My uncle was named CYRUS, and he was the second younger sibling born to my Grandparents. My father was the first-born in the family of six children. As an adult, uncle CYRUS was known throughout the community as “CY.” He was (like my father) a farmer, who moonlighted as a blacksmith.
He maintained a shop in the adjacent town, that was the County Seat; some ten miles from his home. Although not a resident, he became a permanent fixture in the village on weekends and on days when wet weather prevented any work on the farm.
Every Spring, he would buy a small ad in the local newspaper to announce; “I will be in my office every Saturday and rainy days from now until further notice.” This was more or less his calling card, and would serve as notification for his customers to bring the mules and horses that were in need of new shoes to his office on the appointed days.
One of the quirks of my uncle was that he would never leave the house without his hat. He was also extremely ticklish in the vicinity of his neck. He usually did not wear a tie, but he always kept his shirt buttoned to the top.
Uncle “CY” became fast friends with the County Sheriff who, incidentally, dearly loved to play practical jokes on his friends and especially on uncle CYRUS. The Sheriff patrolled the town on horseback and it was not unusual for him to ride by CY’S OFFICE during his tour of duty.
On one particular Saturday, the Sheriff rode by and casually lifted uncle CY’S hat from his head and hung it on his saddle horn. (Now, you have got to know that the nearest that uncle CYRUS ever came to using profanity was to use the word “DAN.”) For the rest of that day, uncle CYRUS worked bare-headed and was constantly heard to mutter “DANNIT, IF I EVER GET MY HANDS ON THAT SHERIFF, I’LL KILL HIM; EVEN IF HE LOCKS ME UP!”
Shortly after I began dating the girl who later became my wife, she accompanied me to the annual homecoming service at our church. After preaching, and before the ‘dinner on the grounds’, I pointed to uncle CYRUS and told Sue that he was my favorite uncle and if she wanted to make an impression on him; she should hug his neck.
Can you imagine the shock she experienced when she sought the acceptance from my favorite relative, and wrapped her arms around his neck. He immediately whirled around and said; “DANNIT; IF YOU TOUCH ME AGAIN, I’LL KILL YOU!” Needless to say; it was years before she would as much as shake hands with anyone else in the community.
She was a town girl and was unaccustomed to the ways of us country folks. She’s a good old girl but at first, she was; and still is, just a bit “Quare.”
Perhaps this incident is why she has never believed anything I have said for all these sixty-five years. I think that she has been afraid that I have another relative who hates affection to the point that he would do bodily harm to the assailant. Therefore; she has been skeptical of most of my kinfolks.
You’ll just have to excuse me, but I hate to confuse myself with the facts.