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Bob Ferguson wrote a song, made famous by Porter Wagoner back in the sixties, entitled “Carroll County Accident”. It carries me back home every time I hear it.I asked Porter one night if …
Bob Ferguson wrote a song, made famous by Porter Wagoner back in the sixties, entitled “Carroll County Accident”. It carries me back home every time I hear it.
I asked Porter one night if it was, indeed, written for our little square of West Tennessee. He replied in the affirmative. I immediately told him the song was a little misleading in that it only mentions one accident.
We had way more than that in just the few years I spent growing up there!
One crisp October afternoon I told Millicent I could not take her to the Carroll County Fair because Leon was using the car for something else. And besides, I didn’t have any money.
I accidentally ran into Graylene on the way home. She offered me a ride in the back of her Aunt Opal’s pickup the eleven miles over to the fair in Huntingdon. It just so happened that Mr. Brooks had accidentally left my check for picking cotton back at his house when he paid off Friday. I did have some money!
And I’m telling you it was the accident of all accidents running into Mary Hadley in the line at the Ferris wheel. I couldn’t tell if it was an accident or just plain out bad luck that Millicent walked by just as we were getting off the ride together!
I figure that was three and a half Carroll County accidents that Porter had not sung about. I don’t think the fact that Millicent Blackburn never spoke to me again, ever...was an accident at all!
The fire in the attic was certainly an accident. And it was all Leon’s fault. He brought the matches home. Left them right on the table. In plain sight. Anybody could walk by and pick’em up.
I didn’t dare strike one in the bedroom. Mom could smell that from the kitchen. I sneaked a couple upstairs and wondered if a baseball card would flame up or just kind of melt if you stuck a match to it. I had an extra 1959 Jerry Lumpe card. And I didn’t like the Yankees much anyway.
The answer is…it will flame up. Quicker than you think! I realized as the card blazed in my hand I didn’t have a “put it out” plan. The bathroom and kitchen sink were downstairs where Mom was keeping vigilance. Waving it real fast in hope the air would put it out only made things worse.
I was trying to get the window over the porch open with one hand when the fire lit the curtain. Good gosh, curtains burn faster than baseball cards!
You know how mothers have those “something is wrong” built in antennas… She leaped up the stairs, jerked the curtains down, grabbed what was left of Jerry Lumpe, threw open the sash and flung the burning mess half way out to the Como Road.
I grabbed a brass headboard and anchored down. It looked like I might follow the smoking trail! “It was an accident, Mom. An accident! Or maybe it was a miracle,” I needed to get creative, “Leon started this fire and I don’t think he is even home!”
I’d like to hear Porter sing that one!
The cherry bomb in the mailbox was also an accident. Oh, we meant to put the cherry bomb in there. But the plan was to blow the door open. The accident occurred when the whole dang mailbox burst apart!
The fight out in the Dixie Coffee Cup parking lot was a “misunderstanding” accident. I don’t rightly remember who threw the first punch. A carload of those Atwood boys had driven up to McKenzie to scope out the local girls. Some of us took exception just on general principle.
I was face down in the gravel when Jim Dick Crews drove up in his patrol car. I remember thinking, “How did he get here so fast, this accident just happened.” He got us all separated (thank goodness) and was reading us the riot act…in his friendly kind of way.
He finally asked the Atwood mob if they had actually seen any of our hometown girls in the daylight. It was my first inkling that he wasn’t sending anyone to jail over this altercation…uh, er…accident.
I’m not sure to this day how the goldfish accidentally jumped out of the fishpond up on the town square. And Leon running those cows into the high school auditorium turned out to be a bigger accident than I think even he intended…
Someone might need to update Porter’s song.