Monday, October 02, 2006
Well, since Bill went to Eclectic, Alabama Saturday night to judge that beauty pageant, I got to thinking a bit about Elmore County. As you might remember, I grew up around here, and I’m in the process of rediscovering the area since I was away for so long (30+ years). As a kid, we’d drive through Slapout, Alabama on the way to Lake Jordan (Jerden). Anyway, I'd rather write about Slapout today and let others write about Congressman Foley and his fondness for boys or Bob Woodward's new book or YouTube (I'm fascinated with it) or Sacha Boran Cohen's cleverness (nother obsession). Come back when I'm in a more serious and self-righteous mood.
Slapout, Alabama, not to be confused with Slapout, Oklahoma, is a “town” with an identity issue. The volunteer fire department can’t decide if it’s better to be called Holtville or Slapout so they just call themselves Holtville/Slapout. They have a Web site and there is a cafepress.com site too where you can get t-shirts, bumper stickers, hats and gear with their logo on them. I’d just stick with Slapout if it were me. Checking the site this morning, I saw that Chief Gregg has a fire truck for sale. I hope that he doesn’t mind me posting a picture of it. Anyone out there in need of a firetruck? Engine 603 is a 1975 American LaFrance Pioneer Series 1500 gpm pumper with a 500-gal supply tank. And I hope they don’t mind me posting a picture of one of the cafepress.com items from their shop. Hey, I have a cafepress.com shop too, and I love any attention I get. Shameless self-promotion, I know.
How, gentle readers, you might ask, “Did Slapout come by its name?” According to the Holtville/Slapout FD site, it originated back in the 50’s and early 60’s with a general store in town that had all sorts of things you might need in rural Alabama. “As people would come in and try to buy things, if he (the owner) didn’t have what they were looking for he would say ‘I am slapout of it’ and it kinda stuck.” Coincidentally, that’s the way the Okkie town got its name.
Anyway, here’s more about Slapout. Mose T, internationally known Alabama folk artist, has a children’s book with poems and his colorful paintings called Mose T’s Slapout Family Album. I suppose he’s referring to the Slapout I know.
Ruth from Ruth’s House of Poetry wrote a poem called “Slapout Boogie.” Some guys named Roy Boney and Larry Burditt have a comic called “Slapout,” but I think it’s about the other Slapout; you know, the Oklahoma one so I’m not giving the link to it. Go find it yourself if you are curious.
If you have the chance, check out Elmore County. It’s Alabama’s third fastest growing county, the movie “Big Fish” was filmed in these parts, and then, of course, there’s Slapout.
About the top photo: That neat photo of the fire truck is by Cecil Bridges. I asked him if I could use it and he said okay. Cecil has a Web site with some wonderful photos of Alabama. Check out his work to see why I love this area so much.