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Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Skeets" Hickman And The Jumbo Egg

I've been posting on the Blog infrequently as I find myself running out of material. Recently, I have obtained access to digital copies of the Tuckerton Beacon from 1917 through 1989. My current plans are to post one article a week from the Beacon, hoping that it may mention relatives of Blog readers or jog someone's memory regarding a forgotten event from the past that you would like to share here at the Blog. 

Should anyone wish me to look up an event that you would like to see posted on the Blog (a birth or marriage announcement, an obituary, a news event, etc) leave a comment or drop me an email. I will be happy to try to accommodate your wishes.

Today, I thought I'd post an oddity news item regarding a rather large elliptical orb laid by a New Gretna Leghorn owned by Gerald Hickman. It must have been a slow news week as it was posted at the top of the front page. My first reaction was to say "OUCH!". Unfortunately, the giant egg was the last laid by the unfortunate leghorn.

Gerald Hickman, at the age of 22, suffered a gun shot wound in his left hand in a November, 1922 duck hunting accident which resulted in the hand being amputated just below the elbow. 

Transcription from 11/9/1922 Tuckerton Beacon

Having a strong character, the loss of Gerald's lower right arm did not seem to deter him from a normal daily routine. He was a successful house painter for many years. Rickie Steele, a men's Breakfast buddy, tells me that Gerald, known locally as "Skeets", was also an accomplished pool player who would occasionally clean Rickie's clock in a friendly game of pool.

Gerald (r) and Richie Hickman.

Can anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere tell me the relationship of Gerald and Richie Hickman?

Eggs must have been of great interest in the late 1920's as evidenced by the following May 24, 1928 Beacon article which mentions an Egg Exhibition held at the Tuckerton Fire House where Gerald Hickman won a special mention for his exhibit. I wonder if he displayed his giant egg.

"Skeets" passed away in January, 1974, 46 years after his unlucky Leghorn laid the famous giant egg. His obituary made no mention of that momentous incident.

Pete S


  1. Hi Pete: Are there several Hickman families in the NG area? I find Hickmans in my grandmother's line. Sophia Hickman was married to Risley Adams who was my great grandfather. (My grandmother was Estella Harris Adams Mathis).
    Beverly Mathis Robinson

  2. thank you for the Gerald hickman post he was my greast uncle and I never knew the story of hi lost arm, I am his sister eliza hickman msaxwell mathis grand daughter.

    1. Louise Hickman DillonFebruary 24, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      Hello to Eliza's granddaughter. I just read the blog of my father, Gerald Hickman. Thank you for posting. I enjoyed reading the blog and I never heard the story of the jumbo egg. Do you have any pictures of my father?

  3. Pete:

    I think the photo of Gerald and Richie must have been printed backwards as the image shown has his left forearm amputated.

  4. The photo of Gerald and Richie Hickman was not reversed. I misspoke in my original Blog posting by stating that Gerald's right hand was wounded and amputated. It actually was his left hand. I have made the correction. Sorry for the confusion.

    Pete S

  5. Louise Hickman DillonFebruary 24, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Hi Pete,
    Really enjoyed reading the blog of my father, Gerald Hickman. I knew the story of how he lost his left hand just below the elbow, but never heard the one about the jumbo egg. Thank you for posting and especially the picture of my dad with Richie (his nephew). Richie has a daughter (Sharon) who is the same age as I. Where did you get the picture of my dad and Richie. I certainly would like to attain any pictures that anyone out in the blog area might have, as I do not have many pictures of my dad. Thank you again for posting and for writing the blog. It is always interesting to read.