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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

Autos By Nelson - Click for Website
30-year dream comes true
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

By MORRIS STEPHENSON -

"A Night of Makin' Likker" has been "birthed!"

Over the weekend, I received a "proof" copy to check over before placing an order.

I know I will be asked a pile of questions, so for you loyal and faithful readers, I'll tell you what I know and what I expect to happen between now and the weekend.

Books were ordered today (Monday) and the online printing company will ship within 3-5 working days. So that means the books should be "in hand" by Thursday at least.

They will be sold for $19.95. Of course, I will have them in "Goldie," the '86 4-Runner that is normally parked at my office next to Bill Greer's American Computers business on North Main Street. It's right next to Fisher Auto Parts in case you don't know.

Hopefully, I will have a book signing at Mary Wray's Artisan Center on Franklin Street Friday evening around 7 p.m. I may even work my way down to the library, but as of now, nothing is set in stone.

Right now, I know the books will be sold at the Franklin County Historical Society, Artisan Center, Blue Ridge Institute at Ferrum, minute markets at Ferrum, Redwood, Glade Hill and Penhook, Bojangles on Route 40 East and Plateau Plaza on Route 220 North, Dairy Queen at Ferrum, Rocky Mount and Plateau Plaza. Other locations may be added in the days ahead.

For those living outside the area, the books can be ordered online at the printing firm Lulu.com and Amazon.com. Of course, it would help me tremendously to sell all the books I can myself and at the locations I mentioned above. With online orders, I get only a small amount of the book sales. So if you live in this area, it would help to get a book from me or from one of the places here in the county.

This is a 30-year-old dream come true that started the night I went with two moonshiners to their still place and observed, took pictures and asked questions throughout the night...thus, the book's title.

Once again, all of this info is based on the arrival of the book no later than during the day on Friday, Dec. 7, to be exact.

All I can say is I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did working on it. There were a lot of stumbling blocks along the way, but it was worth it.

And, now, for the rest of the column.

Redneck Blue Blood - Every once in a while, my redneck blue blood will obviously show up. And it's always when I leave Ferrum for the big city of Roanoke.

Whatever the reason to head north, we'll always include a stop at one of our favorite eating places. Despite my self-designated classification of being a redneck from Franklin County, I feel comfortable any place wife Hazel and I select to dine out.

Without question, we agree our number one to eat is The Great 611 Steak House. We started going there more than 30 years ago when it was known as Western Sizzlin'. At that time, Richard Judy was the manager and his wife was a waitress. Now, the couple owns the business and are actually the ones who changed the name of the restaurant when he added Norfolk and Western Railroad and trains as the interior décor. While he still runs the business, she continues to be one of the best waitresses around.

There are a couple others on the list including Outback and Red Lobster. However, it's Long John Silvers on Franklin Road that shares the top spot on the list with 611. It seems we never go in each of our favorite restaurants without seeing and talking with someone we know from Franklin County. That's especially true at LJS.

Long John's also happens to be the eating place where my redneck bloodline really shows. I always check out the new menu items. But being a creature of habit, as most people are, I usually order the "two piece and more" meal. Two large pieces of fish, cole slaw, fries and hush puppies is a big enough meal for me.

A long time ago, I lost my taste for French fries. So filling that place on my plate, I'll substitute corn-on-the-cob with a little extra butter. Ah, the perfect order. The corn is always tender and sweet. Apparently sugar is added as it's prepared.

When the meal is delivered at the table, I always pour the warm, melted butter into the vacant place where the fries would be. Next, I add salt and pepper to the mix. This action always brings a stern look and warning from wife Hazel about me eating too much salt. I don't think I ever heard it while growing up. Now, I hear it all the time as the nation becomes more health conscious.

What really hacks off wife Hazel is the fact that I've never had the first sign of high blood pressure or anything else that could be associated with salt. I even tried sea salt but found it to be yucky!

Routinely, I clean my plate and save the corn for last. It's my desert. I always grab the little stick in my left hand, knowing I really need another stick to keep my other fingers free of butter. Lack of a second stick doesn't keep me from digging in like a hog at slop time.

Once the first bite is eaten, I keep working my way in a neat row toward the other end of the cob. I guess I'm under the spell of an ear of corn. Once the first row has been eaten, wife Hazel usually breaks my trance with a single glare.

"Your beard is soaked with butter," she'll declare. I know she's right because I've already got my fingers on a rather large stack of napkins I pulled from the holder. I begin wiping my beard from the nose down. When I think I've finished, I ask her if the beard looks clean.

I go through more napkins as I complete eating another row of corn. The pile of used, corn-soaked napkins grows larger on my empty plate. I always glance down to make sure I haven't missed my plate and tray and dripped butter on the table. Usually, there is evidence there, too.

When growing up, corn-on-the-cob was a major food item, especially since my father always had a large garden and used part of a neighbor's extra lot to plant even more. I just couldn't get enough of corn with plenty of extra butter and salt. Adding pepper came during my later years when items, such as banana and peanut butter sandwiches, were added to the pepper list.

Wife Hazel knows my eating corn from the cob won't change, despite her health warnings about salt and her glares at my butter-soaked beard.

There will never come a time when I will eat corn off a cob in a dignified way. The redneck way is the only way and I'll take that to the grave.

 
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