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Kountry Life Memories

Uncle Tyrus
A few months ago when I first Joined in on this fracus known as Tractor Tales, I told a story about my Uncle Tyrus and his little Farmall Cub. Well, this is another story about Uncle Tyrus. Tyrus was married to my mother's oldest sister, Arvizenia, who we all called Aunt Nener because we couldn't pronounce her name. It has been said by some folks around Morgan County, Alabama that Uncle Tyrus was the meanest, most ornery man in the entire county and beyond. That may have been true but all of us kids loved him to death. He was not always the most gentle person in the world nor was he the most soft spoken. He DID always have a soft spot for us (me, my 3 brothers and 2 sisters) and was a joy for all of us to be around. He and Aunt Nener never had any children of their own so he just kinda took all of us under his wing. He is the one that first showed me how to milk a cow and explained why it was necessary to take a bucket of warm water to the barn in order to wash the old cow's udder and teats and always carry the milk to the house in a covered pail to prevent things from falling into the milk. He was the one that showed me where to find the biggest and best fishing worms and always replace any soil that was turned over looking for them so the critters didn't step in the hole and break a leg. He taught me how to smoke and cuss and pitch horse shoes and how to hijack only the best watermelons out of somebody else's watermelon patch. (certainly not his patch) He taught me to plow a furrow as straight as any arrow with a pair of mules almost as ornery as he was and when to 'gee' or 'haw' at just the right time and just the right cuss word to say when them mules didn't react quick enough but he also taught me that they were never, and I mean never were they to be hit or struck in any way. I remember when we were cutting down a tree that had a swarm of wild honey bees in it so we could get the honey. When that tree hit the ground the bees came after us with a vengence. Uncle Tyrus was a rather large man and the sight of him heading for the hills down that dirt road with one hand pumping like a marathon runners and the other hand fanning his face with his old hat to keep the bees off was more than I could stand. I got laughing so hard, I fell over in the ditch and got stung 9 times. When I finally caught up to uncle Tyrus about a half mile down the road, he hadn't been stung once. Then he laughed at me. I remember when he worked in the rock quarry down behind the old homeplace, he would bring his lunch in his old beatup lunch bucket and leave it in the same place in the barn until time to eat dinner. When he went for his lunch bucket, he would always find it empty because every day I would hijack it and eat everything in it. I didn't find out until years later that he always brought two lunches. One for him and one for me to hijack. This morning I received an Email from my sister in Alabama telling me that Uncle Tyrus was in the hospital and the doctors didn't expect him to survive another day. At 2 PM I received a phone call informing me that the doctors were right. Uncle Tyrus passed away at 10 AM today. Although we will miss him terribly, We will not grieve for him because he no longer is feeling the pain he suffered the last few years of his life and he left us with some truely wonderful memories of 'The Meanest Man In Morgan County, Alabama.'

Jim W. (Whizz), from VA, entered 2000-01-29

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