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Coon Dogs and Outhouses Volume I, Some of the stories are true, totally; some have been created from and built around one incident. I hope it's hard for the reader to distinguish between the two. Some of the names and places are real; some are not, mainly to protect the innocent as well as the guilty.

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He was the first dog I ever knew. The first memories I have of anything or anybody--the house, the yard, my parents--include him. He was as much a part of my family and my early existence as were my parents and younger brother and I loved him greatly.
My father loved to tell stories and tall tales. Some were true. Others had some elements of truth in them--maybe just enough to make the listener think they could be true, at least until toward the end of the tale. He had a way of making an observation or turning a phrase that would catch your attention and make it easy to remember. I recall one such phase at one of our Fourth of July fish fries.
My father was a great talker and storyteller. I suppose he acquired a good bit of this skill during the time he was a traveling salesman. He had several tall tales that he told on a regular basis, but what I liked best were the stories that were swapped when my uncles came to visit.
I turned fifty in 1982. For my birthday, my daughter gave me a copy of Eudora Welty's One Time, One Place. The book is a collection of photographs taken by Miss Welty during the early 1930s when she traveled over the state of Mississippi for the WPA. I grew up in Mississippi. Kimberly had recently moved there and begun a new job in Jackson. She was in the process of discovering a Mississippi that she never knew existed.
Back in the mid-fifties, Morton worked for a large company which had offices in several foreign countries. His job took him to England every month or so and he loved these "business" trips. Through his business connections, Morton became acquainted with several people who ranked fairly high on Britain's social ladder.
Now-a-days it is a joke to refer to a house as having "four rooms and a path." However, it was no joke in the 1930s in Mississippi. Most houses had a "path." This often-traveled thoroughfare usually led out behind the garden or smokehouse around a screen of elderberry bushes to the outdoor toilet. Some of the more cultured referred to it as the "privy" or "outhouse," but my family used the more earthy term "toilet."
In some ways he was just another country doctor. Of course, it was hard to find any other kind in the Mississippi Delta in the 1920s and '30s. With there being hospitals only in the larger towns like Vicksburg and Greenville, the country doctor was always the first, and in most cases the last, medical person anyone would see when illness or injury struck. It would be hard to overrate their importance.
There is documentary evidence from as far back as the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians of letters written by fathers giving advice and counsel to their children in all manner of life's situations. A few years ago, such an opportunity presented itself to me.
Robert taught fifth grade at a small elementary school located in a rural section of the county. Most of his students seldom traveled very far from home. Many had never been to Nashville even though it was only thirty miles away. For that reason he had planned a field trip to that city for them to see the Parthenon, the State Capitol, and several other interesting and educational things.
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