Excerpts from an e-mail we received March 18 from Linda Foushee, administrative assistant at Farmers Rural Electric Cooperative based in Glasgow.
In February 1994 the linemen at Farmers RECC battled to restore power during one of the worst ice storms ever. On Valentine’s Day our receptionist, busy answering multiple phone lines, noticed a truck driving by, loaded with hundreds of chickens on the way to a processing plant. When the truck hit a pothole, a red and orange rooster landed on the asphalt, shook its head, and limped onto the front lawn.
The day was nearing an end when our electrical inspector, Gerald Guinn, strolled into the office, weary after a long day. Gerald was a gruff, burly, and very tall gray-haired, Santa Claus-looking fella with a wad of tobacco and bubble gum in his cheek. Following the rooster’s appearance at the co-op, Gerald could be found sprawled on the front lawn, in the ice and snow, prodding the rooster into eating crushed corn from his extended hand.
Gerald trained the critter to come to the back door for breakfast, including water microwaved to a precise temperature.
The rooster became the co-op’s mascot. Over the years, it withstood being hit by a car and chased by dogs.
One day Gerald announced his retirement. So he bequeathed his rooster responsibilities to co-worker Henry Brown.
Last month we received a telephone call that Gerald had unexpectedly passed away. While we were saddened for this loss, stories of his love for the rooster floated through the office, and the memories brought smiles to our faces.
We filled a pouch with crushed corn, attached a photo of the rooster, tied the top with a ribbon, and added a note that read, “From Your Forever Friend.” The pouch was placed in Gerald’s arm, alongside the tobacco and bubble gum in his shirt pocket.
Last week as the rooster crossed the road a vehicle hit him. His autumn-colored feathers flew up into the air and he fell down to the asphalt in a hump. An employee looking out the window witnessed the tragedy, flew out to the road, stopped the traffic, and picked up his lifeless body.
We buried him near the back door where Gerald had always placed his food. A beautiful wrought-iron memento with a rooster on top marks the spot.