This world is full of surprises. I just got a call from Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter Skates Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler.
That alone is rare.
Skeeter doesn't call me much because he doesn't particularly care for those of us in the media. He thinks we add little value to society. That doesn't make him unique.
According to my mail, quite a few others share his opinion.
As far as Skeeter Skates is concerned, if you don't know the difference between a Shaver Model SC-25 StumpBuster with 24-inch-diameter cutting wheel or a King Kutter Gear-Driven Reverse-Tine Rotary Tiller, you are wasting time and space in this world.
I have tried to tell him that putting commas in all the right places is no walk in the park, but to no avail.
The second big surprise was that Skeeter told me he is considering moving his operations from Greater Metropolitan Pooler to Ryo, in Gordon County, not far from Ranger.
Why in the world would he want to leave Greater Metropolitan Pooler after all these years?
"Hoss, I have always said if you ain't moving forward, you ain't going nowhere but sideways," Skeeter said. I have no idea what that means, but when Skeeter gets in one of his philosophical moods, it is best just to listen.
"I'm keeping my options open," he told me. "I love Pooler but with that new port coming along over there in Savannah and all the people moving in, I don't figure there is going to be much space left to plow and I've already dug up most of the stumps in the area."
But, why Ryo, I asked?
"There's still a pretty good amount of farming that goes on around there and where there is farming, there is generally going to be a plow or two involved," Skeeter told me. "And where there are plows you are going to need somebody to repair them when they break. They've got a bunch of trees, too. That means sooner or later there will be a bunch of tree stumps to remove. Tree stumps just don't get up and move themselves. I suspect this is over your head, but it is the kind of thing we stump removal and plow share professionals look at very carefully."
I told him I appreciated him sharing his thoughts with me, but I was a bit curious as to why since my opinions don't seem to amount to much with him.
"Hoss, you know I ain't much use for you newspaper boys," Skeeter said, "but for reasons I don't understand it seems some people read them fancy words of yours around the state."
That admission alone was worth the call.
"I was just wondering if you might let folks know that whether I'm in Pooler or Ryo, they can still get a set of flywheel knives for a WoodMaxx 8-inch PTO chipper," he said. I told him I didn't get many requests for things like that and I don't have all that many fans, but I would do what I could to help.
He wanted to know about the political climate in the Ryo area. Skeeter views politicians about like he does the media, only worse. I told him I thought most of the politicians around there were basically harmless and would leave him alone until reelection time, when they would show up and tell him how hard they are working to lower his taxes and encouraging him to take his gun to church.
"That don't sound no different than the politicians around here," he growled. I reminded him that politicians are pretty much the same wherever they are.
I asked Skeeter Skates when he would make a final decision about moving. He said he is waiting for the leaders in Greater Metropolitan Pooler to make a pitch to keep his business there and then for a counteroffer from Gordon County. "It's a fact that every town in Georgia would enjoy the prestige of being known as the world headquarters of Skeeter Skates Stump Removal and Plow Repair," he said proudly.
Before you scoff at his supposed naiveté, you should know that Skeeter Skates is a proud man who considers stump removal and plow repair a profession not unlike medicine or the ministry. And to his credit, do you know a doctor or a preacher who can replace the bearings on a Bradco Model VP-10 with a one-inch clevis vibrating blade?
Neither do I.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.