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Friday, June 27, 2014

Nuts


Fall

   Fall was always a good time down home. Most of our favorite hunting seasons were open. The leaves were turning, making the woods really pretty and fun to be in. You could still find wild onions, grapes and sand hill plumbs if you knew where to look. The acorns were ready to fall which made squirrel a lot easier if you could find a nice patch of oak trees. Best of all, the nuts were ready to pick. Pecans were out favorite but there were hickory and walnuts also. I always carried a little toe sack along with me when I went hunting during that time of year so I would always be ready if I found any trees with nuts. I didn't mind crawling around the bottom of the tree and picking them up but my main love was in "flailing" the trees. Flailing is actually pretty easy. All you have to do is climb up the tree and jump up and down on the limbs to shake the nuts loose. It always surprised me that not too many people wanted to do that, maybe there were a lot more people down home that were afraid of heights than I thought, or there were a lot more people smarter than I was. I'm kind of leaning toward the last since I have fallen out of more than one tree right along with the rest of the nuts. Folks mainly went after pecans because they were the easiest to sell. There were two kinds, paper shells and natives. Natives were smaller and weren't worth as much. Paper shells were worth more, around thirty-five cents a pound then, so that's the ones everyone hunted for even though they were lighter so it took more to make a pound. There was lots of pecan orchards you could go and pick "on half's" which just meant you got half of all the nuts you gathered. There were also lots of trees scattered around the woods that were first come, first serve

  The other good thing about climbing the trees was the split. I never ask for it bit the way things worked most of the time was the person who failed the tree got half the pecans, no matter how many people were picking them up. I used to really like picking with the McGowen clan, there were eight kids and they could clean up under a tree just about as fast as you could walk around it. We would sell our pecans in Henryetta but I had to go to Okmulgee to sell hickory or walnuts, either way, it was a good way to make a few bucks.