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Kick back for National Hammock Day

Downey Eye Clinic

Here we are again, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve made it through another work week, the weekend is upon us, and — if you regularly read these morning posts — you know what that means: It’s finally Friday, so crank the George Jones!

July 22, 2022 is not only the start of another hopefully relaxing and rejuvenating two-day reprieve from work, however. We’ve got a holiday to share with you, and it’s appropriately relaxation-and-rejuvenation-themed. If you read the headline you clicked on a minute ago, you already know, so happy National Hammock Day.

This one is par for the course as far as faux holidays go. It’s okay. It’s fine. It incites neither excitement nor anger. If anything, Hammock Day incites apathy. Then again, maybe that’s the way it should be, since it’s basically a celebration of kicking back and chillin’. 

Like many of the other overlooked holidays we highlight with an early morning salute, the biggest question here is “Who asked for this?” Surely many, many people enjoy hammocks, but it’s hard to imagine the person who enjoys them to the extent that a whole celebratory day seems appropriate. Furthermore, this individual did not just have the thought that hammocks deserve a holiday. They put action behind this belief. They really made it happen. This sure seems like a lot of work for someone so passionate about lying down on fabric anchored vertically on each end, but I digress.

I have to come clean about something before we continue, anonymous reader on the other side of this screen. I don’t really have a lot to say about hammocks. I’m not against them, because that would be a truly weird, stupid grudge to hold, but a hammock has never been a thing I felt like I needed. I have never wished I had one, thought about buying one, or really thought about them at all. This column might be the first time I ever typed the word “hammock.” I only remember using a hammock when I was a little kid, so that’s where this is going.

My great uncle, Glenn Willis, was an interesting man and lived on an equally interesting property. His house, his small little store, and his pay lake were all just right there. We could walk out his door, grab some gummy worms at the store, and then have a fishing line in the water in mere minutes. It was a kid’s dream. 

Uncle Glenn also had a hammock. After stuffing myself with gummy worms and catching a couple fish, I would usually ask to “play” on the hammock. This wasn’t the kind of hammock made with a big piece of fabric; it was more like a net—white rope connected in a sort of basketball net style pattern, but with much more empty space between the ropes and knots. 

I had to climb over one side and kind of dump myself into the net to even get in. Eventually but inevitably, one of my legs would fall through, and then I’d get twisted up trying to free myself, usually turning the hammock upside down. At this point, I would mostly fall out, only staying connected to the hammock by that one leg that started all the trouble, which by this point would be twisted into the net’s now vice-like grip. There I would hang until someone would come and rescue me. Sometimes, before the imminent leg-hanging, I would crawl around, from one end to the other, using the net as a horizontal rope ladder, pretending I was a pirate. Yes, I know pirates did not climb huge hammock-nets, and yes, I was a dumb kid. 

Anyway, Glenn’s hammock was the only one I ever used, so the moral of the story this National Hammock Day is this: I have never once experienced a hammock the way its inventor (whoever that was) intended. This is not my holiday, but if it’s yours, I hope you enjoy it!

Believe it or not, we even have a hammock-themed Quote of the Day. This one comes from Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, the late French general and a veteran of both World Wars:

“An optimist is a man who plants two acorns and buys a hammock.”

Okay. It’s a quote about optimism that happens to mention a hammock, but give me a break. There aren’t many noteworthy hammock quotes, and I had to go back several decades — and to a different continent — just to find this one. Don’t be ungrateful.

Enough nonsense for now. Let’s check in with the intern for today’s weather:

At exactly 6:30 a.m., it’s 67 degrees outside company headquarters in Russell Springs. Intern correspondents report nearly identical conditions down the road in either direction, 67 degrees in Jamestown and 68 in Columbia. Expect a sunny, dry, hot one today. The high will approach the mid-90s with daytime humidity at 60 percent. 

That’s all for now. As always, thanks for reading, and check back with The County Line throughout the day for more fresh content, always from local voices (and generally much better than the column you’re currently reading).

Today’s post is dedicated to Janet Huckaby. Janet celebrates a birthday today, and we hope this is her best National Hammock Day yet. Janet shares her special day with George Clinton and the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. I’m not saying Janet should blare “Atomic Dog” and lay someone out with some sweet chin music, but if she were ever going to, this is the day for it. 

Downey Eye Clinic
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Wes Feese is one of this company's owners and founders. He has previously worked as an editor, news reporter, sportswriter, photographer, and freelance contributor for newspapers across central Kentucky. He grew up in the Egypt community of Adair County and is a graduate of Adair County High School and Lindsey Wilson College.