Sunday, January 30, 2011


Everyone from Bell City knows what the old liar's bench is, for those that dont Ill splain it. The old liar's bench was an old long church type pew bench that sat in front of the pool hall/cafe. Here, mostly men would gather and shoot the bull. This was a daily and nightly thing just different folks at different times. One of the regulars was a guy named Ed Cockrell. He was a single guy and worked in Bloomfield in the county government offices. There was people like Big Boy Casey, my dad Raymond Finney, Henry McCulley and a guy I have weritten about before Herb Hoover just to name a very few that participated in the discussions and pulling pranks on others.
Back in the early 60's there was lots of rummors oing around the county of sightings of mountain lions in the area. Everyone was talking about seeing this or that. This all went on in the summer, fall and starting of winter. Now Bell City School had a superintendent by the name of Homer Kinder and he was very much involved with feeding the frenzy. He was always talking about someone seeing something.
Well after a very busy week of things being spotted all over the county, it was time for the men on the liar's beench to get involved. The township road district had been putting down some new red clay gravel on old highwas 25 which is still gravel. Now if you have nver driven in new gravel it will litterally suck your car and there you will be stuck as they say "in the mud". So Ed Cockrell and a couple others got the idea one wet winter night to call Homer and tell him about a Mountail Lion beeing treedout in the Swan Pond bottoms of highway 25. So Homer grabs his hat, he always wore aa hat and said come on Kenny,his step son "Kennith Hedges" lets get out there and see the lion. So here they went down old 25 Homer going much faster than he should on a gravel road when all of a sudden he comes upon the new gravel. He got about a 150 feet out in the gravel before it bogged him down. Well Homer and Kenny got out and had to walk to the nearest house they could find with a phone, as not all folks had a phone in those days. Homer called someone who in turn got in touch with I think Herb Hoover and asked im to go pull Homer out of the mud. Well Herb goes downtown and tries to get some of the liars bench people to go with him. Naturally Ed declined to go and when Herb left to retrive Homer, Ed went home. Ed denied he ever set Homer up but later on in life he would sit around and laugh about it.
This was just another night on the old Liar's Bench where I spent much time. And excuse my typing tonight I can't hit the right keys.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Storm 1967

It is snowing pretty hard here in Bloomfield at the present. We have already got about 2-3 inches. I dont think we are supposed to get much more. I am not crazy about this stuff anyway. It brings back to many, not so good memories. Like when I was a kid. We were as poor as old "Jobs Turkey". In the winter dad didn't get to work to much and things were tough. Snow ment less with each passing day. But we weren't by ourselves, a lot of families were in the same boat. Winters were hard on a lot of people back then. The cotton patch was a way of life for many. Hard and not to rewarding. So I joined the Army in 1967. I had been out of school for 5 years already and needed some change.
I took basic training in Ft Leonard Wood Mo. I really didn't mind it too much. I was about "well a lot lighter" than I am now and the training came easy for me. Basic was a breeze. Then I got sent to Ft Devens Mass for training in the Army Security Agency where I met some buddies that like me wasn't to smart when it came to things Military. So one cold night while we were having a snow storm we were put on guard duty. Now we were guarding the Ammo dump. We were a good 1/8 mile from any of the bunkers where the ammo was stored and it was 4 below zero with a good wind blowing. Well one of us guys got the great idea that we would build a fire, so we got out and picked up some firewood. We really had a good fire going and it felt good. We didn't even need our gloves and some of the other clothing to stay warm. Well about this time the sargeant of the guard and the officer of the day made their rounds to see how things were going. When they got to our post these sons a bitches went nuts. They, naturally made us extinguish the fire and proceeded to eat the ass out of our uniforms. What do you bastards think you are doing the sargeant yelled, blow this post off the map. Get your gear and report to the CO ASAP. We were in deep trouble but it was 4 below and we really didm't give a damn. The CO chewed for an hour and threatened to court martial us. He said if we werent headed for Viet Nam we would probably be headed for the stockade. We did get an article 15 which at the time cost each one of us 30 dollars and 14 days extra duty plus restriction for 14 days. Looking back now and knowing how cold it was that night I think I would still do the same thing. We were not close enough to cause any damage and we stayed warm for a while. I don't know what happened to the other guys after that but for me I stayed warm on one of the coldest nights of my life.