Monday, May 21, 2007

Some "This and That" From Uncle Zeke

Can You Tell
These Two Men

"And, if you see a man who at first you would take to be a President of the United States or the Prime Minister of England, that's me – er – er, I mean Billy the newspacker."
Clue: one is Herbert Hoover, President of the United States, 1929-1933 and the other is Patrick N. Blake er – er, I mean Billy the newspacker.

by David Parmer
Uncle Zeke wrote a news column called the "Buzzardtown News" for the Braxton Democrat from 1921 until 1936. His news column is a valuable source of history and stories from the Orlando area. However, a caveat is in order when reading an Uncle Zeke column: you never know when he is being truthful, whether he is exaggerating, or when he is down-right lying. Of course he billed himself, and his shadow self called "Billy the newspacker," as the world’s biggest liars, and always tempered his columns by saying they were meant to be humorous. The following are some selections from the pencil of Uncle Zeke.

Have You Seen These Men
"If you should happen to see a little sawed off dumpy fellow about Orlando whose legs are hardly long enough to reach from his body to the ground, that’s Fred Bee.
If you should see a person as tall as the cedars of Lebanon and as slim as Slim Jim, that’s Burton Conrad.
If you should run across a man as big as the Tower of Babylon and weighing almost a ton that’s Isaac Bennett.
Should you see a man as beautiful as Houries and as wise as Zebedee, that’s Davy Parmer.
And if you happen to see a man going around resembling a Belgian possum, that’s George Canter.
And, if you see a man who at first you would take to be a president of the United States or the Prime Minister of England, that's me – er – er, I mean Billy the newspacker."
Can’t Tell Them Apart
"Billy the newspacker says he owned a yoke of oxen one time which were so much alike in size, make and color that you couldn’t tell them apart only that the black one could out pull the white one."
Times Are A’Changing
"Times are improving some in general in, around, and about here. Uncle "Tank" Henline of Orlando now smokes a corn cob pipe; P. N. Blake made the purchase of a cake of soap (well, he needed it); Jack Skinner had two good laughs last Saturday when one had been his limit; Fred Posey and Holt Bennett sawed an armful of stove wood one day last week; Mabel Posey ordered a new ring from Sears Roebuck and Company; Grafton Riffle hauled two toothpicks to Lee Blake’s sawmill to get a dog house pattern sawed, and Eli Riffle ground three gallons of corn last Saturday."

Just Another Lie
"Billy Barnett, who says he won’t lie, started to whistle one of them cold mornings and his breath froze into a solid icicle for at least three feet long, and he broke it off and is now using it as a fire poker."
To the right is Bill Barnett, the man with the amazing icicle.
What A Bike
Clifford Hurst has bought a motorcycle from Wilford McCauley and it is rumored that Russ Riffle is making a rumble seat for it. I suppose the blamed thing is alright, leastwise I saw Percy Hinkle going through town the other day hauling it on a sled."
Wes and Maggie
Well, I suppose it must be a fact. Bill Edgell said it
was because Joe Jeffries told Pete Conley that Jess Cole said that Thad Pumphrey told Pete Sweeney that he heard Perry Francis tell George Canter that he heard Clem Crislip tell Dick
Skinner that Tom Godfrey told him it was a positive fact that Wes Posey was courting Maggie Bennett."
To the left, Tom Godfrey and to the right, Dick Skinner, are two of the many accused of gossiping about Wes & Maggie's romance.
A Swarm of Bees
"Last Friday as Walter Blake was passing through town, he encountered a swarm of bees which he claims would have filled a large washtub. He says for a while it was buzz, buzz, buzz, bang. He declares they would have settled in his whiskers if he had any. Gosh, what a stomach them bees had."
Have Some Molasses
"During molasses making at Martin Fox’s some one said that Mulligan Riffle stood by the molasses pan with a spoon and ate the cream (as Billy calls it) off of the molasses until his face got ugly."
Jesus Wept
"Some mischievous wag twisted the scripture around one time to read thusly: ‘If the Blakes and Riffles be scarcely saved, where will the ungodly Poseys and Skinners appear.’"
Another Female Driver
"As Kathleen Fox backed her car out of the garage the other day it was no trouble at all for her to take the garage door with her."
It Really is a Different Thing
"Dallas Fox has come to the conclusion that driving an automobile is one thing and going through the windshield is another thing."

Ain’t Love Grand
"A young lady [Lemoine Hamilton] was heard soliloquizing about a young man [Edward Bennett]:
A little longer here below,
Then up to Bennett’s I will go.
Half my life I’d freely give,
The other half with Ed to live.
Millions live out in New York,
But I’d rather live on Clover Fork.
This collection of Uncle Zeke's vignettes continues in the next entry. Numerous entries in this 'blog include comments by the ever-observant "Uncle Zeke." Read about the newspaper columnist and B & O Trackman P.N. Blake of Posey Run in the Oct '06 entry Uncle Zeke From Buzzard Town and the Dec '06 entry Trouble At Uncle Zeek's House.
comment 1 Donna G
I wonder what Uncle Zeke had in mind when he rewrote 1 Peter 4:18. "He put "Blakes and Riffles" in the place of "righteous" and the "Poseys and Skinners" in the place of "sinner and ungodly."

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