OPINION COLUMNS

A busted bridge and a fight that didn’t happen (… and some other unimportant stories)

By Gerre Joiner | Published Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Today at the coffee shop, we agreed that some in the bunch don’t care if the Cowboys win or lose. We wondered if Romo is as good as Jerry Jones thinks he is.

We wondered how many apple seeds are in an average apple. (Haven’t you always wanted to know?) We compared that number (google it if you’re interested) to the average number of seeds in a watermelon. Regarding the number of seeds in an average watermelon, someone reported on Google, “There aren’t thousands of seeds. It just seems like it.” (I made that up.)

Gerre Joiner

Gerre Joiner

Then Ross Mueller told a story that most of us thought might be true.

Several years ago, Ross and a workmate/friend drove daily from Decatur to a place between Sanger and Krum. On most of those daily trips, they saw an animal that looked, from a distance, like a billy goat, but it had a huge rack of horns. They never got close enough to the animal to determine exactly what it was.

They talked about it daily. Then one day they were eating at a restaurant in Krum and saw a newspaper story about a young man who had a billy goat, some deer horns, and a little time on his hands. He bolted the rack of deer horns onto the goat’s curved horns and waited to see what would happen.

What happened was a lot of people talked about the odd-looking animal, including two telephone company employees from Decatur, and the local newspaper came to investigate and wrote a front-page article about it.

Retired football coach/educator, Mark Hinson, told me about a dream he had months ago. In the dream, something happened on the football field that upset Mark.

In the dream, he reached through his face mask, pulled out his mouthpiece and threw it to the ground. In the real world, Mark reached into his mouth, grabbed his dental bridge and threw it to the floor. Turns out the bad dream cost him $500.

Then Truitt Hodges came in. We talked about welding on Christmas Day. He did some. We talked about fights he had won and lost. He’s had some. Then I asked him to help me with details regarding the time he talked a guy out of a fight.

The history is this: Truitt had fought a lot of guys in a certain family. Several years ago, a young guy came to him in a place of business in Montague County that serves beverage alcohol to the American public.

After making sure the stranger was talking to the right guy, he told Truitt he was going to whip him. Truitt asked, “Why do you want to fight?” The guy said, “Because you are Truitt Hodges, and I am a (surname here).”

Truitt asked if he knew why there had been so many fights between him and the (surname here) boys. The guy in the bar didn’t know why. Truitt informed him that the very first fight was prompted by a controversy regarding a girl and one of the (surname here) cousins.

The guy with whom Truitt was talking said, “Shoot. I don’t even like that cousin.” Truitt then said, “I’ll either fight you or buy you a beverage and call this thing off. I’m too tired to fight you. And besides … I’ve whipped everybody in your family except your grandmother. What do you say?”

The guy said, “I’ll let you buy me a drink, and we won’t fight … but I’m not scared of you.”

They had a good time nursing their beverages and talking about their scars and scrapes. The Montague County Feud was over.

For years, the (surname here) man would see Truitt, come to him and say, “I’m still not scared of you,” and smile like an old friend would do.

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

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