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Story Time and Georgia Clay, December 3, 2012

November 22, 2012

A typical float from a past Kaolin Festival.

This show may be heard  following its broadcast date by clicking on the following link: If it is not the current show, it is still  available as an archived show and on iTunes.

Washington County, Georgia’s, Kaolin Festival has been held in Sandersville since 1956, and this year Hovey presented two sets of three stories which included five original stories. Three of the five describe his  hunts with unusual muzzleloading guns, one was a verbal extract from his book-in-progress, The Order of the White Magnolia Burial and Beneficent Society, and each set began with his relating the origin of the Universe and the state’s kaolin deposits. As a geologist, the author of Kaolin Deposits of Central Georgia  and a former employee of one of the county’s kaolin companies, it fell to Hovey to explain the origin of the state’s deposits as well as present other stories as part of the childrens’ events.

Story time.

One of the stories was about a segment of the life of Watermelon Smith.  As a young black man Smith was bound as a slave to the company that owned a Mississippi River boat, the Alexander,  that was challenged to a race by a new boat, the Arkansas Queen. Smith was instrumental in winning this race by using a watermelon to de-scale the boiler  to increase the Alexander’s speed. This act not only won him a nickname, but also his freedom. He later became the first black steamboat master on the lower Mississippi  and even had a town, Smith’s Pass, named after him.

Bouncing Bounty shown with “saddlebags” used to tame the gun’s recoil.

D. Pedersoli’s Howdah Hunter.

Hunting stories related on the show are “Bouncing Bounty,” which tells how a flintlock pistol with a 14-inch barrel was tamed sufficiently to successfully kill a Florida deer; “Howdah Hunter,” that explains how different  loads were development for each barrel to enabled a double-barreled pistol with no rear sight to successfully take a hog from the nearest equivalent to a howdah that could be arranged in Texas; and “Armadillo Safari” that suggest the proper usage of a Japanese matchlock smoothbore gun based on the author’s hunting armadillos on Georgia’s Buffalo Creek

These  hunts, along with details about the guns and loads, are recorded in Smith’s new book X-Treme Muzzleloading: Fur, fowl and dangerous game with muzzleloading rifles, smoothbores and pistols. This book is available as a softcover and E-book from and many other sources. It may also be ordered directly from his website or, along with his other outdoor titles, by clicking on the book image on my WebTalkAmerica show page. Descriptions of all his outdoor books may be found at:

Jennifer Ferrin, the Vice President of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, and Chamber President Charles Lee discuss the history, events, practical aspects of putting on such festivals and how the festival highlights the County’s continuing growth and prosperity. These activities not only includes the kaolin industry, agriculture and natural gas-powered electrical generation, but will also soon include energy production from coal and solar power. Plans were also recently signed for the construction of a wood-pellet producing plant based on the County’s ability to rapidly grow pines and other trees. The chamber may be contacted by visiting their website   or by telephone at (478) 552-3288.  A vodeo about Washington County may be viewed on my YouTube site at:

Ads on the show include one for “Festivals, Inc.” which is a business that compiles statistical and other information from the Nation’s craft and performance festivals to be a one-stop source for designing new festivals for any-size community. By comparing programs from existing festivals a prospective-festival-holding community can see what other towns of similar size have done, what themes were used, how events were organized and determine probable costs and benefits. Sad to say, there is no such organization; but there easily could be.

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