Not a Tooth In His Head

by larry on July 7, 2013

in Blog

Image0006Some time at the end of a hot summer many years ago I was fast asleep in bed with my brother J.D.on the old farm near Ash Grove Mo. (I was about 8 or 9 he was about 13). When Ol’ Major (part hound and German Shepard and Teddy a red colored Chow that uncle Eldon gave us because he was too mean for the city life) started a ruckus in the front yard under an old pear tree. Everyone was trying to sleep but the dogs wouldn’t shut up no matter how much dad yelled at them. Finely I hear dad say J.D. get up and see what them damn dogs are up too. He came back in just his jeans and said they had a Raccoon treed in the old pear tree and he couldn’t handle ’em. Dad got up slipped on his pants cussin’ under his breath and the two of them went out to the tree. Dad looked up in the full moon light and saw the biggest coon he had ever seen, half way up the tree. He looked at JD and said well we’re going to have to let ’em have it out if we’re ever goin’ to get some sleep ’round here so get a stick, climb up there and knock him out and lets see what happens.
When that coon hit the ground the fight was on. Now this was many years ago and it may seem cruel to let two big dogs attack a single coon but that coon was as tough as a boot and mean as a bobcat and he was not going to go peacefully. He would jump on top of Ol’ Major and Teddy would pull him off then he would jump on top of Teddy and Ol’ Major would pull him down . Now Ol’ Major was not Old he was in his prime and he was a huntin’ dog and no coon was goin’ to come into his territory and get out with out a fight. Teddy didn’t know what this thing was, but he was not going to let him go either. And so it went on and on; Dad was whoopin’ and hollerin’ at the dogs sick him Major, come on Teddy get ‘im….ahhh look at you two, that coon gonna chew you up and spit ya out; sick ‘im (dad always liked a good tussle you could tell by his nose bent a little to one side). They fought their way back to the old chicken house about 30 yards away. The coon backed up to the old chicken house and stood up and when a dog came in at him he would slap him down and it would yelp and back off then the other would try his luck and get slapped and scratched with a right cross or a left hook. The dew on the ground was heavy and the temperature was dropping and Dad in his bare feet and stepping on a Missouri flint rock now and then an’ J.D. starting to shiver and gettin’ cold even though the heat of the battle kept him jumppin’ around like he was right in there with them. Dad noticed there wasn’t much blood on any of the combatants but the dogs couldn’t finish off this coon and so he found a stick and knocked the coon out with one blow and pulled the dogs off (who by this time had, had enough anyway and didn’t protest too much). He picked the coon up by the tail and put him in the empty old smoke house and said “we’ll sort this out in the morning”.
The next day dad carefully opened the old smoke house door fully expecting to see a very capable and very mad adversary but instead found the animals lifeless body…… He was bigger than he remembered from the night before. He knelt down on one knee to look him over feeling a little sorry he lost and discovered he didn’t have a tooth in his head that wasn’t worn down to a nubbin and so must have been very old. He put the coon in the trunk of his old Ford as he went to town to get some feed and showed him to the local farmers from the area; he told the story and they all agreed “that’s the biggest coon we ever saw” and Dad said yep and the toughest too. He told the story many times for many years after that, because his last battle was his bravest and his best and should be told over and over again…..

Thanks Giving

by admin on November 27, 2011

in Blog

It’s time to give thanks again and lord knows I have reasons for that. Lots of things could have gone wrong over the years and in spite of all the wrong turns I’ve made it’s still not that bad. I could start making a list but you would get bored and hit the delete button. It’s enough to say all is well. I just found some old photographs that I took, back when I took a lot of pictures. They were my father and his Grand kids and one of my brother and his. They were taken about this time of year and one was taken around Christmas because I can see the tree in the background. The point is the people in the pictures are just two of the many in my life that I’m thankful for; there are many more. So if you have known me for a long time than you are one of those people. Maybe that’s too literal but right now, that’s how I feel. Seasons Come and they go, seems like I get up and go about my life and then it’s time to go back to bed. Then all of a sudden it’s Thanksgiving again. And so it goes just like it did for my Dad and his dad before him and I guess for you too. So since time don’t stand still, we should say thanks to all of those people who have supported us over the years. It would be a thankless world without them…..

Surounded by Water

by admin on August 29, 2011

in Blog

I talked to my son James this morning who lives in Astoria New York. Astoria is on an Island more or less with water on all sides and it’s not that big. I was sure he would get flooded out since he lives in a basement apartment. Not so; he said he was dry and had electricity and he slept through the hurricane. I said you slept through the hurricane the one that broke all the records for wind damage and rain. What have I told you about taking that stuff? He says I didn’t take anything it was no big deal we don’t even have any limbs down or nothin’. It just rained a lot….Well I guess that’s good then I thought sure you would be in scuba gear this morning trying to retrieve your stuff. He says well the news media really gets carried away when it comes to news in New York if the hurricane was in DeSoto Ks they would say a hurricane just slammed into the little town of DeSoto KS and now here is the sports report from US open yesterday…… Anyway I guess you never stop worrying about your kids no matter how old they get.

Paul, Jennings and Harry Young

by admin on August 24, 2011

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My Father told me a story about the worst gun fight, Officers of the law ever had and still holds the terrible record for a gun battle “killed in the line of duty” to this day. January 2nd of 1932 Police went to a farm southwest of Springfield MO to arrest three brothers of the Young family Paul, Jennings and Harry. What happened next is told in detail in a pamphlet written to prevent police officers everywhere from falling into a trap of this nature. The Young brothers were known to be very good with a gun and they proved it many times in shooting contests around the area. Six officers lay dead around the farm house after the battle and two wounded managed to get away in a patrol car that was riddled with bullets. Later Jennings and Harry were surrounded in a boarding house in Houston Texas and committed suicide in a bathroom. I don’t remember if he said he knew the men personally but he must have known of them since he didn’t live very far from the farm. He was 19 years old at the time and he said he went to the farm the day after the gun battle and saw the bark on the trees shot away “bout as high as a mans head” and the blood on the ground at the base of the trees. The Family was well respected in the area except for the three brothers who for some reason went for a life of crime while the rest of the family did their best to be upright citizens. The whole story can be read on line from the pamphlet… The Young brothers Massacre

’bout a Quarter Mile From Here

by admin on March 16, 2011

in Blog

The Inman’s and the McConnell’s came into the Nixa Mo. area in 1853. The land at that time was something of a frontier with no towns or settlements and virtually no law. When the Civil War broke out my Great Granddad John Wesley Inman joined the Union forces on Aug. 20 1862.

Fast forward to about 1982 when my father and mother and my wife and I were in the area around the old homestead. We looked around the old farm that at that time belonged to my dad’s uncle and Dad told me about farming the ground around there and picking up at least two buckets of grape shot and Minnie balls from the fighting that took place in the fields around there during and after the war. He said he would like to see the new Civil War Museum at the Battle of Wilson Creek not far away. We drove the short distance to the sight and looked around and found a marker that said this is the place that General Lyons was killed with the date and a short description of the circumstances. A young man dressed in a smart looking Park Ranger outfit walked up and asked if he could answer any questions. Dad said to give us the two dollar tour; so he began,

“Well sir right here is where General Lyons was shot from his horse in”.

He hardly had a chance to finish when Dad said, “No he wasn’t”. The guy looked like someone took a shot at him. “I’m sorry sir but all the books say…”

“Well I don’t care what the books say my Grandad John Wesley Inman was a Teamster in this war and he told me many times that the night before the battle no one knew that the Confederates was close by, so the General let anyone living in the area that could be back by sunup take an over night leave, and when my Grandad topped the hill over looking the camp, with some other men in a wagon next morning, the fight started. General Lyons rode a white horse and everybody knew it, including the Rebels. When the battle turned against the Union Forces he rode around flashing his sword and trying to rally his men who had been caught with their pants down so to speak. Some Rebels took after him and he took off over that ridge with the Rebs in hot pursuit and they caught him about a Quarter mile from here and he was killed there, not here.”

The guy looked undecided about disputing my dad who had that look in his eye like “I know what I’m talking about and you don’t”.

“Well you folks have a nice day”, he said and was gone. I often wonder if they ever moved that marker. Probably not.