Yield: Quail hunting with Roy Clark
November 23, 2018
When I heard the news that country music legend and co-star of Hee Haw, Roy Clark, had died, my heart took a sad beat or two as it brought back a fond memory of a day long ago when the paths of Roy Clark and mine crossed.
Therein lies a story worth telling. It happened back in the 1980s in Labette County, Kansas. I wuz an officer of the local Quail Unlimited Chapter and the chapter hosted a fund-raising banquet each year to raise money for maintaining or creating good habitat for quail.
At the banquet, one of the items in the live auction wuz a celebrity quail hunt with Roy Clark, who lived near Tulsa. A guitarist and vocalist in Roy's band wuz Vernon Sandusky, who lived in Labette County near the Oklahoma border. He was the other half of the celebrity hunt.
Well, the Roy Clark hunt brought several hundred dollars at the auction and the high bidder wuz a Kansas City businessman who wuz a friend/client of my friend and accountant, ol' Penn Cilpusher. The plan wuz that the businessman and Penn would participate in the hunt.
Luckily for me, on the day of the scheduled quail hunt, the KC businessman couldn't make it and Penn asked me to fill in, which I gladly accepted. It put me in the enviable spot of participating in a celebrity quail hunt that I didn't pay for. It was a freebie.
Back in those days, quail numbers in southeast Kansas were still wonderful and a county farmer and QU member volunteered his farm for the hunt. On the day of the hunt, Roy and Vernon met Penn and me and the farmer bright and early.
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The dogs were eager and we started finding quail right from the get-go. As it turned out, Roy Clark wuz about as good with a shotgun as he wuz with a guitar. He never shirked on his share of the walking. He wuz a safe hunter. Plus, he wuz a good conversationalist and joker. He wuz just one of the guys having fun.
By mid-afternoon, the hunting party of five had its limit of quail and it wuz time for pictures. I've got a wonderful black and white photo of Roy and me and the hunting party exulting over a pickup tailgate of quail.
However, when we went back to the farmstead to clean our quail, Roy Clark found it much more convenient to converse with other members of the farmer's family. He never touched a feather. I never held that against Roy because he was the celebrity on the hunt and wuzn't expected to get his hands dirty cleaning quail.
At the end of the day, Roy and Vernon took their share of the quail home with them and left the rest of us with not only a nice mess of quail, but also a wonderful memory to carry around and share for the rest of our lives.
RIP, Roy. Good hunting for eternity.
I read a news article recently that said in these modern times men with beards and/or other facial hair are considered more handsome and manly than clean shaven men. The story didn't provide any proof, but I'm gonna say that I agree with the story 100 percent.
A week or so ago, ol' Nevah and a car load of her gal pals, young and old, took a day trip to a crafts fair near Wichita with a stop on the way home for wine tasting at the Grace Hill Winery near Whitewater, Kan.
Ever-thoughtful Nevah brought me home a bottle of "medicinal" red wine with the clever name of Peckerhead Red Sweet Red Wine. The label has a big picture of a red rooster's head. And the back side of the label had a little verse about a real rooster named Peckerhead. Here's the verse:
Peckerhead Red, Grace Hill's sweetest red wine,
Is named for a rooster we find quite divine.
Each morning the sun he meets with a crow.
And out of our beds to the vineyard we go,
To make a wine worthy of bearing his name
A wine that is worthy of all his acclaim.
He knows he's the man. He struts while he walks.
Here's to you, Peckerhead, the King of all Flocks.
Nevah bought herself a Peckerhead Red T-Shirt with the rooster's head emblazoned on it. I'm jealous. I wish it wuz mine.
The devastating wildfires in California just make me sick to watch. So many lives lost. So many homes burned up. So much life effort turned to ash within minutes.
I know it's ridiculous to say it because it can never happen. But California could use several million head of goats to chomp and devour all the brush on those steep hills and mountains before it builds up ripe for wildfires.
A rural teacher's first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair color than the other members. One of her students suggested that he might be adopted.
A little girl said, "I know all about adoption. I was adopted."
What does it mean to be adopted?' asked another child.
"It means," said the girl, "that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy!"
Who can top those words of wisdom? I can't. Have a good 'un. ❖