02/23/04 — OPINION - Gene Price

View Archive

OPINION - Gene Price

By Gene Price
Published in News on February 23, 2004 1:56 PM

How Elmer met Matt

Elmer "Pappy" Simmons was one of Goldsboro's more affable characters of the last century. Until retirement, he served for many years as the superintendent of Goldsboro's streets.

He also was one of the original members of Sleepy Creek Club. He was particularly fond of catching snapping turtles from the lake and entertaining friends with his turtle stews.

"Pappy" erected an army eight-man squad tent to serve as his "quarters" at Sleepy Creek. In the tent he had all the comforts of home, including electric power and even a television set.

One night Pappy came up from the lake with a string of snapping turtles hanging over his shoulder and dragging behind him.

But just as he started into his tent a menacing voice growled: "Stop right where you are, mister!" Pappy did as instructed.

"Now, put both hands high above your head and step slowly through that door."

Again, Pappy followed orders. Hands high above his head, he stepped slowly through the tent flap.

And looked straight down the barrel of a .44 pistol -- held by James Arness, aka Matt Dillon, glaring menacingly from the television set!