The devotion was given by club member Martha Ledford, who talked about prayer. She said God wants us to come to him because he is our heavenly father. She said our prayers are not one-sided and “we can get closer to him — since Christ died on the cross, we don’t have to go to a high priest who goes once a year into the Holy of Holies.” She said Christ made that possible. She talked about prayers that God said “Yes” to — Hannah in the Bible, who prayed for a son, and Jehoshaphat, who prayed in a time of crisis when the children of Moab and the children of Ammon came against him.
As Bostic introduced guest speaker Toby Pendergrass, who works for Alan Jones Foundation, she mentioned an interesting article in the Banner about Bock Bock, the meanest rooster that once lived in Cleveland.
Pendergrass thanked those for the invitation to come and talk about Bock Bock. He asked if anyone had attended Arnold Elementary School between 1957 and 1959 and if anybody ever heard of Bock Bock, “the most vicious rooster that ever lived in Cleveland.”
He said it all started in 1957 with a 12-year-old boy named Eddie Baugh, who lived in a house next to Arnold Elementary School. Eddie, who lived with his grandparents and a brother named Johnny, had a pet pony called the ‘wonder pony’ and all the kids would come over to see and pet the pony.
Then in the spring of 1957 little Eddie went over to Beaty’s Hardware store to purchase two little Easter chicks after his grandmother loaned him the money. And as fate would have it, Eddie brought two chicks home thinking that they were cute and would go along with the pet pony. Then Pendergrass said that after a few months of raising the chicks, he discovered one of them decapitated, but the other grew up to be Bock Bock.
“This rooster became so big that he literally dominated the entire neighborhood,” he said. “Not only were the children afraid of Bock Bock, but the dogs in the neighborhood were also afraid of Bock Bock.”
“We heard one story, when we were doing our research, of a little boy who was playing, wandered into the back yard and didn’t see Bock Bock,” Pendergrass said, “and thought maybe the rooster had wandered off. He got onto a swing set as little boys do and made the mistake of tying himself with a piece of rope to the swing set. Then he couldn’t get himself untied. Well, wouldn’t you know, just as he realized that he was tied to the swing set — now trapped — Bock Bock comes out and launches into a full scale attack on this little boy.” Pendergrass said the boy still remembers that beating he took to this day and that was 1957. “This is 2013 — many years have past — but he told us, ‘I still remember the beating I took at the hands of Bock Bock.’” Fortunately Eddie Baugh’s grandmother intervened and ended Bock Bock’s attack on that little boy.
Baugh, who is an attorney now, said Bock Bock was sweet as he could be when he was with him or his grandmother. He said Bock Bock would sit on their laps and was the most playful animal, but “if you were not Eddie or Eddie’s grandmother, you should run, because tragedy is coming — Bock Bock will attack.”
“Believe it or not,” Pendergrass said, “Bock Bock was able to continue his reign of terror from 1957 all the way through 1958 to the summer of 1959.” In this time, he said, fortunately, there was no deaths — many attacks — no lawsuits either. “Back then people just didn’t sue each other over this kind of thing.”
Pendergrass said that it all came to an end one summer day in 1959 when a delivery boy from Samples Grocery Store came to Baugh’s house around 4 in the afternoon to deliver two bags of groceries.* The delivery boy rode up on his bicycle and pulled into the driveway and as he was getting off his bike — unaware of the present danger — Bock Bock came out of nowhere and attacked him, taking him down. The boy got so scared he kicked Bock Bock and stomped on him, breaking his neck and killing him.
“A legend died that day,” Pendergrass said. Baugh’s grandmother came out the door and saw what happened and told the delivery boy not to come back to their house again. They buried Bock Bock. Baugh and his grandmother were very sad his pet rooster had been killed.
Pendergrass said there’s a special grave marker at Arnold Elementary School. Look for a sign pointing to Bock Bock’s grave on the back parking lot at the east side of the school. On the grave marker it says, “Here lies Bock Bock, meanest chicken in the history of Cleveland, Tennessee.” I
Pendergrass concluded by saying, “It’s an odd lesson to learn, but children today can learn from Bock Bock — a lesson in success, perseverance and determination. So many kids today, they drop out of school, they don’t go to college, they get a job and they don’t keep it like we used to in the old days. If all of these children took the lesson from Bock Bock, if you want something you go get it, you don’t quit, you don’t stop until you succeed, how successful would America be today?”
Kent Gunderson gave the closing prayer for the meeting and then posed for a picture holding a small U.S. flag and a USA lawn sign that he got for a small donation at the club meeting. He announced he is celebrating his birthday on Sept. 11. He said as president of New Hope Ministries Inc., his ministry focuses on reaching out for Jesus, both to the mentally and the physically disabled people of all ages at the YMCA in conjunction with several different organizations and the general public, he said. For more information, Gunderson can be reached at 339-3405.
Paul Denton won the door prize, compliments of Steve Robinson of Cleveland Plywood.
Others attending the August meeting were Ruby Ball, Evelyn Denton, Juanita Poteet, Lily Cunningham, club recorder Shawn Markie and guest Daniel Brantley.
The next meeting will be held at Golden Corral Restaurant in Cleveland at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 24.
For more information on the United Club, contact: Bostic at 479-9207; Charles or Joanie Lupo, at 478-5766; or Markie at 476-5426.
*EDITOr’s note: The story of Bock Bock ran June 20 as a Hidden Cleveland article in the Banner. The two delivery boys who worked for Samples Grocery Store during this time were David Crick and Bobby Samples. Both are deceased now, but if there are any living relatives, friends or acquaintances who have information as to which one may have killed Bock Bock on that fateful afternoon in August of 1959, it would be appreciated.