Offbeat" Hooey Stick

February 19, 2007--Posted at 10:00 a.m. CST

PARAGOULD, AR-- Over the years, some have said Junior Palmer is full of hooey and if you ask Junior he would agree.  Junior claims he has the power of the hooey and has the sticks to prove it.

Palmer takes a stick, made of hooey wood, carves 7-10 notches in it, then uses a nail to mount a thin propeller to one end of the stick.  For most, it's just that, a stick with a propeller on one end, but for those with the power, it's pure magic.  Palmer rubs the stick with a pen and the propeller spins, he says the word hooey and the propeller stops and reverses it's direction.  Everytime Palmer utters the word hooey, the propeller reverses direction again.  Some say it's magic, but Palmer says some people have the power and others don't.

Palmer says the legend of the hooey stick comes from the story of an Indian maiden, left alone while her warrior is off at war.  She goes to the base of the tree where they said goodbye and cries everyday waiting for his return.  As the legend goes, those tears soaked into the ground and the roots of the tree, creating the Hooey tree.  At one time, Palmer says there were only seven Hooey trees left in the world, but since then others have been discovered.

Palmer has bee making hooey sticks and sharing his gifts with others for more than 50 years and says he is passing on the power to his kids and eventually his grandkids.