A Story by Big Bro: “Me Daddy’s Uncle Fud”

Ruth (age 2) & Roy (age 45)

Ruth (age 2) & Roy (age 45)

Here’s a story that my Big Bro wrote and sent to me.  This is the unedited version.  I cannot take credit for any creative twists, original spelling, or unorthodox punctuation.
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Me Daddys Uncle Fud

 

      I come from a long line of story tellers, some have the gift. Dad certainly did.  Working in the fields Dad would sometimes stop and tell a story. I can still hear his voice and see his facial expression  when he was really getting into a tale. When I tell this story, sometimes get embarassed , especially with Dad, thinking I’m not doing it justice. It is a rare gift to have and not everyone can tell a story proper.  Most of the family has never heard Being the last in line I thought it best to write it down.

     My Daddy was born, Roy Clayton Rawls, in Weakley county Tennessee  November of 1913. Things were different back then before fast food, television, and the interstate. They talked to one another, in the stores, barbershops on street benches. Saturday night  would be spent in the parlor sitting around the radio listening to their favorite program. There was always something different, The Grand Ole Opera, The Shadow even Gunsmoke. You didn’t play the radio real loud so everyone could hear and still keep a conversation going.

  Sometimes they would tell family stories, that’s what I want to do, tell a family story. Told to me by my Dad, He could tell a story with the best of them.  This is a true story heard many times over the years.  Mom and Dad were married in 1942 when they eventually moved to Lenoir City in East Tennessee.  Dad’s family lived in West Tennessee, Paris to be exact. 

      Almost trip to West Tennessee Dad would say ” I think I’ll stop  off and see Me Uncle Fud”.   Uncle Fud was his favorite Uncle, His given name was Jewel Hedges but Dad always called him Uncle Fud.  To this day no one recalls how he got the name Fud, once I ask Dad but he didn’t know. Uncle Fud was a genuine charector, in his younger days he loved to ride the rails. He had railed to all 48 states. They use to kid him,  He had been in 49 because he went to some more than once.

  After his ramblen days were over  he got married and started to settle down. Now Uncle Fud could live anywhere, one time Dad went to visit he was living in a chicken coop.

 Dad said “It was a right nice chicken coop”. With the furniture set up pretty good.  It was just about dust when I got there, through the chicken wire I could see me Uncle in his big easy chair.  Spying me he got this big grin on his face saying come on in Roy, come on in. He looked just as comfortable as a knot on a log. You know it does sound right nice doesn’t it?

   Later Uncle fud moved  the family into a convereted garage, some where outside of Nashville. I guess he had done a considerable amount of work remolding, with every convience known to modern man.  The back yard went out for a ways but there was a cliff that dropped off about 250 feet to the river.

  One trek over the mountains we were nearing Nashville, when we heard those dreaded words, “I think I’ll stop and see Me Uncle Fud”. Nashville was our safery zone if we made it pass there we were usually home free. The trip was long enought, and when those two got together you couldn’t get them apart.  Sandy and I looked at each other like we had just lost our best friend. We pulled into his drive way but the man who answered the door wasn’t Uncle Fud. He had moved to Old Hickory, just a few miles away. He gave Dad  the address and I’m sure mom said “Roy can’t we just go on”.  Nope, I want to see me uncle, when Dad made up his mind so was yours. If you had ever taken a trip in a 48 Chrysler, with two kids, on a two lane road over the cumberland mountains you would understand why she wanted to just go on. Sandy and I didn’t want to stop but knew we would get a  famous southern deleacy R.C. coca cola and a moon pie.

   Well you know where we were headed next, off to Old Hickery we went. We finally found his place, Standing on the floor board, over the front seat I could see a little white house and picket fence. Dad said ” my uncle can’t live here, I can’t wait to hear this story”.  He had this puzzled look on his face as we got out of the car.  When we got to the front porch there was a sign on the screen door, DO NOT DISTURB PEOPLE SLEEPING.

   Dad was never one to follow directions he started knocking on the door. all of a sudden  It was like a scene from Ali Baba and the forty thieves, uncle Fud came charging towards the front door.He was trying to pull up his pants with one hand, unlock the screen door with the other and shake Dad’s hand . Somehow he managed to do all three  I don’t recall how, somethings just come natural. From the look on his face I think Dad was his favorite Nephew. He invited us in to sit a spell , Sandy and I just wanted our R. C. Cola, Mom wanted to go, and dad wanted to hear the story. Uncle Fud was right proud of his new home and started to tell us about it. Not so fast, says Dad I want to know how you came by it. 

   O.K, O.K. keep your britches on Uncle Fud says I’ll tell you. Uncle Fud was never one to hurry a story along, he was like a great painter only with words, lots and lots of words.

    Uncle Fud said, We were living in the old place and one day I heard someone knocking at the front door. I don’t get much company but sure enjoyed what I get. He answered the door and the fellow wasn’t selling anything, Uncle Fuds lucky day. I started off with pleasentries and tried to engage him in conversation.  HE had business on his mind and interrupted me asking if I  wanted to sell my house. Uncle fud wasn’t having any of this he would not sell and sent the man  packing. A few days later he retured and inquired further about the place ” Do you have running water” he ask. Huh, puffed Uncle Fud if I had running water why would I want to sell. I have a spicket in the back yard with all the water a man could want or need. Dejected he left, but a few days later  there he was again.

I’d like you to look at my place maybe we could do a little trading. As Uncle Fud would never pass on company, and trading was his middle name, he  took the mans offer and off they went to Old Hickory. When Uncle fud saw the house he knew they couldn’t trade, not even with boot, the place was just too much. It was a beautiful white house with a sitting porch and a little picket fence.

Uncle Fud was a old  horse trader he knew they couldn’t make a trade. “Nope, your place is to much, just take me home”.  About a week later the man showed up at his door step again. Well how will you trade. Now Uncle Fud was tired of being bothered with this mess and thought I’ll fix his wagon. He offered a trade he knew wouldn’t fly. so he up and says I’ll trade you even up. He was floored when the man agreed to his generous offer. Maybe Uncle fud was wrong he always thought he was a good horse trader, maybe he was a great horse trader.  As you already know there are only a few born every century. Well back to the story, they shook hands and made the trade.  This should have been the end of the story except for what happened at Uncle fuds old home. About six months later they started construction on the Old Hickory Dam.

 It backed the river up to the top of that 250 foot cliff. Dad said it made a perfect boat dock. Can you Imagine such luck, that guy must have been the luckiest fellow in

town.

  Around 1992 Dad and I went to west Tennessee for his brothers funeral. On the way we stopped in Nashville to see Uncle Fud. He no longer lived in the beautiful white house with the visiting porch he lived in a senoir apartment complex.

  WE got off the exit for Nashville and finally found the apartment. I wasn’t sure what to expect when Dad knocked on Uncle Fuds door, but I knew the adventure was about to begin.

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Now that story was a thing of beauty, and we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Thanks, Big Bro, for the family story.

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2 Responses to “A Story by Big Bro: “Me Daddy’s Uncle Fud””

  1. kari Says:

    Great story!

    Like

  2. ruthrawls Says:

    Thank goodness for these stories! You and I were born too late!

    Like

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