Hello Logan County! It is so good to be here. Today and tomorrow are the last two days of the Logan County Fair. It opens at 4 p.m. each day and there is no admission fee. Check this newspaper and on the Internet for the latest schedule of events and times.
How many of you remember the “Goat Man” aka Ches McCartney? I was riding along Highway 431 between Russellville and Adairville when this man of some years ago came back in my mind. It brought a lot of smiles. An hour or so after I thought of the “Goat Man” I visited with Bill Stein and his lovely wife. I asked them if they remembered this very colorful character of Americana and Bill spoke up that he did.
The first time I saw the “Goat Man” I was nine or 10 years old and was traveling with my dad through Springfield, Tennessee. (That was before Interstate Highways had been built.) “Goat Man” was riding south on Main Street in Springfield. Traffic was backed up for a mile. He was in an old wagon covered in clanging bells, cooking ware and the like and there were goats everywhere. There were goats pulling the wagon and goats following the wagon. There were goats hanging out of the back of the wagon and in the front of the wagon. What a sight! When “Goat Man” got to the town square he pulled up in front of the court house and set up shop. People came from all directions to greet the “Goat Man” and it was like a family reunion. Many people recognized this famous man and a couple of farmers bought young goats from him. (Where ever “Goat Man” went schools along the way would let out so the students could see him and his goats.)
My dad recognized Ches McCartney and called him by name. Mr. McCartney also recognized my dad and called him by name as well. I was really surprised that this old Santa Claus looking man knew dad. (My dad was a wholesale food broker and always carried extra cases of canned meat in the back seat of our car. It seemed that dad had given the famous “Goat Man” free cases of canned meat to take on his journeys across the southeast. “Goat Man” appreciated the kind gestures and gave dad picture post cards of him and his goats.
Over the years I saw “Goat Man” five or six times. A couple of times on various highways in Tennessee, once or twice when I lived near Atlanta and one other time in Florida. The last couple of times “Goat Man” had added a small second wagon attached to the rear of the larger wagon he was in. He also added more goats in the front and in the back.
I miss seeing the “Goat Man”. I don’t miss the smell. I understand that Mr. McCartney retired in his mid to late 80s and moved into a nice nursing home near Macon, Georgia. He died in 1998 at the ripe old age of 95 to 105. (He claimed he was 105.)
I received an e-mail with the following information: The South Union Shaker Village is hosting a brand new event APPRAISAL DAY, on Saturday August 22 from 10 A.M. till 4 P.M. (Think Antique Road Show.) Accredited professional appraisers from Knoxville and Nashville will be present. For more information call 1-800-811-8379 or 1-270-542-4167. Cost is $10 fee for each appraisal.
A phone call and e-mail came to me asking that I put a notice in my column announcing that the Melodrama Theater is seeking people for try outs for their next play. The play is titled “First Baptist of Ivy Gap.” There are two male parts, one male ages 16-24 and one male 35 to 55. There are five female parts ranging from upper teens to 25 and 30 to 40. Try outs will be Friday 8-28-15, 5:30 p.m. till 8 p.m. and Saturday 8-29-15 from 1 p.m. till 3 p.m. Phone 615-417-2034. E-mail: www.melodramatheater.org the address for try outs is Willow Oak Center, 726 S. Main St., Springfield, Tennessee.
100 years ago in 1915 the average life expectancy was 47 years old. Only 14% of the homes had bath tubs. Only 8% of the homes had a telephone. There were only 8,000 cars in the USA and less than 200 miles of paved roads. (None in Logan County.) The average speed limit was 10 mph. The average wage was 22 cents per hour and $200 per year. 95% of all births were at home. 90% of the doctors had no college education. Sugar cost 4 cents a pound. Most women washed their hair only once a month. The American Flag had only 45 stars. (Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii had not yet become states.) The population of Las Vegas was 30. Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at the corner drug store. 18% of all households had domestic help.
With A Smile – Memories of after the war riding down old state line road with my parents and observing how all the families were so proud that they could charge at the local stores and how they “were keeping up with the Jones” with their new sofa, new ringer washing machine and later their new TV which were all proudly displayed on the front porch. (Practically everyone did it.)
Time to go. Good night good people and good night Mrs. Calabash where ever you are!
To contact Dick Dickerson about the Logan County News, call 615-389-5495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.