Spit N Whittle Bench In Fayetteville, Tennessee

Many towns have a Spit and Whittle bench where old timers meet and reminisce, tell stories about what they remember from times long ago.  The bench is a place that means much to some and so little to others.  You have noticed that the bench is empty this early afternoon because the regulars are having lunch at O”Houllians. The building housing O”Houllians used to be a family owned grocery called Moore’s Grocery where all you had to do was call Mr. Sprat Moore…tell him what you needed and he would have it delivered to your house by a wonderful man called Tom. Tom would even put your order on the kitchen counter for you.  Those were the days!

The Spit and Whittle Bench is a good place to catch up on world affairs, and share different perspectives on the same events. It made a big impression on me. The Spit part comes from the fact that chewing tobacco became popular in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Many of the old timers chewed, therefore spit. Chewing tobacco was a way to get nicotine, a drug in tobacco when processed and used makes some people feel mildly euphoric, another words, a feel good drug. So, chewing and spitting was practiced on the bench.  Now whittling is something to occupy your hands while your mind is working at great speeds or slowed down according to each whittler. The process of whittling is actually carving little by little a piece of wood into a shape you have created in your mind. So spitting and whittling are a great body and mind process men used while they occupied the Spit N Whittle Bench.

When I first saw the Spit N Whittle bench, I got the meaning right away, but kept calling it a Piss N Whittle Bench.  Why I wondered could I not get the name right during months of pondering?  I probably liked the P word best and kept it rolling around in my head as the P word and then, the S world was too far back to readily retrieve it.  Now I have it back.  The Spit and Whittle bench is the best idea ever, and if used properly could be responsible for everything from Government affairs to household and domestic affairs being solved right there on the bench.  My feeling is, if you sit with the folks on a bench, chew, spit, whittle and while away the hours you can come up with some mighty healing solutions or solve minuscule grievances, as well as adding the most complicated conclusions to age old concepts.  So, I am purporting that all households, blocks, cities, businesses, schools, and international affairs from here on be conducted on a Spit N Whittle Bench. You’ll get an appreciation of others in a non-judgmental way and perhaps proceed purposefully towards a happy ending and progress at a much more rapid pace and in a more worthwhile manner.

I have included a photograph of the Spit N Whittle Bench on the corner of the Court House Lawn in Fayetteville, Tennessee where I first made my acquaintance with this form of communication concept while visiting the lovely Higgins family.

Thank you Liz for the photo!!!

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