The old Melrose Schoolhouse No. 1 site is across the road from where I live. In the early 1900s, the school was replaced with Melrose School No. 2 below Colbert Heights. It burned one Christmas Day; all that is left are two sets of steps in the woods. Melrose No. 1 was turned into a house for sharecroppers by the owner of the property on which it sat. Years ago it fell into a sink hole. Now a clump of trees mark the spot in the field where it used to stand.
One day one of the renters and his brother were drinking moonshine very heavily. After a long period of sitting on the porch drinking, both weren’t feeling much pain. They spied a stray pig in the yard and after some effort caught it. Since the renter had his own pig and his brother didn’t, they decided to have a hog killing.
A few days later when the first brother regained sobriety he got to looking for his pig and couldn’t find it anywhere. At some point he realized that the stray pig wasn’t a stray after all, but his pig. He went over to his brother’s house demanding his hog back without any luck. Thus the start of a family feud.
The moral of the story is that if you steal a pig, make sure it’s not your own.
While I’m on the subject, another neighbor down the road a little ways decided to burn off his yard as a lot of the other folks used to do around here. You don’t see it done that much anymore. The disadvantages far outweigh the advantages in the studies I’ve seen.
A friend came over to help the neighbor, and they had several rounds of moonshine before starting the job. They got to feeling very good and decided to take care of the yard. Things got out of hand and they ended up catching the house on fire. They started arguing and then resorted to fisticuffs while the house went up in flames.
Since our county went wet, you don’t see much shine. Not that there aren’t any stills, you just don’t hear about it.
Spring has sprung, sorta, I hope. Back in February, we had temperatures in the high 60s. The next day we had up to 8 inches of snow with temperatures in the 20s. Such as the later winter weather in Alabama. If you don’t like what Mother Nature is giving, wait 12 hours and you’ll get something different. Usually we get sleet and ice, but this was actual snow. It was so pretty coating everything. It took me 470 photographs before I made it home. The next morning I started at 6:30 and took around 200 photos on the way to the hospital. The Stagecoach stop, Tuscumbia Depot, Colbert County Courthouse, Winston Home at Deshler High School, and Locust Hills in Tuscumbia and, in Florence, the W.C. Handy Home and the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd designed home in Alabama, were particularly beautiful.
The next week we had a repeat, only this time it was the typical sleet and ice. Driving in the stuff doesn’t worry me; it’s the idiots out there who think they can still drive 70 on it when it melts just a little.
I was lucky to be able to photograph at the Jake Landers Bluegrass Music Festival. Special guest was mandolin legend Herschel Sizemore.
At the Ronnie McDowell concert benefiting the historic Roxy Theater in Russellvile, McDowell was joined on stage by music legend songwriter Earl “Peanut” Montgomery. Peanut songs were recorded by a number of country music stars such as George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Tanya Tucker, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Hank Williams Jr., Barbara Mandrell, Johnny Paycheck, Jody Miller, Merle Haggard, Eddie Arnold, Mel Street, Jimmie Davis, Bobby Bare, David Houston, Sammie Smith, Freddie Hart, Connie Smith, Melba Montgomery and many others. George Jones alone recorded 70 of Montgomery's songs.
After the show I was asked to take a photo of McDowell with the Franklin County Arts Council and staff of the Roxy in front of the building. As I was fiddling with another woman's camera, everyone started screaming. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a van coming at me. I moved out of the way and with everyone yelling at him about the speed limit, he stopped long enough for a policeman in the group to run and knock on his window telling him not to move. I heard later he was arrested and his van towed. I’m just glad we got him stopped before he got out on the main road and hurt someone.
Daffodils and star magnolias are almost finished blooming here. Dogwoods and tulips are thinking about blooming. Corn was being planted Saturday even with freezing overnight temperatures going into Sunday. The Hooligans have been busy chasing rats and mice and leaving the presents at the end of the driveway for me to dispose of. I missed one and didn’t find the rat until I mowed over it. I finally had to put the riding mower up. The odor just kept following me.
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