Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Dog, a Man, and a Well

My Uncle Jack, my late father’s oldest brother, died last year, and as my Uncle Johnny, my father’s youngest brother and his wife Joan went through Uncle Jack’s things they came across a newspaper clipping that had been torn from the Barnesville (GA) News Gazette sometime in the early 1950s, a story that confirmed the historicity of a story that I had heard several times during my growing up years, which commenced a few years later. Here is the story as it appeared in the newspaper:

Firemen Recover Dog and Rescuer From Empty Well

BARNESVILLE, Ga. Nov. 11—Barnesville firemen have been called upon for various duties, but this week the oddest job of their lives needed doing.

Champ Ruffin, who lives in a garage apartment on Atlanta Street, was doing the Good Samaritan act and hunting a little lost dog for a neighbor Saturday night. Champ didn’t see an old abandoned well—the same one the dog didn’t see—and he fell in, practically on top of the pooch.

Fire Chief Milton Roquemore rounded up Gus Hickman, answered frantic appeals from the Ruffin family, and took along a tall ladder. They lowered the ladder into the well and in a few minutes up came man and dog.

Neither was hurt.

Yep, that was my good father.

The newspaper artifact is now in my possession, thanks to my good aunt and uncle, and it resides in a frame in our home study, thanks to my good wife.

It's a good story that prompts good memories of a good man who lived a good life.

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