From time to time we’ve examined some of the unusual but interesting – quirky - events that have occured in Athens and were covered in the Athens Review at the time. Here are a few more.
Local farmer S.A. Freemon brought this story to the Review and it was run on May 2, 1929 under the headline “Four Legged Chicken Is Latest Freak.”
This abnormality occurred when there was a batch of chicks hatched on the Freemon farm and one of them had four legs. As the reporter explained, this chick had “…two of the ordinary kind [legs], the surplus pair being just in front of the proper pair and are smaller and not so well shaped.”
But there was something else. “Another oddity about the chick is that the nub from which the tail feathers grow is forked giving the suggestion of a fish’s tail.”
Yet despite these peculiarities, “…Otherwise the chick is normal and Mrs. Freemon will use every effort to raise it.” Imagine – a chicken with four drumsticks!
Our next incident involved the eventual return of a lost purse but with some unusual events along the way. It was first described in the Review article of July 17, 1947 that described how at one time Mrs. Jack Stone, described as living on the Robbins’ farm near Athens , had lost a pocketbook while in town. The purse contained $35.36 along with personal identification, so her husband placed an ad in the Review to get it back.
Meanwhile, just after that loss, another local man Mr. L.D. Dunn found the lost purse and so he put a notice in the Review to find the owner. However, as it turned out, neither the Dunn nor Stone families saw the other’s ad and though Mr. Dunn continued to find the owner of the purse, he was unsuccessful.
Then the reporter described how Mr. Dunn’s son-in-law happened to speak to Mr. Robbins – the owner of the farm where the Stones resided – and asked if he knew someone by the name of Stone. And if he did had Mrs. Stone lost a purse?
Mr. Robbins knew the Stones of course and that was the connection that put loser and finder together. Mrs. Stone’s purse was returned to the Stones – contents intact, along with the original $35.36.
It’s always great when someone who needs a home finds one – and that was exactly what was described in an article with the headline “Wee, Wee, Wee – This Pig knew the way home” in the February 27, 1947 Athens Review.
A few months previously Bob Fox, who lived “on the Bishop lease in the Tri-Cities Field” was having a house built and at the same acquired a pig. However, apparently he did not have a pig pen built.
As the reporter put it, “The porker, without a home, wandered about and soon disappeared.”
However, when the Fox home was finally finished and Bob moved in, he then began construction of the enclosure for his pig. However, he still had to find the pig, a task he did not welcome.
Yet that turned out to not be a problem, according to the reporter, because “Just as Mr. Fox hammered the last nail in the gate Tuesday, the porker, with a couple of satisfied ‘oinks’ walked up and into the pen.”
Our final story occurred when local café owner A.R. Stripling had a problem communicating with his customers. . (The article did not mention the restaurant’s name but according to one source it was probably the B&B Cafe, a long established Athens eatery.)
The January 28, 1954 Review carried the story. The reporter related: “Faced with the rising cost of coffee, A.R. Stripling felt he had to boost the per-cup price to break even and set about wording a sign to ease the announcement to his customers. So when it became necessary he posted the sign that read: ‘Sorry, coffee 10c.’”
However, the café regulars had their own take on the wording of the sign. They read it as “Sorry coffee 10c.” With that reading, according to the reporter, they “commented, ‘Why we’ve been getting this kind for a nickel’.”
When Stripling realized that was the response he knew he had to reword the sign. So he posted a new notice that read “Good coffee 10c.”
But upon seeing the new sign his customers then made another assumption; “So you finally got around to making good coffee,” they told him.
“That did it,” said the reporter. “Stripling now informs his customers that coffee is a dime without further comment.”