Last updated: December 03. 2013 10:06PM - 887 Views
J.A. Bolton Storyteller



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Thanks for dropping by again. I thought I’d better pick back up on my farming story this week cause a lot of you wanted to know how my Granddaddy and a crazy mule took on the United States Air Force. So here it goes.


I mentioned my Uncle the other week but I never told you that he was a bachelor and lived with my grandparents all his life. I reckon he never found the need to get married cause his Ma was a good cook, he had a roof over his head and he made enough off the farm to keep a fairly new Ford pickup all the time. What more could a man ask for?


My Uncle and Granddaddy always keep a mule or two whose names were either Kate, Pearl or Drew. Sometimes when the mules started acting up they might be called something else that might not sound appropriate for the young’uns to hear.


They also kept that old B Allis Chalmers tractor. The kind it took the whole community to hookup the cultivators on. It had a battery, but it was always rundown so we’d have to use one of them old hand cranks to crank it. You’d better make sure that tractor was out of gear when using that hand crank cause if that thing took a notion to crank up, it might run you right over.


Spring and Summer were always a busy time of year around the farm. First, we’d take the tractor and break up our garden spot and the fields where we’d plant corn and set tobacco. Then we’d hook up old Pearl, who was Granddaddy’s favorite mule, to a leveling harrow to smooth down the fields for planting. I always enjoyed this job cause I’d roll up my britches leg, pull of my shoes and just feel that freshly plowed dirt between my toes.


Every time I used that old mule, it reminded me of the time Granddaddy used her to lay by the corn that had been planted in the new ground. Now this was a pretty field of corn just about waist high and we had just put out the gueanna (fertilizer) to help the corn fill out. I was just coming out the backdoor of the house and then I heard it coming. It was one of them newfangled jet planes that had just come out in the 50s. It was flying at breakneck speed and so low I could see the pilot’s helmet.


By the time the plane reached the cornfields where Granddaddy was plowing, I heard a big boom and knew the plane had broken the sound barrier. Well that noise scared old Pearl so bad she pulled the plow right out of Granddaddy’s hands, tore up about half the corn field and made a beeline to the barn with what was left of that Dixie plow.


No doubt Granddaddy had a few choice words about what he called one of them newfangled planes with a fire in its behind. Old Pearl never did fully recover from that experience. She would jump and run at any type of noise. Granddaddy wrote to Washington and addressed it to the United States Air Force. In the letter he said he supported our military but dag blame if he could put up with them new airplanes driving his favorite mule half crazy. You know we never did hear back from that letter, but it seemed the jets took a little different direction after that.


Next week, hard work and good memories. Until then, Live, Love, and Laugh.


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