When I was a little girl, my uncle Jimmy Yates told me that he was having a hard time growing anything in his back yard, so he cut up his garden hose and planted it just to see what would happen. Much to his surprise, a beautiful tree grew nice and strong and shaded the back yard, but even more surprising was that when it bloomed and harvest time came, he had the nicest crop of licorice whips he ever did see. He thought he’d try planting rocks next time and see if there wasn’t a good crop of rock candy to harvest this time next year.
Of course, I believe him until the very end of the story, he got rewarded with my grins, and he did his job by keeping a straight face through the entire escapade.
Uncle Jimmy was a life-time Okie and a story teller. My Uncle Dean was a story teller. My whole family, on both sides of the tree (as well as my husband’s) were full of real tales, tall tales, jokes and ghost stories. It’s a family theme for us, but it’s really a family theme for the state. Okies can tell tales like not too many others around the U.S.
Case in point? Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton. There are books written about his life, a few videos that are pretty good summary statements covering portions of his life, and then tall tales about the Tale-maker himself. However, I thought you might like to read a few for yourself, written by his own hand. So, every once in a while I’ll put in a few of his “Truthful Pete Says” articles he origianlly wrote for the Perkins Journal newspaper in 1950.