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Sunday, August 7, 2011


(NOTE: The following is an excerpt from a group of stories written by Zeb Shook entitled "Some Tales, Some True:  Confusion Has Met Its Masterpiece."  I have no idea about what year he put these together, but I do believe the stories Daddy tells about his family fall into the "mostly true" category.  Enjoy!)

Grandpa Michael had some sheep on the Beech Mountain and needed to check on them.  It had been snowing and then melted a little, turned cold again and ended with a crust on top of the snow.  Grandpa carried a dishpan with him and a bag of shelled corn.  After he got through with the feeding and making sure everything was well with the sheep, he started home.

The lay of the land where he had his sheep was just right to ride down the smooth hillside.  Since he had nothing but the dishpan to try his luck on riding down, he sat down in the dishpan, and away he went.  The faster he was going, the more the friction was against the bottome of the pan.  He tried to stop but couldn't. When he got to the bottom of the hill, he had one giant blister on his rear end. He literally burned the bottom of the dishpan out.....(Tanya note:  That part might be a bit of a tall tale on Zeb's part!)

Another thing that always brought a good, hearty laugh while watching him work was the way his toes made his shoes turn up.  He was picking cherries along with my cousins when they heard a noise.  Grandpa was hanging up in the tree by his toes and looking down to the ground where his bucket and cherries were splattered all over the place. In moving, he lost his hold on a limb and dropped his bucket of cherries and  he almost fell out of the tree.  In doing so, his turned up toes made his shoes catch on a limb to keep him from falling flat on the ground.....

The only time I every worked in tobacco was helping Grandpa set the plants.  It was cold and damp, and I nearly froze to death.  After that one time, I never set tobacco again, but he and Grandma had a good crop to see that fall.  One time after setting the tobacco, I was visiting with him. He wanted to show me how well the polecats took care of the cutworms and other tobacco worms.  About every few feet, you could see a small hole where the skunk had dug out a cutworm. Grandpa said he wouldn't take a war pension for the skunks....

Grandpa started to Boone one day, and Uncle Tom (Ada's husband)  drove by and wanted to know if he could give Grandpa a ride. Grandpa had a paper bag with him in which he had placed a half-gallon of cherry and blackberry wine, which he was taking to Boone for a friend. (Tanya here:  I'm sure Grandpa had a healthy portion of the wine that was supposed to go to the friend!)  Grandpa placed the wine on the back seat, and before he and Uncle Tom had traveled a mile, the jug exploded. Uncle Tom asked, "What was that?" Grandpa replied, "That was my ration." He gave his friend half of the remaining wine and rationed the rest to himself!  (Tanya note:  I'm sure Grandma Michael wasn't fond of rationing the wine to anyone!)