Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Bell Gang Reunion - afterwards










We for sure had a great time. I got to see people I haven't seen in over fifty years.
I think we will return next year - we better, I put some money in the pot!

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Jacob Trammell and Polly Hogshe(a)d

I had another genealogy moment.

It may or may not be something of value.

My g-g-g grandmother was Polly Hogshed. She was a Cherokee Indian. She was married to my g-g-g grandfather Jacob Trammell. They lived in Macon County, NC.

Polly drowned while working her fish baskets in the Little Tennessee River probably between 1850 and 1860. She is on the 1850 Census but not on the 1860 Census.

I was looking over the 1820-30 Census of Macon County and found Jacob Trammell’s family. Before 1850 the census only shown the head of house hold and the number of males and females. Next door to the Jacob Trammell household was the William Trammell household. William fought in the Revolutionary War and his arm was sliced off during the Battle of Kings Mountain (NC).

I didn’t know until today this but on the other side of them lived a George Hogshed. George was the same age bracket as Jacob Trammell. So, I think there is a strong possibility George and Polly were siblings.

George’s age of that census was between 30 and 40. The only other person in the household was a female between 20 and 30. They are not on the 1850 Macon County census. I think likely they were herded with the other Native Americans on the Trail of Tears.

When Jacob acquired the property only Indians could own property in that particular area. But he and Polly could have jointly owned the property. Then, later on during the Trail of Tears wives of white men were excluded. You might say in those two legal maneuvers they had a symbiosis relationship.

Now, to find out what I can about George in Macon County… it may unravel something of the Cherokee Indian Hogshed family.

I noticed in some of the documents Polly’s surname is spelled Hogshed and other times Hogshead. Is it a Hog’s Head or a Hog’s Shed?

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The Bell Gang Reunion


Today we plan to drop by the annual Bell Gang Annual Reunion.

Each year the people that lived in the poor section of Marietta near Larry Bell Park has a reunion. They were a rough bunch. And some of them grew up to have rough lives. I think for some of them a blue-collar job would be social climbing.

Once I ran into the late Orville Carruth, shortly after I saw him pick up a smoking cigarette butt up on the Square and he was telling me about the Bell Gang Reunion he attended just a week before. He told me all these names, some I remember, some I didn’t…. like John so-and-so is a roofer, but he fell off a house and broke his back and Jack so-and-so drives a cab… or Ralph so-and-so just got of prison.

Orville was a warm friendly guy who walked with a limp. He was on welfare and was a day laborer. That is where I would run into him, uptown near the Square where day laborers would gather in the morning and wait hopefully for someone in a truck to come by and offer them a job. That is what poor Orville had to do for a living. He walked with a bad limp… and he had to walk about two miles each day up to the Square to stand around hoping someone would offer him a job.

Orville told me he limped because he was stabbed by two brothers. Then, with the most innocent non-committal face he could mustard up he said those two boys were found shot dead in the woods just across the street from their father’s apartment.

Orville died last year. I went by the funeral home to pay my respects and saw a few of the old Bell Gang who warmly greeted me.

Today I am wondering what to wear. Apparently it is an outside event, and I think “dress for success” might be a bit snobbish today. Should I wear a ball cap backwards? Should I wear white socks or no socks? What kind of fashion statement should I make? Should I pat my fist into my hand like I’m ready for a good rumble or what?

Which reminds me, back then, around Larry Bell Park one guy by the name of Vernon used to pick on me all the time. He would call me names, shove me, wallop the back of my head as I walked by him… He was so hyper I thought he would make mince meat out of him if I ever gave him cause – yes, I took the coward way out. Then one time he and my friend Frankie Hunter (No relation) got into a fight. Frankie had a hot temper. Frankie whipped his ass all over the place. Which made me wonder why was I afraid of Vernon, several times in the past couple of years I have whipped Frankie with no problem – and if Frankie can beat Vernon up, then why should I be scare of Vernon? So, after that, I began to on purpose walk in front of Vernon, and sometimes even stand in front of him hoping he would wallop me again so I could wallop him back but from then on he ignored me.

So today, might be my chance to settle my score with Vernon of over 50 years ago. It will just be my luck for Vernon to have just gotten out of prison for 30 years where he worked out every day, and have strong big tattooed muscles and I remind him of his cell-mate bitch.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again


Anna's father's brother Cliff when he returned in uniform from World War II.

The three boys are Anna's brothers, James the oldest, Tommy, the middle, and Julian the youngest.

Sadly, no one in this picture is still alive.

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The Dehumidifier

About a year or so ago two sections of our basement on the concrete walls were black with mold. I had one estimate from a friend of a friend to pressure wash the walls to get rid of the mold and to dig a French drain around the basement would cost about 6 grand.

I called a few other companies and they won’t even come out and look at the problem for less than $1000, but the reassured me that grand would be applied to the over all cost if I should decide to go with them.

One person I called reminded me of sticking your finger near a fire and a hot cinder popped or sizzled out and landed on your hand and no matter how fast you shake your hand you can’t shake that little burning painful cinder. This guy called me every day. It is a good thing we have caller id.

I de-molded it myself with bleach. Plain Clorox, or the Krogers generic brand.

Now it looks good.

However, de-molding it did not solve the problem. It only took away the byproduct. So, we bought a dehumidifier machine. Which it is a perfectly normal machine to have in Georgia with its high humidity.

I have to empty it every day. It fills up about once a day and stops when it is full. I think the tank holds either 1.5 or 2 gallons.

I wonder if that water is healthy purified water? It should have no chemicals in it because it is more or less distilled water.

The reason I am writing this is this morning why carrying the little tank full of water out to the outside instead of sitting the thing down and open the door like I usually do I thought I would hold the tank with one hand and open the basement door with the other hand.

Opps!

The water tank flipped and fell onto the floor with water going everywhere.

Then, I had to pull out my shopvac which I haven’t used in years. It has been so long I forgot how to use it. But, everything fell into place once I started working with it.

I must be a genius.

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Story Tellers


Yesterday, via email, I was telling one friend about the other friend’s law enforcement episode of hurrying to a rape scene, hitting a dog at high speed, and then being chased by a bunch of Latinos and he responded back that this person probably has plenty other tales he could tell as long as I am willing to listen.

I bet he does. And, what is a bonus is that he knows how to tell them and tell them good. He knows how to bring out the unexpected, the bizarre, funny, and whatever else in a good story.

I think he learned how to tell good interesting stories by years of listening to avid vocal descriptions of events or incidents by professional and amateur story tellers. He and his wife both are avid Story Tellers connoisseurs. They have attended story tellers meetings all over this area and some slightly outside this area such as the Carolinas.

If I understand it correctly the story telling circuit has its own movement. Maybe it is similar to the stand-up comedian circuit, or the Blue Grass circuit, or whatever. There are those trying to make a name for themselves and some that already have and people are willing to pay good money to hear them in lecture halls and places.

In the process of raising two sons we have found ourselves listening to story tellers brought in for school events and maybe a scouting once. They have their own style I noticed. One we saw one take on Uncle Remus’s personality from the start – he transfixed himself completely into another person to tell his tale. And one didn’t, more of buddy to buddy kind of stories – but each have their own style they developed (or copied) and I think in each case they want you to lose yourself in their story.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday

I took Anna to the doctor today to get a shot of cortisone in her ring finger. Her finger is stiff and she has a hard time bending it. That is from using her mouse at work 8 to 10 hours a day.

Ironically, the nurse prepped the wrong finger before the doctor came in to give the shot. Wrong finger? Now, I see why sometimes they amputate the wrong leg or arm.

The is the first step.

The next step might be a cortisone shot into her hand for her Carpal Tunnel. If that doesn’t work, then surgery will probably be the solution.

Afterwards, we ate at good old greasy Mrs. Winners. We haven’t eaten at a Mrs. Winners in probably six or eight months – we need a good grease fix from time to time – we are Southerners.

It was about 4:30 when we walked in Mrs. Winners. Nobody was working but the manager. She was a perky little redhead. She took our orders and just as she was going to prepare it a young black guy with a uniform came in and went behind the counter. The redhead told the black guy what he needed to cook. Apparently they were not expecting anybody that early.

While he was working on that an elderly couple came in and they each ordered a fried chicken meal. She went back and told him to put so many pieces of chicken in the deep fryer or how ever Mrs. Winners does it. Then, just as he started on that she took an order from the drive-through for ten pieces of chicken. She went back and told him that.

I am not sure what happened then… As far as I could tell she had just took 3 orders, our orders which were pork chops, the elderly couple with chicken dinners, and the drive-through order with ten pieces of chicken. I think she got overly nervous and wasn’t sure he comprehended the orders, so she gave them to him again, but he did comprehend the orders and he comprehended the second time she told him as a separate order. He had twenty plus chicken parts cooking when she realized that. She flipped out.

We ate and while there read parts of a U.S.A. TODAY newspaper. When we left she was still shouting at him in a nervous shrill voice. Anna said she bets he goes to bed dreaming of that wretched voice screaming at him. I said he probably goes home and imitates her to his family and they all have a good laugh.

We went to a Walmart that we haven’t been to in over a half year. Lately we have been going to Super Walmarts. But, just for old times sakes went to one of the older ones we used to go to – and since we were on that side of town.

I do not see how they get anything done at that Walmart. All the stock people just seem to prop themselves and lean themselves against things and talk and philosophy. Which is OK, if you are off the clock, but if you are on the clock it seems you should at least pretend to be productive.

Anna’s finger seems to be doing good. The doctor told her not to use it for 24 to 48 hours. She hasn’t let it stop her. Of course it may all hit her tomorrow morning on her off day.

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The Cops Being Chased? Wait!

The other day I was talking to a friend that I grew up with. He is a retired law officer. He told me a funny story… again; it might not be so funny, so let’s say a strange story.

He and a fellow officer were on their way to investigate a certain crime incident that already happened and over their police radio that got a call of a woman being raped.

They were the closet to where it was happening so they was going at a fast speed to the scene to either interrupt the rape or catch the fleeing rapist and get medical help. Their crime scene they were on the way to could wait.

A dog ran out barking at the passing car. The dog was hit and probably killed. They made the instant decision to worry about the rape crime in progress and worry about the dog getting hit later and continue going at a high rate of speed.

Several Latinos saw the dog get hit and the car kept on going. A hit and run! They hopped in a car and started chasing the car. The law officers would turn sharp corners trying to shake the men. I suppose they were in an unmarked car and the Latino men did not know they were chasing the police.

Finally, they whipped into a side street and turned out their lights and the men sped on by.

What happened? Did they interrupt the rape – or give chase of the rapist.

I don’t know. His story was interrupted. I’ll have to find out all about the details later…. And then start all over and tell the whole story again.

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Petty Men & Hunter Man


This is a picture my mother’s brothers and her husband (my father) Ed.

From left to right: Wallace (educator, head of Department of Rehabilitation of Georgia); Osmo (settled in Terre haunt, Indiana, foreman in a brass company – found shot which was ruled a suicide but evidence points otherwise); Leonard (Optic maker – glasses; also a horse trainer); Tom (carpenter and cabinet maker, gospel singer, and con-artist – notice that he always made a statement in front of the camera); Roy (D-Day hero, technical advisor of “Longest Day”, director of Clear Pool Boys camp in Carmel, NY); and my daddy on the right end.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Chicken Fat - the book


One time Bird (link on the right) asked me why did I name my blog Chicken Fat. In my mind, I think my response was ‘why not name it “Chicken Fat”?

Then I might have got huffy and folded my arms and said, “Because Will Elder used the words “Chicken Fat” all through his career as an illustrator. So, it is named in honor of Bill Elder, who is just the greatest cartoonist in the Universe, that’s all (saying with the enthusiasm of Napoleon Dynamite)!!

Seriously, Bill Elder in his little many mini side jokes that rarely had anything to do with the stories many little jokes… and he used the words ‘Chicken Fat” – to somehow underrate the seriousness of the illustration.
I will have to do a little research on what he said about Chicken Fat, I think it was something like: chicken fat is completely unnecessary, and even a little harmful, but it adds to the favor.

I have admired Will Elder since I was a pre-teenager reading MAD comics and followed his career through several satirical magazines and his and Harvey Kurtzman’s Annie Fanny in PLAYBOY magazine. Chicken fat is a tribute.

Today I received in the mail the book CHICKEN FAT by Will Elder that I ordered.

I have not had the time yet to look at it beyond flipping through it, but it looks like a lot of unpublished stuff, etchings, and the stories behind some of his illustrations. It looks pretty good. It was compiled and forwarded by his son-in-law Gary Vandenberg.

Now, I am wondering, should I sue him for using my blog name for the title of his book?
(kidding!)

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The Over The Hill Bell Gang

From age 7 until age 14 I lived on Manget Street in Marietta. Manget Street is the western border of Larry Bell Park.

Larry Bell Park is mostly a park for sports. It has Little League baseball fields, other ball fields such as soft ball, Pony League, T-Ball, also tennis courts, and a auditorium which can also serve as a basketball gym.

Our house on Manget Street overlooked all this.

In the basement of the old auditorium was a bowling alley and a pool room, ran by a man named “Pop” (of course). Outside was a swimming pool.

Pop’s last name was Smith. He knew my dad and his brothers well and liked me. But he still wouldn’t let me play pool because I wasn’t old enough. Pop lived around the corner from us. When his son’s marriage broke up his two sons from Florida moved in with Pop. The oldest son, my age, was Jimmy. We were friends until Jimmy returned to Florida after he graduated from high school.

The old auditorium was destroyed by fire and a new one was built. Now, I don’t think there is a bowling alley or a pool hall in the basement and although there is no pool just out the door in the back, there is an inside pool on the grounds where the Hood family lived. Mr. Hood maintained the whole 50 acres by himself and part of the pay I think was he and his family lived in the park’s only dwelling.

The new auditorium is named the Romeo Huggins Memorial Auditorium named after my Little League coach.

Al Bishop was the manager of the park in my day. He had a big belly but moved about very quickly when he sensed trouble.

Larry Bell Park was named after Larry Bell, the CEO of Bell Bomber Aircraft which eventually became Lockheed. I don’t know but I suspect Bell Helicopters are a product of Bell Aircraft.

Larry Bell Park was sort of in the social center of a low income area of Marietta. A social center on “the other side of the tracks”. There were fights from time to time of some one with an inflated ego.

I broke my arm in the auditorium falling off the bleachers during a Wednesday night professional wrestling match.

A couple of years ago I talked to an old friend of mine, who was down and out, about the old Bell Gang.. His name was Orville Carruth. I have mentioned him more than once. Orville died last year.

Orville told me the first weekend of October the Bell Gang has a reunion at a local American Legion Post. Since he told me I have twice read of the get together in the local newspaper. Each year when I read it I regretted it slid by me. I would like to go and see some old acquaintances and carry my camera.

Which I had a couple of fights with some of them and I just hope bygones are bygones.

Yesterday I called the American Legion and asked if they had the Bell Gang’s annual reunion scheduled and they said Yep, this coming Saturday from 1:00pm to when. It will outside where they will be cooking a pig.

This might be traumatic to see this bunch of old men and the last time I dealt with them they were in their teens. I need to go for mind exercise if nothing else.

It will preoccupy my mind for days and days afterward I’m sure.

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The Hunter Boys

My son Rocky on his blog is conducting an experiment on videoing oneself with a hand held video cam. And in his comments section is my other son Adam and his long winded Dad.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hare -de- Har Har Ghost

Speaking of me bringing home unwanted pets as a boy, one time a woman who lived about three blocks from us offered me a one day job of cleaning up her yard and animal cages. As payment she said she would give me a bunny.

I think I was between 8 and 10 years old. I got up early one Saturday morning and left. My parents knew I was someplace in the neighborhood and did not worry about me. I would show up when I show up.

I worked hard all day, hosing down rabbit cages and scrubbing them, moving old rotted wood from collapsed cages over to the vacant lot behind their house. And many other little jobs she told me to do one at a time.

There was a heavy set man and I think he was in a wheelchair on the front porch. He kept wanting to talk and each time I sat down to talk to him the woman would put me to work.

Across the street a one-arm man lived. He drove a jeep. I have also seen him play on the softball league. He didn’t let being handicapped stand in his way. He was one of the best sluggers and outfielders on the team. Not that that had anything to do with this narration – I am just pulled it from my memory as I was thinking about that street.

Next door was a girl visiting her grandparents about my age. On my lunch break the girl told me the empty house with the yard all grown up, two houses away was haunted. We went inside and looked around. Old furniture, covered, old portraits on the wall, and an organ or a piano certainly gave the atmosphere of it being haunted – but I saw no proof except it looked like it should be.

At the end of the day the woman kept her promise and let me pick out a young rabbit. I carried it home and slipped it into my room. Not knowing how my parents would react if I brought home a little rabbit, so I thought I would hide it a while.

I couldn’t figure out where to hide it. I let it stay in bed with me.

The next morning my mother opened my bedroom door to tell me breakfast was ready. She screamed. There was a hare in her son’s bed!

Then, I had to explain myself. Somehow we knew somebody with a cage and we borrowed it and I put the rabbit in the back yard.

In time we bought another rabbit and put it in the cage also. In time one of them, I forgot which one, had little pink hairless rabbits. They were all dead. After that, I forgot whatever happened to the rabbits.

Fast Forward: About 1995 or 1996, one of the Williamson Brothers of Williamson Brothers Barbecue opened up a seafood and catfish restaurant. It was in the same house that the little girl my age and I went into looking for ghosts.

We ate there a few times before it became a catering service for Williamson Brothers Barbecue.

The first time we ate there we overheard one of the waitresses talk about the house being haunted. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I told them about ghost hunting in that same house about 45 years ago with a little girl who was visiting her grandmother.

They were surprised. They told me only about an hour or so ago a lady was in there who was telling them she came to visit her grandmother one time and she and a little boy about her age thought the house was haunted and looked for ghosts.

Roughly 394,000 hours passed since we saw each other last in that house and we miss each other by one or two hours. Somebody up there is playing His Fate & Destiny games.

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Bothers


On the right is my father as a Patrolman for the Marietta Police Force. The man on the left is his brother Stanley who was a detective for the same outfit.

Not long after this picture was snapped Daddy became Chief of Marietta Police and Stanley changed over to the City of Marietta Electrical Department.

And about four years later Stanley went to work for Lockheed and Daddy also went to work for Lockheed as a guard, then, about a year later, he became Chief of the Cobb County Police.

When Daddy was chief the county police had 34 officers. Now, they have a much bigger organization.

I did not know it until recently, but about the same time they posed for that picture their brother Doug was posing with the Marietta Fire Department Firemen. He is in a group picture that was taken in 1946 and was listed on the payroll for the fire department for that year. Afterwards, Doug went to work for Lockheed too.

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The Big Guy Is Deflating

Georgia’s Democrat Governor Candidate Mark Taylor (“The Big Guy”) I think is losing his strength. On the other hand, it appears Governor Sonny Perdue is gaining strength.

I think what it boils down to is charisma and the warm big-hearted look… which, in the back ground probably boils down to acting coaching and who has the better advertising agency.

Lately in the ads Mark Taylor has been wearing dark suits, which he might be wearing to conceal his bulky weight, but in a way that is trying to deceive people of his nick name “The Big Guy”. What do they call him for short, “The”?

And, with his suit on he looks a bit too formal, not sleeves rolled up working kind of good old guy. And also in his commercials it appears he has a 5 O’clock shadow, which from cheap old black and white westerns to Richard Nixon we have learned that people with 5 O’clock shadows are not to be trusted.

On the other hand Sonny comes off as warm sincere person with a twinkle in his eyes who “just wants to do the right thing.”

And the fact that Sonny pulled the old Republican hat-trick of lower taxes, or no taxes for the elderly, and more expenses (tracking down and severely punishing sex criminals) so his sweet lovable wife can sleep at nights doesn’t hurt him at the polls either.

Mark Taylor and Sonny Perdue are saying they will be ruthless on criminals – which, of course everybody wants to live in a safer environment and who are going to criticize that? The criminals? Probably just one lawyer at a time.

Mark Taylor does not have a warm sincere smile. He has a greedy smile. He may the warmest and kindest person in Georgia politics but it does no good if he can’t convey that look to the public.

Mark Taylor will probably get my mote but I think he needs a new advertising agency or a public relation team to get enough to win.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Ed & Hattie



Hattie Hunter (1894-1930) was my g-g-g- grandfather John Hunter’s great granddaughter. She married Edward “Ed” Alexander (1890 – 1977). They had four children. The last one would not remember Hattie. Hattie died about a year after he was born.

After Hattie died Ed and his children moved to Texas and other places out west looking for a better life. They came back home in Union County, Georgia.

Ed invented and patented a curing house for sweet potatoes.

Ed and Hattie’s children proved to sharp business people.

The oldest, Hoyt Alexander (1918-2002) owned and operated Alexander’s Store in Union County, Georgia, one of the few general stores still family owned and operated in the area. Their slogan is “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.”

Another son, Tommy Alexander (still living) owns and operates Track Rock Campgrounds not far from Alexander’s Store.

The Descendents of John Hunter Reunion is held each year at Tommy Alexander's Track Rock Campground near Blairsville. Each year I have been, off and on since 1979 Tommy was always working and wearing overalls.

This year he was still wearing his overalls but it looked like the hard work had caught up with him. He had to have help walking and he had an oxygen breather with him.

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Speaking of Snakes

In grammar school a kid that was a year or so ahead of me found that his back yard was a haven for snakes under rocks and junk. They were little garden snakes, between 3 and 5 inches long probably. His name was Ronny. Ronny “seized the opportunity” as they say and brought some to school to sell. Naturally, I had to have one.

I somehow had some kind of container I brought it home. Before I was in the house good and going through the refrigerator looking for a snack my mother found the little snake and carried the container out in the back yard and dumped the snake out and chopped its head off with a hoe.

I would run into Ronnie off and on until he graduated from high school. One time I showed him a novelty shop in town that he didn’t know about. It was a little small shop, with a quiet young woman behind the counter . I remember they had fake vomit, fake dog turds, and other novelties. One of the things they had was a little 4” tall rubber woman doll in a bathing suit. You squeeze her and the top of her bathing suit flaps down and her boobs pops out. Ronnie turned around to the quiet female and said, “Can you do this?”

Which took me surprise. I don’t think I went back into that store until my aunt took it over and converted it to an antique store.

Ronnie’s family was dirt poor by the way. He was also very intelligent. After high school he was nominated by the local congressman and went to West Point. I wondered what became of him, I never heard of him again after high school. He was aggressive and bold, he probably went far.

There was a creek that ran through the huge Larry Bell Park in front of our house. It was called Manget Creek, after the street we lived on. You pronounce Manget Mun-Jay. It is French. The Manget family that once lived on Manget Street were first generation from France. Based on their tombstones their children were missionaries in China and doctors someplace overseas. One day out of curiosity I ran a google on certain Manget name I read in a letter column who mentioned his folks home town of Marietta and I saw he was a high ranking Federal employee in D.C. – I think C.I.A.

Manget Creek had one wide place with each side about a five foot cliff. We built a dam to dam up the creek for a swimming hole. Surprisingly, our engineering and work paid off. The water rose deep enough where we could float on our backs… not long or wide enough to swim, but we could float on our backs and jump off the small cliff into the water. It was a way to cool off on a summer day.

Once I was jumping into the water, I was in mid-air and just an instant before I hit the water I saw a long black snake just below the water surface twisting its way alone. In mid-air I was not exactly in a position to change my mind about going into the water.

I splashed and got the heck out of the water! We saw no sign of the snake. My father thought it was probably a water moccasin.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Memories of the Fair & the Carnival

One time over the weekend we taking a short cut to get from side of Cobb County to the other and went by the fairgrounds. If I had realized it was time for the annual fair we would have avoided the area.

I never been near the fair that there was not a traffic jam. But, this time there was no traffic jam. We sailed on by it without backed up traffic or anything. I saw a Ferris wheel in movement and heard a loudspeaker and a loud diesel engine and cars were in the parking lot, but no traffic. They were either already there or not coming that hour.

It reminded me of past Cobb County Fairs as I was growing up. Now, the Fairgrounds in the near the County Farm Prison Farm about three or four miles outside of Marietta. Back when I was growing up it was just a three or four blocks from downtown.

As a preteen some friends and I would walk around and watch them set up the rides and usually a carnie worker would give us little jobs to do for a dollar or sometimes even a dime. One Gypsy-looking woman handed me a bucket and told me if went to get a bucket of water for her she would give me a dime. I filled up the bucket and walked back with, which was about the length of a football field. I was just a little guy and I had a hard time holding the bucket and some of the water sloshed out. When I got to her trailer she was mad the water was not all the way to the top and gave me a nickel.

After the Fair ended and the carnival workers packed up their rides and moved on out usually the next morning would be a Sunday morning. Us boys would walk around where the rides were and look for money that fell into the wood chips and grass. We usually found several dollars of change each.

One year while looking for money I found a box full of jars. Each jar had a snake’s head in it with its mouth pried open to show its fangs in all its glory. I think there were about five or six jars. It was too valuable of a conversation piece to leave. Two of us lugged it, taking times carrying it until we got it to my house. I hid it by some bushes until I was sure nobody was watching me then we lugged it to a little shack of chicken house we had way back in the back yard – which at that time we had no chickens. I used the little house for our clubhouse and also as a make believe ship. Up on the roof was a hole that I could go through, and I had a little ladder that was there… we would pretend we were on a old wooden frigate out to sea and the hole was a hatch going “down below”.

We lined the jars with the big snake heads up in various wood boxes turned on their sides which did serve as a home for the chickens to do their thing – lay eggs.

The snakes worked out well, until one time my mother was up in the back yard having an old black man and his mule plow up an area to plant a garden and stuck her head in the chicken house and saw the snakes.

She was very upset with me and was about to destroy them regardless of my objections when her brother dropped by for a visit. Her brother was head of the State Rehabilitation Department and up until then he was an educator and principal of a high school in Murray County, Georgia. He looked over the snakes heads and told his sister I really had something that many schools would love to have. He talked her out of getting destroying them.

For that moment anyway. She waited until I was in school the next day and broke all the jars with an ax. A horrible stench was in the air when I came home. Snake flesh along with whatever you pickle snake heads with – vinegar? We had to shovel the heads up and throw them in the garbage.

I don’t blame her, she couldn’t stand snakes.

Back then the fair started about the same time the first high school football game started. One year several of us on the side of the street watched our friend in the high school parade to celebrate the opening of the football season and the fair. One of our friends in the parade hollowed from a convertible that the parade was going to the fairgrounds and they would get in free.

My friend and I pulled off some crate paper off some of the paraders’ cars and ran the streamers up and down his mother’s PV544 Volvo. We jumped into the car and drove up and became the last car in the parade. I drove and the friend got on the front fender and raised his trousers up, past his knees, crossed them like a beauty queen and flew kisses to the people on the curb watching the parade.

Everybody watching cracked up – except and aunt of min who saw me and hollered, “Eddie Hunter! I’m going to tell your mama!” As far as I know she never did.

We, as the tail end of the parade we paraded right into the fairgrounds.

We ran into two friends who both now are millionaires. They told us some guy in a big trailer full of stuffed animals told them he would give them ten bucks each to carry a bunch of stuffed animals and dolls to his booth on the fairway and hand them over to the guy there and after they empty out the trailer he would give them pay them.

We asked what kind of game is he running at the booth. They laughed and said they didn’t know, they never got that far. They put the first load of dolls and stuffed animals in their car.

Memories.

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again, Zippy the Clown by Bill Griffith


Double click on it to make it large enough to read.

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Sunday Morning Coming Down

There is a song by Kris Kristofferson about Sunday morning. He wakes up with a hangover and smells fried chicken being cooked next door, hears people leaving for church and things like that. I thought of that, now it will torment me all day… I think the words “Never thought of dying” is in it…. If not, it should be – but those words will play and replay off and on all day and by the time I move to another song I will have thought of dying.

Surely there is not much to dying. Just one minute you are and the next minute you an’t. Poof! Never more.

And will there be an afterlife? If there is an afterlife that new segment you are entering should be interesting.

Is there a Heaven and Hell? Or was that just something thought up to keep the bad people who can be bought in line?

I think I rather think about the smell of the neighbor’s fried chicken being cooked - now that is something I can sink my teeth into.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Eating Watermelon


Anna with her brothers and cousins eating watermelon.

I am not sure who’s who. I think Anna is the little girl looking to the right and her first cousin Martha is the other little girl. I also think the three boys with hats on are her three brothers. The other three boys would be her first cousins Franklin, his brother James, and another 1st cousin Earl.

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Black Hole Mary


A few years back a lady by the name of Ruby decided it would be a good thing to keep the elderly members of her and my mother-in-law’s church in reading material, or books. That way it would keep their minds active and it is just fun and entertaining to read. An activity they could enjoy.

I think she bought some second hand books and some people donated their old books for the cause. I think we may have donated some books for her cause.

Ruby would visit the elderly with her books on wheels and she would show the elderly person what books she had available and they would pick one or two and off she would go to the next elderly home.

The books were a loan as if it was a library. When they were finished the books were to be returned to get back into circulation so someone else could enjoy the book.

The returning part was the problem. More than several times the elderly person forgot where she put the book she borrowed, and sometimes claimed she even didn’t receive the book.

One lady named Mary was getting a reputation for losing books in her house. I had a good chuckle over this and I named Mary’s house The Book Black Hole. Books that went in never came out. I thought it was funny and harmless.

About that time I was reading everything I could get my hands on by Sharyn McCrumb. She is an excellent fiction writer of the lore and traditions of the people of the mountains in the tri-state mountain area of North Carolina, western Tennessee, and southern Virginia. I finally got all her books and met her and got some of them signed at a book signer fair at our local used bookshop.

I am a collector. I don’t mean to be a collector but it just ends up that way. I start accumulating things I am interested in and suddenly have more than I mean to. And I am very possessive about what I gathered up.

My mother-in-law, on the other hand, is very generous and sharing. What belongs to her is for other people to enjoy as well. We have been lending her the Sharyn McCrumb books because she was beginning to enjoy reading and we had plenty, so she got to read what we read. Then one day over the phone she told Anna she finished the McCrumb book we lent her and she lent it to Mary. The Black-Hole Mary.

When Anna told me I think I jumped about 15 feet across the room. I no longer saw the humor in Mary’s Black Hole.

Luckily, to my amazement, Mary returned it when she finished reading it.

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New Responsibilities

LIVE NUDE PICTURES OF ME COMING UP!

Yesterday my ratings fell. On my counter my visitation was about half what it was either of the past two three days.

So I am going to have to something desperate to get my numbers up. On second thought, I better not use my nude card – the viewer-ship might even cut itself in half again.

Wait! I am going to go out and buy be a webcam and have a live picture of me eating a live chicken….. or what if the chicken is rotisseried and I’m live?

No, I didn’t draw a crowd the other day when I did that at Sam & Dave’s Barbecue. Only one old woman who told me to use the napkin to get the grease off my face.

Maybe I will change the name from chicken fat to “TITS GALORE!” then that should draw them in. But on second thought, that is all I need is an angry mob.

Oh me.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

I Tried

Today Anna was off. We went out to do various things. One of the things on our list was for her to get a permanent.

I let her out at the beauty shop she goes to in Smyrna and then drove to a nearby ATM machine in a lower income area. The ATM machine is in the middle of a empty parking lot of a declining shopping center, so I wasn’t worried about getting mugged while there or anything like that..

I got the money we needed and I left the shopping Center on Pat Mell Road. Pat Mell Road separates Marietta and Smyrna.

I rode down the Pat Mell Road looking at old houses and stores I remembered from another time and how they have weathered. I came upon another main road and got in a lane to turn right to go back to the beauty shop.

I almost hit an old man sitting on the curb. He was a man with handsome stock of white hair. He had a nice looking purple long-sleeve button up shirt. The only reason I mention the shirt that that any one wearing a shirt with buttons in that neighborhood looks like he doesn’t belong.

I turned and two blocks down I felt guilty. Something was wrong with that man, so I looked for another street that I could loop back up where I almost ran over his feet and pull into the convenience store behind him and ask if he was OK.

I did the looping but he wasn’t there. I was sitting at the red light in the right hand turn only lane again and I saw him. He was across the busy main street trying to cross the other corner and he fell down. He stood up and this time began hopping like he was in a potato sack race, hopping with both legs uniformly springing. He looked nuts.

He made it to the other side, and in front of a Waffle House was a little strip of green grass between the street and the parking lot. He fell into the grass and his face was aimed upward.

That old man needed help. Again, I made the same loop around and this time stayed out of the right-turn only lane and got in the lane to go straight. I saw him in his purple shirt getting up on his knees.

Then a truck that worked itself out into the traffic from the convenience store blocked my view for a few seconds…. Not more than 15 seconds. The light turned and the trucked lined up and I shot across the busy intersection. The man was not anywhere to be seen.

He either went into the Waffle House or somebody put him in a car.

Either way, I hope he got help.

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Counting Your Visitors

I got a counter last week for this blog. I was surprised by the number of people that visit daily.

I get very few comments I thought the number of hits would just be a couple of digits more than number the visitor comments made. I was surprised t learn it is much more.

I specify comments made by visitors, because usually half of the number of comments shown is made by me. If there are four comments, usually I rebounded two of those comments. I just can’t my mouth shut – or in this case, keep the keyboard down.

Of course, I know some are just passing through. Sometimes if I have a couple of minutes to kill I will hit the “next blog” button and do that for several hits… so, with me just passing through, if a person has a counter I’m sure I registered as a visitor, only if I stuck around only a split second, just long enough to see it was about Barbee Dolls or something.

I don’t know, but I think when you put a fresh entry up, it is placed in a newly submitted line-up and people that use the “next blog” button stands a good chance of coming across your blog.

Then, there are some who search for a word, name, or phrase. I think I have magnetized some that way… once they get to my sight and see that I am all hot air they probably move on.

It is nice to know that I do have more visitors than I thought, even if they are silent visitors.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Prairie Life in Gillette, Wyoming


This is a picture of my mother and her older siblings and a prairie chicken taken about 1918/19 in Gillette, Campbell County, Wyoming. My mother is the baby crying. She was born June the 6th, 1918.

Her real given name is Ethel America. She was nicknamed “Janie” because she would pitched a fit when things didn’t go her away, just like the little girl in the next farm over named Janie.

Janie stuck with her for a lifetime.

One time a known outlaw gang came to their farm. The leader said they just wanted food and a place to sleep for the night. My grandfather gave them food and let them sleep in the barn. My late aunt, who remembered the incident well, said they partied hooted and hollowed and rode their horses around the house off and on during the night. My grandfather sat near the steps of the house in the darkness with a gun. The next morning they went on their way.

Janie was born in Gillette. About two years later their mother and father decided they could not feed their children on the prairie any longer. They packed up and headed back east.

Interesting, they went in two groups. The mother, young kids, and the girls went by train. The father and the two oldest sons went by covered wagon.

Every night they slept under the stars and saw sights of animals and landscapes to behold. I would say that is quality time with a parent.

One of the sons on the covered wagon return trip is the only sibling still living of fourteen kids. He is in a nursing home. He has his good days and bad days and sometimes gets things confused. Last week was his 96th birthday. When his daughters told him what birthday he was celebrating he said they were mistaken, it was his 35th. His daughter that I email with is still trying to decide if he was joking or not.

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Book about WALLACE WOOD


One of the several books of visual arts I am reading is AGAINST THE GRAIN: MAD ARTIST Wallace Wood edited, compiled, and contributed by Bhob Stewart.

Wallace Wood was one of the four original MAD comic book artists, along with Jack Davis, Will Elder, and John Severin.

Wally Wood (1927-1982), through the years, worked as artist and illustrator in many publications. He drew excellent realistic looking space vehicles with all the gadgets, tubes, wires, dials, and what all, which you felt you were looking at a real machine. He contributed to many many comic books. If you read comic books chances are you saw at his art work and was amused how real the figures looked in front of you and how heavy the lines were.

In MAD, to me, he seemed to specialize in making his sexy women with pointed knees – or that is just how I perceived it.

I already knew he was a diabetic and was losing his eye sight when he took his own life. I didn’t know what a dedicated artist to his own work and his friends he was – and the details of things.

It is a very good book written by someone who knew Wallace Wood. Bhob Stewart worked for him.

I remember seeing Bhob’s name in letter to the editors of the EC comic publications it seems ever since the beginning of EC comics. I think he has been in the background of comic book publishing ever since when he was knee high to, well, a knee.
Bhob has a neat blog site. It is named Potrzebie which is a word MAD played around with for years. Bhob’s site has a lot of recycled material from the book he edited about Wallace Wood, but also has other visual pleasing things.

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Local Honey & Mabry's Farm

This morning when I went out to the driveway to get our morning paper in my shorts and tee-shirt I slept in I realized it was chilly, if not cold. The temperature was 52 degrees. At colder times of the year 52 might seem like a heat wave, but the season reverted, it felt very cold to my bare legs.

Back earlier when I first got my bike I was looking forward to riding the bike through the year, even cold weather. Now, that cooler weather is upon us, all I can say is, “Who do I think I was kidding, besides myself?”

It has that football weather feel about the air. A cozy time to stay inside and catch up reading, if you ask me. But, it is also a good time to work in the yard without fear of working up a sweat. And soon there will be leaves to rake. Shit.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I also went to Mabry’s Farm before I went to buy groceries. I think my mind got so preoccupied grafting a entry about Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum I forgot completely I went to Mabry’s Farm.

Mabry’s Farm is right in the middle of wealthy east Cobb County. It is about 50 to 100 acres surrounded by expensive subdivisions. I’m sure the land is worth millions.

Mr. and Mrs. Mabry are in their 70s or early 80s. They are a warm, friendly, good looking couple who sell various farm products… whatever you can pick out of their garden, or they have free range eggs, or they have what I come for, locally produced honey. Yep, those little bees picked up the pollen from various yuppies’ flower beds in the area and brought it back and contributed it to the hive, which then Mr. Mabry takes it and do whatever you do to process honey and then put it in pint and quart jars.

In their carport they have a little stand with the various kinds of honey in different size jars. They are wildwood honey, wild flower honey, and raw honey. They have a sign saying for those wanting local honey, get the raw honey. One time I asked Mr. Mabry about it and he said the raw honey is the honey his bees produced. The wildwood and the wild flower he buys from a fellow in the mountains of North Georgia.

I buy the local honey. I buy a quart jar for $9 and it gets me through about a half year. Each day, I take a tablespoon of honey with a table spoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water. The locally produced honey has the local pollen in it. It is like getting a vaccination. It helps keep down allergies. And the apple cider vinegar keeps your plumbing clean.

On a little table beside the honey jars shelve is a little box. A sign says “Honor System”. I put ten in and took one dollar out for change. I wonder how many people did just the opposite, put in a one dollar bill and took out a ten?

Yesterday when I drove up Mrs. Mabry was talking to a lady about her age. They were just putting the last of some flowers into the lady’s van when I was parking. The next time I was there I had a mental note to tell either Mr. or Mrs. Mabry that my wife’s great uncle married a Mabry that lived in this area – and maybe that would her inspire them to give me some more information or maybe even share some pictures. But, they were talking, about church business I guessed, so I didn’t blurt in and rule the conversation. I can wait six months.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

CO Twiddle-Dee & Pvc Twiddle-Dum

Today is Wednesday. It is the day that all us elderly folks leave our rocking chairs, beds, shuffleboards, etc and converge on supermarkets such as Krogers and Publix that offer 5% discount to senior citizens on Wednesdays.

I developed an art of presenting my coupons. The trick is to present the coupons after they have rang up your 5% discount. Otherwise, they will ring deduct your coupons and take the 5% off the net total instead of the gross total. In fact, some company-minded cashiers ask are you sure you don’t have any coupons. Then, after the coupons are deducted you can say “Oh yeah! I forgot about my coupons!” and watch her steam.

But today went good, the 5% was scraped off the top, not down after the coupons.

The weather was very nice with just a slight cool breeze.

And at Krogers I got see the brothers Twiddle-Dee and Twiddle-Dum. I haven’t seen them in months.

They are in their early 20s and I have seen no visible signs of a job. They must get some kind of social security or disability income and squander in their late grandparents’ home.

Today, as always, they had on their Desert Storm fatigues with their pants tucked very militarily into their black boots. Their dress berets were tilted just right.

When I got out of the truck in the new Kroger parking lot I saw them get out of their old raggedy station wagon their grandparents used to drive.

They marched in the store. By the time I got into the store, the youngest, Twiddle-Dum was pulling a grocery cart out of the stacked carts. Twiddle-Dee was patiently waiting. The good military leader he is, he was not going to chew out Twiddle-Dum in front of everybody for pulling the cart out in a clumsy manner. Twiddle-Dee takes care of his men (or man) by chewing them (him) out in private.

Then like soldiers prowling in the jungle with rifles Twiddle-Dum pushed the cart while Twiddle-Dee had his hands behind his back taking big thoughtful steps and occasionally seeing something that would be good chow, and toss it in the cart.

They want to defend our country so bad. They could show ‘em you don’t mess with Uncle Sam. But, I suspect the military wouldn’t take them in a million years, so they will just have to continue to do their war games on their PCs.

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Just a Few of Us Then


This is most of my Hunter first cousins and me by the China Berry tree in my grandparents' front yard. All of us first cousins are there except the two sisters and a brother that had already became grownups by that time.

Not even half of our generation of Hunter first cousins had been born yet. They would 18 more to come along in the next fifteen or twenty years.

I am the little tyke standing up with my cousin Jimmy's hands on my shoulders. My sister is holding the hand of the Vickie, the youngest at the time. My youngest sister had not been born yet.

Jimmy died a few years ago. Also, the little boy to the left with the aviator’s cap on is Jerry Hunter, one month older than me, he was a pilot in Vietnam and was shot down.

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Helen the Riverter, the General's Wife

My friend who is cooped up in the coup shall remain nameless for now until I see how serious the coupers take themselves.

He was telling me a day or so ago in an email that his grandfather fought as a private in the Civil War on the Confederate side. That is strange math. Your parent’s parent fought in the Civil War over 140 years ago?

But after he explained told the details it made sense. His grandfather went into the war at age 16. Afterwards he married and had a family and later in life he married again and had another family. The youngest child of his second family was his parent…. And he is the youngest of his family.

That reminded me of General James Longstreet’s wife Helen Dortch Longstreet. I think the General and Helen married late in the General’s life, yet early in Helen Dortch’s life.

When the U.S. got pulled into World War II here in Marietta Bell Bomber, commonly known as “The Bomber Plant” started manufacturing B-29s and I think other B’s. Men were in uniform so women were called on to fill places on the assembly line, think of “Rose the Riveter”.

One of the women Bell Bomber hired was 80 year old Helen Dortch Longstreet (b.1963). The management found out she was more of a taker than a worker and loved her connections to people in high places. She was apt to call Eleanor Roosevelt or the Governor of Georgia and throw in her two cents. She was in the unique position of being a General’s wife, even if it was for a military that no longer existed, and when she talked people of elite status listened, if only to be polite.

More than one supervisor spoke to her about her lack of work and the next thing the supervisor would be called in and asked how did he like his job there… there were some do’s and don’ts they had to learn the hard way.

And that is one of the basic rules of big organizations: Find out who can get away with murder and who can’t.

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Coo, Coup, Coup de Ville, Ku, flu de coup

I have a long-lost-found friend, or he found me through my blog, that is a teacher in Thailand. I have mentioned him before.

I received an email from him yesterday evening – he was talking about the Coup there. He was notified not to report to work and the American Embassy emailed him and said there are no plans to evacuate Americans at the moment.

I think (and hope) this is a bloodless coup that has no malice against Americans – and soon life will be back to normal.

If there is a hint other-wise, I hope my friend grabs his wife and they get the hell out of there, which might be difficult because his wife is a native with parents not far away.

So, the most I can do is wish him good luck, regardless of the results of the coup.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

You Know Me


One time at work I heard somebody say “You know me” and went on to say something he would do that was complete out of character for that person. The statement “You know me…” is a way to brag without bragging. It is suggesting that you already know how great he/she is.

At work I got plenty of mileage of the “You Know Me” statement. If someone was talking about how some football star came within a yard of making a touchdown I would walk by and say, “You know me – if I was there, you know yourself that touchdown would have been made.”

Or talking about what place did I think I would come in on the Peachtree Road Race (10K): “You know me, probably first or second.”

The reason I just thought of the “You Know Me” is that on the news they were interviewing a group from a neighborhood watch and one woman said, “They (the co-members) know me, they know I’m not one to mess with.” Or something to that effect – planting her reputation before moving a muscle. Anything to boost that ego.

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Rainey Tuesday Morning

Early this morning before daylight I carried our Chevrolet truck over to the dealer to have it serviced. When I first started carrying the truck there for service about a year ago, in the early morning there was one man with a clipboard ready to write down your name and mileage, which he did, then send you to the waiting room to have watch TV and drink some of their free coffee.

Although, if you arrive just when they open the coffee may not be made yet. Once I brought in the truck that early the man who wrote my work order also made the coffee. He had plenty of time. After he got it perking he stood there and watched the news on TV for a couple of minutes.

This morning when I brought drove it into their bay there were five desks lined up. Each had a “maintenance counselor” (I made up that title) sitting there with a computer in front of him and a big name plate. I wonder how they decide who gets what as a vehicle is drives in? Does the rookie get the bad hard to handle cases?

One of the men got up with his clipboard and asked me my name and I told him. He asked what needed to be done and I said it needed just an oil change. Up to this point he had very good diction. What ever he said after I said oil change I could not understand. I said, “pardon me,” and he said the same run-in slur of a word. I motioned with my ear that I didn’t know what in the world he said.

He slowly repeated, “Oil change – right?”

Yep.

I went into the waiting room and got me a cup of coffee and read a while. There were only two of us in the waiting room. Then a little later we became four. Why would they need four service representatives?

I also noticed several employees with not much to do that stood and sipped their coffee and talked about their gardens and the rain. I bet they were not standing their free. I bet they were paid and the service representatives were paid too…. By us four customers.

After I left there I went to the cemetery and put flowers that Anna made up this past weekend. on my parents’ grave. It was pouring down rain. The cemetery appears more dramatic in the rain.

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Anna's 3 Brothers - 1947


They each died as middle-age men. Their father outlived them.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Get Rich Quick

This afternoon I went to the closest convenience store to buy my lottery tickets.

I had one Fantasy Five free game due, so I got that, and bought a quick pick for the next 3 upcoming Fantasy Five draws and for the next two Mega Millions draws. The total came to five bucks and will give four mornings of anticipation as I compare numbers – that will do fine.

At the counter ahead of me was a woman buying rub-off tickets and buying them and rubbing them off almost as quick as the little Indian (Eastern) man could unroll them. He also advised her which rub-off tickets stood a bigger chance of winning and which ones had biggest winnings.

The woman was a novice and had the fever. She appeared to be frantic. I think all the rub-off tickets are instant cash winnings. That woman needed some big bucks now!

Which reminds me, today some guy materialized that lives in Metro Atlanta who won the big jackpot for Mega Millions. It was the most anybody had won the newscaster had said.

The woman in front of me bought some more tickets to rub-off and left. I bought my tickets and left. When I was getting into my truck I saw the lady shut the door of her black car and back up. Guess what kind of car?

A new looking BMW.

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The Traveling Lawnmower Brotherhood

Today I cut grass.

I am something of a recluse and prefer to be alone when I work in the yard. Then, as I do routine grass cutting my mind and can fly away wherever it wants to, providing it is back by the time I finish.

But then my neighbor Jim saw me cutting and hopped on his lawnmower and came out. Then Bob evidently told his son Joe to start cutting also. Three of us were on red riding lawnmowers. Jim and Joe both tried to time their cutting so each would be at the closest to me when I was on their side, closest to their yard. Each time, it is just rude to look the other way, so each time there was some kind of wave or recognition. It is hard to think of a different wave each time when you want your mind to go elsewhere.

If aliens were watching us from a hovering flying saucer above they would probably think we were doing some kind of ballet with machines or some kind of strange mating ritual.

As I rode around I was looking at the car Bob, his ex-father-in-law, and Joe went Rockwell, North Carolina, for his daughter Melissa. “A dream-come-true” he told me. On the ground round it looking worse and worse each day. More parts and tools are cluttering around the front of the car each time I look. The hood is still off and propped against the house. The blue tarp no longer covers the innards of what was under the hood. Why bother?

After we cut the grass Jim came over and trimmed my driveway. He always does it when I cut grass. This time he pointed to the house two houses down the street and told me Bob sold a John Deere lawnmower to John that lives there. Now, john is selling it someone else for a profit but something is not working right on it, so Bob was summoned to come down and adjust whatever was wrong with it.

I remember that John Deere lawnmower. The preacher bought it when he lived in that house, which is next to Bob and across from Jim. The preacher, wife, and teenager daughter could just take the house next door (Bob’s) with so many late night parties, police surrounding the house, horny teenage boys… they sold their house and got the heck away from their.

They sold their house to a Haitian woman, with a thick French accent, her boy friend, who also signed the papers, and five children. The preacher left the green John Deere tractor lawnmower. I don’t know if it was part of the deal on the house or what.

The Haitians lived there almost a year when the woman kicked out her boyfriend. The two teenager daughters where hot to trot and Joe was probably accommodating them. I have seen Joe and one of them make out in the middle of the street – I think that is part of it, to make a show. The woman tore up the John Deere Tractor. Jim volunteered to repair it, which he worked on it for a full week, and even had to drive to a John Deere dealer in Cartersville 30 miles away for a belt.

They could not or did not pay their payments and the house was sold on the steps of the court house. The Haitian family moved just about overnight. But they left a little sedan car and the John Deere lawnmower.

In a week or so the Haitian woman and her new boy friend returned. The car wouldn’t run and they left it with Bob to fix. They also left him the lawnmower. They just gave it to him.

Jim was hurt they didn’t give him the lawnmower because he was the one that got the lawnmower running again and went all over creation looking for the right part.

So, yesterday it probably was, Bob sold the John Deere lawnmower to John down the street for $100. And John turned around and sold it to somebody else for a profit.

And it will probably be sold or traded again and again and……

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Napoleon Dynamite Marketed & Packaged


While we were in various card shops this weekend I noticed that Napoleon Dynamite cards. Napoleon Dynamite friendship cards, Napoleon Dynamite get-well cards, birthday cards, and other happy occasions.

On the different cards are shots of the Napoleon Dynamite movie with the different main characters in different combinations. They also had Napoleon Dynamite 2007 Calendars.

It is the type of product that Napoleon’s brother, uncle or girl friend would try to sell door to door.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

How to Look Smart

One simple word: Smoke. That is all there is to it. When someone is telling you something, look thoughtful and take a deep draw on your cigarette and inhale it. It makes you look as if you are getting a very deep insight on what the other person said.

It is all in the image.

Today while cooking on the deck I couldn’t help but notice my neighbor Bob, his son Joe, and a few of Joe’s friends.. They all know the secret of how to look intelligent.

By the way, the other day while channel surfing I came across an old Cheech and Chong movie. I knew Bob reminded me of somebody that I couldn’t quiet put my finger on and suddenly that was part of him in that movie. Bob is a cross between Cheech and Earl Hickey.

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Female Pettys Minus Some Female Pettys


This is a picture of all Petty females. The picture was taken in Varnell, Georgia, which is near Dalton.

My mother is partly behind my sister.

When I first looked a this picture I thought they left some of the Petty women out, such as the mother of the three daughters on the left, or the mother of the baby my grandmother is holding.

Wait! Then I noticed all the females not present were the ones that married into the family. These are all the Petty females that are genetic related. The picture plainly states “No in-laws allowed!”

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Sitting Outside Macy's

Yesterday at the mall Macys had a special deal. If you donate $5 to a charity that of about 10 or so pick from you get a coupon of a type that allows you to get 20% off your purchases today. That original $5 is just a deductible investment to get a bigger return.

Different organizations would have a representative or representatives outside entrance doors hawking, trying to get you to donate money to them. Where I let Anna off at one of the entrances that is connected to the parking lot was a Cherokee County fire truck (we were are in Cobb County). A fireman in his uniform approached Anna first and she shelled out five bucks which he in-turn gave her a Macy’s coupon good for today.

I parked and went inside the mall and sat on a bench at a door that led to Macys. Anna and I had already made plans. I was to meet her at that bench or within sight of it, in case the bench was taken.

The bench was only half taken. It was taken by a Spanish grandmotherly type woman.

I pulled out my Stephen King book and started reading. She eyed me over suspiciously and continue to sit there. After a couple of paragraphs I looked at my surroundings. In the big Macys door were several young girls in ballet costumes. Each girl had a brochure in her hand and when someone came in the doors one of the little girl would approach that person and tell them the what benefits there are in donating five dollars to their organization. And if they got a taker the little girl would lead him over to a table where a grownup lady would take their money and give them the coupon.

The little girls belonged to a ballet group. By the display sign on the table they next performance will be Swan Lake, I think, and after that, it will be nearer to Christmas and it will The Nutcracker Suite.

Between hawking their brochures they would practice their steps, different stances, running and taking a flying leap in good form, place one leg straight out, pirouetting, standing on their tip toes and make tiny tiny steps turning. An older girl, about 10 or 11 was showing a younger Spanish girl how to stand on her toes and make the tiny little steps while turning around. The grandmotherly type Spanish woman sitting next to me said in a Spanish accent, “Juanneta! Don’t stand on your toes like that!”

I looked over at the grandmother type and she was eyeing me without smiling. I could tell she was trying to decide if I was a dirty old man eyeing her little granddaughter.

About that time Anna came out of Macys. She had a package she just purchased and left it with me while she went back in to the jewelry department.. I’m glad Anna did that. It showed I was there waiting on my wife, not to snatch up her little granddaughter and run off and disappear in the crowds laughing.

I continued to read and the grandmother looked more relaxed and even looked at me once and smiled when one kid trip over another kid.

I was thinking, if they are practicing Swan Lake and dancing around us – was one of us, either me or the old lady suppose to be Ugly Duckling?

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The Strand


After the mall we drove to downtown Marietta on the Square. They were having an antique show. There were many booths and each had antique items for sale.

All of it was interesting. And a few odds and ends I thought it would be interesting to have. But nothing was there that we were willing to spend money.

We went into a sweet shop. Anna ordered a Diet Coke and I ordered coffee and sat down and relaxed in their sweet-shop kind of chairs. Also, because we were paying customers we could use their restrooms. A sign on each restroom door said “No Public Restrooms – Customers Only”.

Interesting after we used to restroom I saw a lady go back and tried the door to the women’s restroom. From where I was sitting I could see down along the wall and her. When she tried the door it would not open. Maybe she didn’t try hard enough, because from my position I could also see no one else had entered that restroom since Anna walked out. Then, the lady looked around and opened the men’s restroom. She looked around in again and convinced no one was looking at her stepped in the men’s bathroom and shut the door. I was invisible again.

For the past several years when we go to an event like the one this day or an arts and craft show I usually see this little twerp walking around with a hand held puppet that you can also control mouth and limb movement by a series of strings and sticks. I noticed several times in the past he would get try to get the attention of a little kid by his amazing marionette abilities. Usually, the parents with the small kid he was trying to entertain would either ignore him or move on. He just wanted a little attention. He somehow reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite's passive wimpy brother - well, they look similar, but this guy has red hair.

In the sweet shop a minute or so before we left he walked in with a girl. He looked very nervous. It might have been his first date with her. In fact, it may have been his first date – ever. I was tempted to go up to him and give him the high-five and say, “You old dog! Your chick magnet finally worked!” But I didn’t.

Next we noticed people were coming and going in the old closed Strand Theater. If you remember the movie The Majestic and how it looked in its prime you have an idea what the Strand Movie Theater looked like. From the time I was about five years old until I was a teenager I was there every Saturday morning. And then later, we went to the movie after school and usually on weekend nights. It was a big part of my life. They had a table set up for take donations to rebuild The Strand Theater and also selling beautiful black tee shirts that said, “Friends of the Strand”. I couldn’t help myself, I bought me one.

We also got to walk around and look at the old Strand, now bare of paint and chandeliers, and other sparkling and well lit things. The big theater room looked much smaller with no seats in it. They hope to have it restored by the Winter of 2007.

I hope so.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sarah C. Moody Tyson


This tin-type is my great-great grandmother Sarah C. Moody Tyson (1815-1895). She was born in South Carolina and died in Cherokee County, Georgia. She was the second of ten children of Allen Nancy Murphy Moody. I think she spent her formative years in Ball Ground, Cherokee County, Ga.

She married Robert Cabel Tyson (1821-1864) on September 3, 1843, and they had eight children.

She looks like she may have been Indian.

I know Ball Ground was named Ball Ground because it is where the Indians met to play ball.

As you may have noticed I ceased putting old pictures of mine and Anna’s relatives. I thought maybe I was using those pictures as a cheap way of generating entries for my blog, and felt guilty, so I quit showing them.

Well, heck. If I don’t have that to feel guilty I’ll find something else to feel guilty over. I am going to start putting the old pictures in again.

They are who I am, and that is what this site is about: Me!

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Brother Was a Father

In the 1980s Rocky was in the accelerated Target group at his school. It was Haley’s Comet time. I don’t remember how it all started, but in the Target kids parents’ association it was decided to take the kids to someplace way out in the country where the sky would be clear and not influenced by the glare of city lights.

Anna took on the responsibility of finding a such a place, that would welcome children in the middle of the night. She came to the conclusion that a certain Catholic monastery southeast of Atlanta about 40 or 50 miles would the ideal place.

We have been to this monastery before. It was way out in the country. The monks there made their own food and made their own bread which was available for sale. Along with other stuff you would expect monks to deal with, such as honey, candles and I don’t know what else. I do remember they had peacocks wandering around the grounds.

Anna called the monastery and spoke to a Brother Clarence Biggers. Brother Biggers was very enthused over a bunch of school kids coming in the middle of the night to see Haley’s Comet and said he would be delighted to be their guide.

He gave us directions. That evening we met someplace and all five or six cars drove in a caravan the long drive to the Monastery. I forgot the details of the directions but we found ourselves out on a lonely road in the middle of the night with no sign of civilization and were thinking maybe we took the wrong turn or something. Should we turn back and find a phone and call him? This was before cell phones.

Then we came upon a land mark he described and knew we were there on the right track. Then a tall figure in a hood stepped out of the shadows with his arms spread out. I remember the tall figure wearing a hooded robe. That was a shocking scary sight! I remember he was wearing a white robe and Anna remembers another color robe – whichever. It was Brother Biggers.

He motioned for us to get out and we did. We, parents and kids, gathered around him and he told us he used to be a priest at Saint Joseph’s in Marietta. He went around and asked our names. When I told him my last name he asked me was I related to the late Dick Hunter. I said he was my uncle – my father’s brother. I remembered him – he did my uncle’s funeral when he died. He asked me how his wife was doing and also wanted to know how all twelve of their children were doing. Fine. They are doing fine. He said he thought a lot of that family.

He gave us and the kids a very educated guide of the constellations above us in the clear dark sky. He of course pointed out Haley’s Comet and told some trivia history about it and what the people of ancient times thought of it and on each constellation he would tell the Greek mythology tale about it. He did a very good job in educating the kids and us on the sky that night. We listened in awe.

Unfortunately, then, as now, I have a low retention level – so, what I heard, although very interesting, went in one ear and out the other.

After it was over he asked us if we would like to go to the main building and have some hot chocolate. Sure! Everyone said.

We went upstairs in the back of the building and Brother Biggers took us into a kitchen like area with tables. He boiled water and had the instant cocoa and we sat around and talked to him and he told us more about the Monastery. He said all the monks had to work to earn their daily bread, so to speak. He said anybody, regardless of their religion or beliefs can come to the monastery and stay a while just to get away from it all and contemplate their belly buttons – or whatever.

A big bell clanged and Brother Biggers said it was time for the first mass of the day for the Monks, would we like to see it? Sure it. We walked down a hall and quietly opened a door and we found ourselves in a balcony overlooking a congregation of Monks. Before entering he told us we needed to very quiet.

The Monk congregation lifted their spirits by chanting. I don’t think there was a sermon.

Sadly, one Monk was slumped over in a wheel chair alone down an aisle between the pews and appeared to be very weak, sick, or just out of it. Being disabled is probably not an excuse to skip mass.

Then, how did Brother Biggers skip out… being a tour-guide?

We thanked him and we arrived back in Marietta about daylight.

Brother Biggers continued.

Years passed and one night on the local news a lady was being interviewed because she was suing the Catholic Church. She said Father Clarence Biggers molested her when she was young and attending Saint Joseph’s School. It was further pointed out that when several parents complained about Father Biggers molesting their children he suddenly had a calling to be a monk at the Monastery we went to.

Then, about a week later in the newspaper one of my female cousins came forth and said Father Biggers did some things to her too. She has 11 siblings, which 3 of them are sisters. I wondered about the rest of them, and decided just to keep their mouths shut.

But Brother Biggers knew his stars!

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Tales From the Stores

Today we shopped until I dropped. Before it was all over I was so tired and sleepy. Detail shopping does it to me every time.

We were looking for Anna some clothes for work, for me an upgrade in shoes. Anna wants me to have a pair of loafers… which none I looked at looked right – they all looked like I was pretentious. And cards. We looked for birthday cards, promotion cards, and I forgot what other cards.

During our shopping spree when Anna was in one of detailed shopping modes I got transfixed myself… mostly thinking about other things.

One of the things I thought about was the bluegrass concert we went to last Saturday night at the Acworth Opry. One thing I forgot to tell you.

The last group that played that night consisted of two brothers that were in their 40s or 50s, another man who was neat looking that had his two twin teenage sons with him. The father played a guitar and the one son played a fiddle and one son played the bass guitar.

There music was very energetic…. A fast pace kind of bluegrass.

Just before they started to play an older man over to the side at a table sat up display of CDs for sale by that group. We have bought two other CDs by the same group on other nights, but thought we would get one more.

I walked over to the table and the old man running the sales table was telling somebody that (pointing to the stage) was his band. He started it and they all worked for him, including his sons.

I picked out the CD I thought would be best and returned to my seat. There were two or three other people picking out a CD when I left the table.

A minute or two later the old man left his sales table and walked down front to the bottom of the stage. His son came and stooped down to hear him and he nodded his head and told him “Yes – sure, no problem.” His father turned around and walked back towards his table.

The son made an announcement before they continue to sing: “Yes, if you want to buy CDs, we do accept checks.”

If that old fart really was the boss of the band, over them and controlled the money, why would he walk down front and interrupt a song to ask that question?

When we returned tonight Anna checked her office email and there is a possibility she will be flying to Winnipeg in the near future with me tagging along naturally.

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Distributing Good and Bad Luck

Suppose you receive an email with a list of good positive things on it and at the bottom of it you are told to forward this to at least five people in the next five minutes you will have something nice happen to you or you will instantly come into a lot of money. However, if you don’t, something bad will happen to you.

Really! I have seen this type of email more than once from friends and relatives. I usually forward one with “undisclosed recipient” back to the sender.

That type of email sometimes has a testimony of someone who did as instructed and “it really worked” they will squeal.

If you are to believe that really works then you must also believe that bad luck will come to the person if they fail not to do as the email suggests.

If you believe it and forward it aren’t you putting your friends/relatives in jeopardy for your own gain? You are forwarding it because you were promised something good. And a person you forward it to, what if as soon as that person reads it their provider goes down for a few hours or their computer goes down or many other reasons they would not be able to forward it to at least 5 people in the next 5 minutes.

That same day if one of the people you forwarded it to has an accident and is sent to the hospital and has to have all kinds of operations and the unlucky person doesn't have health insurance do you think maybe you are indirectly responsible?

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

How Did That Happen

My mother had Parkinson Disease for about the last eight years of her life. She couldn’t walk or the other things people take for granite.

For her doctors’ appointments it took my older sister and me both to get her there. We usually would get Mama to one of her several doctors and afterwards have lunch, then back to their house where we had to get her upstairs into her bed.

Today I happened to think of a time while we were out my sister decided to buy gas. Mind you, she has her Masters in accountings and has been a bank vice president and at the time head of a finance department at a local college. She pulled up to the gas pump and the gas cap was on the wrong side of the car. She then made a u-turn and pulled back to the other side of the pumps. The gas cap was still on the outside.

She said, “How did that happen?”

Now, with that digested I’ll tell my story.

I have two places I keep shoes. Since the boys moved out we converted one room to a guest room and one room to Anna’s office, and a small dining room to my office. Most of my clothes are in the guest room. However, a set of shelves in Anna’s office I still keep my shoes in. And sometimes I also keep shoes in the guest room. So, in either place, the rack in Anna’s office or the closet in the guest room my shoes would not be out of place.

I have a pair of Nike Air running shoes when I go to a doctor’s visit, out to eat, or something on the line of casual. I have another pairs for different activities. The other day after coming back from someplace I took off my nice clean white Nike’s and put them on a shelf. Later I was getting something out of the guest closet and noticed my new white clean Nike’s. But I remember putting them on the shelf. I went back to Anna’s office and looked on the shelf. There was my pair of white new Nike’s. I was using two pairs of identical shoes and didn’t know I was doing it.

“How did that happen?”

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Piano Red and WAOK


Do Not Forsake Me Ole My Darling…

Or

is it “Get Along Little Doggie….”?

It is both of them! Both of those tunes are playing in my head. It is like my own personal in-house Battle of the Bands.

I heard on the news this morning that Governor Sonny Perdue made a blunder on a radio station that was having callers asked him questions. I won’t repeat it because I might misquote it and that wouldn’t be fair and I’m sure too lazy to research to the exact words.

The radio station was WAOK. WAOK was, and I suppose still is, a mostly black radio station. When I was a teenager it was owned and operated by blacks and all the announcers were black.

(harp music) I remember as a teenager when you wanted to hear some good rhythm and blues, WAOK was the station to listen to. Their DJs had more freedom than their white counterparts.

Parents disapproved of this station and would have to use a politically incorrect word to tell what they called it.

One DJ on WAOK I remember is Piano Red. He did most his announcing from a piano stool. He would play a real record and then play with his piano and maybe carry on a romance with an imaginary friend, singing a lullaby to her and getting too darn mushy about what they did last night… then, he would let out a yep, “All right!!!” and go into a commercial and then play a record, then continue his romance with whomever as he played the piano.

It was kind of like “The Country Gentleman” on TV in the 50s who had a love affair with a TV camera – only different.

Years later when Underground Atlanta opened we saw Piano Red in person playing in a bar. He was short, stocky, redheaded, and covered with freckles. I can see why he had an imaginary lover.

But he was a good blues singer. A couple years ago, while looking for something else on Amazon.Com I stumbled across Piano Reds CDs. I ordered one… it is one of the best blues CDs I have. All right now!

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Belle Gets To Tinkle.

Rocky is out of town on business. He is to fly in later tonight. He will be gone from home between 14 and 16 hours. This is a long time for his dog Belle to sit in her crate crossing her legs.

I went over this afternoon and let Belle out to romp in the yard and have a little relief, so to speak.

Rocky subscribes to the New Yorker magazine. They always have the best cartoons! Since I used to read it regularly they added something new. A cartoon without a caption each week but they have a contest for a reader to submit a caption for the said cartoon. And the have last week’s winner, and the another cartoon with 3 runner ups.

Anna got off work; she had to go to Gainesville, Georgia, today for a business meeting. She came by and we went to Sam & Daves’ BBQ 2, which is just around the corner from Rocky’s house.

We have been going to the new Sam & Daves’ so much it seems since they opened the new one it looks as if the owners are beginning to form an attachment with us.

You know how it is when you walk into a room and somebody you see recognizes you and you can see their eyes light up? Well, that is the way the two Daves do to us. I don’t think the one Sam has paid that much attention to us.

The past few visits we have been careful what we eat. We both switched to barbecue salads and use the barbecue sauce, which doesn’t have much fat in it, as a salad dressing. I have been having the barbecue beef brisket salad….. an’t bad, an’t bad at all.

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