Possum Food

Staff Sergeant Donald M. “Possum” Clay was a silver Eagles crew chief from 1974 until 1976.  Possum was a native of Mississippi and, besides a great work ethic, had a wonderful sense of humor.  He was frequently involved, either as perpetrator or victim, in the many practical jokes that kept team members loose. 

One of his favorite practical jokes often took place in a restaurant.  Possum would tell the waitress he did not need a menu and then proceed to order a “stewed okra and tomato” sandwich on light bread.  Usually the waitress would become flustered and usually went to the kitchen to ask the cook if there was such a sandwich.  That routine produced a lot of laughs. 

However, Possum finally met his math.  The team encountered bad weather while traveling from Alabama to Chillicothe, MO, and ended up spending a night in Walnut Ridge, AR.  Although it was late when we arrived, the motel operator kept the restaurant open so the team could be fed.  Naturally, Possum gave his order to the waitress, a stewed okra and tomato sandwich on light bread.  The waitress didn’t even blink.  She soon returned to Possum’s table followed by a man wearing an apron.  The waitress said, “Here is your order, sir,” and placed a plate in from of Possum.  The plate contained two slices of white bread, thoroughly soaked with a soggy mass of stewed okra and tomatoes.  

Possum looked up, noticed the man standing there, and said, “Who is he?” 

“I’m the cook,” the man replied.  “I just wanted to see how you are going to pick it up.” 

The restaurant, full of team members, exploded in laughter.  

During his remaining time on the team Possum never again ordered his favorite sandwich.