Taking notes at the coffee shop

By Gerre Joiner | Published Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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I watched an instructional YouTube video recently teaching the finer points of feral hog trapping. Seems the best way to handle things is to get the hogs familiar with a feeding place prepared by the trapper, including the space inside the trap.

The hogs enter the trap, eat and leave for a few days. Then one day when all the hogs are inside the trap, the trapper closes the gate, and the hogs go wild. They’re trapped after they feel comfortable in the enclosure.

Gerre Joiner

Gerre Joiner

All these years I thought the guys at the coffee shop were afraid of telling a story when I was present, thinking it might show up in the Messenger. Well, after years of seeing my little iPad gadget and my little telephone gadget, the guys seem to be dulled to the fear that I might mention them in the paper.

They’re “comfortable.” So one day, I took notes.

I asked them to repeat things so I could make sure I got the stories right. They either didn’t care that I was taking notes for this piece or they didn’t know what I was doing. Either way, here’s what we talked about.

If you’ve been around the coffee shop group very much, you know the name of the man who came in and said with a grin, “I can whip anybody in this bunch.” One of the guys said, “You can’t whip me.” Bobby Wilson then said, “Well, I’ll just take your name off the list.” We grinned.

I showed a picture of a ladies spittoon and asked if anyone knew what it was. The Hubbard boys (Ronald and Arvel) both knew. That photo prompted discussion about snuff dipping … women dipping snuff … grandmothers dipping snuff … and how many glasses were in the kitchen that wouldn’t have been there if Grandma hadn’t been a snuff dipper.

We talked about making maple syrup. Know how many gallons of sap it takes to make a gallon of maple syrup? The guy who said the number “17” seemed to know for sure, so we all left thinking he was right.

Know how to make cane syrup? Our guys do. Even us young guys (age 66) know how now. “Skimming” the goo while it’s boiling is an important part of the process. Regarding cane syrup and Wise and Montague counties, did you know that there was a place near the present-day Carson Elementary School, owned by a man named Ryan, where cane syrup was produced for the public.

Did you know that near the town of Sunset (Montague County) was a place, owned by Howard Keith, on which cane syrup was produced? We know the Howard Keith name is correct because Wayne Long phoned two or three people before he found someone who remembered. Know what the “squeezed” canes are called after they go through the process? Delbert White says they’re called “pommey.” Might not be spelled correctly here because Delbert White spelled it for me, and he is originally from Arkansas. And he’s old as dirt.

Do you know the difference between condensed milk and evaporated milk? We do.

We had this discussion on Thanksgiving Eve, so we talked about dressing recipes, too.

Some even debated if it’s called “dressing” or “stuffing.” We discussed the proper pronunciation of the word “giblet.” The Hubbards pronounce this word with a hard “g.” Wayne Long and some others begin it with a “j” sound. Go figure. Everyone knows it’s pronounced with a “j” sound.

I am providing the preceding information (priceless and profound) free of charge. You are welcome.

Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.

One Response to “Taking notes at the coffee shop”

  1. says:

    You guys are nuts.LOL 🙂


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