by: Eddie Trapp
A few days ago we lost Grundy. That’s what some of us at East Delta School called Steve Fisher. Don’t know where it came from, what it means, or who started it but Grundy will be missed by all. Grover Nabors said he thought one of Steve’s brothers gave him the nickname. There’s lots of stories we could tell. His family lived down a dirt road over a mile south of the East Delta School. When the road was muddy the bus couldn’t get down there and many times Steve and several of his brothers and sisters would ride horses to school and tie them to the fence a few hundred yards away on the south side of the school ground. Steve always liked to work on and drive cars. No, he liked to drive fast cars. Guy Viser had a 1950 Ford and somewhere in the Sixties thought it was worn out. Sold it to Steve who managed to get the coughing, struggling car home under a shade tree. After a few hours Steve and the Ford were back at Charleston but the car wasn’t struggling anymore. Steve was burning off and doing donuts on the square and around the store. Guy was running the store at that time and came out on the porch. While his old Ford squealed tires and stirred up dirt, Guy scratched his head and said, “If I’d a known my old car could a done that I never would a sold it.” Grundy was a top rate mechanic, and person. Maybe now he’s cruising along in a ’57 Chevy along that big highway in the sky.
Mark Owen bought a boat a few years ago and on the side was written, “Garland Fire Department.” Attached to the boat was a nylon rope with a baseball size knot in one end. When a scoutmaster I saw that knot in a book and knew it had something to do with the word “monkey.” Checking the internet I found the monkey fist, or monkey paw, knot. Again, it looks like a baseball fastened on the end of a quarter inch rope. Imagine swinging something like that around. Sailors in port would sometimes carry a short section of rope with a monkey fist on the end. Used it for protection and called it a “slungshot.” It did have a purpose on ships as it was “slung” from one boat to another when they wanted to join up. Like you can’t throw a rope over a tree limb very well unless there is a weight fastened to the end. Somehow this knot became the symbol of solidarity among the hobo community. Maybe many of them carried a monkey fist for protection as they traveled. Look up the unusual monkey fist knot on the internet to see what it looks like and how to tie it.
April 18 I drove to Bud Skinner’s bait shop and as I pulled into the gravel driveway a baby killdeer and one of the parents scurried out of the way. Seems a little early for the babies. It was smaller than a house sparrow but could really run. Birds can be placed in one of two groups, precocial or altricial. Precocial starts out with preco like precooked food. It is ready to go. Birds that nest on the ground are usually precocial. They have feathers, strong muscles, and are able to leave the nest soon after hatching. Birds such as quail, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and such need to leave the nest as soon as possible to lessen the chance of predators finding them. Their eggs must be larger in order to accommodate feathers and muscles. Notice these birds spend more time walking or swimming so it is easier for them to carry a larger egg until laying time.
Birds nesting up off the ground are called altricial and don’t need to leave the nest so soon since they are more protected. Therefore they don’t need feathers and big muscles as soon. When they hatch they are naked and have weak muscles, barely able to hold their heads up. That works out just right, allowing the eggs to be smaller at laying time. These birds spend much more time flying and could not manage the added weight of larger eggs as well.
April 19 as Jean sat on our porch she heard wild turkeys gobbling three separate times off in South Sulphur river bottom. In some years past we have had a spring turkey season but my 2011-2012 annual hunting guide shows Delta County turkey season to be closed this year. Sunday, near Vasco I saw a Swainson’s hawk carrying a two foot long snake as it flew across a pasture. A roadrunner was southeast of Charleston near the Arch Schultz home place.
This high tech stuff still continues to amaze many of us old timers. Some kind of charity fund is experimenting with raising money in Austin. A homeless person wears a backpack containing a device that allows Wi-Fi connection. The homeless person wears a t shirt that reads, “I am a Wi-Fi hot spot.” You can have fifteen minutes connection for your laptop from as far away as thirty feet for two dollars. I suppose the backpack carrier gets part of the two dollars.
Also along the high tech theme, do you know about smart car rental? You know, the little tiny cars that only have front seats. You can rent them by the hour, day, week, or month. When you finish with one of them you park it somewhere and forget about it. When someone else needs one of these cars they look on the computer to get the closest location of one. A tracking device lets you find the little car. I guess you could leave them on a Wal Mart parking lot or anywhere almost.
April 30 Venus will be at its brightest in the west. Orange Mars is to the upper left of the Moon as darkness arrives. Regulus, part of Leo the Lion, is to the upper right of the Moon.
An elderly “floozie” entered a bar carrying a parrot. Said anybody that can guess its weight gets a big hug. One guy hollered, “Forty five pounds.” She answered, “That’s close enough.”