Friday, March 31, 2006

The Law of Economics


My wife and I went to Kennesaw College together for two years. We mostly took the same classes. Because she was having a hard pregnancy she dropped out and I soon followed her, I didn’t have anyone to take class notes for me.

I went a quarter more than she did. No, actually we are even, because she started a quarter before I did. Before Kennesaw College I went to technical school studying data processing and computer programming.

One of my classes after my wife dropped out was some kind of economics class. I think the name of it was something like World Economics or International Economics. The professor was a doctor, a PhD. He was a little black fellow with a heavy accent of some kind. He was very gentle and very polite. He spoke everything with a smile.

Somebody must have told him, “In the south, you better smile when you speak.”

He told us in one hour the key to his entire course. He said his theory of economics was: price depends on supply and demand.

And that is it. Anything else added is totally elaboration.

Any ten year old kid street kid knows that. The more you want something the more you are willing to pay for it. The man has a PhD because of that very insight. I knew that at an early age – don’t I deserve a PhD also?

I guess it is the way you present it. Maybe the doctor put it in more of a consumer - demand kind of thing in his dissertation than I would think of. Or maybe in commodity terms. Like people need gasoline so the price goes higher.

I could relate it on a more personal level. One time when I was a kid I wanted the complete collection of MAD comic books. I did not have issue number 4. The kid I knew that did have it realized how much I was willing to pay for it, and upped his price, MAD comic #4 or 1000 barrels of oil, it is the same thing, as far as supply and demand.

I got a good grade in that class, but another course, a college algebra, I failed, and slid right off the Dean’s List – but that is another story.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

WHOOPEE!!!!

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The Leader of the Free World




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Charles Loy


I love old pictures. And I love to share what I love. So, that is why you are looking at a picture of my wife's great great uncle Charles Loy. I know nothing about him or the goat.

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Morning Coffee

Just a little useless self-centered ramblings.

Each morning I walk and run on the treadmill and sometimes I watch TV, sometimes I listen to music and sometimes I look out the window at our backyard.

The treadmill is on the second level which gives me a good view of our yard, and our neighbors’ yard. Lately, I have a new friend outside the window, a hawk, who sits and watch me watch him. He/she seems very patient. Also, I have several bird feeders and I scatter on the ground corn cracklings, sunflower seed, and scratch feed for our birds who prefer to scratch for their food and the squirrels and chipmunks who like their corn, peanuts and sunflower seed.

And the hawk who likes all of the above.

Yesterday, I noticed the hawk not perched up on a limb like I usually see it, but walking around the ground in our natural area, looking down and pecking. I wonder what it was up to? Somehow I expected to hop around on the ground with both feed together, but he walked one foot after the other foot, similar to humans.

I went to the cemetery yesterday and put flowers on my parents' grave. When there alone I usually tell them the latest news I think they would be interested in. When I told them my youngest sister is laying our of work a lot I think but not sure I heard a slight rumble, and maybe I felt the ground vibrate a little.

Also yesterday I got my bike out, pumped up the tires and went for a 30 minute ride. It is that time of year. I have leanings to be a recluse anyway, and my daily walk and run in the area was good for me, mentally wise, and now I don't have to anymore. So, the bike ride did me good, to see different houses that I was keeping up with - the people making additions and things.... good for my nose anyway - gives it exercise.

I mentioned in an entry for Tuesday night that I was ran down by lady and her electric wheelchair. That was not the first time I have hit bulldozed by an electric wheelchair. Once while attending a concert my youngest son was in at his middle school auditorium. The row behind us was shorter than the row we were on. The shorter row was an ideal place for someone in their wheelchair park, which someone soon found out. Behind me I heard her battery, hydraulics, grunt and groan as it went back and forth, worming herself in line with the row of seats. The WHAM! I felt a terrific force that hit my back and pushed me and my seat into the seat in front of me.

I think the lady meant to go backwards but she press the wrong thing and it went lurched forward, which surprised her and she press even harder instead of hitting the brakes. I have a theory why that and the Tuesday night hit happened, but it all involves moons of Jupiter all lining up but it is too complicated to get into.

On Judy’s blog (see the Ask Judy link to the right) this morning she mentioned the ROAD movies that starred Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. To make a comment I dug out a DVD I bought (cheap) within a year ROAD TO BALI starring B&B and Dorothy Lamour. I don’t think to today’s standards Dorothy Lamour is all that beautiful… but she had a down home non pretentious quality that I find beautiful.

Anyway, that got me wondering – wasn’t a ROAD TO BAGDHAD made? If so, and today if they made a remake it should be interesting. A gang of Muslim kidnappers with black masks and large blades chasing the two lovable Anglo-Saxons that would keep making wisecracks about the bungling Keystone Cops – like kidnappers.

It looks like the first week of May I will be with my wife in Jacksonville, Florida. She will be on official business and I will be on official monkey business.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Beatniks and The Golden Horn

Back in either 1959 or 1960 my friend Monty called me and wanted to know if I wanted to go to a Beatnik coffee house in Atlanta. “Beatnik coffee house?” I said. I wasn’t keen on going out on a school night when it was going to something I knew nothing about – in some of our misadventures back then when we went to a place we knew nothing about we suddenly had to scatter or suffer some consequences, and I was afraid this might be the case this time, and Atlanta is/was a long way away for a school night.

Neither of us knew anything about beatniks or coffee houses. From TV we figured the males were bearded, wore berets and the females had long straight hair and wore black stockings. In the coffee houses we knew from TV all they did was hang around zonked on opium or espresso coffee and recited beat poetry. The most important lure for us was that we thought the females in their black stockings were all opened minded and all for free love….. which is just what a teenage boy would want.

So Monty, I, and two more friends headed to Atlanta in Month’s mother’s Volvo PV544 on a dark foggy night.

The place we were looking for was The Golden Horn on 15th Street. We found it without any problem. The Golden Horn was located on the street level floor of an granite building that was a three story apartment building, each level above street level had a porch or patio. It was across the street from the High Museum which was also known as the Atlanta Art Museum. The museum was facing Peachtree Street, but the side of it was along side 15th Street.

Monty parked the car down the street about a block, you never know if what might happen that we would have to leave suddenly.

We went in. To the left was a table full of tasty looking cakes, and behind that was a bar that did the serving of beverages. A lean lady with long black hair and black stockings came up and asked us did we want a seat and we said we did. Yep, she was just what we expected.

The room was not that large. Maybe 10 or 15 tables in a dim lit room. On the far end was a small low stage. We sat down and expected someone to come out on stage and play some bongo drums or maybe recite poetry, or whatever beatniks do.

The people at the other tables seemed quiet, chatting among themselves. I would guess they were college students, Georgia Tech was only a few blocks away.

The dame with the long black straight hair and black stockings asked what did want and we said coffee. This is a coffee house – right? She brought back four coffees and our bill.

A man in white skin tight leotards and a unicorn head climb up on stage and music was played… it was flute music. The man with the unicorn head starting lightly dancing, at times it was like a ballet because he would leap and tip toe and piloret.... all this to classical flute music.

We were not music appreciators by any means. Any thing musical we like was on the top 40 radio stations. Our minds had not yet matured to appreciate good music or interpretive dancing.

Monty would later become a disc jockey.

Our whispering conversation went something like this: “Good god! We came all way down here to see this shit?”
“Is this a queer joint?”
“No, there is a couple of girls here.”
“How much is the bill? Lets pay and get the hell out of here!”
“Damn! It is sixteen dollars!”
“Sixteen dollars?”
“yes – that coffee must cost $4 a cup.”
“Shit! Now what?”

The thing is, we didn’t have $16 between us. We had something like $3 and some change.

So, we made plans. While we were whispering making our plans the woman brought another round of coffees and added it to the bill.

The table with the cakes were on a table, just a leap from the front door. We decided we would get up and stand over the cakes as if we were planning on which cake to pick out and run out the door the first chance we got.

All four of us got up, went over to the table and stood there looking at the cakes. The wench with the long straight hair came up to watch us. To make it look like we were dead serious on picking out a cake I put my hand out, finger extended and said, “Hmmm Lets see….”

She interrupted me by putting a sharp butcher knife up to my face and say, “Touch a cake and off goes your finger honey!”
I let out a nervous laugh.
The bitch said, “You think I’m joking!” and jabbed the knife in midair within inches of my stomach. I backed up.

She jabbed at me again and I backed up some more….. how in the heck did I find myself in this mess? I thought.
About that time the door slammed and we both looked at the door. We could see my three friends heads bobble by the window as they were running.

Now she was mad. She jabbed again and I turned around and ran. Somehow to get away from her knife tricks I found myself on the stage with the unicorn, then she joined us. People in the audience were laughing. I jumped off the stage with her behind me swiping at me.

This time the door was in front of me and she was in the back of me. I opened the door and ran out and ran down towards the car, but I was running scared and caught up with them before they reached it.

We all had a good laugh when I told them what happened and we all climbed into the car. Monty said, “I lost my wallet.”
“What did you do with it?”
“I had it out when we were counting our money. I must have dropped it on the floor.”
“Let it go, the dollar you had in there isn’t worth it.”
“I an’t leaving without my wallet. My phony driving license is in there, do you know how long it took me to draw the Seal of Georgia on that thing?”

Me: “I’m not going back in there for anything.”

We agreed the other three would go back in and demand the wallet back and I would be out side with the Volvo running, and as soon as they ran out they would hop in and away we would go – back home.

They went in and I sat in the drivers seat with the engine running, one foot on the clutch and the other foot ready to stomp down on the gas. I was the get-away driver.

They ran out laughing. Monty had his wallet, which he put in his back pocket.

“How did you get it?” I asked.

As a last second inspiration, Monty and his two companions when they entered The Golden Horn fell down to their knees and began crawling all over the room squealing like pigs. Everybody cracked up laughing, even the witch with the long straight hair and butcher knife. While crawling, Monty made a straight line to the table we were at and saw his wallet on the floor and snatched it up.

Alls wells that ends well.

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A Graceful Lady or Angel


Another picture from Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah.

I think it is an angel, although she doesn't have wings. Maybe she is meant to be lady morning.

Whichever, I think she is very candidly graceful. I say candid because she has a certain non-pretentious way about her.... otherwise, she would either cover her feet or have them her toes charmingly arched and pointed.

There is beauty in basics.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I Am Invisible

I am the Invisible Man. People just don't notice me. The look past me, over me, beside me, around me, and through me.

I think H.G. Wells had someone like me in mind when he wrote his book.

Some day I am going to walk into a bank, help myself to some teller's cash drawerss and walk on out.

One time I walked into a McDonald's in the middle of the day to get a coke. Two teenager girls servers were on their side of the counter. I walked up to them and they didn't notice me. They were talking about their sex life. Occasionally they would look up to make sure no one came in on them, look past me, to the door, and then get back of the new sexual experiments they did. I cleared my throat and they looked up at me horrified, like I was an voyeur of something. One ran off embarrassed and the other hatefully took my order.

That is just an example of how I am ignored. It happens all the time - just I happened to always remember the McDonald's incident because it is funny.

So, tonight I went to the Central Library for a genealogy club meeting. A lady from the LDS Church was there to give a talk on how to do genealogy research with the LDS Church (Mormons) on-line.

Afterwards, on a table they had refreshments, coffee, cookies, and for some reason corn chips - where was the salsa? I didn't want to stick around for the refreshments and was walking out when an elderly lady in an electric wheelchair came rolling towards me. She wasn't watching where she was going because she was talking to another lady. I couldn't go backward or forward to dodge her because people were in front and back of me. I said "excuse me!" but my heed did no good, she plowed right into me. Which pushed me into a lady bent over at the table pouring coffee.

So, the lady spilled coffee all over the table. I think the lady in the electric wheelchair should be given a cleaning cloth and then tell her to clean it up.

Pardon my rage.

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Cecil and Georgia


This is an interesting couple. Cecil and Georgia. Georgia was my mother's oldest of 12 siblings. As you can compare them to the car behind them they were not tall people.

They lived in Chattanooga and Cecil worked at a thread company not far away. They lived in a small house with one bedroom and a large closet. I remember as a kid digging through their closet stuff and found a mandolin and brought it out and Cecil played it and he was fairly good. Another little thing I didn't know about him.

I think Cecil was probably a compulsive person in his own quiet way. In the back of the house he built a little building, 8 x 12. In it he had a 16mm movie projector and a large collection of cowboy movies, mostly cowboy movies like Hoppalong Cassidy, Johnny MacBrown, and Bob Steele. He loved to go to his building after work and enjoy watching one of the cowboy movies he collected. I don't think they owned a television.

He died on top the building he built. He was on top nailing down some roofing when he hit a live wire with his metal nail and metal hammer. He was electrocuted instantly.

When I was preschool one summer my sister and I was to spend a week with them. They took us to a big water amusement park in Chattanooga... Lake Winnosota or something like that. Cecil and Georgia did not have kids and was not use to our wayward ways. We didn't stay rooted at home, we wandered the neighborhood - found things to get into. After about 3 days Georgia could take it no more, she was a nervous wreck, she sent us back to Marietta on the bus.

Whenever the Southeastern Fair at the Lakewood Fairgrounds in Atlanta would be every year, Cecil and Georgia would visit over the weekend. Cecil went to the Southeastern Fair alone each year and let Georgia visit with her three sisters living in Marietta. More times than not, their visits developed into heated arguments.

The arguements were based on the fact that father treated some of his kids like little angels and dealt with others as if they were possessed by Satan.

That was normal for my mother and her siblings. But what I wondered about why did Cecil go to Atlanta each year to the Southeaster Fair alone? Did he go to a hoochee-coo show each year at the fair? And if so, he must have did it with Georgia's knowledge, why else would she stay home and miss the lighted midway of the Southeastern Fair.

Georgia died while I was in the Navy.

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Deaths, Misc.

I don't want to keep you in suspense.

Remember about my mother-in-law's first cousin who died and funeral was postponed because her grandson has an accident while skiing and had a series of operations.

Apparently, the operations are over for now. Jerome has taken care of the living (his son), now he can buried his mother tomorrow.

Speaking of deaths: For years when we had appliance troubles we called Bob of Bob's Repair Service. Bob was a hyper old retired geezard who was very good at repairing washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators. Just a month ago he installed a water filter on our frig.

One time while Bob was in our basement working on our furnace he noticed over in the corner was a gas fed weed-eater and a gas fed water pressure machine. He refused to work any more until I remove those items, he said it was too dangerous to be in the same basement as a pilot light. It never occurred to me because the gas fed items were over 30 feet away, but he had a point. I moved them and they are still out of the basement, and that is one of the reasons we are having an additional storeroom built under our den.

Bob died Tuesday, leaving a wife, two daughters, and a son, plus grandkids.

One time while Bob was doing something around here, I asked him was he a native of Cobb County. He told me no, he was born in Rome, Georgia, and came here in 1953. He went on to tell me he got mad a left home as a teenager, and moved in with his sister for a while, he said he and his brother-in-law got along fine but he and his sister couldn't be in the same room together without having a word fight. So, he moved out, and went to Texas and got a job at a big farm working in the grain warehouse. He also slept in the loft. After while he left there and joined the Army, I think he said.

After his service hitch he got out and settled in Marietta.

When he put in my water-filter on the refrigerator he left a set of pliars and I kept meaning to drop them off to him when I was his way, but kept forgetting.

What a small world. I was talking to my 84 year old neighbor yesterday and she told me a good friend of her and her family died. Bob's oldest daughter and my neighbor's daughter went through school and college together and remain friends, 20 years later.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Paul's Model A






A friend I grew up dropped by yesterday. He was driving his toy, a Model A that he has restored.
Note, look closely on the hood. There is a smashed cartoon bug.

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My Strand Theater




Save the Strand.

That is the name of the movement to, well, save the Strand Theater.

The Strand was owned by the Martin family, who owned movie theaters and drive-ins all over Georgia.

I don’t know but I think I think I probably averaged visiting the Strand at least once a week for about 19 years. It started when I was about 3 years old and pretty much lasted until I went into the Navy at age 22. That is about 988 times, give or take.

From age 7 to about 11 or 12 I went at least two times a week. On Saturday mornings I would ride my bike up, park it in the bike rack, buy my ticket at the unique ticket booth and go in for the first showing of the day. There would be a cartoon, then a newsreel, a serial segment that stopped on us the last Saturday just as our hero had a horrible fate happening to him, like one I remember he was shoved out of an airplane in midair. But this week you see it from a different angle and the hero grabbed a wheel bar, or a wing brace or something, and climbed back in…. but he would have another death-scare at the end of that segment.

Until about 1970 The Strand Theater was a magnificent gaudy theater with loud red and gold all over, a huge sparkling chandelier, a pretty stair case with beautiful rails, leading up to a balcony that overlooked the lobby where the concession area was. It all had a nice plush look, if you like “busy plush”. Think of The Majestic.

Before I was 6, when I was more mature, when my sister carried me to the show, I remember one serial that I was just plain scare of…. It had a fan that when it started whirling it would issue commands and somehow there was a bad guy that wore a skull mask. I would hide down between the seats scared shitless.

Usually the movie for the Saturday matinee was a cowboy movie with something like The Drango Kid, Red Ryder, Roy Rogers, Lash Larue, Gene Autry, Tarzan, or some that I forgot.

Someplace around my belongings or my late parents’ belongings is a picture of me sitting on Smiley “Frog” Burnett’s lap, taken in front of The Strand Theater. In the picture it game the image that it was just me and Old Frog. I had to pay a quarter for the picture and stand in a long line, and afterward the click, “move on kid!”. I’m still looking for that picture.

I think the admission fee for under 12 years old was 10 cents. Twelve and older was either 12 or 15 cents… either way, it was expensive. So, I slipped by with the under age ticket for as long as I could before one day I was caught. I think I got by almost a full year. But when the manager looked me straight in the eye and asked me wasn’t I 12 years old I nodded my head and almost cried. I was terribly embarrassed.

Then usually on a Sunday or Monday night we as a family went to the movies. And many times after school we few of us would go to the movies.

One time in the daytime, near the 4th of July, I was playing with a Roman cannon. I lit it and it was spewing off a flame jet and it fell over. I went over and lifted it up to point it upward again and when I did the flame jet shot hot flames on the skin of the palm of my hand. YIKES!!!! That was painful. I had a problem. I didn’t want to want to tell my parents because fireworks were against the law in Georgia, and since my father was a policeman, I was afraid he would take a dim view of me playing with something like that. So, I decided to ride the pain out.

I went to the movies. I bought a large coke and sat there with my hand submerged in the cup letting the cold ice and cool liquid comfort me. I think I sat through the same movie about 3 times. The girl at the concession stand told me to keep my cup and she would refill it with ice for me. Which I did. Whew!

The ticket taker for years was a little runt named Sharkey. He wore a red blazer and chewed gum in a confident way. After you got to know him you would soon realize he was dumb as a rock.

Sharkey’s work station was at the door in a kind of a foyer. The room also served smokers. If you couldn’t wait until the movie was over, you could come out to the foyer and smoke, shoot the breeze with Sharkey while he took up tickets and then snuff it out in the big cylinder shape thing with sand in it, then return to your seat. After high school sometimes we would drop by, walk in where Sharkey was (from the outside). Light up a cigarette, talk a while, include Sharkey in our conversation, and look like we concur with his opinions, snuff our cigarettes and go in (to the movie).

I think I started smoking because of our plan with Sharkey.

As teenagers we would cut up in the theater. It came to pass where a wise manager would post an usher near us, by the exit door. When we got too noise he would come over and tap his flashlight and shake his head. One time when we were too routie the usher kicked us out. One friend’s mother came up to defend her son, and when the usher tried telling her that her son was causing a disturbance she said, “Humbug!” That is the first time I heard Humbug used except when Ebenezer Scrooge used it.

I think because of a many shopping centers opening out in the country side that had movie theaters, people just didn’t have a reason to go into town for anything, not even movies. So, The Strand died of lack of interest.

Now as you walk by you see debris in the lobby and maybe fast food sacks and cups. It is closed with no lights, it is dark. For a few years it served as a church, that had primitive leanings. I used to like to go downtown and run on Sunday mornings. I could here the hymns being sung along with a piano and tambourines. It was enjoyable to listen to as I ran up and down the streets near by.

After the church got enough money they moved out and into a modern looking building.

Then The Strand became a place for concerts. Punk rock kind of music and clientele. Then, it got junky looking with graffiti and broken windows.

And now the group to save it has put up some money and it is empty and unused.

A couple of doors down was the Cobb Theater, also owned by the Martin family. It had no balcony for the blacks. It was an alternative kind of theater. It showed artsy kind of movies and a lot of foreign movies. I remember it showed a lot of black and white movies.

It dwindled in popularity like The Strand and became a discotheque about ten or twelve years ago. Now it is a upscale restaurant serving healthy food.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Aging Hipster blog

Yesterday a guy named Steve responded to one of my rants. So, out of nosiness I clicked on his name which was a link to his site, The Aging Hipster, You know the system. Anyway, I came upon a man that had some similar likes and dislikes. He is a North Georgia Mountain man. I am a North Georgia Wannabee Mountain man.

My nose started sniffing more and I went over his archives. If you want to get a rough idea about a person with a blog, check out his/her websites.

Steve speaks on a wide range of topics in his blog. You can tell he has thought out each article and posted it with care.

He speaks candid of his opinions. He is a middle school teacher, so prefers he and his north Georgia town to be anonymous. I respect that.

He writes good stuff, check him out. I tried to post his link on the right. If you look to the right an don't see it or it is not correctly link-material, please copy and paste this until I get it right: http://theaginghipster.blogspot.com/

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What Next?



The pictures are of a lady named Gertrude, my mother-in-law’s aunt. I am always fascinated by how a person’s appearances alter with age, but is hard to pinpoint just how so. I suppose there is about a ten year difference in these pictures, maybe more, maybe less.

Gertrude married late in life and had no children.

Speaking of that side of the family, Friday, my mother-in-law’s first cousin died. Visitation was to be today 3 to 5 and we were going to take her there, which isn’t far away, in Alpharetta, Ga.

However, you never know what strange course of events are waiting to happen around the next corner (that sounds like something The Shadow might say). The deceased lady’s only son had two sons. One of the sons was in Colorado to ski when the death occurred. He learned of his grandmother’s death and was to fly back home. But, thought he would ski just one more time. He had some kind of accident.

Now, he is in a Colorado hospital having a series of emergency operations. One is dealing with his spleen. The dead lady’s only son flew out to Colorado to be with his son. The visitations and funeral had to be put on hold.

Life is like a box of chocolates. - FG

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Big Brother Is Watching!


The above was received in the mail yesterday from the Marietta Police Department. It is a nifty one of a kind portrait of my car running a redlight. And those pictures will cost me $70 which does not include framing.

But wait! I am innocent! The citation said I was under crossing under the redlight 1.5 seconds after it turned red on March the 16th at 5:45am. I can prove it could not have been me - I have my credit card bill to prove I was on Lovely Linda Website video, watching Linda take a shower at that time. Naw, not really, but I was probably banging away on the key board doing something that the time was probably stamped - and could probably find it if I cared.

I will tell the truth. My wife is the guilty party. She did it. I was home minding my own business. She was rushing to be at work by 6:00.

But I get the blame because, even though both cars are in both of our names, my names appears first in both, which we intentionally did, so, we will pay the vehicle taxes on at one time on my birthday - and not hers, which is closer to Christmas.

Enclosed with the citation is a statement form that you can fill out and accuse someone else of driving your car that date and time. It doesn't matter, the $70 still has to be paid by this family.

I guess I could fuss about the George Orwell type of world we live in - or 1984, with Big Brother watching, but I don't mind if they catch traffic violators by the Big Brother method. If one breaks traffic laws and is punished for breaking those laws, then, just maybe it might cause some potential speeders and light-runners to be aware and drive more carefully.

Now, my next step is to get a money order a mail it in (no personal checks accepted) of maybe just go down and let the present guard know my father used to be the Chief of the Marietta Police and might even point him out on their wall of police chiefs framed in 8X10s.... then, maybe they will tear it up! just kidding.

Which reminds me, this past week I was digging in old copies of the Marietta Daily Journal when my father was the chief of the Marietta Police when they only had 8 men. This was in the 40s. The police had a wake-up call service. All you had to do was call them and tell them what time you wanted to be woke up, and they would, as a public service. Now, they have several hundred police officers, and I bet that service has been discontinued.

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Dog Memorial in Bonadventure Cemetery


See the dog statue on the right? I'm sure the statue represents a certain dog that was part of the Smart family. I wonder if the dog lies underneath his/her memorial?

And if that is the case, I remember that in Egypt slaves and pets were sometimes entombed alive with their late master to be with them in the afterlife. Hmmmmm.

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Mexican Labor Boycott in Georgia

This past week the Georgia Legislation passed a new law limiting illegal immigrants welfare assistance. I think the argument is that the illegal immigrants are not putting money into the welfare system, so they shouldn’t be able to take any out, like for health assistance and so on. I am not sure how much the Federal government pays and how much the state would pay.

To show their displeasure with the law the Mexicans-Americans did a form of protest. They had a work-boycott Friday. Many did not show up for work just to show how much they will be missed. I haven’t heard just how many took part.

Friday morning we stopped on our way between places at a McDonald’s, to have a McGriddle breakfast sandwich. We like to go in and read the discarded newspaper and eat. A sign on each door DRIVE THROUGH SERVICE ONLY. And then I remembered it was the day for Mexicans to boycott their work.

OK, they made their point.

That evening it was on the news how well their boycott went over. Many restaurants, mostly Mexican, were not opened. Other businesses, such as landscaping, there were no business done. And I bet their lack of labor was felt all over.

I’m glad they did boycott. It gave them an idea how strong their solidarity is.

But again, I think the laws should be directed at the ones that hires the illegal immigrants. They are the ones that gain the most. The company owners and managers can keep their operating costs down, which I’m sure just gives them wider profit margin. I doubt if they pass the savings on to the consumer.

It is the Mexicans with the strong work ethnic that are willing to work at low paying jobs and should be admired be respected for it. It is the businessman who keeps them on low paying jobs and probably discourages them seeking legal status where part of their pay would go back into the system to service them… now the business man gets away with not paying his share of unemployment taxes and other benefits.

I will get off my soapbox before I am pelted with a rotten tomato.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

The Good Old Days


This is the side view of the now closed Strand Theater in Marietta. It is run down because the lack of interest. There is a group "Save the Strand" who is trying to get it restored back to the way it used to be.

Around front was a huge glittering with light bulbs awning holding a giant marquee. A beautiful handcarved ticket booth. Several big glass displays of posters of coming events. All the movie glamor you could ask for.

However, that was for the whites only. This picture is the "Colored Entrance". No weathering protection awning, no glamorous posters. They had to sit in the very back of the balcony, far from the screen. And be thankful that movie house accepted them, the other two didn't. Separate but equal?

I wonder if when they restore everything like it used to be, I wonder if that will include the "Colored Entrance".

When someone says he/she wishes things would go back to the way they were, you can bet that person never walked through the above doors.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Another Landmark Bites the Dust


I just read that the Cobb County Civic Center will be closed down soon. That is a shame. It has been around Marietta a long time – in fact, I believe it was built in 1947. It was being built the year we moved across park from it. We watched it being built.

The top main floor was a huge auditorium with bleachers and basketball goals, with of course, a hardwood floor marked basketball court. A slope went around back and in the back was the ground level which had a pool room and a bowling alley. Outside the doors to the ground level was a public swimming pool.

For twenty or so years it looked like a big brick building. Then it was remodeled or torn down and built again, I’m not sure which, but the end result was more attractive – it had a bronze or copper look – very modern, but with all that modern look with windows and metal awnings going ever which way, they had to leave out a few things that made the place so good – they did away with the bowling alley, pool room, and the swimming pool.

However, they did name the building after my Little League coach, Romeo Hudgins.

And next door, sharing the same parking lot and pavilion was the Jenny Tate Anderson Theater of the Arts where plays and concerts were often. I was in school with Jenny’s three children and two I got along with great but one he and I were natural enemies. I’ll have to write a blog about that family sometime, if I can figure how to word it right to sidestep a lawsuit. Anyway, I hope the Jenny Tate Anderson Theater is not included in the closing.

The big building, new and old, and I go back together from its beginnings. They had professional wrestling matches most Wednesday evenings. One time at a match, I was showing off on the bleachers trying to impress a girl of my acrobatics when I misjudged and fell off the top level. I broke my arm. I have been to Civil War Collectors shows, Antique Shows, and many other kind of shows that just blend with time. I have taken my sons to the Shrine Circuses there. In one of the side rooms in recent years I attended a photography club meeting weekly…. In high school sometimes there would be concerts there. There I saw Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, Ray Peterson (I think that was his name – his biggie was “Corrina, Corrina” ‘ where did you get those…and I forgot the rest of the words).

Down on the ground floor Pop Smith ran the pool room. He would not let me play pool because I was too young but he enjoyed my company because he knew my father and his brothers. Later his grandson Jimmy moved in with him and we became good friends.

Each year my father got my sister and I season passes for the pool. We took to the water like fish and still both us enjoy swimming regularly. There at the Civic Center for maybe seven or eight years we went swimming almost every day it was opened.

Of course when you have a big area like a pool that attracts kids any age you are going to have some interaction. Some of it was not all that positive. In my case for a couple of years I was picked on by a wise-ass talking kid named Vernon. He was always trying to get me to fight him or always picking on me. I politely ignored the bully. Then, a good friend of mine, Frankie Hunter (no relation), had a problem with Vernon. Vernon picked on him and Frankie was hot tempered. Frankie told Vernon for them to step outside, down by the creek to settle it. Of course all the boys followed. Frankie beat the hell of Vernon.

Wait!!! Lets go in fast reverse for a moment<<<<<<< Ok…. That is back far enough. One time, before Frankie and I knew each other well, we got into a fight. I whipped his ass.

So, now lets fast forward back to where we were: >>>>>>> OK. It occurred to me if Frankie whipped Vernon and I whipped Frankie, why am I taking all this shit off Vernon?

The next time I entered the pool there was Vernon standing there with his friends, leaning against some railing. I walked up to him with my fists clenched. I was ready to stand my ground. He didn’t even recognize my presence. He would look ever which way but at me. So, itching for a fight with a sure win, I got right in front him with my fists clenched, ready to get down to business. Vernon climbed off the rail and walked away.

He avoided me ever since.

The Romeo Hudgins Civic Center is on a 50 acre park which is mostly baseball fields and tennis courts. Now, there is also a running track. The name of the park is Larry Park, named after the founder of Bell Bomber Company, which would eventually become Lockheed Aircraft.

The boys from the Marietta Place Project, like Vernon, called themselves the Bell Gang.

For the past dozen years each year, the first Friday or Saturday night in October the Bell Gang has a reunion. Everybody is invited. I have been tempted to go several times.

Maybe I will go and see Vernon with an oxygen tank nearby – the cost of smoking all his life – or maybe in a wheel chair. If so, I just might move in and settle that score.

But getting back to the Civic Center. I hate to see that it is closing. All that pretty metallic stuff will be covered in graffiti do lack of caring what happens to it. And if it is lucky it can survive by being a big gigantic flea market with booths.

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Hunter Bridge - part 2


Hunter Bridge itself, only feet from where I was born, was named after my late uncle James Richard "Dick" Hunter, a mayor of Marietta in the 60s.

It is a railroad bridge. Under it is the Marietta Parkway, or Marietta Loop, which is about a ten mile perimeter of the inner-city of Marietta. As you look at the above picture, after you go under the bridge you would make an immediate left to go by my birthplace, then up Atlanta Street for about two or three blocks to get to downtown Marietta. If you prefer to look at something Civil War - like, you could go up the bank, right by the bridge and be in the Confederate Cemetery, which is the largest Confederate Cemetery there is.*

*So, they claim, I don't have the statistics, but the Confederate Soldier Section of Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta looks bigger to me.

Also the bridge has another Hunter connection. My first cousin's son, when he was a high school student, and a friend of his, hung a big banner from the bridge that said, "WELCOME TO HELL!!!!". The banner was intended to greet the incoming buses of an opposing high school football team. The Marietta Loop is the main road that leads from the I-75. Unfortunately, the banner had only hung for a brief moment. My cousin, once removed, and his friend was arrested. A railroad company actually are the proprietors of the topside of the bridge. They pressed charges on the two teenagers for trespassing. Fortunately, the dropped charges when they learn it was something done in the spirit of fun.

My fist cousin, once removed, went on to college, studied history, and is now over a history museum on the Georgia's coast.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hunter's Bridge, part I



I recently took this picture of this house on the corner of Waddell and Waterman Street.

Then without taking a step I did an about face, turning completely around facing the opposite direction and took the picture down Waterman Street - you see Atlanta Street and beyond Atlanta Street you see a green hill or some sort.

My father was born in the house on Waterman and Waddell.. I was born on the hill with green grass.

In 1941 there was a house and a sidewalk where the green hill is now. The green grass is part of the beginning a railroad bridge. The name of the railroad bridge is Hunter Bridge, which I will get to in the next blog.

Of course the house that we lived in had a railroad track running behind it. One time my sister said when I was just a baby and she was about 3 years old she and her playmate, Neal, were playing in the backyard and a man came up from the other side of the tracks and placed himself between the rails. They watched him as a train came and ran over him.

At my friend's Ronnie memorial service a few weeks ago I saw Neal there and asked him about it. He said he didn't remember it but his parents told him about it. Neal now is retired from Lockheed and has a long wild white beard. He thinks in a Santa Clause Mode and makes appearances from fall up until Christmas as Saint Nick.

Ho ho.

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Rough and Tough Georgia Boys


The boy on the left is my father. The boy in the middle is my father's brother, or my uncle. The cow was the family cow and I am not sure who the boy on the right is.

The two brothers look kind of like the two brothers who beatup little Johnny in his prim and proper clothes in the movie "Song of the South", don't you think?

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I Am Officially an Old Fart - hee hee

As of today the U.S. Government is looking at me as an official old person. The Social Security office sent me a brochure that is titled “WELCOME TO MEDICARE” that I received today. I’ll be age 65 in July.

Now I can use expressions such as “By Cracky!” and “Yee Doggies!”

They also enclosed a form for me to elect just what sort of service I want from them. And I think, there is an urgency…. In small print someplace I’m sure there is a finger snapping (text-wise) that is telling to make it snappy, so they can get on it with it, or a dead-line (no pun intended).

Which reminds me of an article I read in the New York Times on-line Sunday:

Because of so many large corporations are reneging on their agreement to the payment of benefits to their retirees lawmakers were called in to see about writing up stronger laws to protect the benefits of the retirees.

That sounds great doesn’t it? Who says the lawmakers are for big business? That is what I like to see, the lawmakers making laws to protect the little man from big business.

Well, it didn’t exactly work as planned. The lobbyists of big businesses also got to get in on the decision making. After it was all said and done the retiree now has less than he/she had before.

The Republican representative who worked hard on the bill said now companies can be more competitive.

I don’t remember in the article if he said it or not, but to him, I would not be surprised if he felt the outcome was a “win – win” situation.

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Gracie





This is Gracie. She is buried at Bonaventure Cemetery. Gracie died of a childhood disease. Her father was either manager or owner of a restaurant and hotel in Savannah.

Some people say that her ghost still roams the halls of the building of her father's establishment trying to locate children her size to play with.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More Angels at Bonaventure Cemetery - Savannah

Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land"


The song Bush sung at the National CEO Convention.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Another Look Out The Window


A couple days later another picture was taken of the trees in bloom outside my wife's window at work. It was unknown at the time the picture was taken, but looking at it blown up we spotted a red Cardinal sitting in the tree, about 3/4 up, to the left of the middle.

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"I Like That Cap."

You never know what you say will live in the minds of others for a long long time.

About fifteen or more years ago a person I know and his wife were in Eckerds Drug Store and the cashier complemented the person's Braves baseball cap by saying, “I like that cap.” That is all she said. That one simple sentence has withstood the test of time better than some novels I have read.

After she made that statement to him about his cap he repeated it to me the next time he saw me. No big build-up or anything of the circumstances – he pointed to the cap hanging by the door and said the cashier at Eckerds said, “I like that cap.” And then he smiled with a sparkle in his eyes, very proudly.

Through the years, up until he died six years ago he reminded me time and time again what the cashier said. Each time time he smiled.

I was thinking maybe it was the way she complemented him… maybe she did it with a wink or a suggestive smile, or maybe even licked her top lip with her tongue as she said it … no, I don’t think so, I think it was taken no more than the way it was delivered, just a statement saying she liked his Braves cap.

I heard him tell his sons what the cashier said, tell fellow church members and tell my sons, one at a time.

I bet that particular sentenced lived far longer than the casheir anticipated. If she thought of the possibility of the sentence living that long I bet she would try to make it more meaningful or have more of a moral or maybe some kind religious or civic lesson or maybe more profound.

I bet she forgot she said her sentence before it was time for her next break.

But the sentence still lives. I have told several friends about this, and it might be remembered through them. And now it has found itself on a blog.

Millions of years from now some archaeologists might dig the sentence out of the ruins of the dust and electronic rubble of the 21st century layer, and that one sentence might be the only thing that survived out of civilization of our era.

Why didn’t the cashier make a statement about world peace and loving all of mankind or something like that.

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The First Day of Spring

Today some time after 1p.m. it will be officially Spring.
So, I suppose tomorrow can claim to be the first full of Spring, but I wanted to get a head start.
So, now I will celebrate the coming of Spring by doing my imitation of "The Lord of the Dance" - look, no hands!

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Angel, one of many at Bonaventure Cemetery


An angel hanging out at Boneventure Cemetery, Savannah.

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Baseball Time!


It is about time for baseball!
Not that I have any great insights about the game that will wow you or anything.
I'm just checking to see if my downloading of pictures is working yet.

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Parking Lot

After several attempts I gave up trying to download pictures to the blog this morning. Either the system is out of whack or I am.

When I took my wife to the doctor Thursday it was such a pretty day I sat in the car in the parking lot for two hours and read.

I watched female patients come and go. Some came with their mates. I think if I was sitting on the inside waiting room and somebody handed me pictures of vehicles in the parking lot it would be very easy to match up the car with the person or couple.

In the parking a shiny red BMW convertable’s owner was a perk middle aged woman with bleached hair and a loud black and white checked dress – and high heels.

A big size pickup truck drove up that had pro-Bush and general right-wing stickers such as NRA slogans and so on. Out stepped from the driver’s side a cute tall girl that seemed very unpretentious and on the shotgun side stepped out a big size good old boy, who had to put on his boots before he could walk. He had a crew cut. He also had a couple of tattoos on his arm. He smoked until they reached the door, then very artfully flipped his butt out in the parking lot. I can tell he had practiced flipping butts in his own unique style. He had a signature butt flipping technique.

There were several humble sort of people in humble cars that were not out to make a statement with the kind of automobile they drove. They just wanted four wheels to get them where they were going in the most frugal way they could do. If I was on the inside it might be a problem matching the owners with the vehicles on this group. At least I think I would get the group right.

About the same time two land rovers new looking vehicles drove up. In one was a woman and in one was a man. They both were on the cell phone. And both talked over 10 minutes. Then they both got out. And got their brief case on wheels out. They were both sales persons. They walked in together talking. I wonder if they were competitors or colleagues? Or maybe since their arrival and getting out of their vehicles were so timely, maybe they were having an affair.

Also, from the parking lot view was a young man who walked by on the sidewalk several times eyeing me. This parking lot is only about three or four blocks from the center of Marietta right in the middle of the medical area where the hospital and all is. He definitely was sizing me up. Did he think I would cringe and cry if he suddenly walked up and he put a gun to my head or a knife to my throat and demand all my money, or would I cry or faint? I guess jumping out and banging his head against the side of the truck was out of the question.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Those Hueys Don't Play





One of the markers above is of Thomas Jeff Huey. Thomas killed his brother Ed.

In their father’s old age Ed took care of their father. And in return, their father left everything to Ed. Which made Thomas mad. Then one day they were arguing over some cedar wood and in anger Thomas shot Ed on his (Ed’s) front steps in front of his children.

I have yet identified Ed’s grave but I think it could possibly be the one identified as Dozier E. Huey. I cannot match Dozier up to any body else, and the initial E. and also the time is about right.
Counter-Point: Dozier E. was apparently in WWII, and died just a couple of days after D-Day. Did he die from wounds in the War or at the end of Thomas's gun?

Thomas went to prison, served his sentence and got out.

This is in the Bascomb Methodist Cemetery, Woodstock, Ga. Also buried here in an unmarked grave is Ed & Thomas’s uncle Monroe Huey.

According to the family bible Monroe, when Monroe was a youngster he was beaten to death by the “Brawley Boys” . Based on the 1870 census, The Brougley family lived in the next household from the Huey’s.

Also, another Huey grave marker that looks interesting, of Joyce Huey. I have no idea what her relationship is.

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Alice

When I worked at the Atlanta Post Office in the Time Keeper’s office one of my co-workers was named Alice. She was one day older than I. I say “was” because she is dead now. We became good friends.

Alice was a freewheeling kind of person. She did not know what kind of mess she would find herself in the next day, or sometimes, even the next hour. I remember her as always having a cigarette in her mouth and one eye closed because of the smoke rising up past her eyeball.

She was married with four children and she had a husband who thought he was tough and dominant and a boy friend who was drunk too much to think about a steady job.

After work we would walk to our cars together. This was in downtown Atlanta. Instead of paying high parking fees we would park in dark alleys and under bridges and places that only the homeless would go near. One morning when we walked to get our cars the cars were not there. A friend drove us to the place cars are hauled in and we were told our cars were impounded and we would have to pay the parking fine and the wrecker service, which was something like $89.50.
Alice said, “Eighty-nine fucking dollars!?!?”
The man’s expression didn’t change, “And fifty cents” he said.
That cracked me up, but Alice didn’t see the humor in it.

We were due on a midnight. Being the compulsive early person I am, I usually arrived about 11:30, you never know if a train or a wreck, or car trouble might delay you. On the other hand, Alice would arrive usually a few minutes late, but sometimes up to an hour late. The later she was, the less time she spent getting herself presentable. I have seen her rush in the office with her red wig tilted sideways, lipstick smeared, blouse buttoned crooked, and other things.

Alice was about to get herself into trouble by being late every night. She could possibly be suspended or maybe even fired if she didn’t change her habits.

Our supervisor reasoned with me that since I am there every night early anyway, why not when I get in and just hanging around, don’t I pick up the phone to make sure Alice is awake? OK, I said, she is a good friend, I will be glad to help her out. And she didn’t live far away, so it seemed like a good way to help a friend.

So, I did. When I got at work every night about 11:30 I would call her and wake her up. And she would rush on in. But a couple of times she told me she was just too drunk to try to drive in so she told me to tell our supervisor she was sick and I think she still managed to be late several times.

After several months of this our boss called the whole office staff (about 12 people) for our shift together and presented Alice with an cash award for such a great attendance.

In private I asked my supervisor shouldn’t I get a cash award too – I said after all, Alice has been out sick a few times and was also late a few times, and good for her, but also, I have not been late or sick during the same time, so shouldn’t I get an award also. My boss told me in all sincerity that Alice had shown great improvement in her attendance, I haven’t.

How could I show improvement I asked, there was no blemish to improve on. He looked at me disappointed like I was trying to get something for nothing.

Later I learned they were paving the way for Alice to be a supervisor. She needed some awards in her records to reflect what a good dedicated worker she was.

I continued to call her and wake her up.

And one night I came in and as I was dialing her number she walked in dressed up. She was the supervisor for that night.

I think the rebel instinct came out in me. I told her I was sick, I haven’t been sick for the past ten or so years I had been in the Postal Service, but I was sick and going home. She told me I couldn’t, she was short handed.

I said I could, if I’m sick and I’m sick. I said I was going home.

She got me aside to speak to me in private. She told me she really needed me there, to make a good impression her first night. She said, “I tell you what, if you stay I’ll give you a blowjob!”

I bet very few people have been offered incentive awards like that.

A night or two after that, Alice was still supervisor and went back in the supervisor’s office shortly after our shift had begun. Somebody needed her signature on something and went back to get it and saw that she was asleep. Her head was down on the desk and she was as sound alseep. I was still out sick, but I’m told the whole office staff for that shift quietly laid sick leave slips on her desk and left work.

It was her last time as supervisor.

Months later one night at about 11:25pm I was walking across the parking lot of the Post Office to go inside and I saw several people on their stomachs, a couple more were stooped down behind postal vehicles, peering around the sides. I asked what was going on and I was told two people ran by with a man running behind them shooting at them. I went inside and crowds of people were standing around in an uncertain kind of way… the shooter chased the two people through there too.

I went to our office on the 2nd floor. There was Alice shaking. It was her and her boyfriend that was being chased – by her husband.

It was the only time Alice got to work before I did.

After I transferred to Marietta Alice retired on an early-out deal the Postal Service offered. And not long after that, she died. I think her death was alcohol related.

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I Have Lotsa Pictures!

Through the years I have accumulated a lot of photographs - many of tombstones, mostly for genealogical reasons. And of the many photos of tombstones some might be interesting to others. So, off and on for a while, I may insert a tombstone or something of that nature, as in below.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished


This is a grave marker of one of my distance relatives, Rev. John Henry Lance.

He is also a progenitor of Bert Lance, that was on President Jimmy Carter's Cabinet and Byron Herbert Reece, a poet whoes poems and and essays are widely known.

Rev. John Henry Lance was beheaded for preaching against the evils moonshine.

The grave is in Old Salem Cemetery, Blairsville, Ga.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Gate to the Unknown


Here is an interesting concept. A gate, but no fence. Do you have to go through the gate?
A cemetery plot at Boneventure Cemetery, Savannah, Ga.

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HAPPY ST PATTY'S DAY!


A window display at a costume shop in downtown Marietta, Ga.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Old and New Courthouses



Above is a picture of Cobb County’s old courthouse, which was replaced by the glass looking building with one way windows and the building to left with the clock.

The Old Courthouse looked tall and regal. As a child when we would return from a long boring trip visiting relatives when I saw the tall clock tower I felt we had arrived home.

My feeling when seeing the Old Courthouse after being gone for a while must be similar to what G.I.s felt when returning from Europe and seeing the Statue of Liberty.

Well, there might be some degrees of emotional difference, but you get the idea.

Not only for me, but the Old Courthouse was a type of Mecca for Cobb Countians. It is where the old timers sat out front and shared the latest political gossip, farmers coming to town on Saturday, houses and autos being auctioned off on the steps, displays, such as the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not mobile, land deals made official, important trials, and much more.

Of course, you could do all that with the new shiny courthouse too, but the shiny yellow glass just didn’t have the pizzazz of the old one as far as looming over the population.

The newer one just doesn’t have a personality.

Before the old one, and older one was one in the center of the Square in Marietta. It was burned to the ground by Sherman’s Troops in the Summer of 1864 when Marietta was under Yankee marshal law.

Afterwards, the officials went through a couple of buildings, but finally in the early 1900s the courthouse know as the old courthouse was built.

Everybody loved it.

Then, in the early 1960s, my old 3rd grade teacher Mrs. McCollum’s husband Herbert McCollum became county commissioner. He tried to float a bond issue to build a new courthouse but got too much opposition. Then, it is rumored that he would pay a janitor of the courthouse a dollar everyday and the janitor would go up the tower and lob a brick off onto the street. The plan was to scare the people into thinking the courthouse was crumbling and it was just a matter of time before the tower collapses.

The people insisted on the tower being repaired, but a new courthouse? No.

Then the courthouse mysteriously became fully inflamed. A gas leak in the basement they said. It was completely destroyed and Herbert got his new Courthouse.

Determination, that’s progress!

Still, to this day old timers have framed pictures of the courthouse, we have three and my mother-in-law has five or six. At local arts and crafts show, artsy interpretations of the old courthouse are always bought like hotcakes…. Or in this case, funnel cakes.

I think the Old Courthouse is a symbol of the turning point of Cobb County. It represented the old Cobb County that almost everybody knew each other person, or at least knew of them. And it was rare to hear a northern accent. After the Old Courthouse lots of people came in. You can go days without crossing paths with someone you know, and Yankee and foreign accents are more common can the Georgia accent.

I know nothing remains the same, but I wish time would at least be a bit more stubborn.

Do you think the modern looking complex someday people will want it framed and in their homes as they now do with Old Courthouse?

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Doctor, Barnes, Methodists, Catholics, Beggar



One picture above picture is ex-Governor Roy Barnes’ law office. It looks kind of gaudy doesn’t it? That should be expected from the town that brought fame to The Big Chicken, also above

I went for my 6 month cardiologist visit today. He said all my figures were good and keep up what I have been doing (I think he meant keep paying him).

Afterwards I took a stroll down Memory Lane. I parked in the heart of Marietta and walked around and took some pictures.

The Roy Barnes and Associates Law firm takes up the whole building of what used to be the Annex of the First Methodist Church of Marietta. He bought it not long after losing the governor's race last time. The building is at least two but maybe three stories high. It is a good size building with many Sunday School Class size rooms.

I remember when the building was built in 1946. I was five years old. After the workmen would go home in the evening and on Sunday evenings our little bunch of neighboring kids would play all in it, like a bunch of war refuges. We would play cops and robbers and things like that. During this building of the Annex period we came home many times with wet cement on our shoes, dry plaster powder in our hair, and a few injuries.

I remember two brothers Mike and George. Mike ran into a room that there were no flooring yet and fell between the rafters to the level below. He ended up with a nail of some kind that went completely through his foot.

Mike was afraid to tell his parents because his parents told them to stay away from the building being built, and they besides they were Catholic, they might have been afraid some of that might rub off on them.

I don’t know why, but Mike and George felt they could trust my father and went to him. He cleaned the wound and if I remember correctly he poured kerosene on it the wound that made Mike holler like hell. I don’t know if he was eventually taken to the hospital or not.

Poof! Back to the present: I was looking at the Barnes stained glass through my view finder and a man approached me and asked if I wanted him to take a picture of me in front of the big picture. I said no. I remembered the man but I don't think he remembered me. About a year ago one Sunday morning I brought my bike in the back of the truck downtown and as I was getting it out of the truck the same man materialized and asked for a couple of dollars, he said he had just walked all the way from Cartersville, Ga., and needed breakfast. I may have gave him a dollar then.

This morning he told me he just walked 32 miles and was very hungry and…. I shot him a glare and walked away.

Last time he told me he walked from Cartersville. This time he told me he walked 32 miles. Which is essentially the same story, Cartersville is about 30 miles away.
The long walk story must be time proven as a good sad story.

View Out the Window


On the left is what my wife has to put up with when she looks out the window of her office this week.

She is on the 3rd floor just high enough to get a good view of these bloom bearing trees. We are not sure what they are..... pear trees?

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Kissing Rock


You might remember the cartoon strip "Li'l Abner" and in it was the Kissing Rock where young couples would court.

Not only does this Rock cover secrets but it is also a kissing rock.

The girl on the left is my mother, her boy friend, her sister Opal, her boyfriend, and on the far right is there little sister, who I am sure plays the role of the universal pest when someones is courting.

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A Buck is a Buck


This was the picture-taking place on my grandparents farm between Dalton and Chatsworth, Georgia. The left person is one of my mother’s brothers, Osmo, the center one is my mother, who looks about fifteen or sixteen, and a friend.

The big rock served as a backdrop for many family photos of that time. But there is more to the rock than meets the eye.

The rock is covering an entrance to a cave. The first room of the cave had Indian artifacts and a foot print high up on the ceiling, which the family speculated often, long after they moved away, how the foot print got there.

Beyond the first room and through a narrow passage you come upon running water. You can hear the water gush, but you can’t see it. Or they couldn’t. Now, with more sophisticated equipment probably more could be discovered about the cave. But the big rock seals the entrance.

My mother’s father would find ways to get a buck to feed his family whenever he could. He sold the rocks to the Georgia State Highway Department and they blasted away the hill to get the granite for the purpose of building a highway, so the Indians’ mystery cave may be buried forever.

I was in the area a couple years ago and a subdivision is now built up on the hill the big rock was leaning against. It looks like to get into the cave by the only sure way, would be to remove the giant rock, and then you would have to remove two or three houses.

Maybe the late Indians would prefer their artifacts to stay buried anyway.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Hug = Kiss Ass


I like John McCain and might have even voted for him last time if was on the ballot. While Bush has slipped into several unclean snafus John McCain was about the only Republican to question his ethics. He was a thorn in Bush's side. I liked him for that.

So, why is he kissing up to the President now?

I think for one thing John McCain has a soft spot in his heart for the underdog, which Bush metamorphosed himself into. And number two is I think now he feels, for the survival of the Republican Party that they need to show a some solidarity to their "main man".... which might, in the long run be an investment if he runs again.

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