Jots and Titles # 1369 by Eddie Trapp ,February 5, 2015
Recently I heard someone say that something “suited them to a T.” My little brain got to wondering where that phrase came from. Was it like a tight fitting T shirt? I just had to go to the trusty internet and found there are disagreements on the origin of the phrase. Some thought it was from the T shirt idea. Others said it came from a T square used to make perfect right angles. But, the majority agreed it was used as far back as Biblical times, much previous to T shirts and T squares. In Matthew 5: 18, “jot and tittle” are mentioned. Jot refers to the tiniest letter in the Greek alphabet. A tittle is a tiny stroke of the pen above Hebrew letters to help tell some letters from others. Think of the tiny mark on our “Q” that tells us it is not an O. So when we say something fits us to a T, we are actually saying it fits us to a tittle. Maybe we should say it fits us to a jot and a tittle, or at least say it fits us to a J and T. Nevertheless, it means “to the tiniest detail” or perfectly.
Outdoor news. Jackrabbits are fairly rare around here these days. Once there were lots of them here. Several of us would go with Doc Watson at night. The jackrabbits were located with a spotlight. Doc had some greyhounds and even a rough staghound or two. The dogs rode in a cage in the back of his pickup and when we saw a jackrabbit or a coyote, Doc would jerk a rope, the cage door would swing open, and the chase was on. There were a lot of jackrabbits up on the Scott land north of Charleston. Some of the pasture land must have been farmed at one time because there were a few terraces around. As we rode in the pickup trying to stay up with the chase, the pickup would come off the ground sometimes as we crossed a terrace. There are still a few of the jacks around since we see sometimes see one or two east of the “S curve” on 895 near Post Oak Creek. What brought all this on was I saw one run over near that curve this weekend. Hopefully it wasn’t the last one.
Saturday I was at the grocery store in Cooper gathering supplies to make a stew. My phone rang and it was a man wanting a quick hog hunt. Six men from Iowa had hunted two days near Corsicana without dogs. Just walked around or sat in deer stands. None of the six had even seen a hog. By 3:30 they were at my house and we caught our first hog at 4:15. Hog number two at 4:30. They were fired up. Unfortunately all hunts are not this successful but we did have a good afternoon. Thanks to Ty Oliver, Trenton Jones, and Casey Williams for helping me.
From my ledger. In 1987, I was doing my regular five year clean out of my billfold. (Wallet if you prefer.) Scribbled on a tiny piece of paper were some notes I jotted down while talking to Paul Trapp and Houston Elmore back in 1985. Paul said all the kids walked to school back then and for a lunch bucket almost all of them had a small lard bucket with a wire handle. In the mornings on the way to school the buckets would be packed full and there was no rattling. Along with other kinds of food was invariably a snuff glass with syrup or honey in the bottom. A biscuit or two was pushed down on top of the syrup. They would talk with each other about what they had for lunch. (Mama was a teacher and after house cleaning and teaching didn’t have time to make a lot of cakes and pies. Many days I would swap my store bought dessert to one of the Kensing kids for homemade fried sugar pies. Lots of butter and sugar. Maybe I could get a recipe from the internet.) Paul said when Nick Boyd was young he couldn’t talk plain. They would ask him what he had for lunch and he would say, “Peanut butter and kackers.” On the way home everyone’s lard bucket would really rattle as the snuff glass hit the sides of the bucket.
Houston’s maternal grandfather’s last name was Ryan. He asked Houston to go to the river with him one day to check trotlines. When Houston got home his dad, Al, wasn’t too happy and gave Houston a spanking. Maybe Houston left some chores undone before he left.
More from my ledger. Friday, January 30, 1987. Spring like weather for the last several days. Buds on elms are about to bust open. A few mosquitoes are flying around. Went by Son Chandler’s after school and got two T bone steaks. $2.80 each. After watching Miami Vice I went to the southeast corner of the Woodard Place at Longridge and set up my tent. Fried potatoes and T bone steak for breakfast. Water in the nearby river rippled and sang through the shallow water crossing.
Saturday, January 31, 1987. About a mile northeast of where I camped last night there is a shed, open on one side. Ronnie Green, Lex Huie, Jason Toon, Benton Preas, and Michael Worden spent the night there and shot guns until almost daylight. I rolled up my tent a little after sun up getting ready to go home. There was a huge frost and I forgot to cover my windshield. My heater has not worked in about three years so I set a can of lit Sterno on the dash to melt the ice. To be continued.
Retirement jokes. An older guy told some friends he had to go home and do some mechanic work. They said they didn’t know he was a mechanic. What kind of mechanic work are you going to do? He answered, “I’m gonna put a rear end in my recliner.”
One retiree was asked what he did the day before. He said, “Nothing, and I didn’t start that until dinner.”
Sam asked, “What you gonna do today?” Bill answered, “Nothing.” Sam continued, “I thought that’s what you did yesterday.” Bill said, “I didn’t get through.”