The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Mayberry Memories - Hunting Accident

By Coy Lee Yeatts © 1985

Issue: November, 1985

(Editor’s Note: Mayberry, Virginia is located 2.8 miles south of Meadows of Dan, Virginia and 4.3 miles south of Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Not much is left of the once thriving community but the memories will live forever.)

The Great October Sale had been held at the S.C. Scott Store in Mayberry and Dad had made a journey to peddle some produce all the way to Danville and back. Somewhere he found a little red wagon for me. Oh boy, was I happy. I was the only small boy in Kettle Hollow that had one at that time.

Esley Smith had sawed some lumber down below the barn and one yard of lumber up the Hollow from where we lived. Dad and Mon were planning to build a new house on a piece of land Dad and Aunt Della owned. Dad had traded Aunt Della some other land for her part. The sawmill had been moved with steers to its new location.

When springtime would come again, Uncle John Hassell, Aunt Eileen and I would carry Dad his lunch there each workday, but right now, it was Thanksgiving day.

I was out on the porch in my new overalls Mom had made from one of the legs of Dad's worn out ones. Daddy, Allen Yeatts and John Robison had gone up the Hollow with Dad's dogs, Jack and Rambler.

Jack and Rambler were Daddy's prize hunting dogs. At least they were some of the best Blue Ticks of that day. I don't know which enjoyed hunting the most, Daddy and his friends or the Blue Ticks

A shot was fired and in just a little bit, a second shot sounded.

In just a minute or so, Daddy and Allen came in sight from around the bend in the Hollow carrying John between them.

John had been wounded when Allen's gun went off as he unloaded it and John was struck at a downward angle in his legs. A major part of the load went into the left leg, which they had put a belt for a tourniquet on.

They brought John in the house and put him on a bed. Then Moma called Dr. Adkins on her new party line telephone, so several people knew what happened in just a very few minutes.

John became thirsty from the loss of blood and Mom gave him some water. Then the doctor came and John was taken to the hospital. Dark came and I was sent to spend the night at Grandpa Yeatts'. Moma fixed a light for us to travel with by taking the globe from a regular lamp and fastening a safety pin through the wick so the wind wouldn't blow it out.

After John came back from the hospital, Allen's family cared for him for a while until he could walk again.

Someone asked John what he was going to do when he got well and his reply was, "Go hunting rabbits." That was to say he wasn't mad at Allen or anything because he got shot.

Years latter we were cradling oats up on the Organ Place when John took his shoe off and got a shotgun pellet out of it that had worked out of his leg.

John is now past 90, maybe as much as 93 years old, and lives with his daughter in Rockbridge County, Virginia.