Whittle: Unusual names on life's scenic trail
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 9:14 am
By DAN WHITTLE
Daddy Whittle said a good name is earned by being a good neighbor, who keeps their family fed, their livestock fences mended and paid their bills on time.
Two of my friends in life are very, very, "Veery" good neighbors.
How very, very good are neighbors Jean and Howard Veery?
So good, upon learning recently I wasn't feeling well, they brought not one, not two, but a supply of Shepherd Pies, one for each of the next six months.
And burp, there's more, Jean also brought a pot of homemade chili, literally the Veery very very best chili I've ever thrown past quivering Whittle lips.
Having a somewhat unusual last name...'Whittle'...I've always been curious about family names.
Mr. Red Crowe was a sad name of my youth spent in former 'Swamp-east' Missouri.
I was five years old, when hearing the sad account of Mr. Crowe's death.
It took several weeks for farm neighbors to discover Mr. Crowe had perished while living alone beside Little River behind our family farm. The elapsed time allowed rats to come in off the river and consume about half of the man's corpse before neighbors found him.
I still remember the team of mules and wagon passing slowly by our farm house with what remained of Mr. Crowe's remains.
Fast forward...does anyone recall the era when Mr. W.R. New had a new store on East Main Street in downtown Woodbury? In my vivid mind's eye, I've often thought that Mr. New awakened to a New day every day.
Does anyone know the origin of Doolittle, as in the present-day Doolittle Road on the outskirts of Woodbury where close friend Andy Bryson and bride reside?
And if you thought the name Whittle had anything to do with wood, you're be barking up the wrong tree out in the Wood community.
It took smart MTSU Professor Dr. Ralph White to carve out where the name Whittle came from: "It started from a family named White, who lived on a hill back in Scotland."
Prof White went on to proclaim: "I hope that means we're not related."
The late Monk Montgomery was not a "Monk" in a Catholic church. Instead of church, he spent most of his boyhood in the old Kittrell School gymnasium where he became a legendary basketball player, who to this day, holds the U.S. high school scoring record, and that was before three-point shots were sanctioned.
"Rock House" is one of the more unusual nicknames I've found in my 50-plus years of newspapering.
The late R.W. Hawkins was called 'Rock House' by all his friends. Since he built many houses in Woodbury, some might think that was the origin of his nickname 'Rock House'. But then, in ciphering through some more fascinating local history, I'm betting his nickname of 'Rock House' traces back to a road in rural Cannon County.
The late Fairy Mai Keaton Hamilton is one of the most unique names I've found for a lady. She was a great grand-parent to teen Andy Nichols, who sadly perished at age 16 in 1988 while riding in a vehicle that was rear-ended by a drunk driver.
Does it surprise you that Mary Reed, of Readyville, loves to read?
How could you not love Mary Reed, of Readyville, who loves to read to the point she's established a free library for others who love to read in Readyville. Her library is tucked away back in the left corner of her small country market in the heart of downtown Readyville near Readyville Mill.
Now, there's no excuse to not stop in Readyville and read a while in a rocking chair beside Mrs. Reed. You'll feel better for the experience, especially is you consume a cold orange belly-washer along with a thick baloney sandwich slathered with mayo and a sprinkle of hot sauce.
Read on ...
Have you ever been to Hogg Heaven? I'm privileged with friendship to the Rev. Jim Hogg, whose media ministry is trade-marked as "Hogg Heaven" in the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana. He's the son of "Mae Mae" and T. Med 'Boss' Hogg, who got his nickname of 'Boss' Hogg while working on the Mississippi River at the Port of Baton Rouge.
Did you know Buck Snort, TN, has nothing to do with deer season although today's Buck Snort Market is a station for registering deer kills?
For the unlearned, Buck Snort, along Interstate 40 going west toward Memphis, is credited with being named after a former area bootlegger named Buck, who would sell folks a "snort" of moonshine in the 1920s-era.
The rural community of 'Only' is located two hollers (hollows) and one hill away from Buck Snort.
What is the origin of 'Only'?
Around 1910, a merchant of a small country store would price any item in his store as "only" a quarter, or "only" a dime ... thus the name of 'Only' was born and lives on.
I think it's safe to assume 'Only' is the only community in Tennessee named 'Only'.
In conclusion, are there any other 'Dan's' around who think they should have left the town of Woodbury with its original name of Danville?
'Danville' has a regal ring to it, but then, that's just one Dan's opinion.
(Writer's Note: On a cold blustery winter day when forced to stay indoors, you owe it to yourself to pick up a Cannon County Historical Society's "CANNON COUNTY TENNESSEE, A Pictorial History" book. That's the source of some of the interesting names and nicknames chronicled here today.)