High points from El Camino Real

by Chris Davis

September has finally arrived on El Camino Real and you can almost smell fall in the air. It is still mixed with the smell of sweat, but I swear you can smell fall somewhere. We’ve got football, and we’ve got hunting season, so cooler weather has to be close. Fortunately you don’t have to worry about missing it because as soon as it gets here, I’ll let you know in your six bits worth of news.
My neighbor James “Whistle” Worley passed away on Friday after a short illness. He was 85 years old and would have turned 86 this month. It seems like I was just talking to him in church a few weeks ago and now he is gone. Whistle loved old cars and his sweet wife Tommye. His visitation and services will be held at A. Frank Smith United Methodist Church on Saturday. Please keep her and their children Jimmy and Debbie, and the rest of the family in your prayers during this time of loss.
I learned a long time ago that normal isn’t always the case here in Alto especially when it comes to the weather. Last week, on Wednesday we got a good example of this. Folks had been praying for a rain to settle the dust and keep our yards alive until fall, but we got more than we asked for. The bottom fell out around 7 a.m. and we got anywhere from 6 to 8 inches of rain. It was coming down so fast the storm drains couldn’t handle it, so it came over the sidewalks and ran in to a few of the buildings in town. A rain like that was certainly a nice way to end a very hot month of August.
Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Josh Davis gave an inspiring talk to a packed house of young people and others at the First Baptist Church in Alto last week. Most of us had never met an Olympic Gold Medalist and were pretty excited about the opportunity. Josh was such a gracious man and even passed his three Olympic Gold Medals around in the church, so everyone could hold them and see them up close. I thought that was very brave of him because I certainly wouldn’t pass my Jacksonville Tomato Contest medals through a crowd of people.
A big thanks to Buddy Rice and Missy and Casey Woods for setting all of this up for our youth.
Hunting season is officially under way, so if you haven’t bought your hunting and fishing licenses you better get it done. Dove season opened on Sunday and from the looks of the pews in our area churches on Sunday, the biggest part of our area men decided to try and get their wings with a shotgun.
I must admit, I believe a big plate of fried doves with biscuits and gravy is just about as close to Heaven as you can get, but I’m sure some of our preachers would argue otherwise. I hope you enjoy a safe and productive hunting season while building lots of memories with your families.
An Alto author has a new book coming out. Terra (Jannine) Blakemore’s new novel PRIDE PROMISE is her second novel, and she is going to be having a book signing at the Stella Hill Memorial Library on September 14th from 10 until 2. If you haven’t read her first book BLESSED you should get that done, so you’ll be ready for the new one. Terra (we always called her Jannine) worked as assistant librarian here while she was in Alto High School. I remember Terra when she worked at the library, she was a sweet young lady. They say her books are very good, and I look forward to reading them and getting them signed at her book signing. This will be on the day after the Alto High School Homecoming football game, so it will also be a time to gather and visit at the library downtown.
On Saturday I decided to straighten up the barn a little and move stuff around. I was doing really well until I grabbed a hold of a stack of my political signs that were leaning against the wall. When I went to move them I looked down and a skunk was behind the signs. I screamed like a girl, jumped straight up, and ran backwards all at the same time. I know all kinds of metaphors are running through your head right now about politicians being skunks, but this was a genuine striped skunk. I spent the rest of the day planning and trying to get my courage up to go back and take care of the skunk. My wife said that if I messed with it and got sprayed I couldn’t come back in the house.
When I got my courage up I went back in with a light and shined it on the skunk and it was all curled up. I thought it might be dead and then it blinked. I did the only thing I could at this point. I Googled it. There was not one single answer that didn’t carry a high probability of being sprayed, including head shots, grabbing them by the tail, and trapping. On Monday morning I got my courage up and went out to the barn. I put a devil horse on the end of my rod and reel and hooked the signs and let out some line. I had my shotgun in one hand and my rod and reel in the other when I gave the line a yank and pulled over the signs. The skunk was gone.
The question now is, where is it? On the bright side I didn’t get sprayed and I get to stay in the house.
I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day Holiday and the official end of summer. I’ve found that sometimes just staying at home and doing nothing is the best way to spend a holiday. In the hectic world we live in, time for the simple act of relaxing is sometimes in short supply.
If you have any news or stories that you think need to be told, just give me a call or send me a note.
I’ll see ya next week! And remember, Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.