Friday, February 27, 2015

Janie Visiting a Niece's Grave

Carmel, NY, 1965.  Rodney Petty showing Janie Petty Hunter and Bonnie Hunter's his baby sister's grave.



I just got an automated phone call from the company that handles our phone system.  The computer called and said it would like for me to discuss our account, for me to press a number that meant OK, or a number that meant the person it needed to talk to is not there at moment.  I pressed the number that the person it needed to talk to was not there at the moment, Anna takes care of the details on the internet/phone/cell phone billings.  So, in so many words it said OK and left a number to be called.  After hanging up I decided I could talk to them and maybe it was something I could solve so I returned the call.   The computer said  it could see I was calling from a certain number and was that the number I was calling about.  I said Yes.  It said that I have any technical problems and I said No.  It said my account is up to date, I don't owe them any money so they it thanked me for calling and hung up. 
I called back.
Again I went through the questions and when it got to asking me why I was calling, my account or technical problems  I said, "Returning your call."
I had to hold for the next available person.
Then I explained to the lady why I was calling.  She said to make sure I was talking to really me she asked  me for my secret pass word.  I said I didn't know.  Then she  asked who my favorite singer was.
I said I don't know, it was according what state of mind I was in when I was asked that, but I named off a few which were wrong.  Then she said she was going to call the number  I was calling about and see if they will give me permission to talk about the account.
I said, "Well, in that case you will call this number and get me on the line  and is that ethical, for me to tell you that I am OK? "
She said for me to not hang up and she would call the number I "claimed" I was at.   She put me on hold and called.
I could hear a beep like somebody was calling.  She told me not to hang up so I did not interrupt the call I was on.
After a short period, she came back on and said she could locate the person of that number.
That is because you were calling me, I heard the beeps, but you told me not to hang up from this call.
She said, "Well, I cannot authorize you to talk about an account until the owner gives you permission".
I said, "Which is me."
She said, "Sir, I suggest you look for that pass word and call back."
Me:   "Nope,  I don't owe you money,  I am not having technical problems, y'all will call me back if y'all think it is important enough."


Billy Joe Royal and Mr. Caudell

Billy Joe Royal and his family lived in the Clay Homes overlooking the west court. Back then a court in the Clay Homes was a spacious green between apartment buildings. I’m sure they were not nearly as big as I remember. A green court had about the same proportions as a football field.

I lived in the Clay Homes before the Royal family and the court in front of the Royal apartment is where somebody brought their 16MM movie projector and showed movies on warm Sunday nights. I remember lying in the grass watching TOM SAWYER.

We moved from the Clay Homes to Manget Street across from Larry Bell Park. It was in the same school district, I went to the same school, but with different neighbors. My sister Frances and I kept up a relationship with Clay Homes chums but also developed friendships with our new neighbors.

Although during the Billy Joe and Jack Royal era of the Clay Homes I wasn’t a neighbor, just a frequent visitor.

I remember we liked to sit out in the dark on the green grass of the court after dark and talk. I don’t think we talked loudly, we just talked and laughed a lot.

Mr. Caudell, across the court felt differently. Just our presence, sitting in the dark talking and laughing irritated the hell out of him.

I remember he was always smoking. On the porch in front of his apartment you could not see him in the dark shadow, only the red glow of his cigarette. The madder he got the more the little red light would bounce or shake.

Then, it would only be a matter of time that you would see the red light take flight – down the few steps and across the court towards us. He would always first politely tell us to hold the noise down. And we politely told him we would.

Not long afterwards, after forgetting to hold down our ruckus, you could see that little red hot dot come bouncing towards us again. The next time he was more demanding and rude.

After his 3rd or 4th trip he was always spitting mad.

I don’t remember us ever working it out. It was just a confrontation we could count on.

I don’t know how I know this, but I do. Mr. Caudell was the father of a cashier at the Big Apple where I later worked. One time a customer hit the roof when she told him how much his groceries were and said he demanded for them to be added up again. With the manager, L.L. Thurmond, standing over her to read off each price – that was before bar codes – she recalculated it and came up with the exact same total. She won my respect for being efficient. 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tuba Skinny: GIMME SOME!

Apparently this is Tuba Skinny music, but I don't see them.  It must be on a their CD.  That is an interesting title isn't it?  How more romantic could one get?

I love to see people dance and jiggle.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Almost 2 Years Living Grandpa Frank Paris Hunter(1879-1950)

My grandmother Minnie Tyson Hunter died 21 July 1948 at  age 69.  Before school started in the next 5 or 6 weeks we moved in with Grandpa Hunter, Minnie's widower. 

One of the Christmases  probably the first Christmas there, Santa Clause brought my sister  Frances and I bicycles .  I had no idea how to ride one.  I could see it was a keeping your balance thing. 

Grandpa taught me how to ride it.  there is a slight hill from the corner of East Dixie Avenue to our house.  The  street was not paved then.  We would push the bike up to the corner, then I would get on it and coast down the hill.  Grandpa ran along behind me holding my seat to keep me balanced.  It took about two times and I got the hang of it  enough to ride a bike.  If I remember correctly, that same Christmas morning my sister and I rode our bikes to the Clay Homes, about a mile away to show off our bikes to our ex-neighbors. 

I was thinking recently  I remember Grandpa as an old man then.  It must have been  physically challenging to him to run behind a bike going down a hill.    He died about  1.5  years later at age 70.  That is not too bad, I keep telling myself.

Grandpa Hunter and I became good friends.  He kept his moonshine and wine under wood under the house.  He would crawl under the house and crawl back and make a large breath sound when he straightened up, I don't know if it was the booze that pumped that deep breath out of him or standing up in an upright condition.

He and his son W.C. ran around with some seedy looking characters.  I think they were just jobless and hung out together and passed around the bottle in the paper sack a lot.  I think they worked off and on at a mattress factory at the corner of Butler Street and East Dixie Avenue.  One day it burned down and his friends scattered.  I did not see them after that except for W.C.

Grandpa had a black cat named Tom that would come and go, sometimes months at a time.  Once he just did not come back.   

His yard on Manget Street had apple, pear, peach, and black walnut trees.  He may have had a pecan tree.  One time he had chickens.  There was a chicken coop in the back part of the yard, which I sometimes used as a club house and other times pretended it was a battle ship that I was captain of.

One time when he had a few drinks Grandpa told me that our name was not really Hunter, he said he did not know our real name.  His father William Hunter, he said, was adopted.  He wept as he told me.

That was what got me interested into family research.  Not when he told me but when my oldest son was born I remembered what he told me and went on a quest to look for our real name.  I  found out.  It is Hunter, but for a while William was William Trammell (his mother's maiden name) but he changed to his real father's name... long story.

Another time he wept was when we were sitting in the front yard and a truck pulled up.   A woman got out and asked him was he Frank Paris Hunter.  He said he was  and she introduced herself to him as his daughter.  That really gave him an unexpected blow.  He knew of her but never met her.

After Frank had married Minnie Tyson, he had an affair with a McClure girl in the Woodstock area and got her pregnant.  William Hunter ; Minnie's father; and the McClure family  gave the pregnant girl money to go to Texas to have her baby.  The baby, when grown,  paid a visit.

I don't know what they discussed but they talked a lot.  Then the woman got into her truck and drove away, that was the last time I know of she made an appearance.  Grandpa was emotionally shook up.

Later, when doing family research I discovered that Frank , Minnie, and then their only child Herbert moved for a couple of years to Texas.  They lived in Hunt County, Texas, where their only daughter Beatrice "Bee" was born in 1903.  They were back in Cherokee County in 1906 when their next son, Robert "Bus" was born.  I don't know if their residence in Texas had anything to do with the McClure girl or not.

Routinely, Frank would get up before anyone else, start the fire in the fireplace and buttered the toast.  I always have been an early riser, I would be the second one up.  I would back up to the fire to enjoy its warmth.  I think we burned coals instead of wood.  One morning while backed up to the fireplace a cinder popped out of the fire and immediately caught my pajamas on fire.   Grandpa grabbed me and threw me down and rolled me.  He saved my life.

The skin on my legs were covered with blisters and I was in agony.  With Daddy's knowledge of homemade remedies he doctored me and I was back to normal in no time.

Sometime later Grandpa had a stroke.  He was in the old hospital.  I remember the room location.  It was on the top floor, on the south end over looking Victory Cab or Guest Motors, whichever was there at the time.  I was too young to visit him so I had to slip up the exit stair case.  I opened the door and  grandpa was trying to get out of bed.  He was delirious.  My uncle Herbert and some other brothers, I don't remember who, was trying to hold him down.  It was the last time I saw my grandfather alive.  He died 20 March 1950, at age 70.

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You Can't Carry It With You

Now, Jim is never more.

Jim was addicted to yard sales.  He was always going to garage sales buying a nice combustion engine or something for a couple of dollars and show off all the expensive tools he bought that way.  Now, look where they are (above).

Jim was born in Marietta many years ago.  He and his two brothers grew up around Powder Springs and Reynolds Streets.  After his WWII time he moved to Miami and started a small engine repair business.

He married Louise, also from Marietta.  They never had any children.

After they retired they moved back to Marietta and bought the house next to us.

I admit that Jim, sometimes, was a pain the ass.  He just wanted to be helpful which sometimes messed up my yard plans, because of his aggressive suggestions.

But I still miss him. 

I had a Snapper Self-Propelled, a Snapper riding lawnmower, and a powered water pressure machine.  
Anytime one sputtered Jim came running with his tool kit and more often than not messed it up.  One time I had my sons help me load the riding mower into my pickup truck when they were over on a Sunday.  The starter would not work.  I had plans to take it to the Snapper shop the following morning.

That morning Jim's wife Louise called and said Jim saw my lawnmower on the back of my truck, I wasn't going to take it to pay somebody to fix it was I?  I admitted I was and he was over in just a couple of minutes.  He fixed it.  He fixed it that I could start it by bypassing the start button and line up a screw driver between the battery and live wire to start it.  I had several screw drivers to curl up while trying to start it.  Another time he tried to fix my water pressure machine and could not adjust the thing the piston or whatever, and it warped the shaft, or it was the shaft, whatever.

It got to the point that when either lawnmower or water pressure machine needed work done I would load it onto my truck at night in the dark and backed up into the carport.  I knew Jim normally woke up about 8:30am.  I would leave the house with the equipment  before 7am.

One time Jim saw a truck that looked like mine that one of the headlights wasn't working.  He came over with his equipment to take out the  bad headlight and either fix it or replace it.  I told him it was working fine.  He told me he saw it not working.  I told him there were two or three others trucks in the subdivision  that looked just like mine, and one of them was the one with the bad headlight.  He didn't believe and wanted to drill a hole through the body someplace to give it the so-called bad light additional electrical support.

One time Jim told me he had brake problems and to save money he paid Bob, the useless man across the street to fix it.  He chuckled and said he cheated Bob, he could have charged him much  more, but he only charged him $20.  A few weeks after that Jim had a heart attack.  Instead of paying an ambulance he drove to the hospital.   The cardiologists put in a pacemaker and he had to be the hospital a few days.   I volunteered to take his car home.  He reluctantly told me OK.

I did not know it until I had to use the brakes there were no brakes.   Luckily, I had a Volvo in the Navy that the brakes were shot and I learned to gear down....gear down easily.
I got the car home and the next time I saw Jim I kidded him about he didn't get the best of Bob, Bob got the best of him.... he just gave Bob $20 for no services rendered.

Jim died and a few years later, last year, his wife Louise died.

I thought Jim, the way he squeezed a dollar and did without a lot, they lived from social security check to social security check.   But apparently I was wrong, he had hundreds of thousands of dollars squirreled away, which distant relatives will probably fight over and all his prized collections are in the dumpster above.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It Is What It Is

This morning Willow and I walked in the slushy snow and ice.  It was not too bad, it was like waking on a slushy drink.
A neighbor is a nurse at the VA Hospital in Decatur.  She backed out of her driveway , rolled down her window and said good morning.  When she sees us walking in the mornings she always says good morning.

She said she was leaving late to avoid the traffic.
I said it may be just as bad because everybody might be doing the same thing.
I said I hope she wasn't having problems with all the  investigations  that the VA Hospital is receiving right now.
She swatted in thin air, like swatting a fly, in her Jamaican accent said, "It is what it is."
I told her I like that expression, "It is what it is."   I said it was profound.

She cackled laughing as she drove off.

From Tree to Tree

Across the street from us in Larry Bell Park was a ravine that was about the length of a  football field that stopped at Manget Creek, just below the softball field.  The ravine was a long deep ditch line with trees.  As a kid I like to go in it when I wanted to be alone and think.  It was also a good place to play.  Over a period of time I learned of one slim tree there I could climb up near the top, get it weaving back and forth with shifting my weight and with enough swinging it leaned over to a similar shape tree and I grab onto that tree straighten my legs out and the tree I was in would spring back in shape and I from the top of the second tree shimmy  down, mission accomplished. 

Of course approval or showing off was always a priority and I wanted to show my friends Gene Sanges and Tony Hester.   One day while playing in the ravine with Gene and Tony I did my old trick, I climbed up the tree I was well acquainted with the intentions of swinging over to the neighboring tree.  I didn't make it to the second tree.  When I got the first tree weaving back and forth with my weight the tree snapped and down I fell.

It knocked me out cold.  Tony and Gene thought I was just playing possum.  Tony went and got his wagon and they carried me to his back yard.  They told me if I did not get up they were going to take all my clothes off in front of Tony's sisters Peggy and Lula.

I did not get up and they took my clothes off.

Then they thought I was dead.  

They loaded me back in the wagon and carried me to my house.  It must have been on a weekend, my parents and sister were not there.
They carried me into my bedroom and put me in my bed, threw my clothes on the bed too, and left.

When my family came home there I was out cold, naked in bed.
I'm sure that was a shock to them.

Ironically, I did not know it at the time, but with my uncle, Daddy's brother W.C. was young he did the same trick on the same property, and was knocked out.  He was in a coma for weeks.

Several years ago Tony's mother died.  I went to the funeral home to pay my respect.  Tony was not there yet but his two sisters Peggy and Lula were.   The whole time we talked I wonder if they were thinking the same thing I was, seeing me in the buff.   That subject went unsaid as we talked about old times.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Australian Bakery and Bluegrass

Australian Bakery on South Park Square in Downtown Marietta. 

For the past several years  on Tuesday evenings in Front of the Australian Bakery bluegrass players have been showing up jamming.  There is no schedule or plans.  Ever who shows up with their instrument finds a group jamming that they will be comfortable in and jump in and start plucking away.  We have not been there in a while, I don't know if it is still going on or not.  If you are interested in watching or playing you might call the Australian Bakery.

I am been known to pick up a guitar and play there .  My, My, what do we have here?  It is  a video of me* playing the ole' guitar.   Awww Shucks!

*If you believe I was actually playing that thing I have  some property down near the  Okefenokee   Swamp I'll like to talk to you about.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015


On my walk/run this morning I listened to LITTLE BOXES by the late  Pete Seeger,   

Here, lets listen to it again:

One of my Forrest Gump's Moments

Fifty years ago yesterday, February 21, 1965, we went to New York City.  It was only about 60 miles away from our base.  We read a mass order from the Fleet Commander that there would be an anti-Vietnam War protest of Arm Services people in their uniforms  at Union Square in New York City, and  under no circumstances active servicemen  to attend .  Anybody in uniform would be arrested by Military Police.

We went, but didn't wear our uniforms.   We wanted to take pictures.

We found Union Square but there was no protest going  on.  Maybe we were early, maybe we were late, or maybe the location was changed at the last minute.

Just killing time, we rode around looking at the big city.  We rode up 5th Avenue and passed the Guggenheim Museum on the right, and up a few blocks the Metropolitan Museum on the left  and Central Park.  Then several more blocks and Central Park on the left ended. 

Seeing the pedestrians we realize we were in Harlem.


Somebody  hit my Volvo with some kind rock or brick.  Some people shouted at us.

We got the heck out of there.

Later, on the news we learned that Malcom X had been assassinated in New York City.   Maybe the reason we were hollered at was because I had  Georgia License Plate on the car.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Elvis Presley died almost 40 years ago and he just won't fade away.  His songs are still played, they are still Elvis imitators,... just the other day I saw a picture of  Elvis in all his finery wishing  a friend's mother a happy birthday at a nursing home.

For sure, it is not too late for me to get on the bandwagon, with a Elvis cartoon that was originally printed in the first issue of TRUMP magazine in the '50s.  Text by editor Harvey Kurtzman and art by Wally Wood. 

click on image to enlarge to make it readable. 

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Emi Sunshine Horrible Highway

Folks, She is real and she is good and not pretentious, in her own way.  But she knows how to put on a good show!

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