The Story Teller Meets Chicken Fat
It is nice being retired. We can stay up late and sleep late anytime we want to.
That is unless we have a doctor’s appointment.
We can go to day time things too! Yesterday, for instance, we went to The Marietta History Museum to listen to Ray Duane Ruggles tell about growing up in Marietta.
We were the first ones there (of course). The lecturer Ray Ruggles was there sitting up his props and all. He asked me if I liked old post cards and I said yes, He handed me a book that had one or two photos per page. They all were of Ray sitting on the steps of various state capitols. He said he wanted set out to have his picture taken on the steps of every state capitol of the United States, and he has done all but one, and so the reason he hasn’t done that one yet is because they haven’t built a bridge there yet. He doesn’t fly in airplanes.
Ray and I had the same coach on Little League, Pepper Martin, who also part time played dinner time music on WFOM-AM Radio and announced the Marietta High Football games. Although, I think Ray was a year or so behind me. He was on People’s Finance Team and I was on Southern Discount.
He also told of many other things I saw in Marietta while growing up… we shared this town at the same time – same age – I am surprised we didn’t run into each other, or butted heads, or something – but again, maybe we did, and we just don’t recognize each other now… once the skin get thick, develop wrinkles, the jaws begin to sag, and hair begin to thin… well, your image changes you into a different person, whether you want it to or not.
Ray mostly lived in East Marietta, on the other side of the 4-Lane, just outside the city limits, and I was more inner city… that could explain why we do not know each other.
Ray had a moving story about a childhood friend Dennis Vines who went into the Navy and during a celebration at Midway Islands, jumped off the ship and broke his neck and back. Later, when Ray was in the Navy, and was near where Dennis was in a Naval Hospital he visited him.... he cited a poem he wrote about his friend.
I too had a friend in grammar school named Dennis. Dennis couldn’t stay out of trouble. One time the teacher sent him to the principal’s office and as he walked by the teacher he made a horrible face at her, behind her back of course, and the students roared with laughter. The teacher jumped up and marched Dennis to the principal. Dennis was only with us a year or so until his family moved out of our district. As Ray spoke, I wonder if he was talking about my old lost friend.
He mentioned WPLO Radio station. I almost forgot about WPLO. WPLO was owned by PLOW Incorporated….. We loved to listen to WPLO for a certain period… I think they changed to country, and I was more of a Top 40 Rock and Roll kind of person.
We were talking to the couple seated in front of us before the lecture started and one of the things the lady said was that she was the speaker’s sister, but he gave her instructions not to tell anybody.
Then, near the end he told of his older sister and her date carried him and his two younger sisters to the Strand Theater one night. She and her boy friend left them and went to Ringgold, Georgia, to get a quickie marriage that Ringgold was known for and he and his younger sisters walked home.
While he was telling the story the couple in front of us was blushing, chuckling, and nodding their heads. He topped it off by saying that was 50 years ago and they are still together, then he pointed them out and everybody clapped..
It was an enjoyable entertaining hour. Afterwards, I gave him a card with the electronic address of CHICKEN FAT on it. He looked at it and said, “Charles Atlas? Are you CHICKEN FAT? You wrote about Perry Parham!”
He remembered my article on Perry Parham, my friend who was a star Little League player and was ran over and killed on Gramling Street. Not only was I impressed he remembered my article, I was just as impressed that he even read CHICKEN FAT.
It is always nice when someone gives me a positive WOW! when they find out I do CHICKEN FAT.
I would answer yes to his question, “Are you CHICKEN FAT?” I have been called FAT and I have been called CHICKEN. Guilty.