Wednesday, September 5, 2007


My first cousin (who is just three months younger than me) and his new wife of two years were here to visit me when I returned from my most recent trip to Franklin, Indiana. Terry Junius Jones re-married just over two years ago to a very nice lady named Tricia. Of course, I brought them to the cabin - and - as I thought, he enjoyed it. While I'm not sure how much Tricia enjoyed the rustic nature of things here, one could easily tell that she is enjoying the attention that Terry (whom I have always called Junius) is giving her.

We reminisced about our childhood days in hunting camps with Grandpa and Grandma Jones who used to build a semi-permanent spot somewhere in Gulf Hammock near Yankeetown, Florida, and then basically lived there during the whole of hunting season. The frame of their temporary "home" would be of small trees and "saplings" from 2 inches to 6 inches in diameter, then palmetto fans were cut and tacked and/or tied to the poles to protect the old kerosene stove used to cook on and the few pots and pans necessary for the cooking. Grandma and Grandpa both hunted for deer and turkey - but also would occasionally kill a squirrel, rabbit, or quail.

We talked of the time I had tried to follow Junius across a fallen log across a creek, slipped and fell, but managed to lock my legs around the log which caused me to wind up head-down with my .410 gauge shotgun hanging down, almost touching the creek. I held so tight to that log that I had leg cramps after Junius was able to pry the gun from my white-knuckled hands and help get me up-right. I remember inching my way laboriously along to finally get across the creek. Junius remembered a time when myself and some others had gone through the woods ahead of him and he heard shooting and shouting in the direction we had gone. When he arrived he was surprised to find us shooting at "Coots" (ducks) way out on a pond. My memory was that we killed two of the coots and Daddy waded out into the pond and collected them, then we tied their feet together and hung them over the radio aerial on the old '41 Chev to take them back home to Tennessee. I don't remember whether Mama cooked the coots or not...but she might shed some light on that one. We talked about Yankeetown, Grandpa's boat - the May Bee, "Cousin" Manuel and Alice Jones, and many other things. "Cousin" followed by their first name was the correct way of kids addressing their parents' first cousins.

Frances went with us. We stopped in Benton at the IGA Foodliner to buy groceries (or so I thought) but wound up buying from the delicatessen. So for lunch it was chicken and salad and potatoes and didn't even have to heat up the stove. After lunch I put on my inevitable pot of coffee. We had also taken a watermelon in a cooler - mmmm - so ripe it split ahead of the knife...know whut I mean??? Wow! Good stuff!

Whoa! It's time to go meet Junius and Tricia and Donice & husband for breakfast.


Travelin' On said...

Very nice. I like hearing your memories. You know, your stories are very different from mine. It is good to hear about life with Grandma and Grandpa. I hope you will keep it up.
Enjoyed breakfast with you and the "cousins." :)

Lowell Brannen said...

I do remember at least one time when we visited a camp in the Gulf Hammock (Is that how you spell it?}. I don't remember much of it but I do have a trace of it in my mind. For some reason I thought the hammock was on the north side of the road that goes from the highway to the Yankeetown COG. I don't know why I thought that, but I believe we discussed it once and you told me that it was located elsewhere. You know how kids think. Anyway, thanks for the blogging.

Fred Alton said...

Exactly right, Lowell. Gulf Hammock was on the north side of the road that goes in to Yankeetown.