Tales Around The
Pot Belly Stove
(chat about your
On this page I will be sharing some of the tales that I recall from my youth, where I spent
a great deal of time in our family's general store. These narratives are not intended
to be entirely accurate, due to the years that strain my memory. I never realized until this website,
that people have always sought out and enjoyed the spirit of competition, in whatever venue suits
their environment. Because this site is dedicated to golf, I will
attempt to make a correlation between these tales and golf. If you enjoy reading these stories from generations past, bookmark this page, as I will be adding more from time to time.
The Favorite Pastime Has Changed
(sitting at the 19th hole after
a round of golf)
Smith's General Store was a gathering place for the local codgers to come by and loaf, chewing tobacco,
rubbing their snuff, smoking cigars or pipes and gossiping or spinning their tales. Back in those days,
smoking was acceptable. There was always a checker board resting on an empty nail keg, awaiting the
next challengers to the two wooden benches and rocking chair next to the pot belly stove.
Let the Tales Begin
(a round of poker or gin rummy)
As the tales would start flowing, the tobacco juice would too. The pot belly stove was fueled with coal
and we had a coal shed just off the side of our store, which was accessible from the inside. It
was the responsibility of my brother and me, to keep the galvanized bucket full of coal and have it
sitting in front of the stove.
The coal bucket also served as a spittoon. One wintery Saturday morning, the crowd was gathering and
I had just placed a freshly filled coal bucket in front of the stove. A couple of men were playing checkers
and two or three were sitting on the benches telling their stories.
Move The Bucket!
(the rakes are beside the
sandtrap for a reason)
Clem, who had just put in a fresh chew of mail pouch, spit his first load of juice, missing the bucket and
hitting the floor. Dad scooted the coal bucket a little closer to Clem with his foot. In a few minutes, Clem
let loose with another load of spit, again missing the bucket and hitting the floor with a splat! Again, Dad
moved the bucket closer, in hopes that Clem would get the message.
Speak Up and Say
What's on Your Mind
(the rakes are put around
the traps for you to use them)
Then a third time, Clem missed the bucket and hit the floor. By this time, Dad was getting a little
hot under the collar and with a little more determination, he scooted the bucket close enough to almost touch Clem's
feet. Clem let another load fly right over top of the bucket, landing with a splash on the floor. Wiping the dribble
from his chin he said, "Bob, if you don't move that danged bucket, I'm goin' a hav'ta spit in it!"
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