Monday, October 02, 2006

Slapout, Alabama

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 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 items from their shop. Hey, I have a 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.


Don said...

For several years I lived on the opposite side of Lake Jordan from Slapout, on Weoka Creek just across from Holiday Shores,,,,,and often wish that I still did. I ventured to the Slapout side often and even shopped in that store. I believe it may have been called The Boys' Store. There was a sign on the hi-way as you entered Slapout that proclaimed that Slapout is "where the stars fell" (Stars Fell on Alabama, you know the song}. I still associate that sign with Slapout in my mind and wonder if it's still there. Of course we've learned since then that a huge projectile from space actually did fall and created a huge crater just a few miles south-southeast of Slapout outside of Wetumpka.

Robert Charles (now deceased) had a radio show on the Wetumpka station (WETU back then I believe) on which he talked about the "Slapout Nudist Colony" and even had membership cards to it that he gave away. Of course, it was all just a joke that a lot of people had fun with because there was no such thing. There was quite a bit of skinnie-dippin' that took place on Lake Jordan, however.

Charles was known for his sign-off of. "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on. This is Roberrrrtt Charles."

Sheila said...

Hey Don. Great to hear from you. I hope some more local folks comment. I didn't know about the crater from space debris. Love the story about Slapout Nudist Colony.

Don said...

Sheila, if you're interested in learning more about your surroundings, the crater in particular, go to to read about it. Your search engine will list other sources as well.

Tim said...

Ah, yes, Slapout. I've been there a few times myself, as I've some distant relatives living in that area. Grandpa came from that general area, including up around Florence, as well, if you're familiar with it.

Slapout was one of his favorite "words" or parts of phrases. He used that including "you'ins" "yer'ins" and many other "foxworthyisms".

Of course, it's just one of the funny names around there. I remember Flea Hop, Froggy Bottom, Smuteye, Bug Tussle and of course, the strangest one, Blue's Old Stand. Those country folks sure came up with some dingers.

Tim said...

Oh, yes, and I was just talking to mamma - she told me not to forget Possum Trot. :)

Sheila said...

Hey Tim. Nothing like the South for colorful names and characters. Adds to the charm!

Have you seen the Alabama blogger who calls himself Possum Blog? I like that name.

Another community nearby (Coosa County) with a nice name is Equality which is through Wetumpka on the way to Santuck. I always love saying "I've reached Equality," when I'm up that way.

J.D. said...

Not to be rude, but I'm afraid the Holtville/Slapout fire chief is a little off on the date of origin of the name Slapout.

I've lived in Slapout since 1964 and it had been called that for years before the '50's or '60's.

The Boy's Store (the old one, there's a brand new modern gas station and grocery store there now - don't even think they sell fish bait anymore) may have been built in the Fiftie's (Denson Holley and the now deceased unofficial mayor of Slapout, Jimmy Davis were the "Boy's" the store was named after), but the original (or so my grandmother tells me - and she don't lie, God bless her!) store was owned by a man in the 1920's who was the cause of the town's name ("Got any bread?"- Slapout", "Got any soup?" "Slapout."

Sheila said...

I appreciate a clarification from a long time resident. At least, the origin sounds about right even if the time frame is off. I guess y'all best write up a history and get these things straight if no one has done so already. At any rate, Slapout has one of the coolest names around.

Tracy Hunt-Cupp said...

Hi: My Dad's family settled in Slapout (I think in the 1970's--(he is originally from Birmingham). I was a kid then so that is why I am not sure of the time. Every year our family summer vacation was to visit our grandparents, aunt/uncle, and cousins in Slapout (we are from Ohio). You can imagine how hot it was to us Yankee's. And, yes, I can remember the old Boys Store and have seen the new one. We always liked seeing the cotton near there, too. I had a bad experience once with fire ants. My cousins all had red feet from the clay and so I thought I could run around barefoot, too. But, the red ants got me. My mom would not allow my sister nor I to get in Lake Jordan for fear of snakes. My grandma and grandpa lived in a trailor (which is now called Blackberry Rd and it is now paved--I can remember when it didn't have a name and was a dirt road--people just nailed signs up on a tree pointing in the direction of their home). A neighbor across from them grew bamboo. My aunt and uncle lived in a house just across the road from Lake Jordan. I had 2 cousins that lived in the area, as well. One still lives there and the other has moved to Florida. My Family name is Hunt. Later in life, I went to visit my grandma and aunt in March and it was Beautiful! It was like May here in Ohio. My grandma died in 2001 and I haven't been back since. We keep in touch with my aunt who still lives there. Thanks for having this site. It has been fun reading the postings and sharing. Tracy

white_rabbit said...

hi tracy and all who have written about slapout..i live in slapout and i live on blackberry road!..they are finally cutting down that bamboo to build a couple of houses, i've heard..we live on a acre lot across the street from lake is beautiful up here and we love living in slapout..and yes, blackberry road is paved if you could call it that..hehehe..we visit the boys store every day to buy ice long as there's a boys store in slapout we don't care if it's old or new..we look forward to the cotton picking ritual october-december..we think forest gregg is a fine fire department captain, no matter what you call it..and we think our volunteer fire/rescue department does a fine husband was treasurer there for ten everyone laughs at my husband as he patrols slapout in his barney fife mobile as constable of beat 15, but just as many appreciate him keeping watch over our beloved slapout when no one is expecting it..white_rabbit

Tom said...

Thanks for giving Slapout, Oklahoma some billing, but we're not called "Okkie" (2 k's), but Okie (with one k). And we don't 'low yankees and left-coasters to call us that, but it's OK for y'all Alabamans.

Anonymous said...

Great site, love the comments. I love living in Slapout, but of course I don't know many people, I have only been here 5 years, but I wish I had lived here all my life!

Sheila said...

Tracey, White Rabbit and Tom,
Interesting to see this post is still getting comments.

OK, Tom but it's Alabamians (that one always throws non-Alabamians off unless you meant it since I got Okie wrong).

BTW I am in Illinois now but my heart is in Dixie.

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Beau. I used to live in Slapout in the summer time. 85 to 90 boy the memories. If you read this O F kristy or Kevin hope you are well and God bless.
I hope to pass by to take a look and see how things have changed.

Gossip Mom said...

So where did the name Holtville come from? I see slapout on a map but not Holtville.

toglyn said...

Hi Slapout friends. Greetings from Liverpool England and a very happy Christmas Day to you all. Just posting because our daughter Sharon is in Dothan and Slapout for Christmas. She is a Christian Missionary in Lima, Peru and staying with her flat mates family in Dothan but they have a farm in Slapout also.

I hope we are the first ever English family to 'post' our greetings to Slapout! Say hi to her as you can't miss her English accent! But she is lovin y'all!

Terry & Ann Jones

Michael Lee Smith said...

My Dad's family comes from around Wetumpka and Deatsville, and when I was a kid visiting them on the farms, they mentioned Slapout a lot, and this would be like 1951, and then talking about it back in the Depression, so I think the name has been around a long time.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in that cotton filled red dirt town scrapping knees and runnin dirt roads. grew up on hard work and swimmin, even though I live in Nebraska now, that town will be forever burned into my brain,and my child hood and early adult years... Roll tide and go bulldogs!!! class of 09 baby!!!