Whitey Harwood’s From the Wood Shed: ‘Something to brag about’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 21, 2022

In 1970, Charlie Louvin and Melba Montgomery had a Top 20 country hit with that recording, “Something to Brag About.”  If you don’t know them or would like to hear the song, you can Google it on Youtube.

Before I get too far along with this little anecdote, I would like to dedicate it to the chairman of the bored, Greg Edds.

This feller from Landis had to take his elderly mother to the doctor.  On the way home he asked her, “How did it go at the doctor?” She said, “He was a new doctor, I’ve never seen him before, but he knew everything about me!”  The son said “Well momma, maybe he Googled you.”  She said, “No he never touched me.”

My brother took me to the doctor last week.  We were sitting in the waiting room and the nurse walked in and said, “Michael Lane.”   I’ve been going to the Salisbury V.A. for almost 40 years and that nurse was the first one to ever call me Michael Lane. Most of them say “Mr. Hardwood” a few of them get it right and say “Mr. Harwood.”

So I thought, there’s something special about this one.  I stood up and walked over to her.  She told me her name (I forgot what she said it was) and asked me how I was doing?  I told her I wasn’t makin’ much fuss but that I was proud to be there.  We proceeded to this room so she could check my heart and all my other vital parts.  Out of the blue, she said, “Do you know Whitey Harwood?”  I thought she was kidding so I said “yes.”  She said “Are you kin to him?”
I figured then maybe she was serious and said, “You’re not from around here are you?”
“I’ve only been at the V.A. for about four months. I moved here from Kansas City.”
“So, how do you know Whitey Harwood?”
“Oh, I don’t know him. One of my co-workers printed off a story he wrote about the V.A. and I read it. Now I’ve been reading some of his other stories.”
“Well, I’m Whitey Harwood,”  I told her.
“So tell me Michael Lane, how did you get two names?”
“Well, my momma gave me one, and ‘Brownie’ gave me the other one.”
“Who’s Brownie?”
“That’s another story.”
She said, “That’s like the upstairs at my house.”  I said, “You mean it’s got two names?”  And she said, “No! It’s another story.”
I told you she was special.  She’s got something that’s very rare at the V.A.,  a sense of humor.
Then she said, “Guess what I’m buying tomorrow?”  She seemed so happy about it, I thought it must be something big, so I guessed, “a new car?”
“No,” she said, “a metal straw.”  Now I’m so happy and said, “You have been reading my stories.  Do you like them?”  And she said, “No, I don’t like them, I love your stories.”
So Greg, now I’ve got my own trophy.  But mine came from someone’s heart and not someone’s political garbage can.  Mine don’t rust, bust, or collect dust.  And mine will be with me “Forever and Ever Amen.”
One more thing Greg, try not to flatter yourself too much, just because I mentioned your name a couple of times.  I need to be totally transparent and very inclusive here to let the other four know with all their diversity they can kiss my assurance that we’re done.  Thank you K.C. (short for Kansas City) because “I Don’t Even Know Your Name,”  for giving me “Something to Brag About.”
Whitey Harwood lives in Rowan County.