Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

A Wild Onion Tale...or a Rite of Spring...

By Mike Watson

The coming of Spring brings to mind an old story. When I was a young sprout, likely the late 1960s or very early 1970s, there was an occasion when, along with either our Dad, Carl Watson, or uncle, Roy Bunch, or both, I was witness to a scene at Mr. Fred Pickerell's store, which was located at Gadberry.

It was a lazy spring day and several men were gathered at the store, including Mr. Monty Gadberry, Joe Gadberry, Paul Frankum and Carl Turner.

Mr. Fred was busy around the store while the others talked and joked.

After a time, Mr. Fred started moving boxes around, apparently searching for something.

Finally, when asked, his answer was he smelled something rotten and thought it was some spoiled goods. He continued his diligent search and the men continued their conversation.

The offending odor was not found before we took our leave, as I recall.

Dad or Uncle explained later that Mr. Turner had been quietly munching on wild onions, which were in his over-alls' pocket.

That was the smell that Mr. Fred could not locate.

Mr. Turner never said a word, but surely knew what was going on and kept it to himself.

To this day, when I see or smell wild onions, plentiful in early Spring, I think of the scene, and smile to myself. Mr. Fred did not catch on, at least not right away.

This story was posted on 2019-03-30 20:05:40
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by Linda Waggener and Pen Waggener, PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia Magazine. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.