First things first, I have a correction alert. Remember last month when I told the story about Orie Mumbert and the Black Racer, well, more information is now available. The story goes he was hunting Ginseng instead of making hay and when the snake started wrapping Orie’s leg is when he took his pocketknife and cut the snake in two. When he did this, he actually cut his leg while trying to cut the snake. This information came from a granddaughter of someone that was with Orie at the time. I appreciate this correction so much because I want the stories to be accurate, and it also validates the event actually happened. I also want to thank everyone that came to the Broadway Festival and stopped at the booth and talked and looked at the old photos I had. I also appreciate your comments about how you enjoy my articles. But I always want you to give praise where it is due, to the Lord.
Believe it or not as I always say, October is here. To me October is the month that brings me to reality that summer is actually gone. Cold nights and frosty windshields are hard to ignore. For some it is Squirrel season and remember the old wives tale; Squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry, will cause SNOW to gather in a hurry. Also a tough winter is ahead if their tails are very bushy. For others it is church and civil organizations functions. Revivals, Apple Butter boils, Fund raiser meals and events, shooting matches, festivals and, of course, October 7th Dayton Days.
Many years ago, I was a squirrel hunter. I would go with an old timer and having just a learner’s permit, he would let me drive which was more to me than hunting squirrels. When we left the truck he would always tell me kill all you can kill, he really like squirrel gravy. Now there was a problem with that for me, for those that can remember the good old days of Mac’s Superette, we sold hunting license and was a big game checking station. Because of this my daddy was very clear, I needed to obey the hunting laws so it wouldn’t jeopardize our working relationship with the game wardens and Virginia Game Commission. With this being said, even though I was instructed to kill all I could kill, I always stayed at and mostly under my limit. BUT on one occasion, I killed my limit and headed back to the vehicle. Now at almost the same time, back came the old timer, “How many did you kill?” he asked.
“I got my limit, six squirrels.”
“I got SEVEN!” he replied.
“SEVEN! We are over the limit by one! What if a game warden stops us going out of here?”
“No problem, I’ve done this before.” And guess what he did? Now keep in mind in the 70’s most automobiles had what was called hubcaps. For those that are too young to know, this hubcap covered all the lug nuts and was usually a shiny chrome cover. He just bent down. popped off the hubcap, placed the squirrel into the cap and popped it back on the tire, and down the road we went. He also shared that years ago he had a spare tire that had a cover on it, and on more than one occasion he used that to hide turkeys he had killed out of season.
October is also when we head to the pumpkin patch to find a perfect pumpkin (or Wal-mart) for your Jack-a lantern, so in my readings this is what you look for. First a deep orange color pumpkin seems to be best, and as you tap on the pumpkin it should have a hollow sound this indicates it is ripe. For certain make sure the bottom is not soft or mushy and it should be flat to make sure it doesn’t roll. Make sure the stem is secure for a pumpkin without a stem will decay quicker. Look good for bruises and the smoother the surface, the easier it is to carve. For me I don’t like those bumpy pumpkins that look like they have warts, makes me feel creepy, but I guess that is great for a Halloween Pumpkin. Now for me my Halloween Pumpkins days are over, but I do like to buy a couple for decorations I think it gives you that feeling of fall and thanksgiving.
Lastly speaking of Halloween one more story that came from a young man who was born and raised on the Dry River side of Third Hill. By my guess it would have taken place in the late 1930’s, and they attended the church on the other side of Third Hill. Now it was time for Revival, and he and another young man decided they were going, which was a wonderful commitment because they had to walk. In my best guess it was over three miles one way. After the service was over, they started on their long journey home and when they arrived at the creeks, they caught a glimpse of something off in the brush. They continued on, and they came to the point where a clearing was to their left and out of the brush the entity floated. This really caught their attention for it was a mist or fog floating along in the clearing beside them. They quickened their steps, but the object stayed with them. But now came a fence this would tell the story, but the mist just floated through as if it the fence wasn’t there. When they were in sight of home, the mist disappeared, and in the house they went. A guardian angel? a farmer from years ago? maybe a Civil War soldier on his way home? I can not tell you, but the next time you have a nighttime trip from Dry River to Genoa Road, go slow and look closely. You may also encounter the mist!
Believe it or not
Until next time