When I was a kid growing up, one of my favorite characters was the kid who had moved in across the street. His name was Hal Ellis and he was a year younger than me, which at the time I’m thinking of makes him about eleven. Most of the time, Hal just looked like a regular kid. He was kind of middle—sized, muscular, had curly hair, and the girls said he was cute. The thing that makes me remember him though, was his ability to imitate an old country bumpkin. Here’s the way it worked. If you saw Hal and walked up and greeted him with “what do you know, Hal?”, he would go right into his act. First, he would hook his thumbs into his belt and then rock back on his heels like he was going to speak. But, then he would kind of look around and a far away look would come into his eyes and he would end up looking down at the ground. After a couple of seconds, he would start to drag his toe in the dirt and you could just see that there was a lot of serious activity taking place under that curly hair. After a few more seconds, you could see that some kind of revelation had taken place and he slowly raised his head until he was looking you right in the eye and then, out it comes “It takes a big dog to weigh 200 pounds!”
I laughed every time I heard it. He had other words that he used sometimes, too. Like,”it takes a long rope to reach a mile” but I liked the dog best. That stuff took place 45 years ago and it still makes me laugh.
August 24, 1993