Floyd's House

(I'm still in the editing phase of "Moon Sunn". It is trying and painful. My editor assures me the book, like Moon's stories, is entirely too long! Below is a story I deleted--reluctantly. The setting is Moon's return from Klamath, CA in October of '61. Farrah (my mom) had already left Klamath earlier that summer. She was homesick, expecting me, and a bit tired of Moon's rambling ways. She moved in with Floyd and Kathryn, my grandparents. I was born that November.)

“I got back from California on like a Friday night and so I stayed out there at Floyd’s and I was tired from that long drive. Floyd was always a workin’ hard, but he was also a needin’ to put extra food on the table. It was never the same for him after he fought in the Pacific. He had that diabetes, and I don’t thank he ever felt very good. He still worked really hard a tryin’ to provide for his family. He always had a big garden and I thank that’s what helped a keep them a goin’. He always kept a few pigs, and he had a smoke house. He was really good at curin’ them hams.

Anyway, I got back and that first night, Floyd said, “You gotta get up in the mornin’, tomorrow’s the openin’ day of squirrel season, we’re a goin’ squirrel huntin’.”

I really didn’t much wanna go but when you was a stayin’ at Floyd’s house, you had to do what Floyd said do.”

Illegal Doe

“I woulda’ gone back to Californian that next summer but I had to be in court. Floyd and I was deer huntin’ out there on the Game Area.”

I shot through a buck and killed a doe. Back then they wut’n even let you use slugs73 on the Game Area, you had to use buckshot. I’ve never liked to use anythang that caused them shots to spread, except if I’m a turkey huntin’.”

Anyway, a whole group of deer came down one of them hardwood hills and I picked out the biggest buck; it was only about a six-point. I put that bead on him and squeezed the trigger. Floyd heard me shoot and came over there. I’d never gone down there yet, I was still leanin’ against the same tree when he walked up. We went down the hill and found a blood trail and followed it a piece and there lay a dead doe.”

Floyd said, “You shot a doe.”

I told him, “No, I’m sure I shot at a buck.”

So, we went back up there and looked real careful and we found a second blood trail and followed it until it finelee’ played out. We never found that buck.”

Floyd said, “Let’s go”, and I told him, “I’m not gonna leave this doe deer here, somebody can benefit from it.”

“I ain’t never believed in a wastin’ nothin’.”

I told Floyd, “I’ll take this deer to the game warden.”

Back then the wardens would take them to French Camp to help feed them kids at the French Camp boarding school. So, I skinned that deer and put the whole thang on my shoulder and walked all the way back to the car with it. We stopped up at the game warden shack and told ’em what had happened.”

Mr. Carr wasn’t there, but Mr. Brooks was. He went back down there with us and I showed him what I was a shootin’ and where I shot and where the two blood trails was.”

Mr. Brooks said, “You done the right thang, I’ll turn this deer in to French Camp.”

Well two days later, Wilbur Carr found me in Ackerman and wrote me a ticket. He didn’t even ask me no questions or look at any of that evidence. He just wrote that ticket for illegally shootin’ a doe, which I did, but it was unintentional.”

I was determined from the minute I got that ticket to fight it in court. Where I killed it was in Winston County and so I had to go to Louisville to the justice of the peace court. It was on the federal land, but for some reason they prosecuted them cases then in local court. That court date was either in late 1961 or early 1962. I was my own attorney, but I really didn’t know many people in Louisville. I thank if it had been in Ackerman, I wouda’ won. They found me guilty.”

I appealed it, but that court date didn’t take place until the next August. I was a plannin’ on a leavin’ about May and a goin’ back out there to California to do that loggin’ work. But if I’d a left, I’d a been found guilty, so I had to stay ‘til August for that court.”

We got in there that day and sat around for a while and finelee’ before the court was even called into session that judge called me and Wilbur Carr up there to the bench.”

He talked a little bit and then said, “From what I understand, Mr. Sunn you are not guilty of illegally killin’ a deer and I’m dismissin’ this case right now.”

That got me out of there, but from that point on Wilbur Carr was always a lookin’ for some kinda’ revenge. He was always a tryin’ in any way he could to bust me and your Grandpa for the slightest violation until the day he retired.”

Not all of ’em, but some of them game wardens don’t understand what they were a put there to do. They assume ever body is guilty and they thank their job is to write you a ticket on some meaningless technicality. I’ve always believed in a followin’ ever bit of the law, but sometimes the circumstances might necessitate doin’ somethin’ a little different.”

Really, Wilbur was a pretty good fella, but I do know he’d been in the penitentiary for a runnin’ whiskey. Don’t put that in the book! But I still thank he was a pretty good fella, he just thought he had to do that job the way he saw it.”

Illegal Parkin’

Years later, Wilbur Carr wrote Moon a ticket for illegally parkin’ on the Game Area. What happened was the evening before, he’ d roosted a big gobbler. Rather than takin’ the trouble to drive home, Moon decided to just sleep in the woods.

Moon recalls, “That next mornin’, when that turkey flew down, I made a couple of purrs on the call and he came right to me. Man, he had a long beard and big spurs. I’d been huntin’ him for a while, and I was sure glad I finelee’ got ’em.”

When Moon walked out with the turkey, he noticed a yellow ticket stuck under his windshield wiper. It was signed by Wilbur Carr.

“I didn’t know it was illegal to sleep out there on the Game Area, I’d been doin’ that ever since I was a kid.”

Brooks Ford, my third cousin, yes Southerners keep up with such things, recalls the occasion, “I was turkey huntin’ in Choctaw one spring and when I drove out late one evenin’, I noticed Moon’s truck a sittin’ there. The next mornin’ I drove back in there before daylight and his truck was parked in the exact same place.”

I thought to myself, “How does Moon get in here so blamed early?” Then it occurred to me he’d never left! Your daddy is the beatin’ ’est woodsmen I’ve ever seen.”

Brooks continued, “One time I was up there at Grenada in a boat crappie fishin’. It was in the wintertime and here comes Moon a wadin’ out with a string of mallards tied behind him. It was bone chillin’ cold and he didn’t even have on a pair of waders!”

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When I first penned Moon and Sunn I included a truck load of chapter endnotes. I felt I needed to verify just about every historical detail of the entire book! After endless research editor Bobby Ha