Uncle Ike Ware’s daughters. Remember, Uncle Ike?

He and his family lived near Bear Wallow, Ky.

He always claimed there must be something in the water that caused him to sire only “mares”, as he lovingly called his girls.

I suppose that is why he gave all his girls M names, except Dorothy. Why not Dorothy is still a mystery to this day.

Surely you remember Dorothy (aka Dotey.) Dotey is the one that married one of the twin Cody boys. Either Luke or Duke Cody. I suppose she will never know which one she married.

As for the girls, I remember, there was , Martha, Maude, Madeline, Marcie, Mae, Mildred, and Dorothy.

Ike had married a sweet girl from the Morrissey, family, Myrtle Marie Morrissey.

Of all the girls I remember Maude best. She was the athletic type to the point that none of the boys would have much to do with her.

She could beat the best of them making center court baskets in the school gym, horseshoes on the play ground or arm wrestling at the country fair.

What she was most famous for was “Watermelon Seed Spitting!”

Maude held the county championship since high school. She held the county record at 19ft 4 inches, until a year or so ago.

Then there came a young lady from across the hollow that took the record by 2 full inches. Maude was devastated!

She vowed to get the record back!

She practiced seed spitting till she about wore her spitter out.

Then one day she happened to see cousin Mose Martin skipping rocks across the pond. She noticed how the rock would skip two, three,  four times before it sank.

Maude set about trying different ways of spitting seeds so they would skip before they stopped.

The rules say the distance was not where the seed hit, but where it it came to, rest!

Last year when the fair was held, Maude was ready!

What a day it was to be!

Folks came from miles around for the festivities. Not only was there to be the seed spitting event, but also the cow pie tossing, called a “fling”, the one handed knitting as well as the pie judging!

Mose Martin won the cow pie “fling” with a near record distance, even though his pie skipped five times before coming to rest.

Maude’s sister, Mae, took the prize in the pie judging and according to the rules, did eat the whole thing. Her Green Persimmon Pie!

Finally the Water Melon Seed Spitting event came up.

The best of three spits was to be the official distance.

The lady from across the hollow, being the reigning champion, went first.

Her first two attempts, lacking much enthusiasm, fell well short of any mention.

Taking in a large amount of air, rearing back at the waist, she let go with a tremendous effort and let fly her last seed!

A record breaking nineteen feet, eight inches!

A loud roar of cheering rocked the assembled crowd!

Maude, not being bothered, took her place on the line, reared back and skipped a seed two inches short of the record.

The second try came a fraction short, after skipping three times.

Maude had found the range!

With one gigantic effort, she skipped her last seed four times for a new record twenty feet one inch! She had won the championship back!

The judges, recognizing the record could never be broken, awarded Maud “Champion for Life” and struck Watermelon Seed Spitting from the Bear Wallow Olympics!

Bear Wallow will never be the same.

Another great tradition gone down the tubes!




  1. As soon as I get back up off the floor from laughing so hard, I will finish this comment. Dear Maude had the spunk, the wind and the aim to spit her seed the furthest. Poor old Ike just ran out of M&M’s, I guess and started the alphabet over again. Great story Ray. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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