Loftin  Setzer    Goble    Johnson
































































































































In the Spring of 1979 after reading this wonderful book, the 8th grade students in Curtis Loftin's Reading Class began working on a visual presentation for the book - complete with photos and a play written by the students.
It's been over 35 years since we did this project with my group of 13-year-olds and I decided that since the photos and the story are so wonderful I needed to share them.
There were a lot of adults who helped in one way or another with this reading project
  1. Curtis Loftin, 8th Grade Math & Reading Teacher in 1979
  2. Rev. Paul Hart, Pastor at Shiloh Methodist Church (in 1979), who took the photos
  3. Lee & Bessie Robinson, who allowed us to use their home & farm on Hot Rod Rd. in Catawba for the outside of the Madison family farm.
  4. Patty Mauney, who not  only helped in the background, but also allowed us to use the inside of her home as the inside of the Madison home.
  5. Jimmy Stewart, who allowed us to use to outside of the old Stewart family home as the home for our Castor family in the story.
Cast of Characters
Dayne Miller: D.J. Angile Roth: Doris
Tim Miller: Renfroe David Hester: Monroe
Layman Mitchell: Nutty Mitch Valentine: Britt
Tera McDaniel: Clara May Mack Byers: Chester
Curtis Loftin: Pa Lonnie Evans: Hoot
Patty Mauney: Mamma Roger Brittain: Dr. Coe


D.J.  finds his best friend, Nutty, relaxing under a tree and invites him to go fishin'


The two boys go back to D.J.'s house to pick up fishin' poles ...


... and head for the pond


Down past the barn ...


... and through the lush fields


As the boys relax, D.J. hears the gate to the pasture open


His sister Clara May was taking buttermilk to the pond to keep it cool


D.J. and Nutty decide to hide and scare her by pretending to be Pa's bull


When the boys hear the same sound coming from behind them , they decide it's the real bull and take off running


Clara May and their brother Renfroe catch up with the boys


It turns out Renfroe was the one making the bull sounds that scared them - and he did an even better job than them



Clara May puts the buttermilk in the pond



Later that day Renfroe finds D.J. shucking corn at the corncrib


Renfroe helps shuck corn - hoping to be able to be able to go along with D.J. and Pa to the mill


Nutty drops by and before long ...


... all three boys were shucking the corn


D.J. becomes angry with Renfroe and hits him with an ear of corn
instantly realizing that he had thrown the ear of corn at his little brother much harder than he should have


D.J. helps his little brother into the house



Mamma questions Renfroe about how he was injured - but he tells her he hit it accidentally on something in the corncrib


Mamma warns him to be more careful in the future


D.J. realized that his brother had covered for him but he wasn't about to say "Thank You"


Bored with fishin', the D.J. and Nutty decide to go over to the Castor's house and maybe start a fight


Doris was in the yard preparing hot water in a pot to do the family laundry
 D.J. and Nutty were always pickin' fights with her brothers, Monroe, Britt, Chester and Hoot


D.J. wants to fight but Monroe tells them it's too hot to fight so D.J. pushes the smallest brother, Hoot, down
Monroe tells D.J. to stop it - that Hoot is much smaller than him


Suddenly Britt and Chester jump on Nutty


Monroe eventuallly gets involved and gets the best of D.J. -T hey all decide to call a truce for the rest of the summer


D.J.'s father, Pa Madison, comes driving by in the wagon


Hoot asked Mr. Madison where he's been
but Britt tells his little brother that it's none of his business


Pa laughs at the two boys and then offers them one of his melons


As they drive away, D.J. realized that the Castors really were good friends


The next morning while eating breakfast ...


... Pa informs D.J. that the entire family is goin' to the mill - including Renfroe


D.J. loads the wagon as the family prepares to go to the mill - Clara May is annoyed with his attitude


Finally they they all get aboard the wagon and head for the mill


Halfway up the first hill, there was a loud scraping noise coming from the area near one of the front wheels


Pa stopped the wagon and got down to take a look, but couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from


Renfroe asked, "Did the scraping noise sound like this?"
Pa tells him, "Renfroe, I'm a good mind to make you get out and go home!"
"I'm sorry, Pa.  I didn't know it would fool you," Renfroe said.
"Henceforth," said Mamma, "limit your imitations to the entertaining variety!"


The Madison family find Nutty standing beside of his mailbox as they near his house and invite him to join them
They continue their journey on to the mill to have the corn ground into meal

Murray's Mill Photo from 1979


The rest of the day was a time of fun for the entire family  - games, walking around the lake and picnicking - then time to head home


The next morning D.J. finds Nutty at his usual place
They decided to head to the spring for a drink of water but are startled when Nutty sees a snake move in the grass


Nutty picked up several rocks while D.J. picked up a huge limb and together they struck the water moccasin repeatedly


"What you doin'?" came a voice from behind them.  Skinny Little Renfroe climbed down from the tree and added, "That's a big 'un".



Renfroe brushed some leaves away to reveal a string that was tied to the snake's head


D.J. and Nutty suddenly realized the truth
Renfroe had found the snake that Pa had killed the day before and had tied a string around it to make them think it was alive


D.J. was a little aggravated by Nutty laughed and congratulated Renfroe for foolin' them
Seeing the strange look on his face, D.J. finally asked him, "What's the matter Renfroe? We ain't mad at you."


Renfroe told his brother that his foot hurt really bad
"I'll help you to the house," D.J. told him


Mamma saw the red streaks coming from the recent injury


She tried to hide her concern and gotsome warm salt water for Renfroe's foot


Mamma decided that they'd best get the doctor to come take a look at Renfroe's foot, too, and sends Clara May to get D.J.


D.J. ran to the barn to saddle up the family horse and then rode into town to fetch Dr. Coe


Dr. Coe ordered Renfroe to bed and Mamma warned him that he'd better not get up


Clara May excitedly let Renfroe know that the radio they had ordered had finally arrived


Renfroe turned it on but decided that the radio must be broken when nothing happened


D.J. told his brother that the radio he'd ordered was an "electric one" and they didn't have electricity


The Castors stopped by to visit their sick friend and Britt Castor told D.J. that their mother had sent a blackberry pie and some tea cakes




The Castors handed Renfroe the pie and se showed them his new radio


Still not feeling well, Renfroe eventually fell asleep


Renfroe's foot continued to get worse and eventually Dr. Coe decided to send him to the hospital in Atlanta.  Mamma went with him.


Several weeks later D.J. heard Dr. Coe's car outside and invited him inside when he comes to the door
Dr. Coe informed the family that due to the severe infection in Renfroe's leg, it might have to be amputated
Pa told Clara May and D.J. that Mamma and he had been praying for Renfroe and not to give up hope



Eventually a letter came from Mamma telling the family that Renfroe was starting recover and was feeling better


Clara May and D.J. told Pa that they wanted to give him the money
they'd earned for working in the neighbor's peaches to help with the hospital bill


Pa told them that he appreciated their thoughtfulness but they both needed to use that money to buy some new clothes for school


D.J. confessed that the entire problem with Renfore's foot was as a result of hitting him on the ankle with an ear of corn
Pa told D.J. that he shouldn't have "done it" to his brother, but that he shouldn't blame himself



Several days later D.J. came in from morning chores and found Renfroe waiting on him on the front porch
D.J. told his little brother how much he had missed him and invited him to go fishin' with him and Nutty


They found Nutty resting in the shade of his favorite tree
D.J. put his arm around his shoulder and told him, "I'm glad you're my brother, Renfroe."




After a little wrestling ...


... the three boys headed off to do some fishin'





If you've never read the book, it's a charming tale of family rural life in the early 1900s
- and well worth the time to read and share with your children and grandchildren.


Be sure to get your own copy of the book at Amazon.com