OK! Arnold, I hear you! You want us to keep climbing...
Arnold, my dear brother, apparently there is no sense arguing with you even after you have left this earth! Your friend Dave Hovey applied the first bit of pressure back in July 2018. Nanette Laster sealed the deal when she sent your 2017 Duck Hill column to me the other day and shared, " I laughed and I cried while reading this." So, yes, I will be climbing Duck Hill on February 2, 2019. Readers, enjoy Arnold's words
but be forewarned, "You could find yourself meeting to make the climb in just a few weeks:
The Duck Hill Mountain Climb of 2017 is now history, having taken place last Saturday, Feb. 4, on a crisp cold day. I am proud to be part of that history. I am going to leave it to
Nanette Laster, managing editor of the Grenada Star, perhaps aided by her brother, Larry Laster, who together were the principal organizers of the climb, to supply all the accurate details on just who all participated in the climb, how many were first-timers, males, females
and so forth and to supply a pictorial account of the grand event.
I am just going to present here some of my personal observations and some information that you may not otherwise ever know.
I am not going to try to figure out whether Huntsville or Mobile, Ala., is the farthest away from Duck Hill but will just note that we had Terry Bailey, 61, of Mobile and Jim Sanders,
also 61, of Huntsville, both to climb the mountain.
In addition, folks came from Memphis, Hernando, Oxford, Brandon, Jackson, Madison, Gore Springs, Winona, Water Valley, Indianola, Elliott, Carrollton, Coffeeville, Holcomb, and
to go along with a bumper crop from Duck Hill and Grenada.
Two five-year-olds, Lukas Cain of Carrollton and Maddox Couch of
Memphis, were the youngest, and Dave Hovey, 81, of Coffeeville, was the oldest.
There were six boys from Boy Scout Troop 4018 of Grenada along with
their Scoutmaster Buffie Yeoman, who made the climb. The Boy Scouts practically ran up the steepest slope of the mountain. The two five-year-olds and my good old friend, Dave
Hovey, did it with relative ease compared to my own struggle.
Two routes were utilized, with Nanette Laster guiding climbers up the easier east slope approach, and Larry Laster guiding the stalwart ones who went up the steeper west slope in
the morning segment of the
For the afternoon climb, Larry and Nanette reversed roles and guided opposite
groups. Yes, folks, that means Larry and Nanette climbed twice in one day,and Nanette went up the more difficult slope despite having declared that she would not do that again after performing a “test climb” a week or so ago. Many thanks go to Nanette and Larry, who marked trails and planned and organized the climb to make it possible and enjoyable for
the rest of us.
Oh, by the way, I went up the steeper west side, but I was the last one in the morning group to reach the top, and I could not talk for a good 20 minutes after finding a rock to sit on.
Perhaps the wine and sandwiches I toted to the top of Duck Hill Mountain slowed me down, but I was so weak at the top that I had a heck of a time getting the cork out of the wine
bottle. I shared some of that Josh Cellars red wine with others, and the wine bottle
went back down the hill empty. I shared some of my sandwiches, too, but still
had a bottle of water and a couple of sandwiches that I later consumed for supper.
Dave Hovey and I stayed atop Duck Hill Mountain, just the two of us, and waited
for the afternoon group. It was in that group that I was surprised to see two of my high school classmates, Eddie Mitchell and Mardi Hayward Russell, arrive at the top via the steep slope. I greeted them with wine and sandwiches, and I could talk by that time and enjoyed a
wonderful visit atop Duck Hill Mountain. My classmates and Dave Hovey were the last to leave the mountain.
As earlier stated, the climb occurred on a crisp, cold day. It was 24 degrees at daybreak and, while still at my sister Bettye’s house, I realized that I did not have adequate clothing. Badly needing a pair of long underwear to go under my jeans, I recalled that NFL football star Joe Namath had once worn panty hose under his uniform during a cold game in New York City. I managed to get sister Bettye to donate a pair of old panty hose.
Since Bettye is considerably shorter-legged than her tall but younger brother, I cut the toes out of the hose and pulled them up above my ankles so that the waist would end up where it was supposed to be.
I had the good sense to also cut out the crotch. The crotch alterations provided considerable relief and also kept me from having to disrobe for a bathroom break.
I do not know how women manage. This panty hose business all comes under the heading of things you would have never known if you had failed to read my column and my account of the Duck Hill Mountain Climb of 2017.
I am tempted to tell all the readers who was the prettiest lady atop the mountain,but I think I would likely get in trouble for that. All the ladies were lovely, and I think there were more ladies than men. Or perhaps they just were easier to look at.
I had great fun and will do it again next year, though I might select the easier slope.
I will save those panty hose without toes and crotch just in case it is cold again next
year. They worked just fine but, like I have heard my wife and other females frequently
declare, I was glad to get those panty hose off when it was all done.
More pictures soon!