Did I ever tell you about the time I get crossways of ol' Aaron Moss? You know Aaron. Crankiest ol' man ever walk the earth. You think I'm cranky? Spend a day with ol' Moss. No, spend five minutes with him.
Now I know Aaron since the bear come over the mountain. He 'n his daddy live over on the Clinch when I was a kid. Waal, Aaron come on out West along a th' rest a us when we all come out here in oh-three. He settle over atween Bristol and Granada, do all right. Jes' on'y hisself, ya know, ol' hard head bachelor. Never marry, luckier the women, I say.
Anyway, one miserable hot summer day, '27 I think hit was, maybe '28, me a mowin' hay on Mark's place. I have thet mower I get from Ames over to Towner. You remember Ames? Nah, not Robert, thet's not hit. What was his name? Sorta uncommon name, hit were. Oh, yes. Oren. Oren Ames, married Mildred Tuttle fum over to Lamar, y'know. Her daddy was the Express agent over there. So I have this team, Clyde and Aubrey, a pullin' 'n a ring come loose on the doubletree. Din't break off, y'know, but needin' attention afore it does.
So I'ma sittin' there on a stump, a bindin' and a twistin' some hay warr around the thang, when this rattledy ol' T-model drive up 'n stop. I first din't re-cognize thet Ford, then ol' Moss, he get out, amble over where I'ma workin', asnappin' his galluses 'n atwirlin' thet toothpick he allus have atween his teeth.
"Hey, Miller!" he say. "I see ya broke down agin, allus sump'n breakin' on account a ya too cheap ta buy new. All a time buyin' someone else's headaches."
"And a good day to you, too, Moss. Whut kin I do fer ya?" See, I know he din't come all th' way out here fer nothin'.
"I get right to the p'int. Too hot ta stand here ajawin'. I want you ta keer me back to Virginny. I jes' get word my pa die. Hunnert two year ol', he were. I need to get back 'n settle up his affairs, see he had anythin' worth savin'."
"I am sorry," says I, "for the loss a yer pa. But, no, I cannot take you back there. Aside fum my work and responsibilities, I hev no car, on'y thet ol' double T truck."
"No, no! No is not a cherce. We take my car, a course." I look at thet flivver, 'n not a recent one, either. Prolly twelve year ol' if it's a day.
"I said 'No', Aaron. Now run on into Lamar an' check about train schedules. You kin get to Kingsport on the train."
Waal, Moss allus did hev a short fuse. Hoppin' mad? I guess not! I thought he die on th' spot, a jumpin' up 'n down, beatin' his arms in th' air, a cussin' 'n a stompin'. Call me ever'thin' but a gentleman, 'n as he get to his car, he turn back and holler, "I'll get ya fer this, Miller. Jes' you wait 'n see. You'll be sorry!"
He jerk the crank, jump in an' putt on down the road. I prolly shoulda been a little skeered.
© 2014 David W. Lacy 36