Rather than going through ancestry websites, a friend decided to just put stories from his family’s past in print for his children to have to carry on for future generations. I offered to help, and it didn’t take long to find out this family may have a bit of a different background than me or you.

Rather than having a grandmother remembered for her sweet disposition or knack for making black-eyed peas taste better than your standard store-bought peas, here’s what he recalled of his Grandma Bonnie.

For starters, Bonnie was a school teacher, a well-respected one at that. But, she was country. Actually, she would have had to move closer to town to be where most folks considered country. She was well out in the hills, and her family had long since worked a patch of land that now was divided by a state highway.

One afternoon, Bonnie met a man at her door, perhaps more than a little suspicious of a stranger in her neck of the woods. The man explained his reason for being there. He was with the state and had been advised to clear a wider path for the state highway that ran by Bonnie’s house, which she shared with her husband, Tooter.

The man had come with a bulldozer, which he had already driven off the trailer. Bonnie simply told the man, “No, you’re not going to do that. I have flowers growing on that roadside and that would tear them down.”

Bonnie fully believed that was reason enough for the man to tuck and run.

He didn’t.

The man replied, “Well, I have to do it.”

Bonnie replied, again, “No, you’re not.”

The man said again that he had no choice but to do as he was instructed. Again, Bonnie said, “Well, no you’re not.”

At that point, the man walked away and proceeded to get on the bulldozer. He started it and was beginning to move toward the location he planned on clearing when Bonnie, who had gone inside her house, walked back outside with a larger-than-average caliber pistol.

Neither party flinched. That turned out to be a very bad decision for the state employee. Bonnie didn’t hesitate, raising the pistol in the direction of the man and pulling the trigger. She hit him in the leg, at which point all thoughts regarding widening of the road ceased.

When the sheriff and a deputy arrived, they investigated the situation. It was pretty obvious what had taken place. The deputy looked at the sheriff and remarked, “That man sure is lucky that she is a good shot and only hit him in the leg.” The sheriff looked at the deputy and said, “Good shot? Good shot? That wasn’t a good shot. She was aiming for his head.”

Bonnie got off lightly, basically just a citation, because there was not going to be 12 people in that county that would convict one of their own against someone who worked for the state.

The widening eventually took place. I guess Bonnie didn’t have enough bullets, that or someone told her they would replant her flowers elsewhere.

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