YOU MAY BE A “GEEZER” IF…. by Ernie Tucker

YOU MAY BE A “GEEZER” IF…. by Ernie Tucker

I like the “you may be a redneck” jokes by Jeff Foxworthy. He is a little crude to be sure, but it’s good redneck humor in my mind. I’m thinking about going on the road with my own, “you may be a geezer if…” theme, since I know from personal experience what a “geezer” is. (I may be over-qualified) Here are some of my observations:

1. If you’re older than any person in the obituaries… “You may be a geezer.”

2. If your idea of a sexy car is a very, very big, four-door sedan… “You may be a geezer.”

3. If your teen-aged idea of cool transportation was a square-shaped Cushman motor scooter… “You may be a geezer.”

4. If you not only forget to zip up, but you sometimes forget to zip down… “You may be a geezer.”

5. If you remember, with some affection, the ’37 flood that devastated the Ohio Valley…”You may be a geezer.”

6. If you remember when male swim garb was brief, tight, woolen, dark-colored, and sported a belt…”You may be a geezer.”

7. If your only birth control device began with an “R” and it’s been several years since you bought a pack…”You may be a geezer.”

8. If you knew by heart what your draft lottery number was…”You may be a geezer.”

9. If you became a teacher and have since discovered that most of your students have retired…”You may be a geezer.”

10. If friends whom you haven’t seen in years, greet you with a cheery “You’re looking good,” but they mean, “I thought you were dead,”…”You may be a geezer.”

11. If your parents spoke of the turn of the century and they didn’t mean this one…”You may be a geezer.”

12. If you back out of your driveway never expecting someone else might be using that same road…”You may be a geezer.”

13. If your turn signal is still on a half mile after you’ve turned…”You may be a geezer.”

14. If your friends no longer ask if you are preparing for the future (unless it’s your preacher)…”You may be a geezer.”

15. If no one cards you anymore in a restaurant…”You may be a geezer.”

16. If  senior discounts are automatically given without your asking…”You may be a geezer.”

17. If you let out more air than you take in…”You may be a geezer.”

18. If you doze off in the middle of a conversation…”You may be a geezer.”

19. If you think preservatives in foods are there to make you live longer and better…”You may be a geezer.”

20. If your children seem to be divvying up your possessions…”You may be a geezer.”

21. If you finally know everything but no one wants to hear about it…”You may be a geezer.”

22. If you need to make new friends, or you have no friends left at all…”You may be a geezer.”

23. If the better part of your conversations involve your past and present ailments and medicines…”You may be a geezer.”

24. If you speak into a cell phone as if you were talking into two tomato cans joined by a string…”You may be a geezer.”

25. If you use expressions like “In my day” and “When I was a boy” or “My mother or father used to say”…”You may be a geezer.”

26. If you think everything you should have learned should have been learned in school…”You may be a geezer.”

27. If you think that you would have done better in school if you had just applied yourself…”You may be a geezer.”

28. If you can remember what a p-38 can opener was…”You may be a geezer.”

29. If you can remember when T-shirts were white with nothing printed on them…”You may be a geezer.”

30. If, when the preacher says “You should be thinking of the hereafter,” you think every time I walk into another room I think what am I here after…”You may be a geezer.”

31. If you can remember when coal-fired locomotives filled the downtown streets with clouds of smoke…”You may be a geezer.”

32. If you think cars in the past were much better than present-day automobiles…”You may be a geezer.”

33. If you rant on and on about how much better public schools were in the past than they are now…”You may be a geezer.”

34. If you think Americans were more patriotic, better educated, more religious, and nicer in the past that they are today…”You may be a geezer.”

35. If what used to taste good to you now tastes bad, or you can’t taste it at all…”You may be a geezer.”

36. If you remember when most houses were painted white and lead-free paint was unknown…”You may be a geezer.”

37. If you remember when all phones were attached to a wire…”You may be a geezer.”

38. If you think you’re in mid-life, but don’t know anyone who is 140 years old…”You may be a geezer.”

39. If you think the 1950s were the best times in which to live in the history of humankind…”You may be a geezer.”

40. Lastly, if you feel compelled to add to this list,…”You are a certifiable geezer!”




This may surprise some of you youngsters, but it is quite factual.


Stay with this — the answer is at the end.
One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events.
The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general. 
The Grandfather replied, “Well, let me think a minute, I was born before:
 polio shots 
 frozen foods 
 contact lenses 
 Frisbees and 
 the pill
There were no: 
 credit cards 
 laser beams or 
 ball-point pens
Man had not invented : 
 air conditioners 
 clothes dryers 
 and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air,
 space travel was only in Flash Gordon books.




·         Your Grandmother and I got married first… and then lived together.
·         Every family had a father and a mother.
·         Until I was 25, I called every woman older than me, “maam”.
·         And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, “Sir.”
·         We were before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.
·         Our lives were governed by the Bible, good judgment, and common sense.
·         We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.
·         Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.
·         We thought fast food was eating half a biscuit while running to catch the school bus.
 ·       Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.
·         Draft dodgers were those who closed front doors as the evening breeze started.
·         Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends–Not purchasing condominiums.
·         We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.
·         We listened to Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President’s speeches on our radios.
·         And I don’t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.
·         If you saw anything with ‘Made in Japan ‘ on it, it was junk! And the term ‘making out’ referred to how you did on your school exam.
·         Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and instant coffee were unheard of.
·         We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.
·         Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.
·         And if you didn’t want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards. (What are ‘Post Cards’, you ask!)
·        You could buy a new Ford Coupe for $600… but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In my day: 
 “grass” was mowed, 
 “coke” was a cold drink, 
 “pot” was something your mother cooked in and 
 “rock music” was your grandmother’s lullaby.
 “Aids” were helpers in the Principal’s office, 
 “chip” meant a piece of wood, 
 “hardware” was found in a hardware store and 
 “software” wasn’t even a word.
And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us “old and confused” and say there is a generation gap or from the archives. 

How old do you think I am?

Are you ready ?

This man would be only 70 years old today. 


[This humorous piece came to me from a friend.  I am presuming it is in the public domain, as it has not copyright imprimatur or warning not to publish. Sometimes some things are just too good to file away!]


CHICKEN by Beth Rankin

CHICKEN by Beth Rankin

“I followed your advice and called Chef Mike at Huntington Prime and he will take ten chickens!”


You know your world has taken an interesting turn when a late night phone call like that is great news.  I had gotten involved with The Wild Ramp Market, a local food market in Huntington, West Virginia. One of the ways I participated was to write a daily blog to inform the consumers (i.e., people who eat food, hey! That’s you!) that there is a wonderful selection of food produced within 150 miles of our small city now.

  • chickens-874507_1280

Part of my responsibility was to make farm visits. This not only permitted me to see that the food the farmer was selling at the market was actually being raised there but also ended up providing a lot of publicity to that farm for free. Often, after a blog posting, the market would sell out of a product that had been described.


A few weeks before that phone call I had visited Avalon Farm, 30-some acres on a small flat patch and mostly hilly land, in other words, a typical small farm in West Virginia near the Ohio River.  Roy Ramey, similar to many other farmers I met while writing the blog, had grown up on a farm and sworn he would never be a farmer. He had a full time job with the ROTC at Marshall University, but to his wife’s chagrin, he had searched out a place to call his own. The land had called him back.

When I visited he showed me something that was new to me. Called a chicken tractor, it was basically a bottomless cage with a partially solid roof to give shade that was of sufficient size to hold about thirty chickens. Each day Roy would move the tractor about 12 feet, exposing new ground to the chickens. They had fun finding bugs and by moving the pen daily, their waste had time to filter into the soil without burning the grass. In the course of a month or so he could move them all over a small flat piece of land he had and then start back at the beginning, permitting the grass a chance to regrow.

He had commented that the birds would be ready for processing before the Wild Ramp Market, slated to open in a month, could receive them for sale.  Like the neophyte that I was I suggested he go ahead and process them when it was time.

“And then do what with them?” he patiently asked.

“Well, stick them in the freezer!” It made perfect sense to me.

“What freezer?” he retorted.

“You need to buy a freezer, Roy.” Oh yeah, I have all the answers.

“I need money to buy a freezer, Beth.” Roy, very polite, spoke only a tad sarcastically.

And that is when I finally had something useful to suggest, “Roy, Chef Mike Bowe of Huntington Prime uses local ingredients as much as possible. Call him; tell him I told you to call. That may or may not help but he knows us well since we supply herbs to the restaurant.  See if he will buy them.”

And so it came to pass, and shortly before 10 on a Saturday night Roy was sharing his excitement.  And of course, opened another interesting conversation.

“So, when do you need to deliver the chickens?”

“He wants them on Monday.”

“Wow! So when will you process them?”

“Figured it had to be tomorrow.” Yup, he had to take it to the basics for me.

And then I asked, “So did you get your chicken plucker built?”

When I had visited he had told me he had the plans and was going to save half the cost of a commercial plucker by making one. Having this machine to remove the feathers saves a lot of time, so many farmers use them. About the size of a clothes washing machine tub, the plucker has small rubber fingers sticking out in the many places a washing machine tub would have drain holes.  First dipping the chicken carcass in very hot water to loosen the feathers, up to 6 birds can be placed in the tub. Once it was turned on to spin, using a water hose helps wash the loosened feather off and out of the machine. By hand, Roy said, it could take him 20 minutes but with the machine, the process to remove feathers takes less than 3 minutes.

“Planning to do it as soon as we get off the phone,” he assured me.

I could see he was going to have a long night.

And then I put my foot in my mouth.  “So, you have help?”

“Oh sure,” he was confident. Several of his neighbors would be there.

“Great! I’ll come over after church to take photos for the blog.” Oh yeah, I had NO idea what chicken processing entailed. I mean, I knew the beginning and I knew the ending, but photos for public viewing?

He didn’t say anything but he chuckled and said I was welcome any time.

My husband Graham was game so we brought a change of clothes to church and headed over to Roy’s. No one else was there yet.  “They’ll be here, Roy spoke confidently.”

He had finished building the chicken plucker about 4 in the morning and had gotten a couple of hours of sleep.   He gave us instructions and we helped set up the work area to provide plenty of space for the various steps that were needed.

An hour had passed and no one was there yet. “They’ll be here”, Roy spoke a bit more hesitantly.  He and Graham took a 4-wheeler and loaded up about 8 of the largest chickens into a couple of cages on the back and brought them over. We put them in the shade.

One of the nearby farmers showed up then. Since it was time to start, Roy assigned duties. He would start the process, and the neighbor would remove the head and feet.  Graham, because he had a cut on his hand, was in charge of the plucker. I was to finish the birds, make the cavity was clean, tie the legs, and place them in bags and then into the ice water in the coolers.

We processed the first bird slowly. Roy had helped his dad as a teenager, but it had been about 15 years. The neighbor confidently did his part. The plucker worked fine but we realized the water temperature for the dunking had to be adjusted.  I carefully watched Roy as he removed the guts (did you know chicken lungs are bright orange?), clipped off one small doohickie (see how well I learned?) and then tucked the legs in a position that a yoga student would have admired.

“Got it?” Roy asked.

“Sure…ha ha.”

“I’ll be right here,” he promised, and then he walked off to start the next one.

Let’s just say I was the slow spot of the process. Of course, remembering on bird 7 that I had forgotten to clip off the doohickie from the last four birds and had to retrieve them from the ice water in the coolers, untuck the legs, clip, retuck the legs until I was sure all birds were REALLY ready didn’t help.  Also causing the liver or spleen or something else to squirt greenish stuff all over one bird didn’t help.

Roy and the neighbor went to get three more birds, two to make up the ten needed and one extra to replace the bird whose skin I had stained green.   (Roy planned to remove the skin and eat that one himself.)  That break in the process helped me to get caught up but it started again. I kept telling myself…only three more….only two more…and then Roy was there.

“Okay, I’ll watch you finish the last one.”

“Ha ha, you have got to be joking!” I laughed as I stepped away. He finished the last bird.

As we helped clean up the work area I asked Roy to call me after he delivered the chickens to Chef Mike. I was concerned that the chef might refuse them because I had not cleaned them well enough or the leg tuck position was wrong or some other aspect of what I did would mess up Roy’s livelihood.


He called Monday afternoon, “I just left the restaurant.”

“Well? Did he take them?”

“Nope, not all of them,” Roy sounded very serious.

My heart sank.  This wasn’t about me trying to help. This was about a small farmer trying to earn some income.  “What happened?”

He laughed. “They were too big to fit in his freezer. He took six and will call when I can bring the other four.”

I got even.  “Helping process chickens has NEVER been on my bucket list, Roy, but I am glad for the experience. Just don’t call me for the next batch!”



Huntington Prime roasted several of the huge birds for their Father’s Day brunch and both Graham and I and Roy and his family went there to eat. Chicken had never tasted that good before.


Be open to new experiences.

There are amazing worlds out there that you may never get to explore unless

you grab opportunities when they are offered.

Beth Rankin, a homemaker, entrepreneur, businesswoman and blogger is a frequent contributor to She lives in McMinnville, Oregon
“I’M STILL HERE…!” by Ernie Tucker

“I’M STILL HERE…!” by Ernie Tucker


I arrived in Eastern Kentucky in 1968, perhaps expecting to stay a year or two and then move on to greener and better pastures. I’m still here, so I must have liked something. I’ve learned to love the hills and the streams (though we haven’t always taken the best of care of either), the changing of the seasons, the trees and wild flowers, the regional traditions and the stories which go along with them, and the local family histories, all of which still are here. I never again want to live in a place where redbud trees don’t bloom in profusion in the spring, and where native white dogwood doesn’t dominate some of the hillsides.

I like Eastern Kentucky because, let’s face it; it’s not like every other place in America. For me, there may be no greener or better pastures than those I’ve found in Eastern Kentucky.

I heard expressions when I came here that I’d never heard before, wonderful expressions combined with regional pronunciations. A woman bragged to me, the college professor, that her daughter was “making a doctor” at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. I looked around to see if anybody was listening, although I was reasonably sure that some of that was going on in my hometown Louisville, too, but we didn’t brag about it to complete strangers! I later learned that “making” meant becoming, or studying to become.

A young man and his full-voiced friends came into a restaurant in Ashland, sat down near where I was eating and said, “You sprang your lag?” (“Sprained your leg?”). “No,” his friend replied, “a sprang, like in the garage door!” A student of mine informed me that he had “some tire on his car’s tar.” Only later was I to realize that what he had was tar on his car’s tire, a switch that some wordsmiths call “vowel reversal.” I also learned that “ranch” and “French” are often pronounced the very same way (“ranch” and “franch”), so you had to be a little careful when ordering salad dressing in a local restaurant.

“I wouldn’t care to,” replied a woman in response to a request I’d made. Where I came from, “wouldn’t care to” meant you didn’t want to, but here it meant, “I’ll be glad to do it. You just ask.”board-64269_1280

I was also to learn that there were certain things that had “heads,” such as the “head” of the hollow, and I found that the “head” of the creek was where the creek “commences.” I didn’t know that. And, I found that we don’t pass around praise or compliments freely: “pretty good” is about as good as it gets! Now, where I came from, pretty good meant pretty bad, but not in Eastern Kentucky. Pretty good meant very good indeed! But! But! There’s always an addendum, an additional ending, to remarks like “pretty good.” I call it “the Eastern Kentucky addendum.”

Consequently, I learned not to say “thank you” too soon. “You’re not a bad (the equivalent of “pretty good”) looking man,” said a lovely coed to me in a hall at Ashland Community College. I said, “Thank you.” I spoke too soon! She said, “For an old guy!” “You were pretty good; no, you were really good,” said a man after I had spoken to his service club in downtown Ashland. I said, “Thank you.” Again, I spoke too soon. “In fact,” he said, “you were a lot better than you were the first time you spoke to us,” his idea of a compliment!

After I had spoken for about forty-five minutes at the First Baptist Church, an elderly man rose up and said, “Professor Tucker that was the best four hours I’ve ever spent!” I think he was joking!

A fellow whom I had never seen before came into a restaurant where I was having lunch and said, “You’re Ernie Tucker, aren’t you?” I said, “Yes!” He said, “I understand that McAdoo Williamson and you know everything.” I said,

“Thank you!” He continued, “You and McAdoo, I’ve heard, know a hundred percent of whatever there is to know.” Again I said, “Thank you!” He said, “I understand McAdoo knows 98 percent of it!” font-425829_1280My friend McAdoo, who was named for Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of the Interior, died in 2003, and did seem to know almost everything.

I love stories and I’m a pretty good listener, too. If a story has a genuine ring to it, I try to jot it down. I’ve always loved to talk to people who are older than I, though for some reason, there seem to be fewer of these people these days, and if they came off the farm or from a small town or had worked in the mines, I wanted to talk to them. Their stories are wonderful, often loaded with humor.

Kentuckians are storytellers, almost all of us, from Pike County on the Virginia border to the Jackson Purchase in the west. We tell stories, and we expect you to like them. If you don’t like stories, or if you come from a place where story telling is not a tradition, my advice is that you pretend to like them, because if you give any indication you don’t like our stories, if you turn away, for example, or you attempt to change the subject, or if your eyes go to the top of your forehead, we will never, ever, speak to you again.



donkey-43301_1920An old man, a boy and a donkey were going to town.
The boy rode on the donkey, and the old man walked.
As they went along they passed some people who remarked “What a shame, the old man is walking, the boy is riding.”
The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

Later they passed some people who remarked “What a shame, he makes that little boy walk”.
So they decided they’d both walk.

Soon they passed some more people who remarked “They’re really stupid to walk when they have a decent donkey to ride.”
So they both decided to ride the donkey.
They passed some people who shamed them by saying “How awful to put such a load on a poor donkey.”
The boy and the man figured they were probably right, so they decide to carry the donkey.

As they crossed the rickety bridge, they lost their grip on the donkey, the donkey fell into the river in the gorge and drowned.

The moral of the story: If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye.

Author unknown.



A friend of mine used to sell tools to the miners and mechanics up the hollows in Eastern Kentucky. His supervisor, a “Yankee” from “up East,” came down to see how he was doing. They drove to one of the remote mining sites and parked the boss’ Chevy van beside the road. “Should we leave it here,” he asked. “Why not,” came the reply. “The most they can do is steal the wheels!” And that’s exactly what they did. Arriving back at the van in ptch black darkness, the supervisor yelled at Jim, “I can’t find the key hole! What the hell is going on?” What was going on was that the van was sitting on the brake drums! They spent the rest of the night trying to find some wheels that would fit, and that Yankee boss never appeared in Eastern Kentucky again!


I have a friend named Tim, a large, athletic man and a fierce competitor on the tennis court. He’s the only human being I’ve ever known who could hit a perfect passing shot down the line while facing the back fence. On a sweltering summer day, after having been smoked by several early impossible shots I angrily smacked the ball in the direction of the cables that went to the lights that lighted the courts, and they came crashing down to drape the metal chain link fence that surrounded the courts. It was the first time that I’d ever heard Tim swear. “Don’t touch the fence,” we both yelled, fearful that someone might be electrocuted!


Fellow got some “memory pills” at Wal-Mart. He took one then threw the rest away. “Why,” asked a friend, “did you throw the rest away?” I didn’t like what I was remembering,” came the reply.


There were a bunch of guys from Pittsburgh in Army boot camp in WWII with Polish sounding surnames that nobody could pronounce. Somebody flushed the toilet and three guys answered “present.”


One of my friends was lost out in the country. He stopped his car and yelled over the fence to a man on a tractor, “How do you get to Corbin?” “I don’t know,” the farmer replied. “My brother-in-law always takes me.”


On the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington during the height of the “streaker” fad in the 1960s, someone lowered a banner out of a window of the Engineering Building which said, “We’re waiting for a streaker named desire,” a takeoff on a movie and play popular during the time.


The guys at the Armco Steel plant were complaining about a fellow worker who smelled so badly that nobody wanted to work around him. “Somebody’s deodorant is not working,” a man bellowed out in a not too subtle hint. “It’s not me,” came the reply. “I don’t use none of that stuff.”


On Dale Hollow Lake, one of our best fishing holes, everyone looked forward to the spring “Walleye Run.” Someone came rushing into a local restaurant shouting, “Walleye are a’runnin’. Walleye are a’runnin’.” “I don’t care who’s a’runnin,” came the reply. I ain’t votin’ for none of them guys.”


If a story ends with “Now this really happened…,” you can rest assured, it isn’t true.


Heard at McDonald’s: “You’ve talked so much you’ve wore out the batteries in my hearing aid!”


A mother asked her young son what he’d done with the $5 she gave him for church. “I met the preacher at the door and he let me in for free,” he said.


I bought some coveralls from a friend who sells almost everything from a little shop we call Wal-Mart South. “Why did you reduce the price from $20 to $18?” I asked. “I saw your woman eating grapes off the wallpaper,” he replied.


Two fiddlers at the annual fiddle contest in Ashland, Kentucky:  “We live close enough to steal chickens from each other.”


Two fellas who couldn’t tell time were talkin’. “What time is it?” asked one. “It’s right here,” answered the other. “Damned if it ain’t!” replied his friend.


He had his ship blown out from under him by a torpedo in the Mediterranean in WWII. On returning home, he learned that his younger brother was all set to join the Air Force. “Why not the Navy?” he inquired. “I can’t swim,” came the reply. “Well, how well do you fly?” asked the Navy vet.


[Ernie Tucker has written numerous pieces for Recently, he turned in a different type of manuscript. It's a collection of humorous incidents he has encountered around Eastern Kentucky. I think you'll enjoy them.