Hunting with a Coke, Popcorn, and a Good Book


When I was a girl growing up in rural south Alabama, hunting was a very big deal. With the acres upon acres of woodland and plentiful creeks, Choctaw County was (and still is) a hunter’s paradise.

Deer hunting was a favorite hobby for the men and boys where I lived, and my brother David was no different. He would take down one or two of Dad’s shotguns and head to our woods in search of the perfect row of antlers. For those who know more about guns than I do, the guns may not have really been “shotguns.” That’s just what I call all of those metal weapons that are long and have wooden stocks. It could have been twenty-two rifles for all I know.

Anyway, I used to like to go hunting, fishing, or whatever else my brother used to do. Except my idea of hunting was vastly different from his. I would tag along with Dave, but my weapons of choice were a coke, a bag of popcorn, and a good book. Oh, I’d pulled the trigger a couple of times, just to see what it was like. But the kick would hurt my shoulder, and I didn’t aim at some little animal. My favorite thing to do was to go out in those wonderful crunchy leaves and find shelter from the cold November wind in the hunting house. Or whatever they called the little shack with a small window where you could watch for wild game.

Dave would amble through the woods, searching for deer, and I would while away the hours with my good book.

I don’t remember him killing anything when I tagged along. Maybe I made too much noise. But those were some of my favorite memories of growing up, and I start recalling those memories when the temp drops and the trees shed their leaves.


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The Great Un-veiling

Otherma, Ree, Aunt Joyce, and Mom.  On the hill overlooking our town.

Otherma, Ree, Aunt Joyce, and Mom. On the hill overlooking our town.

Hi All,

I’ve decided to come clean about Gihon Springs.  None of us live there now, and it’s probably short of being a ghost town.  Or a non-town.  That is, it was never a real township.  It is an unincorporated community, and my address was a “route” rather than a street. 

As Mom said, “We moved with the jobs, but Jachin moved with us in our rich memory 
bank.  How fortunate we were to grow up in Jachin.”

Yes, the name of our town is Jachin.  Jachin was one of the pillars of King Solomon’s temple.  The other was named “Boaz,” another town in north Alabama took that name.

Jachin is located at the crossroads of Highway 17 and Alabama State Route 156, and Jachin Grocery set at the western x of those two intersecting roads.  Butler, Alabama is the seat of our county, Choctaw County.  According to the 2012 census, it has a population of less than 2000.  It is almost 11 miles north of Jachin. 

Meridian, MS is the nearest big town at almost an hour’s drive west of Jachin.  Tuscaloosa is about 2 hours north, and Mobile is about 2 or 3 hours south.

Virtually nothing is to the east until you drive the 2 hours to Montgomery, our state capital. 

When people used to ask me where I was from, I used to have to give these directions. Even people who lived 2 hours north in Tuscaloosa had never heard of it!

So there you have it, Everyone.

Jachin, Alabama.