Archive for bill jeffcoat – Page 4

A Crocodile in Abilene

Bill Jeffcoat

Bill Jeffcoat

Bill Jeffcoat was a lifelong lover of history, and enjoyed sharing stories and people and events in Abilene.  He began sending letters to the editor of the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle newspaper, musing on some of Abilene’s interesting characters of the past.  Below, Jeffcoat reminisces on an Abilene individual who owned a crocodile.

“Francis Duffy started the bowling alley along I-70, and it was an instant success.  His wife ran the restaurant.  Somehow, Duffy bought a small crocodile and kept it in his basement on Vine Street.

“It grew to around ten feet in length.  All the chicken bones and steak bones, left over from the evening, Francis would take home to feed the croc.  In the middle of winter, I asked Duffy if I could watch a feeding.  As we descended the wood basement steps, Duffy said, “Be very careful, as if he is in a mean mood, his jaws can go through two inches of wood.”  The croc was curled up around the hot water tank to keep warm.  He was hungry and his meal was devoured quickly.”

Stranger than Fiction

Paul H. JeffcoatToday, we would like to feature some musings from Bill Jeffcoat on his father’s fingernails.  The following was written by Bill, and has been edited to correct spelling and grammar.

“P.H. Jeffcoat since a teenager spent most of his life in the darkroom developing photos.  Certain chemicals in the developer tend to turn the fingernails a deep brown.  If the developer gets on your clothes, the stain is impossible to remove and Dad wore his smock most of the time.

“He died in 1976, with sixty years with his right hand in the developer.  He was teased about his brown nails many times.  At the funeral home on the day before the service, I went down for an inspection.  I was amazed to see that his nails were perfectly clear.  I asked the undertaker what he had done to remove the stained nails.  He replied, “It was the most amazing thing.  As soon as the embalming fluid entered the body, the nails turned clear.”

“The day after the funeral, I opened the studio as usual and a side panel of thick glass on our show windows had cracked from top to bottom.  I often wonder if my Dad was telling me something from the great beyond.”

Son, Bill Jeffcoat