Monty recalls “characters” readies for 2008 season
by Monty Stagner
Aug 13, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As I sat through a GridIron Club meeting this past week, the “Cats with Character” program was brought up and my mind drifted to some “characters” I have known in my life that were cool “cats”. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t remember with a smile John Birdsong. One of the wittiest men I have ever met. He was a mover and a shaker in Trigg county years ago. Sure, John had a few flaws, don’t we all? John was a car dealer, a retired moonshiner, and a good friend. He gave me my first real job when I was 9 years old; sixty cents an hour. That is a penny a minute just for cleaning up around the old Ford garage and keeping the men’s restroom tidy. The men would just smile and wink at me for doing such a dirty job so cheap, and I would just smile right back thinking of all that I could buy with these big bucks. You need to know I had just left a part-time gig pulling weeds for Miss Emma Rascoe at what is now the tourist information center. She would sit in a lawn chair and hose water on me and the weeds so the roots would come up. “I’m not paying you just to snap the tops off!” was her battle cry. And she only paid 50cents an hour and she rounded down. John rounded up, told jokes, picked on guys that needed picked on, bought you Cokes, and you got to hang out at the garage. All this and big bucks too! Many years later we again were both working at the old Ford garage where John showed me how a man can stop boozing and still be hip and cool. You don’t forget a man like that. He was one cool cat with character. Tony Dename (also of the old Ford garage) emailed me not long ago and jokingly mentioned plagiarism in my using some of John’s old lines like “I’m so broke, if river boats were selling 2 for a dollar all I could do is run up and down the bank yelling ain’t they cheap!”

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