Saturday, May 11, 2013


I have been relaxing and watching Lake Placid on the Sci-Fi channel this lazy Saturday afternoon.  Watching the giant crocodiles on this movie reminded me of the Unionville alligator.  It was a warm summer afternoon when someone stopped by the store and said that they had seen an alligator crossing the road and headed for Rome's Pond.  This was a small pond behind the home of Rome and Rosa Colvin's home where I spent many hours fishing for bream and bass.

It took me very little time to load my 22 automatic rifle and head out to the pond with many of the other citizens of Unionville.  When I arrived at Rome and Rosa's house the yard was full of vehicles.  It seemed that most of Unionville had heard about the alligator and had come to take a part in the hunt.  When I got down to the pond, I found that the alligator had been shot several times and was in shallow water at the upper end of the pond.  One of the brave hunters, S J Barmore, decided he would venture into the water, grab the alligator by the tail and drag him to dry land.  When he grabbed the alligator's tail the gator swung his head around and barely missed catching S J between his mighty jaws.  Someone then got a rope and was able to lasso the alligator's tail and along with several other people was able to drag him out of the water onto dry land.  We then shot him in the head several times, loaded him into the back of a pick-up and took him to the store to display for the community.

As you can see from the picture above the alligator was large, about five feet long.  This was one of the biggest events that ever happened in the small community of Unionville, and I never felt comfortable fishing on Rome's pond after the great alligator hunt.

Friday, May 3, 2013



This picture shows my younger brother, Richard, and me enjoying some time outside on a warm summer afternoon.  Pictures such a these bring back pleasant memories of our youth that we have forgotten about.  Sometimes, if we study these pictures in detail, we will see items that give a special meaning to us about the picture.  In this picture, notice the table and chairs that my brother and I are using.  These pieces of furniture were known as spool furniture and were just two of the many pieces of this furniture at my maternal grandparents house in Unionville.

Spool furniture was constructed using simple basic materials: empty wooden sewing thread spools, wood, nails, all thread metal rods, washers and nuts.  During the years after WWII, times were hard and people were very frugal and used materials similar to how we recycle today.

My grandparents constructed this furniture from materials that they found around their house and store in Unionville.  The wooden spools came from the many spools of thread that my grandmother, Dell, emptied while sewing clothes for the family.  The wood that was used in constructing this furniture probably came from the wooden crates used for shipment of fruits and vegetables for the store.  (Side thought - My grandfather, Tut, carved out some of the coolest slingshots from the end pieces to these crates)  The rest of the material used for the furniture was found in the store stock.

Some years before my grandparents house was sold and torn down, I was exploring the root cellar underneath the back bedroom and rescued the only two pieces of spool furniture that were remaining.
Below are pictures of these that I have rebuilt to be as near to the original construction as possible.

We use these two corner tables on our back patio and I always enjoy telling the story of how I rescued them from being thrown in the trash.  They bring back memories of my growing up in Unionville and I hope that some of my descendants will appreciate them in the same way that I do.