|Farm Fresh Memories|
|THE FLAT ROCK GENERAL STORE, CLOSED ON SUNDAY’S…|
But Iffin’ Your Oxen Is In The Ditch,
It was Wednesday of nine in the mornin’-time when I come on the old, double-front doors of The Flat Rock General Store. Just as I was maneuverin’ inside, Bro. was exitin’ and he had his head in full-shakin’ mode. Here I inquired on the need for his head to be in full-shakin’ mode, he just turned, nodded and pointed t’ward the inside of The Store as he moved off. I sauntered on inside, there was a passel of store regulars plus other community and area Flat Rock folk all nestin’ close round the old potbellied heater.
It appeared Slim was bein’ flogged from three sides. The Widow Cora was to his right, Ms. Ida to his left and Essex straight out front. Huddled over to one side of The Store’s gatherin’ area were Willerdean, Estelle, "Truth," Farlow, Dustin and the music man himself, Harley Hood; all who took on dumbfounded looks and was struck with pure silence.
All three women was talkin’ at one time, shakin’ their fingers directly in Slim’s face; then droppin’ their hands on hips with a high level of heavy seriousness. I had seen this picture before years back at C.C. Potter Family Farm in our layin’ houses when three or four old hens would stand against the rooster.
Finally, Slim slid some words in edgewise. Speakin’ directly at all three women, he said, "For 50 plus years The Store has never been open durin’ Sunday church or durin’ the nighttime summer revival. I am simply speakin’ of openin’ The Store from one to five on Sunday afternoon to convenient local folk. They may be havin’ a need for gas, charcoal for grillin’, milk or other basic needful stuff. Most folk won’t be needin’ work stuff like bolts, nails and that sorta thing. It would also be a peaceful time for stoppin’ by to say howdy and visit for a short while. Visitin’ kinfolk and neighbors were once the norm on Sunday afternoons. Nowadays the world seems to be movin’ around too fast and there’s no time for howdyin’ or eatin’ with kin. For most folk, the world is movin’ so fast it is almost in a spin."
Here Estelle stood and made mention that all those gathered store regulars carried concern ‘bout The Store havin’ Sunday hours and lobbied for Slim to let those gathered folk and store regulars to vote concernin’ Sunday-open-hours.
At this point, Slim proclaimed a staunch "Not hardly" and explained his mind-thinkin’ was set concernin’ The Store’s Sunday hours. Here he turned and pulled a full six-foot long, blank piece of white butcher paper off the rear wall b’hind the old potbellied heater. As it fell to the floor, it revealed a second six-foot long piece of paper and there penciled in red marker were the followin’ words: "Gotcha, APRIL FOOLS."
Then with a full-mouth grin he offered his words to all the gathered folk, "The Flat Rock General Store carries a strong tradition of bein’ closed on Sunday and as long as I tote the title of proprietor there will never be no Sunday hours."
As a cheerful, confused rumble moved cross the collected Store-folk, Dustin took the floor and noted, "That’s good, no Sunday hours, just like Chick-fil-A."
At this point, I decided to abandon the still dumbfounded "April Fools" group and headed out for some noon-day duties and obligations, others opted to stay for lunch-eatin purposes.
"Happy, APRIL FOOLS." Keep your guard up. There could be other "gotchas" headed directly t’ward you.
REMEMBER YOUR HERITAGE!!!