My uncle Cyrus was my Fathers younger brother. He was a farmer and, like daddy; moonlighted as a Blacksmith on Saturdays and during inclement weather.
He and Aunt Carrie raised five sons and two daughters. Uncle Cyrus had a couple of quirks about his dress. Number-1: He would not venture outside without his hat. Number- 2: He was extremely ticklish around his neck and would always keep the top button of his shirts fastened at all times; whether or not he was wearing a necktie. The nearest he ever came to cursing was the use of the word “DAN,” instead of DAMN.
He was a fun loving person as demonstrated by the many times when the family would be relaxing on the porch. One or another of the sons would slip behind his father and tickle his neck. This always resulted in a loud, “DAN YOUR HIDE;” and all the males would literally roll on the floor tangled in a semblance of World-Wide Wrestling.
His blacksmith shop (that he called, my office), was located in a town some ten miles from his home. When driving back and forth, he felt that 35 miles per hour was sufficient for any human and would usually have vehicles lined up behind him with shouts of, “Get outta the way,” or worse.
To assure himself that he was in compliance with the law, he sought the opinion of a friend who was a Highway Patrolman. He was told to simply pull over when traffic backed up and then continue at his chosen speed.
Once, while he was working at ‘his Office‘, his friend, the Sheriff, rode by on his horse. He simply leaned down from the saddle and calmly lifted Uncle Cyrus’ hat and hung it on the saddle horn.
“DAN YOUR HIDE! GET OFF THAT HORSE AND I’LL KILL YOU,” shouted my Uncle; much to the amusement of the audience that was usually around the workshop. The Sheriff continued his patrol with the hat while Uncle Cyrus fumed.
One of the first outings after our wedding, my young bride and I attended was homecoming service at my home church. It was customary for the congregation to gather outside after the service for a brief catch-up before the dinner on the grounds.
While taking this opportunity to introduce my new bride to relatives and friends, I whispered to her. “That tall man talking to my daddy is my favorite Uncle Cyrus. Why don’t you introduce yourself to him and hug his neck?”
With all her child-like innocence, she walked up behind him and said, “I’m Sue,” and threw her arms around his neck. The usual shout of “DAN YOUR HIDE! I’LL KILL YOU!” issued forth from Uncle Cyrus before turning to see who had committed such an infraction.
I rushed to the rescue of my bride from that monstrous man before she suffered a bad case of The Vapors;
For a number of years thereafter; all it took to push her button, was to shout, “Dan Your Hide!” The two of them did eventually become friends.
I’m not sure whether of not The County Sheriff had the nerve to again rob Uncle Cyrus of his hat; but I am certain that the two of them were life-long friends also.
Even Saturday traffic on the ten mile stretch of highway between his home and his office became accustomed to moving 35 miles per hour, as Uncle Cyrus traveled back and forth from his moonlighting job.
A true story with a moral: This was a lesson, hard learned for me. Don’t ‘EVER; EVER’ ask an innocent young bride to approach a relative in such a fashion. Dj.