Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Part - 15g & h - Will & George

On Will's Wagon

George called this one "Speckle Bird"



Will White didn't work much outside his little "pea patch" farm. He'd do some Cotton Choppin' and Cotton Pickin' for others in the Summer and Fall.

Mostly, Will hunted....Fox, 'Coon and 'Possum.
Many is the time that I've followed him through the woods, fox or 'coon hunting by the light of a "lightered knot" torch. I couldn't see anything but the light and immediate surroundings, but Will knew where he was going. He'd even see the one eye that a 'coon would show by the light of the torch.

He and his family used the game as a large part of their staple for meals.
If Will had ever heard you talk or heard a dog bark, he could imitate you.

He had very large, swollen glands at his neck and swollen lips, caused by a form of VD. He had only a few scattered teeth that would show when he'd tell a big tale and laugh. Everybody took a liking to Will with his easy manner and gift for telling a tall tale.


George started working for Daddy and Mother in about 1979 or 1980, when they needed help in feeding the cows. His wife, Annie Laurie, who once worked as a cook at the Healing Springs Hotel, began to cook for Mother from time to time.

George once suffered a stroke and had a weak left leg requiring him to use a cane in walking. This didn't hinder him from doing his job. Annie Laurie died a number of years go, but George came for a number of years after that.

He was so regular in coming each morning during feeding time that "you could set your clock by the time he’d get here!"
He loved "Our Cows" and loved to just stand by and watch them eat. It's about the only thing he had left that he felt a part of, and he looked forward to coming each day. He is about 89 now.

He would come three days a week during summers to put out feed for the calves in the "creep pen" and to check everything out around the place.
When he came, he looked all around the place to note that everything seems to be in place. If he noted anything unusual, he calls "Miss Sivvy" to let her know or call me.

Each day when he came to feed, he ran any cows that are in the lot out and shut the gate. Most mornings, if it wasn’t raining, all the cows are waiting for him outside the open gate.

After he put the "pelicans" (pellets) in the troughs for the cows and the all-grain feed in the calf pen, he’d let the cows back in the lot. As they are coming in, he’d count them to be sure each one is there.
Once, there were only fifteen total cows and calves. One morning he called Sylvia and said, "Tell Mister Jim that I couldn't count but sixteen this mornin'!" That was mine and his way of letting the other know that we have a new calf.

George and Smokey, the black and tan hound that Willie gave Mother a number of years ago, were a couple of clowns when they get together. Smokey stayed at Tom's house after Mother and Claire died. He'd come over some mornings. George would ask him to give him a foot. Smokey will turn his tail to him and kinda "whip" him with his tail looking like he'd grinning back at him. Finally, he'll turn round and shake with him. George would rub his head and ears. While George is rubbing, Smokey will stop his tail from wagging. If he stopped rubbing, Smokey's tail would really begin to wag, kinda saying, "Don't stop, it feels real good!"

Of course, when Foxy Lady came here he taught her to shake hands and I’d keep a brush out under the carport behind the garage so George could brush her.

He would always love it when any of the Grands would be here and go out and “help" him feed.” He’d get tickled at them with some of the questions they’d ask him. All along, he’d ask me about them and tell me that he liked to see um when they’d be here.

He loved to tell me “what the cows was sayin’ or what the calvies were saying! One morning, he called me in Mobile and said, “Mista Jim, I just had ta call ya to tell ya about a funny thing this mornin’” He said, “I was standin’ by the big gate at the end of th barn and all six of them little calvies said ‘J Ra’s (Tom’s Dog) been teasin us, les tease him, so they took him out acrost th paster to the road. JR would run from them and would go YOWLP! Then they brought him back. Then they said, ‘Les take him out one mo time!” He said, “Mista Jim, I had to hold on to th gate I wuz laughin’ so hard!” That was just one of Georges famous tales he’d tell.

During the month of February of that year, I came up about the first part of the month and knew that I wouldn’t be back again for the rest of the month, so I went ahead and paid him for the whole month while I was here. About a week later, he called me and told me that he just couldn’t do it any more ‘cause he’d have to take one step with the feed bucket, then drag his other leg up to take another step because his bad leg was hurting so bad. He was trying to work out the time he’d been paid for. He told me that he’d pay me back for the money he owed me. Of course, I wouldn’t let that happen. So I had to do some of the feeding myself and get Willie to help me out some.

Soon after that time, George had to have that leg amputated. He had to spend some time in a nursing home in Citronelle. When he got out, he was able to get one of the efficiency apartments in Millry. I saw him a few weeks ago and he said that his left arm is pretty much totally useless now, but he can still fix him something to eat and take care of himself and, if necessary, he can still drive his car.

I don't even like to think about not having George around when they are too old to come around the place.

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