My neighbor, Dee Privett, has been putting in a lot of hours lately. To be more correct, Dee's been putting in a lot more hours lately.
Dee works for Bunge in Caruthersville. So while he would normally be busy in the spring as farmers are returning to their fields, Dee's been even busier this spring because of the flood. Dee and his co-workers did a lot of sandbagging and moving dirt around trying to stave off the mighty Mississippi.
Because of those long hours (gone before daybreak and home after dark most days) Dee hasn't had a lot of time to see after things around the house. One of those things is the grass in his front yard. I decided to do my part to help him and cut his grass one day last week. And, I only cut the front yard because of a commitment with my wife later that evening.
So when Dee's wife, Phyllis (whose office is right at the levee in Caruthersville and watched sandbagging efforts on a daily basis herself) showed up at our door with a cake in her hand I really wasn't surprised. She's a nice lady.
Phyllis said when she came home and saw the grass had been cut she immediately assumed her other neighbor, Jesse Hovis, had done another good deed. There was good reason for Phyllis to think that way. Jesse will cut Dee's grass quite often. He calls it exercise.
So Phyllis took her freshly made cake to the Hovis house initially where she learned that it wasn't Jesse doing a good turn this time. However, one of his favorite things in the world is fresh, warm cake. Jess said he's been known to take a couple of pieces of a freshly-made cake, a cup of coffee and make a meal out of it. So Jesse took a couple of pieces of the cake.
The cake I ended up with was only half a cake, however. And even though I didn't deserve any of it (by the way, Jesse cut Dee's backyard the next day) I wonder what happened to the rest of the cake. Jesse only took a couple of pieces and I got half.
Suspicion has fallen on Earline, Jesse's wife. She denies it, but it's hard for her to do so with a straight face.
* * *
I'm confused. The news out this week is that the cicadas are about to break out of their skins and take to the air to begin mating. In particular we're talking about the 13-year cicada,
Back in September 2002 those bugs invaded our privacy (they can be quite noisy).
Standing around the tennis courts at that time with Chris Branum the bugs were a topic of conversation - I wrote about that conversation in a column dated September 29, 2002 - our resident bug expert, Frank-Jack Carter ,told us all that noise was from the 13-year cicada. At that time Frank-Jack said he knew it was the 13-year cicada because he recalled the last time those bugs appeared he was fishing with his son, Carter. Carter caught his first fish 13 years prior to our conversation on the tennis court and used a cicada as bait.
The confusing part of this is that we're only nine years removed from that conversation. Guess we might as well blame that on global warming as well. Of course if the bugs had stayed in hibernation until 2017, 15 years, it could be blamed on global warming as well.
When an argument is based on junk science it's possible to make a case on both sides of the issue.
* * *
"The Dunklin County Poultry Association held its annual election Tuesday, January 5, 1915 in the office of Dr. Presnell. It was well attended and much interest was shown. The following officers were elected:
"R.H. Moore, President; W.H. Petty, 1st Vice President; Hubert Jones, 2nd Vice President; Robert Hall, Sec-Treas; G.F. McFadden, Superintendent. The executive committee is comprised of Dr. C.A.V. Presnell, Mrs. Nettie Presnell, Jas. Pool, Mrs. Jas. Pool, Hubert Jones, Mrs. Hubert Jones, A.L. Tetley, Mrs. G.F. McFadden, A.C. Lansdell, Mrs. W. H. Petty, chairman.
"The association decided to hold their second annual show at Kennett, Mo., Dec. 29, 30, 31, 1915 and Jan. 1, 1916. The question of holding a field meeting here this year was discussed and the secretary was instructed to communicate with the Missouri State Poultry Experiment Station to that effect. Several other plans for the year were discussed but carried over to the February meeting.
"... When we review the progress of the association in the two months since its organization we cannot but wonder why Dunklin County did not long ago takes its place among the counties noted for the production pure bred poultry. The association organized Nov. 10, 1914, with only seven members. Five weeks later they held what the judge Mr. T.W. Noland, called one of the best country shows he had attended, regardless of the fact that this show was the first attempted here. At the annual election, Jan. 5, 1915, the roll was called and it was found that the association then had 41 members which equals the membership of some of the older associations in the state."
Thanks for the DDD's unofficial, but much appreciated historian, Vivian Helton, who sent that missive along from the page one of the Friday, Jan. 8, 1915 edition of the weekly DD.
Question: When was the last poultry show held in Dunklin County?
Note to Dan Rather, the notations 1st and 2nd were not used in 1915, but the default Word program used to type this column does.
Bud Hunt is regional vice
president, publisher of the
Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and
North Stoddard Countian.