Friday, August 26, 2016

Hunter Relative Byrom Herbert Reece's Farm and Heritage

Yesterday we went to the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center in Union County, just next to Vogle State Park, about ten miles south of Blairsville.

Byron was a farmer, poet, and teacher with the priorities in that same order.  He had to be a farmer to keep his parents fed and warm; in his mind he was a constant prose creator, which is where his heart was, and well, being a teacher paid the bills.

Then to make it interesting, or worse,  Byron had a TB.  If a hardship or pain feeds on creativity - then Byron had an unfair advantage over other suffering artists.   He was very creative, but sad and depressed a lot of  the time.  Yes, that is a cigarette he is holding in his hand.  He smoked more than a chain-smoker.

He took his own life at age 40, after grading his students papers at Young Harris College.

He was Georgia's Official Poet.

All this was on a video we watched at his heritage center and a book we own that Anna read aloud while I drove.
We got to walk around the same farm Byron worked and everything was neatly labeled.

I am a 4th cousin to Byron Herbert Reece (1917-1948), - we share the same g-g-g-grandfahter (John Hunter (1776-1848)), otherwise we may have never went there.

Distant relative or not, I'm glad we did.  The docent is very informed and quoted him exactly a few times.  There is no charge, but it would help pay for the upkeep if you bought something.

The Heritage Center Museum

The above and below picture is Byron Herbert Reece's "Man Cave"so to speak.  It was his refuge for privacy to write, read, correspond and think.

A friend and distant relative told me  his good and bad experience in this barn.  The good was that he kissed a girl the first time.  The bad was that it was his cousin.
What I should have said, "What did you expect, you are related to everybody in a ten mile radius!"

There are four groups like this with some parts of Byron' poetry etched in stones and sitting rocks around it.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Anthony, Opal, Me, and the Preacher's Daughter

Throwback Thursday.  c1949-50.  The toddler is my cousin Anthony.  His mother Opal Petty is stooped down comforting him.  And the handsome brute on the tricycle is me.  The picture was taken in their front yard in Varnell, Georgia.

Varnell is about ten miles northeast of Dalton, near Cohutta.  Look at the tricycle.  It is too big for Anthony.  And it would not be mine, we were at least 85 miles from Marietta. 
It probably belonged to the little girl next door in the big white house.  The little girl's father was a preacher. 

On the other side of their house was a railroad crossing and a big water tank tower.  I vaguely remember that she and I climbed up the ladder and down into the tank.  And all the grownups had a hissy fit.

A few years ago my sister Frances and I revisited Varnell.  This is what used to be the preacher's big white house,  Is vacant now.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016


For years we have been purchasing 30 day parking permits for Wellstar Kennestone Hospital through The Good Life Club. 
The last one we purchased was in May.  At the time we were at the Wellstar Cobb General Hospital near Austell.  When we bought it we asked if it was good at the Kennestone Wellstar, and the lady told us it was.
We used it once since, in July, at the Kennestone Wellstar.
Yesterday we were at Kennestone again for a medical appointment.  The lady at the booth refused it.  She said they no longer honor that system as of two weeks ago.  We said, the 30 visit pass we bought said it was good for a year.  Nope!  She called her supervisor over and she concurred what the woman said.  They said we bought it at the Cobb General Wellstar, that was between them and us.
I  wish I had said, "But you are owned by the same company and was told it would be honored in both places!"
That is what we should have said.  Instead we just sputtered in suprise.
They raised the gate bar for this time, but no more.

Something is not right when a company can renege on a service they sold.  

Adam Wandering Around Uncle Tommy's Place

Our son Adam when he was about 9-10.  These were taken at his late Uncle Tommy's place.  The little house behind him, if I remember correctly, housed a walk-in freezer or giant cooler  for such things as hunting game and farm animal carcasses.

Tommy used to say, "If we don't grow it or kill it we don't eat it."

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

All Roads Lead to Atlanta and Waterman Streets

I could be in this scene.  It is facing the intersection of Atlanta and Waterman Streets.  If suddenly I was thrown into it and the cars started moving and Kenneth Carlile stepped to the curb with his school patrol white-web belt and cross breast  and held out his hand to stop the traffic for me to cross the street - then would say, "Wait Eddie!  You are not suppose to cross Atlanta Street!  Stay on it until you get to Hicks Grocery at East Dixie and turn left!  I'm going to tell Miss Whitehead and your parents you tried to cross here!"

I remember one time at the corner of Waterman Street and Atlanta Street Van Callaway and I passed a man walking towards us.  When he got close we saw he had no nose.  It had been removed or ripped off - just a raw looking mess.  

From where the photographer is standing you can "sense" Manley and Adams Sinclair Station on the right.  Across the street, if Kenneth had allowed me to cross, up about two doors towards town is/was the house I was born in... but at the time of the picture the house was a service station and the front room had a pin ball machine that we used to play a few games on the way to and from school.

If I changed my direction and started going the opposite way on Atlanta Street on the same side of the street just a few houses down was a green one level stucco house that my Grandma Petty, my aunt Opal, and her son Anthony lived there.  Opal did not own a car and worked in Atlanta, she always lived near a bus stop.  A house or so down was the policeman Harold Griggs' house.  Harold had a daughter my age named Gretchen.  Gretchen was intelligent and good looking.  We were out of her league.  Harold was a Marietta Policeman and so was my father. 

About across Atlanta Street was the a  a big high white fence around it.  Deep in a wooded surroundings was  a colonial house.  It was the Boston Family's dwelling.  I did not  know until I got into genealogy that the Bostons were in-laws.  They didn't know it either, and if they did, they were keeping it a secret.  A Trammell relative, daughter of Leander Newton Trammell, married into the Boston family.

I think the street that went from Atlanta Street, over the railroad tracks to West Atlanta Street was Goss Street.  On the corner of Atlanta Street and Goss Street was my uncle Spencer Crain's Garage, next door to it was Romeo Huggins Welding, and across the tracks was a railroad water tower and the Confederate Cemetery, which is still there.
Back across Atlanta Street again and you at the corner of Atlanta Street and Frazier Street.  The big house on the right is of Senator Alexander Stephen Clay.   Senator Clay was a Marietta hero -his statue is in Glover Park, and he had a noble family.  His kids were spoiled, so I read.  Hubert Clay was mayor of Marietta and a circuit judge for north Georgia - he was also one of the leaders that planned the details in the Leo Frank lynching.

On the other corner of Goss and Atlanta Streets a Polish family lived that were war refugees.  Also, a Polish family lived about 3 doors down from Crain's Garage.  For some strange reason, our principal, Miss Whitehead sent me to their house in the rain to check to see if they were still living there.  Their kids registered for school but quit coming to class.  I went and no one came to the door.  How come I was selected to be the 11 year old truant officer?  That would have been a job for Kenneth Carlile, school safety guard.

There was a nice stone holding wall and plenty of little trees and bushes.  My friend Tony who lived close to me used to take delight in taking a dump behind a bush in the Clays' front yard, on the way home from school.

About two houses down was the Pittards' house.  Charles Pittard was a couple years older than I, we both had a friend in common, Sam Carsley.  But to Charles Pittard I was invisible.

I was not so invisible to a Victory Cab  driver in front of the Pittards' house.  One time I was riding my bike home from school in the rain I slipped and had a crash landing which knocked me out.  A Victory Cab driver drove by and saw me, conked out with a turned over bike. He pulled me over, put me, out cold, into the taxi, loaded my bike up and carried me home.  It was a surprised to my mother when she saw a Victory Cab pull up, the driver to out carrying me like a sack of corn feed.  How he knew me, I will never know.  Marietta was a small town back then.

Down from the Pittards, was the Williams.  The live high on a hill - still do.  They owned a bus company in Marietta.

On the corner of Atlanta and Clay was classmate Elizabeth Hawthorn's grandmother.  South of Clay Street was lived a Marietta Postman, I forgot his name, he had a small goldfish pond in his front yard.  

On down was Crestview Baptist Church where preacher Vice or Bice Baptized me once, maybe they feel they should give it another shot.  Crestview Baptist, like other churches had a huge decrease in attendance and membership so they combined forces (if you want to call it that) with Rose Lane Baptist Church and changed its name to Grace Point and it now they enlisted the help of a retired minister who is good at drawing people, Rev Nelson Price and I think I remember reading they are starting a school.

Then was Hick's Grocery, which appears to be more of a landmark in people's memory than the Clay House.

All things must step aside for new history rolling in.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Arnold the Mime

Arnold Guest, at a Bell Reunion, jumping with joy or pretending to be a mime bumping into an invisible wall. 

Woody and Jury Duty

For weeks, maybe months, I have been reading on Kindle the biography of Woody Allen, THE UNRULY LIFE OF WOODY ALLEN by Marion Meade.  I am 55% finished.
I doubt if this is an authorized biography because Marion Meade has a lot of not-so-nice facts about Woody.    I don't know about her other biographies but she is very detailed in Woody's.
I am reading it slowly and re-reading some of it.  It is worth retaining.
The reason I am bringing up the book now is that on Uncle John's Page a Day Bathroom Reader calendar on the Weekend page of August 20th and 21st tells of the time Woody Allen tried to get out of Jury Duty.  He couldn't.  But he did show up with his lawyer and a body guard and refused to sit with other jurors (Ms Meade points out in her book that he goes out of his way not to speak to possible fans).  

The judge excused him.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tysons on Hwy 92

2015.  James Tyson and his aunt Ann Tyson Brown in the Bascomb Methodist Cemetery, Cherokee County,  to attend the burial of Billy Tyson (1927-2015).  Billy is James's father and Ann's brother.

Billy owned Tyson's Garage at the corner of Hwy 92 and Wade Green Road. 

The last time I spoke to Billy, at the funeral of our aunt Ann Tyson Crowder,  he told a group of Asian Investors wanted some Tyson land on Hwy 92 and they gave him something like $100,000 to hold it for them a certain time period.  The ending date came and passed.  He never heard a word from them again.   $$$$$



This is METRO by Robert Crumb.  It is same neighborhood as it changes over the years. Enlarge each picture and take it picture by picture in sequential order.  Is that us? 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Case of the Mysterious Nerd

Willow and do our daily walk most mornings before daybreak.   We walk between one and two miles and rarely see a human (but we do see cats and rabbits often).  This morning was an exception.
As we were walking down a hill approaching an intersection I saw a tall figure walking on the perpendicular street.  He passed the corner, looked up and saw us and did a walking U-turn and walked up the hill towards us.  On the street we were on it was on dark no street lights or moonlight.
When the person got close he said, "I think I am suppose to say "Good day, Good night, or Good morning, but I don't know what time it is."
He was close enough now that I recognized him but I don't remember where.  Krogers?  Dog park?  Those are about the only places I frequent often.   I think he is in his late teens or early twenties.  In my mind I remember I had him profiled as being sort of nurdy. 
"Good morning will work" I said.
"Good!  Good morning then!"
Willow and I moved on.  I was not sure what he was doing or what he was up to and I didn't want to stand around it the dark and chat with him.
About two blocks away I ran into him again.  He didn't seem to notice me that time.  I saw he had a clipboard in his hands and he kept looking down at it.
What was he up to at 5:30am with a clipboard?
I remember on the neighborhood on-line crime watch several cars in the area had reported theft of items in their cars.
Was he a items-left- in- unlocked- cars thief?  He seemed too gentle for that kind of activity.
The puzzle will probably stay a puzzle.

Happy National Radio Day!

The radio has always been my friend.  Back before we had a television we had a radio.  In my young years I kept up with serials on radio such as THE LONG RANGER, and THE THIN MAN.  Then the scary, mostly Sunday Nights shows, like LIGHTS OUT!

Later I became interested in NBC's MONITOR  that was on weekends.  On MONITOR was several skits scattered what seemed at random BOB AND RAY comedy skits.

In the evenings we listened to the CRACKERS baseball games announced by an guy named Henry.  I forgot his last name.  And in the day time the same announcer was called Hank the Prank, who then was a DJ and full of sound effects.
Later there were  Skinny Bobby Harper and Gary McKee - these people kelp me entertained while I commuted to Atlanta to work.

At night blasted from the Tennessee airwaves were Ernie's Record Mart and I forgot the name of the rhythm and blues station that advertised Royal Crown Petroleum Jelly.
I felt at home listening to the top 40s and still do - the same songs as then; my comfort zone, so to speak.

When I was in the Navy stationed in New Jersey a little clique of us liked classical radio broadcast from New York City and also we listened to Jean Sheppard talk endlessly on anything of his formative years - and if he ran out of things to say he would pull out his kazoo and play it until he thought of something.

Locally I think we listened mostly to stations WBIE, WFOM, WQXI, WAOK, WSB, WPLO, WGST, WRNG, and probably more.

Now, I don't listened to the radio so much to be entertained, I have my own music on my ipod and ipone for that, I mostly listen to NPR to listen to interviews and in-depth reports on subjects.  It makes me feel I am more informed, which makes me feel trapped.  The more I learn the more helpless I feel.

Radio is my friend for life. 

August 20th Day in History

On this Day in History, August the 20th

1866 President Andrew Johnson formally declares US Civil War over.
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