1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Cavendish, Shawver and Melvin Huffman

John McCurdy - May 20, 2013

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 spreader! 

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' house.

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!

Please enter your name to comment.