This story is from the Spring of 1961 at Hiwassee Junior College in Madisonville, Tennessee.
“Some memories just won’t let go at all. Every time I hear or see a chicken, I think not necessarily of eggs, even though I am pretty fond of them: fried, boiled, poached, scrambled, deviled, pickled, dyed – it doesn’t make any difference.” Grundy Coach Frank Spraker said this as well, so I’m in good company.
Also, I have several dozen egg and chicken jokes that I’ve gathered from the barnyard of my life if you’ll eggscuse the eggsaggeration.
Of course, everyone has an answer for why the chicken crossed the road – to get to the other side or to prove to the possum that it can be done (probably the most popular).
But why did the chicken cross the playground…? To get to the other slide…! You knew this, I bet!
Or why did the chicken only go halfway across the road? She wanted to lay it on the line.
He-he-he. Cluck! Cluck!
If you’re not eggsasperated yet, let me cut to the chase and tell you about an incident during the Spring Quarter at Hiwassee in 1961. One of the guys (John was his first name, and I think his last name was Townsend…no way of checking since I’m sure that John dropped out of school to get a job).
John lived in the room right next to Willard Owens and myself, and he was BIG on breakfast. Nearly every morning, he would knock on our door shortly after daylight and say:
“Let’s go get an egg boys! Let’s go get an egg!”
For at least a month or two, both Willard and myself were awakened at the crack of dawn by Rooster John with about three lusty crows of, “Let’s go get an egg! Let’s go get an egg! Let’s go get an egg!”
And really, it was starting to get a little tiresome. Especially those nights when we’d played Rook or Hearts ’til after midnight, or even those rare occasions we studied ’til midnight or later.
So, it wasn’t much of a surprise when Willard told me what he’d done one night after John had left our room about midnight to go to his room next door. Willard told me he had conspired with John’s roommate to change his alarm clock setting from seven o’clock to one o’clock. John’s roommate told Willard that John always just pushed the “set” button before getting in bed since he “always” got up at the same time…. seven o’clock…
“And he’s always wanting breakfast at the ‘Crack of dawn’!” Denny, his roommate, said.
Willard and I were dozing off with our clothes on when we heard the faint sound of John’s alarm clock coming through the concrete walls. A short while later, we were ready (but made a show of primping) when John and his roommate came by, and John cackled…
“Let’s go get an egg! Let’s go get an egg boys!”
And across the Hiwassee campus we went.
Rooster John is in search of an egg & all the fixins. Meanwhile, the three others were intent on pulling off a prank.
Out the back door . . . across the parking lot . . . past the Library . . . past the old gym . . . and right up to the front door of the dining hall . . . and not a soul in sight!
But that didn’t stop Rooster John from placing his face against the glass when we arrived at the silent and closed Dining Hall shortly after 1:00 in the coolish March air.
John was searching up and down the dining hall for any kind of movement.
“Hey, John! What does that clock on the wall say?” Willard asked with a muffled chuckle.
“Dang boys!” John said, “Somebody’s clock is lyin’…
And there ain’t no sausage fryin’. Let’s go back to bed!”
So, back across the still silent campus we went – kind of afraid to mention to John that it was all a joke. (Perhaps on us more than John.)
All of us slept in that morning, and several weeks passed before Rooster John knocked on our door with:
“Let’s Go Get An Egg Boys!”
John dropped out of school after that semester, and rumor had it that he returned home to Townsend, Tennessee, to take a full-time job serving breakfast all day long at a Waffle House. Shucks! He may have even been the originator of that chain of my eateries… Waffle & Egg.
O, what I wouldn’t give to go back and make that walk and hear those six words just one more time:
“Let’s Go Get An Egg Boys!”
And hear Willard say one more time:
“Good night Roomy!”
But Hiwassee has closed its doors. Hard to believe with all of the new buildings and modernization. Just thinking that we only had one phone in Bruner Hall at the time & it was a Rotary on the wall on the 2nd Floor. It was rarely used, for we were too busy playing games and pranks.
And the roads are paved now also, but no school at the road’s end.
Back then, it was two miles from town along a dusty dirt road & when we got to school, we took a winding path up through a cemetery.
I know several Harman boys that really enjoyed our time there. We thought those days would never end.