"WANTED - MAN TO CHASE CHICKENS"
CHICKENS IN THE FAMILY
When I moved to the mountains 20 years ago, I got a kick out of a regular ad running in our local weekly paper: "Wanted - Man to Chase Chickens". There was a large chicken farm on the way to town and obviously the chickens got loose. That's gone now, and soon, I'll be gone, too. Yes, leaving these beautiful mountains and returning to the home of my birth, Fort Pierce, on the east coast of Florida just below Vero and just above Palm Beach.
But the chicken ad reminded me of a funny family chicken event. Back in the 1920's, my grandmother would take the two girls, my mom Amy and her older sister Hilda, and a couple of the boys, to Florida every winter. In fact, mom said one of her earliest memories was her mother lifting her from her crib in Memphis, saying, "Want to go to Florida with me, Lovey?" Grandma called all her children Lovey as she had seven and never could call the right name the first time. Mom was her youngest.
To continue with the chicken saga: after several winters in Fort Pierce, Grandma Rose decided she'd like to live in Miami, so she bought a little frame stucco "boom" house (ca.1929) on N.W.41st Street, in the section that came to be known as Allapattah. She left the two brothers in Fort Pierce in the little house she'd rented there, with a chicken coop in the rear, and instructed them to do the best they could selling eggs and chickens.
Not long after she moved to Miami with the girls, the brothers showed up, open roadster, chicken coops piled in the back, and moved in with them. Chickens in the back yard, palm trees in the front. Unfortunately, the chickens escaped every night, and each morning before the girls could go to school, they had to chase chickens around the neighborhood.
Life is a circle. I'll be back in the place I was born, in a small condo. I'm going to miss my beautiful lake view but every morning Daisy dog and I'll head for the Indian River to watch the sunrise.
Oh, if you know anyone who'd like a mountain cabin on a lake, let me know!