My neighbor, cousin, now gone, used to have this saying: a poor man’s got poor ways. Henry was a short and stout as a fire hydrant man of many talents, arms like Popeye, quick to smile, although a crooked one. His mother and my grandfather were sister/brother. He never cussed and rarely chastised, loved his family. Wanda, his lovely wife, loved and still adores Elvis…don’t say nothn’ bad about Elvis by golly.
He was a great mechanic and never possessed over 2 cranking batteries at one time. They got pulled in and out of the Massey Ferguson with the crumpled cowling, into the two 1 ton trucks, and maybe into one of the two Simcas so we could drive to Charlotte Park Center in the cold winter Monday nights to watch pro wrestling…Henry took his wrestling seriously. He got right up on the famous promoter/announcer Big Bill Ward to give him the business, ahh the days of Rip Hawk and Swede Hansen wrestling.
He was the youngest of the children, and was the mountain rule, he inherited the home place. We logged and milled many a black gum and burr oak cross tie on that old circle saw mill, didn’t bring enough to pay the fuel bill, haha.
Henry’s and Wanda’s place was at the north bottom side of Moore Mtn, just below the very old old top ridge family orchard known as Dark Hollow.
I watch it every day driving home to see any sunlight in that dimple of shade up on the mountain next to Star Rock. It never happens, but that hole has the best spring running at 2000ft busting right out of the rock. That’s where I used to get my Brushy Mtn Limbertwig wood.
Well back to the story…I learned to graft with Henry and his brother Clifton, that’s before Clifton got to spend some free time in the old hoosegow. Instead of fancy products, we used masking tape to secure our scion wood cleft grafts, and here’s one for you…toilet wax ring as a sealer on the tips and graft union.
I’m never without a spare toilet ring.