Madison County Opinion...

 June 20, 2001

By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
June 20, 2001

Frankly Speaking

Those square foods
Did you see the big news story about the Japanese growing a square watermelon? Apparently, they want to produce watermelons that will fit into the refrigerator better.
Well, they are behind in the square food race. My Uncle Judd once taught a chicken to lay a square egg. He had to, you see. He lived on the side of one of those North Georgia Mountains, and every time his chickens laid an egg, it would roll down the hill and break on a rock. So he taught that old hen to lay a square egg so it would stay in the nest.
It was a lot of effort for little results, though. The old hen refused to lay more than one egg a month. Those corners on the eggs hurt, don't you know?
Uncle Judd was a whiz at breeding animals. He had to be, living on that mountainside. He bred a herd of cows that had long legs on one side and short legs on the other. That way, the cows were able to stand up straight on the steep slopes. Of course, they could only face one way.
If they turn around, they would be lying on their sides. Uncle Judd would put the cows out of one end of the barn. They would graze around the mountain during the day, and go back into the other end of the barn that night. Milking those cows was easy. We had to milk them on the down hill side, and the hill was so steep that we milked them standing up.
I went up to visit Uncle Judd one weekend. Aunt Jenny called us in to eat and everyone sat down at the table except for Uncle Judd. He put his plate on the mantle and proceeded to eat standing up. When I asked him why, he refused to answer. Later Aunt Jenny told me what happened.
Uncle Judd went deer hunting on the mountain. But every time he tried to line up a shot, the deer would walk around the hill out of sight.
Uncle Judd got frustrated with this, so he wedged his rifle between two rocks and bent the barrel so the bullet would follow the deer around the mountain.
Well, he spotted a deer, took aim and fired. The deer ducked around the mountain and the bullet followed. The deer stumbled on a rock and the bullet missed. It continued around the mountain and eventually hit Uncle Judd in his backside! When they finally got the bullet out, he was too sore to sit.
Back to that square watermelon. I understand they cost $87 each. At that price, the Japanese square watermelon will be about as successful as Uncle Judd's square eggs.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at His email address is

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By Zach Mitcham
The Madison County Journal
June 20, 2001

A Moment with Margie

Celebrating number 22
Charles and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last week by attending a relative's out-of-town nuptials and eating out (a lot).
Miranda was serving as a bridesmaid at our cousin Sheila's wedding in Carrollton, so the Richards family packed up and headed out of town through Atlanta early Thursday afternoon to be there in time for the rehearsal dinner.
We made the drive through Atlanta in the middle of a rainstorm unscathed, checked into our hotel and headed for the rehearsal. Everything went off without a hitch and we enjoyed a wonderful sit- down dinner at the Maple Street Mansion in downtown Carrollton. If you're ever in Carrollton (the location of the State University of West Georgia), I highly recommend it.
Our dinner companion was the minister performing the ceremony. When asked where we're from, I'm always prepared to explain just where Danielsville is. But I was surprised this time to find out the reverend had not only heard of Danielsville, but had just returned from his first trip to Madison County. A history buff, he had spent some time at the government complex and the old Danielsville cemetery researching some of his ancestors. Talk about a small world.
Though there were weather warnings earlier in the day on Friday, the clouds cleared up in time for the ceremony inside the lovely old church. I don't care how many weddings I go to, I still tear up when the couple says their vows.
Afterward, it was back to the mansion's ballroom (housed inside a lovely old Victorian) for dinner and dancing. Dancing with Charles on the eve of our own anniversary was a good way to celebrate the completion of another year in our life together. We also had plenty of entertainment - the bridesmaids hoola-hooped for the crowd (Miranda hasn't lost her touch!) and the groomsmen did a little dance number to "Saturday Night Fever."
We came home Saturday morning and decided to go out to eat (again), just the two of us, for our anniversary.
After a too-big meal at Outback, we came out of the restaurant, stuffed, to find out we had a flat tire. So it turns out that at the very moment we were saying our own "I do's" 22 years ago, we were wrestling with a tire in a busy parking lot on a muggy afternoon. Boy, how times change, but at least we were together.
All in all, it was a good week, but I'm hoping things settle down a little now. After all, I'm an old married woman and I can't take too much excitement.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for the Madison County Journal.
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