Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

One in every family

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   Every family has at least one eccentric member. In our family it had to be my Uncle Ed. Surprise, it is not me. The closest I get to eccentric is weird. At any rate, Uncle Ed has lived an interesting life.

   He has been a mechanic for the State Police with the job of installing the parts to soup-up the pursuit cars, guess who had the fastest car in town, a milkman, a stint in the Navy where he cornered the market on those tasteful and artistic, hand painted coconuts from Jamaica, a commercial fisherman and finally ended up as a rather successful jeweler in Montgomery, Ala.

    Ed was one of the fellows who make friends wherever he goes. In the jewelry business he used to go to New Orleans on diamond purchasing junkets. Why one would go to ‘the Big Easy’ for diamonds is anybody’s guess. I suspect there might have been some questionable purchases since he got them at very reasonable prices.

   One of the friends he made was the famed clarinet player, Pete Fountain. Ed tells a story when he and Fountain were having a cocktail in Fountain’s jazz club. In came an assistant director from the crew of movie that was being filmed in town and asked Fountain to help organize a parade that was to be part of the movie.

   Fountain agreed and in a very short time he and Ed emptied out a few saloons and had gathered a couple of small, marching jazz bands and a mob of revelers. Not a big problem in New Orleans.

   The cameras were set up and the impromptu parade went marching along, maybe staggering would be a better choice of words, with the proper amount of gaiety.

   The director was very pleased and asked Fountain to call them back so he could shoot the scene again. Fountain looked at the man with a slight grin on his face. “Get them back, they won’t be back for a week. It’s easy to get these things started, but to get them to stop is impossible.”

   Ed has slowed down a bit and has retired to his place in a wide spot in the road called Pike Road, south of Montgomery. He is what can best be described as a gentleman farmer. He has a few cows, a couple of horses and used to have a small flock of chickens.

   The disappearance of the hens is another Ed story that goes to show how unflappable and laid back the man is. One afternoon Ed was sitting in his carport having a cold one and calmly observing a large dust devil or a small tornado come bouncing down his fence line heading right for the hen house.

   The appearance of the storm would have more sensible folks heading for cover, but not Ed.

   The coop took a direct hit and was reduced to kindling. Ed’s remark concerning the incident was a laconic, “Jim, you should have seen it. There were chickens flying everywhere.”   © 2009 Harmony County

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Written by harmonycounty

December 30, 2009 at 4:42 p12

Posted in Americana, Humor

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