Rooster & Smashing Cans

Posted in Eternal Love | 6 comments

Life was good in Bremond, Texas, and the months were moving by quickly.  Our neighbors were leaving produce on our front porch nearly every week.  They had indeed opened their hearts to us and treated us like family.

Frank became good friends with the Ag teacher at the high school. Ag was a big part of Frank’s high school days. He loved the structure that Ag taught the students that were involved in it. Also, Frank was the president of the FFA when he was a senior.

The Ag teacher approached Frank one day at school and asked him if he would like to buy some of the chickens that the Ag kids had raised for show, so Frank came home with some chickens, twelve to be exact.

Frank was carrying a large box with the young pullets inside as he told me, “Nancy, if we feed these chickens for a while, wring their necks, pluck their feathers, then we can put them in our freezer.”

Horrified at the thought of that, I replied to him, “Frank, there is no way that I am going to wring those chicken’s necks.  I have a better idea, let’s feed them then let them lay eggs for us to eat.”

Frank looked at me with so much love in his eyes then said, “Nancy, I already knew that is what you were going to say.  It looks like we have us some chickens to raise.”

So, after our discussion, we let the chickens out of the boxes into our fenced in the back yard, watched them running around for a while, then went to buy chicken feed, some large feeders, and a waterer at the Feed Store.  The man at the feed store told us to save some money by cutting some old tires in half to make feeders and waterers for the chickens.  He even had some old tires that he gave us for free.  We thanked him and paid him for the chicken feed then we went home to feed those chickens.

That afternoon while the chickens ran around in our back yard, we made them a pen next to our detached garage and cut the tires in half to hold their feed and water.  Some of the chickens were brown, and some were white, but they were too young to know if they were hens or roosters.  However, before too long, we realized that we had two roosters, one white and one brown, and the rest of the chickens were hens.  The white rooster and hens were huge, but the brown rooster and hens were small.

Every morning, I opened the chicken pen and let the chickens out into the back yard, while I put the feed and freshwater into their tires.  After that, with a big bowl of chicken feed in my arms, I would sprinkle the ground around me, and they would run to me like I was their mother.  Not sure if it was the chicken feed or what, but the white hens laid huge extra-large eggs, and all had double yolks.  Even though they were smaller, the brown hens laid extra-large eggs, but nothing like the eggs the white hens laid.  We had fresh eggs every morning for breakfast.

The white rooster was a real sweetheart and followed me around like a dog, but most of the time, the brown rooster was irritable with a lot of attitudes. Although I did everything to reassure Scotty, he was afraid of the brown rooster because the rooster would chase him pecking at his heels.  It became routine for me to put the brown rooster back in the chicken pen so Scotty could help me feed the rest of the chickens and play in the back yard.

Frank teased me about how much the feed cost and told me that the eggs the hens laid were the most expensive eggs on the market, but he loved to watch me feed the chickens, who had learned to eat the feed out of my hands.  Life was very egglicious, and we shared eggs with our neighbors.

Where’s My Rooster

One Saturday morning, Frank let me sleep in later than usual because I had a cold.  When I got up, Frank had made Scotty’s breakfast, and they had eaten, then went outside into the back yard.  Feeling still a little groggy from the cold medicine, I decided to take a shower, get dressed, and then get a cup of coffee.  While standing in the kitchen, I could see through the kitchen window that my guys were in the back yard.  Frank was standing by the BBQ pit, the pit was smoking, and Scotty was swinging on a swing on the swing set.

After eating a piece of toast then drinking some orange juice, I took my cup of coffee with me as I headed out the back door to the back yard. Frank smiled at me as I walked out of the back door then asked me if I was feeling better.  I walked over to him and hugged him, reassuring him that I was better then I walked to the swing set and hugged Scotty.  Noticing that the chickens were still in the chicken pen, I walked to the enclosure then realized that Frank and Scotty had already fed and watered the chickens, so after letting the chickens out of the pen, I walked back to where Frank was barbequing, then asked him what he was cooking.

He answered, “Chicken.”

Laughing, I said, “Not one of my chickens? Right?”

Frank did not look at me as he said, ” Nancy, now don’t get upset, but it is one of your chickens.”

Thinking he was joking with me, I told him, “That’s not funny, Dimples.”

Suddenly, I realized that Frank was not joking and looked around the yard at my chickens running around, and my heart sank as I asked him, “Frank, where is my white rooster?”

Frank walked over to me, embraced me, and then told me, “Nancy, Scotty told me that the rooster had chased him while I was in the kitchen making his breakfast and that he was afraid of the rooster.  I wrung his neck, dressed him out, and now he is on the BBQ pit.”

Instantly tears began to flow from my eyes as I said, “Frank, it was the brown rooster that chases Scotty and who he is afraid of, not my sweetheart white rooster.”

Frank hugged me tightly as I sobbed then told me, “Nancy, I am so sorry, I made a mistake.”

Once I stopped crying, Frank walked into the house then came back with a plate full of hamburger patties to cook on the BBQ pit.  With sincere concern in his voice, Frank asked me, “Nancy, do we need to give the rooster a proper burial in the back corner of the yard?  We are cooking hamburgers for lunch, and we will not be eating chicken.”

Looking at Frank wondering how my heart could love him any more than it did already, but knowing every day with him would add to my love for him, I said, “That sounds nice, and we can even make white rooster a wooden cross.”

Frank told me to go into the house until he dug a hole, and removed the rooster from the BBQ pit, buried it, and then we would have a ceremony for the rooster.  While the hamburgers cooked, Frank, Scotty, and I had a proper burial ceremony for the rooster, and then we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.

There was no way that I could stay upset with Frank about the rooster because I knew how protective he was of Scotty.  He would never let anything or anyone hurt his son.

Years later, Frank and I would laugh about the rooster fiasco.  Even though we did not own chickens after living in Bremond, sometimes I would get up on a Saturday morning, walk outside to see the BBQ pit smoking, and find him in the garage tinkering on something then ask him, “Where’s my rooster?”

Frank would laugh out loud then tell me, “Nancy Lou, we are having brisket. You know I don’t like to BBQ chicken.”

The football season ended, and the basketball season began.  Scotty and I would attend all of the basketball games to watch Frank coach and referee.  I helped out in the concession stand with Scotty by my side when Frank was not coaching because it was what a coach’s wife does in a small town.

Smashing Cans

There was an offseason program going on at the fieldhouse during the basketball season, where the athletes lifted weights to stay in shape.  Frank was concerned that there was not any music playing in the fieldhouse workout room, so he came up with an idea of how to buy a stereo system for the athletes.  Aluminum cans had become a resalable item at a few places in Waco, Texas, so Frank told the athletes to find and collect empty cans then bring them to the fieldhouse. Once the athletes had brought in enough cans, Frank informed them that he would take the aluminum cans to Waco, sale them, then buy a stereo system.

The coaches also searched for cans every chance they got.  Frank and the other three coaches had a unique way of collecting cans driving the back roads on Saturdays while looking for discarded aluminum cans.  As they drove down the back roads slowly, if they saw a can, one coach would jump out of the truck, grab the can, slam dunk it into the bed of the truck, then jump back inside. Of course, they did this all while the truck was moving and they loudly laughed.

Since Frank was the only coach with a truck, they always took our vehicle.  Frank would drive, and the head coach would ride as his shotgun.  The other coaches rode in the bed of the truck.  Scotty and I went with them one Saturday, and I laughed until tears ran down my cheeks.  Scotty rode in the back seat of the vehicle, but I rode in the bed of the truck with the other two coaches.  Not only were they looking for cans, but also they were drinking some alcoholic beverages in aluminum cans, then pitching them out the truck windows doing a hook shot over the cab of the truck into the bed of the truck.  The coaches and I in the bed of the truck were laughing and ducking continually.

The head coach rode shotgun on these can seek and search adventures. He would jump out of the passenger door, run down the road in front of the truck like a kid, yelling, “Can! Can! Can!” grab a can in the ditch, run back towards the vehicle, slam dunk the can into the truck bed, then jump back in the passenger seat, slamming the truck door closed.  I just knew that he would hurt himself, but he did not.

Between the athletes and coaches, many cans were collected, but they still had to be crushed.  There were boxes and boxes of cans at the fieldhouse, so one Saturday, Frank, Scotty, the head coach, his wife, and I decided to crush the cans and rebox them.  Some smart person had not yet invented the mounted can crusher thangy.  At this place in time, the best way to crush the cans was to place them one at a time on the ground then stomp on them.  We all did this for a while, and then we decided there had to be a better way.

Frank told us that he had an idea and told us we needed to spread all of the cans out in the parking lot.  We filled that parking lot with cans, then I asked Frank what was next, but he just laughed, then ran to our truck, started it, and began driving in circles doing some donuts on the cans.  The head coach decided to follow Frank’s lead and ran to get in his car. Laughing, I grabbed Scotty and ran to the concrete sidewalk to get out of harm’s way.  The head coach’s wife, Scotty, and I stood there watching what we hoped would not turn into a bumper car can smashing project.

Once all of the cans were smashed, we put them back into boxes, then Frank and the head coach took them to Waco and sold them.  The aluminum cans sold for enough for Frank and the coaches to buy a nice stereo for the fieldhouse workout room.

The next Monday morning the athletes were surprised when they walked into the fieldhouse to hear the sound of music playing on their new stereo system, which I am sure was playing some music by Creedence Clearwater Revival, knowing my Frank.

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6 Comments

  1. Love it! Never a dull moment with you two. 🙂 By the way, where did your “like” button go? I went to click it and couldn’t find it.

    • Absolutely true, Dianne. We were always up to something. Great times.
      Not sure about the like button, but I will find out.
      Thank you for your comment and God Bless You.
      Love
      Nancy

  2. Like button has returned from outer space! 🙂

    • Yes, my socializer had been deactivated. Lol. I reactivated it.🥰

  3. I am continually amazed at the parallels of your life and my experiences in Maine! Yet another trip down memory lane. Keep pounding away at the Keyboard!

    • Thank you so much Kim. I am still typing. I think Good Coaching, which comes from the heart and a love for the kiddos, is the same every where. I know you did an excellent job just from our discussions.
      God Bless You, My Friend,
      Nancy

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