The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Monroe's Memories of Flournoy Dalton

By Monroe Tipton © 1984

Issue: July, 1984

I will talk about Flournoy Dalton, of which he was nick-named "Fod." Now Fod never harmed anyone but one person of whom we will talk about later.

Now Fod was a well educated person and pretty well off. He had two good sized farms and right much money. He was a school teacher and a music teacher. He could play the violin and banjo and was one of the best singers ever.

He could go in the middle of any field and tell you how many acres were in it. He could go in a field where there were cattle and tell you how much each one would bring.

When US 221 was being made into a gravel road from a dirt one, Fod told them how much dirt it would take for the fill up above our house. They said, "Get out of the way old man," but when they found Fod was right, they tried to get him to go with them, but he wouldn't go.

Now Fod always went to someone's house for supper almost every night, since he could not cook very well. But Fod was a good accommodating man, never taking anything for what he did.

Fod was married at one time, but another man took his wife. Fod told me if he ever saw him he would kill him. Well, Fod had a muzzle loading shot gun. He loaded it with two charges of powder, two charges of shot, thirteen mountain rifle bullets and a handful of small taps. So happened one day, Fod saw the man the other side of a fence. Fod grabbed the old shot gun. The man sat down behind the back of the fence just as Fod pulled down on him. He shot five fence rails in to and put 49 shot in the man's face. In the meantime, the gun was loaded so heavy, it knocked Fod down and slid him plumb under the bed. His arm and shoulder was so sore and blue he couldn't use it for a while.

Now the young people liked to pick on Fod, not meaning to hurt him in any way, but because he was so scary and the way he acted. I remember one time he took his feather tick and two quilts and went to the woods here below home. He put the feather tick down at a huge chestnut log, put the quilts over it, then he leaned some bark up against the log and that is where he slept. One morning I went to the store up at Dugspur [Virginia] which Sam Quesenberry ran. At that time I had made my purchase and was about to leave when Sam said, "Monroe, what the hell is that coming yonder?" I looked and over the crest of the hill, it looked like huge chicken coming. Fod's feather tick had come apart and feathers were all over him.

Well, it was not too long after that until he moved back to his house and seemed like people left him alone after that. But many people wished they had the education Fod had. He could tell you about every big city, its population, every river, how long, how big, work any kind of math or algebra problem... He could tell you just about anything you wanted to know. I could keep on, but it would make my story too long.