A toothless purveyor of tales
I first knew Zeke and his boys (story later about the boys) in Huntsville, Al . I had hired Zeke to paint trim on the arsenal on the endless stacked rows of metal sash on the huge office buildings lining Martin Road.
Zeke had an uncanny ability to work and talk at the same time. We had an abundance of apprentices on the job and they immediately took to old Zeke. He had the ability to get the apprentices in trouble when they would stop work to talk. Zeke kept on working.
One day no Zeke showed up. This was not like him.
The next day everything was back to normal , Old Zeke
was asked, “where were you yesterday Zeke?” Zeke replied “I went fishing.”
“How many did you catch Zeke? “Asked one lad.
“I caught 600” sounding very annoyed that the youth bother him.“You didn’t catch 600 Zeke”, retorted the kid.
“NO, I caught 750” snorted Zeke, “but you damn sure wouldn’t believe that”.
Zeke’s stories usually didn’t end with his seemingly last reply but someone would try to get the last word. After his reply about the fish, he was asked what he would do with so many fish. After a long bored sigh he said, ”I don’t know, they are still cleaning them.”
Zeke was just zipping through his sash painting and before you knew what was he would start a story to no one in particular. “That storm last week on the mountain picked up my 700 pound prize sow and put her in a gallon jug.” someone asked “what happened Zeke?” Zeke retorted “ She would have died if I hadn’t got her to the vet .” “How did he get her out of the jar?” a boy questioned. Stammering, Zeke replied, “It, It ,was too bad to go back there and watch.”
Some were saltier such as this one: “I was hunting and heard what I recognized to be a scream for Help. Help, help, help me. I saw the Johnson boy tied front on to an oak tree.” I asked, “what happened to you?” He told me that “the Brodie boys tied me up and raped me!” Zeke asked, “ are you tied real good.” He said “ yes”. Zeke said, “It just ain’t your day.”
Zeke was one of many trade mechanics that earned their ability to always be able to find a job. How wonderful it would be if you could fill crews with this type of personnel this day. Their attention to detail and craft methods were in demand then and are so hard to find today. Most crafts do not offer serious training schools Hook ‘em Zeke