For a dozem or so years now it has been a New Years Eve dinner tradition to take my mother-in-law to a restaurant in Kennesaw ran by an extended family of Asians that specializes in deep fried seafood. They have the best jumbo shrimp with the batter just right - thier oysters are not bad either - or their crab, or thier cat fish (which I know is technically not seafood. Everything comes with french fries and coleslaw. Everything! I bet if you just ordered and order of cole slaw and french fries, you would get two orders of cole slaw and french fries.
With the upcoming Billy Joe Royal concert coming up tomorrow night at the Strand Theater brings back memories of a pre-“Down in the Boondocks” area when we were much younger.
Billy Joe and his family lived in the Clay Homes overlooking the west court. Back then a court in the Clay Homes was a spacious green between apartment buildings. I’m sure they were not nearly as big as I remember. A green court had about the same proportions as a football field.
I lived in the Clay Homes before the Royal family and the court in front of the Royal apartment is where somebody brought their 16MM movie projector and showed movies on warm Sunday nights. I remember lying in the grass watching TOM SAWYER.
We moved from the Clay Homes to Manget Street across from Larry Bell Park. It was in the same school district, I went to the same school, but with different neighbors. My sister Frances and I kept up a relationship with Clay Homes chums but also developed friendships with our new neighbors.
Although during the Billy Joe and Jack Royal era of the Clay Homes I wasn’t a neighbor, just a frequent visitor.
I remember we liked to sit out in the dark on the green grass of the court after dark and talk. I don’t think we talked loudly, we just talked and laughed a lot.
Mr. Caudell, across the court felt differently. Just our presence, sitting in the dark talking and laughing irritated the hell out of him.
I remember he was always smoking. On the porch in front of his apartment you could not see him in the dark shadow, only the red glow of his cigarette. The madder he got the more the little red light would bounce or shake.
Then, it would only be a matter of time that you would see the red light take flight – down the few steps and across the court towards us. He would always first politely tell us to hold the noise down. And we politely told him we would.
Not long afterwards, after forgetting to hold down our ruckus, you could see that little red hot dot come bouncing towards us again. The next time he was more demanding and rude.
After his 3rd or 4th trip he was always spitting mad.
I don’t remember us ever working it out. It was just a confrontation we could count on.
I don’t know how I know this, but I do. Mr. Caudell was the father of a cashier at the Big Apple where I later worked. One time a customer hit the roof when she told him how much his groceries were and said he demanded for them to be added up again. With the manager, L.L. Thurmond, standing over her to read off each price – that was before bar codes – she recalculated it and came up with the exact same total. She won my respect for being efficient. But I still didn’t care for her daddy.
The above Dilbert cartoon, by Scott Adams, yesterday’s comic strip, Dogbert talks about using the “Dutch Sandwich” system of companies avoiding paying taxes. He added, “I’m not even making that up.”
I Googled Dutch Sandwich to see if Dogbert made it up or not and found that the Dutch Sandwich is indeed real. It is a complicated tax law loophole used widely by big corporations to get out of paying their fair share of taxes and of course that gives the little man their tax bourdon.
Here are some thoughts:.
I wonder what the “Fair Tax” people have to say about this.
I also wonder what the Tea Partiers have to say about the Dutch Sandwich loophole. Being big companies, you know they will have lobbyist to talk to the lawmakers in more convincing and personal ways than you or I could do. With the Dutch Sandwich, it is: Representation Without Taxation.
The below is a private memo from Edwin T. Hunter, the CEO of Hunter Industries:
There is an infectious germ that is spreading rapidly. The common household name for it is C-Diff. It makes a person very sick in his or her stomach and intestines. It has caused deaths. The most infested places of C-Diff are hospitals.
It is believed that C-diff causes as many as 15,000 deaths a year. Many people have tried to treat C-diff with expensive anti-biotics but they don’t do the trick.
Dr. Lawrence Brandt, a pioneer in biological research in combating C-Diff discovered that just old fashion human fecal placed in the infected area just about destroys the C-diff infection. It has something to do with C-diff is bad bacterial doing the body harm and the human feces is chocked full of good bacterial that fights the bad bacterial.
Frankly, I think a lot of people would turn down the dose of the special medicine, aka human feces, if they knew it was actual human fecal. They would turn their noses up, literally.
The word “feces” instead of “shit” helps some, but not enough.
Here is where Hunter Enterprises* come into play.
We first find something to disguise the smell. Maybe the final ingredient will be blended strawberries to cover up the real natural smell or maybe mint leaves Follow me?
Maybe we could have the Mint Julep C-Diff medicine, or the Strawberry Fields Forever C-Diff Medicine. What about “Mellow Yellow Banana Flavor C-Diff Medicine?
But first we need an endless supply of you-know-what. We will pay donors good prices for what they can let us use… or “let loose with” we jokingly say. It might be an incentive to pay by the net weight of the raw product.
Or maybe, if they do a good job we would give a bonus; say free meal coupons at all-you-can-eat buffets.
I know from friends and kin that when you mass produce something and put it into a container with a label on it you have to rent a professional kitchen that is guaranteed clean. We need to find a professional kitchen that is very close to a restroom with a good dozen stalls.
Of course we will have special plumbing to harvest the you-know-what.
Also, to meet state and Federal requirements a list of ingredients has to listed on the label as contents. This isn’t as hard as it appears. Remember fecal was not always fecal. It is a final product, processed through the human body. Originally it was wine, beer, potato chips, hotdogs, hamburgers, fried fish, fried chicken, spice, flour, and sugar. All we have to do is get a chemical listing of all those products and list those on the label.
Of course the last step in determining how much to charge for the medicine. Market study shows people have paid up to $2,500 in antibiotics to get rid of C-Diff for medicine that didn’t work. What about $3000 per bottle?
Man! I feel filthy rich already! *Our motto: “There are endless ways to get rich overnight from the suckers born every minute”
At the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport two airplane landings were delayed, in 2007, when the only certified air traffic controller had to go to the bathroom. They had to circle the airport for 18 minutes until, well, the controller worked things out. The bathroom break also delayed two outgoing flights, which one was carrying a set of lungs to be transplanted in New Jersey.
A spokesman for the FAA said, “These people are humans, they have to go to the bathroom”.*
I'm sure that was news to the Postal Service. A production clerk or mailhandler to go the the bathroom on company time was always frowned upon by management. It could delay the mail and make the production numbers look bad. And for the production figures look bad is very terrible. It means managers' bonuses may not be as fat. How horrible!
It is a tradition in England to show your appreciation for people who serve you today. They call it Boxing Day. When I say people who serve you, I mean people like the person that delivers your newspaper, pick up your garbage, deliver your mail, well, you get the idea.
However, I think Boxing Day after Christmas has a different meaning in America. On our Box Day we carry gifts (in the original box) back for exchanges or the cash
I hope you had a very nice Christmas and got all the things you wanted, all that your greed could stand. But now, back to routine!
This is another article in the PANIC comicbook #1 that was featured last week. This story is illustrated by Jack Davis and probably written by PANIC editor Al Felstein.
As mentioned last week this comic was banned in numerous places, including Boston. A lot of people point to the Santa Claus feature, the reason it was banned, but I think also this one too had a hand in it. After you read the last page you may see what I am talking about, if you take in mind that the average comicbook reader was probably about 8 or 9 years old then.
Each year on TV we watch bits and pieces of THE CHRISTMAS STORY that is a segment of Jean Shepards’s life as an adolescent.
Every year one station or another runs the movie over and over. This year it on one of the Turner channels. We watch part of it in HD (High Definition). I think some movies should be shown in their original format. Watching an old movie in HD is like watching the Fatty Arbuckle and the Keystone Cops in HD, or STEAMBOAT WILLIE… such clear clarity takes something out of the movie; it takes the is’s out of "It Is What It is."
THE CHRISTMAS STORY movie is an excellent study of human traits and their interaction of other humans. Last year I remember focusing in on Ralphie’s mother and of wit which she kept mostly to herself, but the beheading of the Christmas goose caught her by surprise and it gave her away. I think she also had a bit of rebel in her, in an introverted way.
This year I noticed a kid in the Santa Claus line at the department store, with a big dumb smile on his face, turn around to Ralphie and his little brother and say, “I like Santa.”
That was it. He liked Santa. He turned back around.
Then the WIZARD OF OZ foursome walked by with the witch cackling. And the smiling boy, again turned around and contributed, “I like WIZARD OF OZ”. And that was it.
A few minutes later the smiling boy looked horrified as the department store Stanta was giving him a hateful glare.
I haven’t noticed him before. Who wil l see next year I haven’t noticed before?
We had a start while waking up this morning. At 5am Willow started barking. I thought she thought it was about I got up anyway and she wanted out.
I staggered half awake to the den, opened the door and let her out She ran out the door growling and turned left on the deck. This is strange, usually when a little furry intruder is on her property she runs down the steps.
I shut the door and within seconds she was scratching frantically at the door wanting back in. I opened the door and she ran right past me. Then I saw what the ruckus was about
On the deck was a big black dog. In the dark it looked like a giant poodle. I decided to go to the carport and open up the deck gate so it could leave. On the carport was another big black dog and it was barking fiercely at me.
This couldn’t be I thought. I wondered if the same dog somehow left the deck materialized itself on the carport. I went back to the den and looked out on the carport. The big dog was there too.
My coffee just finished dripping so I thought I would have a cup and think of a solution. The barking heard all the commotion and was up. Through the windows we looked at the dogs again. They were not Poodles as I thought. They were Standard or Giant Schnauzers.
Anna and I decided I would go to the deck, armed with a broom handle and opened the gate. I did, and the dogs stopped barking. I think they knew we were trying to help them.
But once the gate was opened the dog on the deck didn’t know what to do. We shooed him and finally he got hint. He finally leaped off the carport and they both galloped off, happily, I think.
I have no idea how the one got on the deck. I checked all three gates and they were securely closed.
I remember many years ago Rich’s Department Store advertising came out with the statement CHRISTMAS IS RICH’S* Or was it RICH’S IS CHRISTMAS?
Either way, it meant just about the same.
Jennie Tate Anderson** got up a campaign to end the slogan and I think she succeeded. Or, maybe it was too late to stop it for that year, but I don’t recall seeing the slogan the next Christmas season.
Now, it might be time to rethink the statement Rich’s is Christmas. Use Rich’s as a noun that describes wealthy people and not the department stores. And change ”is” to “get”. Now it might read something like “The Rich get Christmas.” That implies that the poor don’t, which is true.
I heard on the news lately that with this out of whack economy there is a bigger gap between the Have’s and Have Nots. The rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer.
It reminds me once I heard a person who grew up in a poor family saY he thought he and his siblings were bad and his well-off school mates were good because Santa left them presents at Christmas. And of course it was common knowledge that Santa left presents only to the good little boys and girls.
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
*In a way, you can’t blame Rich’s for thinking they were Christmas, in the Atlanta area anyway. They started the Christmas season each year by the ceremoniously lighting of the famous Christmas tree that was always very tall and usually cut down in north Georgia. They documented the tree’s trip to Atlanta each year on the local news and interviewed the ones who owned it. Rich’s was two buildings on Forsyth Street. There was a multi-level bridge above Forsyth Street which connected the two Rich’s buildings. There were either four or five levels. During the famous lighting of the Christmas Tree every Thanksgiving night, different entertainers would sing or recite something from each level, at different times, of course. Then also, during the Christmas shopping season on top of one of the Rich’s buildings on Forsyth Street was the famous Pink Pig Railway. It was a little choo choo train with an engine that looked like a pink pig. Kids loved to go shopping with their parents to get to ride the Pink Pig.
The downtown Rich’s has been bulldozed away and Macy’s now owns the shopping centers Rich’s which now are, of course, Macy’s, and the Pink Pig is at one of them and so is the lighting of the Christmas Tree, but it just isn’t the same.
**Mrs. Anderson was very much a philanthropist locally. she and her husband helped the needy in Marietta in many ways. Once after I got out of the Navy I went to a presentation to save our landmarks in Cobb County. The speaker was Mrs. Anderson (I think she also ran the slide projector). Also, she was an office volunteer in the office at Marietta High School.
Chrismas at the National Cemetery & Downtown Marietta
In the last video we left you riding the escalator down to the first floor of the new Cobb County Courthouse.
We had also planned, after our courthouse tour, to drive up to the National Cemetery. I think it was a veterans’ organization that placed reefs on a lot of the markers.
With the camera still whirling we drove there, only two blocks away. It was a gloomy cloudy wet day but those reefs sort of lit things up.
Then we drove around downtown.
Interesting, in the park was a dirty man in raggedy clothes who was obviously homeless. He was sitting on a park bench with a gadget in his hand. It was either a Blackberry or a phone with a camera. He was talking to it and making faces at it and laughing.
Maybe he found a little discarded gizmo and was putting on a show for our benefit. If so, it worked.
Saturday we toured the new Cobb County Courhouse. It will not be officially opened for business until mid-January 2011, two or three weeks away.
The first room you see is the Jurors' Room. It is a big room. I think this will be the room you would first come to if you are a potential juror to be interviewed by the different counsels to either select you or scratch you. It was pointed out that there are all kinds of hookups for your laptop in this room, if you are a potential juror waiting.
We were lucky to be in the room when one of the officers of the building contractors was there with his family and he was pointing out a lot of things we would not be privy to otherwise.
The building is eight stories high. I think I was more fascinated looking down at downtown Marietta from hgh up as I was the inside of the buidling itself, as this video probably shows.
A couple of times looking out a window you can see Kennesaw Mountain. You can also look down on the Strand Theater and Glover Park..and look at all the church steeples!
Also, see the huge clock outside the window? I thought of Charlie Chaplain hanging on the big hand with his umbrella.
There are courtrooms all over. I'm sure there are more courtrooms than are presently needed, but might be needed in the future. Are we kind to future tax payers?
I noticed in each courtroom on the official side of the woodgate everything is state of the art designed; video monitors, computer hookups, positions of the desks and the judges bench. However, on the spectators' side are just plain wood pews and not very many - maybe ten or twelve pews to a courtroom. On high profile cases some of the press or members of a concerned family might have to sit outside if they are late.
The pictures on the wall are murdered victims. That is a reminder that justice is being served within these walls.
The last photo is a scene from my video camera riding down the escalator
This is part of the first issue of PANIC Comicbook Number 1. PANIC was a sibling of MAD Comicbook. They both shared the same artists, more or less. They all came from EC comics' bullpen of artists.
Because it is Christmas time I chose a Christmas story. Don't get too teary on me.
Also, the last page is all the EC artists and editors. Note- By the way, this was an EC tradition, each year around Christmas time an EC artist would draw all the EC people at a party and it was presented in different forms. sometimes as a card, sometimes in a EC fanclub newsletter, and sometimes in one of the comic books.
The cover was by PANIC editor Al Feldstein. The artwork was by Will Elder. Look at all of Elder's detailed art. It was like he was unleashed.
This first issue of PANIC was banned by various local governments, including Boston. Why? I think it was because Elder made a mockery of the holy one: Santa Claus. Also Jack Davis has a story that might make comicbook censors raise their eyebrows which I will get to soon.
We had dinner yesterday evening at the Woodfire Drill in Atlanta on Cheshire Bridge Road.
We have had dinner on Cheshire Bridge Road before, over 40 years ago. The place we went to then, in the early 70s, was an Italian restaurant. It was the first time that I remember that we used a coupon for buy dinner and get one of equal or lesser value free.
From that meal so long ago I remember that the prideful chef felt insulted that the restaurant had to lower themselves to offering coupons to draw business in. I think we were the first ones there that evening and maybe the first ones to try out their coupon. The chef came by and asked her how did we enjoy the meal and we said we did and he, sarcastically, said, “Can I get you some catsup?”
We got his meaning instantly, that the coupon stooping would bring in less gourmet-minded customers.
Last night was our second trip to Cheshire Bridge Road for dinner and the restaurant staff were totally congenial.
Our son recommended the Woodfire Grill on Cheshire Bridge. They have dined there several times and enjoyed it thoroughly each time. Anna got us reservations.
We wrote down the directions and at one point on Lenox Road we should have turned right but the directions directed us to turn left, which we did. We ended up at Lenox Square. We turned ourselves around and got snarled up in Friday afternoon traffic and lost about 20 minutes.
That is why we like to leave for our destination early. In case we make a wrong turn or car trouble. Although we lost about 20 minutes backtracking ourselves we still arrived at the restaurant early. We arrived 15 minutes early for our reservation, and as usual, were the first diners to arrive so we got to watch the staff set things up, light candles, etc.
Our son recommended the Taster pick. It is a system that is not on the menu. The waiter and the servers bring you morsels of things to eat. On each trip the deliverer will explain what it is and what is unique about it, and maybe even a little history on it.
I did not know until this week that the Taster System is used a lot in the finer restaurants in Atlanta.
There is a five course tasters dinner and a seven course taster dinner. We chose the five course.
The waiter and the others were very congenial and knowledgeable.
Their wine list did not prices, but some did have the year. We chose water.
The meal started out with some bits of a various veggies to cleanse our pallets. We then were given a small salad, and after that was various interesting unique foods for example: quail, pork belly, and a big scallop.
A lot of what they served came from the Georgia Coast, such as the scallop. Also to complement one of the courses were red peas that grow on Georgia’s Sea Island which were near extinction not long ago and with the right care they are again a crop.
A couple of times they served us stuff in a porcelain over-sized spoon to cleanse our pallets.
It was Anna’s birthday. They knew that. When Anna made the reservation they asked her if we have dined there before and more or less was it a special occasion or what. Anna told them it was her birthday so when they served dessert she had burning candle on her little dessert pile that she got to blow out which is in the video.
Speaking of the video, I wished I thought earlier to do it, but I put my hand by two of the courses, to give you an idea of the portion size.
The music was probably CD. I heard Dylan singing and several selections of Old Crow Medicine Show. It was nice background music,
The food was delicious. Our son told us the servings are small, but good. There are so many you don’t go leave the table hungry. You don’t leave the table with a carry-home box either.*
It was a delightful dining experience.
On the way home I decided to drive up Piedmont Road in Atlanta. I haven’t been that way in many years and was just curious how things have changed. Because of the high buildings it was hard to pick out where Broadview Plaza was. We used to go there to see people on their way up perform at the Southeastern Music Hall. We saw Steve Martin perform there with brown hair. We saw Joan Baez's sister perform there and others I don’t remember. In the parking lot of Broadview Plaza Billy Joe Royal, Joe South, and Ray Stephens once performed on the back of a flatbed trailer.
Also across from Broadview Plaza was a Shoney’s with the “Big Boy” statue out front. Next door was a closed Sinclair Service Station. In about 1968 a truck driver with the last name Partain, I forgot his first name, was sent to the closed service station to pump the gas out of the underground tanks. While there working something happened that Mr. Partain caught on fire and ran through the Shoney’s parking lot completely on fire, until he fell dead. He was a very gentle little humble man. Something happened that shouldn’t have. He was one of my co-workers then.
The only thing that hadn’t change on that section of Piedmont Road was the old railroad bridge you have to drive under.
While in the neighborhood we drove by the Governor’s Mansion. The mansion, the iron fence, and a huge tree were all lit up with beautiful white lights.
*The day before we had lunch at Marietta Diner’s Pasta Bella on Austell Road in Marietta and left with two carry-home boxes that got us through another meal. Quantity in lieu of quality?