I was somewhat confused when I walked into The Flat Rock General Store the other morning. There was a dozen or more people already a floating around inside, some of the folk I had not seen in a while.
Then it hit me, there’s no more football games and huntin’ season is over. Slim was a grin from ear to ear, he hadn’t enjoyed this much pure company in over four months. I myself had not seen Farlow Wedge dressed in nothing but Mossy Oak camo huntin’ clothes in over four months and, wait a minute, his pick-up has been washed and the four wheeler is not on back. The close of huntin’ season and the end of football season has brought ’em out of the woodwork. But wait, what’s there to do?
Surprise!!! There’s always plenty of things to do for entertainment down at the Flat Rock General Store. It’s like the olden days down at the store.
Slim had already set up two tables for Rook card playin’ close to the old pot bellied heater in the rear of the store. One set of cards included the ones (means you’re able to make 180 points) and the other table had twelves as high cards (means the most that you can make is 120). Most times the professional old hands play with the ones. They really play for keeps, shoot the moon, make every hand, on and on. I assume ya’ll know how to play and keep score. Growing up as a youngster it was a high honor any time you were asked to set in or play with the older folks; it meant you were pretty good and that you probably had made the big time – I mean advanced passed the twelves table.
Older people talk about growin’ up with the Opry for night time entertainment. My memories are of the neighbors coming over on Friday or Saturday night and playing Rook well into the night.
You could tell Slim was sure glad to have all the folks back from huntin’ and football. He hadn’t been up and out of his recliner and away from behind the store counter for this long a time in a while. He had also put the seriously worn handmade checker board with coke caps (for checkers) on a nail keg in the corner for a couple more people and someone had already called “winner.”
Wait there’s more— double twelve dominos down on the far end of the lower counter. There’s always two or more takers there. We will need a paper poke and pencil for keeping score.
Of course, there are always two or more folk just settin’ near the old pot bellied heater working out the world’s problems and discussing who the preacher’s Sunday sermon was meant for.
Then there is liars (presenters) corner, yep that’s where all the winter’s huntin’ stories are hashed over and over again. Also, all the football picks (winners/losers) and the “I told you so’s” are handed out – almost on a weekly basis for the rest of the winter and well into the summer. Some people just ain’t into forgettin’ the bigun that got away, the missed extra point, fumble on the goal line, interception or just the poor lousy team with a bad season.
At the Store there’s always someone storying to the visitors that might just stop by. Or on a good warm day, if you just want to get out for a while, there is always a boat close by and the rook playing, checker or domino losers might just want to float either Town Creek or Mud Creek. Oh, don’t worry, there is always somebody with a pick-up to get you out down at the Wolf Springs Bridge.
NO MORE FOOTBALL OR HUNTIN—
AND IT’S STILL WINTER!!! Just what’s there to do?
YA’LL COME ON BY FOR A HOWDY, LET’S PLAY ONE MORE, MAYBE EVEN GET SOME COKE, CHEESE AND CRACKERS, DOWN AT THE FLAT ROCK GENERAL STORE. YES, EVEN IN THE DEAD OF WINTER AFTER FOOTBALL AND HUNTIN’ THERE IS ALWAYS PLENTY TO DO AND YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME DOWN AT THE FLAT ROCK GENERAL STORE! SLIM WILL SURE BE GLAD TO SEE YOU!!!
Remember your heritage and always think good memories!!! JOE
Potter is a former vocational agriculture teacher, FFA advisor,
retired county agent (Colbert County) for Auburn University and
is currently regional sales manager for the Wax Company of Amory,
Mississippi. Additionally, he is still involved in C.C. Potter family
farm at Flat Rock, the farm where he grew up. He is also a
humorist, poet, speaker, writer and a true Southern farm boy/ag
man. His book, Farm Fresh Memories, is available for
$15.00 plus shipping, order by phone at 256-332-0676 or email [email protected].