Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Introducing the President


I hardly ever agree with Sonny Perdue (Republican Governor of Georgia) and from time to time I think he thinks he is there to serve himself.

But yesterday I thought he pulled a good one. I have to give him credit. At the Governor’s Conference he was introducing Bush to the podium and is introductory remarks in so many words said, “The man that is about to come out here may not be very smart and has made plenty of mistakes but at least he is determined. “*

Bush looked half-way taken back.

Way to go, Sonny!

I’m sure Sonny, being the expert politician he is just went with the pulse of the public. He wouldn’t have dared said anything like that a couple years ago.


* I saw it on The Tonight Show last night. I hope it wasn’t part of Jay Leno’s staff’s trickery.

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Bob’s Appliance Repair Company


This posting is not about Bob my neighbor. It is a story about a different Bob.

Bob of Bob’s repair service was an old man who looked to be in his mid 80s. But I think he was in his mid 70s. I think when our regular repair man killed himself we looked in the yellow pages under appliance repairs and found Bob’s Appliance Repair Company.

For over a ten year span we dealt with Bob. He was good, reliable, and above all, reasonable. We liked his services so much we sent him to my mother-in-law and our son Adam to do appliance repair when they had problems.

Bob was hyper for an old guy. He always had to be busy. Once, we had him here to look for a look for a natural gas leak of our furnace in the basement that we thought we smelled. He made all kinds of tests and decided the gas smell was seeping from a opened sack of fertilizer I had there. Then, he spotted our push lawnmower, blower, and weed eater – all gasoline powered. He demanded I take them out right then and leave them out. He said things like that blow up houses everyday. Luckily, we have an opened space under our den addition.

Last year Bob was here doing something, I forgot what, and while he worked I stood nearby and we talked. We talked about our children which somehow led into his life story.

He was born in north Georgia. When he was about 16 he quit school. He and a friend hitchhiked to his sister and brother-in-law’s farm in Texas. There they did farm labor and he and his sister fought like cat and dogs. He and his brother-in-law got alone fine but he and his sister didn’t. Finally, he got mad enough that he and his friend left. While on the road hitchhiking in Texas they came upon a big farm of some sort. They asked the head of it for a job and for a year they worked in the grain warehouse. They also slept in the warehouse because they did not have enough money to pay out for a room. They worked ten or twelve hours a day. After so many weeks of that, the seasons changed and they were out of work. With no job, food, or a place to stay, they joined the Army. He fought in Korea.

After he got out of the service he came to the boomtown he heard about Marietta, Georgia. He got a job with Lockheed and worked there until he retired. He married a local girl, which by last report was living with a man on a houseboat on the west coast and she is thinking about leaving him. I wonder if she ever did.

Bob had three acres of land he had since land was cheap in Marietta.

When Bob left I discovered Bob left a pair of pliers. I decided someday when I was in the area of his shop in downtown Marietta I would call him to make sure he was there and drop them by there.

Before my returning the pliers happened I read in the obituaries that Bob had died.

That was strange that he decided to tell me a brief of his life story within a month before he died.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

William & Emaline again


Why I live here with the name I have.

I have told bits and pieces of this before but not in chronological order – which almost is this time.

My great grandfather William was born in Macon County, North Carolina, in 1842. His mother was Rebecca Trammell. Two years later his mother gave birth to a daughter, she named the girl after her: Rebecca.

The mother Rebecca did not have a husband during the births. William and Rebecca used their maternal surname: Trammell. The mother Rebecca died before 1850.

Their grandparents, Jacob B. and Polly Hogshed Trammell took the children in and raised them with their own. Polly was an Indian. Before 1860 she had drowned tending to her fish baskets in the Little Tennessee River in Franklin, Macon County, North Carolina.

On, 1 May 1862, he enlisted in Macon County, North Carolina, into the 39th North Carolina Infantry, Company I. He was nineteen years old. His unit fought at several major events: Jackson, Mississippi, Mobile, Kennesaw Mountain, etc.

Kennesaw Mountain? That is right here just outside the Marietta City Limits.

Just before the Kennesaw Mountain fight William took an authorized furlough and went back to Franklin and married Emaline Ray.

The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain took place in mid-June 1844. After the war had left the mountain and headed towards Kolb’s Farm near Smyrna and Powder Springs for whatever reason William and a few of his friends were still there.

In October 1864, about three and half months later his unit would be fighting at Allatoona Pass, which many years later would be near the Allatoona Lake and the hydroelectric dam. But William would not be with them. He would be recuperating.

He and his two friends were at one of the seven springs on or near Kennesaw mountain. One of his friends was bending over scooping up some water when suddenly a bullet hit him between his eyes, killing him instantly, and at the same moment William was shot in the knee and fell. His other friend (Posey C. Wild) took off running through the trees. William fell over and pretended to be dead as the yanks ran by in pursuit of his friend Posey.

Not long after that William was placed in a private home in a small community just north of Woodstock, Georgia to recuperate. There he got to know the people locally and they became his friends.

After it was declared the War was over it is said that William and a mule that was given to him walked back to his wife Emaline in Franklin.

After people were beginning to get back to their routines after the war one day William’s Uncle Jacob Van Buren “Van” Trammell had a heated discussion with a Lambert man about the war. This Lambert man fought for the north, so, it was probably natural that he and Van did not see eye to eye. Van also fought for the South.

They disagreed so intense Van hit the Lambert over the head with the stock of a rifle (one account) or a big stick (another account) and killed him.

Apparently all clues led to Van. The sheriff questioned Van who said he wasn’t him, he was with William all that day. When the sheriff questioned William he concurred all that Van said. He was Van’s alibi.

Somehow there was a hole in their story that the sheriff saw right through. The sheriff charged both men with murder. They fled.

Incidentally, Mahala Trammell, oldest daughter of Jacob B. was married to a Lambert at one time. I do not know if the Lambert is the same Lambert as killed or not. Mahala was married secondly to Archebald Bateman and before the two she sued Andrew Colvard for Bastardy (for child support).

Van went to Arkansas and William went to Texas with his wife and son. That was about 1865 or 1866. In 1879, after my grandfather was born in Paris, Texas, they came back east with their seven children. They did not go back to Franklin, but settled near Woodstock where he made friends about 14 years before.

William changed his name. He was no longer William A. Trammell, his new name was William A. Hunter. That may have been the wisest thing to do, since William A. Trammell was wanted for murder.

It appears the surname Hunter was his rightful paternal surname anyway. His mother Rebecca in 1842 sued Jason Henderson Hunter for Bastardy and was awarded child support of $100 a year.

Letters exist between William and Jason recognizing each as a son or father.

Jason had an interesting life. He was a soldier with the “Trail of Tears” . After that he was a farmer and constable in Franklin, NC, where he was sued for bastardy by Rebecca Trammell and Catherine Davis. Then he moved to Bollinger County, Missouri, where he became a state representative, then organized his own Confederate unit where he and his men fought under the famous Missouri Swamp Fox General M. Jeff Thompson fighting federal boats on the Mississippi. After the war he moved to Greene County, Arkansas, where he also became a state representative. Most impressive is that he went through three wives, three unmarried lovers, 15 legitimate children, and at least 5 illegitimate.

Recently I was looking at “Trail of Tears” trail, and I noticed for the first time it went through every area Jason Henderson Hunter called home: Macon County, North Carolina, Bollinger County, Missouri, and Greene County, Arkanas.

Once William and some of his grandsons went to Kennesaw Mountain to show where several events happened. Then he was old and walked stooped over. Several times he broke down crying remembering different incidents on the mountain.

A few years ago I asked a park ranger behind the counter at the Kennesaw Mountain Civil War Museum where was William's unit at and he got out several indexed lists and maps and pointed out the area. It was on the ridge that goes between Kennesaw Mountain and Little Kennesaw Mountain, more on the Little Kennesaw Mountain side. I have walked over the general area several times since.

William and Emaline Hunter settled on Main Street in Woodstock where they finished out their days. She died in 1925 and he died in 1928. He died after falling out of a barn loft, breaking his leg and he died not long after that.

William and Emaline's family


William and Emaline Ray Hunter had 9 children. Some stayed in Cherokee County, Georgia, and some went to Florida, one went to the Panama Zone (he helped built the Panama Canal), and my grandfather Frank Paris Hunter moved to Marietta. Frank and his wife Minnie Tyson had 9 children, most were born in Marietta, including my father, and the next generation, most of us many first cousins were born in Marietta.

William’s sister Rebecca married Posey Wild’s son and one of their children also fell out of a barn loft, landing on a pitch folk and dying instantly.


Four Generations: William, grandson Herbert holding great grandson Ray, and son Frank Paris Hunter

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Food Quickly DEPARTED from my Body

See the picture below? The guy cramming himself with food? I wish I had a similar clip art with the food projectiling itself out of the body… that would pretty much sum up my health situation this weekend. But now, I am better, just weak.

Saturday night I was hit hard. We had rented the movie DEPARTED and just as it was getting good I could not hold my head up. I felt only comfortable in a collapsed form on the couch wallowing in my misery and my own indigestion. I don’t think it is not what I ate because Anna and I had the same foods for two days. I think it is a virus.

I lived.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sick today

I should have reported this earlier.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Fine Dining At CLE L'S


Yesterday we had lunch at Clell’s. It is no longer owned by Clell but the spirit of the greasy spoon eatery lives on by its new owner. I bet my cholesterol jumped a few points after eating a country fried steak smother in white gravy and two cat head biscuits.

Clell, before he opened it, was over the lunch counter at Atherton’s Drug Store.

You may remember a previous entry here that I told of Clell kicking a bunch of us out of Atherton’s because Larry B. started throwing his french fries around.

The eatery is nothing fancy. Just plain tables and you don’t wait to be seated, you rush and grab a seat before anybody else grabs it. The only pretentious thing about it is the old times gone by giant black and white pictures of downtown Marietta on one wall.

It looks like a place that attracts natives of Marietta, in fact, I know it does. A lot of my friends eat here for breakfast from time to time. Larry Holcombe (recent posting) ate at Clell's (good gossiping bed) almost everyday – which is a testimony of their fine greasy foods – see where Larry is now.

I saw no one I recognized, but again, no one recognized me. We have all changed since our young-buck years.

As we drove up we saw a lot of service type trucks in the parking lot; electricians, plumbers, etc.

I used to work as a carry-out boy next door at The Big Apple Supermarket, which has been bulldozed away and is now a parking lot.

The eatery used to be a Waffle House. The high what-used-to-be Waffle House sign says CLE L. One of the Ls fell off, I hope it didn’t hit someone or damage a car.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Back To The Love Nest



Reports are coming in about Joe and his “Old Lady”.

Joe’s sister Melissa at college told a friend that the girl Joe knocked up is 20 years old and Joe is 16. Now, doesn’t that make Joe the Jailbait and the girl the perpetrator?

Also Melissa was reported as saying the girl was even dumber than Joe.

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The Secret


The other day I was reminded of the refugees of World War II and the terrible genocide of the Jews during that time.

It reminded me of a time when I was young and did not understand it all. Well, I still don’t understand “why”, so I made no progress in that department.

It also reminded me of a certain incident in about the 3rd grade the principal of Waterman Street School Miss. Whitehead came to our class and wanted to see me. “Uh-Oh, what did I do now?” I thought.

She asked did I know a certain brother and sister that she said by name. I didn’t. She reminded me they were the two that recently enrolled who came from Poland.

Oh yeah! I remembered them! They both looked very sad. Somehow they did not dress like us… the boy wore baggy dressed pants. My peers and I wore tight-ass denims. The girl was sort of an expressionless plane Jane. Well, both of them seem to have no expression. They spoke with an accent.

I would learn later they were Jewish refugees from Poland.

A little math: I was born in 1941. In the 3rd grade I would have been 8 years old, 8 plus 1941=1949. That is about 3 years after the war. But I would think, with a war torn continent things were still in snafu. Somehow, the Polish family ended up in Marietta.

Miss. Whitehead asked did I know where they lived. Of course I knew where they lived. I was sort of a street kid. I knew just about every street and house within a mile of the downtown square – where the best hills and banks to play on, the best trees to climb, and even where most people lived. Mrs. Whitehead knew me too well.

By the way, Miss. Whitehead taught my father and his brothers and sister in the same school building.

I told Miss. Whitehead where they lived. She nodded. She probably already knew, from the forms they filled out when they first enrolled.

She told me neither of them came to school that day. Then she asked me did I know if they moved or anything. Not that I noticed I told her. She asked me to go check to their house and see if they or their family were there.

Me? A third grader doing a truant officer’s job? The city had one truant officer, a Mrs. H. (a story about her will come one day). I went to visit the Polish immigrants house.

It was pouring down raining. There house was on Atlanta Street, only a couple of blocks from where I was born… and also only a couple of blocks from Miss Whitehead’s room at a boarding house.

Why didn’t she go? For one thing, she didn’t want to get wet.

I think with me going it was not an official visit. And she was trying to keep it unofficial. Or maybe, she was just afraid of people with accents.

I knocked and knocked on the door. Nobody came. I walked back in the rain and told Miss Whitehead.

A day or two later the boy and girl was back in school. Later in high school I think they both graduated with honors.

I don’t know where they were that day, it is not like they had to explain why they were not there that day to me… wait, yes it was!

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Blessed Event In the Neighborhood


How old do you think Bob’s son Joe is? 14? 15? 16?

I don’t know. I remember when we were having some remodeling done in 1994 I came home from work one day and the contractor told me that the little kid across the street fell into their pool and they thought he drowned. They called 911 and they medical emergency plus the fire department came and saved his life.

Joe was a little toddler then, maybe 14 months old. So, if he was one year old then, 13 years ago, that would make him 14 or maybe 15 now – I think 16 would be pushing it.

Joe isn’t so little anymore. He is no longer a little kid. He could pick you up and break your back or fling you in to some tree limbs if he had the notion. He is well over six feet tall and probably weighs well over 250 pounds. He reminds me of the 500 pound gorilla joke (any where he wants to).

Yesterday, while outside, I saw that Joe had a female friend following him around. Then I noticed the girlfriend had a huge belly. She was pregnant. She looks as if she could into labor any moment.

One time the mother-to-be was inside, came out with a bucket of water and threw onto the lawn. Then Joe’s mother came out with a mop and did something with it. Is Ann showing the young mother-to-be she was going have to carry her load if she was going to live there?

Then a short time later the three piled into Ann’s van. Joe drove, Ann rode shotgun, the mother-to-be rode in the back seat. It is good she knows her place in the family.

It appears that Joe is about to take on fatherhood at the tender age of 14 or 15. I wonder if he has a job to bring home the bread? I think the highest education he has is maybe the 8th grade until his loving family decided to home school him. I think he and his “old lady” has a long bumpy road ahead of them.

But the important thing is that Bob will be a grandpa.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Look Some More.

I want to get a little more mileage out of the picture below. Look at my father, the second from the left. He is wearing dark blue or black pants and a pale blue shirt. We can’t see his shoes, but I will tell you what kind of shoes he is wearing, heavy black shoes, as in the kind worn with uniforms. He always wore a pale blue shirt, dark blue or black pants, and black leather shoes.

I don’t remember seeing him in anything casual or sporty. I think wearing anything else other than his normal clothes he would have felt like he was being pretentious and a phony.

He was very humble and didn’t put on airs.

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Brothers Line Up


Here is another reunion – but not quiet as formal as the previous reunion I displayed. This is the surviving Hunter siblings (except one in the VA hospital) in the early 1980s. There were many more there, but this is the only picture I managed to capture all the brothers for a posing.

Daddy is the 2nd one from the left.

They look like a lively bunch. By this time their sister, oldest brother, and youngest brother had died but life goes on.

Now, they are dead.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Let's Go To Marietta!!!


Several weeks ago I had a blog postings that talked about The Big Chicken and how it was a good landmark when giving directions. Someplace, in the talk I said something to the effect that all roads leads from Marietta, or maybe I said all roads lead from the Big Chicken.

Maybe all roads also lead TO Marietta.

Remember cowboy star Lash LaRue? His real name was Al LaRue and a writer/producer christened Al Lash LaRue. Lash looked like Humphrey Bogart in a way, and always wore black. Sometimes he used a 15 ft bullwhip and other times he used an 18 ft bullwhip. He could yank his whip off his side and pop it out and snap a gun out of the buy guy’s hand just like that (I’m snapping my fingers)!. When he needed to, which was just about in every movie, he could throw that whip out and the end of it would wrap around a rafter or something and he would swing from point A to point B. Lash was a flash.

His sidekick was a bearded guy named Fuzzy Saint John. Fuzzy’s purpose was about the same as Gabby Hayes’ purpose was in a movie – to give comic relief. Speaking of cowboy hero’s comic relief’s, the only other one I can remember off hand is Smiley “Frog Millhouse” Burnette, who came to Marietta in the late 40s or early 50s.

In the late 50s Lash LaRue came to Marietta. He had a drinking problem, so the word from the police department was. Lash liked the area so much, he decided to look for a job in the area. He stayed someplace in Marietta while he looked for a job. He finally got one at The Furniture Barn south of Atlanta. He was a salesman and did the TV commercials with his whip.

Shortly after Lash LaRue came Fuzzy Saint John also arrived in Marietta and the police officials were called upon. I would probably tell you the details if I remembered them, if I was told at all. You might say the details about Fuzzy is fuzzy.

Lash moved on after a year or so. I don’t know how long Fuzzy hung around. I doubt if “Frog Millhouse” even spent the night.

“Frog” and his comic relief partner – me.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Muggins


This is a postcard of the Terminal Station in Atlanta. It was on Spring Street near Riches, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution Building, the Georgia Power Building, and the Federal Annex. The Federal Annex was directly across the street. Decades after this picture was taken I worked in the Federal Annex.

The Terminal Station way back then might be considered the equivalent to New York City’s Penn Station. It was where most commuters who came via train arrived.

By the time I worked across the street it was a empty old building with drunks and homeless people in every nook and corner.

I parked behind the Terminal. I remember walking to work down a cement passageway that went beside the building. Down the long walk was an exit door that would come out from the inside of the Terminal Building. The door was inset, if that is the right word – the entrance door to open was about two feet in. It made a perfect home for some homeless soul trying to stay out of the wind. The person that normally slept there had a taste for the best. Whenever possible it was a finer vodka brand or bourbon brand (Wild Turkey, etc), or some other elitist drink. Only a very few times did he lower himself to a cheap wine. Once, I saw a human size turd near his snuggling corner. It sort of burst my bubble of the person with the fine taste who tried to stay there at nights – but even the cream of the top have to have bowel movements – right?

The long cement walk with the Terminal Station on one side and a cement wall on the other led down behind the building to where many railroad tracks converged near the old platform of the once lively Union Station. It was below the viaducts and a series of bridges, also on the edge of what would in a few years become Underground Atlanta. That is where we parked our cars. It was the cheapest, $5 a week. We usually walked to our cars in a group and – safety in numbers – and tried to synchronize our arrival time and leaving time and walked to and from the Federal Annex in a group.

But, but time to time, because of different off days and sickness or lateness, at times I had to walk alone. One time I was walking in the dark from my car and a big black man stepped in front of me and asked did I have any money. I always thought it would be wiser not to carry any large amount of money but change with me for this very reason. I told him I only had change and gave it to him. He said that wasn’t good enough and he was so close he grabbed me and got me in a head hold forcing me to bend over. He brought a knife out and said he just escaped from a prison and the pocket change wasn’t good enough. He had whiskey on his breath.

He demanded my wallet, which I wasn’t about to argue about, handed it to him. He saw it was empty and gave it back. Then of all things, he started singing religious songs to me. We walked, with me in a headlock and stumbled all over in the dirt and tripping over tracks, steps, pot-holes, and curbs while he sung to me about how great Jesus was, and the whole time his blade was teasing with my neck and nose.

I kept telling myself to be docile, be docile. Do not give tell him what a mistake he is making. Do not tell him how wrong he is – and most of all, do not lose your temper and call him names. Then, a car came bumping across the railroad tracks and he pushed me away with sudden force like I sprung from his body and away he went into the darkness…. Then, away, I ran into the opposite darkness.

The Terminal Station was bulldozed away and in its place the Richard Russell Building was built. The Richard Russell Building has many Federal offices, such as the regional HUD offices. It is also where the Federal Courts are held.

Also, it wiped us out of a cheap parking place.

However, the Atlanta Post Office came to our rescue by buying 3 or 4 nearby vacant lots for its employees to park in and it was Free! But it was the same deal as previously, safety in numbers, which did not always work out when you are the only number (one).

One time I walking over the bridge that went over the tracks and through part of the Southern Railway Building about 11:30 one rainy night and a tall skinny black man approached me from the opposite direction. He was staggering. When he got near he asked if I had a cigarette. I said yes and took my pack of Winstons out of my pocket and tapped the bottom of the pack with my finger which would partially eject a cigarette, so the man could reach over, take a cigarette and be on his way. He didn’t grab the cigarette as I was hoping for, he grabbed my wrist.. He said he wanted my coat. Unlike the last time, I had a surge of adrenalin and told him he couldn’t have it. We started grabbing at each other, but keeping a dancing distance. Somehow he lounged at me and I caught his torso off balance and flung him and he fell the against the curb and he let out a cry of pain. I took off running. Then, I remembered he never got his cigarette, so I ran a few steps back towards him and said, “Take the whole pack!” And then I ran to work.

I quit smoking years ago.

Thank you elementaryhistoryteacher of Georgia On My Mind and the American PresidentsBlog for pointing me to The Atlanta Time Machine site which is loaded with old Atlanta Post Cards.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Alter Ego


There is now a program available that you can build in your computer’s memory whatever you want to be. This was on the CBS Sunday Morning News Show that we try to catch every Sunday morning.

If you wanted or wished you had another life all you have to do is get on the computer with this program and slip into your alter Ego. If you want to live by the lake, you can have a cabin by the lake, if you want to lose a few pounds and not be bald, make your alter ego slimmer with a full head of hair. If you want to fly, you can do that to, according to the article this morning. You can make your alter ego good looking in a successful environment just by selecting things and hit Enter.

This looks very similar to playing paper dolls, only more advanced.

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The Old Phone Book - a Visit to the Past


Yesterday we gained possession of an old 1954 Marietta telephone book. The book has 75 pages of pages (not counting the yellow page section) and was in large print. The book was used actively when I was about 13 years old.

I looked up several people that I ran around with or was related to and to see their old addresses and their old telephone numbers. Seeing each old brought back familiarity. And also, flipping through the yellow pages seeing the ads of businesses that are long gone and almost forgotten… My father's name was listed as living on Manget Street. 1954, the same year of the phone book was the year we moved from Manget. The telephone number was the same as it is today, except now all numbers have a prefix of the area code, because there are 3 area codes in Metro Atlanta. it was like a time machine visit to the past.

Also, when looking at something like this it may stir up some questions you did not know to ask. For instance, it showed my uncle living on Blackwell Road. He did not live on Blackwell Road, he lived on Ebenezer Road about a third of a mile from the Blackwell Road intersection. I wonder why he was listed as living on a road he did not live on, but fairly close to? I guess the best and easiest answer would be: Who cares?

Now, the latest Marietta telephone book has 764 pages of small plus the yellow pages. That is much more than ten times larger than the 1954 book.

My, how we have grown.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Friday Ramblings

About a year ago, near the Lockheed main parking lot on South Cobb Drive, I noticed a road leading off with a sign that said “Southern Polytech College”. I was curious, because Southern Polytech was about a mile away on Marietta Parkway which at that point would be about parallel to South Cobb Drive. I took a Google high-in-the sky trip over that territory and saw , sure-‘nuff, a little road winding from South Cobb Drive, through a wooded area and onto the campus then ending on Marietta Parkway.

Yesterday I made the drive. It is a beautiful drive. It is a rambling roving hills little drive that goes by wooded areas, over little bridges with bubbling creeks and is just a nice little pleasant drive, almost in inner-city Marietta.

Also, when Atlanta hosted the Olympics, part of it was on this campus. Don't ask me which part.

Speaking of inner-city, I also went to the Main Library in Marietta to do some genealogical research. I forgot a pad to write on and stopped at a dollar store to buy one in the same shopping center the Census office was at in the year 2000, which I worked for. The shopping center now had a lot of what looked like drug pushers hanging around, leaning against the storefront, each with an invisible sign on saying, “All You Have To Do Is Ask”. In the parking lot were two men leaning against their cars, which were parked a couple of rows from each other. Each was playing loud hip-hop music on their car radios. They looked like they were waiting for customers too. The unique thing is that they were both playing loud music from the same radio station. I think if their radios were on different stations it would be an ear-sore, or confusing. I thought that was considerate.

At the Library I got a parking place up front, which I thought was unusual. Usually I have to park a long way away and walk. But not this time. This morning I read in Sister Mary Martha's blog it is lent time. And for lent, one of the things she does is gives up is a good parking place. I wonder if that is why I had my choice of several good parking places? Now, I think it was a divine gift!

I went into the library to the Georgia Room which is for historical and genealogical research. I usually have a target thing to do when I visit the library and that is what I did yesterday. I tackled a book of obituaries in Cherokee County Georgia. I found several items on my ancestors and relatives of their deaths. I think the most news-worthy of something I didn’t know before, was one relative was killed in a car crash in Alabama in the 1930s. I didn’t know that.

The Georgia Room had mostly the bathed powdered down elderly, each doing his or her research. But, outside the Georgia Room is a reading area. A stench was in the air. A gagging stench.

I noticed a lot of what appeared to be homeless people sitting around reading magazines. They looked unkempt with dirty clothes. They probably had their worldly belongings all in a backpack or rolled up blanket. I doubt it they had a nice warm shower of bath in a long time. It was cold outside, very cold and windy. They were inside where they could be away from the weather. Some looked sad and pitiful. I bet each had an interesting story.

I wonder what they gave up for lent?

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Blogg Blogg Blogging Along

My old co-vintage-comicbook fan buddy El Postino has an interesting blog post up on his blog on why us Bloggers are bloggers. Good insight El!

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Fidel


I am viewing off and on a two hour study of Fidel Castro on the TVo that was left on it when my son gave it to us. I am about half through.

It is interesting and how he and his small band of fighters (somehow it reminds me of Robin Hood’s small band of rebels) stayed in the mountains waiting until the time was right to strike. Castro was a good strict leader and he knew how to play the war game when he was outnumbered.

He was also a good politician. He was charismatic – he knew what to say and do to get the masses of people to fall behind him.

I thought it was interesting that at one time in his life he and his newly wed wife lived in New York, Brooklyn I think. Can you picture the leader the future leader of a powerful nation and a thorn in the United Sates’ ass sitting on the steps of his apartment house in Brooklyn watching the kids play ball in the streets and hollowing at his neighbors?

When he was in a Cuban prison for his part in a coup he was having an love affair by letters with another woman. Somehow his letters that crossed and his wife received the letter meant for his lover pen-pal and his lover pen pal received his wife’s letter. His wife left him.

So, is it Fidel Castro or Infidel Castro? Wait! Does Castro appreciate good music? Maybe it is Hi-Fidel Infidel Castro!

Stick around, I got a million of ‘em!

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Judy Makes A Change


Judy of Just Ask Judy has made a change. She changed her blog to Imagine What I'm Leaving Outt.

I asked her why she was changing her format and she said it was time to change. I hope Mr. Kenju is not feeling nervous about now.

On her new blog site Judy has kept her visual excellence and her positive beat. It looks great!

Yes, that is Judy pictured above. Judy Canova.

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You Are Fired!

About 40 years ago the Atlanta Post Office’s Postmaster was a man we will call Gregory. I’m not sure Gregory knew about the flow of mail, that was what his lieutenants were for. However, Gregory was an excellent speaker. He knew how to dazzle employees with statistics giving meaning to their jobs.

I remember when I was among the 50 or so new employees that sat quietly as he spoke to us. He said if the growth trend continues at its present rate, in another 50 years they will need the same amount of employees in the Atlanta Post Office, as they are citizens in Atlanta now. Isn’t that impressive? And it was also job security. However, what we didn’t know, as he spoke, they were working on automation.

He went on to say there are people in Atlanta very sick that needs their medicines. He said if they don’t receive their medicine through the mail in a timely fashion they will die. He said when one of them doesn’t receive their medicine when it is suppose to arrive they get on the phone and call him and he gets to the bottom of it (he banged on the podium angrily)!

“Gosh!!! What a nice heroic man wise man!” we were pumped up think. He was very inspirational. Also, that was all hot air.

Gregory’s true self came out several times before he retired when I worked in Atlanta.

Of course the getting the mail to people is a 24 hour operation. The bulk of clerks that sorted the mail by various ways worked at night.

On more than one occasion at the Federal Annex, where most the mail went through then, Gregory appeared in the middle of the night wearing Bermuda shorts, and a golf go-to-hell hat carrying a golf club. The floor managers would walk with him. He pointed at various black people men and women, and say “fire him, fire him, fire her, fire him, fire those two…” and so on. Then he would go to the next floor and repeat the process.

Whoever he pointed at a supervisor in the know would go tell the person to go sit in the break room until he came and got them. Most of the them knew the game and knew and knew it would be a good time to sit around and watch TV. If they were knew and didn’t know, when they were “temporarily fired” somebody told them the game.

Gregory never told them to fire a white person.

On one such firing a new aggressive young tall blond girl observed and overheard Gregory saying “fire that person with the hat on and that one with the red shirt and…” and saw the supervisor go tell the employee something and they would leave.

She came to their rescue. She walked up to the postmaster and ask why were he firing them, they were working like they were supposed to. He was speechless! Nobody talked back to the Postmaster, leader of 8000 employees. He was furious and sputtering. He left the workroom floor.

But he didn’t leave without telling a supervisor he wanted her name.

Later in the morning a supervisor walked up to her and told her to report to the Postmaster’s office.

She went. The outer office where the secretary and gopher sit was empty. She heard noises in the inner office. She went in. There he was sitting there steaming. He chewed her out saying she was fired and fussed back saying she was going to report him and they were screaming at each other and he was moving around in his chair so heavily, it tilted over and fell.

Then he started vomiting. He got vomit all over his face and clothes, stood up again, and told her she was fired, get out, and then fell again.

The girl left. When she walked out to the outer office the secretary was coming in. She told the secretary that she needed to call an ambulance the postmaster was very sick.

The next night she went back to work, as if nothing had happened, and except telling a lot of people, like me, the incidence was never spoken about again. She was still there when I transferred to Marietta in 1981.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Advertising Tips


Show the girl saying, “What A Man!” and they will purchase the product you are advertising..

Show the man getting the girl and they will buy more than one.

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HAPPY SAINT VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

All and Not All


I came across this picture today. As far as I know this is the only picture that our immediate family of four were all in that didn’t have extended family members in it.

Although my youngest sister would not be born for about another 10 or 11 years – a picture of all five of us and no one else does not exist.

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Larry E. Holcombe (1942-2000)


In an earlier blog entry a few days ago I mentioned my friend Larry, who I jumped through an opened car window of his yet-to-meet future wife Sheila.

Larry’s name was Larry Eugene Holcomb. He was born April 10th 1942 and died July 3, 2000. He lived 58 years.

He was a good friend of mine that I ran around with since childhood. I was almost a year older than Larry. Our back yards touched.

When we were around 7 or 8 or so we played cowboys a lot. Our back yards were an opened cattle range. The old leaning chicken house in our back yard was a salon when it wasn’t a ship sailing the high seas. Whatever mode we were in, we knew to report back home at 4:30. Four thirty was the time The Long Ranger came on the radio. We were faithful fans. We had Long Ranger’s badges we sent off to Maretta Bread for. Larry wore a Long Ranger’s black mask. I felt fruity with mine on, so I lost it.

Across the street from my family’s house was Larry Bell Park. Larry Bell, named of the CEO of Bell Bomber that eventually became Lockheed was huge sports complex that had tennis courts, softball fields, baseball fields, Little League Fields, and much more. It also had a creek going down the length of it. On our side of the creek was all just about wild growth. At one time they made three level plateaus for tennis court but just never developed it beyond the three levels. That was another opened range we would put our sticks between our legs and gallop over looking for evil bad guys with pencil thin mustaches.

Larry’s mother Jackie made him do his homework at a certain time everyday. I forgot what time was homework time but it sure put a damper on my playing.

On Saturday mornings we went to the movies. A.M. Saturday morning movies were targeted towards us young adolescents. His younger cousin Tate would meet us up at the theater and sit with us. After the movie was over and we left to meet the bright glaring sunlight our biggest project was to lose Tate. Sometimes we did, sometimes he managed to keep up.

Larry’s next door neighbor was Cliff White, who was also his uncle. Cliff had his hand in local politics and after a while of living next door, Larry’s father decided to get into local politics also. He went to see my father who was chief of the Marietta Police and asked for his support when he ran for councilman of our ward. I don’t think Daddy committed one way or the other. He frowned on Gene I think because Gene was showing signs of drinking a lot, and then Cobb County was a dry county.

Gene ran for councilman and won, without Daddy’s help. Later he ran for State Representative and won that too. I thought Gene looked like Lash Larue. Cliff went on up too. He became Deputy Commissioner under Commissioner Herbert McCollum. It was under Herbert McCollum that we lost our fine old stately courthouse and the county changed with the times: modern buildings and hands under the table deals. Jesse McCollum, Herbert’s wife was my 3rd grade teacher.

One time or another Larry enlisted into the Air Force. I forgot in what stage of life his life he was in at the time.

Larry and I ran around with the same bunch in high school. Sometime in the later years of high school Gene got caught with his hands in the till. He was treasurer of the State Fireman’s Fund, whatever that is, and he was caught embezzling the money. He was sent to prison, where he died. I never spoke brought it up to Larry, but he did to me several times.

Before Gene was caught he built up a lucrative juke box and pinball machine business. He had machines in all the private clubs in Cobb County that sold booze. It was still a dry county, but as long as it was a private club and no killings the law stayed away. These private clubs also had gambling with slot machines and poker games.

I should mention by then my father was out of the picture. Although when he was in the picture he and his men raided the world famous Aunt Fanny’s Cabin Restaurant in Smyrna, and shocked the elite How dare him?!

For Larry’s family to survive he had to keep the coin operated machines up. Once a week he would go to each club, take the money out of the machine, count it out, show the person in charge and rake off half of it to them. No need for paper work – no taxes.

At times I went with Larry to help him. He had an old truck we would to from place to place in. I suppose it was the company truck that was also used to deliver new juke boxes or whatever.

We went to a club that looked like a big plantation-style house on the 4-Lane, aka Cobb Parkway*. What is a big mansion looking house doing on the 4-Lane which wasn’t even a road until about 1950? I don’t know, but this house is close to Barclay Circle. In Civil War times the Fletcher family (that owned the famous Kennesaw House in Marietta where Andrew Raiders spent the night before The Great Locomotive Chase) had a summer home on Barclay Circle. They stayed on Barclay Circle when Sherman came to town in 1864. They were wealthy, so I suppose they had a big house of the times there, which as I said, is probably less than a quarter of mile through the woods to this club with a colonial-style house. If it did have historical significance it doesn’t matter. After the club moved on Strother Ford had their dealer ship there and the big building was their sales office. And, in time, it no longer served the needs of having a modern look, so it was probably bulldozed away. It is no longer there. Progress.

I wandered off the subject. Getting back on track, we went to the club I mentioned above, got all the money out of the machines, counted it, showed the manager, then raked off half of it and gave to him his share. Larry raked his part into a white cloth sack he carried for that reason. We got into the truck, drove down the road a short distance and Larry looked around and no white cloth sack. We pulled over and looked all over the truck. It was not in the truck.

Larry said he must have left it at the club we just left. We returned and went in. The few people playing poker at a nearby table and the manager and bartender all said they haven’t seen it. I bet at least one of them did. There was about $200 in the sack.

When we left I was really teed off at some unknown dishonest person in there. Larry didn’t say a word against them but he blamed himself for leaving the sack available.

Most of us in our late teen years and early manhood years would drink socially. Larry didn’t drink alcoholic beverages at all. He was right in the middle of it but he didn’t touch the stuff but had nothing ill to say about drinking. I think he didn’t drink because both of his parents were heavy drinkers. One time he told me Gene and Jackie left the Elks Club and stopped at a convenience store and Gene went into buy cigarettes. Jackie, under the influence, forgot her husband was in the store, and scooted over to the driver’s side and drove home. The state representative had to walk in the middle of a cold night home.

One time Larry bought a black 57 Chevy from another childhood friend Bobby. It had a soup up engine and loud muffles. It rumbled when it idled – it sort of reminded me of a big black animal growling and ready to pounce on something when it idled like that.

Right after he bought it from Bobby, at Varner’s, he and I rode around in it a while. It was late at night. We were going down Cobb Parkway (aka 4-Lane) and was in a desolated part of the highway at that time, at the bottom of the hill in front of what would become White Water Amusement Park and the engine cut out and went dead. We tried pushing it off the road when we heard a big truck up near the top of the hill. Then we saw its lights getting closer and closer. We both decided the truck was destined to hit the car at a high rate of speed and we ran. I thought about the brake lights. If the truck could see the red brake lights it would warn him. I ran back to the car and jumped in and put my foot on the brake petal. By now the truck lights lit up the whole back window. When I pressed the pedal the truck began to make all kinds of squealing noises and almost went by us sideways with dust and gravel flying…. But it kept on going by us and continued its journey. I was a fool.

I forgot what we did to get his car home, or how we got home.

My re-found childhood friend Walker reminded me that he worked with Larry at Atlantic Steel for a few years. That got me thinking about poor Larry. Larry left Atlantic Steel and went in business for himself selling advertising specialties. He sold ashtrays with company names on them, matchbooks with companies names, balloons, calendars, etc. He had a territory he worked from Marietta to Rome, Georgia, 50 miles away.

We would call each other about every week to 10 days and share gossip of our friends we grew up. Both of us were naturally nosy and had a good rapport sharing information.

Larry and Sheila had a daughter and a son. I saw them at Larry’s funeral They both grew into two nice looking adults.

Larry began to come down with various ailments. He was a sick man. He could not handle his company any more and sold it.

He lost his health insurance plan when he sold his company so he had to find a job that offered insurance. He went to work for Krogers.

I never heard him complain… although life has treated him pretty badly. He never quit going to Crestview Baptist Church where we went as kids.

He mostly worked the video department at Krogers. Every time I went in I the store I would walk over and talk to him. One time while we were talking the two huge brothers I keep seeing that I call “Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum” on my blog were checking out videos. After they left I asked Larry what was their story. Larry shook his head and said it was a bad situation and he was about to tell me and a customer wanted help. Then suddenly his line backed up for people checking out videos. I told him I would talk to him later. That was the last time I saw him alive. He left me with a cliff hangar.


He called me about three days before he died to tell me the latest on our friends and added that he fell and broke his leg and the doctor prescribed some pain medicine that did not agree with him. It sure didn’t.

At his funeral the local Masons that he was part of did a ceremony with aprons, poles, flags, and whatever else to make it look mystic. His sister, Peggy, was so sick with some kind of MS disease and woozy over medicine that she could hardly walk to the grave site. I had to hold her up as she slowly took one step at a time. I remember when was a lively little ball of fire. Now, she looked utterly confused and was crying. She was the last of her family. She and Larry buried their mother Jackie a year or so before.

Although she had a husband and grown children, I bet Peggy felt very alone that day.


*You can always tell a native if a person over 50 is a native or newcomer to Cobb County. If he says “Cobb Parkway” instead of “The 4-Lane” he is a newcomer carpet bagger.

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Abe's & Charles' Birthday

David Parker is a history professor at Kennesaw College. His blog Another History Blog this morning was a Happy Birthday salute to Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. They were both born this date in 1809. The scientific community and the world politics have not been the same since their doings - which is a good thing.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Yep! That 's Her, Alright!


I would like to make a public confession of an affair I had not too long ago.

One day I was out on a walk enjoying my myself when up drives a big limousine. The back window rolled down and this blond lady stuck her head out and said, “You sure are handsome! Short bald headed men with big feet turn me on!”

To make a long story short she suggested we get a motel. When I registered I was trying to think of a name to use and she whispered, “Used Smith!” and winked at me and smiled.

Well, now that her picture was all over the news this weekend I recognized her. The poor thing died. And also the news said she had a daughter, which she gave birth to just about 9 months after our fling.

Now what do I sign to admit the child is mine?

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A Run In The Neighborhood

Yesterday was a pleasant day. I like to have a good sweat-breaking walk on the treadmill before daylight. But, being lazy, I procrastinated and procrastinated and just didn’t get around to it. Later, I was cooking lunch out on the grill and realized it was a beautiful day outside. After we ate I decided to go for a run.

Besides, I have copied some old LP albums and some were on my little MP3 player and that is the only time I get to listen to it is when I exercise outside – so, I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

I ran up and down the streets of subdivision to beat of The Beatles and Al Hirt’s Dixieland stuff. Not only did I enjoy the music but I think some dogs in the neighborhood also commented about my music – a few tried to harmonize by howling – I think their sensitive ears can pick up what is coming out my earphones.

I noticed it was a good day for realtors to show houses. Three houses for sale in the neighborhood has company, each had two additional cars in the their driveways, or on the street – one for the potential buyer and one for the sales person. I hope they had luck in selling. Soon grass will be growing and somebody needs to cut the grass.

A I was running and two people ahead of me were walking their dogs. One was a tall teenager I have seen waiting on the bus stop in the mornings and the other was a lady by the name of Anne in her late ‘60s.

The teenager had two big dogs, each wanting to go in opposite directions and Anne had a perk little baby poodle which looked like a contrast of the two bigger dogs.

Which reminds me – the other day, while driving out, at the end of our street and the entrance of the new McMansions newly built, I saw a huge black man in a dark blue running suit. He was maybe 6’5” or more, and he had a little white toy poodle. Speaking of contrasts! I reminded myself again it is important to always have my camera with me.

Back to being behind Anne and the teenager and their dogs: A car came along and got behind them. The two humans and the 3 dogs hogged the whole street. The car couldn’t pass them. They were so self-centered they were not aware of the car that had to stop. behind them or me. Whenever I exercise on the street I try to keep an awareness of all around me – I don’t want to be dog bit or ran over. But they didn’t seem to think of that. They just kept talking and walking slowly.

I didn’t let it interfere with my mission. I simply ran pass them by running through a yard. When I got to the next street corner before I turned in I saw they were still blabbing and the car was slowly creeping behind them.

I ran down a couple more streets and then back towards our house. By then Anne and her dog in her driveway. She waved and my heart rate was up to its maximum anyway, so needed a rest, so I stopped and spoke to her. She asked how was my health, she hadn’t talked to me in a while. I told her about my heart attack and my stroke (which I already told her one day at Wal-mart). She seemed surprised and concerned and told me about her opened heart surgery. Which she already told me one day at Wal-Mart, but of course she didn’t remember telling me that – but to be nice I acted like it was news… and I will the next time she tells me too.

Then she said the reason she asked me about my health is that she is talking a wonderful pill that cleanses every cell in your body and it has done wonders for her. I think she was trying to hawk some kind of Amway product or something on me… and it probably works on the pyramid scheme plan.

I told her I took too much prescribed medicine already and bent over and petted the poodle and asked questions about it.

As I ran off I said of course she didn’t remember me telling her of my heart attack and stroke because I am invisible. And of course she didn’t remember telling me of her opened heart surgery, because how can you tell empty air something?

But wait! Didn’t I act surprised also when she told me about her’s? Yes I did, the same as she did. So, maybe she went into her house muttering something about me not remembering we went through all this before….. now, who thinks they are invisible?

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Old Friendships Renewed


I Love My Blog

My blog is never spectacular. It has never won an award and won’t. It breaks all grammar rules, journalism rules, and every other rules it can get away with.

By most standards, it may not be such a good blog and might even be an eyesore to the discriminating viewer. But it is me (me batting my eyes).

However, it does something that is pure magic to me. It brings old companions boiling up to the surface. Old friends that I thought I would never see again came across my blog and we rekindled our friendship. That has happened at least five times that I can think off hand.

Yesterday an old friend that I have known since the first grade but haven’t seen him since our graduation from high school emailed me. He asked was I the Eddie Hunter that lived on Manget Street in Marietta. Yes and I asked…and was he the Walker G. that had a sister named Grace and lived on Waterman Street? Yes. He got a hold of my blog about Marietta and things got too familiar. We were good friends during grammar school then in high school we drifted our separate ways – I was attracted to the wild hell raising crowd and he was attracted to quiet studious crowd. Due to blogging our friendship as been renewed.

Priceless!

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

He Died?


Yesterday a person called me and told me she just talked to G. G told her that his brother P had died. I hated to hear that an old friend of mine that I have known since I was about 7 years old dying. P was one of the boys on my mind as I wrote the previous blog entry about Varner’s Drive In – in fact I was typing it in the rough the Varner report when she called.

She said G told her P moved to a small town in North Georgia and had enough land that he kept a horse on. And then he died. I knew G knew what he was talking about because I knew P had bought some land in North Georgia and he did have horses. His death was difficult for me to accept because I saw P at the Bell Gang Reunion in October and he looked healthier than any of us. He didn’t look much different than he did when we were in high school in the 50s.

I called a friend to ask him if he knew about P’s death. This friend is another P, so I will call him Paul. Paul does remodeling. I told him what the person told me about G telling her of P’s death and he felt about the same as I did, he looked healthy enough back in October. He said he was doing some remodeling for our late friend Roger’s daughter and she was best friend’s with P’s daughter. He turned around and told her and she was surprised about P’s death also.

While P was on his cell phone with me Roger’s daughter called P’s daughter and asked about P’s death. She said the old fart was still alive this morning and was grouchy as usual.

So, why did G start this death rumor about his own brother? To see if news of a death travels as fast as an electric circuit? Which, it just about did.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Hanging Out at Varner's Drive In


(advertisement in 1957 Marietta High School yearbook The Olympian)

Back in high school in the late 1950s on Friday nights after our outings, dates, a football game, movie, or whatever many of us would meet at Varner’s Drive-In Restaurant. We met to tell of our experiences the previous hours. Of course, you had to listen to a lot of bragging and exaggerations but after a while you got to know who was living in a fantasy world and just smile and look amazed at the exploits they told you about. Most times some of our peers would be staggering drunk. It was like a big social party with Freddy the carhop serving the hors d’Oeuvres of chili burgers (with plenty of onion bits), chili dogs (with plenty of onion bits), and french fries on a tray that he hooked on your car window door.

I remember Varner’s Restaurant sold Nu-Grape in the bottles. At that point in my life there was nothing better tasting than a Varner’s chili burger in a sweaty steamed bun, an order of fries, and a Nu-Grape drink. Boy, have I grown.

Freddy the carhop was a witty black man with a house full of children. He knew he who could kid with and who not. He also knew how to gravitate to the big tippers. I used to call him “Fresh Up Freddie” who was an advertising icon for some soft drink – 7 Up I think.

At times there were fights. It seemed the fights were always the same few boys who felt they had to prove themselves – many times it was with a new teenage boy who was visiting Varner’s for the first time. Each of them reminded me of bantam roosters. A few of the fighters didn’t make it to adulthood. They were willing to take a chance showing off doing reckless driving.

Inside Varner’s Restaurant was a fully lit interior restaurant with no frills. It had about 15 or so simple tables, similar to dinette tables and straight back chairs. A long counter with stools went across the whole room. Behind the counter the owner Paul Varner, a nice looking polite man, and his cooking staff of 3 or 4 women were always busy over the grill. Paul had blond hair and reddish skin – he sweated a lot around all that hot kitchen-ware. He looked the other way of all the fighting, drinking, and hell raising in his parking lot. They were his repeating customers.

I didn’t know at the time Paul and his siblings inherited the land the restaurant was on, an adjoining land that became Varner Heights subdivision, and they also owned the land that Town and Country Shopping Center would be built in 1960 and 1961. They would soon be very wealthy.

Behind the drive-in was a big opened field, of course owned by the Varners. One time Oral Roberts had a big tent revival healing session there. We watched as what seemed to be thousands parked all over the place and went into the huge tent. Some came on crutches and some were pushed in by wheelchair. One of my friends, who later was killed in Savannah, went to the Oral Roberts revival pretending to limp and let Oral heal him. He said he jumped up hollowing :
“Oral Oral!
He’s Our Man!
If he can’t heal us,
Nobody Can!

And he ran out laughing. I am not sure he told the truth or not. He could have elaborated a lot. We saw him go in the tent. But we don’t know what happened after that. He was the type to embellish special bizarre touches to his supposedly truthful yarns.

After that in the same spot a go-cart race track was built. I remember the person who looked very much like an Indian (U.S. – Western) operated it. From time to time some boys would walk over from Varner’s and speed around the tracks. That was sort of fun – but some of the boys made it dangerous.

Now the area is a Burlington Coat Factory Outlet store and the parking lot is where Varner’s Drive-In used to be.

The drive around Varner’s was sort of like the letter Q. You drive in, drive around and then leave. Teenagers from other high schools would cruise through all evening long.

One evening while standing around socializing two girls drove around once, and cruised around again. It was summer and car windows were down. On their second trip, I being a bit of a showoff, ran, leaped, and dove headfirst in their back window. They pulled over, I talked to them. They were from Cartersville, which is about 30 miles away. I remember one of their names was Sheila. My friend Larry walked up hoping to be introduced to the lovely girls and was introduced. He started dating Sheila and they both went to the same college after that. Sheila became a school teacher but later started working in antiques. I have only seen them a couple of times at restaurants or funerals in the past 40 or so years, although Larry always called me about every week or so to share or spread gossip about our friends.

At Larry’s funeral I told Sheila, “I doubt if you remember me…” She interrupted me and said, “Rock, of course I remember you!” Which, I suppose she would, if it wasn’t for my daring window dive her children and grandchildren would be completely different people. I was sorry about Larry but darn flattered she remembered me – usually I am invisible.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jones Family Reunion c1912/1913


Remember not too long ago on this blog was a picture of the Jones reunion estimated to be 1929? Remember how the genders were separated – the men on the left and the women on the right? Also, they were dressed in their best.

The picture was probably taken in the area of what used to be Milton County, between Alpharetta and Cumming, Georgia.

Here is the same family, posing for a reunion picture about 16 years before. Again, the sexes are separated and they are dressed in their best.

However, there is a different in the line-ups. Variety is the spice of life.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Living Blog Blob

I think it would be interesting if I was somebody else and stumbled upon a blog entry of mine within a few minutes after it first appeared.

I normally first do my text in MS Word which will catch most my misspells and some of my grammar errors – but as much as I shove to it at one time it can’t catch everything.

And I am my own worse proof reader while using the same format (Word).

However, when I look at my entry after it first hits the blog site I see some of my errors instantly for the first time. I looked at the text in a different state of mind, I suppose. I quickly go back to the dashboard and correct what I spotted. Then, I go back and continue and maybe see another error and again go back.

Sometimes I see something is missing go I add a paragraph to explain something. Then again, I may see that I explained something in the ground and go back and delete it.

The other day I was reading a blog and a new entry materialized instantly before me.

So, I suppose it is possible for someone to be reading my blog during my correction-jam session with myself. He or she might see words change its spelling to give an entirely different meaning, it might suddenly shorten itself when a paragraph disappears, and bloat up with the addition to an even longer paragraph…. “Gads! It is like an amoeba feeling around for something to eat!” they might think.

The above is by Wallace Wood in MAD comic #1.

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Postal Carriers 101


We live far enough from the city of Marietta to be on a rural route. A rural route carrier does not have to go by the same rules as the city carriers do. Sometimes rural route carriers have to drive their own vehicle to deliver mail, but they are reimbursed for the mileage. A city carrier gets a uniform allowance and has to wear a uniform. A rural route carrier may choose his own fashion, which some look dress like they had the “Apple Annie” look in mind, and some look like they had read too many issues of Vogue or GQ.

Regardless how they look, it is the way the mail is delivered that is a big difference in rural route carrier and city carrier. On occasions, especially when a new person is in command, and feels the need to leave his mark – this can be on the local, regional, or national level, will make some kind of new rule. Usually the person making the new rule had no experience carrying mail… they came up the old fashion way, kissing up. When the new procedure rule is implemented it usually slows down the process. And usually after untold amount of overtime is spent on the new procedure management wises up and goes back the old way. I have seen this happen countless number of times.

The rural route carriers are not under the same guidelines and just keep on working the old way and quickly comes and goes. Which brings to mind, a rural route carrier is, in a way, under contract. Once a year his or her route is counted and has a route examiner to ride with them several days to determine how long road time is needed and how much casing time. Normally, during casing time and they are being timed they may work a little slower. If they are too quick they might get additional families added to their route but if they are a bit slower they might even get part of their route cut.

A rural route carrier, who is a friend, is a honest person. He did not slow down during his count – but he was proud of his speed and how quickly he could finish up his route. After the count his route was adjusted – the hours for it decreased. It cost him annually $2000.

Although I have a post office box the rural carrier drive down the street. Sometimes when she sees me working in the yard she will pull over and we talk awhile – tell me some news sometimes. She seems to not be in a hurry. She will be paid the same regardless. She has her route down efficient enough that she makes every move count she can take her own sweet time and still have time to spare.

After the route examiners count and measure the routes and things get back to normal, many times some of the rural route carriers are so efficient they are returning from their route before the city carriers even have their vehicles loaded.

The rural route carriers do not get paid overtime (except for reasons much over and beyond). They get paid the same whether they do their route in 3 hours or in 12 hours. And they is why rural route carriers are very efficient and why city carriers get a lot of overtime.

Speaking of people transporting the mail. They Postal Service has what is know as Star Routes. It is a private hauler who transports the mail, usually in a big truck, to little out of the way towns. Usually they have several little town on their route.

When I first came to the Postal Service I unloaded and loaded trucks during the night. One night a star route truck did not leave the docks when it was suppose to. A mail handler went looking for the driver to tell him he could go, all was loaded and couldn’t find him. He finally, looked in the back of his truck. He found him lying with sacks of mail dead. I think he died of natural causes. No crime committed or anything. I remember it was a very cold night. Several employees were nosy and went to the truck to look for themselves before an ambulance arrived. People are gruesome.



The above stage coach illustrated by Jack Davis was lifted from MAD magazine #24, which so happens to be the first MAD magazine. The first 23 issues were MAD comics.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Universal Soldier


Remember, click on the picture to read the lettering.

How many times have I told you that Harvey Kurtzman created MAD comicbook? I believe more than once. Many.

For the first 23 issues he was the editor, sometimes cartoonist, and he wrote every story.

Before MAD, EC Comics also had a big array of horror and science fiction titles. It also had two war titles: FRONTLINE COMBAT and TWO FISTED TALES. The two war comics were also edited by Harvey Kurtzman in the same way he did MAD. He wrote almost every story, with a few exceptions, and occasionally illustrated a story.

The war comics were produced during the Korean War, and a good deal of the stories were from that war. But there were also stories about the Civil War, World War II, World War I, the Revolutionary War, Romans Wars, and other historical wars.

Kurtzman insisted on accuracy. The events in the stories were historically accurate and so were the uniforms and weapons.

Unlike other war comics of the day Kurtzman did not glorify war. He over and over illustrated that War Is Hell and the good guys don’t always win, in fact the good guys are not always good guys.

I think a good example of how hellish war is the story ENEMY ASSALT! in the first issue of FRONTLINE COMBAT. It is illustrated by Jack Davis. It is about the Korean War.

It is told from one American soldier’s viewpoint. He and his buddies had face to face combat with the enemy, the North Korea Communist soldiers. After the smoke clears just he and a Commie soldier are the only ones that survived. There are bodies all around them.

They each have their gun aimed at each other, each wanting to take the other as a P.O.W.


The G.I. realizes the Korean can speak English. After they talked the Korean tells him he worked for a wealthy Korean who had an apartment in New York City and he was a servant. The G.I. said he went to NYU and as they talked with their arms trained on each other they found out they lived only a block from each other in NYC. They probably saw each one time or another.

They pulled out their pictures and showed each other pictures of their wives and children.


They both saved money and each bought a farm. They had similar lives.

What they did not know was that each side was approaching the long deep trench for another fight.


A fellow G.I. made his presence known and the North Korean he had been talking to turned to shoot the American intruder. Instead, the first person G.I. shot and killed his new friend.


As Alvin in Little Lulu said, “War is heck!”

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The New Yorker Cartoons - the best!

Yesterday I dropped by one of my son’s house to let out the dog. While there, I flipped through about the past 4 or 5 The New Yorker magazines. You just can’t beat the cartoons in The New Yorker. Maybe Playboy magazine would run a close second, but The New Yorker would win.

In high school at the drug store magazine rack I used to enjoy flipping through The New Yorker looking at the cartoons. Back then Charles Addams’ gruesome cartoons lured me to the mag. But with or without Charles Addams’ cartoons, The New Yorker cartoons rule!

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Charles b Feb 4, 1925


This is Anna’s uncle Charles. Yesterday he celebrated his 82nd birthday.

When he was a teenager in Marietta, probably about when this picture was taken, many times he would ride his bike to Atlanta to watch the planes fly and take off.

In WWII in he went to various aviation and navigation schools and became a pilot. Afterward the war he was a pilot for TWA. He and his family lived in Kansas City. After he retired and his three daughters went in their various directions he and his wife moved back to Marietta.

He still looks much like the picture above - the award for eating lightly and healthy.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl - 2nd Most EatingTime in U.S.?


Here we are! Super Bowl Sunday!

This evening millions of people, mostly men, will hunker in front of the TV and do their “Go Go!” or “Hold’em back!” grunts. Tons of neat little finger foods and much beer will be consumed. I think I heard it is the second most feasting day of the year. It is a ritual.

Why?

Because it is there.

During the game you will see some humdinger innovative commercials and probably a fantastic half-time show…. Wardrobe malfunction or not.

Once when I was a time keeper at the Atlanta Post Office the upper management asked one of my co-workers would he go to the Super Bowl with a free ticket and all he had to do was to take names of fellow Postal co-workers that were also at the game. I think it was in New Orleans that year. When he returned his list the names were compared to who had advance approved leave and who called in on sick leave.

In a short time he was promoted to the head of our department. It pays to kiss ass and tell on your peers.

The First Baptist Church of Marietta will televise the game on a big screen TV. I guess there is a message there.

A couple of years ago a lady I used to know, who my family lived next door to, died. I grew up with their many children. When I went to the funeral home to pay my respects the lady’s children were there, even the one with Alzheimer’s disease, but I was the only visitor that wasn’t a family member.

She was an very active member of her church. It was the same church I went to as a child, Crestview Baptist Church. I was hoping to see some of my old church member friends to renew our acquaintances. Then one of the children told me that “T.W.”* ( a deacon) said anybody that wished could drop by his house and have a little fellowship and watch the Super Bowl. Then, I knew why no other visitors were there.





*T.W. has been a deacon since I went to Crestview Baptist Church about 60 years ago. I bet he has changed – I probably would not recognize him. Within the pat 6 months I found out T.W. is a distant Tyson relative of mine. Not through the local Tyson family, but the Tysons that settled in Washington County, Georgia, in the mid 1800s. I am probably more closer related to you, whoever you are.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Georgia On My Mind

If you have an interest in Georgia history or Georgia in general you would do yourself a favor by visiting the blog Georgia On My Mind operated by a Georgia school teacher who is doing a great job presenting Georgia-related items and articles. By her enthusiasm I know she is very dedicated teacher.

About the first of every month (I think) she has The Georgia Carnival edition which people contribute their articles on Georgia days that have gone by. This month among some other-wise good writers is little old me.

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Visiting Old Neighborhoods


Before I spin my yarn, I need to back up a few days.

Last Tuesday morning I had a doctor’s appointment at 7:45am. It is my nature to get places early. As we have said more than once, we do not know how to be late. I got to the doctors’ office at 7:30. They were not open yet.

Another early-aholic was there waiting for the doors to be opened. He was in his 70s and we soon got into a conversation. He told me grew up in Ellijay, Georgia, fought in Korea, and returned to Georgia and went to work for Lockheed and moved to Marietta.

He left Lockheed and went to work for a Mr. Nun. I said, “Barney Nun?”

He said yes. I remember Barney Nun and told him so. He owned Nun-Better Cabinet Company. He was rich. He gave my father financial backing when he ran for Sheriff in Cobb County.

The man I was talking to told me he really thought Mr. Nun was a good man. I told him I heard he was a good man also. I didn’t have a chance to tell him he was my father’s financial backer – the doctors’ doors opened and we scattered to our various places in the office.

Someplace in our conversation he mentioned he lived on Windy Hill Road, and he added, “the poor part”. One part of Windy Hill Road has some exclusive apartments and the part I think he was talking about is lined with old run-down houses now. That part of Windy Hill Road is about a half mile long, but many little cheap businesses that use old houses as their offices. I would guess that actually residences on that street is less than ten – maybe less.
END OF FLASHBACK

Yesterday Anna and I had several chores to do. One of them was her physical therapy on her hand. It would be her last session. She had a carpal tunnel operation not long before Christmas. At the therapy clinic she went back with the therapist and I thought I would sit in the waiting room and read the book I bought. As soon as I got almost two pages read out from the clinic came a Mexican walking with a walker. He was a young man, probably a construction worker who evidently broke his leg at work. It looked with both hands holding to the walker he would want assistance opening the door so I hopped up and opened it for him. He was very thankful. I sat back down and started reading again, and in the on the other side of the door in the corridor I heard the clack clack clack of someone struggling with a walker. Then, it stopped right at the door. The person was having a problem opening the door with his walker. I hopped up and opened the door and another young Mexican man stood there. He was very “gracias” too. I got to read about 3 or 4 pages and the inside door from the clinic opened and another young Mexican man was struggling with metal crutches. I suppose they are all metal now. A little short lady was with him, which I think was probably his wife. I hopped up and opened the door for him. They both said “gracias”. Back reading when I heard the clack clack clack outside on the other side of the door in the hallway. Then it stopped in front of the door and I waited to hear another movement. And I waited. No more noise. I jumped up and opened the door. Nobody was there. I looked down the corridor – no one was in sight.

Oh well, who knows?

One of those old houses on Windy Hill Road that the man at the doctors’ office spoke of was converted to a business is the beauty shop Anna goes to. Earlier that day I carried her to the beauty shop. I was thinking then, I could probably knock on a few doors of the residence houses on Windy Hill and be face to face with the man I was talking to before the doctors’ office opened. If I did such a thing, when he came to the door, I think I would say, “I meant to tell you Barney Nun backed my daddy when he ran for sheriff.” Then smile and go back to my car and drive away. I bet he would be speechless.

But, I didn’t. Instead I cruised around looking at some old neighborhoods in the area I knew as a teenager. Just off of Windy Hill Road on one of the side streets was a little cement porch in front of the house, and in the yard, just a few feet from the steps to the porch was a little flower-cross shrine. Somebody got killed on that spot. That is the first shrine I have seen that is right up in the yard near the entrance. I wonder what happened.

It made me wonder what would happen if a drug deal went bad in somebody’s front yard and everybody started shooting? Would there be four or five flowered Cross shrines in the yard? What if one of the ones killed was an undercover cop – would they have a flower shrine for him as well?

I know on the a thorough fare near by there is a cross flowered shrine with the victim’s ball-cap resting on the top of the cross. If the victim was know for wearing his ball cap backwards, wouldn’t it be appropriate to have the ball cap on the cross backwards?

Around another corner, about a ¾ of mile down the sloped street was the property of grandparents of a friend I grew up with. They had a pond down a slope from the barn and cattle. We use to pile in the back of his father’s truck and visit them. I remember playing all over their property. Now, the pond is still there but there is no old country house and a barn. The pond is surrounded by apartments.

Habitats change but life goes on.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Peanut


This is my uncle W.C. or “Peanut” as some of his cronies called him.

This article mentions that he received the Purple Heart from injuries he received during the Allied Invasion of Sicily.

While recuperating in North Africa he was sitting and talking to someone and he noticed some Sailors standing at the Red Cross tent getting coffee. He told his buddy, see that sailor, it looks like my younger brother. And it was. The short article mentions that meeting also.

W.C. never got over his WWII experience. It haunted him the rest of his life. In the late 1950s or early 1960s he was put in a VA hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia, where he spent the rest of his life. He died in 1998.

Once in the mid 50s he went to huge Lockheed Aircraft complex armed with a shotgun. He demanded for the to vacate the premises, they were on his parents farm land. Which, it would be more correctly to say they were on the farm land of what used to be owned by his parents. The head of the Lockheed Security call the Chief of Police and he came and gently led his older brother away.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Oh No! It Might Rain, Sleet, & Freeze!


Yesterday evening my 85 year old neighbor Jim called me and told me an ice storm is coming in and we will be ice-bound to our homes for at least 3 days. A friend, who also lives in this county, in an email, told me the same thing.

Of the three places that I keep tabs on the weather, it is as predicted here in Metro Atlanta, When I got up at 4:30 it was 33º and now three hours later it is 34º. They said it would be between 32 and 34 degrees, it may or may not get cold enough to freeze, but it would rain a lot. That is exactly what it is doing.

I wonder where my friends get their weather information? They seem to always get a paranoid version with a lot of negative wrong information.

My weather sources also said that north Georgia would have a blast of winter in the form of sleet and snow, and they did. It has already snowed 4 inches in Helen, Georgia.

With the exception of my Navy time I have spent a life time in Metro Atlanta and I think we have been snowbound where we could not drive maybe one time. We were out of power too, so we had to go out and eat, which meant driving, but that was later in the day.

The Georgia State Highway Department let all their road workers to home early yesterday so they would be on hand to do what they would need to do today, which I’m sure they are doing their share of making the highways clear about 30 miles north of here.

I remember when I was in the Navy and a big snow in Lakehurst, New Jersey. I had a PV544 Volvo at the time. The car was completely covered with snow. It wasn’t because the snow was five or six feet deep. It was because of the wind and snow drifts, in the barracks’ parking lot were huge snow lumps, vaguely shaped like automobiles. When you decided which car is yours you just start digging with your hands, hopefully with gloves on, until you can get enough of the snow off to make it drivable. I remember not being sure it was my car until I got the back window cleaned off and recognized the unique shape.

Then it was a team effort with everyone nearby to help each person get going. We, as a group, would push a car, to get it beyond a ice slippery hump, with the owner behind the wheel. After that it was easy going.

Also, at times we went to see my uncle in Carmel, New York. On the trip around bridges and hills there would be barrels of sand on standby I suppose the NY DOT strategically placed. They were ready. We don’t do that in Georgia…. Then when it snows we panic.

I remember one time in Marietta a new shopping center was being built. For a while, it would be the largest shopping center in the southeast. The name of it was Town & Country Shopping Center. They just paved the parking huge parking lot when we got a big ice storm in 1961. Of course schools were closed and most people didn’t go to work. Many of us met in the newly paved parking lot at Town & Country Shopping Center. With our cars, we would do all kinds of sliding tricks. Most of us, at that point in our lives, drove old heaps, so we didn’t mind getting a dent, like we would today. We would drive across the parking lot, building up speed, then slamming on the breaks and then slide, and if we were good enough maneuvering with the steering wheel, spin like a top and everything else. We learned a lot about the physics of snow and tires that day, which helped me year later to get to work at the Atlanta Post Office in the worse of ice storms.

One friend, Mark, had a new red Impala. He was sliding in a graceful way and hit the curb side of the walk in front of the stores and flipped, landed on its top and slid upside down through the new glass window of the new Kroger store. I forgot the details, but I bet he had one hell of a story to tell his insurance company.

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