Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Gifts of Howard Massey


I met Howard Massey at the Coon Dog Cemetery festival on Labor Day.  Mr. Massey lives on Alabama Highway 24 between Red Bay and Russellville, and he is an interesting fellow.


Mr. Massey has the ability to tell how many sons and daughters you have by swinging a large needle and string over your wrist area.  When I met him, he was trying this out on a friend, and he was fairly accurate.

I held out my arm for him to tell me about my children.  After a while, he told me I had two sons and two daughters.  I had to tell him I only had two sons, and unless there is a miracle from God, there won't be any more.  He asked me about grandchildren; I have two granddaughters.  He said it worked for grandchildren, too.


I wondered if his parents or grandparents had this gift.  He didn't think it was a gift at all; it was just something he could do.  This is just minor to what he can really do: determine the sex of a body buried in an unmarked grave.  He does this by using two pieces of wire; the wires move  different ways for male or female.


I didn't ask if bodies had been exhumed to prove if he was right or wrong. I took his word for it.


It turns out Mr. Massey is a man of many talents.  He accompanied the bands with this tub bass and the spoons below. He also had a rub board to make some music on.




He earnestly competed in the buck dancing contest. I had stepped away before the winners were announced, so I don't know who came in first place, but to me, Mr. Massey was definitely a winner.



I learn so much from people like Mr. Massey.  I'm so glad we got to meet him, and hopefully we will see him again down the road.