Laugh Tracks in the Dust 5-3-10 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 5-3-10

After a two-week hiatus from column writing, it’s hard to get back on track and get to pulling new column material out of my head and imagination.

Ol’ Nevah and I took a week’s vacation – along with friends Mr. and Mrs. Nick deHyde from Iowa – to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to visit our four grandkids – Chance, Skimpy, Paltry and little May Bea – and to do a lot of sightseeing.

To fulfill our sightseeing urge, we made stops at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, the Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, the Appalachian Trail, Laurel Falls, Ozone Falls, the vacated Smoky Mountains town of Elkton, and the Country Music USA store where I stocked up on cheap CDs of some of the old country western stars like Faron Young, Gene Watson, The Statler Brothers, Jerry Reed, Mel Street, Clinton Gregory and Mac Wiseman.

We also stopped at a huge antique mall and I bought a thick book on Robert E. Lee’s lieutenants in the Civil War. I like to read about the great Civil War and this volume is full of the day-to-day activities and command strategies from the Southern viewpoint. It’s amazing the physical difficulties the troops and their commanders overcame to just get into positions to fight. One such difficulty was a 35-mile day march in the mud, with full packs, in the August heat, with nothing to eat for the duration.

Ultimately, the greycoats started picking fruit from the trees they passed and eating green roasting ears raw from the cob – which gave them serious diarrhea problems. It’s proving to be an interesting read.

After the big battles, the southern commanders almost nonchalantly reported troop casualties in the thousands. It makes me think how greatly we treasure the lives of our military personnel today as compared to the bloody Civil War where a single battle’s dead and wounded would eclipse that of an entire current war.


Also while shopping at the antique mall, I wandered through an amazing assortment of rocks, geodes, crystals and ores at an adjoining business establishment. There wuz a wide assortment of rough agate, and quartz on display and one particularly beautiful rock I reached up to give it a little stroke and sliced my finger until it bled. That’s when I looked up at the warning sign above it which read: “Warning: Rocks are sharp. Handle with care!” I guess that proves that I wuz born in Missouri – the Show-Me State. Either that or I’m just dumb and hard-headed.


One final funny thing about the trip. We were tootling around in the Smoky Mountains when we passed a place out in the country where the owner obviously didn’t want visitors.

He had this bold sign posted at the gate: “Do you believe in the Hereafter? Come on in and you’ll get a chance to find out!”

We didn’t stop!


Overheard at the coffee shop:

Farmer to his table acquaintance: “The doctor told me there’s nothing wrong with me except that I overwork myself. He called me a zealot and a workaholic. I told him to tell me what to do to get over it and that I’d work day and night to do it right!”


The hired man wuz always getting in trouble with the farm owner. The hired guy wuz always breaking equipment, scaring the livestock, getting to work late and unwilling to work overtime without complaining.

Finally, the exasperated farmer told his hired man that unless something improved quickly, he wuz going to have to fire the man.

The hired man replied that he certainly didn’t want to lose his job and that he’d go home and pray about the matter and report back the next day.

Bright and early, the hired man showed up for work and reported to his boss that he’d had a good prayer the night before and thought everything would be better now.

“What did you pray about,” the farmer inquired.

“I prayed to the Good Lord to give you the patience of Job to put up with me on this job,” the hired man replied.


That’s enuf drivel for one week. I’ll try to get back on top of my game next week. Until then, I’ll close with this political quote about Tennessee from the late, great country star Roy Acuff. “The greatest thing the Democrats have ever done for me was to defeat me for the governorship of Tennessee.”

Have a good ‘un.

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