingdom"TV shows and thought he qualified as a hunter.

Well sir, after a while, th' city feller spies a movement in th' bushes and out steps a big ole billy goat. Now, this feller bein' direct from th' city didn't know a billy goat from a robin red breast and shoots th' goat grave yard dead!

Th' big game hunter runs and finds th' farmer to have him help drag th' ole billy back to th' car,

Farmer sez, "I heard you shoot a while ago. Whut did you kill!" Th' city slicker answered, "I don't really know, but I'll describe it fer you. It had lots of hair, th' hardest head and stunk somethin' awful!"

At this, th' farmer turns pale and shouts, "You dang fool, you've shot my wife Marthy a blackberry pickin'!"

Rob Miller said he wuz herdin' a swarm of bees from Fountain Run to Summer Shade one time and lost two of 'em. Said he never did find 'em. Here's a note of interest to you dairy farmers. Freeman Branham sez he has got a milk cow that is so full of milk, that after you milk her, all you gotta do is pick up th' ole cow's hide and throw it over th' fence.

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I guess most lawyers are a smart bunch 'cause they spend hours lookin' in this book and that to find a case similar to th' one they're workin' on. Some smarts jest has to rub off on 'em.

Now I said most lawyers. I've got a friend, who for some crazy reason, became a lawyer. It nearly killed his pore mom and pop. They had their sights set on a much higher goal fer their son. They wanted him to be a tree trimmer.

Nevertheless, "Jackleg" Julian passed the bar and now he is a full fledged lawyer with th' firm of I, Swindle and Howe. (By th' way—it's th' first bar he ever passed).

After graduation, Julian outfitted hisself like all other lawyers. He got a bright blazer with gold buttons and a tweed suit. He also purchased a pair of them little half-moon glasses to look at th' jury over and a pipe big enough to hold a can of tobacco.

Me and him wuz loaf in' around th' square one day and he sez, "Burley, do you think Justice is blind?" I said I didn't think she wuz blind, but I thought she wuz awful nearsited.

Julian sez, "Burley, let's take a purly hypothetical view of this justice business." I said O.K.! (That $20 word is his, not mine.)

Julian continued, "Let's imagine th' richest man in th' county and th' porest man in th' county pleadin' their case before a judge and jury and jest to keep things honest, (I told you he jest graduated, he'll learn) let's say that they were facin' th' same charges. Everything in th' case wuz th' same. Now Burley, I say that each man would be given a fair trial!" Now fer a man who has a good education, Julian jest said a stupid thing! First off, th' judge would
be squirmin' in his chair 'cause his billfold has jest been relined. Second, ole rich Gottbucks has twenty witnesses in th' courtroom and twenty more outside. Third, pore ole Ned Nobody has to have an attorney who specializes in chasin' ambulances and collectin' overdue bills and Gottbucks holds a mortgage on all th' jurors' homes.

Now anybody with one eye and half sense knows who's gonna go free and who'll be peepin' thru th' bars. I think ole Jackleg really believed what he said.

'Nuff of that. Let's talk about a friend of mine who lives in Munfordville. Russell is a "Hossman" and bein' a "Hossman," I suspect Russell swaps nags once in a while.

Th' story, as wuz told to me, goes that this feller wuz tryin' to buy a hoss from Russell and asked if he could ride th' hoss first. Russell sez, "Yes, indeedy. You go right ahead." Well sir, this feller climbed on th' hoss' back and wuz immediately thrown sky-high hittin' th' ground with a solid thump.

Th' feller gets up rubbin' his bruses and yells, "I thought you said I could ride that horse!"

Russell jest grinned and answered, "Sure, I said you could ride him. I never said he'd let you."

Thought for today

"We pay politicians for wisdom and all we get is wind."—Will Rogers.

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Th' citizens of Summer Shade can be proud of th' fact that they have among them a feller who can make a mule do any thing he wants them to.

When old Ewell speaks, them mules listen! Th' story as I heard it is that Ewell had a mule who wuz not as peppy as he ought to be, so Ewell called th' vet for some advice. Th' vet sent Ewell two huge red pills with th' instructions to give only one pill to th' mule at first 'cause these pills were very powerful.

Ewell figgers if one pill is good, both pills would do wonders fer th' ole mule, so he gives him both pills.

Well sir, you'de of thought that mule had ginger under his tail! He walled his eyes, spun around two or three times, busted th' barn door down and took off fer th' next county!

Th' vet got a phone call and it was Ewell on th' other end wantin' three more of them red pills, Th' vet asked, "Ewell, have you got some more mules that's actin' puny?"

Ewell answers, "No, by Ned! Them pills are fer me! I gotta catch that ole mule!"

While we're on th' subject of mules, I heard a story that I'll pass on to you good readers.

It seems that this city feller bought a small farm and wuz out buyin' livestock fer th' place. Now th' local joker thought he would have some fun out of th' city feller and proceeded to sell th' feller a huge watermelon and told him that it wuz a mule egg.

Off went th' city dude with th' "mule egg" tucked under his arm. As he wuz goin' up th' path, he stumped his toe and th' "mule egg" went bouncin' down th' hillside with th' feller right behind it. Th' "mule egg" rolled thru a brier patch, hit a rock and busted. This scared a rabbit which took off at high speed.

Th' city feller stopped and looked in amazement, thinkin' th' rabbit wuz a young mule. He sez to hisself. "Shucks, ain't no sense a-chasin' him. He's too fast to hitch to a plow anyhow!"

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I guess by now everybody is acquainted with th' so called new invention called "gasohol" that is a mixture of 90 percent gas and 10 percent alcohol.

Shucks, folks around here can beat that all to pieces. I know a lot of people who have run on bourbon and water fer years!

Well sir, Fanny has been fussin' so much lately 'cause th' grass ain't been cut that I went out and bought her a brand new lawn mower. She can cut a lot more grass now than she could with that little ole grass whip.

She's still raisin' cain, though, says a push mower with her name on it wuzn't exactly what she had in mind. Heck, somebody has to cut th' grass since th' ole goat died. Other than feelin' like a custard pie that's been nailed to th' wall, th' effects of th' trip across th' waters has cleared up.

I'll tell you fer a fact, that big 747 jet really gets where it's a-goin' in a hurry! However, I noticed before we took off at Looieville, a little red truck would run out to th' plane and put fuel in it, then it would turn around and zip back towards th' terminal. I didn't know exactly where it went until we landed in New York and do you know, there comes that red truck rushin' out to meet th' plane.

Now as I said before, that 747 really moves, but that little red truck must really move!

Thought for today

Most people are like dogs, they growl at things they don't understand.

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Scientists, bless their little pointed heads, say that th' basic difference between th' human mind and th' animal mind is that humans are endowed with th' capability to reason. Just a quick look around you at th' shape th' world is in should disprove that theory real quick!

I think I've spoke to you about my wife Fanny, but I don't think I've told you how fat she is. That gal is somethin' else! I call her my "Tons of Fun!"

I bought her one of these small foreign cars last week. Now most people would just get in the car and drive off. Not my fat Fanny—she had to put it on like an overcoat. Well sir, I squeezed in along side her and off we drove.

We hadn't gone very far when her girdle busted. Man, there wuz Fruit of th' Loom in th' air for twenty minutes! I almost wuz cut to ribbons with them girdle strings'.

I had her a bikini made out of an ole tarpoleum and took her to th' beach. There she wuz. layin' out in that blazin' hot sun. You never seen so much meat cookin' in one place in all your life'.

We wuz shoppin' over in Glasgow a while back, and as we wuz crossin' th' street some durn fool run smack into Fanny. It dented his bumper and hurt her somewhat.

I asked th' feller, "Say didn't you see my wife?" He said, "See her? I hit her didn't I?" I said. "Why didn't you drive around her?" and he sez, "Ididn't have near enough gas'."

Our insurance man came over and wuz gonna write a policy on Fanny. He took one look at her and said it would have to be a group policy.

I'll tell you it wuz almost th' last straw when I took Fanny swimmin' in th' ocean and some dang fool nearly harpooned her, said he thought she wuz a whale. Well, I gotta go now. Fanny's caught in the barn door agin'.

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Mike Flowers (of the Cumberland County Flowers) who now resides in our fair town, tells me of the time an acquaintance of his wuz hauled into court after bein' caught with more than a little "SLOP HOLLER" dew in his possession.
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Th' local lawyer tells Mike's friend that fer $5.00
he can tell him how to beat th' charges agin him.

"All you gotta do," counsels th' Jack leg lawyer,
"is every time th' prosecutin' attorney asks you a
question,you just roll your eyes and say Baaaa!"

Well sir, he did jest like he wuz told. Every time that
prosecutor would ask him a question, that ole
boy rolled his eyes around and hollered Baaaa!

Th' judge jumps up about this time and sez "case dismissed
! That ole coot is crazy!"

Mike's friend heads for th' door but is stopped by th' local
lawyer. "See, I told you I could get you off, now where's my $5.00?"

Mike's buddy looks at th' would-be Perry Mason, walls his
eyes and sez"Baaaa!"

My friend, David Froggett, sez he has invented a new musical instrumentand can't wait to get a patent on it. He sez it's called
a "NOSE," you can either pick it or blow it!

Speakin' of noses, I know of a feller who wuz blessed with
more than his share in the nose department. He turned over
in his sleep one night and got his nose caught in his ear, sneezed and dang near blowed his brains out!

Thought for today.

Th' longest 10 years in a woman's life is between the ages
of 29 and 30.

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Some people are really inventive when it comes to ways of makin' easy money. Fer instance, a few years back when roads were only dirt, (like some roads around here!) a rain would make th' roads almost impossible.

I wuz drivin' down one of these roads in my model "T" when I came upon a huge mud hole right in th' middle of th' road. I couldn't understand it because it hadn't rained fer two weeks. I also noticed a sign that read, "Cars pulled across mudhole $2.00." Sure enough, here comes a feller with a team of mules with some chains draggin' along behind.

Says he, "Howdy. You want me to pull ya across? Only cost ya two bucks."

As I didn't have much choice, I said alright. When we got to th' other side, I sez to th' feller, "Feller, I bet you make a lot of money at this." He sez, "Yep, I do, but I'm wore plumb out."

Now this didn't make sense to me 'cause th' mules done all th' work. So I sez, "Why in th' world are you so tired? All you do is hitch th' mules up and they do th' pullin'."

"I'll tell you why," he answered, "It's three miles to th' nearest creek, and I have to haul water all night to keep this mud hole from dryin' up!" Smart feller.

I wuz sittin' out front of Gasley McPump's fillin' station th' other day, and this feller drives up and asks Gasley how fer it wuz to Glasgow.

Gasley sez, "It's about 13 miles but if you drive fast, it's only 10." Th' feller drove off mumblin' somthin' about people drinkin' so early in th' mornin.'

Speakin' of drinkin', Ole Uncle Sot said he felt sorry fer people who didn't drink. He allowed it would be awful to get up every mornin' knowin' that you wouldn't feel any better all day.

Our local banker jest celebrated a birthday recently and almost turned out to be a disaster When they lit the candles, three people were overcome by the heat.

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Well sir, election time is rapidly approachin' and with it th' candidates will be out shakin' hands, kissin' babies and slingin' mud.

I'm a fine believer that if you put all th' politicians in a grass sack, shook 'em up real good and dropped 'em out on th' ground, you couldn't tell which belonged to which party. Politicians are a lot like hogs. They come in all sizes and colors, but they're still hogs.

I know I promised not to get serious again, but these rascals get my dander up! We just try and vote for the lesser of the two evils.

Ole Uncle Sot went to th' doctor over th' weekend and th' doc really jumped on Sot fer not followin' his order not to drink anymore. Doc Gottbucks sez, "Sot, that whiskey you're drinkin' will kill you as sure as a bullet will!"

Sot squinted at th' doc thru bleary eyes and shot back, "Doc, I'de rather be full of whiskey than bullets any day!"

Sot had a frightful experience recently. It seems cousin Wetly P. Bedford had been to a Army surplus sale and had bought a big ole box just full of stuff.

'Way down near th' bottom, Wetly found a hand gernade and showed it to Sot's wife—Aunt Lottie.

Lottie asked, "Whut is that thing Wetly?" Wetly sez, "It's fer blowin' up things, I think."

Aunt Lottie sez, "Heave it down under th' ole outhouse out back, it's fallin' down anyway. It'll be good riddance."

Wetly pulled th' pin and made a direct hit on th' outhouse. What Wetly and Aunt Lottie didn't know wez that Sot wuz in th' outhouse and jest popped th' cork th' instant th' gernade hit!

Well sir, it rained boards, nails, and Sears catalog pages fer ten minits! Here comes Sot crawlin' up th' path moanin' and groanin'! Wetly and Lottie ran and picked ole Sot up and asked if he wuz O.K. Sot allowed he wuz O.K., jest shook up a mite and added, "I'll tell you one thing fer sure—I'm glad I wuzn't in th' house when I popped that cork!" Boy so am I!

My wife Fanny said she bit her tongue yesterday, but I don't hardly see how that could have happened. She could never have caughtit!

Thought for today

"When I was young, folks said anyone could grow up and become
President. After th' last few we've had I can really believe that!"

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Th' fact that a lot of things have changed since I wuz a colt, wuz brought to my attention th' other day while I wuz watchin' Dick Clark's "Band Stand" show on th' smelly vision. (No, I didn't mispell it!)
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I noticed  these young'uns a-twistin' and a-shakin' like a worm in
hot ashes. You'de have thought that somebody had put a shovel full of ants in their pants!

If any of us young'uns would have started actin' like that, momma would have wormed us right quick!

Speakin' of times changin', we all remember our history teachers tellin' us how George Washington could toss a silver dollar clear across th' POTOMAC River.

Col. Willie Long, our resident history teacher, preacher, auctioneer and all around good feller, says ole George couldn't do that trick now because a dollar don't go as far these days!

All kiddin' aside, I would like to hear from some of you fine readers, "Especially those who live outside ole Kentucky." I would like to hear some really "Tall Tales on Huntin' and Fishin'."

Well, I gotta run, th' hogs have got a-hold of Granny again!

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In my travels, I've seen a lot of strange things. But th' one thing I saw that puzzled me the most is right here in Metcalfe County.
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I can't tell you just where thisgosh-all-mighty sight is 'cause everyone would rush right over to see and would clog up all th' roads.

I had been a passin' this one farm most
every day and I noticed a huge log chain
a-hangin' down from a big ole maple tree in th' back yard.

After a few trips by th' place, I just couldn't stand it no longer. I just had to find out what function that log chain performed in th' daily business of farmin.'

I wheeled my car up th' long driveway to th' house. I got out and knocked on th' door. A grizzle-faced ole farmer, with a chaw of burley stuck in his jaw, answered my knock and wanted to know what I wuz a-sellin.' I assured him that all I wanted was to know what that log chain wuz fer. Th' farmer eyed me up and down and observed, "You ain't been around these parts long have you?" I told him, "No, not very long."

He said, "O.K. I'll tell you just so you'll go away." He went on. "Every mornin' I get up and come out to th' kitchen and drink my mornin' coffee. While I am drinkin' my coffee, I look out th' winder at that chain. If it's a-hangin' down like it is now, I finish my coffee and then I go out and start plowin.' However, if I look out and that durn chain is a-stickin' straight out, I figger it's too windy to work and I go back to bed." It wuz agittin' a-mite
breezy, so I excused myself and got out of there. Speakin' of wind, ole Pete Branstetter said it got so windy over his way a-while back that it took four people to hold a blanket over a key hole!

He said th' wind turned his well inside out and he had to climb a 30-foot ladder to draw a bucket of water! Whew! I know where most of th' wind came from.

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A few months ago, I decided that I would ride out to th' airport and watch th' planes take off and come in. I haven't found a better place than th' airport to enjoy this pastime. As I stood there behind th' safety fence, I couldn't help but notice an old couple standin' a few feet from me with their noses pressed
against the fence.
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Every time a pilot would walk by, th' old feller would stop him
and ask, "How much is it to take me and Marthy a-flyin'?"

Th' answer wuz always th' same, "Ten dollars, old timer."
Well sir, this went on fer most of th' day. Finally out of sheer
desperation or pity, one of th' pilots approached th' old couple
with a deal.

"I'll tell you what I'll do," th' pilot said, "I'll take you and your wife up on one condition." "Whut's that?" the old man asked.

Th' pilot replied, "If you yell or holler fer any reason, you pay me $20 and if you don't yell or holler, I'll give you th' ride fer free. Does that sound reasonable?"

Th' old man and his wife talked things over fer a while and then allowed th' deal sounded O.K. and into th' plane they climbed.

Now this plane wuz of W.W. I vintage, a Stearman, I think, open cockpit and all.

Well sir, I'm here to tell you that wuz some sight to see. That pilot roared down th' runway, pulled back on th' stick and shot straight up like a rocket. He put that plane thru every maneuver he knew and then invented some right on th' spot.

Th' last time I seen 'em they wuz streakin' towards Barren River Lake! Up-side down!

Along about sundown, I noticed a dot on th' horizon and thought I'd stick around to see who won th' contest,

Th' plane toxied up real close to th' fence and th' pilot shut her down. I could hear th' pilot speakin' to th' old man.

"Old timer," he sez. "You've won yer bet. I never heard a sound and I put this ole tin lizzie thru everything I could think of!"

Th' old man, who is kinda green around th' gills, grins sheepishly and sez, "I'll tell you a secret, Mr. Pilot. I thought you had me back there when Marthy fell out over th' lake!" Hmmm! I guess it wuz a matter of pride.

Thought for today

As I look out my window in January at the bleak, cold landscape, I wonder why I choose to live in the country. Then comes spring and I know why.

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In th' past, I have quoted th' wise and sage sayin's of a number of wise and sage citizens of our fair city of Summer Shade. It seems that Summer Shade is overly blessed because I have heard from another, yet unquoted, wise and sage person.

Jessie McIntyre, who up to this writin,' has been a very dear friend of mine,

He tells me of the time that he raised sheep for a livin'! As he tells it, he wuz doin' purty good with th' sheep business until he read somewhere that if you played music to your animals, they would really respond and give you a much better yield.

Well sir, ole Jessie spends a wagon full of money to install speakers in his sheep pens and stock barns. All he had to do wuz put on a record in th' house and you could hear sweet music all over th' farm.

Jessie said that them sheep jest loved that music. They started to get fat and produce th' best wool in the whole country.

Thing's wuz really lookin' up. Then it happened! Jessie's wife went to Glasgow and bought a whole stack of new records. When she got home she put on th' record called, "There'll Never be Another EWE," and all of Jessie's best rams jumped off a cliff and committed suicide! Whew! That's almost more than a feller can swaller at one sittin'! I know a feller who is in his younger days developed an ulcer because he spent money faster than he
made it, now that he's in th' chips, he has an ulcer because he's makin' money faster than he can spend it.

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The followin' item tells the full story of why th' U.S. of A. is in one wholeof a fix.
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It seems that this little red hen wuz scratchin' around in th' barn yard one day and turned up some grains of wheat.

Now th' little red hen ran around th' barn yard askin' everyone she saw if they would help her plant th' grain so she could make some flour and bake some bread which they would all share.

Th' pig said, "I can't help you, I'm afraid my government check would be cut off."

Th' goat said, "My union won't allow it!" Th' cat said, "I'm just too tired." Th' little hen decided to plant th' grain herself.

When th' wheat grew up, th' little hen asked th' pig, th' goat and th' cat to help her harvest it. Th' pig said, "If I work, no check!" Th' goat said, "Can't. Union you know." Th' cat jest yawned.

Well sir, th' little red hen gathered in all th' wheat and took it to th' mill. She took th' flour and made many beautiful loaves of bread and sat back to enjoy her labors.

But hark! Who is that at th' door? Why it's your friendly government man. He sez, "Miz Hen. you can't possibly eat all that bread yourself. You'll have to share it with th' pig, th' goat, and th' cat! It's th' American way!"

Th' little red hen never again raised a crop!

My cousin, Snerdly Stump wuz sittin' in th' local eatery th' other week sippin' on a cup of coffee when in walks th' town flap-lip. She sez, "Snerdly, if I wuz your wife, I'de put pizzin in your coffee!"

Ole Snerd took another sip and drawled, "Emmy, if I wuz married to you, I'de drink it!"

Thought for today

Inflation is when you have money to burn but can't afford a match.

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Th' fact that age is just a state of mind was re-impressed upon ole Burley th' other day.
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I was visitin' my ole grandpa who is old as time itself. (Actually he is 98), Just out of curiosity, I asked him how old a man had to be before he stops enjoyin' th' company of th' ladies.

He gave me a mischevious smile and allowed I would have to ask
someone older than he.

He says he can't stand all these people who constantly gripe about gettin' old.

He says they shouldn't complain about gettin' old 'cause a lot of people don't have that privilidge.

There's a story goin' around Summer Shade that awhile back when th' R.E.C.C. had a big shindig over in Edmonton our mail man spent $5 on gas to go there for a 5 cent Coke and a 15 cent hot dog.

There's a feller who resides at Beaumont that is said to plow the
straightest furrows to be found anywhere. As I hear it, he even trains his mules to th' point that they are very self conscious about laying a straight row.

I was curious about all this and I wanted to see these trained mules at work.

Th' field where this feller wuz plowin' was about three acres in size, and I noticed that in about th' middle of th' field was a low spot,

Well sir, this feller takes off lickty-split across that field layin' th' purtiest furrow you ever saw.

What I witnessed next almost puts me in a class with Jimmy Isenberg. When them ole mules got down in that low spot, where they couldn't see th' other end of th' field, they raised up on their hind legs to get a line on a fence post at th' other end.

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Well sir, after listenin' to President Carter's sermon on th' energy
shortage and his six-point plan to curb it, I can only add that we should take those six points, sharpen 'em and apply liberly to th' backsides of th' six major oil companies.
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Th' highways are literallybumper to bumper withvacationers. This re-affirms whatI've thought many times. Th'American people have got moredollars than sense.

Well enough preachin.'Carterdone enough of that th' other nite.Jimmy Isenberg called to inform me that I wuz in error when I reported his misfortune last week. It seems I stated that th' fire started in a pile of corncobs or Sears catalogues. Jimmy said that Sears pages are too slick and he only uses Montgomery Ward catalogs. Sorry about th' error, Jimmy.

Last fall, I had a whole bunch of city fellers drop by and ask if they could hunt on my place and if I had a good bird dog they could borrow.

I said yes to both questions. I told them to be real careful with my bird dog 'cause I had spent a lot of money trainin' him.

They assured me that they would take good care of ole "Shiftless," my bird dog.

Well sir, after they had been gone fer awhile, I heard th' awfulest racket you ever heard jest over th' hill from my place.

When I got there, I saw to my horror that these city dudes were whoopin' on my dog. Now you can steal my wife, Fanny, and drink my last drop of 'shine but leave my dog alone. I hollered, "Hey! What do you think you're doin'?" This one feller said, "Some bird dog. I'm gonna pitch him up in th' air one more time and if he don't fly, I'm gonna shoot him!"

Thought for today

The United States politicians are the best money can buy.

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I have oft times written tales about my ole uncle Sot, (Rest his pickled soul) who had a mortal fear of water if taken internally. But my, oh my, did he love his "Slop Holler Sauce!"
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Once, while visiting our family doctor, Dr. Quincy Quackly,
W.R., (W.R. stands for Wallet Removal, Dr. Quackly is a Wallet
Ectomy Specialist), th' good doctor figgered that jest tellin'
Sot to quit drinkin' wuz goin' to do no good, so he decided to
demonstrate th' deadly effects of alcohol on one's body.

He sat Uncle Sot down to a small table which contained two glasses, one filled with water, th' other with "Slop Holler Sauce." Th' doctor produced from a can a big wiggley nite crawler. He first dropped th' worm into th' glass of water. That big ole worm had hisself a ball swimmin' around in that water, doin' th' back stroke and everything. Then th' doctor removed th' worm fromth' water and plopped him in to th' "sauce."

Before you could bat an eye, that ole worm quivered once and sank to th' bottom, graveyard dead!

Dr. Quackly looked at Uncle Sot, smiled a doctor smile and said, "Sot, does that little demonstration tell you anything?"

Uncle Sot grinned and said, "Yeh, Doc, if you drink whiskey, you'll never have worms!"

Ole Burley saw a sure sign of spring th' other day. While drivin' along I65 I noticed th' Yankees all migratin' home from Florida with sacks of oranges in their back windows.

A cattleman friend of mine stated that at th' present time cow manure is worth more than th' cow!

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I guess you've noticed th' good quality of th' little cartoon that is always at th' top of this story.

My uncle. Bunsen B. Burlap, is sketchin' all these now. (Th' home thinks it's good therapy). He signs them "James Kennison" so all th' girls won't come knockin' his door down.

Paul Pinchbottom, th' local dirty ole man, has been sittin' around Summer Shade eyeballin' all th' young ladies and askin' them all fer a date. Now Paul's wife, Prunella, jest seems to ignore all this, and one of th' towngossips, Fanny Flaplip, (we have many) asked her if it made her jealous when Paul wuz chasin' all these young sweet things. Prunella jest kinda smiled and answered, "Ms. Flaplip, you know dogs chase cars, too, but they don't know
how to drive!"

This next story wuz told to me as th' gospel truth and since Metcalfe County is th' seat of truthfulness, I feel I can pass it on to you folks without fear of reprisal.

It seems that this volunteer fireman from — sits in front of th' firehouse, strums his gitar and writes love songs.

One fine day recently, somebody drove by and reported a fire up th' road a few miles. Th' fireman didn't budge and told th' feller that if th' fire wuzn't out in a couple of hours, he would bring th' firetruck and see what he could do.

My granddaddy gave me some very good advice one time. He said, "Never eat blue food and don't go near anything that is equipped with a handle. Blue food just can't do you any good and anything attached to a handle means work!"

Thought fer today

..Behind every successful man there's a woman — naggin'!

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I jest received a letter from my Uncle Jess Kennison who now lives in San Diego, California. Uncle Jess is 82 years young and still has his eye out for the ladies.
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He also knows where every groundhog, fox and rabbit hole is in th' country.

Uncle Jess tells me about a huntin' dog he had one time, that wuz really smart. He sez' th' dog treed one day and when he got to
where th' dog wuz, th' dog had a 'coon up a tree on one limb and a 'possum on another limb. While he held a rabbit down with one
paw, a quail with th' other and a sittin' on a fox! Uncle Jess says he still has th' fox tail to prove his story.

He also remembers a little calf he owned when he wuz small. Times bein' hard in them days, th' only thing he had to feed th' calf wuz some turnips. Well sir, winter wuz a-comin' on and Uncle Jess turned th' calf out into th' turnip patch and allowed there wuz enough turnips to do th' calf until spring.

Spring finally rolled around, as Springs are prone to do, and Uncle Jess went to th' turnip patch to check on his calf. Well sir, he looked high and low and finally came upon a huge turnip with a big hole in it, and sure enough there wuz th' calf down inside that turnip still eatin' away. Hmmmmm! He's beginnin' to sound like ole Isenberg!

Uncle Jess also writes that there wuz a big iron works close by to where he lived. He sez they made a iron kettle so large that two men a-workin' on that kettle, one on one side and one on th' other, couldn't hear each other a-hammerin'!

Here comes th' clincher! I write back and asked Uncle Jess what in th' world they needed such a big kettle fer? He wrote back and said it wuz to cook th' rest of that turnip in!

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Everybody keeps hollerin' about an energy shortage, shucks my
brother-in-law Rancid Rashbottom has been short on energy fer years. I remember one time, I found him layin' under a shade tree sound asleep. Now this wuz right in th' middle of harvest, and I knowed he had some crops to get in.
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I shook him awake and asked him why he wuzn't workin'. He said,
"Burley, I got it all figgered out. You know that new ground I wuz gonna clear? Well durin' that last storm we had, th' wind root wadded all them trees and then lightnin' struck 'em and caught 'em on fire and cleared th' whole field fer me."

I asked, "What about all them apples that need pickin'?" Rancid smiled and answered, "Th' wind blowed all of 'em off and all th' youngin's had to do wuz pick 'em up."

"But Rance," I said, "I know you still got two acres of 'taters in th' ground. What are you gonna do about them?"

Rancid settled back and said, "That's what I'm layin' here waitin' fer. I'm hopin' we'll have a earthquake and shake 'em out of th' ground."

We had a little excitement up th' road th' other day. Seems Jimmy Isenberg's bathroom caught on fire, but they managed to put th' fire out before it reached th' house. Fire Chief Froggett said th' fire either started in a pile of corncobs or Sears catalogues. Th' fire destroyed everything except th' two holes and th' portable TV. Sorry to hear of your misfortune Jimmy.

Thought for today

If you think things are bad now, remember that these days will be th' good old days our children will tell their offsprings about.

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All this talk about hoop snakes has got a lot of folks here in the county a-lookin' over their shoulders every time they go get the cows in from the back pasture!
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Now fer those of you who ain't never actually saw a real
bona-fied hoop snake, here's what to look fer.

The hoop snake has got a long spike on his head and he
puts his tail in his mouth and rolls down a hill like a hoop
and spears his victim with the

That's how they come up with the name "hoop snake." Purty clever huh? Well, I ain't never seen one either but I know lots of folks who swear they know folks who have actually saw one.

There's a feller who lives in Summer Shade, I won't tell you his name, but his initials are Pete Branstetter, who had a tumble experience with a hoop snake.

Now, it's a well known fact that Pete is a monument to truth. It has never been proved that Pete has ever told a lie so I believe every word of th' followin' story he told me.

Seems Pete was a-grubbin' out a fence row down by th' creek when he happened to look up, and spies a hoop snake a rollin' down th' hill at top speed and headed right for ole Pete.

Pete says he jumped outen th' way just in time and that ole hoop snake stuck that spike clear up to the hilt in a sassafrass saplin'! And before Pete knowed what was a happenin' that saplin' begin to swell up from the hoop snake's pizzin'!

Well, now ole Pete seein' a chance to capitalize on a good thing ran all the way to th' house and hitched his team to the wagon, throwed a saw in th' back and hurried back to the snake struck saplin'. When he got back, th' saplin' had swole up to 18 feet around! Well, sir, ole Pete sawed that tree up and hauled it to th' saw mill and got enough lumber to build a ten-room house.

When th' house was finished, Pete painted the whole house with a coat of purty white paint and stood back to admire it.

But as he was a lookin' at it, th' house begin to shrink right before his eyes. Pete couldn't figger out what was a happen' until it occurred to him the paint was drawin' out the snake's pizzin' and th' house was a-gettin' smaller by th' minit!

Like I said b'fore, ole Pete never let a good thing go by so he goes down behind the barn and cuts hisself a pole 'bout 35 feet long.

When Pete got back up to the house, it had shrunk so much that he nailed th' house on top of th' pole and set it up out by th' barn. Pete said it made th' purtiest martin box he's ever seen! Sounds reasonable enough to me!

I understand that Metcalfe County is goin' to have th' honor of havin' the longest and narrowest corn field in th' world.

Th' folks who live along Mt. Moriah Church Road say there's not enough asphalt on it to qualify it as a road so they've decided to plant corn on it.

I took a ride over th' road th' other day and hadn't gone very far when I saw what looked like a cow's head a layin' in th' road. I got out of my car for a closer look and sure enough it was a cow's head but th' head was attached to a cow's body down in a hole in th' road. That was bad enough but when I looked closer, I noticed th' ole cow was a-standin' on another cow's back!

Well, I gotta go now; Pete wants me to help him find a "home brew copper" and them things are a-gettin' mighty scarce.

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My good friend, Jimmy Isenberg, who like Pete Branstetter, belongs to a select group of fellers who not once in their lives have been caught red-headed in a out-and-out lie, says he had the best bunch of watermelons growing down by the creek, but th' vines grew so fast that they drug the watermelons off before they had a chance to grow. Whew! That's close to bein' a fib but I can't prove it!

I remember one time back home our little church decided to buy a 'big chandelier and put it over th' pulpit so's th' congregation could get a better shot at th' preacher. Well, sir, th' deacons met and waz a votin' on where to spend th' money—on th' thing or not. Some of 'em voted yes and some voted no and th' argument went back and forth until all were in agreeance 'cept ole Uncle Henry, who was almost deaf and only caught part of th' conversation.
When asked why he wuz so dead set agin th' purchase of a new chandelier, he allowed that "Th' danged thing cost too much, and no one in th' church can play it! What they really need is more light over th' pulpit!"

Ed Smith tells me that he has a coon dog that is worth its weight in gold. Ed allows th' dog is worth so much 'cause he gets to th' tree 10 minutes before th' coon. Well now, that almost puts Ed in th' same class as Jimmy and ole Pete. Keep them cards and letters comin.'

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As some of you know, ole Burley and Miz Fanny jest got back from across th' waters. We went to Spain and took a side trip to Tangiers, North Africa.

I'm here to tell you, we had a time. While we wuz in North Africa, one of them A-Rabs wanted to swap me two camels fer Fanny! I told him that I would have to have at least Three camels and a goat. After all, Fanny and me have been together a long time.

On the flight over, I noticed a little ole man that wuz as nervous as a long-tail cat in a room full of rockers. I asked him why he wuz so shakey and he informed me that it wuz his first flight. Tryin' to calm him down, I said, "Ole timer look at it this way. If it's your time to go, you're gonna go, no matter where you are." He answered, "That ain't what I'm worried about. What I'm worried about is, what if it's th' pilot's time to go?" Guess he's got
a point there.

While we wuz waitin' at th' airport, I overheard this feller ask th' ticket agent what time th' plane left fer Chicago. Th' agent checked and said, "Th' plane leaves here at 4:45 p.m. and arrives in Chicago at 4:50 p.m." Now th'feller evidently didn't know too much about time changes and gasp in astonishment.

"Do you want a ticket?" th' agent inquired.

Th' feller said, "No siree! But I'de give $10 to watch that plane take off!" I'll say one thing fer some of these far away places. They know how to handle incompetent government officials. If an official starts actin' up or bein' cute with th' people's money, he just disappears some moonless night.

Humm, that ought to keep 'em on their toes.

Thought for today

A man stands never so tall as when he stoops to help someone.

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Now that winter is upon us, I haven't been gettin' much sleep lately. Th' snow snakes and ice worms keep me awake a-singin' all night!
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Th' Summer Shade Loafers League held their annualwatermelon ROAST last night. Other than Uncle Sot fallin' intoth' fire and scorchin' th' seat of his pants, a good time was had byall.

At th' meetin' somebody asked Tom McMurtrey why they built th' Glasgow Airport where they did. Tom reckoned they built it there so it would be near th' airplanes.

Bronston Howard said he lost a whole lot of money last week on hogs. Tom asked him if his hogs died. Bronston said, "No, th' price of hogs went up a dollar a pound, and I didn't have a single hog to sell."

Charlie McMurtrey tells me of a feller who had a big red rooster that wuz really tough, Th' feller says that one day a big chicken hawk swooped down and flew off with th' prize rooster in his claws. Well sir, that ole hawk flew to a big tree about a mile away figgerin' on havin' hisself a good meal. Th' red rooster had other ideas and made that hawk bring him back to th' chicken house.

Speakin' of chickens, I wuz a-sittin' out on th' front porch a-while back and my little ole banty rooster wuz a-chasin' two little banty hens around and around th' house.

I hear one of th' hens asked th' other, "I wonder which one of us he's chasin?" Th' other little hen answered, "I don't know, but if we don't slow down, he'll never catch either one of us."

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It seems to me that Metcalfe County is the seat of truthfulness since I can't find anybody who will admit that he ever in his whole life told a lie.

There's one fellow here in Summer Shade who swears the followin' really happened while 'sang huntin' a while back.

Seems this feller came face to face with a huge bear and took off
a-runnin' up the holler lookin' for a place to hide. Well, sir, every turn our hero took, that ole bear was right on his tail a-growlin' and a-snappin' his jaws!

When he was just about all tuckered out, the fellow spied a hollow log and dived a-head first into it and starts a crawlin' as fast as he can, all the while the ole bear is right behind still growlin' and a-snappin' and takin' big pieces outen his britches with every swipe.

Now this here hollow log started to get narrower and narrower until the feller can't crawl another inch, and he can feel that ole bear's hot breath on his neck. There's just a little bitty hole in the end of the log where he can see some light.

Now the feller says to hisself, "Self, you've come to the end of the road. This big ole bear is a-gonna eat you up!" So he decides he had better start squarin' things up with his Maker and starts thinkin' about all the bad things he's done in his life-time and he remembers the one and only time in his life
that he ever told a lie and it made him feel so little that he ran right out that little bitty hole and got clean away from that bear.

The same feller that told me the above also said that while huntin' last week, it came up a shower and he propped his double-barrel shotgun up against a tree and ran for cover.

He said it only rained on one side of the woods and not the other side and to prove it when he went to get his shotgun, one barrel was full of water and the other barrel was bone-dry!

If you all know any truths like the ones above, write and let me hear about 'em.

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I wuz over at Phil T. McNasty's house last week, and we were discussin' very important things like possums and toad frogs and what an inch worm is goin' to do when they change everything to th' metric system.
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I just can't fancy myself sayin', "Metric worm!" It's
bound to give that little ole worm a complex.

And how about th' ole sayin', "Give 'em an inch, and
they'll take a mile!" It'll be changed to, "Give 'em 2.54
centimeters, and they'll take1.609 kilometers."

Or th' old camel slogan will be changed to, "I'd walk 1.609 kilometers for a camel!" Th' eggheads who fancy changin' th' system ought to be graded like eggs, "A," "B" and "cracked."

I read in th' paper th' other day where some Congressman wuz goin' to visit Greece and see th' ruins of an old and once prosperous society.

Shucks, he could have stayed here and seen that. All he had to do was look around him.

Doggone, I've got off th' subject of what happened out at Phil T's. As I said before, we wuz jawin' and spittin' when this big black car drove up in front of Phil T's gate and out steps a city slicker (you can always tell 'em; they all wear sunglasses and a silly lookin' little hat with the name of a country club on it, a camera around their neck and a pair of Bermuda shorts topped off by a loud shirt that would make a buzzard sick!)

I noticed th' feller was interested in Phil's fruit trees out behind th' house. He asked Phil, "Say there, farmer, how many bushels of apples do you get from those trees?" Phil says, "Nary a bushel,"

"But," th' fella went on, "Those trees are in full bloom. Why don't you get any apples off those trees?"

Ole Phil shifts his chaw of tobacco, aims a stream of amberry at a
grasshopper and sez, "Cause them's peach trees!"

Th' city feller then asked Phil how fer it wuz to the next town 'cause he seemed to have lost his way. Phil said he rightly didn't know. Then th' feller asked Phil how far th' next fillin' station wuz. Phil said he didn't have any idea.

By this time, th' city feller was gettin' riled. He yells at Phil, "Boy, are you stupid! You're the dumbest person I've ever met!" Ole Phil sez, "Maybe so, but I ain't lost!"

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As Halloween approaches, I git to rememberin' things we used to do at that time of year in the country.
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I remember that there was a big four hole out house out behind our house, and I wuz jest dyin' fer Halloween to roll around so I could
push it over and put th' blame on Halloween pranksters.

Now this ole out house sat close by a cold, cold creek, and I calculated that it would float all th' way to th' Ohio River. Well sir, Halloween night came cold and crisp. Frost covered everything like confectioner's sugar. Along about midnight, some friends and I pushed th' out house into th' creek and watched it bob out of sight in th' moonlite.

Next mornin', I was snatched rudely from a plessent dream by my father who looked like he had been in a fight with a sawmill and lost. He was wet from head to toe and shiverin' so hard, he could hardly yell. He sez, "Burley, I'm a gonna ask you a question and by Ned, you'd better tell me th' truth! Did you or did you not push th' out house into the creek last night?"

I said, "Jest like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. Yessir, I did." My father went to th' kitchen and fetched his razor strop and proceeded to loosen my hide with it!

Between sniffles, I said, "Dad, I done jest what George Washington done when his dad asked him if he chopped down th' cherry tree, and he said yes, and his dad said he wouldn't punish him 'cause he told th' truth." "I told you th' truth, why did you punish me?"

My dad whallops me another lick in th' britches and sez, "I don't reckon George's daddy was in th' cherry tree when he chopped it down neither!"

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I understand that Pete Branstetter has been to see Dr. Quackly recently. It seems th' lead fell out and almost crushed Pete's heels! This is only hear-say, so I can't be sure if it's true, but knowin' Peter, I'll jest bet th' lead
is still in place!
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One of th' local hog farmers tells me that he lost a whole bunch of
hogs recently. I asked him if it wuz due to some kind of illness, and he said no, they died from lack of sleep.

Now this wuzn't too clear to me 'cause I'de never heard of anything dyin' from lack of sleep, so I asked him how it happened. I should have knowed better. He explained that th' hogs wallered in th' mud and a mud ball formed on their tails and after a while th' mud balls got so heavy that th' hogs couldn't close their eyes due to th' weight of the mud balls stretchin' their hide so tight!

Well sir, it's election time again, and th' politicians are bad mouthin' each other and callin' each other crooks and liars and in that respect, it's probably th' only time in their life that they've uttered th' truth!

After lookin' at th' mess th' world is in, it should be remembered that highly educated and learned people are responsible and that most of 'em has at one time or th' other been a lawyer. Seems like they use all their senses, except "common."

I still say that you could go to a corn field or hay field and get a better candidate fer office than any of these slick politicians that we have to put up with now a days.

Thought fer today

"It's better to be a has been than a never wuz!"

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Back in th' summer, I attended th' S.S.L.L. and C.H's (Summer Shade Loafers', Liars', and Coon Hunters') annual goat ropin' and pie supper, and I tell you I had a good time.
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Th' highlight of th' whole shebang wuz th' watermelon eatin' contest. When them old boys tied into them watermelons, it wuz a sight to see. They wuz a-spittin' them seeds out like machine-guns.

Now ole Steve Branstetter, who is well known far and wide fer his ability and dexterity with a knife and fork, wuz there to give th' watermelons a try.

Steve asked th' jedge which watermelon he would be eatin.' The jedge pointed to a big striped one that must of weighed 50 pounds. Steve sez, "Jedge is it alright if I run home fer a few minutes before I start?" Th' jedge allowed that he could.

Sure enough, our hero comes trottin' back up th' road in a few minutes, sets hisself down and polishes off that 50 pound watermelon in record time. As usual, nobody else can match Steve and he wins th' contest,

As th' jedge wuz congratulatin' Steve, he asked Steve why he had to run home before th' contest,

Steve sez, "Well, Jedge, I wuzn't sure if I could eat that big of a
watermelon or not and I remembered I had one at home about th' same size, so I run home and eat it to be sure I could handle th' one here!"

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Pete Branstetter, who is a life member of Th' Summer Shade Liars', Loafers' and Coon Hunters' Club, tells me of a farmer who wuz visited by a Givverment official a while back.
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It seems the farmer wuz busy with plant beds and such and didn't have time to mess with this feller.

However, th' official insisted that he had come to look over th' farm and make recommendations on how to improve crop production.

Th' farmer told th' feller to go climb a rope—'cause he just didn't have th' time to show th' feller around.

Th' Givverment official wuz gettin' all steamed up and turnin' a deep shade of purple. (As do all Givverment officials when told to go climb a rope).

He shouts, "Farmer, I have th' right to go anywhere on this farm I like, and here's my official Givverment card to prove it!" At this, th' feller climbs over th' fence and starts out across th' field. Jest as he got to th' middle of th' field, he heard somthin' snort and when he turned around to see what made th' sound, he saw th' farmer's big Angus bull runnin' full tilt, fire in his eyes and tail standin' straight up.

Well, sir, that givverment agent suddenly remembered that he had important business over in th' next county and headed that a way like he had a rocket in his hip pocket.

Round and around that field they ran, th' agent hollerin' fer help every step, "Help! Help! Oh, Mr. Farmer, make this bull quit chasin' me!"

Th' farmer, who is really enjoyin' all this, yells back, "Show him your card! Show him your card!"

Charles McMurtrey, Summer Shade's leading Mortuary Science
Graduate and truck rack maker, sez that th' feller who said "Nothin' is impossible," wuz a mite off. Charles sez there are two things that are impossible, TO WIT! Two hills together without makin' a valley, and tryin' to straddle a mud hole with a wheelbarrow.

My cousin, Wetly P. Bedford, is th' eternal optomist. Twice each year, he goes to th' courthouse to see if his marriage license has expired.

Jess Martin said he wuz on th' verge of a great discovery that would make him rich. He said he wuz inventin' a liquid that would eat thru anything. But he gave up on th' idea when Wilkey Smith asked him what he wuz gonna put it in.

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When I wuz a youngster (and I wuz once a youngster regardless of what my kids think), we had a Deacon in our church who up and ran off with all the church's money. Well sir, they hunted fer him high and low, but he jest seemed to vanish into thin air.

Finally someone ran across the Deacon in th' Louisville bus station. Th' Deacon wuz broke and headed home to face th' music. When asked what he did with all that money in such a short time, th' Deacon said, "Well, I spent some on women and some on whiskey. Th' rest I jest wasted!"

Hmmm! That sounds reasonable! I guess you think I pick on politicians a lot, but I jest tell it like it wuz tole to me.

Most politicians have to be politicians 'cause they ain't smart enough to do nothin' else.

Mv granddaddy said that politicians are a lot like a two-dollar watch, you can''t be sure if either of 'em is tellin' th' truth!

My ole uncle Sot told me of th' time he went to town to buy his self a new hat. He went into th' Dry Goods Store and tole th' clerk that he wanted th' hat that wuz in th' winder.

Th' clerk says, "What size hat do you wear?" Sot sez, "Oh, I 'spect I wear about a size 17."

Th' clerk kinda laughed and said, "17? Hats don't come in that size. Where in th' world did you come up with that size?"

Sot shifted his chaw of Allen County twist and looks th' clerk square in th' eye and sez. "I wear a size 15 shirt in th' neck, and I know my head is bigger than my neck!"

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Th' doctors of today are a far cry from th' doctors I remember in my youth. Those old boys would travel all th' back roads a-straddle of an ole mule or in a buggy. They would tend to th' needs of th' people along th' way. They were paid in chickens, eggs, hogs, milk, whiskey. This wuz when they wuz lucky. Sometimes they didn't get paid a-tall. Not because th' people
didn't want to pay, sometimes they jest couldn't.

Can you jest imagine th' look on a doctor's face today if you offered him a chicken as payment?

Today is the day of the "specialest," Every doctor is a "specialest," which jest means he knows a little more about a certain ailment than he does another. It also means that his office calls are sky high.

Last year my left leg begin to give me some trouble, and I went to ole Doc Gottbucks. He said I would have to see a leg '$pecialist." Ole Doc ecommended one, and I called for an appointment. I found out that between golf and surgery he could maybe squeeze me in, in two months.

I finally got an appointment to see th' '$pecialist" and after filling out every paper on the place, the nurse asked me, "Mr. Burlap, which leg is bothering you?" I say, "My left one." She says,"0h dear! I'm very sorry but you'll have to see another $pecialest.' You see Dr. Kutley is a 'Right leg $pecialist'!"

Another two months and more paper work finds me sittin' in another '$pecialest's" waiting room. Th' nurse hollers, "Mr. Burlap! Oh there you are. I need to ask you a few questions. Where does your leg hurt?" I say, "Jest below my knee." Th' nurse frowns, as only nurses can frown, and says, "I'm terribly sorry, but Dr. Quackly is an 'Above the knee, left leg $pecialest.' You'll have to see another $pecialest!"

Now there I sat, with four months of waitin' and enough paper work to keep two pulp mills on overtime, and I ain't even seen a doctor yet! Do you know what I done? I went straight over to uncle Sot's house and we broke open a brand new jug of his "All purpose remedy and snake repellent!" I fergot all about th' pain in my leg. And you know what else? It don't take four months to get relief either. Jest a smell of Uncle Sot's remedy is all one
needs to feel like a spring lamb.

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There are three types of people in the U.S. of A. today. Them that won't work, them that don't have to work, and them that work their self to death to support the other two. My granddaddy had a sure fire way of tellin' if a politician was liein'. He said to watch th' politician's lips and if they started to move, he was fibbin'!

I remember my granddaddy's and grandmaw's 50th wedding anniversary. Granny was all excited and wuz fixin' to go th' hen house and wring a couple of necks for dinner to celebrate.

Grandpop allowed that there weren't no sense in makin' two ole hens suffer fer a mistake they made 50 years ago.

There's a story goin' around Willow Shade about a resident that lives right down town.

It seems this feller wuz walkin' up th' road with a grubbin' hoe over his shoulder on his way to clean th' cockleburs and mornin' glories out of his corn.

Th' day wuz as hot as could be. In fact, it wuz so hot that Willie Long told me that th' lightnin' rods on his house melted and ran down th' drain pipe to th' ground.

Anyway, this feller wuz about three miles from th' corn field and wuz gettin' tuckered out, when this big ole car pulled up beside him and th' driver asked him if he wanted a lift.

Well sir, this here car had air conditionin' in it and it wuz going full blast. After about a mile, it wuz beginnin' to get plumb chilly in that car.

Our hero turns to th' driver and sez, "Would you let me out here? I gotta go back home."

Th' driver says, "I thought you wuz gonna chop out corn.

"I wuz," our hero says, "but it's turned off so danged cold, I think I'll go home and kill hogs!"

Some people seem to think that undertakers don't have a sense of humor. Well now, I know of at least one. I wuz standin' just outside th' cemetery gate, after payin' last respects to a friend, visitin' with a neighbor.

I noticed a very old gentleman leanin' on th' gate. About this time, th' undertaker walks up to him and starts a conversation, "Just how old are you old timer?" th' undertaker asks.

Th' old gentleman answered proudly, "If I live till November, I'll be 105 years old!"

Th' undertaker thought things over fer a minnet and said, "Ain't much sense on you goin' home is there?"

I've found out that 105 is a very good age to be. Statistics show that very few people die at that age.

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There's no doubt in my mind that people today have more money than sense. To prove my point, just read on.

I wuz at th' local barber shop, waitin' to get my ears lowered, when I picked up this sports magazine. I came to an advertisement that really caught my eye.

Some feller in North Carolina is makin' jewelry out of quail droppin's! Yep, you read right. He seals th' droppin's in clear resin, puts them on a chain or ring and sells 'em for $10.00.
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He states that they are sellin' like hot cakes. His sales average 20,000 pieces of jewelry per month. This proves to me that we ain't never had it so good!

Now everybody has bragged on his dog but Ole Burley. I'm gonna brag on my ole flea resort right now. His name is Sir Sniffly Barksalot III. We jest call him Barkley. Barkley loves to play poker and we spend winter evenin's sittin' around th' fire and playin' a few hands of poker. We play fer doggie treats, which is his idea not mine.

I'll tell you somethin' if you won't tell Barkley I told you. He really ain't that good of a poker player. He always gives away a good hand by waggin' his tail. Besides, I always beat him 3 out of 5 games.

I haven't felt good lately, so I went over to ole Doc Gottbucks fer a check-up. He said all I had was a summer cold and gave me some 4-way cold tablets.

Durn things worked eight times one way.

Uncle Sot wuz in there to see th' Doc th' same time I wuz. Doc told Uncle Sot to stop drinkin' or he would never grow old. Sot allowed there are a lot more ole drunks than ole doctors so he didn't see no reason to quit.

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I wuz talkin' to my good friend, "Geller Bird" th' other day and he tells me he had car trouble over in Edmonton th' other night and didn' know how he wuz gonna get home. He sez he had a idea and cuts his self a stick horse from th' side of th' road, jumps a-straddle of it and trots off home. He sez when he got home he wuz as tired as if he had walked all th' way!
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My ole Aunt Lottie finally got electricity put in her house last year, and it's still a mystery to her. She keeps tape over th' outlets to keep th' electricity from leakin' out into th' room. I remember th' first night after th' electricity wuz installed we sat up all night starin' at th' light bulb. Ole Uncle Sot spent all of th' next day tryin' to blow it out!

I have another uncle who in his life-time has worked a total of one day. He says he ain't got no quarrel with those people who want to work, but it ain't fer him.

I ran into him the other day and asked what he was doin' with his self lately, and he tells me he's sellin' apples. Well sir, I figgered he had mellowed and wuz gainfully employed at last, so in order to help him out I asked, "How much are your apples Uncle? I think I could eat one along about now."

Uncle, quick as a wink, answers, "$10,000 apiece!" Now I ain't got much edjication but I knowed right off that he wuz askin' way too much fer them apples.

I sez, "Uncle, you ain't gonna sell many apples at that price!" He sez, "I know, Burley, but all I gotta sell is one, and I'm set fer life." Well, I reckon he's right.

Here's a parting thought fer you—When you look out yer winder and you see th' bird tryin' to catch a worm, a cat tryin' to catch th' bird and a dog tryin' to catch th' cat, it will make you understand th' mornin' news a little better.

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"When women were women, and men were glad of it!" It used to be that every blushin’ bride to be wanted the weddin’ to be in th’ spring, June, if plowin’ and plantin’ didn’t come first.

Nowadays, it seems Fall weddin’s are gettin’ to be th’ big thing.

Now all this talk about weddin’s is to lead up to my story. Sneaky, huh?

I’m reminded of th’ time when Squint Squatley and Bertha Broadbeam tied th’ knot and wuz blissfully ridin’ towards their new home in Squint’s buggy.

Everything wuz jest peachy until th’ old mule decided he wouldn’t go another step. He stopped dead still and wouldn’t budge.

Old Squint climed out of th’ buggy, walked around in front of th’ mule, pointed a finger at him and said, "Mule, that’s one!" He climbed back in th’ buggy and off they went on down th’ road. They hadn’t gone far when a fox ran across th’ road and spooked th’ ole mule.

Well sir, down th’ road they tore, Squint hollerin’ fer th’ ole mule to stop and Bertha screamin’ at th’ top of her lungs.

After a wild and hairy ride, th’ ole mule got tired and stopped. Again Squint got ou of th’ buggy, walked around in front of th’ mule, looked him straight in th’ eye and said, "Mule, that’s two!"

Down th’ road a piece wuz a creek they had to cross and jest as sure as a hog wallers in mud, that mule stopped right in th’ middle of that creek, no amount of fussin’ and cussin’ by Squint would make him budge.

Squint never said another word, he jest retch under th’ buggy seat and pulled out a shotgun, walked around in front of th’ mule and said, "Mule, that’s three, " and shot that ole mule graveyard dead!

Now Bertha had never seen anything like this before and started hollerin’ at Squint. "Squint Squatley, you shouldn’t have done that! That old mule wuz doin’ th’ leest he could. You’re mean!"

At this outburst, ole Squint calmly pointed a finger at Bertha and said, "Bertha, that’s one!"

Boy, has times changed! You can’t even smack your wife with a stick of stovewood these days!

Doctors are gettin’ away with a lot of money these days. Awhile back, I hurt my leg and went to the Doc Quackly to get it fixed. Doc said, "Burley, you’ll be walkin’ in a week!" He wuz right. I had to sell my car to pay him!

Thought fer today

Political difference is wholesome. It’s political indifference that hurts! +

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Fall has fell in Summer Shade. Th' ice worms and snowsnakes are
beginin' to move around in th' low places. I hope we have a mild winter, but all th' signs point to a whiz-banger. I saw a woolyworm with ear muffs on yesterday so things look tough!

Speakin' of cold things, Uncle Sot's first wife, Prunella, sued fer divorce and drug Sot up before th' jedge. After hearin' both sides th' jedge sez to Sot, "Sot I'm goin' to award Prunella $50.00 a week alimony. What do you say to that?"

Sot smiled real big and said, "Thank ye jedge. You're might big hearted and I'll throw in a buck now and agin myself!"

Th' preacher came to visit awhile back and I really had to watch myself. My ole mules couldn't understand a word I said while th' preacher wuz here. It just so happened that my grandson wuz spendin' a week with me and Fanny th' same time th' preacher wuz visitin.'

It wuz gettin' late and I asked th' preacher, Reverend Deuteronomy Dolittle, if he would stay all night and he allowed he would.

I asked him if it would be alright if my grandson, Snerdly, and he bunked together. He said O.K.

Snerdly wuz already upstairs when th' preacher decided to turn in. As th' preacher entered th' room, he noticed jest th' top of Snerdly's head stickin' up on th' other side of th' bed. Th' Rev, thinks, "Well now. Look-a-there. Th' little feller is sayin' his prayers. I'll jest kneel down on this side and say mine, too."

Little Snerdly looks up and sez, "Wat'cha doin' over there preacher?" "I'm doin' jest what you're doin' son," answered th' preacher. Said Snerdly. "Boy, if you are, Grandma is goin' to be awful mad 'cause I've got th' pot over here!"

Thought for today

You can always tell when a police officer is doin' his job. Well, he gets transferred!

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A friend of mine in a moment of weakness (He wuz dead drunk) got married last week. I stopped by th' house to wish my friend and his blushin' bride well.
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When my friend introduced his new wife to me, you could'a raked
my eyeballs off with a stick! Now I've been thru two wars and twice married, and I ain't never seen anything as ugly as that woman! She didn't resemble nothin'!

She looked like th' Lord made her as ugly as possible and then
hollered BOO! at her. She looked like she had crawled thru th' Forest of Ugly and bumped into every tree in there.

That woman's neck wuz so long, she could eat a green apple on
Wednesday and wouldn't get a belly ache until Sunday afternoon. She's the only person I know who can hang her nose over a limb and pick apples with both hands. If it wuz'ent fer her Adam's apple, she wouldn't have any shape a 'tall. Her eyes must of really liked each other 'cause they wuz a-lookin' at each other all th' time.

And Buck teeth! She could eat a punkin thru a picket fence anytime. Now this really tore me up 'cause my friend is a purty good lookin' feller and owns a farm and could get most any gal he set his sights on.

I got my friend off to th' side and said, "Friend, I ain't never seen a woman that homely in all my life, why in th' world did you ever hitch up to this 'un? He sez, "Burley, it's like this, if one day she ups and runs away or some city slicker takes her off, who cares? He's got a point there!

I married Fanny for better or worse, and you know which one I wound up with.

Well, I gotta' go now. Th' wind wuz so strong here last night, that it blew my ole Dominecker rooster right into a quart fruit jar. I hate to waste a good jar, but I guess I'll have to bust it to get 'em out.

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Somehow th' city folks have considered us country folks as not bein' too bright. Consider if you will, th' TV shows and movies that portray us as slow talkin' hay seeds that can't count to five.

Well sir, I am here to tell you that I take exception to all this. To prove my point, I'll relate to you an incident that happened here in Summer Shade a while back.

It seems that a city slicker had run off a batch of counterfeit money. The problem wuz that he made a slight error when he printed th' bills, instead of $20 bills, they come out $21 bills! This caused him considerable worry until he remembered how dumb country folks are supposed to be.

He says to hisself, "Self, all you got to do is take all those $21 bills to th' country, and you can pass 'em off easy." Well sir, th' counterfeiter wound in Summer Shade and walks into Wilkey Smith's store.

Wilkey is busy as usual, sittin' there in his green chair playin' with his toes. Th' man sez, "Mr. Smith, could you give me change for a $21 bill?"

Ole Wilkey thinks this over fer a minute and quick as a wink sez, "Yes, indeedy, how do you want it? Three sevens or seven threes?" Now I'd say that proves somethin'!

I've got a hog that's almost as smart as Wilkey. Her name is Rosebud, and she likes country music. Her favorite song is "Pig 0' My Heart" by Hammy Swinette.

I have written a lot about a dear friend of mine who lives just down th' road and this next item also concerns him.

It seems that (we'll call him Jimmy), Jimmy wuz a-havin' supper with some friends a-while back and somebody slipped a little corn mash into th' milk crock and ole Jim drank three or four glasses of th' spirited milk.

Jim looks across th' table at his host and sez, "Friend, I know you don't want to sell your cow but by Ned, I sure would like to have th' next heifer calf she has!"

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Our county agent Rhizome Rippy tells me that the local corn crop is goin' to be th' best ever. He sez we should average over ten gallons per acre!That's good news.
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Charles McMurtrey sez he knows of a local coon hunter who while lookin' at th' pictures in an outdoor magazine, came across an ad that said for $5.95, they would send you a book that showed how to train champion coon dogs. Well sir, this feller sends and
gets th' trainin' book. When th' book came, our hero reads th' first sentence and sends th' book back fer a refund.

Th' first sentence stated that in order to train a dog, th' trainer had to be smarter than th' dog. Wuzn't any sense readin' any further.

Awhile back, while passin' th' time of day with Summer Shade's most outstanding postmaster, I noticed a little feller about six or seven years old starin' at th' wanted posters on th' post office wall. He turned to th' post master and asked, "Are all these men really wanted by the police?" "Oh, yes sir," said th' post master. "They don't know where they are." Th' little feller looked puzzled and said, "I wonder why they didn't keep 'em when they took their pictures?" Good question.

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I'll tell you I don't see what them Eskimos see in this kind of weather. I'm durn near froze to death! It wuz 59 degrees th' other day, and I wuz down on th' creek burnin' a little brush when all at once th' temperature dropped so fast that it froze that fire solid. I thought I would break off an arm load of th' frozen fire and carry it up to th' house to show my wife Fanny.

She wuzn't around when I got there, so I laid that arm load of frozen fire on th' kitchen table and went lookin' fer her.

When we got back, th' flames had thawed out and set th' kitchen on fire. We called th' fire department but it took a long time fer th' truck to get here 'cause th' siren had froze up and they couldn't get people to pull over out of th' way.

Th' next day, it warmed up a little and everybody on Highway 90 heard a fire siren behind them and everybody pulled over—but there wuz no fire truck. Th' sound of th' siren had finally thawed out.

I got a letter from my uncle th' other day. Him and his wife Prunella are goin' on their second honeymoon. He's goin' to Miami, and she's goin' to San Francisco.

Well, I gotta go now. Fanny is fixin' beans fer supper. We wuz a-gonna have fried chicken, but th' hen got well.

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Halloween time brings to mind all sorts of scary stories and times of good clean pranks. Not like th' youngsters of today who seem to think settin' hay barns on fire and throwin' hedge apples and eggs is peachy fun!
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Th' story that comes to my mind is about th' time th' Devil made a visit to a tent meetin'!

Uncle Sot wuz invited to a masquerade party over at Locust Hill and rigged hisself up a Devil's costume with pitchfork, tail and all.

It wuz about two miles to where th' party wuz bein' held and about halfway, one of them ole fashion tent meetin's wuz goin' on.

Th' preacher wuz really givin' th' Devil a verbal whippin' and th'
congregation wuz shoutin' and amenin'!

About th' time th' preacher started preachin' fire and brimstone, a
whop-doodle of a thunder storm broke loose. Th' wind howled, th' lightnin' flashed and th' thunder rolled!

Uncle Sot, dressed up like th' Devil, had just about got to th' tent when th' storm broke and bein' th' only shelter close, he ran inside. Now jest imagine bein' at a tent meetin' and ole Lucifer hisself bustin' thru th' tent door!

Well sir, sisters and brothers like to have stomped each other to death gettin' out of there. Th' preacher even poured his whiskey out!

Now Sot jest stood there wonderin' what all th' excitement wuz.
Everybody had cleared out except one little elderly sister who had her sleeve caught on a chair and couldn't get away.

She looked up at Sot and said in a tremblin' voice, "Mr. Devil, I've been a good Christian all my life but I've always liked you a awful lot!"

Which reminds me of th' ole feller who wuz about to cross over th' River Jordon to th' other side. Th' pastor wuz at his side and asked, "Do you want to renounce th' Devil before you go?"

Th' old gentleman thought it over fer a minut and said, "No, pastor, I guess not, 'cause in my condition, I can't afford to offend either side!"

Thought fer today

If we could harness all this political hot air, our energy problems would be solved.

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My good neighbor and dear friend, Everett Payne, sez a city feller drove up to Everett's 'tater patch the other day and asked if he could buy fifty pounds of Everett's Irish 'taters. Everett told th' feller he didn't want to appear rude, but he wuzn't gonna cut one of his 'taters in half fer nobody!
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I've got another friend who sez he ain't had to buy a shot gun shell for thirty years 'cause word got around in th' animal world as to how good a shot he is. All my friend has to do is walk thru th' woods and th' squirrels throw up their paws and surrender right on th' spot! Whew! He's gettin' awful close to
bein' in th' same class as Pete!

He sez he wuz a-huntin' quail one time and found that he only had one shell left.

Low and behold, he comes up on a whole covey of quail a-settin' strung out on top of a bobwire fence. He worried and worried about how he could get all them quail with only one shot. Then an idea hit him, and he fires that ole shot gun and kills everyone of them quail. I asked him if he shot down th' wire at them. He sez, "No, I jest wiggled th' gun barrel as I fired!"

I wuz duck huntin' with him a few winters back, and he wuz braggin' about how good a shot he wuz, when a flock of ducks flew in low right smack over our blind. You coulda knocked 'em down with a stick. My friend jumps up and lets loose with both barrels. Blom! Blom! Not so much as a feather drops. My friend sez to me. "Burley, you're a witness to a modern day miracle, there flies a dead duck!"

Speakin' of shotguns, I'm gonna have to get me a new one. I shot my old gun too much for one day and strained th' barrel!

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My good neighbor, Thurman Smith, has the luck of th' Irish. He stopped me on th' Summer Shade square this mornin' and informed me that one of his cows just had twin calves. Now this in itself is not too fantastic but what is fantastic is th' fact that Thurman's cows have presented him with three sets of twins in about th' same number of weeks. Thurman sez all th' twins were
sired by th' same bull. Now that's a lot of bull! (No pun intended.)

If I wuz Thurman, I'd make sure that ole bull wuz treated royally. If I could housebreak him, I'd even keep him in th' house.

There's a feller here in Summer Shade we call "Goat Man." There must be a reason we call him that but I don't know what it is. Anyhow, th' story goes that Goatman went out to th' woods to do a little target practicin' with his little "2."

Just as he came around a bend in th' path, he noticed a rattlesnake's head stickin' up from behind a log about fifty feet away.

Well sir, ole "Goatman" bein' a better than average shot, takes a fine bead on th' snake's head and fires and th' head disappears.

Feelin' real satisfied with himself, "Goatman" starts to work over
to th' log to check his handiwork. What's this? There's th' snake's
head again weavin' back and forth! Now ole Goatman takes aim and fires again, and again th' snake's head disappears. And again, th' snake's head pops up from behind th' log.

Now this is really gettin' to Goatman 'cause he ain't never missed
anything twice in his life.

This went on fer almost an hour. Every time Goatman would shoot th' snake would disappear and then pop right back up again.

Finally with th' last shell he had th' snake head stayed down when he shot.

Now what happens next you can believe it or not. I believe it 'cause Goatman ain't never told a lie (that's what he told me). Goatman said he walked over to th' log and peeped over, and lo and behold there wuz 98 rattlesnakes piled up back there.

Every time Goatman would shoot one snake, another one would pop his head up to see what th' noise wuz all about. Whew!

Thought for today

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

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Dear Grandson,

I don't know if you and I will ever get to know each other. Maybe God will grant me the time. However, I'm writing you this letter just in case he has other plans for me. I will put this letter away, hoping it will find its way to you in years to come.

I'm writing this letter to apologize for the deplorable mess my generation has left to you and your generation. I only hope that you can salvage some of the little decency left in the world.

I'm sorry that we used up the world's energy sources and was too stupid to see what was coming.

My generation is too greedy to see what is happening. We are too busy to really care about future generations.

We have polluted the once sparkling and clean streams and lakes. We have poured tons of foul smelling industrial waste into the streams, smothering the life of all things living there. All in the name of Progress.

We have darkened the once blue and pure skies with smoke and deadly fumes. We have overused our natural resources to the point of no return. All in the name of Progress!

Grandson, I am truly sorry! We have elected men to public office who have literally ruined the image of our great nation by scandal, bribery and lust for power. Yet we have stood by and let it happen and falsely convince ourselves that it is an accepted way of modern life.

We throw trash and garbage along our highways by the ton and then complain about taxes! Tax money is used to clean up the mess.

During the last non-presidential election, only 36 percent of the American people came out to vote! Yet the other 64 percent will spend the next four years complaining if the government raises taxes or inflation is on the rise. This 64 percent has no right to complain about anything the government does, right or wrong.

Some of our high schools employ an armed guard to watch for the dope pushers who destroy thousands of young lives every year,

Yet the pushers, when caught, are usually let off with nothing more than a suspended sentence.

We have good, sound laws, but we fail to enforce them. We try to tell other countries how to run their affairs when we can't even run our own properly.

This year's grain crop is the biggest in years. We have so much grain that there aren't enough rail cars to haul it. Still, there are people in the U.S.A. going hungry.

I only hope your generation will not be so apathetic in such matters. Politicians spend millions of dollars to campaign for an office that pays a small fraction of that, yet the elderly in some cases are forced to eat dog food because we have grossly neglected our duty to them.

The communists love to see figures like these. It proves to them that we are growing apathetic. We used to have pride in this country, but the almighty dollar has taken the place of Pride and God.

I pray, grandson, that your generation will learn from the mistakes of mine.

I hope your generation will stand firm and once again our nation can hold its head high for all the world to see!

See to it that elected officials perform their jobs in a respectable and honorable manner.

Take good care of our nation, grandson. My generation didn't! Again, I profoundly apologize for a generation of greedy, apathetic and prideless people.

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I seen 'em! I seen 'em! Little green spacemen! I know I seen 'em! I know you all will think that I've been into Uncle Sot's cure-all, but I'm tellin' you th' truth. Since nobody in Summer Shade has ever told a lie, you can believe me.

Here's how it happened. I wuz sittin' on th' back porch swattin' snow-flies and chewin' some burley when all at once I hear this low hummin' noise, kinda like a bumble bee in a jar, and as I looked up, I saw this shiny saucer like thing settlin' down right in my horse lot. It liked to of scared my two ole mules to death!

Well sir, that thing jest set there a-hummin' and a-glowin' and makin' whirrin' sounds.

I figgered that if it wuz gonna hurt me, it would of already done it, so I started real easy toward th' thing.

When I got real close to that thing, a ladder comes slidin' out of th' side and down climbs two little green men. They wuz talkin' to each other in little green men talk, kind of a "beep, beep" sound.

They come up to me bold as brass and to my surprise, one of 'em spoke to me in English. He sez, "Fear not, we come in peace!"

Then they commenced to look behind every tree and bush and under every rock.

I sez, "What are you little green men a-lookin' fer?" Without stoppin', one of 'em sez. "Little green women!" I guess it's th' same th' universe over.

Thought for today

After all is said and done, more is said than done.

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I was fortunate enough a few years back to take a trip out West. I visited the usual places and at an Indian village, I noticed what appeared to be a Medicine Man dancing around shaking a bone rattle and chanting a sacred prayer. Then he threw a handful of black beans on the ground and began studying them intently, After a while, he arose and announced that there was
going to be heavy thunderstorms in the area within two hours. Sure enough, there came a frog strangler of a rain in the next two hours, I met the old Indian the next day and congratulated him on his prediction.
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I said, "That was simply amazing. Do you mean that you can
look at those black beans and tell if it's going to rain or not?"

The old Indian looked around to see if anyone was listening, leaned over and whispered, "Not a chance! I do th' dance and chants for tourists. I get weather report from weatherman on T.V."

People never cease to amaze me with their misguided sense of moral values. For instance, I know of a woman who smokes three packs of cigarettes a day and then tells her husband that the whiskey he drinks is a sin and is going to kill him.

Which reminds me of my Uncle Sot. (God rest his pickled soul). Ole Doc Gottbucks told Uncle Sot one time, that if he didn't stop drinkin' he was going to lose his hearing!

Sot said, "Doc, I like what I'm drinking a lot more than what I've been hearing lately, so just let it go!" Back to misguided moral values.

I was sitting behind Widder Teaberry in church last Sunday and the Rev. Deuteronomy Doolittle was preaching Hell Fire and Brimstone.

The Rev. jumps up and down and pounds the pulpit and hollers, "All you sinners that drink the devil's brew, Whiskey, is going to burn!" Ole Widder Teaberry hollers, "Amen, Reverend, give it to them!" "All you sinners who work on the Sabbath are going to burn!" "Amen! Preach to 'em, Reverend!" yells the widder. "All you sinners who cheat and lie are going to burn!" "Atta boy, Rev., preach to 'em!" shouts the widder. "All you sinners who use that filthy snuff are going to burn!" At this, the widder turns to the body sitting next to her and whispers, "Now, he's stopped preaching and gone to meddlin'!"

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I thought that I had as much trouble as anybody but after hearin' th' troubles of a fellow, S.S.L.L, & C.H.C. (Summer Shade Lairs, Loafers and Coon Huntin' Club), I feel like I'm purty well off.

He says that all his life people have never had any respect fer him. He remembers one time while he wuz at school his parents moved and didn't even leave a forwardin' address.

This Christmas, he gave his son a B.B. gun and his son went out and bought a tee shirt with a bull's eye on it fer ole Dad!

He said th' doctor told him to move to Arizona fer asthma and sure enough he got it!

Th' fact is things got so bad that he jumped in th' river to end it all but he didn't drown; he floated all th' way to New Orleans and had to walk back,

Speakin' of troubles, Tom McMurtrey says he's goin' to Tennessee fer th' weekend to try his hand at ski'in.' I sure wouldn't want to be his insurance agent.

I am writin' this before he leaves, and you read it first here. I predict that he'll bruise somethin' before he gets back!

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Awhile back, I touched on th' subject of duck huntin' and it reminds me of a duck huntin' trip I took a few years back.

I talked a friend of mine from Summer Shade into goin' with me. I picked him because he had a boat, a dog and is known never to be without a jug of a liquid that when applied freely internally would ward off any malady, domestic or foreign, that was ever invented.

We met before daylight and drove to the lake where you could already hear th' ducks quarrelin' among themselves.

We loaded th' dog, shotguns, shells and th' all-purpose remedy into th' boat and oared out to where our blind was located.

Well, sir, along about daylight, a whole bunch of ducks flew right over our blind and I jumped up and let 'em have both barrels. One ole duck hits th' water with a splash. (He musta had a heart attack because my friend said I missed him clean.)

Now, my friend's dog is named Shiftless, and as soon as that duck hit th' water, ole Shiftless bounces over th' side of th' boat, and "Trip, trip, trip, trip," right on top of th' water, picks up th' duck and "Trip, trip, trip, trip," right back to th' boat, still on top of th' water.

Now, I think I'm seein' things and I ain't even sampled th' contents of my friend's jug!

I sez, "Friend, did I or did I not see ole Shiftless retrieve that duck and not even so much as get his feet wet?"

Friend looks at me kinda sad and sez, "Yep, you seen it alright and I want to apologize for my dog."

I shouted, "Apologize? Man, that dog walked on th' water!" Friend says, "That's what makes me so blamed mad; I never could teach that dog how to swim!" We finished th' jug and then both walked across th' water to th' car.

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The position of Conservation Officer is a very important and necessary post. It ranks high on the list of most respected jobs, I have stated this in an effort to convince you that the followin' story is every bit true and factual.

Th' story as I heard it concerns our own Officer of Conservation. We'll call him Wendell.

It seems Wendell had slipped upon this feller in th' woods and wuz gonna take him in fer squirrel huntin' out of season.

This feller had ten fat squirrels on th' ground and wuz eye-ballin' another one high up in a walnut tree, when Wendell stepped out of th' bushes and announced that th' feller wuz under arrest.

Wendell asked th' feller to turn over his shotgun as evidence in court. Th' feller swore that he didn't even own a shot gun. Now Wendell, bein' smarter than th' average bear sez, "Now jest a doggone minuet! You've got ten squirrels on th' ground and got your eye on another in that walnut tree, and you stand there with your bare face hangin' out and tell me you don't have a shot gun? If you ain't, how did you kill all them squirrels?" The feller answers, "I throwed rocks at 'em." Well by now, ole Wendell wuz a-gittin' all steamed up and sez, "I'll tell you what I'm a-gonna do. If you can knock that squirrel out of that walnut tree with a rock, I'll let you go and you can keep them other squirrels to boot," Wendell wuz sure he had him.

Th' feller picks up a rock about th' size of an apple, balances it in his left hand to get th' heft of it and zings it at that ole squirrel. Th' rock hits that squirrel right behind th' ear and down he comes, THUMP! Graveyard dead! Nary a twitch.

About this time, ole Wendell swollers his chaw of Red Man 'cause he ain't never seen anything like that in his entire life. But as I said before, Wendell is a straight feller and as good as his word.

He sez, "Feller, you're free to go anytime you want, but before you go, I want you to know that wuz th' most amazin' feat I've ever witnessed, and you done it left handed and you ain't even left handed, are you?"

Th' feller answered, "No, but when I throw rocks at squirrels with my right hand, I tear 'em up so doggone bad!"

Well, I gotta go now. I gotta help Jimmy Isenberg get his cows untangled from them blamed watermelon vines before they drag them poor cows to death!

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I know that you will believe this story 'cause it was passed on to me by a Mr. Earl Harvey of Summer Shade. After many inquiries into his character, I find that he has never told an untruth. (As far as anyone can prove). Altho there have been some tales told by Mr. Harvey that bore a remarkable likeness to a fib. Well, on with th' tale.

It seems that this feller wuz fishin' one day and th' only thing he caught wuz a six-inch bass. Th' feller felt sorry fer th' little bass, so he pops him into his minner bucket and takes th' little fish home.

Well sir, th' strangest relationship wuz started between th' fisherman and th' bass.

Th' fisherman got so attached to th' little bass that he took it everywhere he went, but carryin' that heavy minner bucket around wuz gettin' to be too much of a hassel fer th' fisherman. By now, th' fisherman wuz so attached to th' little bass that th' thought of puttin' it back in th' pond wuz unbearable. So th' fisherman thought things over real good and come up with th' idea that he would teach th' little fish how to breathe air,

Every day, th' fisherman would take th' little fish out of th' bucket and let him stay out of th' water fer longer periods each day. Finally, th' little fish didn't need to get back into th' water a-tall. What a sight it wuz to see that fisherman walkin' down th' road with that little bass trottin' along right behind him.

They would go everywhere together. Somebody said they even seem 'em at th' ballgame together, and th' fisherman's wife wuz seen goin' into th' lawyer's office. Somethin' about either th' fish goin' or her. (She got custody of th' children and th' Sony T.V.)

I hate to end this tale on a tragic note. but as some wise-acre once said, all good things must come to an end." And it did!

It seems that th' fisherman had taken th' little bass out fer a walk and while crossin' a wooden bridge, th' bass fell thru a crack and drowned in th' water below. Th' little bass wuz laid to rest with piscatorial honors. Hmmm! There's somethin' fishy about that story, Earl!

Thought for today

The wise man who once said, "What goes up must come down," never had to contend with gasoline prices!

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When I wuz growin' up, things were very tough and altho th' times were bad, a man could find some sort of work to do if he really wanted to, (Same thing applies today! )
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But there were some elements of society who supported
themselves by liberating their neighbors' chickens, potatoes and
an occasional hog.

One feller I remember was caught red-handed in my grandpa's
chicken house. He had three old hens in a sack and another one by th' leg when my grandpaw blowed a hole in th' chicken house wall about 6"from the would-be thief's ear.

Th' sheriff came and put th' chicken thief in jail to await trial. While he was waitin', th' thief hired a real slick city lawyer to plead his case for him.

On th' day of th' trail, this lawyer had th' judge and jury in tears. He had 'em worked up to a point to where they wuz about to convict my grandpaw!

The verdict was acquital and th' lawyer told th' chicken plucker that he was free to go. "You've been acquitted," sez th' slick lawyer.

"Acquitted?" asked th' thief. "Does that mean I get to keep th'

Ole Rancid Rashbottom, who lives just down th' road, went over to th' sawmill th' other day and told th' feller that he wanted to buy about fifty 2 x 4's. Th' feller asked Rancid how long he wanted th' 2 x 4's. Rancid told him he wanted them for a long time 'cause he was plannin' on buildin' a barn with 'em.

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There resides just northeast of Edmonton, a renowned "Muskie"
fisherman. Tales of enormous "Muskie" catches abound in that area. Record smashin' fish are commonplace. Now under th' threat of gettin' smacked with a rotten muskie, I cannot reveal the name of this famous feller. However, one of his fishin' buddies, Jim Morgan, let me in on a few secrets!
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It seems that late one night, a neighbor of ourhero wuz blessed with th' arrival of a new baby.Since there wuz no doctor around, th' proud father brought th' new baby over to our hero's house and
asked if he could weigh th' little tyke. Now our hero wuz fishin' but Mrs, Hero allowed he could weigh th' baby on th' scale that Parn—(Whoops, almost told who it wuz!) Hero weighed his record catches
on. WOW! Th' new father couldn't believe what he saw! Th' scales indicated th' baby weighed 26 pounds! To make matters worse, they measured th' baby on th' same measurin' tape used by our hero, and it showed th' baby to be 36 inches long!

I've always heard that heros were made and not born and now I believe it!

Years ago, when I wuz in th' Air Force (ours) they wuz testin' three fellers fer a promotion. One wuz an accountant, one wuz an engineer and th' other a lawyer.

Th' accountant went in and they asked him, "How much is two plus two?" Th' accountant sez, "Precisely two plus precisely two is precisely four." Good answer they say.

Next th' engineer came in and wuz asked th' same question, "What is two plus two?" "Approximately two plus approximately two is approximately four," answered th' engineer. Fine answer they said,

To th' lawyer, th' same question, "What is two plus two?" Th' lawyer ran and locked all th' doors, pulled down all th' shades, looked under th' desk and behind th' couch and whispered, "How much do you WANT it to be?"

Thought fer today

Always smile and folks will wonder what you're up to!

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I saw a sign in a restaurant today that should be everyone's motto. It read: "I saw a man without a smile. I gave him one."

It takes more energy to frown than it does to smile. Fer instance, did you know that it takes over 50 muscles to produce a frown and only two to smile?

Maybe this next story will make you smile.

We used to have a school marm back home at 'Tater Ridge that was undoubtedly the meanest ole sister us youngin's ever saw. (Actually she was a 22-year-old red-head and very pert or so my pa said). But when you're in th' second grade, anyone 22 years old is ancient.

This school marm lived about two miles from school and on pretty days she walked to school. Just about half-way between her house and school. was a creek that contained our swimming hole. One exceptionally hot day, she decided it wouldn't do any harm to take a little swim to cool off.

Th' swimmin' hole bein' in a very secluded spot, she hung her clothes on a bush and swam out to th' middle of th' creek.

About this time, all us boys, our heart set on coolin' off in th' creek, came up to th' swimmin' hole real quiet like and spots th' school marm splashin' around and havin' a swell time. We all had th' same idea at th same time. We grabbed her clothes and hid 'em and then stood on th' bank to watch her.

She saw what we done and started yellin' and hollerin' at th' top of her lungs, and started out of th' water after us. Then she remembered that we had all her clothes on th' bank.

She feels around on th' bottom with her feet until she locates a discarded wastub, put it in front of her and started out of th' water yellin', "Do you kids know what I think?" One of th' kids said, "Yes, Ma'am, you think there's a bottom in that tub, but it ain't!!! "

In my travels, I have run up on some pretty strange lookin' people. Fer instance, I was in a county, not too fur from here, one time, and I noticed everybody's legs were bowed somethin' awful.

Ain't one of 'em could'a cornered a sheep. He would of run smack thru their legs. I got to askin' around and found out that these people got up real early every mornin' and worked in th' fields.

It seems that the dew and fog collected on their legs and when th' hot sun came out, it just naturally warped their legs.

Thought for today

Have you ever wondered what a chair would look like if your knees bent the other way?

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I went visitin' my ole buddy Bodacious Bodkins last week, and I found ole "Bod" out behind th' barn tryin' to count some cattle he had penned up.

He wuz havin' an awful time 'cause them cows jest wouldn't stand still long enough to get a good head count.
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I said, "Bod, how about lettin' me try countin' them ole cows. I'm an old hand at stuff like that."

Ole Bodacious said I could try, but he didn't think there wuz any use. I climbed up on th' gate post and looked them heifers over real good and informed "Bod" that he had 150 cows in that pen.

He allowed that it sounded about right and asked me how I counted them so fast.

I told him that it wuz a secret handed down from my Grandpappy, but I would let him in on it if he wouldn't tell nobody. He gave me his solemn word.

He said, "Fer gosh's sake, Burley, tell me a-fore I bust!" I said, "Bod, it's real simple. All you gotta do is count their legs and divide by four!"

Speakin' of cattle, a feller I know owns a Jersey cow that is reported to give 10 gallons of milk mornin' and night. He says all this is well and good but it takes all his time tryin' to get her to sit on that milkin' stool!

Thought for today:

A lot of people practice religion but very few practice Christianity!

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Thru th' years, new meanin's have been given to many words For instance, "copper," nowadays it signifies a policeman to many people. In my day, "copper" wuz what we used fer the foil in our
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Here are some words whose meanings have gone thru a startlin' METAMORPHOSIS. The followin' are th' old meanin' as I remember them. The first five are slang words for drugs.

POT—Something' to cook soup beans in.
GRASS—What we had to cut once a week.
SMACK—What we got if we complained about cuttin' th' grass.
COKE—What you had with your "moon pie."
SPEED—What you had when Mom called you fer supper.
AIR POLLUTION—When Grandmaw lit her corncob pipe.
WATER POLLUTION—When th' cat fell into th' well.
TRANQUILIZER—A hard day's work.
ENERGY SHORTAGE—What you had after cuttin' th' grass.
BOARD OF EDUCATION—A paddle about two foot long.
MUSICIAN—The only people who had long, stringy hair.
GRAFT—Somthin' you did to a fruit tree.
WELFARE—A concern for your family and friends' well being and happiness.
TRAVEL ABROAD—To go any place across th' creek.
MOONLIGHT—What we used to hold hands by.
FUEL SHORTAGE—When you didn't have 50 cents to buy gas fer th "Model T."

I guess a lot of things have changed, and it seems mostly fer th' best, but there's one thing I jest can't seem to grasp, "Women's Lib."

Women control th' wealth of th' world, they likewise control th' vote, and they live longer than us men. I guess if they want to come down to our level, let 'em!

Thought for today

If you consider yourself indispensable, just stick your hand in a bucket of water and pull it out, then notice the hole you left in the water.

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There's a little lady in Summer Shade who says she's lived here for over three years and ain't never had her name in th' paper. Here it is! IMA STRANGE!

We have a barber here in Summer Shade who dearly loves to fish and like all fishermen he just works a little from time to time to keep folks from callin' him lazy. We'll call him Sam.
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It seems this barber wuz a-drownin' a few worms one day when
he looks up and comin' down th' creek banks wuz a feller he ain't seen b'fore.

When th' feller came up to where our hero sat, he asked, "Caught any fish?" Sam, not wantin' to admit that he hadn't even caught a craw-dad, sez, "Yes sir, I caught twenty of th' purtiest smallmouth bass you ever saw."

Th' stranger looks at Sam real hard and sez, "Do you know who I am? I'm th' new game warden!"

Quick as a wink, ole Sam sez, "You know who I am? I'm th' biggest liar in Metcalfe County!"

Ole Pete sez it's so hot that he saw a robin eatin' a fishin' worm th' other day and th' robin was a blowin' on it to cool it off b'fore he ate it!

Well, I gotta go now, gotta help Momma lift a T'mater into th' wheel barrow.

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My good friend, Joey Bartley, is very proud of his car. It has all the proper do-dads installed on it to make it run like a striped ape.

He tells me that it has dual dip sticks, louvered oil pan and over-sized muffler bearing, not to mention the squirrel tail on the antenna. He says it gets ten miles to the gallon of oil.

Well, Sir, Joey pulls up to the gas pump at Frank McMurtrey's garage and starts raising up the motor. Brummn! Brummn!

It just so happens that Old Ed Smith is standing there doing what he does best, which is nothing.

Ed says to Joey, "You think you got a hot car there huh? Shucks, I can outrun that hunk-a-junk with my own two feet! I'll bet you $20 I can beat you to the cross roads!"

Now Joey couldn't believe what he just heard! Ed was putting $20 on the line and wanted to race him to the crossroads with his own two feet! Joey says to Ed, "You're on! Let's get to racing!" Joey takes off in a cloud of dust. He looks down at the speedometer and notices he's doing fifty in low gear. He also notices Ed running easy along side the car.

Joey shoves the car into second gear and the speedometer now shows 95. Ole Ed is still along side. Now this really is getting to Joey, and he shifts to high gear. The speedometer is nudging 125! Ole Ed is no where in sight.

Joey pulls to the side of the road to wait for Ed to catch up so he can collect his $20. Ed doesn't show up.

Joey is beginning to get worried and starts back down Highway 90 looking for Ed.

By and by, Joey spies Ed crawling out of a ditch. Ed ain't got a patch of hide that ain't skinned up. His clothes are ripped and hanging in shreds. Ed looks like he fought World War II all by himself.

Joey runs over and helps Ed to his feet. "What in the world happened to you?" Joey asked. "You look plum awful!"

Ed looks at Joey through swollen, blood-shot eyes and says, "You would look awful, too, if your tennis shoe blowed out at 100 M.P.H.!

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I know beyond a doubt that you'll believe what I'm gonna tell you 'cause as you know, ole Burley ain't told a fib in his column yet.

I thought I had seen some cold winters in my time, but this winter wuz th' worst. I looked out my winder th' other mornin' to check with th' thermometer I have nailed to a tree. I noticed that I had left my snow shovel propped up against th' tree jest below th' thermometer and do you believe, th' mercury wuz a good six inches down on that shovel handle? Now that's cold!

I went over to Phil T. McNasty's house th' other day and found him atop his windmill with a long tape measure a-hangin' down to th' ground. I hollered up, "Phil, what in th' world are you a-doin'?" He yells back, "I am a-measurin' this windmill!" I sez, "Why didn't you measure it before you put it up?" He answers, "I know how long it is. I want to know how tall it is!"

Billy Pedigo, Summer Shade's only postmaster, tells me that th' valleys are so narrow over at his place, that when a dog runs up a valley, he has to wag his tail up and down instead of from side to side. He sez they plant corn with a shotgun. They stand on one hillside and shoot th' corn into th' next hillside.

They plant 'taters in rows runnin' up and down th' hill. That way, when it comes time to dig 'em, they just hold a sack over a hole at th' bottom of each row and th' 'taters just roll down and fill up th' sacks! Neat, huh?

Thought for today

As you go thru life, never look back somethin' might be catchin' up to you!

Then there wuz th' little girl, 'Tater, who fell in love with Walter Cronkite, but her momma said to give him up 'cause he wuz jest a common 'Tater.

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Most of us have fond memories of Christmases past. The sounds, the smells, the almost electric excitement of Christmas.

The sound of wagon wheels singing over the hard-packed snow, the horses blowing great clouds of steam with every breath.

The smells of Christmas dinner being prepared in the kitchen on the wood stove.

The tantalizing odor of mincemeat pies in the oven alongside the huge sugar cured ham. The smell of fresh boiled coffee bubbling on the back of the stove. The tart fragrance of oranges and winesap apples.

The heady smell of the fruitcake that grandma has kept in the hall closet since late fall, adding enough spirits from time to time to make the anti-temperance league raise their eyebrows.

The sharp smell of the freshly cut Christmas tree. At our house, it was always a cedar tree because in my part of the country,there are no spruce or pine. I still use a cedar tree.

There were always those sickly sweet chocolate drops with the pure white middle, and candy that looked like orange slices.

The menfolk would hover around the "warm mornin"' stove and discuss tobacco crops, mules and the current hard times.

The womenfolk would all be in the kitchen catching upon the latest bit of juicy gossip and fussing over the preparation of Christmas dinner.

The boys would be outside playing "guns" with their new cap pistols. If they were lucky, they also wore a new pair of "Red Ryder" gloves which had long fringes hanging from the cuffs.

The girls were playing with their new dolls that closed their eyes and said mama. Some of the girls even got a set of play dishes or a doll-house.

The Christmas tree was decorated with strings of popcornand popcorn balls. We made ornaments out of tin can tops and tin foil and somehow, we always managed to have "angel hair" to put all over the tree. We used cotton batting to simulate snow for the nativity scene under the tree.

Placing the star on top of the tree was always reserved for Grandpa. It would always make him proud when we asked him to do the honors. There were also a lot of laughs and story-telling, too.

Grandpa would tell us about the time Uncle John, who celebrated
Christmas a little too much, dressed up like Santa Claus, filled a roadwagon full of toys, hitched the old mule to it and tried to get airborne by driving off a cliff at full tilt. The mule survived and Uncle John spent Christmas in traction.

Grandpa also recalled the time Uncle John got a snoot full,climbed atop the windmill and proceeded to step off into space, flopping his arms all the way down.

When Uncle John woke up in the hospital a few days later,he didn't remember what happened. He asked Grandpa to fill him in. Grandpa told him that as near as he could figger, Uncle John had thought he could fly. Uncle John asked Grandpa why he didn't try and stop him. Grandpa told him he was so high that he thought he could do it.

I would really love to have an old-fashioned Christmas once more, but there's no chance. Everything is too plastic and phony these days. They even spell Christmas, XMAS! A merry and joyous Christmas to you and yours.

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