Ode To Dolly, And The Jar Fly

By Harold Scott • August 6, 2012

I, by no means, am, as wealthy, or as famous as Dolly, but, I, like her, grew up in a rural part of Tennessee, as a part of a rather large family of six siblings, along with my parents. Eight people in a small house, made for some creativity on the part of my Daddy and Mom. It was also a home with a front porch, and, I even recall a few straight back chairs. (We used them as sleds in the snow, talk about getting creative, huh?)

As I grow older, I seem to be getting more sentimental, although, I must say, I have always been one to sometimes analyze things and places I have been, that stirs a memory, and found myself as a child thinking about people around me, or, the ones who had already passed on. I have always enjoyed history, so, call it being sentimental, or, just too much time on my hands.

I was out early this morning, and was hearing what we called "jar flies", when I was growing up. I really don't know the real name of these "bugs", but, just the sound of them, took me back to my days as a child, growing up on the farm in Jackson County, Tennessee. We worked hard in the "baccer patch", everything from getting the baccer beds ready in late February usually, to setting out the baccer in spring, plowing, hoeing, uncovering, to topping. It was with the sound of the "jar flies", that brought the time for us to start cutting the tobacco, to get it ready for hanging in the barn to cure for stripping in late October, early November, so it could be hauled off to market for sale.

There was always something about the sound of the jar fly, that, not only meant, hot, hard days of work, but, it also signaled the upcoming change of seasons from summer, to fall. The time of year that we gathered walnuts, put them in the gravel road, so that whatever vehicle came along, would crush the outer hull, so, that we could pick them back up for drying, and for cracking, to get the "goody" out.

Its amazing how the mind works, to hold something as silly as a jar fly sound in ones mind, or, a June Bug on a string, along with Honeysuckle vines clinging to a fence along the lane, that becomes a memory that takes me back to my childhood days. (Again, maybe too much time on my hands). Nonetheless, hearing the sound this morning, and, seeing a couple of June Bugs flyin', made me think of Dolly's song, and, my life on the farm with my family. It was those days that I hated at the time, that being, that I had to drop tobacco sticks usually in early August. It however, allowed me time to listen to the sounds around me, especially the "Jar Fly", off in the fields and trees nearby.

Life passes us daily, and, it has always been passing. I suppose as a child I never really paid that much attention to it, although, I, probably like any other child, thought about what, or where my life might take me. And, I like everyone one else have had life experiences, I never expected, some good, some bad. And, my family, like all others, have endured lifes ups and down, again, some good, some bad. But, it is the sound of the lil ol Jar Fly, that takes me back to a simpler, easier time, when I was a child, and stirs what now has become good memories, for this 50 year old, little boy.

P.S. Listen to Dolly Parton's "Tennessee Mountain Home" on Youtube, as you read this.....


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