turkey tale 01

Dispatch from Janet:

You'd think I would have a good turkey story.......some turkey born with 2 heads, or duck feet, but no such luck!

So...I know this is too long for your blog, but here is one of my favorite memories that I'll share with you...

When I was four and Ronald five, we lived in a tiny little town in south Alabama. The whole town was only about a block long...a church, tiny garage, doctors' office, clothing store (my mom said she never shopped there..."I thought it looked like it would be stinky inside!" she said.)

Our house was right on "main street". There was also a school right behind our house. Ronald and I rode our bicycles all over town ( I remember my bike seeming so big, but they must have been those tiny little kid bikes. )The main street actually came to a dead end at the little garage. I remember trying to hide myself behind a tiny little pole, when my Dad came looking for us once, which he did daily.

Anyhow, the only gas station was right outside of town on the other side of the railroad tracks . The people who owned it, lived in a little house attached to the back of the station, which was one of those ol' creaky wooden floored stores with a penny candy counter inside.

Remember, "back in the day", you didn't have to get out of your car to pump gas, someone pumped it for you, which was a good thing because the people who owned the store, had a HUMUNGOUS(spell?) turkey who patrolled the yard. He would puff up his feathers in all of their terrifying splendor,chase you down, and flog the hell out of you! You'd think just the idea of that would be enough to deter any adult, but the lure of the glorious penny candy counter would be too much for me and Ronald. "Mom, can we have change...please?"

We'd peer out the window... "I don't see him... run! " Across the lot we'd fly, legs pumping, up onto the porch, careening into the screen door..."open it, Quick!". And then, inside.... to BB bats, bubble gum, and that wonderful banana flavored square candy that could break a tooth!....
But then... you had to get back to the car!

We'd crack open the door. "...uh,I don't see him ...RUN!" Off the porch we'd fly, holding our little candy sack in a death grip, and then, half way to the car, there he'd be!

"aaAArrgh! aaAARRRGH!" we'd scream to the top of our lungs! "Run! Run!" and like a bat out of hell we'd fly, almost feeling those evil turkey claws on our backs . BUT, just in the nick of time, our wonderful mom would fling open the car door. "Hurry, Hurry, get in!" And we would. And penny candy never tasted so good!

A few more memories from back then...

The people all seemed to have names like Teera, and Elvira, or like Malva the old lady next door, who never seemed to learn our name ( because whenever Ronald or I walked by, she called out from her porch,"Hey Cooter, come on up here!")...and instead of saying "get in the car", they said "Get on the car" (how crazy...have you ever heard of such?) "My mom would always reply, "You can ride on top if you want, but I'm getting inside!"

I guess we worried my poor mom to death. We were forever sneaking out of our yard, catching giant tadpoles in the little creek by the school, and roaming all over.

But, my favorite memory is....wandering into the little church one day. They were filling the baptismal for the following Sundays' baptisms. The water was running very slowly, but it was already plenty deep enough for a wading pool,maybe knee deep, plus, there were perfect little steps calling our name. A swimming pool! Just for us!

Years later ( after I had my own kids) we were on our way to Florida. We took a little detour, so I could show them the town. Sadly, it was gone! The road was grown up in weeds, and there were the remains of a few old buildings. The school was still there...and the little church...AND...our house! Smaller than I had remembered, graying, and slightly teetering to the right. I took a picture!

it seems crazy to let kids our age run all over (even if it was only in the span of a block or so), but we didn't know anything about perverts back then!

and my uncle seems to think the expression, "get on the car", came from way way back, when old cars were "cut down" in some way and a makeshift truck of sorts made to use on the farm. It was a farming community where we lived...I remember peanut fields everywhere.

(editor's note: Send the pic of the graying teetering house!)


Benny said...

I love you, Janet!
I almost spit coffee reading about the turkey attack.
I have two friends from Dothan who always said "get on the car", and "Who's car you goin' on?" "We're going on my car to the beach."


Benny said...

By the way, why do they have to make this so complicated with all the "open ID and the little pictures, and all that crap you have to wade through before you get the box that says "name"


Mark Martin said...


It's all this "social networking" crap. Apparently MOST people love all this junk, so blogger is trying to be more like that hideous nightmare of confusion MySpace.

RHoward said...

One little addendum to Janet's story....In addition to the attack turkey this store also had a stuffed kangaroo out front (we never really knew why). For some reason it had tape around its' mouth (probably because it was in poor condition)but when we first saw it my mom wondered aloud "why does that Kangaroo have tape around its' mouth?". One of us, not sure if it was me or Janet replied..."probably because it talks too much!"

Jed said...


Where I grew up in PA, people would "outen the lights" and "red up" a room. And there was the more common "enems" as in "momenems" and "suenems". I also remember my babysitter threatenning to "tan" my "fanny", which always seemed mysterious to me. I remember visualizing actual rotary fans being involved some how.

ValGalArt said...

I have to agree with the editor that you should send in the picture, i sure would love to see a picture of this amazing little town. Wonderful story and your writing is superb because it really made me smell that bananna smell and feel those wonderful feelings of childhood again. Hilarious to boot! an illustration from your minds eye sounds like a good idea to me!!! Really great Janet i enjoyed this!