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The Prater's Creek Gazette


 22nd Issue Summer 2009

Log Cabin Photo

The Hillbilly Doppler reports: Partly rowdy with a 100% chance of  Raisin Cain.

 Charges Dropped Against Cousin Ray

By Irving O. Tarbox


The story that has had not only the upstate on the edge of it's chair, but the entire nation, and even readers in far flung places such as Taiwan, Great Britain, Poland, Belgium, Botswana, The Netherlands, Argentina, and East Lansing, Michigan has finally come to a happy ending.

As all readers of the past few issues of The Gazette know, Cousin Ray, fiddle player for local bluegrass band The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show, was accused of, and seemingly admitted to, the killing of Mike Cord. The victim had been found at the Old Sawmill in Greenville,SC, back in May 2008, after The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show had performed for a party held there. The local constable said the victim's head had been severed from it's body. Questions were asked, chalk lines were drawn, crime scene photos were taken, police artists drew suspect sketches (such as the one at right)  coffee was sent out for, and Cousin Ray told the police that he "had taken out his pocket knife and put that ol' Mike Cord out of his misery". Or rather, that's what the police thought he said. It turns out that he really said "it's misery", not "his misery".

Cousin Ray, who had been allowed to forgo bail because, after Kenny Baker, he is the best fiddle player in bluegrass, and needed to play shows with Prater's Creek's most famous sons, The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show, "fiddlematic immunity" the judge called it, had been put back in jail when a rival bluegrass band bribed the judge. The band, who has been trying to snake The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show on some gigs, told the judge that, while free, but still under the restrictions of bail rules, the fiddle player was engaged in moonshining with Grandpa. And the rival band also told the judge that Cousin Ray had went over the state line without permission on numerous occasions lately to perform with The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show. The judge didn't seem to mind those two things, especially since, according to reliable sources, he is one of Grandpa's biggest customers, and that one of his daughters got married and the band played her reception in North Carolina.

The truth started coming together when the coroner told the constable that they had sent over a piece of equipment, not a dead human body. The constable came to the morgue and saw that it was indeed not a human body. "I thought that fellow's chalk out line was awful tall and skinny" the constable told The Gazette. It was then that everybody realized that the "Mike Cord" was really a mike cord that kept ending up on Cousin Ray's fiddle mike at the band's shows. A mike cord that never worked, but always wound up on his fiddle microphone. The fiddle player, after 43 soundchecks where the bad cord had to be replaced, just got tired of it and cut it to pieces.

When he first emerged from jail, with all of the upstate television news crews there, including WYFF's Latina hottie Myra Ruiz, and also this newspaper, Cousin Ray's first words as a free man were "Did Cousin Dee bail me out?". When told that all charges were dropped, and about the constable's mistake, Cousin Ray was asked how he felt, to which he replied, "So, you're saying Cousin Dee ain't here?".

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