Sunday, August 02, 2015

Belated Happy Cousins Day!

Over a week ago , July 24, 2015, was National Cousins Day.  Have a Happy Belated Happy Cousins Day!

Hunter first couins

Hunter cousins, aunts, uncles, & grandparents

Hunter first cousins

Hunter extended about 1980

Petty cousins, aunts, uncles, and Grandma

Ray cousins

Marie's Jones cousins of long ago

Marie's Postcards, Harahan Bridge Over the Mississippi in Memphis

click to enlarge

Marie's Postcards:  This card says on the front:  "Harahan Bridge at West Memphis, Tennessee, crossing the Mississippi River." 
I thought West Memphis was in Arkansas. 

Either way, one time I crossed that bridge, or its replacement , in the 1990s, when I went to Jonesboro, Green County, Arkansas, searching for my g-g-grandfather Jason H. Hunter's  grave.  I found his youngest son's and his family's  graves, but not Jason's.

You may remember Jonesboro, Arkansas, in the news a couple years before I visited.  A lone sniper hid in the woods near a school and shot kids playing on the playground.  The nation was shocked, but nothing was changed just like other times a gunman goes on  a shooting spree killing innocent people. 

Saturday, August 01, 2015


click on images to make them larger and readable

This  a story of America vs Nazi dog fights in WWII.  It also has an eerie twang to it.  The cover was illustrated by George Evans and the story was  illustrated by Georgia corn-fed MAD artist Jack Davis.

There is a message of what  is often the bottom line of what happens to many people who fight in war.

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Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

Today for lunch we ate at a restaurant near us and ran into an ex-neighbor.  We chatted, or mostly bragged about our children and grandchildren.  We started out saying we have a grandson only about  13 days old.  She topped it by saying her latest grandson is only a week old. It was an unfair match from the start.  She is the aggressive competitive  type anyway, and she has three children and three grandchildren.  She has the youngest and oldest grandchild.

We knew before we started she would trump us on everything  and get the last word in.

Marie's Postcard Collection: A cartoon card

click to enlarge.

Marie's Postcard Collection.  This one speaks for itself.  It could have been on any postcard rack from Oregon to Miami.  And it might explain what is written on the other side:
 "Dear Mother,
We will come home Thur or Fri.  Having a nice time. 

What?  Not a great time or even a good time?    It has no stamp or addressee on it.   It wasn't even mailed.   

Friday, July 31, 2015

This is Nancy Jones Buice and her husband Phillip Buice.  she has done a large amount of research on the Jones family or the Forsyth County, and the Alpharetta area.  About 20 years ago we used to exchange genealogy information often.
Her maiden name is Jones.  She grew up with in a Jones neighborhood with uncles, aunts, grandparents, and cousins living all around her.

My late mother-in-law Marie had many things she had picked up and held on to through the years.  Two of the things were poster size pictures of Anna, Nancy, and Marie's  Jones ancestors, William C. "Buck" Jones and Elizabeth Brown Jones.  Both pictures have identical classic wood frames.  We do not have wall space for the two pictures.

I wanted to give them to somebody who would appreciate them, so I dug up Nancy's number and offered them to her.  They came over to Marie's house  a few weeks after I called and loved the pictures.

Also while they were there I  gave them other genealogical information about the Jones family; mostly newspaper clippings.

I think getting those big framed pictures and the genealogical folders on the Jones made their day. 

Copies of the poster size pictures they received:


Yikes! Is it Skyps?

We just talked with and looked at Baby Benjamin, Sabrina, and Rocky with Facetime on our ipads for the first time.  I think Facetime is something like Skype.  It was an enjoyable experience and also amusing.

What was amusing was we could see them on most of the full screen, but in the top left corner we could see us, as I suppose like  how they see us.  Being in the top left corner our live images were on top of a cabinet  or something.  It looked strange, like two uninvited and unseen guests hiding in the corner behind a cabinet.  Or maybe two hand puppets with the puppeteer hiding behind the cabinet.

Marie's Postcards, Jackson Sq in French Quarter

Marie's Postcard Collection.  The front of this card states:  "JACKSON SQUARE IN THE FRENCH QUARTERS, NEW ORLEANS, LA."

Shouldn't it be "Jackson's Circle"?

click on picture to be able to read little labels.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mrs. Ashford -Dunwoody and her Merry Troupe

In my formative years in metro Atlanta I learned the local celebrities  were Bert Parks, Bob Van Camp, Boots Woodall and the Peachtee Cowboys, Ruth Kent, Xavier Somebody, Officer Don & his co-star Woody Willow, and last but not least, the Merry Mutes:  Dick Vandyke, Nancy and Phil Erickson.

I had a pleasant surprise the morning when leaving the dog park.  Fellow dog owner Mike and his hairy friend Glen  were coming in and told me he had something for me.  It was some Wits' End*  (*Bring Money)   paraphernalia .
One was a CD of the Wits' End's high energized fast  pace rapid songs they were so good at.  And the other was a DVD of their 25 Year Old Anniversary in Atlanta.

I listened to the CD today and a few skits and thought flows of various members of the  Wits' End cabaret.

I have written  of the Wit's End show on chicken-fat  before - here, let me skate around roughly what I said then.  The leaders were husband and wife Phil and Nancy Erickson.   And there was a young tall gawky one that would not stay with them a long time.  His name was  Dick Vandyke.  They were the MERRY MUTES  on local TV.  It was before color TV.  I can only remember them in black and white and I don't remember any  more than three of them.  As the name implied, they did a lot of Mime.   In fact, that is all they did.  If I remember correctly the show was only 15 minutes long.
When I went to work for the Atlanta News Agency my territory  covered parts of rural DeKalb and Gwinnett County.  Some place out there in the country was a farm that looked different.   I recognized their mail box, it said something like "WITS' END* - *Bring Money."  I looked forward on seeing that country house once or twice a week.  I supposed Mr. and Mrs. Phil Erickson lived there.
I got out of the Navy in 1965, for about ten years up to about 1975 about six of us Navy friends would keep the roads fairly well traveled between Marietta, Chicago, Minneapolis,  and Harrisburg, Pa.  Every time it was time for me to host I saw to it that we went to a famous park or war site, such as Stone Mountain or Kennesaw Mountain, one time around on the merry-go-round (Polaris) atop the Regency Hyatt in downtown Atlanta, and while there go to the Wits' End Cabaret Club.

It was a little solitary single storied block shape building about on something like 5th Street where it came in on Spring Street, facing the Biltmore Hotel.

I was truly amazed at the fast paced skits... after the punch line was delivered, the stage, in the middle of the floor, it seemed, was vacated for a second then  and a new skit began.

One skit I really enjoyed, even after the 3 rd or 4th time I saw it was when they played the song "They are Tearing Up Peachtree Again."  It had one of the players (not Nancy) with a construction helmet and drilling the "air" pavement with an "air" air hammer.  It was the theatrics she used... the way the imaginary air hammer shook her whole body and the helmet jumped around on top of her head.  I bellowed each time I saw it.

The time we went there Atlanta   was having a hard time accepting court ordered integration.    The Wits' End Players had a black lady (Sally Street) who played her role out proudly.  I sometime worried about their safety, they made fun of backward southern traditions with a black lady.  As far as I know they never had any violence or threats.

It was not far from the Georgia Tech campus and I think the upper classmen  probably went there often.

They moved their little theater to  Underground Atlanta when it opened,  just down the row from a bar that the famous Piano Red played at.  We went to see them one time at their new location.  Shortly after that we had our first son and our whole way of life changed.

Back to present:   At the dog park a few weeks ago Joe Jenkins and I were bringing up  old local things we remembered in the area many years ago.  We lived in roughly the same areas and had roughly the same friends.  I mentioned the Wits' End* (*Bring Money) about the time Mike walked  by.

Mike said, "Wits' End?"

I first thought he had never heard of  Wits' End as a night club but as it turned out he knew more than we did.  In fact, he told us he is married to a descendent of the Ericksons.
He mentioned going up to the mountains several times.  I was curious, I asked where in north Georgia.  He said North Carolina, Macon County.

I gave Mike a "chicken-fat" card and asked him to search for Wits' End if he got a chance.  He did and shared with his kin and they gave me the gifts I mentioned in the second paragraph of this.

All I can say is "WOW!  And thank you very much!"

Click here for Nancy Erickson's Obituary

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Marie's Postcards, Ft Pierce, Fla

Marie's Postcard Collection.  On the front this one says "Sailfish and Yacht Basin, Fort Pierce, Florida".  I can  almost smell the fish.

Don Wallace, Boy Scout

This is my old friend Don Wallace.   We were in Boy Scout Troop 132 together.  We have ran into each other at several Bell Reunions.  We stand together a few minutes and talk about old times in the Boy Scouts then we walk away  with me wondering, "Does he really remember me or was he just being polite?"


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Marie's Post Cards. The Georgia State Capitol

Marie's Postcard Collection.  This is the Georgia State Capitol.  See the Golden Dome?   That base was made from gold that was mined in near Dahlonega, in north Georgia. That is bragging rights for our place in history  in the Trail of Tears Episode.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Salt Peter Cave Rerun

At least I am recycling:

Not long ago, I suggested to a fellow blogger who lives in the area that she should visit Saltpeter Cave just outside of Cartersville, Georgia.

I have been there several times and had adventures each time that I will remember the rest of life. After I told her about the never-ending cave I did a Google search to maybe give her some good directions and found out that just about every southern state has a cave named Salt Peter. However, when I made Salt Peter one word: SaltPeter Google narrowed the possibilities down and I found it.

Unfortunately, the Saltpeter website said it was on private property and visitors were not welcome. I thought it was just outside of Cartersville – well it is, but it is in Kingston, Georgia. I should have thought of that.

Back as teenager, probably about 14 years of age, I was in the Explorer Scouts. Our troop (or whatever the group calls themselves) went to Saltpeter Cave on a weekend and camped out outside the main entrance.

It had two entrances. The big entrance is huge, King Kong could have tossed huge new houses through the opening with plenty of room to spare. The other entrance is around the hill’s corner and high up.

The cave had never ending rooms, one after another. I was surprised at the pitched black of absolutely nothing when we all turned out our flashlights.

There seemed to be big rooms at first and got a little smaller as you went back. In one of the first big rooms was either two or three rectangle holes in the earth, about six feet deep. Were these graves? Another scout troop there were from nearby, one of the boys said he heard they were Indian graves.

Also, somewhere we heard they mined salt peter in these caves in the Civil War. I heard salt peter was an ingredient the military gave its enlisted men to keep down their sex drive. I doubt if that is true. It seemed that the fighting men would need all the raging hormones they could pull up. I also heart that salt peter was used in gun power, that seems plausible.

This cave had plenty of stalactites and stalagmites. In one room there one of each, one on top of the other, almost like a mirror image. Another one, which ever is the one that is on the floor was the size of a teepee and had a crawl entrance. I entered it and climbed down and down, maybe 20 to 25 feet, and it stopped, so did I and climbed back out.

One crawl tunnel empted out in the first room of the big opening. It opened up with maybe 8 feet below you into the room. Before you had a chance to figure out how to maneuver yourself out and down the steep wall the oozing bat shit solved the problem for you and gave you no choice. You could only side one way, down – sliding.

As the rooms got smaller one time we were wading and heard running water ahead. We were not brave enough to move more in that direction.

In little small tunnel that I had to squeeze through and opened into a larger room, I clung on to edge, because darkness was below me I came across something smooth and round. Had I found an egg of a mysterious extinct cave dwelling animal? I put it in my coat pocket for closer examination when I got into the day light.

It was a used flash bulb.

We went back there in just a few weeks but this time it was a day trip. We didn’t camp out.

In a couple of years when my friends and I became old enough to drive and enjoyed rambling on the old country roads in Georgia we went back a few times and went in the cave.

The last time I went I think I was about 17 or 18 on a Sunday. It was with Larry S., cousin Jesse, and a friend or two more. They were fascinated by the cave.

After we went into the innards of it and came back out Larry took a rope out of his trunk and went over the big mouth of the cave and tied the rope to a tree there and it dangled down over the opening.

As I type this I am wonder if this was the same rope that I hung on and vomited while lowering down the cliff above Dahlonega, Georgia (remember that blog?). Roughly same time period and same car that held the rope, same friends.

It is possible, but if so, it would have to be after the Dahlonega event because the rope was much shorter.

One at a time us boys took times grabbing the rope and swinging out into the mouth of the cave and swinging back.

The mouth of the cave, once you enter it on foot you have to be careful descending down a steep loose rock incline. The incline went so far then there is a drop off of about 15 feet. On foot, you would need to go near the outer end of the cliff where the incline continues.

Of course if you are swinging out on a rope your primary concern is not to fall.

I fell off the rope. Once airborne, swinging out in the huge mouth of the cave my hands started sliding at a rapid rate. I held harder, which burned the flesh off my hands.

I slid right off the rope and fell on the steep inclined and rolled and tumbled at a fast rate of speed towards the drop off. A out-jutting big stone stopped me.

I wished I was dead to get rid of the pain. Both hands on the inside were burning like hell, no skin, just raw red hands that blisters were forming. My bones were in pain also.

But, again, I slipped by death by a hair. I could not walk well. My friends and a couple of strangers helped me out of the mouth.

We went home, me completely absorbed in my pain and burns.

I knew the moment I realized I was in pain, that would be my last visit to Saltpeter Cave.

Bugs Bunny turned 75 Yesterday


Tuba Skinny: California Woldfest Minor Drag


Califormnia Worldfest, July 18, 2015.

This concert was on the same day as my grandson was born, not that it matters (it does to me)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Benjamin Rockwell 1 week Plus


Mama Sabrina and Benjamin

Frances, Sabrina, Benjamin, and Bonnie

Rocky and Rocky

Chong (birthday grandmother)


Chicago City and River Postcard

Marie's Postcard Collection.  This is Chicago and the Chicago River.  Anna and I took a boat tour of that River once.  It goes right by the twin round towers of Marina City, and the docent pointed out  Al Capone hangouts during prohibition, and other items of interest.  

The  docent  also told us on Saint Patrick's Day they color  the river green.  I should have asked, "And what color do they color it on Saint Valentine's Day - Red?"  
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