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Eighteen Coons by Eddie Trapp # 1360

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From my ledger. Friday, November 21, 1986. Cooper played Kerens in area playoff game. Kerens ran the wishbone and their quarterback, Hornbuckle, runs a 4.4 in the forty. They ran option right, Hornbuckle kept the ball, and then cut back left against the grain. 6-0 Kerens. They set up to kick the extra point. The holder caught the ball, raised up, and threw slant end pass to left slotback. 8-0 Kerens. In second half we scored making it 8-6 as we missed on the try for two. The second half was a standoff but Hornbuckle scored again with ten seconds to go on the same option right play. Final score, 15-6.

Saturday, November 22, 1986. Twenty third anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. I always remember that day. Nephew Wade spent last night with us to go hunting today. Up at 3:30 this morning. Raining and lightning. Wade and I the only ones to hunt. Stopped at the Charleston Store for breakfast. Amos Walker and his friend stopped in for cigarettes and coffee. He told about a murder in Hugo. The guy had drugs and scales planted on him to make it look like a bad drug deal. Wade and I saw no deer and came out of wet woods at 10:00.

Wednesday, November 26, 1986. Coon prices are up this year so Larry came out at 7:30 tonight and we drove to Bluff Bank. The river was up and my boat had washed away when the small rope broke. Back to Dean’s at Charleston and got the “Mississippi Queen” that we rode the Mississippi River on back in ’84. Got on the water at 9:00 and started floating. Coons were really out. Arrived at Kensing’s Red Branch at 3:00 a.m. and had eighteen coons. Jean had come to pick us up and was asleep in a sleeping bag in the pickup seat.

Sunday, November 30, 1986. Hunted by myself. River still up a little. Crossed in a boat. At 9:30 an eight point buck and doe came running from the east. They stopped but the buck was behind a bush. When they took off I didn’t think I would ever see them again. When they stopped again I had a sixty yard shot and downed the small buck. First deer I ever killed with a bullet I loaded myself. Seventy five grain .243 hollow point. Tagged and gutted it. Took pictures. Got the buck on my back. Carried pack and gun in hand. Gun, pack, deer antlers hanging on limbs and vines. Finally to river and crossed in boat. Steep bank to climb so I looked for, and found, an arrowhead while resting. At the store I got the buck hung up just as Jean and the kids came by on the way home from East Delta Baptist. I thought the deer would weigh about a hundred but Joe Rakes bet me five dollars it wouldn’t weigh ninety. The rusty trusty cotton scales showed it to weigh ninety two pounds. Pack and gun weighed thirty three. Thanks, Joe. To be continued.

Now up to 2014. A few days ago I talked to Johnny Watkins about “madstones.” These magical objects were porous and seemed to be able to draw poisons out of a wound, mainly rabies germs and poisonous snake venom. You can imagine how desperate people were to try anything that gave a glimmer of hope. If the truth were known, many of the victims would have survived not because of the treatment but, in spite of it.

Johnny had seen the mention of madstones in the November, 2014 issue of the Texas Co-op Power Magazine. Some deer have a soft, porous type rock in their stomach which is prized for their ability to draw out venom and rabies germs. Some communities would pool their money and buy an expensive madstone. Before use it was boiled in milk then applied to the wound where it would “stick.” When it fell off it would be boiled again in milk and again would stick to the wound. When it quit sticking, the process was completed and the person would magically get well. One story tells of a man riding for his life to get to a madstone before he succumbed to the rabies germ. In 1879, the Galveston Daily tells of a man riding from the Panhandle for 96 hours to reach a madstone in Gainesville. For some reason the madstones lost their magical ability as modern drugs were developed.

In regard to our two day trip up through Arkansas recently I forgot to mention what I saw in Fort Smith. Seems like every time I get a sody water at a convenience store I have to rassle with those plastic lids. They roll off in the floor or stick together and you can’t separate them very easily. In a McDonald’s in Fort Smith they have a machine that solves the problem. You mash a little handle and one, yes, only one, lid comes out. I have been to two windmill greasings, four goat ropings, a baptizing at the river, and seven county fairs but now my life is complete; I have seen the perfect plastic lid machine.

Also in regard to the trip I got a letter from the Honorable Rip Templeton from downtown Sharptown southeast of Charleston. Using his map he followed our route with his finger on a twenty minute vacation. He recalls that Coach Davis Floyd was from Charleston, Arkansas. Rip had a roommate from Mena years ago that he still visits each Christmas. Played golf with him in Mena one time and they have sand on their greens.
A man was being interviewed on television. He was asked how old his father was when he died. He answered, “Who said he died? He is eighty now.” Then he was asked how old his grandfather was when he died. “Who said he died? He is a hundred now and about to marry a twenty year old.” The announcer asked, “Why in the world does he want to marry a twenty year old?” The man being interviewed said, “Who said he wanted to?”
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