Ron’s Time Tunnel: Well I’ll be a “Tom Tanka!”

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As a youngster, I always got great enjoyment from visiting Aunt Annie Bell and Uncle Croff. I especially enjoyed watching Uncle Croff work on the little boat motor that was “sometimes” used to propel the little green and silver “jon boat”–green where the paint remained and silver where it had worn away—he and my daddy shared ownership of. I say “sometimes” because, more times than not, Uncle Croff and Daddy “motored” out onto the water, in the little boat, but had to paddle it back in.

Uncle Croff was forever tinkering with the motor. Often, Daddy, with us kids in tow, would ride over to his house to check on his progress and to see if any “patabah worms” were on his “patabah tree” (our word “patabah”, I later learned, was actually a transliteration of “catalpa” or “Catawba”).

Entomologically speaking, Catalpa or Catawba worms are hairless caterpillars of the Sphinx…

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