Speech n Music

by kfrego

Dad’s youngest brother Bob and his wife Ida built a new home a few miles out of Waddington. Bob and Ida had four small children. There home was located on a sloping hill above a creek. Their was an old pasture between the house and the creek. Across the creek was miles of undeveloped woodlands and swamp areas.

Bob and Ida’s oldest son Tommy had a medical condition which severely restricted the passage of air through his wind pipe. At five years of age Tommy had gone through several surgeries. He had a permanent tracheotomy tube installed in his lower throat. All of Tommy’s breathing was done through the small metal tube instead of through his nose and throat. With the exception of his breathing tube, Tommy’s only other problem was his ability to speak normally. The therapists had taught Tommy to talk around his damaged voice box and wind pipe. Problem was, he sounded exactly like Donald Duck. You could understand every word he said and carry on conversations with him. Tommy was a very active five year old boy. His medical condition left him some limitations, but he loved to holler, jump, run, laugh, and play just like all children. Watching Tommy overcome his adversity was more of a life adventure than a great adventure. He impressed me with many lifetime memories.

Bob had a hound dog used for deer and rabbit hunting. His name was Ol Rattler. This dog was the Elvis Presley of hunting dogs. All hounds have a distinctive baying bark when they are pursuing game. It’s very easy to recognize the dogs from long distances by their voices. Deer and rabbit hounds hunt mostly during the late fall and winter. The rural area where Bob and Ida lived allowed Ol Rattler to be loose most of the time. Once in a while he would cross the creek and go hunting by himself.When Ol Rattler got onto a fresh scent it was something special hear. If he was on a deer he would go completely out of hearing range and return again in a big circle. The rabbits would make much smaller circles than the deer. A good hunting dog doesn’t catch the game. There job is to keep them moving to give the hunters better chances of getting a shot. Ol Rattler had a very distinct long, rolling, bay that was like music coming from the woods across the creek. Bob could tell what he was running and the area the game would travel as it circled. The sound of Ol Rattler hunting was a great adventure of a bygone era.

Tommy’s impaired speech spoke our language…………Ol Rattlers music was all his own.