Feed Troughs and Redneck Philosophy

I’ll get to the redneck report in a bit—first a report on the copper trough for the Living and Giving water feature. (click here to see the article) It seems like the copper was not all that difficult to find, but it cost a bit more than the perceived value of the show off effect. I went “back to the drawing board” and came up with some good ideas that I was pondering as I started a spring cleaning project around my junk pile. I had totally forgotten about the feed troughs.

can we turn this rusty feed trough into a water feature?

can we turn this rusty feed trough into a water feature?

Joel had asked me to haul these troughs to recycling, but it snowed that day and they never got further than my junk pile (which I keep well-hidden). So I started thinking about how to build a water feature (it will be against an old brick wall). I decided I could use pond liner for waterproofing and then make it look like an antique horse trough with old bricks and hypertuffa. Hypertuffa is a material made with cement and peat moss. I made a lot of flower pots one time using this process. They look like this:

hypertuffa--a mixture of peat moss and cement

hypertuffa–a mixture of peat moss and cement

I’m going to build the water feature next weekend so I will document the process. Stay tuned.

Did I mention that my junk pile is out in redneck country?  Every now and then you will see a book titled something like. “I Lived Ten Years With The (Indians, natives, pygmies, headhunters, etc.)”—Well I, John the Plant Man, lived ten years among the rednecks. I ate their chitlins and drank their beer (actually, it was more like they drank MY beer). I even wrote a book about the harrowing experience.

Bud and Travis are two of my favorite characters mentioned in the book. As I was pondering the feed troughs Travis rode up on his lawnmower. Here’s a picture of Travis from a couple of summers ago:

Travis loves his riding mower

Travis loves his riding mower

Travis is quite a philosopher. “Hey, John, you stayin’ busy?”

“It’s been slow on account of the weather,” I replied. “We’re getting pretty busy now, though.”

Travis said, “With all the snow and rain I bet you ain’t been making much money.”

“I been getting’ by,” I said.

“I don’t call it getting by,” Travis replied. “I call it ‘floatin.’” He moved his hand in a wave-like motion. “You just kindly float along as best you kin. Sometimes you get to sinking and you got to flay your arms around a bit and grab you some air.”

He took a sip of his Natural Light. “Yeah, I call it floatin.”

I wrote an article about Travis titled, “Pimp Your Lawnmower Redneck Style”

I mentioned my other redneck friend, Bud.  I wrote an article about him, too. Bud is one of the best gardeners I ever met. Click here to read about his garden.

If you want to know something about farming, ask your favorite redneck

If you want to know something about farming, ask your favorite redneck

 

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

Merry Christmas From Bubba

Merry Christmas, everyone!!  Before my voice problems I was frequently asked to read the following letter to festive groups. These days, even though a voice has been restored, I am more comfortable offering it to you on the internet. You know that if it’s on the internet it has to be true.  Print it out and read it to your gathering with my blessings.  Here’s Bubba’s Christmas Letter: 

It has been a very good year.  I done caught a bunch of fish.

Hey, this is Bubba writing.

See, Bev, she’s my wife as you probably know if you know me, and if you don’t know me, you probly wont be getting this letter anyway. We decided we needed to write this letter.  She is helping me telling me stuff to say, but I am working the commuter because I can type better than her.

So many of my friends, maybe you and maybe not, have written me letters at christmas to tell me how good they did in the last year and I always wanted to write one but nobody can reaad my handwriting and then Bev, you know, she runs a cleaning service out of her ford van and you might not know she cleans this lawyer’s office and he likes her cause she has such a nice butt and she always wears tight jeans unless it is summer and then she wears tight cutoffs.  Anyway, she was there one day this past summer and he was changing to a bigger computer and he cleaned this one out and give it to her.  Well, she brought it home and we had to get the ten year old kid in the trailer next door to show us how to use it and I decided that I would write a Christmas letter like everybody else cause we done had a real good does year.

It has been a very good year. I done caught a bunch of fish.

The only problem is the idiot that built this typing board didn’t go to the same school I did.  I learned abcdefg and so forth.  He learned qwertyuiop and so forth.  Well, I started this letter in september and I am just now finishing it because none of the letters are in the right order and I have to look real hard for them. I hope after this that a cop don’t pull me over and tell me to say the alphabet.  I will be a gonner.  I would probly look him in the face and say “no problem mr. Officer, qwertyuiop and so forth”  I got a callus on my trigger finger. My kids, homer and clete keep laughing at me and started showing me stuff and almost spilled my beer and I had to chase them off.  Bev keeps wanting something called the internet, but it costs as much as the cable tv and you cant get any nascar on them.

 So here is the letter it has been a good year:

Dere Freinds

Well it has been a wonderful year.  Jodie he’s my friend at the carpet mill wanted me to go spotliting with him and I had to work late at the carpet mill and didn’t go and doggone if the game wardens didn’t have a artificial deer in the edge of the woods and jodie saw it and he told me that it had steam coming out from its mouth and antlers and the head moved and he hit it with his spotlight and jumped out of the truck and shot its head off and the game wardens arrested him and put him in jail and took his gun away and all kind of stuff.  While he was doing this, I made 5 hours of overtime.  Just goes to show it pays to be a working man. What a good year I have had.

Talk about luck.  You remember old rufus, the rotweiler?  Some sob shot him and he come home and bev took him to the vet and it costed 50 dollars and rufus died anyway.  While we were being sad—bev and the kids about the dog, me about the fifty bucks, some nice people from town came speeding by and dropped out these two puppies.  We named them rocky and young rufus.  The kids don’t seem to care that young rufus is a girl this time.  Man, these dogs are smart now I know how stupid rufus really was. What a good year.

Bev wanted the ford van painted and I taught the kids, clete and homer how to paint a van and they didn’t hardly leave any brush strokes at all.  What good kids.  They like school, too, and clete liked the third grade so much that he decided to take it again and homer wanted to go to the sixth grade so bad that he went to summer school.  I sure am proud of them.  Clete only got in trouble once last year when it was a rainy day and they were showing Bambi in school to all the kids and when the big stag came on the screen he yelled “bam” and all the little girls started crying.  I guess they thought he was shooting at one of the does but it wasn’t a doe day. And he learned enough from hearing about jodie to shoot one without antlers on the wrong day. Clete is pretty smart about not getting in trouble.

The peppers in the garden did real good and we used them to get the sausage just right.  I learned this thing from this friend of bevs that works in the beauty shop about tying one end of the casing material to a pick up truck bumper and the other end to the barn and blowing them out with a compressor before you do the rest of making the deer sausage. This is better than hand slung chitlins. I thought you would like the part about the pick up and the compressor I am sure you know exactly how to do the rest.  See, I learned something.  What a good year.

This is me and all of my toys.  It has been a very good year.
This is me and all of my toys. It has been a very good year.

And now I  got to tell you about last Christmas because you won’t believe our good fortune. Clete and Homer wanted to get a expensive Christmas present.  They wanted this thing you hook up to the tv and then you got this here rifle and then when the deers run across the front of the tv, you can shoot them. We told them that it was too expensive and they would have to get it together if they got it, and the new motor on the go cart would be totally out of the question.

I love those boys. It was expensive.  We all had to make sacrifices.  We had to practice self discipline.  Bev started getting her make up at the dollar store instead of ekerds and I started drinking Keystone instead of budweiser.  We missed the rassling matches three times, and we stopped dancing at the amvets club which I can go to cause Merle, he was in the national guard and he spoke for me.  Anyway, we made the money up and went to the magic market and bought a money order and sent it off and this box came to the house on a ups truck and bev, she put it up in the closet where homer and clete wouldn’t find it and left it there till Christmas.

Anyway, Christmas morning came and bev gave me a vibrating alarm clock that wouldn’t make any noise and fit in my shirt pocket and would wake me up in case I fell asleep in my deer stand. I love it.  I think I done missed a bunch of deers by falling asleep in my deer stand. I gave bev a really nice venison hind quarter and a tackle box with a make up mirror in the top inside.  She loved it.  Then it came time for the boys to open up their present.  We all got real excited watching them open up the box.  I don’t know why because we all knew what was in it, but the company we bought it from had made a mistake.  I’ll never forget the looks on clete and homers faces when they looked in the box and found it.  It was the thing to hook up to the tv but the rifle warn’t there.  We hooked it up to the tv and these here deers kept running across the screen but there warn’t no way to shoot them.  Them boys near went crazy.  Clete run in the other room and got his bb gun and was going to shoot the deers with that but I stopped him just in time.

What a good year.  I went to the magic market and bought a calling card and called the people that made the mistake and they said they were sorry and that I could quit calling them names and that they would send me a completely new one and I would have two things to hook up to the tv and the rifle too.  It aint got here yet, but I am sure it will.

What a good year.  I couldn’t think of what to do with  the tv deer hook up thing cause we were going to get another one and we only got one tv so it took it to the projects where Jo Sam this guy that works with me lives and his cable got cut off and he can’t watch nothing on tv. loved it and wanted it for his niece so she could watch the deers run across the tv screen and talk about how perty they were, and he traded me not one, but two genuine ROLODEX watches for it.  Man, I bet there ain’t two other brothers in the whole trailer park that got genuine rolodex watches for Christmas and a tv deer hunting kit on the way.

What a good year.  Here it is almost the end of the year and bev came up to me and kissed me and told me that this was the sixth year in a row that they ain’t reposessed our car or kicked us out of the trailer park.  God has really blessed us.

I will write you next year if next year is anywhere near as good as this one was.  If you don’t hear from me, send donations

With all our love

Bubba, bev, clete and homer

Ps  I cant get mail no more because they condemned my mailbox cause I kept watching this low place open up by the ditch and kept telling myself that I needed to do something about it and finally the mail lady slid off in the ditch and she got mad.  So, I use my next door neighbor’s mailbox.  His name is john schulz and you probly know about him cause he wrote this here book Requiem for a Redneck and it is pretty good. Me and Bev, we keep that book on a shelf in the bathroom and we read some of it every day if you know what I mean.  It is about all my friends, Louann, Kickstand, and Ponytail.  Then there is Bud.  Bud is the mayor of Berwin, Georgia and he is right funny.  I hate it that Harce died, but this here book tells you all about it.

I don’t know nothing about that internet thing, but John said you could see about that there book if you click right here”  He says it’s a ebook whatever that means.

A Visit to the CoonHoundCemetery

My wife, Dekie received a “thank you reward” from using her visa card and decided to use it for a September birthday trip for me. More specifically, she decided to use it for a room in a fancy hotel in Florence, Alabama. We enjoy adventuresome road trips together, and I am always happy when the lady takes me across a state line. Dekie researched the area and decided that we should visit the Helen Keller birth place and a home that had been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. After a little more research she found out that it would only be a hell of a lot more trouble to go to Cherokee, Alabama and visit the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard.  You see, we’ve had a registered coon hound to enhance our relationship since its beginning. Our coon hound, Speck is getting older but still kicking. Here’s a picture from a few years ago:

John and Dekie with Speck the coon hound

John, Dekie, and Speck on the Berry College campus, 2008

Now don’t take this travelogue lightly. One does not just drop in on the coon hound cemetery. It is located just a little past the other side of nowhere after turning off from the main road near Cherokee. The name of the location, though is cut in granite:

Chiseled in stone--The marker for the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Garden

Chiseled in stone–The marker for the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Garden

A sign on a tree lets you know that neither you nor your cocker spaniel are welcome to be buried here.

Sign for Coon Hound Cemetery

I guess your Shih tzu ain’t gonna be buried in this HERE cemetery

And I would be remiss if I didn’t show you the lovely plaque from the Friends of the CoonDogCemetery:

Dedication plaque from the Friends of the Coon Dog Cemetery

Dedication plaque from the Friends of the Coon Dog Cemetery

The feeling of love and caring that someone put into this headstone done tore at my heart. I bet Lulu Belle was a wonderful dog.

Here Lies Lulu Bell, Prize champion coon hound. Born 1945

Here Lies Lulu Belle, Prize champion coon hound. Born 1945

Dekie enjoyed walking around and reading the messages that paid tribute to all of the wonderful late coon hounds

Sweet Dekie paid her respects to hundreds of coon dog heroes that day.

Sweet Dekie paid her respects to hundreds of coon dog heroes that day.

Ruff was another special stone, name, and  memory.

Here lies Ruff Redbone, a most special and loving coon hound.

Here lies Ruff Redbone, a most special and loving coon hound.

I enjoyed the feeling of love and caring as I looked over the head stones, and the flowers in the cemetery.

Looking over the well tended graveyard tugs at the strings of one's heart.

Looking over the well tended graveyard tugs at the strings of one’s heart.

I’ve seen a lot of things cast in concrete but this was the first time I ever saw cement coon hounds barking up a tree.

First time I ever saw cement coon dogs barking up a tree.

First time I ever saw cement coon dogs barking up a tree.

To be specific, Speck is a “treeing Walker coon hound” named for Mr. Walker who started the breed. We tried telling Speck about the cemetery but she just said, “that’s interesting, can I have a treat now?”

Speck the coon hound speaks: "It's time for my treat now."

Speck the coon hound speaks: “It’s time for my treat now.”

Thank you for visiting John the Plant Man.

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

Redneck Garden Revisited

A Redneck Garden in August

I had to go see my mother over the weekend of July 4 and I’m going to cheat and re-post this article from a couple of years ago.  Enjoy.

Bud is proud to be a redneck.  He grew up on a farm on Sand Mountain, Alabama and moved to town for work a number of years ago.  One day I showed Bud some of my blog posts and he said, “Why don’t you show them folks a redneck garden?”  I agreed with him that this would be a good idea, so here it is

Bud checks out the rabbits across the road.
Bud checks out the rabbits across the road.

I showed up to find Bud weed eating his front bank on a 95 degree afternoon.  He had seen something in the woods across the street.  He turned off his weed eater and looked up to see me and said, “They’s a bunch of rabbits over there.  I’m going to have me some good Brunswick stew this winter.  You wait and see.”

We talked a few minutes about how he should prune his ten foot tall and wide knockout rose, and then, he said, “bring that there camera down back and I’ll show you my real garden.”  We walked around the house and I saw the vegetable garden at the bottom of the hill.  It is about a 30 by 30 foot area prepared by using cross ties and filled with a good compost I had gotten him a couple of years ago.

I looked down the hill at the raised vegetable garden.
I looked down the hill at the raised vegetable garden.

The crossties hold everything together, and the compost is well mulched with wood chips that were provided free by a local tree surgeon.  The tree surgeon was happy to have a place to dump the chips and Bud was glad to get them.  “The chips really hold in the moisture” he said, “and that there dirt keeps on getting better and better every year. I add a little manure every time I take a notion to, but I make sure it is well rotted.”

Crossties hold in the compost. Note the mulch of wood chips.
Crossties hold in the compost. Note the mulch of wood chips.

On the east side of the garden is a seven foot high trellis of beans. They sort of form a back “wall” for the project.  Bud said they are “Blue Lake Runners” and that they produce until they freeze and that, “it takes a really good freeze to kill them.”  I asked where all the beans were and he said, “Helen picks everything every day and puts them up.  The more you pick, the more you get.  Look at them vines, they’re still blooming.  That means more and more beans.”

Beans.  Blue Lake Runners produce until they freeze if you keep them picked.
Beans. Blue Lake Runners produce until they freeze if you keep them picked.

The tomato plants have a good bit of dried up leaves low and inside, but the tops are a lush green with lots of flowers.  Bud had already picked me a bagfull of tomatoes and peppers because “I knowed you was coming.”

Tomatoes will keep producing all summer if you keep the tomatoes picked.
Tomatoes will keep producing all summer if you keep the tomatoes picked.

The peppers were loaded with fruits ranging from dark green to dark red.  I took a big bite of a beautiful jalapeno and smiled as the top of my head broke out in sweat, allowing the warm breeze to cool me off.  I was told that there were four kinds of Cayenne peppers

Cayenne peppers almost ready for harvest
Cayenne peppers almost ready for harvest

I noticed a lot of lush and beautiful sweet banana peppers.  Bud said, “If you plant the hot and the mild peppers together, the sweet bananas get a little heat to them.  That makes them better when we make our year’s supply of ‘chow chow’ next month. I just naturally got to have chow chow with my black eyed peas and hog jowl.”

Sweet banana peppers are an essential for chow chow.
Sweet banana peppers are an essential for chow chow.

I saw some young okra plants and was told that they would probably produce a crop of late okra if the heat held up.

Young okra plants in August.
Young okra plants in August.

Bud had given me a carton of “aigs” not long ago that looked like Easter eggs.  They were all kinds of different colors and almost too pretty to eat.  When I cooked them and ate them, they didn’t taste the same as the ones from the grocery store.  Bud has fresh eggs all the time.  The chickens were hiding in the shade.

The chickens were hiding in the shade
The chickens were hiding in the shade

I got to thinking and I asked, “What do you do with all of the produce?  We’re talking a lot of food here.”  He grinned and took me to one of his sheds.  I walked inside and looked around. I was impressed to say the least.

I couldn't believe the racks of preserved vegetables and fruits.
I couldn’t believe the racks of preserved vegetables and fruits.

Bud pointed to a stack of boxes.  “Every morning, Helen comes in here and gets a couple of empty boxes.  Every evening, when I come home from work, I carry the full boxes out here from the house and try to find a place to put the jars.” He pointed to one jar which radiated bright yellow, “look at that pickled yaller squash.  I love that stuff. We got enough food here to last the winter without going to the store much.  We give a lot of it away, too.”

"We ain't gonna go hungry.  We give away what we can't eat."
“We ain’t gonna go hungry. We give away what we can’t eat.”

Bud grinned and said, “remember the other day when I told you about all them catfish me and the grandyounguns caught up in the pocket?  Lookie here.”  He opened the freezer and showed me bag after bag of filleted catfish.  “We’re gonna have us one more fish fry one day pretty soon.” The freezer was packed with meats and vegetables from the current season.

"I'm gonna have me a big fish fry one day.  Nothing is better than these here catfish fillets all fried up"
“I’m gonna have me a big fish fry one day. Nothing is better than these here catfish fillets all fried up”

If you follow this blog you will know that I always go looking for garden art.  Bud’s yard contained an interesting collection.  I asked about the little boy with no hands and Bud said, “Wa’al, them rich folks always have old stuff that’s kindly broken.  I figured I could have some, too.  I might get around to gluing them hands on one day, I reckon…well, maybe.”

"I'm gonna glue them hands back on one day....maybe"
“I’m gonna glue them hands back on one day….maybe”

The front porch is graced by a pair of almost welcoming cement dogs.  I kind of liked the idea of a big old dog bringing momma a basket of flowers.

A front porch sentry with a touch of class.  "I brought you these flowers, ma'am."
A front porch sentry with a touch of class. “I brought you these flowers, ma’am.”

There have been a lot of conversations around a pitcher of sweet tea held on this shady front porch.  Bud says, “come on by and set a spell.”

A nice front porch.  "Y'all come set a spell and have some sweet tea, Y'hear?"
A nice front porch. “Y’all come set a spell and have some sweet tea, Y’hear?”

In the winter month, Bud said he grows, “turnip greens, radishes, spinach, carrots, beets, collards, English peas, and lots of other stuff.  It is a year-round garden.”

A couple of years ago when I was writing my book, Bud and I had a lot of discussions on the topic of “just what is a redneck.”  He helped me immensely with my research. One of the characters in the book that came from our conversations is Louann. Everyone who read the book loved Louann. To read about her, –-CLICK HERE

I hope you enjoyed the garden tour.  This garden shows that all you need is some scrounging ability, a little hard work, and a big grin to be successful with your garden.

***************

Would you like a consultation with johntheplantman in your yard?Contact John Schulz BY EMAIL

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

Redemption is on the way!!!

Redemption for a Redneck is on the way!!!

 That’s right, the books are on a truck somewhere between the printer and good ol’ Rome, Georgia.  It is a wonderful feeling to think that in just a couple of days I will hold the results of a year’s creative work in my hands.

 It’s a good read, too. Here’s what Ray Atkins has to say in a pre-publication review:

“In Redemption for a Redneck—the sequel to the award-winning Requiem for a Redneck—John P. Schulz reunites us with John the Plant Man and Kickstand as the two men continue their philosophical examination of the unique culture of rural Georgia.  Schultz is a natural storyteller, and he treats his subject with kindness and respect.  His characters—Boss Jack, Pork Chop, Brickyard, and Roadkill, to name but a few—will entertain readers of all ages.  Mark Twain, make some room; you have company.  John P. Schulz has arrived, and he intends to stay awhile”.–Raymond L. Atkins, author of The Front Porch Prophet and Sorrow Wood.

 And there’s a new blogsite for my books. You may see it here

 

Redemption for a Redneck--a new novel by John P. Schulz

Click on the picture for more info.

 

 Thanks for being a fan of John the Plant Man. I appreciate it.

john

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

Progress Report

Progress report

 I will not have a plant post up this week and probably not next week because I am spending my writing time working on another site to introduce Redemption for a Redneck, the second in what I propose to be The Redneck Trilogy.

 A lot of people have told me how much they enjoyed Requiem for a Redneck and if you are one of them you will like the new book even more—I guarantee it.

 The files for Redemption have been sent to the printer and the book should be available soon. I’ll tell you about it right here on Johntheplantman. The story started in my mind as I looked at one of my favorite pictures of me, my wife, and Speck the coon dog. My son, Paul, came in one day with a true account of a bunch of rednecks on a coon hunt that ended up in a gated community and the story started to take shape.

 Here’s what Raymond Atkins has to say:

In Redemption for a Redneck—the sequel to the award-winning Requiem for a Redneck—John P. Schulz reunites us with John the Plant Man and Kickstand as the two men continue their philosophical examination of the unique culture of rural Georgia.  Schultz is a natural storyteller, and he treats his subject with kindness and respect.  His characters—Boss Jack, Pork Chop, Brickyard, and Roadkill, to name but a few—will entertain readers of all ages.  Mark Twain, make some room; you have company.  John P. Schulz has arrived, and he intends to stay awhile.–Raymond L.Atkins, author of The Front Porch Prophet and Sorrow Wood.

 And here’s the picture that started the story. I’ll see you in a week or two. All is well

 

 

The premise was: "What if a coon dog brought two people together through adversity?"

The premise was: “What if a coon dog brought two people together through adversity?” The answer is funny and intriguing.

Stay in touch. I’ll announce the arrival of the book soon.

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

Pimp Your Lawnmower–Redneck style

Pimp Your Lawnmower, Redneck style—-I am told that I am known as a pretty good writer of fiction and that’s why I had to get out my trusty camera for this article.  I don’t think a thousand words would have told the story. Here’s what happened.

The other day I had a helper working on my plant hospital at my aluminum office trailer which is out in the country and I’m not going to tell you where.  I like it private. I was on a sales call and my helper, Henry, was at the office using the truck to move dead plants and pots of dirt to the other side of the lot. Now, Henry means well, and he’s a good helper, but I still can’t figure out how he could get the truck stuck on level ground in the middle of a drought. But he did.  He called

“John, I got a problem. I got the truck stuck.”

I answered, “That’s all right, Henry because we got neighbors on both sides just praying for a reason to crank their tractors.” I thought for a minute and continued, “Just use the wheelbarrow until I get there, I’m on the way.”

 I was driving down the road just past the jail, heading toward the office when the phone rang again. It was Mr. Duck.  Mr. Duck lives on one side of the office and Bud lives on the other. Travis lives across the street from Mr. Duck. I call the three of them my “burglar alarms.” Nothing goes on out there that one or the other of them doesn’t see.

Mr. Duck said, “John, something’s wrong, there’s a guy out there pushing a wheelbarrow around the other side of the aluminum office trailer and there ain’t neither one of your trucks there.”

I replied, “It’s OK, Duck. That’s Henry. He’s got the truck stuck and I’m just passing the jail—almost there.”

And Mr. Duck said, “Awww, Man, I’m on it, John, I’ll get me a chain and crank the tractor.”

 Well, Mr. Duck was pulling in the driveway on his Massey Ferguson when I got there and we went around back to where Henry had backed into the only possible hole in the whole yard.  Mr. Duck started backing his tractor up to my truck and that was when I noticed Travis, sitting over to the side on his riding lawnmower with a Natural Lite in his hand. Travis is a good guy and he had already heard about the stuck truck emergency.  Travis had dropped everything but his Natural Lite, clumb on his riding mower, and rushed over to help. He got off his mower and got on his knees to hook up the chain. He had to tie the chain and on the first pull, the knot in the chain came loose. Travis tied it again, looked at me grinning and said, “Tight, ain’t it?” Then he turned toward the tractor and yelled,“Duck, how come you didn’t bring no damn hooks?” and Mr. Duck said it was an emergency and he had got in a hurry and forgot.

But the truck came out of the hole just fine and the emergency was over. I gave Mr. Duck some pots of red begonias and he headed home.

That’s when I really noticed Travis’ lawnmower.  I quickly whispered to Henry to run real fast and get me the camera out of the truck. It was relatively to keep Travis talking while I waited for the camera. I found that he loved to talk about his lawnmower.

I saw a machete fixed on the right side of the mower and asked about it. Travis pulled it out of the holder, raised it up, and said, “It’s in case there’s any snakes hanging out of the trees. ‘Course, it could be for lots of things that I don’t like. This here cutter is razor sharp.”

Travis loves his riding mower

Travis loves his riding mower

I took a good look at the machete holder and remembered that if there’s anything a good redneck likes better than duct tape, it’s drywall screws. Every good redneck had a “deewalt” screwdriver to drive them in with, too. It doesn’t seem to matter what brand a deewalt is, either. It can be made by Sears and Roebuck, but it’s still a deewalt. Here’s the rig:

A machete mounted with drywall screws

A machete mounted with drywall screws

And here’s a close up of the machete rig showing the wire that finishes it off

Close up of machete mount

Close up of machete mount

I next noticed that he had his weedeater mounted under the seat so it would be handy if he needed it.

A weed eater mounted on the mower for easy access

A weed eater mounted on the mower for easy access

I looked at the drywall screws again, thought about it and asked, “Well, where’s the “duck tape”? I know there’s some around here somewhere.” Travis replied that he was a firm believer in duck tape and that he was getting an extra mile out of one of his boots. He put his boot on the hood of the mower.

get more mileage outa them boots with duct tape

get more mileage outa them boots with duct tape

I asked him what that was that was wrapped up in a K mart plastic bag on the front of the mower hood. He replied, “It’s a spotlight. Sometimes I got to go spotlight a coon or a burglar for some of the neighbors. The headlights is good enough for driving, but I need the spotlight to find the coons in a corn patch. It cuts on with a toggle switch hooked in to the battery behind the seat.”

Spotlight mounted on mower for spotting burglars or raccoons

Spotlight mounted on mower for spotting burglars or raccoons

I could tell that Travis was about ready to leave as he reached down with his left hand. I had to look around the other side of the mower to see his cup holder (substitute “beer holder” if you like). It’s made from a cut off plastic bottle and mounted with—you guessed it—two drywall screws.

Amazing what you can do with a plastic bottle and drywall screws

Amazing what you can do with a plastic bottle and drywall screws

I got a little closer for a more detailed look.  What genius!!!

Cup holder on a riding mower

Cup holder on a riding mower

I asked Travis where his beer cooler was and he said, “It’s at the house. I’ll drive this here mower and drink me a beer until I’m finished with the Natchal Lite. Then it’s time for a break and I gots to get off the mower and git me another one.

Travis said he “couldn’t stay no longer ’cause it was time for a beer break and he had to go home and get one. I thanked him for the help and watched as he drove down the driveway. I guess he had decided to work on his tan

Jtpm…7/10/11

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

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