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Out On The Mudline

Buckeyes Good For Warding Off Rheumatism

By W. S. Sissell

Bynum Roots

As Nannette and I walked from our car to the door of the Oxford WalMart I noticed the Yalobusha tag on the last car parked in the row we were passing.  As we approached, a man alighted from that vehicle and met us as we got to the street.  As we met, I, looking at the tag asked, “Is that your van?” When he answered, “Yes,” I asked about his residence.  To this question he answered, “Water Valley, but my roots go back to Bynum Bottom  near Peter Brown Hill.”  When I told him my name was Sissell he immediately said and asked at the same time, “You must be Mr. Reuel’s son and I know that you know where Bynum Bottom and Peter Brown Hill are located.”  

Kenneth, told me he was Kenneth Carothers and that he was a grandson of Sam  and Mary Adams. I’ve written about or alluded to Sam and Mary in previous articles.  

I think I’ve told you that Sam always borrowed money at furnish time (March 1) and usually returned the un-cashed check received then, at “settling up” time.  Sam and Mary still lived there on the O’tuckalofa place when we quit working the place, staying on to help look after cattle that we kept there for several years.  Kenneth told me that Sam bought a new tractor after moving to another farm.  

As we talked we named different people who lived in the area.  He remembered the flowing well at Robinson’s Mill and the gristmill and operator there, Rice McFarland, as well as another mill which Lee Rowsey and I have not been able to locate exactly.   

Special Old Time Medication

Kenneth is a Vietnam veteran and a victim of Agent Orange.  The visit went on for several minutes.  Several times Kenneth injected, “My roots are definitely in Bynum Bottom,”  into the conversation.  At one point the topic turned to medication.  He said all the medication he was given seemed to make him sicker so he had stopped the prescribed and gone to some old practices of his grandparents.

One that interested me most was a cough medicine that our doctor told Nannette and me about for her mother, Rock Candy dissolved in whisky.  We had trouble finding the right Rock Candy but the medicine worked wonderfully for the cough.  Kenneth’s  details for this one were a little different—no Rock Candy.  Instead, take a lemon and shave thin slices, rind and all, into a pint of whisky—wow! I think I would call this sour whisky. I haven’t tried this one but Kenneth says it works.  


This morning I rode down to Hotophia Creek to check on another of those old time remedies—my Buckeye crop.  There are several trees along the ditch that borders the east end of the field. Only one tree produced fruit this year.  They were ready for gathering this morning (actually a couple of days ago would have been just right for I had to search the  ground for several of the buckeyes). My crop was two pockets full of buckeyes—they ward off rheumatism you know.

Our wish for you is a happy week.  You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606, 662-563-9879 or

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