Coffee, snow and other stuff

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 4, 2002

Features Editor

While Toby and Jewel Griffin were huddled around the table with the breakfast bunch at Hardee’s eating biscuits and solving the problems of the world, their cows and goats were huddled under the shed keeping out of the snow and wishing for some hay to come their way.

The morning conversation touched on the snow, "We don’t like it if we’ve got to be out in it," Mrs. Griffin said, but mainly the talk was about who was sick and who was getting better.

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And, Steve Spurrier.

"Spurrier said he was going to hold Rex Grossman out because of curfew violations," Griffin said, "but he saw Maryland might beat him so he put him in."

So the conversation went around and around, but not too much was said about the weather, except "be careful and don’t slip" and "hope we don’t get any more of this stuff."

However, at the Banks Buy-Rite, the conversation was primarily about the weather and

the good apple tarts being served in the deli.

Chester Garrett, owner of the grocery mart, said people have been sitting around the tables in the deli talking about things that affect their lives or livelihood – cotton, chickens and pecans and, of course, deer hunting.

"Some of the farmers still have cotton to be picked and they’re not sure exactly what this snow and ice is going to do to it," he said.

Lamar Livingston has cotton in the fields but he’s never had snow on it before.

While Livingston was pondering the fate of his cotton and hoping for dry weather, his neighbor, Mike Dubose, was hoping for warmer weather.

Dubose is a poultry farmer and his chicken houses are probably the warmest place in town during a freeze.

"I just got baby chicks Monday and then we got this cold snap," he said."It came at the worst time for me. More mature chickens can flock together to keep warm, but these biddies can’t. We have to keep the temperature at 85 degrees and that takes a lot of gas. The longer the cold spell, the more gas I have to use and the less profit I’ll make on this flock of birds."

Dubose said the new chicken houses are designed so that cold weather does devastate a poultry farmer by the loss of birds.

"The weather’s not caused a problem – except the high gas bill," he said. "The mortality rate for the birds shouldn’t be any higher than normal. It’s dry in the houses and warm, but it’s costing me a lot more to keep them that way."

Several of the coffee drinkers were concerned about what the snow would do to the pecans they still had on the ground, but Bobby Drinkard, buyer for Whaley’s Pecans, said the pecans can be saved if handled right.

"Cold weather is great on pecans; wet is not," he said. "Pecans that get wet and don’t dry out properly will get rancid. In fact, the Indians used to let pecans ferment and make whiskey out of them."

Drinkard advised anyone who had pecans still to be gathered to either leave them on the ground until they dry out or pick them up and put them in mesh bags so the air will dry them.

Drying out was on the mind of a group of cold, wet deer hunters who gathered at the Buy-Rite to eat and discuss the success of the morning hunt.

"This cold weather is good for hunters because it brings out the bucks," said Ted Adams. "It’s been cold and wet out there and we’ve had to add layers of clothing, but it’s worth it to get a shot at a buck."

Greg Chaney said the bucks begin to move when it’s cold.

"When it’s warm they stay put to conserve energy," he said. "When it’s this cold, they start moving and it’s good hunting."