Friday, December 26, 2008

"Polka Dot"

-click to enlarge-

When I saw this old newspaper article, I almost fell outta my chair. I remember the guinea fowl that rode around with James very well. As the story shows, he would ride on the handlebars, on James' shoulder and most anywhere. He would run along and flap his wings to keep up if necessary.

The bird was a sight! He came into the poolroom, sat on parking meters when told to, and would stay where he was put until time to go. When James started to leave, Polka Dot had better be on the bike, or he would start his "poderacking" sound and take off from his perch and get under way.

Some other kids had unusual pets from time to time; raccoons, possum, and a goat or two was seen accompanying folks around.

Can you remember anyone with pets as such?

Clipping from an old album from an anonymous donor.


  1. If Polka Dot was alive today, he and James Elder would be stars on YouTube!

  2. Carl, help me remember who James Elder was-- I can't place him, where did he live etc?

    John M

  3. Melvin, James Elder Richey and his family, sister Jeannie, and grandparents lived on the unpaved part of North Second street near (or actually in) their cotton field just past the brickyard on the East side of the road before you got to old North Bridge. James left school in the early junior high grades, but Jeannie went on as far as I remember. He drove the family truck, a green Dodge, even on dates. He was also seen in town with a mule team and wagon.

    I have no idea whatever became of him.

  4. Carl, I Googled the name James Elder Richey and came up with a 60 year old dying in 1968 in Sevierville TN. Isn't that where Dollywood is located? Can't you see him and Polka Dot Jr. putting on a show for folks at Dollywood?

  5. Wasn't James Elder also known for running around Baldwyn on a tractor--Ford/Ferguson I think??


  6. Okay, Yes -- I remember and even Jeannie -- its amazing how many things have dropped out of our memories over the years--maybe its cause I'm older than you'll--maybe someone could hynotize us and bring all this back in focus again--we could write a BOOK

    John Melvin

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Hey Duke, I know we could all write a book would have to keep it's mouth shut till we all pass.

  9. That could not have been James Elder who died in 1968 at the age of 60 as I think he was only a year older than me and he would have been only 29 in 1968. His mother was a Elder before she married and her family owned Elder Lake outside Wheeler where we used to swim,,also her brother was the sheriff of Prentiss County. We used to pick cotton for James's dad to make money to go to the fair. I remember there was usually a bunch of us picking or tearing up the cotton anyway.


  10. I remember picking cotten for them. James Elder drove an old flat bed truck that year around the fields. The truck had a wooden bed with a lot of holes in the bed. I don't think I ever picked much cotton just played as Wallis was saying.


  11. Well, you guys got to talking about cotton picking for the Elders made me think of the time that I was picking cotton for them. I picked to the end of one of those long rows and it was time to "weigh-in" and it was a long way back to the wagon. James' mother came to get me and I had so much cotton( probably 50#) that I could not carry it. So she just put the cotton sack on one shoulder and me on the other and walked out of the field carrying both of us.
    James' father worked at the brickyard keeping the ovens that fired the bricks hot. Many times and most of you can remember he chased us out of the brickyard while we were playing on the clay trains.
    I remember the chicken very well following James around the fields and riding on the tractor with him. Jim G

  12. Thanks for catching my typo, Wallis. The date of death was actually 1998, not 1968.

  13. James's uncle that was sheriff of Prentiss County was Roy Elder. I have a friend that goes to church with me that is checking on that family. She know's the family. I will let you know when I find out.

  14. I found out from James Elder Richey's aunt that he died 15 years ago & his sister Jeannie (Richey) Campbell lives at
    107 Ridgeland
    Greenscastle, IN 46135