Man shares special family recipe

Norwalk resident's truck-driving stories are legendary.
Scott Seitz
Feb 22, 2014


(EDITOR'S NOTE: Some of the comments in this story and recipe ingredients were intended to be humorous, so don't take this too seriously.)

Norwalk resident Cliff Cannon appears to be a man of many talents.

Cannon is a gifted writer, truck driver, nature enthusiast, Maple City supporter and softball player.

His truck-driving stories are legendary.

He’s visited 48 of the states and has a pin-board which indicates all the cities he’s been to in his travels.

So, after all that, who knew Cannon, at 57 years of age, could also cook?

Just doesn’t seem fair.

Cannon, with a solid arsenal of cooking skills and knowledge, probably could have whipped up any dish on a moment’s notice.

But, for today’s featured recipe, he went back in time.

“This is an old family favorite,” the 1974 Norwalk High School graduate said.

Cannon was referring to a dish that has been in the family for decades.

That’s right — Elly May biscuits.

“Granny taught us a long time ago to love stuffed possum,” Cannon said.

Just for clarification, in North America, “possum” is short for “opossum,” though, in reality, the two animals are different.

“And, just like Uncle Jed always said, stuffed possum is just as good as leftovers,” Cannon said.

“But, we needed something to do with the tail,” he added. “So, we came up with possum-tail gravy.”

Cannon, who currently works for Pat Riley Trucking, spent 24 years driving 18-wheelers for Norwalk Furniture.

Prior to that, Cannon was employed nine years at Fanny Farmer.

His wife, Ann, also participates in the cooking process.

“She gets the possums,” Cannon said. “She is a wonderful possum hunter.

“We’ve also trained our cat, Fanny, to chase possum,” he said.

Cannon has five grown children, Stacia, Tom, Emily, Kristin and Jake. He has one grandchild, Skyeler.

Cannon is a native of Royal Oak, Mich.

He’s also a master at making french toast and popcorn.

When he’s not cooking, he enjoys playing in the winter weather, hiking and softball.

* * *

Elly May biscuits

4 buzzard eggs
As much flour as you need
Same with the water
5 ground-up goose gizzards for extra taste

Baste with gopher grease
Bake until hard. If too hard, break them up with hammer



KK: "Cockroach Cafe" & "Sewer Park"

Have not your railings on 'optimism' been reduced to hypocrisy?

Kottage Kat

You said it all.
I admire cLiFF, he just over looks the negativity and keeps on keeping on.

swiss family

just from a recipe standpoint... the recipe that Neil H had printed in the paper was much easier to follow than this, though..??????

Kottage Kat

I was complimenting a friend, my comments reflect my opinion on a different topic .
Sorry you could not differentiate.
one thing positive about Cliff, as we disagree and do often ii is done when we are. He does not go back to 1903 and use information from there to attack folks.


Re: "my comments reflect my opinion on a different topic,"

Defensive & sanctimonious? lol

Regardless; the shoe obviously fits.

swiss family


swiss family

Kat. can I ask who your remarks were intended for??Since they follow my statement, it seems as though you were responding to something that I said, but for the life of me, I can not see where I should have or did "ruffle your feathers"????

swiss family

Kat. can I ask who your remarks were intended for??Since they follow my statement, it seems as though you were responding to something that I said, but for the life of me, I can not see where I should have or did "ruffle your feathers"????

Kottage Kat

It is all in ones perspective.i


Re: "Cockroach Cafe" & "Sewer Park"

According to you: Guess it depends on the time of day whether "one's perspective" on which subject is optimistic or not eh?


@ CC:

Your "Friends" piece is a 'vast' improvement over the above; more from the heart.

I enjoyed reading it. But, while reading it I was asking:

What eventually happened between you two? What was the altercation about?

IMO, your attempt at "Dave Barry-isk" writing needs some work.

Lost both of my best two HS buddies in their late 40s. You're correct about replacement.

I have others, but nobody can ever replace either of those two.

Cliff Cannon

" What was the altercation about? " My friend is maniac - depressive. On the maniac side, God alone knows what comes next. This time 'things' went so far wrong, that the police were requested to get involved and that is what happened. ( he left for jail this morning)

Still, because he is such a good man as well as locally well known. I thought the story would help his legion of friends to understand what happened to him as well as to hopefully, give them more patience with him.

Also, if only for a moment, the essay brought focus to mental health, which obviously, is a very easy thing for anyone to over look.

Most importantly, ( I hope )was the description of 'friendship '. Because, the goal there was a simple one, to remind the reader of just how important, that special person they call " friend " really is.

P.S. " Dave Berry-isk " ? Oh heavens no. That sir, was Jed Clampett-isk :) Thanks for the commentary


@ CC:

Thanks for the follow-up.

With all due respect:

Your comment on mental health and the connection to the event was not clear.

Anyone who is not familiar with this individual was left in the dark - hence my questions.

Don’t think me presumptuous, because you’re certainly putting forth the effort – not me.

I found the bar fight scene very descriptive and it held my interest.

IMO, you're improving with every piece you write.

Keep up the good work.

Perhaps someday you'll be known as the Bard of Norwalk and your collected stories and commentaries will be found on sale at a local retailer and at the library. :)

Cliff Cannon

Contango: Thank-you for your opinion as well as commentary. They certainly help. Because with out feed back, how would anyone learn or grow ?

One thing, I have to ask; Did you ever notice I never use a person's name when describing a story ? My feelings are that the story is what matters, because hopefully, there will be something in it, the reader will identify with. If not, then I have failed

Believe it or not, not identifying who is in the story, is normally the biggest criticism I receive. Funny isn't it ? Or does that make the old cliché " without gossip there is no news " the truth ?

P.S. " The bard of Norwalk " You ever read ( or attempt to read ) Shakespeare ? Obviously, he is the King. But here is what I feel made him who he is. First of all one can not read more than 5 lines before yet another human drama/ dilemma hits. Which is about normal for life, so people identify with it.

Then despite the plays being in English. That human drama could literally be anyone from anywhere or in any era. Couldn't it ? So even though he names, names it is still the story that sells ( in my opinion ) and thankfully those stories are as timeless as they are universal.

So if my Shakespeare analysis is correct. Then there's the highest goal; Stories that are timeless, as well as universal.

Thanks again for your help.


Re: "Did you ever notice I never use a person's name when describing a story ?"

Perhaps if necessary, the use of a pseudonym might be in order?

It would perhaps tend to give the character some sense of identity and depth.

Be careful however, people might tend to recognize themselves.

Ever read "Winesburg, OH"? Sherwood Anderson was reviled in Clyde for a time.


IMO, "Hamlet" is the almost perfect story.

It's got everything! Murder, intrigue, revenge, the supernatural, et. al.

I enjoy Julius Cesar for the many of the same reasons.

The word, "bard" can mean poet or storyteller.

Cliff Cannon

Never read " Wineburg " though I did read about Sherwood Anderson's trials in Clyde. ( truth hurt's,huh ? )

As far as not using names when I write publically. Again it's the story, I am after. So, I doubt,that will ever change. In fact,it was funny to me, that exactly once, I used someone's name ( a wonderful,highly accomplished, daughter of an old family friend ) and she could've cared less. So.....

" Bard " isn't just Shakespeare's nickname ? While I'll be. Learn something new everyday, if you try.

I agree with you of course, about Caesar, Hamlet or any other numbers of Shakespeare character's. He is obviously, the greatest understander ( is that a word ? ) of human nature, who ever wrote. ( even though, no one can understand his English :)

The really amazing thing about Shakespeare is that Emerson said when he died, they found but one book in Shakespeare's library: Montaigne's " Essay's "

Think about it. All those world wide well known character's flowing from just one source ? Off the charts amazing if true. What we do know for sure, is Hamlet & King Lear have Montaigne written all over them. Google Montaigne and enjoy. He is one cool dude. ( Unless,you were married to him,then.... )

Best thing I ever learned from Shakespeare is " brevity is the soul wit " I ought to try 'brevity' a bit more :)

Great day to you.


Re: "As far as not using names when I write publically,"

I was thinking along the lines of Studs Terkel.

Always liked his use of the name: "Grabowski".

Cliff Cannon

You mean " Grabowski " really isn't Mike Ditka ? Seriously, get your point though as well as I too really liked Mike Royko's use of nicknames as well for his essay's. Thanks for the tip.