Not Talking

Jerry Earnest is home grown, much younger than I, but old enough to appreciate the stories of old Fayetteville. He sent me an email telling me a funny story about Russell Edmondson. Russell and I went to school together. I’ve talked with Russell and he has given me permission to tell this story.

When Russell was a small boy he came to town with his daddy in a mule and wagon to get supplies. They pulled up on the square and his daddy stopped the wagon and tied the mule to a hitching post. He left Russell in the wagon while he went to buy supplies.

Russell’s daddy, not wanting him talking to strangers, told Russell, “ If anyone speaks to you, don’t say anything. If you do they will find out how stupid you are!!”

Mr. R.E.L. Fife lived just around the corner in what today we call the “Holliday House.” He was an elderly, sophisticated man. He often strolled around town in his three piece suit and greeted everyone.

As he passed the wagon he spoke to Russell, “ Mighty fine day ain’t it, son?” Since Russell’s daddy had told him not to say anything he didn’t say a word.

Mr. Fife again said, “I said, son, a mighty fine day.” Russell again said nothing.

Mr. Fife feeling Russell was being disrespectful said “Boy, you are a stupid little brat!” Russell still said nothing.

Russell’s daddy appeared across the street and Russell ran to him, “Daddy, I didn’t say a word, but they found out anyway!!”