The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to everyone in western Illinois. As I write this column, it rains steadily. If'n you've got a hard soil crust for your crop to break thru, this rain is the poor mans' rotary hoe.
If'n you are not done planting, this rain is an abomination. If'n your corn and soybean seed is all in the ground and the plants are up and going, you are probably wearing a smiley face, right now. The trouble is, individuals within each category probably hang out in the same coffee shop.
Be careful about your comments on the rain from those who it benefits, being heard by those who it harms. Shore enough don't want to spoil anyones day.
Remember "We must take human nature as we find it; perfection falls not to the share of mortals" (George Washington).
As for a neighbor of mine, his garden prowess has not been very good this spring. He started a brand spank'n new rock garden right near his house. Last week three of them died!
On June 4, 1892, the Sierra Club was organized in San Francisco. In 2009, San Francisco continues to place its weird ideas on the rest of the country, and world, with the leadership of Nancy Polosi, speaker of the house. Some folk feel, she is about as useless as a hog with a side-saddle! Myself, "I feel sorry for her,-she is driven her ducks to a poor market". But then, many hold an opinion for those from certain parts of California, that there is a few out there thats a half-bubble off plumb.
The sad fact is the inordinate influence they are a have'n on all our lives and country at this time.
I wrote last week about Abraham Lincoln and his encounter with the dying confederate lad. Along that line I want to share more history of that Civil War times.
A brave man Sargeant Driscoll, who was one of the best shots in his Brigade. As his men were charging Malvern Hill (July 1, 1862) a company was posted in a clump of trees, who kept up a fierce fire on its enemy, and actually charged out on it's enemy advance. Their officer seemed to be a daring, reckless boy and Driscoll was told "If that officer is not taken down, many of us will fall before we pass that clump".
Driscoll immediately and confidently announced "Leave that to me", so he raised his rifle, and the moment the officer exposed himself again bang went Driscoll, and over went the officer, his company at once breaking away.
As Driscoll passed the place he was ordered to "see if that officer was dead-he was a brave fellow".
As others watched, Driscoll turned him over on his back. He opened his eyes for only a moment, and faintly murmured "Father", and closed them forever.
The frantic grief of Driscoll was heartbreaking and it was harrowing for those who witnessed. He had shot his own son, who had gone South before the war.
So what became of Driscoll afterwards? Well, his unit was ordered to charge, and they left him there-grieving. As his fellow soldiers were closing in on the enemy, Driscoll rushed up, with his coat off and, clutching his musket, charged right up at the enemy, calling on the men to follow.
He soon fell, but jumped up again. Everyone knew he was wounded. On he dashed, but he soon rolled over like a top. He was riddled with bullets.
Our Civil War contained many tragedies which carry emotions even thru to today. Those 60 professors, mentioned last week, only stir up old emotions, many of which are better forgotten.
I remember about forty years ago I traveled thru southern Mississippi with my Mrs., as a side trip in visiting the in-laws in Texas. Stopping in a small town restaurant we came across a group of local boys just in for supper, from having completed a day of deer hunting.
I went to their table to strike up a conversation as is the neighborly thing to do up here in Henderson County.
How was the hunting, did you get any, are there many deer in these parts, what are you using for guns, etc., etc., I asked. The answers I received were short, quick, and reluctantly given.
I soon realized I had gotten myself in a "pickle" somehow. And these boys had pistols strapped onto their belts along with what seemed to me at the time to be huge hunting knives. I paused, pondering on how to get out of this situation.
It was at that time that the biggest, most burly, of the bunch spoke up with a deep slow and harsh southern drawl. You are from up North ain't you, he spoke.
Whoops I thought, I recognize the problem. They had a deep dislike for "outsiders from up North" asking a lot of questions. I responds back "why yes I am but what gave you the first clue it was so". I dared not admit I was from the Land of Lincoln.
They all looked at each other in complete dismay at my response and then stated, "Your voice gives you away right quick". "Well I'll be dumb liquored" I sez, I figured I was a talkin just like you boys.
Not so, they states with all nodding their heads to the affirmative. Then the burly one with the big knife speaks up again. "You D-n Yankees has caused us a lot of trouble down here". Then immediate silence from all of them awaiting my response.
"Not me", I sez with a smile, "This is my first trip ever into the South and especially into Mississippi. And If'n me and my misses, over there at that other table, gets out of here with most of our hides-I guarantee it'll be our last. Good hunt'n or not!"
That broke the ice. It seems they could see I meant them no harm and was just a plow jockey a bit off course from the beatin' path. Anyways, they all loosened up right nice like and we exchanged stories on hunt'n, farm'n, and snake kill'n. But Noooo politics.
Maybe one day as I'm less concerned about my general welfare, and thinkin on how to avoid a nursing home, I'll pay another visit to Winona, Mississippi.
Liv'n dangerously can be fun, you know, and by that time what have I got to lose?
By the way about those folk from up North meet'n for over 50 years as a card club (Take the Quill along 6-3-09). The Earp's, Clark's, Ferguson's, Bruyn's, Ray's, and Lee's, shore are a persistent and loyal bunch.
It is interesting to hear tell of Don Earp and Lawrence Lee gett'n scared out of their wits by snakes whilst influenced by morphine as a result of accidents they had.
The only thing is, as I understand it, Don Earp is an ole rattlesnake catcher even with out the influence of morphine. Congratulations to all eight of you's but watch out for that Lawrence Lee.
He's the only man I know that can back off a barn roof, falling great heights to the ground, and still walk'n around and active to tell about it. He's tougher'n any rattlesnake I ever run across!
For your information, go up North sometime when you are out joy ride'n and take a gander at the Clark's and Green's corn if'n you want to see some good look'n fields with good color and advanced height.
Those Rozetta Baptists shore enough got it over the rest of us "pikers" this season, once again. They must not make change when the collection plate goes around.
Congratulations Gerald and Bev, Charlie and Judy for raise'n boys who are right smart on good farm'n ways and are dog gone good family men as well. Just good Midwestern farm folk, I'd say! The kind we like to be come'n along in the next crop of young farmers.
Catch ya Later