The ‘Baddest’ Dang Turkey in Arkansas!

The last few years of my rodeo career I traveled quite a bit with Denny Flynn. (Inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame) Denny was born and raised in Charleston, Arkansas. Great guy and a great friend, even to this day. His folks, Waldo and Vida Flynn are some of the best folks you could ever meet. They were always like ‘family’ to me.

I spent quite a bit of time at their place in Charleston throughout the years I was rodeoing. I always enjoyed my time there, …….well nearly always. You see, they had this big ‘ol tame, white, Tom turkey! And this dude had my number!! He’d see me walk out of the house, and here he’d come! This son of a gun must’ve weighed a hundred pounds and he ‘had it in’ for me! I don’t know what his problem was but he did NOT like me. I had to watch him like a hawk; no way could I turn my back on him. And if I did, he’d make a run at me. He definitely had his bluff in on me….I ain’t kidding!

One day we had been sorting some cattle in the lots and Denny and Waldo headed to the house first. When I came through the gate to head to the house…..the evil beast spotted me.…and here he comes! When I’d turn to try to run he’d run up on me like he was gonna jump on me and flog me. Heck, who knows what that crazy son of a gun was gonna do to me! Well, I finally made it the house and there’s an eight foot gap between the house and the laundry room and he’s got me hemmed up there. I picked up a broken hoe handle and it was a standoff. He wasn’t backing down. I commenced to giving him a cussin’, which I could do pretty fluently in those days. In fact I used all of the cuss words I knew several times, rearranging the sequence of them with precision accuracy! I backed my way to the door going into the house; I was safe!

Denny’s mom, who was about the nicest person you could ever find, had been watching the whole thing from her kitchen window…which was open….which was about 2 feet from where we had our standoff….and she’d seen, and heard ,the whole thing. She kindly said, “Andy, is that ‘ol turkey picking on you again?”  I was embarrassed that Vida had to hear me talk like that but, hey….it was life or death at the time! I never left the Flynn house again without Waldo, Denny…..or my hoe handle!


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