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The Small Stuff

Collected and Edited by
Edith C. Duffy and LaVerne H. Freeman

One resident whose name has been forgotten, made the remark quoted at times, "Never went to school a day in my life; knowed enough without"!

How would a fellow with the name "Armand" get the lifelong nickname "Pete"?  Before Edwards had a school with a stage, the annual Christmas operetta was held in the auditorium of the Town Hall.  One year, a child, Armand, had a part whose character was "Pickaninny Pete".  The name stuck and always after he was known as Pete Clark.  (Katheryn F. Fuller's papers in museum)

On Maple Avenue, in a modest house, lived the Cudlips, John and Matilda, originally from Michigan.  John "died" and was prepared by the undertaker.  This was before embalming, but he applied the usual enhancing cosmetics to keep any black coloration from showing on John's face and placed him in his casket.  At the gathering of friends, the night before the funeral, John rose up in his casket saying he had to go to the bathroom.  Needless to say, not only was this a surprise to the people in attendance, the undertaker, and John, but the cosmetics permanently bleached his face destroyed all eyebrows and eyelashes, plus made it unnecessary for him to ever have to shave again!

Frank Cook, a harness maker in the village, never married and lived with his parents.  His brother, Eugene, had moved out west, so when their mother died, the funeral had to be delayed until he could be notified and make the trip back to Edwards.  Mrs. Cook's remains lay waiting for burial until finally Frank said, "Gene, or no Gene, tomorrow there is going to be a funeral at the Cook house, Mother was old when she died, she stinketh".
Frank also repaired harnesses for the farmers and would pick up the broken piece at their farms.  One night about eight o'clock he went into the barn of Warren Noble, at the edge of the village, to get a piece of harness to be repaired.  Warren told him to be sure to shut the door as it was cold night and went on to the house.  Around two in the morning, when the family was sound asleep, they heard a voice shouting, "Addie, Addie, tell Warren I got out!"
It seems that when Frank went into the barn he closed the door, then couldn't find the light switch.  He headed in the wrong direction, walked down the length of the barn, past all the cows and horses, stumbled over a box of rabbits and came to a window that looked out to the ground fifteen feet below.  He wasn't about to go out that way, so he wandered some more and finally found the door where he had entered.  Had he also taken a nap in the meantime?  (Mary Noble's papers in museum)

The story goes that when the telephones were first installed in Edwards, Urb Kerr (1850-1932), was asked to call a friend in Fine to see how it worked.  He did.  The friend said, "Why are you yelling, Urb?"  Urb answered, "Don’t you know it's all up hill from here?"  (From Memories of Marion Gore Corey)

Uri Mitchell was a local character for a long time.  He was a minister, but didn't have a regular assignment.  He was married twice, but had no family and, in later years, lived with Frank Cook on Middle Street.  His personality left much to be desired.  He was not friendly with anyone no matter how they tried to show neighborliness to him.  He was commonly referred to as "Old Man Mitchell", but not to his face.  One day Mrs. Will (Olive) Brown, who lived next door with only the driveway separating the houses, saw Mitchell outside and remarked, "It's a nice day".  In his usual surly voice, Mitchell replied, "Tell me something I don’t know".

In the 1950's Rollin Brown was still active in the operation of the local telephone company owned by his wife, Lela Campbell Todd Brown.  While out checking lines one day he mistakenly dialed the retired school principal, Guy Hall.  Guy stuttered and this problem made it easy for Rollin to recognize the person who answered on the other end of the line.  Rollin said, "Why, Guy, did your phone ring?" to which Guy answered, "W-w-w-wouldn’t have answered it if it hadn’t."
Another day Rollin inquired of a small boy the health of the boy's ailing grandfather, with whom Rollin was acquainted.  "How's your gramp?  Is he any better?" to which the boy answered, "Nope, he's a goner, burnt right to the pan."  This remark hit Rollin's funnybone and he retold this incident many times as time went on.   (LaVerne H. Freeman)

The milkman also hears humorous stories, which weren't meant to be funny by the person relating them.  Carrie Webb was an older housewife with a sick husband, so the milkman inquired about his health one morning while delivering her bottle of milk,  "How's Charlie today?"  Mrs. Webb replied, "Charlie's gone.  He died before I could get my corset on."  (LaVerne H. Freeman)

When Tom Cousins was about to be married, to Lina Woodcock, he was down at the village and a friend said, "Tom, isn't it about time for the ceremony?   Hadn’t you better be going?"  "Well," Tom answered, "There's no hurry.  They can't do anything until I get there!"  (Memories of Marion Gore Corey)

The Grace Campbell place was visited by many, as she and her mother were very hospitable.  She kept cattle and hens and sold milk, cream, butter and eggs to the Trout Lake campers.  She used to buy calves and raise them and always gave them a name.  She bought a bull of Lev Noble so that was its name.  One day in the winter, John and Caroline Gore drove up to see how she was getting along and she came to meet them with, "What do you think, John Gore, my Lev Noble has lost his tail!"  Later, Addie Noble told her husband (Warren "Tim" Noble) never to sell Grace a heifer calf as she didn’t want her telling everyone how many pounds of milk Addie Noble gave!"   (from Memories of Marion Gore Corey)

From the Grant family stories - Thomas Grant enlisted in the army in the Civil War when he was 50 years old and collected the bounty available.  He wanted to get out before his enlistment was up, so tied a string on the end of his gun and "fished".  When he was finally given his discharge, he was reputed to have said, "That's what I was fishing for!"  Many years later the Federal agents were checking on pensioners and someone warned Tom of the approaching agent.  He hurried outside and when the man arrived, Tom was "fishing" in the roadside ditch with a string tied to a branch!
More Tom Grant tales: At a G.A.R. Campfire at Hotel said Tom to a friend, "Dee ye ken when I pulled ye out of the hollow log at Fair Oaks, and crawled in there meself?"
Two cattle dealers hired him to travel with them all day to lie for them.  At the end of the day he collected his pay from each of them, and when they compared notes they confronted him.  He said, "You hired me to lie 'til sundown and I did".  He kept the double pay.
Passing a schoolhouse, he heard the teacher thrashing a student.  Impulsively he went in and thrashed the teacher!  Realizing he was in the wrong, he went to a Justice of the Peace, entered a complaint against himself and paid the fine.  After school was out, the teacher went to the Justice - and was told all had been taken care of.

Outside of Edwards village, on the road to Russell, lived a farmer with a tenderhearted wife.  He had planned to sell a certain cow, but didn't.  When asked why not, his answer was, "Well, Clary said to keep the cow 'cuse she had such a purty hide!"

One time, circa 1951, Bill Cobb was arrested for public intoxication and taken before Justice Chauncy (Chan) Goodberry where he was found guilty and fined $5.00.  Bill, who was known for owing everyone in town, said, "All right, I'll be glad to pay the fine .... say, Chan, could I borrow a five spot 'til payday?"  He got the loan."      Submitted by Jim Holmes who grew up in Edwards.  His mother, Mrs. Althea Holmes, was the high school Social Studies teacher ca.1940's.

If anyone has recollections of little incidents such as these concerning Edwards people, please send them to LaVerne Freeman and they will be added to the "Small Stuff".

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