A coon on a log contest was featured in the 50s

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Back in the 1950s-1970s Gerald Stanton raised dogs, not as a hobby, but as a business. His dogs were somewhat unusual. They were “Coon on a Log” dogs. Some of his dogs won national honors over the years. In fact, his “Sugar Foot Stoney” was a three-time national champion.

A “Coon on a Log” contest featured a coon chained to a log on a pond or small lake. The coon was given enough chain length to walk the length of the log and more. The dog would swim out to the log and overwhelm the coon. By the way, coons properly processed and cooked were considered “delicate meals.”

Gerald’s dogs were pictured on national magazines and food packaging. Well-known writers came here often to write articles about his dogs.

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Following his retirement from the post office, Gerald devoted full time to raising his dogs.

Do you have “pet peeves?” Or do you let things just pass on by without fretting?

In my younger days, I would often get extremely upset with people and annoying events. But, now in my older years I could care less about these things even though they glare at us every day. I merely laugh at it. In fact, I find myself using that contemporary term ritfl (rolling in the floor laughing). I suppose it is because I do not find myself concerned as I did years ago.

Even though those old peeves glare up every day, I no longer let them bother me.

I am sure you read some of my earlier columns where I wrote about people, writers and broadcasters who butcher the English language. Remember what I wrote about that term “only other?” I told you there is no such word. It should be “only” one or the “other one,” not “only other one.”

Using elderly could be a costly peeve for some writers and broadcasters. They could be flirting with legal problems for improperly referring to people as elderly, especially those in their late 60s and early 70s.

A radio station host recently was heard saying, “I’m taking that writer to court for calling me ‘elderly.’” And, my research of this subject tells me that radio host is correct.

As stated, the problems lie with the fact many of these writers have never had proper journalistic schooling. There are certain things you can and cannot write.

Another example of poor taste is listing the name of a hospital where a person died. The correct terminology is “death occurred at a local hospital or at a Mobile or Pensacola hospital.” You don’t name that hospital. We like to think of our hospitals as places to recover from illness and injury, not a place of death. Hospital administrators should voice their objections to those who write in this manner.

So, when you read a story about an “elderly” person, please confront that writer and have him or her tell you how it was determined he or she is elderly.

Another sensitive area for men is “should I or should I not wear a hat?”

I wore a hat, not a cap, with my dress suit when I was 6-10 years of age. Most men always wore hats. Hats were fashionable back then. And, I suppose they are somewhat fashionable today.

Those hats worn by men back then were very wide brimmed, and the trend called for the tip of the brim be turned down, a.la., Dick Tracy. When we got into the 1980s, hats tended to have smaller brims much like hats worn by Jack Lemmon, Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer.

Hollywood, more or less, has always set the fashion for hats. Facial profile, size and shape of heads determined the hat style for the leading man. For example, some leading men with nice facial profiles did not look good in a hat. But, some with not so good profiles looked extremely nice. Back in the 1940s and 1950s some prominent actors insisted they wear hats. Men with big heads should never wear a hat.

As a young boy I heard a man telling his friends “me and this other guy are going to have a fight.” One of his friends asked him, “which hat are you wearing?” Believe me, this actually happened. You see, there was a concept that a hat made you look meaner and dominant. And some people who did have fights, wore their hats in the fights (especially true in my Perdido young days.)

Thank goodness we don’t have situations like this today. I hope we don’t.

Surely we don’t, do we?

Have you ever thought about problems a columnist sometimes has selecting subjects or just something to write about? Well, as you can tell by this column today, I simply could not “get it in gear.” I have times like this and I know some housewife will find this page ideal for wrapping fish.

Perhaps I should take on another project to go along with my weekly column. Let us say my own website. That is no big deal. I can handle it. I’ll let my wife handle the financing. She does this, anyway.

What would I call it and what would I write about? I could draw readers who would rush to the site each time they hear a siren in town. They could check it out and see what is going on. And I could add a novel offering a new chapter each week. We could call it l “Poison and Paradise On the Bayou.” Thirty years of experiences and friendships especially in south Texas, south Louisiana and south Florida filled with intrigue, mystery, descriptive scenery, satire and fiction surely would prove helpful.

But, then again, I shouldn’t be thinking like this. After all, I am one of those “elderly” people.

More next week.

Contact Lowell at exam@frontiernet.net.