Friday, November 24, 2017

A splendid convention in Vienna

By Horace "Toby" Hightower, Former VHS principal
By Horace “Toby” Hightower,
Former VHS principal

By Toby Hightower

I have always been a devotee of the ideals of the ACHA. But, I have never joined the organization. You could come to an ACHA meeting in bib overalls or wearing an expensive suit, and you can be a PhD or just a farm hand and you will meet as equals at an ACHA festival.

For two or three years, the ACHA met at Vienna High School, where and when I was the principal long ago.

Now I have piqued your curiosity, because I fear that many of you might not have a clue as to what ACHA stands for.

Well, it stands for fellowship, equality, clean fun and early America. It also stands for American Coon Hunter’s of America.

When I was young, coon hunting was a very big deal in Todd County, Kentucky. Just about anybody with any education could tell you of the merits of a Blue Tick or a Red Bone hound. You could get a pretty fair price for a good hound, but it was considered a form of treachery to sell your hound.

Lemme back up now and tell you about this coon dog convention at Vienna.

I call it a coon dog convention because most everybody brought his coon dog with him. I had expected only a bunch of farmers, but I was surprised to find preachers, teachers, lawyers, accountants, no-accounts, as well as drinkers of moonshine and drinkers of fine wines. They came from near and far and drove a variety of vehicles from rusted pickups to shiny new top of the price line cars and station wagons.

I never before had realized that there is a royalty among coon dogs that is as long as the British line of kings. The coon dogs I had as a boy could be associated with a fairly long line of mothers, but the fathers of any one of my coon dogs was a hard dude to identify. Down in Todd County folks often ate the coons that they caught, but among elite coon hunters it is a wits contest between the dog and the coon. And, the coon is seldom harmed.

There are lots of coon dog myths and the hero dog is often called Ole Blue. Shoot, Ole Blue is one of my favorites but I could never get it past the editor.

You will have to contact me privately if you want to hear the story about Ole Blue and the mountain lion.My mailing address is 222 South 25th Street, Apt. 434, Terre Haute, IN 47803. Or you may call me at 812-235-2130. You can also email me at tobyhigh@frontier.com

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