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Tater crowed like a rooster
by Fred N. Lee
11/05/09
Not For Sale
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Tater Crowed like a Rooster

Sunday morning services at Union Baptist Church at Caesar, MS had finally ended. I say finally ended because that is how it seemed to an early teenage boy!

Tater, myself, Goggle Eyes, Nub, Skunk, and other boys were standing around under the Live Oak Tree near the front of the Church building. We were trying to decide what to do for the rest of the day. Somebody came up with the suggestion that we drive to Picayune, a distance of about 10 miles, and grab a snack at the local Hamburger shack. I had 75 cents, which was enough money to buy a Hamburger, fries, and a mug of root beer. Some of the more affluent boys had as much as $1.50 and could afford a milkshake if they so desired.

Several of the boys had automobiles, or vehicles that resembled an automobile. I had my dad's old 1934 International pickup truck that had no doors (my mom had made curtains for the openings). Goggle Eyes had an old Ford pickup truck that he had pretty much trashed; one of the boys had a stripped down T-Model, and Tater had his dad's Willis, a small pickup truck that resembled a Toyota truck of today.

One of the boys shouted, "Last one to Picayune is a rotten egg". Of course, that is when the race started. Those that didn't have a vehicle jumped in where ever they could find a seat. However, no one jumped into the vehicle Tater was driving. Everyone in the community knew how Tater drives-"full speed ahead and darn the torpedoes" was his motto, only he didn't say darn.

Back then none of the roads was paved. All were graveled and the county work crew occasionally graded them, especially before election of county supervisors. Tater drags out, or as much dragging out that the old Willis pickup would do. The rest of us were close behind, breathing in the dust, and making futile efforts to pass Tater. Try as we would, Tater kept hogging the road so we couldn't pass.

We were past the Gipson Graveyard headed down a long hill when Tater hit some corduroy bumps. The truck started to shake, rattle, and roll so to speak and when Tater tried to make correction, it turned sideways and flipped over on its side. When the dust settled, Tater crawled out the open window, stood up on the side of the truck, flapped his arms by his side like a rooster does before he crows and let out a loud crow that could be heard for three quarters of a mile.

We couldn't help but notice the next several days that Tater never set down. We also noticed that everywhere he went he walked.


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