There is a little “pop” down the hill near the hog trailer like a firecracker going off. So the process literally starts with a bang, away from folks who just don’t want to think about the way a “hog kllin’” got its name.
The mechanics of the day after that run pretty much the way they have since Hernando DeSoto’s herd of hogs escaped back in the mid-1500’s and gave the Native Americans in Mississippi a new meat other than deer to eat. And eventually evolved down to our Bar-B-Que we devour today. Just most of us like to think of ham and bacon coming from the meat section of the grocery store, not from a process like this.
“I took the lid off to see what mama was cooking and a hog was in there and it was looking up at me," one of the observers at the event recalled from her childhood. "So I put the lid back on it quickly. And I have never eaten pork.”
Charles England is one of the ringleaders of all this and has a place out from Kosciusko.
“Frank Montague and Doc Bryant and I and a couple of others started talking about an old fashion hog killin’ back a year or two or three ago. And every year we would kinda chicken out of it,” said England.
“So my father Frank Montague, and Dr. Ed Bryant come up with lots of hair-brained schemes to do," said Frank's daughter McKinsey.”
And hog killin is right there in with their other schemes to raise sugar cane so they can someday make syrup and attempting to raise a patch of pumpkins.
“And they didn’t get one pumpkin out of it,” added McKinsey.
But this year, no more back peddling. They did it. The men pooled what knowledge they had and then called in some local experts to fill in the subtleties. Terry Benton is one of those go-to hog killin’ experts in Attala County.
“I started off about 18 years old. I was 18, 19 years old,” said Terry.
Hog killin’ is a winter event. The temperatures have to be no higher than the 30s, for that first night anyway. And for most of the people here, today it is a spectator sport. You can choose how close or far away you want to spectate. But everybody from old friends and neighbors to the preacher will drop by and eat homemade ginger snaps and drink hot coffee and everybody enjoys the day.
Everybody but the hog.
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