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Acorns and Old Hickory November 28, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in Childhood Memories, random stuff.

Every so often, I hear a song or smell a smell or see something that sets my mind to wandering, a condition to which it’s especially prone on our morning walks.

One of our favorite morning walks includes a quiet tree-lined street about  a mile from home.  And the trees lining the street include maples, sycamores, and a few young oaks, which the dog and I think of as “squirrel trees” since they (and their acorns) seem to attract an awful lot of those rodents’ attention.

This year’s batch of acorns seems to be especially large – both size-wise and in numbers.  There are acorns everywhere!


Kind of makes me think of my elementary school days – the playground was littered with acorns!   You always knew it was fall – there was no mistaking the WHACK of an acorn hurled by a 5th grade boy!  And believe me, those acorns did fly, and fly hard,  in their season!

Our principal’s name was Mr. Macken.  How  do I remember that?

How could I forget my sixth grade teacher gently correcting one of the students (who shall remain nameless) when he was accidentally referred to as “Mr. Mackintosh?”

What can I say?  It was the Midwest in the 70s – any apple that wasn’t either Red or Golden Delicious was a Mackintosh – and it was apple season!

By the time I was in 6th grade, I was big enough to walk (or ride my bike) to school, though I seldom did.  It was more fun to get up early, walk a couple of blocks to the FIRST bus stop, and ride the bus for the entire route sitting in whatever seat I chose that day.

That elementary school was Hickory Grove – and do you know, I couldn’t even tell you when I realized that acorns came from oak trees, and not hickory trees after all!

Of course, given the fact that virtually every vacation during my childhood was a road trip, complete with my parents’ collection of 8-track tapes, it should come as no surprise, either, that I also don’t know quite when I realized that hickory was a tree, and not a person!

Old Hickory said we could take ’em by surprise
If didn’t fire our muskets ’till we looked ’em in the eyes.
We held our fire ’til we seen their faces well,
Then we opened up our squirrel guns and really gave ’em . . .

Well . . . we fired our guns and the British kept a’comin’
There wasn’t quite as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more, and they began a’runnin’
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico!

Boy, you’ve got to love Ol’ Hickory and some parent-sanctioned, almost-swear words, don’t you?


1. kayatthekeyboard - November 28, 2012

Being born a Tennessean, I have a special fondness for Andy Jackson, and am proud to say I still know all the words to Battle of New Orleans (which was really the Battle of Chalmette, but that just doesn’t rhyme as well). Oddly enough, the first paragraph of your post put me in mind of another tune, the old Kingston Trio classic “Worried Man.” “…sets my mind to wandering, every time she’s gone. I’m worried now…but I won’t be worried long.” You, of course, are not old enough to remember the Kingston Trio.

Toy Lady - November 29, 2012

Of course I’m not.

I’m not old enough to remember Johnny Horton, either. 😉

2. sjbraun - November 29, 2012

Aw, fond memories 🙂 I love how innocent it all sounds. Heaven knows what today’s kids might be calling the principal — or throwing!!

Toy Lady - November 30, 2012

Having had the misfortune to be caught at The Boy’s high school between classes a few times, I’ll tell you, some of the language (and the behavior in general) in the halls truly made me shudder. . . 😦

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