Cletis Shawver came by one day and
asked if I had anything I wanted to take to the Town Dump on Diamond
Hill. He said, “I’m going out to Melvin Huffman’s house to see if I
can borrow his pickup to haul mine, go with me and we’ll come back
and get yours”. For a change, nothing happened on the ride out the
Blue Sulphur Springs road to Melvin's.
Dealing with Melvin, many of you may
remember, always involved a lot of bluster and grumbling, finally he
agreed to loan his truck, only if we took some stuff for him. His
stuff, we soon found out, was a ancient Manure Spreader situated in
a head-high patch of pokeberry bushes beside the barn. It took us
15-20 minutes to get it out of the bushes and onto the truck.
Readers will please appreciate the fact that I did not mention any
sort of a family connection with Shaver and Melvin and a manure
Back to Alderson we came, after
enduring a lecture on how to drive and take care of the Old Jeep
Pick-Up. We stopped at my house to get my junk and down to Shawvers'
Many of you will remember that Cletis
was sort of a “neat freak, and he really had very little in the way
of junk. We headed for the town dump.
Past the Methodist Parsonage and in
the next block below Curtis Shawvers' house was the two (2)
double-wide trailers that Dr. Carl Cavendish had bought and in which
he and Katie made their home, (at that time).
Now this was some time before the
infamous fight in which Cletis broke Cavendish’s Jaw and ended
their friendship. Cavendish was in his front yard. We stopped and
the two of them engaged in conversation. Cavendish inquired as to
what we had in the back of the truck and that was all it took.
Shawver was off & running, he told Cavendish that in exchange for
borrowing Huffman's truck we had been obliged to haul some of
Melvin's junk away!
“What is it,?” was “Docs” query.
“Something off an old steam-engine,” replied Shawver,
“we’re gonna take it out to
Callison's in Rupert and sell it”! Carl immediately said, “Just
throw it off here, I’ll buy it and save you the trip". I have
forgotten how much Shawver pocketed, he did not offer to share it.
Since the “Steam-Engine was on the bottom of the pile, we unloaded
it as we came back down from the dump on the hill.
When Cavendish died the “engine” was
still lying in a pile of weeds across the street from Carole and
Jean Willis’s house. He’d never said a word to me about the
transaction, probably knew my heart was pure. I heard about it for
20 years from Jean Willis!