OPINION COLUMNS

Skunks, coons and a not-that-lonesome man

By Gerre Joiner | Published Saturday, December 21, 2013

Well, things at the coffee shop have been interesting.

Kenny Shaw told a heartwarming story of a man who lived out in the country near their home. The story is that this man’s wife died in the ’50s. In the ’80s, the old fellow got into a pattern of complaining about being lonesome.

Gerre Joiner

Gerre Joiner

One of the old guy’s friends began trying to match him up with a companion and suggested a nice-but-not-too-pretty neighbor lady as a prospective companion. He replied, “I’m not that lonesome yet.”

When he told me this story, I said, “Kenny, I’m going to put this story in the newspaper without mentioning any names except yours, and I’m going to ask if any of the readers know the names of the lonesome man and the not-so-pretty woman.”

If you know, please email me at gerjoiner@gmail.com. The first person with a correct answer gets free coffee for a day (as long as it doesn’t cost over 53 cents).

Kenny also told me that several years ago George Dolan, longtime front-page columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, came to Greenwood to spend the day visiting in the store and chumming for material for his column.

Kenny told him the ” not that lonesome” story and Dolan included it in a column a few days later. Dolan died in 1988 after writing for the Star-Telegram for over 30 years.

We discussed the proper way to trap raccoons. Live traps seem to be the most common device. Cat food is the acceptable bait. The trapper needs to make sure the bait in the trap is more appealing and more concentrated than the peanuts buried in the peanut hay that drew them into the barn in the first place.

We also discussed the procedure for getting rid of the occasional (but very memorable) skunk that is lured by the cat food. There are plenty of wrong ways to get rid of the skunk. The most accepted procedure is to carefully get the skunk out of the trap without getting sprayed so that he can be dispensed (shot/killed) from an up-wind position.

One of our regulars bought a pistol several months ago. He owns several pistols, but this one turned out to be a very memorable one. The pistol shoots .410 shotgun shells. He purchased it for the sole purpose of killing skunks when they came up close to his country home.

One morning, he fired the pistol three times, killing the skunk. He then drove to town. He thought something was wrong with the radio in his pickup. Couldn’t hear it well. Made kind of a rumbling sound.

He was seated at the Whistle Stop when he observed that one of his two primary ears was totally not working. Considering the possibility that he might never regain the use of that ear, he made plans to: 1) see an audiologist and 2) sell the pistol. Hearing returned after about three days. The gun was sold a day or two before that, I believe.

We coffee sippers discussed grandchildren one day. The discussion was probably prompted by the presence of my two grandkids, Trinity and Reagan. We are all highly in favor of grandchildren.

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

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