This is the second of the "Had and Eddie" stories I am currently blogging about. The title is much longer on this one: it should say "Eddie Paints the Town Orange And Had Suffers For It: Another "Had and Eddie" Story That Is True…Unfortunately".
"Had" had a reputation in our small town; he gave everyone a bad time when he stopped to chat on the street. If you did not really know Had, you would be hurt or insulted by some of the things he said. He used to stop me when I was downtown or if I went into his poultry store to buy eggs or chicken for my Mom and say things like "You poor kid! You have to live with that rotten Dad you’ve got". The first few times I was greatly disturbed by this "information" but I soon caught on and learned to give it back…somewhat. I had been taught to respect my elders and I did not dare go too far with adults who razzed me , especially when it concerned my Dad. It turned out, when I finally caught the true meaning of the local teasing and joking, this was how the men showed each other great affection. Instead of forthrightly saying, "I really treasure you as a good friend and I would do anything for you if you needed help" they would insult each other and play practical jokes on each other (as in the Martin House Escapade).
So one weekday, when Had was making his rounds downtown, he finally got to the north end of Main Street and began to go at it in my Dad’s blacksmith shop; everyone in there was a target but Had reserved his best jibes for Eddie who happened to be lying underneath a tractor at the time, finishing up a repair job by re-applying some Allis-Chalmers orange paint. Had was standing right next to where my Dad was reclining as he painted under the tractor and as Had revved up his insults and jokes about my Dad, my Dad reached out with his paint brush and painted one of Had’s workshoes orange. Of course Had, with his poor eyesight did not see what had happened; he was also looking at the amused onlookers in the shop and entertaining them with his fictional accounts of how bad Eddie was at everything. Finally finished and needing to go back to his own business, Had left and walked back down the entire Main Street with his one orange shoe on display. I cannot remember when it was that he discovered what had happened in Eddie’s shop but I am quite sure he came roaring back to "give it" to Eddie for taking revenge on him.
Had also got in trouble on another occasion when he had been taunting and teasing the owner of one of the lumber yards on Main Street at the time. He must have gone a bit far,because when he finished with Van, the lumberyard owner, and began walking south on Main Street, Van stepped out of his busineness, took aim with his beebee gun and shot Had in the seat of his pants. I bet Van ducked back inside his store rather swiftly and probably locked the doors for awhile til Had had cooled his jets…..and recovered from his sore rear end.
The next Had and Eddie story involves Had’s delivery truck that he used to drive to Fargo Moorhead on a weekly basis with egg deliveries to various eating places…plus the snowshovel story.