How many of you know Jimmy Workman? There have been several that I’ve known.
One Jim Workman was our neighbor on Swauger Valley for about 10 years. He just recently passed away and his obituary read, “In lieu of flowers – vote for Donald Trump.” You don’t see that everyday in the obituaries. Jim wass a great guy and a fine neighbor.
Now there’s another Jimmy Workman from West Portsmouth who I knew in my younger days. I knew him through Ronnie Piatt, a mutual buddy. If you knew these guys you know they were rounders. We had some times.
Ronnie recently passed away but I’m told Jimmy has surfaced again in Waverly. The last time I saw him was in Jackson County, out on 4 Mile Road in the 80’s.
Today’s thoughts go back to the 60’s to a day when Ronnie and Jimmy were visiting me out at the farm.
Dad was a fox hunter and he always had a half-dozen fox hounds. When you’re in charge of owning and maintaining a pack of animals that valuable, you develop some in-house rules and regulations.
As you know, fox hounds are a lot like fox hunters – they go out at night and come home when they want to. Even the finest of fox hounds might come in contact with some common dog and come home with more than they had in mind.
Dad, in his infinite wisdom, had his own recipe for a dog dip that was designed to cure fleas, mange, or egg suckin’. I was sworn to secrecy at a young age on the secret formula so I can only share with you that it starts with an open-top 55 gallon drum, smells like kerosene and burns like creosote.
I often refer to this as “dear ol Dad’s dreaded dog dip.” The hound’s got their dip once a year and that appeared to me to be enough to do them for a lifetime. Now, you talk about howlin’ and runnin’ like a scalded hound – this is where it originated.
As a kid, you did not want to go around acting squirmy and twisty. You might be observed by some on the farm as “needin’ a good wormin’.” If you ever (I mean just one time) got even a glimpse or whiff of this dreaded dog dip process, you don’t ( I repeat ) you don’t want to be on the receiving end of it.
What brought all this up? Well, I ran into Jimmy’s sister down at the visitor’s center on Second Street yesterday. Jimmy and I see each other about every 20 years, whether we need it or not. When I saw him in Jackson in the 80’s, we talked about a whole bunch of old tales but the one thing that seemed most vivid in Jimmy’s memory was being on the farm on Dog Dip Day.
At the time, I didn’t know how special that was. I guess I just thought that anybody that had a bunch of prized hounds probably took care of them that way. I’m just sayin’.
Dudley Wooten is the owner/operator of Wooten’s Landscaping and Nursery and can be contacted at 740-820-8210.