By Dency McClure
On my fourth and last trip though Desdemona that day, I finally stopped at the fancy new convivence store, Cactus Corner. It was like it had just fallen from heaven and been placed perfectly at the little busy country intersection. I had been eyeing it off and on all day on my multiple trips through Desdemona. This was going to be my last chance to stop at it as I traveled through on my way from Lingleville to Gorman. As I entered, the cool breath of comfort and newness struck me. I used the awesome facilities and then headed to the soda fountain. I reached for a medium size cup and then rethought it as the heat from the Lingleville outing still resonated with me. I grabbed the biggest styrophome cup they had. Filled it full of ice and to the brim with Diet Coke. Grabbed the big lid and straw and I was set. I sipped on the heavenly drink as I eyed all the greatness the Cactus Corner had to offer. I then headed to the counter and asked the man just how long the store had been there. Because I knew all my times through that part of the world, over the years I couldn’t have missed it. He told me three months. I told him how nice it was and that I thought they had the perfect location and I wished him well.
I was all set with my giant drink after a refreshing cool stop. I headed down the little country highway to Gorman. On my way, a Gator passed by on the other side of the highway. We waved at each other, and I realized how common that is for no-highway vehicles to travel on these little roads. I admired the trees and hills and the thick humidity hanging low to the ground and shining in the sun like an afternoon fog.
Once in Gorman, I made my way down the little paved streets past some chickens. I have come to believe all 1A towns have resident roaming chickens. I made my way toward the school. I always enjoy a good grill cleaning when the chickens are near where I park. I knew from attending past Gorman practices that the practice field is a bit hidden, and if you don’t know where it is, it could be a bit adventurous trying to find it. I went straight to it as my first trip there a few years ago I had followed the little bus from the school to the field.
Once there I left my big cold ice drink in the car and grabbed a new warm water bottle along with the rest of my gear. I walked over and visited with the water crew. They told me what grades they were in and we visited about the heat. One kid had covered himself with a big towel to block the sun. The older boy who seemed to be the leader of the crew, was extra friendly and when he saw my water bottle asked if it was hot. I told him it was warm. He offered to get me cold water. I told him I was fine, but he insisted on being the perfect host. He took my new water bottle opened it and poured it out. I watched in some amazement; a little unsure of what the plan was. He then refilled my bottle with good, ice cold Gorman water. The bottle was covered with condensation from the coldness when he handed it back. The cold water was a nice treat in the heat.
I then walked onto the field and was greeted by Coach Dixon. We visited for a brief moment and then he headed back into action with the other coaches. They were running drills and plays. Not sure why but I always get a little chuckle seeing the players with scrimmage helmet covers. I completely understand their use and it makes perfect sense, but it doesn’t stop me from laughing a little when I see them. The players were many and they all knew what was expected and did their part. Later in practice they worked on defense and what they should be prepared for at their upcoming scrimmage with Gordon and Jonesboro. The coaches made sure the boys were at ease with their responsibilities and made sure they didn’t have any questions. Once they got going on some other activities, Coach Dixon came over to do an interview.
While I was there, a man arrived in a golf cart. He would stop and watch for a while and then move to a different observation point and watch some more. We waved back and fourth a few times. Before I left, he was parked under a good shade tree on the other side of the field content in his location to enjoy the afternoon practice.
As I headed out, I drove through the downtown area past the nice community park. Last year I had a booth there with my LuLaRoe brand clothing during the Peanut Festival. I enjoyed the festival immensely. The parade was the best part. The children along the parade path had their bags ready to fill. As the floats went by, they would throw candy, sandwich bags full of peanuts, plastic jewelry and other fun items. The children, with the ready help of parents, would fill their bags with the goodies. It was as much fun as Halloween. The bags of peanuts was the fun thing for me as it was unique to this particular festival.
I crossed the railroad tracks and headed out past the trucking buildings and peanut processing areas. Two of my uncles were peanut farmers that also had several head of cattle, and I am familiar with some things. I occasionally helped with irrigation pipe, bottle feeding calves, hauling hay, and other sundry things around their farms on my extended visits. Bottle feeding the calves was my favorite, but I dare say I would have tired of it on a daily basis. I enjoy the sounds of the sheep, goats, cattle, and an old rooster where I live now. I keep thinking the rooster is on his last leg because his crow is a bit slow and croaky sounding. But I’ve lived here four years, and he is still crowing the same crow.
When I was a kid and we would travel through Gorman, I remember loving the smell of the peanuts being processed. Made me want a big bag of roasted peanuts!
See you on the sidelines!