Saturday, December 31, 2005

Cinderella Man

We rented the DVD Cinderella Man, directed by Ron Howard and staring Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger yesterday. It is a good movie. However, much to my surprise, a prince does not have a silver slipper to try on Russell's big sweaty foot.

It is a boxing movie. It is the story of Heavy Weight Boxer Jim Braddock during the Depression. The movie, I think, probably conveyed the general feel of the Depression and boxing matches, poor people at the time, Hooverville, and just very well done.

Generally, I don't like boxing. I think the poor boxers have put themselves into the place of gladiators. People pay good money to see them beaten to a pulp or maybe even killed on the spot (with any luck of the spectators).

I prefer baseball, rarely anyone gets hurt - you certainly don't go to or watch a baseball game on TV with the hopes of seeing some blood.

Cinderella Man goes beyond boxing, or maybe boxing is in the center of everything and is a cause and effect of everyting else in the movie, or visa versa. Jim Braddock is just trying to feed his starving family the best way he knows how - to beat the shit out of an opponent. The movie gets into his family life, his children, his friends, church, and the politics and money making decisions of who gets to fight whom.

Good movie!

Friday, December 30, 2005

New Years Eve Story

In the late 50s, we were teenage high school students. On December 31st my friend and I were sitting in car on the Square downtown, one of the town drunks was standing in front of Hodge Drugstore. He was my uncle, my father's brother. I was looking at him and I waved, wanting to be congenial to my kin. He walked over to the car and looked us both over, and asked would we give him a ride. Sure, hop in.

I was not sure if he remembered me or not. He didn't say my name, only "you boys". He asked us to take him to a Shell Service Station almost a mile away. The Shell station had a reputation for selling bootleg moonshine. My uncle asked us to wait on him and he went inside and emerged carrying a paper sack. We knew what must be in the sack.

My uncle asked us to carry him someplace, he would tell us where. He gave us directions, turn by turn until we were on a dead in street in the middle of what would become Keeler Woods Subdivision - but then it was just one house frame after another. He got out with his paper sack and asked us to wait on him, which we did.

He came back without the paper sack. We carried my uncle back to where we originally met him, in front of Hodges Drugstore and let him out. That was the last time I saw him. Not long after that, his brothers put him in the veterans hospital in Milledgeville, Ga.

After we let him out we drove to Atlanta to buy some booze. Being underage we could not fool anyone into selling us any. Empty handed we drove back to Marietta. We arrived after it turned dark.

We drove out to the future Keeler Woods subdivision and found the dead-end street my uncle hours before guided us to. We drove up behind one and left the car lights on and went in the brush and woods behind the house and felt around each tree fairly near. My friend found the sack.

The sack contained a fruit jar of clear liquid. We smelled it and is was moonshine. We were wrong to take it and the only way I think it was justified was that we kept my alcoholic uncle from doing future damage to himself.

We took it to a party we knew of and did damage to ourselves. We mixed a concoxion we Christened "Purple Jesus" with the moonshine and grape juice. Everybody got drunk. One friend had to be taken to the ER because the powerful drink temporarily blinded him. Another one saw colored lights momentarily.

We all lived.

Although, as I typing this, I just remembered, the guy that had the party has been dead over 40 years now. The party years of high school and the hell raising at the University of Georgia turned him into a drunk. He worked for his father who owned mill that made underwear. He was a salesman for the company. He was missing for a few days and was discovered dead in a cheap rooming house in Texas.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ideology in a Tailspin

Sometimes I get I get irritated with the politicians to see them vote with their party, along partisan lines or party lines or whatever. Maybe sometimes it just appears that way. Maybe they are voting their convictions and it just so happens that the conservative are in the Republican Party and the liberals are in the Democrat Party.

I think both parties are needed. They need a check and balance system. If one party is in mostly in power, the opposing party is needed as a watch dog to keep an eye on them, or things might get carried away.

Now, that brings me up to talk about Bush. I think he has gotten carried away with his powers. He, by just being a Republican, has been offensive to the Democrats, which is understandable, but now he is offending people of his own party. His carried away spending is causing some Republican conservatives to do more than raise an eyebrow. He blunders in his war effort has other Republicans chomping the ends of their cigars off. He has offended the Bible thumpers of the religious right. He has offended the higher up Constitutional scholar judges by trying to push a corporate lawyer as a Supreme Court judge. And more.

He reminds of a line comedian Lenny Bruce used to say after spilling out ethnic jokes about the Jewish, the blacks, Indians, gentiles, the Baptists, the Catholics, and so on, before he bowed, he would ask "Is there any group here I haven't offended yet?"

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Lady With Twins

In the same cemetery as Jon Benet Ramsey is a striking sad tombstone monument of a young lady who died with her baby twins. I am sure there is a sad story here, but I'm glad I don't know it.

Unfortunately, this cemetery is near the old Marietta High School, which, in the past few years have changed into Marietta Junior High School. Either way, it has been and probably still is a hot-bed for vandalism. Sadly, over the years I have seen the lady covered with splashed yellow paint, green paint, and white paint. She just sits there holding her two stone babies and takes it without complaining.

I have seen a picture of a female cousin of mine, back in the 40s, when she was in high school very gracefully hugging the stone lady.

And a ghost story: It has been said at midnight if you walk around her three times and ask her where are her babies she will weep.

I think she knows where her babies are, she is crying because she always is being picked on by teenagers.

Jon Benet Ramsey and playing cards

Little Jon Benet Ramsey is buried here in Marietta. While looking for other graves (family research again) in the same cemetery, I always go by her grave for some interesting finds. By her grave a dogwood tree stands with many of its branches hanging over the grave itself. On the branches there are always little angels and Christmas tree ornaments.. And cards and notes. Each card and note is a message to Jon Benet in the hereafter... I never have read one, after all, it is rude to read to read other people's mail.

The dogwood tree with all the angels and things along with notes and cards has taken on a mystic of its own.

However, something else interesting was on the ground that I noticed. Three playing cards. Apparently they were on the tree and maybe a strong wind knocked them off the tree onto her sister's grave, which is the next grave over. Two of the cards were taped together and the other one was just a few inches away.

What kind message would playing cards convey to the dead?

Now, I'll Be On My Way

I do family research. Each morning on-line I check several small home town newspapers obituaries of areas that my ancestors settled and their descendants still live - well, to see if any had recently died.

This morning, I checked out the obituaries of people who died yesterday, two days after Christmas. In the four papers I checked, with the exception of one, the number of deaths were unusually high. In one of the papers, it was doubled over the usual amount.

I read once that sometimes people can control when they die. For instance, if they are very ill, it has been noted that some people will wait until they finish reading a certain book before they die, or maybe wait until a certain mini-story on a soap opera is resolved, or their birthday, and of course Christmas.

But then, I wonder, if the natural order of things is confused if they receive a Christmas present they really want piddle with that might take a while, like a new gizmo for the computer, or a new book, or in my case UNCLE JOHN'S DAILY TEAR-OFF CALENDAR with 365 pages?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ted's Grill

After we left the King Kong movie we went to Ted's Grill. We had a gift card to use there.

Ted's Grill is partially owned by Ted Turner. The restaurant has a decor of Montana salon. As you may know, among Ted's vast holdings is a huge ranch in Montana where buffaloes are raised.

And of course the main items on the menu are bison and beef. They also have salmon which I normally order, but hey, when in a Montana make-believe grill, you make believe you are in Montana - I ordered bison. Anna, the traditionalist, ordered beef.

To me, the bison tasted like beef. I remember the last time I ate bison it tasted wild and like the blood had not yet been drained. This time it tasted better - or less wild, which means better to me.

On the other hand, when the manager saw me making my entrance, bumping into chairs and tables, and knocking condiments off tables, he could have informed our waitress to "don't waste the bison on him, give him beef, he won't know the difference."

One time in the near by town of Roswell, which is near where Ted Turner lives or did live at one time, we stumbled upon a restaurant called "Mouth of the South" which is Ted Turner's unofficial nick name. We thought maybe he took advantage of the nick name and turned it into money, which Ted can do so well. So, we went there to eat, only to learn the Mouth of the South is catfish.

Monday, December 26, 2005


We went to see the latest KING KONG movie. We thought it was great. It was fully packed with action, and it had a human side of kindness, gentleness, and protectiveness. Wait! That wasn't the human side, that was the beast's side.

Surprisingly, they pretty much stuck to the story line of the original KING KONG movie of the late 30s with Faye Wray. They got a few details different, but I think they got more right. And they did an excellent job with today's animation and computer trickery that you forget you are not watching a giant gorilla, and one that had very deep and profound feelings.

It also reminded me of MAD's takeoff of KING KONG was titled PINT PONG that was written by the editor Harvey Kurtzman and illustrated by Will Elder. And that got me thinking the publisher of Mad, the late William Gaines. William was a big King Kong and a big Empire State Building fan - well, he was just big, anyway.

I think that is the first movie that I have seen Jack Black act in. I think he is a good actor.

My only complaint is not with the movie but with the audience. One lady in front of us had a cell phone that she was taking pictures of the screen - that was distracting, and two women brought in two babies in strollers and a handful of kids under 6 years old. I was ready to let out a big "Shhhhhhh" - but not a peep out of the kids, and a baby cried only for a second or two but the mother somehow calmed him/her down. So, all's well that ends well.

364 Days Until Christmas

Remember the snide comeback remark you made to your Aunt Flo that you see only once a year at the annual family Christmas dinner? You have 364 days to prepare your defense. And remember, she also has 364 days to think out her next clever verbal attack.

But what if you see her at a family member's funeral between now and then? If you use your ammunition then you may not have any left for Christmas day. I suggest, if you do see her at a funeral you shouldn't just glare at her but say something nice and complementary to her, and if she returns the complement, laugh very suggestively, like only you and her know the humor in this.

Is there a special dish she looks forward to every year at Christmas? Maybe something like oyster dressing? Next time, maybe if you volunteer to help cook, and "accidentally" pour too much pepper into the oyster dressing, then with tell Aunt Flo about your "mistake" and smile and say, "Oops!"

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Today is The Day

Today is the day we have been looking forward to or dreading for the past 364 days. Emotion is at its peak and so is the Materialism of giving and receiving presents to your loved ones, which pulls in the inflated ego and the Emotion might humble you some. Your mind is all confused. So, you do what your body understands: PIG OUT EATING!

Be sure and cover your mouth when belching.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Memoirs of a Geisha and my memories of the Head

We went yesterday to see Memoirs of a Geisha. I thought it was very good. However, I am about half way through the book and saw that the movie is just kind of mentioning some things that the book spent pages telling about.

I suppose that may fall under "a picture is worth a 1000 words."

The movies is very visual, which I don't think descriptive writing would do justice to the view. But, both are very good!

We went to a theater complex that houses 24 theaters. There seemed to be restrooms and theaters all over the place. Enough of them to confuse, anyway. I went by mistake into the women's restroom. Once in the back and saw two rows of stalls instead of what I was expecting, a row of stalls and a row of urinals, I knew my mistake.

I made a hasy retreat, only to almost bump into a tall middle age blond coming in unbuckeling her pants. I said, "I am in the wrong place!"

She, politely said in a very Southern accent soothed, "That's OK."


I hoped I covered everybody and also covered the New Years day holiday.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Eve Story or Me the Party Pooper

Last year on December the 24th my sister had us over to her house for a Christmas Eve dinner. The guests included our other sister, my two sons, my son's girlfriend Tiffany, and my sister's boy friend Mark.

We got there a little early to hang some pictures in her newly remodeled bedroom which I promised I would do. I brought all my tools I thought I would need.

I just got started good and dinner was ready. We sat down, somebody said the blessing and we started passing things. Then, while passing something I suddenly felt dizzy.

I remember I had the same feeling at Kroger's less than two weeks ago in the Deli department. They had free samples of something sweet with a whipped creamy topping and I couldn't resist myself, and within a minute after I did it I went into a dizzy spell. I walked around pushing a cart, thinking if I walked around I could shake the dizziness that was in my head. I walked around and around pushing that cart - I would have fell over if I didn't have the cart to keep my balance. I was right, I walked right out of the dizzy spell.

It looks like I might be a diabetic I thought, so I guess I better go to the doctor and and check that out - which I promptly forgot in a day or so.

Then, at the dinner table I was having the same feeling. My eyes locked looking at a right angle. I could not look in any other direction, and I was still dizzy, my head was going around and around.

I told them I was going to sit in the living room a few minutes but I would be back soon to join them. When I got up and walked sideways they new something had happened to me.

I told them not to worry about it, the same feeling came across me at Krogers and it left me soon. But they kept looking at my eyes. Then they rushed me to the hospital.

I had a stroke. Talking about being a party pooper!

I stayed in the hospital for three days with an I.V. that was marinating me with blood thinner.

Now, I think I am OK. (knock on wood - or my head). And ready for a rematch!

The Saga Continues...

On a main road over a mile from here are several franchised fast foods restaurants. There is a red-head man, short and dumpy who looks about 40 years old that has worked one time or another in each of the local fast food places. I first noticed him at Chick Fi La', then Burger King, then McDonald's, and now he seemed to have found his home at Arby's.

I see him from time to time walking up a sidewalk hill from a section of expensive homes to the fast food block. He apparently lives within walking distance of his work, which is a must. Making minimum wage I doubt if he can buy a car. The times he waited on me he seemed to know his product and go by all the sales rules, like ask you would you like to "try" a certain thing, and so on. I thought he must live with his parents. I felt sorry for him, for some reason he got a bad break in life.

Then! We were in Krogers shopping yesterday, which is also in the same area and there was the little short red-headed Arby's man and the youngest brother of the Twiddle Dee and Twinddle Dum set. They were shopping together. Twiddle Dum would lean against the cart and push it lazily as the red headed man carefully studied the shelves and picked out products. I noticed they had plenty of toilet paper and beans in the cart.

In case you are wondering who is Twiddle Dum, as far as this posting goes, go back and look at the posting on this blog dated December 12, 2005.

Every time I have seen the Twiddle brother he was always dressed to military perfection, not a wrinkle, spit-shined boots, and he walked upright and at attention, in step with his older brother. But this day, he was haunched over, wearing a dirty old shirt with stains all over it, and baggy shorts. Very un-military clothes, to which he was accustomed to. The red headed man was more attuned to the cold weather and had on a coat, which he had buttoned up. But where was the older brother, Twiddle Dee? He must not be part of his younger brother's life for the present time because I'm sure he was the commanding officer of their little by-the-book regiment and would had surely failed Twiddle-Dee at inspection time.

Now where is Twiddle-Dee. Buried under the house?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Yes, I broke the law, so?

I was wondering why Bush would opening admit breaking a law like wire tapping on private citizens; surveillance on American citizens without the consent of any court.

And while wondering, I remembered what I saw not long ago a political cartoon with Dick Chaney with a hand puppet that looked very much like Bush. The cartoon was insinuating that Bush would do anything Chaney would tell him to do; like Chaney was really calling the shots.

Then I thought, what if Bush was impeached for breaking the law. Who would get his job? Then, it all became clear...

Winston Tyson and Eli Whitney

Here is another Claim to Fame.

We all have had relatives of the past to have brushes with history. Yours is just waiting for you to discover what happened.

My ancestor Job Tyson has a sister names Winston Tyson who adoped him and changed his name to Eugene Hargraves Tyson - but that is another story. Winston was a school teacher.

According to oral family history Winston applied for the job as school teacher for the plantation Mulberry Plantation, near Savannah, Ga., for the children of Here is another Claim to Fame.

We all have had relatives of the past to have brushes with history. Yours is just waiting for you to discover what happened.

My ancestor Job Tyson has a sister names Winston Tyson who addoped him and changed his name to Eugene Hargraves Tyson - but that is another story. Winston was a school teacher.

According to oral family history Winston applied for the job as school teacher for the plantation Mulberry Plantation, near Savannah, Ga., for the children of Here is another Claim to Fame.

We all have had relatives of the past to have brushes with history. Yours is just waiting for you to discover what happened.

My ancestor Job Tyson has a sister names Winston Tyson who addoped him and changed his name to Eugene Hargraves Tyson - but that is another story. Winston was a school teacher.

According to oral family history Winston applied for the job as school teacher for the plantation Mulberry Plantation, near Savannah, Ga., for the children of Here is another Claim to Fame.

We all have had relatives of the past to have brushes with history. Yours is just waiting for you to discover what happened.

My ancestor Job Tyson has a sister names Winston Tyson who addoped him and changed his name to Eugene Hargraves Tyson - but that is another story. Winston was a school teacher.

According to oral family history Winston applied for the job as school teacher for the plantation Mulberry Plantation, near Savannah, Ga., for the children of Revolutionary War hero General Nathan Greene. When she applied, General Greene had already died. His wife hired her.

Later, a teacher by the name of Eli Whitney came to be interviewed for the same school teaching position but the job was already filled by Winston Tyson.

Before his journey back he spent a few days as a guest of Mrs. Greene. While there, he invented the Cotton Gin with the final touch of Mrs. Greene's comb.

And the rest is history. War hero General Nathan Greene. When she applied, General Greene had already died. His wife hired her.

Later, a teacher by the name of Eli Whitney came to be interviewed for the same school teaching position but the job was already filled by Winston Tyson.

Before his journey back he spent a few days as a guest of Mrs. Greene. While there, he invented the Cotton Gin with the final touch of Mrs. Greene's comb.

And the rest is history. War hero General Nathan Greene. When she applied, General Greene had already died. His wife hired her.

Later, a teacher by the name of Eli Whitney came to be interviewed for the same school teaching position but the job was already filled by Winston Tyson.

Before his journey back he spent a few days as a guest of Mrs. Greene. While there, he invented the Cotton Gin with the final touch of Mrs. Greene's comb.

And the rest is history. War hero General Nathan Greene. When she applied, General Greene had already died. His wife hired her.

Later, a teacher by the name of Eli Whitney came to be interviewed for the same school teaching position but the job was already filled by Winston Tyson.

Before his journey back he spent a few days as a guest of Mrs. Greene. While there, he invented the Cotton Gin with the final touch of Mrs. Greene's comb.

And the rest is history.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Headless Horseman

Speaking of Ichabad Crane: It is often amazing what you may turn up doing family research.

In my genealogical tree I have the surname Bookout. The name was changed from Bookhout. My Bookhout/Bookout relatives came from Holland.

The first Bookhouts of my line to arrive to America were three brothers. One went out west, one settled in Ramseur, North Carolina (my ancestor), and one (John) settled in Tarrytown, New York, along the Hudson River.

John was an elder of the Dutch Reform Church in Tarrytown when the Legend of the Headless Horseman was born in the church's cemetery.

Washington Irwin turned it into a good story, and Walt Disney even made it a better story.

Where is my cut?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

Thirty years ago we named our first son Rockwell Tyson Hunter. From time to time some one will ask why did we pick such a name.

Well, my middle name is Tyson, and so it is my father's, and it is also his mother's maiden name.

Now for the name Rockwell. Back in 1957 when I was in high school, one day a new kid came to class. I forgot his first name but his last name was Crane. He was tall and Lanky. He sat next to me in class and I asked him was he related to Ichabod Crane. He gave me a hateful look.

Then, that same day, at lunch several of us were up around the baseball field hanging out. Crane walked up near and stood at a distance. Trying to friendly and to welcome him as one of us, I said, "There is old Whooping Crane!'

He came at me swinging his fists like a lopsided windmill with broken blades. He had no fighting sense about him. He only knew when you are in a rage you attack giving it all you have by swinging your fists.

I am not much of a fighter either. But I do know how to dodge a something coming at me, especially when the route of the on-coming fist is so predictable. So, I merely danced around dodging his fists, and from time to time hit him in the face with no problem at all, he knew nothing about blocking oncoming blows either.

I won the fight. I had no damage look about me at all, no blood, no body scratches or marks, where Crane on the other hand had a bloody nose, and puffed up swelling around the eye and his clothes were torn and dirty.

There was a movie playing at downtown Marietta's Strand Theater at the time, starring Jayne Mansfield and Tony Randal. The name of the movie was "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" And not many months before the movie "Somebody Up There Likes Me", the story of Rocky Graziano, prize fighter starring Paul Newman. Both movies plus Craine and my actions called somebody who witness the fight to say, "Will Success Spoil Rocky Hunter?"

My new nickname caught on and spread quickly. I was Christened "Rock Hunter" by my peers. I went by the name Rock for the next ten to fifteen years, and still when and even now when I happen to run into a long lost friend, chances are he/she knew me as Rock.

So, it was only fitting that I named Rocky Rockwell.

And some place else in this blog world Crane may be at this very moment posting his blog which ends by saying "... and that is why we named our first son Icabod."

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Amos & Andy and Niles Trammell

Leander N. Trammell had nine children. One was William Trammell. William married Betsy Niles. They had three children. The only one to reach adulthood was Niles Trammell.

Niles grew up in Marietta and ran around with the elite, such as Lucious Clay, Rip Blair, and the Brumby family boys.

Later, how he got there, I do not know, but he was an executive wtih NBC Radio Network in Chicago. He was the person that signed up Amos & Andy to NBC Radio. I don't know if picking a successful show helped his career or not, but probably so, not long after that Niles was president of NBC.

Niles Trammell was president of NBC when the time came in history to include the new invention televison to their broadcasting.

Now, back to Amos & Andy. I have heard the show when they were on radio and probably saw all the Amos & Andy sitcoms. Many times one of the cast, either Amos, Andy, or George Stephens (King Fish) would remember something when they were younger back in Marietta, Georgia. Marietta was mentioned through out all their shows.

I am wondering if the remembering of Marietta was there because that is where Niles Trammell was born and grew up at? Did he get to make any creative suggestions?

The Disappearing & Reappearing Manager

Yesterday evening Anna and I had dinner at a franchise - type of Restaurant, but will remain nameless.

When we entered I noticed the manager sitting at a booth going over a job application and interviewing a potential employee. During our meal I would see the man circulating and mingling with customers, chatting with people sitting at tables eating and he seemed to be doing his public relations part of the job very good.

Anna came across a long human hair in her food when she was almost finished. We decided it would be best to let them know about it so that they may not make the same mistake in the future. Anna went up to the hostess and told showed her the hair. She offered a new plate and Anna said she didn't want any more, she just wanted to tell them of it.

The young lady took the plate with the morsel of food and the hair around the corner out of sight. I assumed she went to the manager's office to tell him a human hair was found in the food.

Guess what! He did not come out. Up until that point in time, just about every place in the dining room you would look, you would see the manager being friendly with the customers. Now, he was out of sight.

We finished our drinks, which probably took another 6 to 10 minutes. Still no manager.

Then we left. We got in the car and as I was backing out, I could see in the rearview mirror, looking in the restaurant's window that the manager had reappeared and was hobnobbing with the customers.

That must be a magic show they have there: Now you see him, now you don't!

Screw-ups in High Position.

Have you noticed, when working for an organization, when the higher-ups of the company bring someone in from the outside for a high position and then that person proves to quiet a screw-up, upper management will not admit their mistakes and keep claiming their man is doing a great job? The new screw-up manager really has to do a lot, or the reverse of that, nothing, to get the boot.

The best example I can think of is when Bush told FEMA Director Michael Brown, "Brownee, you are doing a heck-of-a-job!" days before he fired him.

Why did Bush claim Brown was doing a heck-of-a-ob? Maybe because Bush brought him aboard as a political favor without really having him or his résumé' checked out. If Brown looked good, Bush would look good. It is simple logic. But, finally, enough was enough, or too little was too little, so Brown had to go. And he might even had to play the Royal Scapegoat.

Which, brings up something else. Bush continues to screw up. But the some of the people who I know who voted for him said they would vote for him again. I think they don't want to admit they made a mistake. It must be an ego thing.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Leander Newton Trammell (1830-1900)

Before I got my drivers license and I walked home from high school I would sometimes take a shortcut by cutting through to Trammell Street (Marietta, Ga). On Trammell Street there was one house that was a two story Victorian looking thing that stood out like a sore thumb among the smaller houses surrounding it. It was the Trammell House.

Little did I know at the time the person that had the house, Leander Newton Trammell, built for his family was first cousin to my great-grandfather, William A. Trammell/Hunter.

Many years later when doing family research I began looking at Leander Newton Trammell. He was a newsmaker at the time.

He spent his first adult years in White and Habersham Counties, Georgia, in the same neighborhood as Moses Harshaw, that I talk about in another blog posting. He went to a law school in Tennessee and became a lawyer. During the Civil War he was a supply officer with the Confederacy. Afterwards, he was a state representative and before his career was over he was president of the Georgia Railroad Association. As a law maker, he was part of an infamous (now) group that plotted to make laws to keep the black man in a servitude status. Also, by a technicality, he was Governor of Georgia, for one day, in between Governors. I think the name of that title may be Governor-Protem.

This year I had the opportunity to go inside the house on Trammell Street that he had built and look at the handmade wood work and the handmade stair banisters, and everything else that was managed to stay with the house since he departed it over a hundred years ago.

The same day I got to go inside the house I found ut that Trammell Street was originally the long driveway to their house. Later, the driveway was turned into a street and the Trammell House was put on logs and turned facing a side of the street, instead of Powder Springs Street which the long driveway ran into.

I wonder if he and my great-grandfather William A. Hunter were aware of each other, being first cousins. They lived only about 10 miles from each other

He did not die in Marietta, as one would think, but he and his wife spent his last couple of years in Dalton, Georgia. They are buried at West Hill Cemetery, in that town.

I believe most of Leander's children stayed in Marietta, or at least they are mostly buried here. In an upcoming blog I plan to tell you of his grandson, Niles Trammell, who became president of NBC.

Savannah, a Ghost, and the Unattached hand

I went with Anna this past February to Savannah. She had four days of business meetings to attend.

The first or second evening we met the others of the working staff along and had dinner at The Olde Pink House in the historic district.

The Olde Pink House was first owned by James Habersham. James Habersham was a Georgia representative and was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Now, it is said The Olde Pink House is haunted by Habersham’s ghost. The travel channel did a bit about Hancock’s ghost there and so did PBS. The waiters claim that he would walk around in his clothing of the period and socialize with the guests and sometimes evening playing a trick on them like hiding one’s fork before he or she reached for it, and the list is endless.

We had reservations. Two big tables held ten of us. Our table was round and was in a corner of the a room. Anna-s co-staffers table were within arm’s reach. One of the men sitting across from me I will call Tony. Behind Tony, high up on the wall, was a portrait of James Habersham, the original owner and maybe part-time ghost.

As we made polite conversation Tony, who struck me as a loud mouth braggart, with lack of anything else to say, brought up the subject of somebody that worked in his office, a handicapped person, a person that was challenged in controlling his body movements and his face movements. Tony said if he got excited talking he would lose control of his facial muscles and spit all over all you as he talked. Tony said he learned long ago to keep his distance or step aside when this guy was about to tell something.


One quiet person, lets call him John, between 55 and 60 years of age said, “Tony I think you deserve a hand for that”

WHAM!!! A big unattached hand landed onto Tony’s empty plate.

Everything got deathly quiet. John reached over and picked up his rubber artificial hand and re-attached it. Everybody at the table broke into laughter and some even were having hysterical laughter. I looked up at the portrait of James Habersham and he seemed to be frowning and not amused at all.

The rest of the evening Tony was mostly quiet. The hand was an inspiration to many to use some one-ones… like, “John can’t keep his hand to himself-“ and more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Directions on How To Get to a Higher Level

Do you care about your health? What about the U.S. Government? What about President Bush? A scattered bunch of fiery spirited watchdogs is a way to keep those in power honest, sort of a check and balance system. You can't really depend on our elected officials to be good watch dogs, because, they got to the position they are in now by asking themselves, "Now, what do I get out of this?" So, unfortunately, too many times their vote or voice goes to the highest bidder.

That leaves the maverick self-styled bloggers with a rebel attitude to question authority. Republican or Democrat, if one whole party controls everything, then we are in serious trouble, the temptation. And the it appears that the current administration think they have a mandate from God to do as they damn well please.

Try Elaine

Now, I know what you are asking, Did I shoot five or six times - wait, that is something else - as I was saying, I know what you are asking: Isn't that link-things supposed to have a color line under it? Well yes, you are right, That is because I did not make it a proper URL, but be patient, as soon as I can figure out just how to make it a URL (whatever) I will change it.

But in the mean time, until I can learn how to transform it to an URL what you can do is high light the above that starts with http. Then, after you have it highlighted by holding down your right finger button and moving it over the htttp release your finger and press Control C. Ok, now, to your Internet provider and put it in the little block that addresses would go and press Control V. And walla! You have the address where it should be, you have just copied and pasted, and now hit Enter and sit back and let Elaine focuses on many topical subjects.

Jason Henderson Hunter

A younger picture of William and Emaline Ray Hunter
(notice the eyes following you? This picture kept me out of mischief more than any parental lecutres I was subject to)

While on the Hunter subject, William's bastard father Jason H. Hunter deserves some type of mention for pasting through a big section of history and helping stock the young United States with more citizens.
Jason was the son of John Hunter. He was one of seven children. In about 1835, Jason moved with his parents from Burke County, North Carolina, to Union County, Georgia. The family's primary business was distilling whiskey. A tax was imposed on liquor makers in North Carolina, so the family moved to Georgia to avoid the taxes. A few years later, about 1838, Jason was part of the militia that guarded the Cherokee Indians while they were cruelly transferred to Oklahoma on the infamous "Trail of Tears".
After that, he moved to Franklin, Macon County, North Carolina. There, not only was he sued for bastardy by Rebecca Trammell, but also he was sued for the same offense by Catherine Davis. Catherine sued him twice. Once for her son Seth Davis and another time for her son Jason Davis. Seth and Jason both lost their lives in the Civil War in Virginia. During all three bastardy cases Jason was married and had was the father of three children, and maybe four before he left Macon County.
And another outside marriage relationship may have occurred under his own roof. Jason had a female slave about 30 years old. Once he applied for a loan and put his female slave up for collateral. But, not only her, but her 2 year old daughter was listed as collateral as well. The assessors had to visit his home and list what was up for collateral, and when the daughter was listed, the assessor made a notation "of skin of light yellow" - which I'm sure he made that notation with a hidden smirk.
Jason and his family was in Macon County for the 1850 Census but on the 1860 Census he and a new wife, his older kids plus some new ones appear in Cape Giraldo, Bollinger County, Mo. There he became a state representative.
And just a couple of years later he organized a Confederate unit and apparently commissioned himself Colonel Jason H. Hunter. His unit fought under the command of Jeff Thompson, the famous Missouri Swamp Fox. The did a lot of fighting against Yankee ships and boats on the Mississippi.
After the war, he was involved in some type of land scandal and decided to hurriedly move out of state. he moved to Greene County, Arkansas, where again he became a state reprenative. On the 1870 Census he is not married. On the 1880 Census he is married and had a step-daughter, tht belonged to his new wife. Interesting enough, the daughter was born only 10 months before her mother and Jason had a child. I don't think you have to count your fingers on that one.
I have a copy of a letter Jason wrote his brother Johnson Hunter in Blairsville, Georgia in the mid 1880s. He said it looks like he will probably run for office again, because his neighbors wanted him to. He also mentioned his young wife, and how their son looks a lot like Johnson. I think, between the lines, Jason was saying "see what I can do in my late seventies?"
He had at least 15 children through at least three wives and two lovers.
Last year I went with Anna on a business trip to Memphis. After she went off to her meeting one morning I drove to Greene County, Arkansas and visited several cemetaries. I found Jason's youngest son Andrew's grave and Andrew's family graves nearby, and a mystery Hunter, also there, that has the dates of possibly Jason's children, but I can not find that one listed. Oh well, time isn't over with yet, something will show up, as always.
Recently I was looking over the route of the "Trail of Tears". It just about started in and around Cherokee, North Carolina, and worked its way down through Macon County, where Jason settled for a while, and then made its way to Chattanooga, where the Indians were loaded onto ships on the Tennessee River and transported to Cape Giraldo, Mo., and from there marched through Greene County, Ar. Do, you think it is just a coincidence Jason settled at these three places?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

And Here We Are!

My great grandfather William A. Hunter (1842-1928) and his wife and their children settled in this area in 1879. He was here about 15 years before when he was fighting at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in the Civil War. He was shot in the knee and recuperated in the nearby town of Woodstock. After he was well enough to walk and the war was over he walked back to his home in Macon County, North Carolina, where his wife was waiting.
Within a year, he and his uncle Van Trammell (they were near the same age, most people thought they were brothers)had a heated discussion with a man who fought for the North. Van hit the man with a limb or a rifle and killed him. All evidence pointed to Van but his nephew William told the sheriff he was with him all day. Later the sheriff found out William told a lie and he too was involved in the slaying. They were wanted by the law. Van, a brother, and some sisters moved to Arkansas; William and his family moved to Texas.
Up until this point in time William went by the name of William Trammell. He was the son of Rebecca Trammell. Rebecca died before 1850 and he and his sister lived in the house of his grandparents, Jacob and Polly Trammell. He enlisted into the Confederacy with the name of William A. Trammell and also married Emaline Ray with the name William A. Trammell. But, possibly wanted for murder, he changed his name to William A. Hunter after he left.
Why did he pick the name surname Hunter? Because in 1842 his mother Rebecca Trammell sued Jason Henderson Hunter for Bastardy. Jason admitted he was the father and he was ordered to pay $100 a year in child support.
They tried to make a living in Texas but times were hard. They came back east and he looked up his friends he had made when he was recuperating from his wound in Woodstock, Georgia.
And now, about 126 years later I am here in Marietta, Ga., almost within the shadow of Kennesaw Mountain where he was wounded, and only 7 miles from his home in Woodstock.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Twiddle Dee & Twiddle Dum

On one of my walking routes this morning, about two miles from here I went by a house that I'm sure has some interesting storiess within its walls. The house is occupied by two brothers. They are tall and have huge bellies. One looks to be in his late teens and the other one appears to be in his early twenties.
I think they need adult supervision before they hurt somebody.
I first started noticing the brothers at a local Krogers supermarket in the magazine section. They would always be dressed in military attire with berets and their pants legs neatly tucked down in their boots. At the magazine rack they would be reading military type of magazines, or sometimes gun mags, sometimes video game mags, and they strike as me the type who would be looking at the girly magazines if Krogers carried those.
I noticed they would leave with an elderly couple who did not very well off and they would all get in a dumpy dented-up old car.
My childhood friend Larry worked in the video department at the same Krogers (since then they no longer have a video department). Larry owned his own little one-man business for abut 25 years but had too retire because of illness. He had the Kroger job for health insurance purposes. Larry always knew everything about everybody locally. I asked him what was the story about "those two - Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum". Larry shook his head sadly and said it was a sad situation. And he was about to tell me. Then someone wanted to rent a video and according to the computer they still owned money in late dues and it looked like Larry would be bogged down with them a while, so I went to finish my shopping. Just before I left I dropped by so Larry could tell me the two brothers but there was a line of people checking out videos. He told me he would tell me the next time I was in. Larry died before I got to talk to him again.
I continue to see the two brothers at Krogers, but now evidently his grandparents who were evidently their guardians either have died or in a nursing home, or one of each.
One day a year or so ago while riding my bike a big German Shepard came up to a fence and was barking as I pedaled by. I was surprised when one of the Twiddle brothers came out and hollered at the dog to shut-up. And I recognized the old dented up car also. Then, I took notice of their house. It was a dumpy little house with a lot of junk in the front yard with untrimmed bushes and trees, and weeds. They have a high fence surrounding their yard (thank God) and they are surrounded on three sides by huge new houses.
I suppose they are holding out because they would not know where to go if they sold, or maybe one or both their grandparents are in a nursing home and have yet signed it over to them.
They are very scary looking in a gung-ho military kind of way. I noticed they march in-step and never smile or show emotion at Krogers when they do their shopping. They march their cart out to the car to load their groceries. I think they will want to something "military" one day, like make WAR on the yuppies in those big expensive houses?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Me and Al Feldtein

When Al Feldstein took over being editor of MAD magazine from Harvey Kurtzman and began to change things I was not very happy. MAD was losing its luster - or its glow-in-the-dark image. The art was becoming weaker, the articles were not as shocking, and all and in all, I thought it was just not as good, and I held Al Feldstein responsible. I didn't like him at all.
Then, I met him at the 1997 Comic Convention in Atlanta and found him to be very friendly, warm, and opened. I changed my mind, he is a much better person than I thought.
Before MAD came along, Al and E.C. Publisher William Gaines wrote most of the EC horror and sci-fi stories themselves. They had a productive comic creative assembly line going, producing sometimes a story a day, and most of them were very good and insightful.
When I met Al there, he told me he moved to Colorado and had a small ranch and was doing paintings of the countryside. He is also a very good painter.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

This is not Profiling

This may look like I am profiling, but really it is not profiling.
Not long ago I met Anna for lunch near her work at a Chinese Restaurant. We were ones of the first ones there. While we were there it filled up with people, mostly of people who appeared to be Mexican. They were mostly, it seemed, manual workers, some had red dirt caked on their pants and t-shirts.
I thought that I have been to Chinese restaurants before that have had plenty of Mexicans in it, so that is not unusual. But, have I ever been to a Mexican restaurant with Chinese as customers? Not that I recall. Nor, do I recall ever seeing a Chinese man with dirt-caked clothes, from working with molding the earth kind of occupation.
I don't know what should be learned from that observance, if any.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Walking the Line, Singing the Song

We went to see the movie "Walk the Line" which is the story of Johnny Cash and June Carter, which I thought was an excellent movie. Some of the historical events they briefly mentioned I concur with, saying, "Yep, that did happen about then." I suppose my only complaint is that they skipped over several time periods leaving several things unexplained - but, that had to be done, otherwise the movie would take days to view.

In the movie I was reminded that Johnny Cash sung some of Dylan's songs and some of Kris Kristofferson's songs. Which reminded me that Kris and Johnny were fellow drunks and also Kris and Janis Joplin were substance abusers buddies and were lovers and Kris was married to Rita Coolidge one time. Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were close friends. And also Johnny and Willie Nelson were friends. So, what am I getting at? Well, nothing much, but if you put all these people in one room, Johnny Cash, June Carter, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolege, Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson, and well, lets throw Mother Maybelle Carter into the room too (assuming some of these people are brought back to life). I think, I don't know, but I think everybody in the room will personally like everybody else in the room. Now, just to make it interesting lets put in a voting booth with a curtain. Lets tell each person to go into the booth and vote yes or no to the question "Do You Agree with everything President Bush is doing as President of the United States?"

After the tally is in, we will publish the results, but not tell how the people voted. Now, lets see if their friendly terms with other will withstand the political test.

I think it will.

38 Years!

Today we have been married 38 happy years. We have two sons we are very proud of and each of them has a dog, so we have two grand-dogs we enjoy also. We have lived in the same house for 30 years, which is all paid for. I have had a heart attack in 2001 and a stroke last Christmas Eve, but somehow I just keep on going beating that drum.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

45th Class Reunion

This past October our high school class of 1960 had their 45th class reunion.
I didn't go.

I don't know why I chose not to go. I think partially is because I am not the same person I was then. Back then I was on the wild side. Now, at age 64, I am fairly well tamed. I was unsure, just how I would handle myself, would I fall back into my old wild personality, since that would be what a lot of them would be expecting? And, I think many of my ex-classmates tend to be very materialistic and pretentious - so, I would probably turn green with envy.

From after high school I developed into a timid and shy type of person, well, after my Navy time, I did. I don't like big group get-togethers, so I have not been to a high school reunion yet. Living in my hometown I am see my some of my old student friends fairly often, and one that I keep in communication with is the social type that seems to know the news on everybody, so I am not missing their progress or failures... but I have no idea how most of them developed in their aging process. I feel certain I pass them in the streets often and I do not recognize them, and they like-wise, but at times, I have been called over and say, "Aren't you Eddie?" or I may do the same to them. There are several that I keep in communication with by phone or email - well, several minus one, one just died.

Although I had no desire to meet them person to person for a few moments of being awkward, I am interested in what they look like now. So, when a picture book was offered of this year's reunion I without hesitation sent my money to the committee that was handling the books.

I received the book today. Some of the people I recognize because their features clung to their faces... others just look the same as they did in high school. But many I just didn't recognize at all - it looked like a grandparents' convention. But even if the pictures were of these elderly people, you could tell their high school personalities came out, you could see the smirks, the wise-cracks coming out of the side of their mouths, and the wide open mouths gee-hawing laughing.
The back of the book had a memorial for the dozen or so that have died so far. I bet the next reunion, which will be the 50th, the number will number on the memorial page will probably more than double. The rest of the reunions will be a count down of the survivors.

Which reminds me, last August my 85 year old mother-in-law went to her reunion. They have a reunion every year. A couple years ago, because their number has dwindled agree to just meet at a certain restaurant the first Saturday of every August. My mother-in-law went and was the only one that showed up.

It is not as bad as it appeared. I think two were put in nursing homes and one just forgot.

Generation Leap-frogging

When I was growing up a few blocks away was a service station ran by a tall blond headed man. He reminded me of Joe Palooka. Later, he closed up his service station and changed it to a one man Western Auto store. He sold tires and other auto accessories.

The other day when with my sister she ran into an old friend of hers. The friend was a woman who spent a lot of money trying to look younger than she was. Money well wasted. Her hair was dyed blond and she dressed very modern, but the thick dark sun-baked skin was like leather. I estimated that she was in her early 70s. They talked about somebody's death that they both knew. When the lady departed I asked my sister who she was and I was told she was she the daughter of Mr. Whatzhisname, the service station-Western Auto owner. She was about 67 or 68 years old.

She looked and is old enough to be the mother of her father, by the image I remember of him, which I haven't seen in about 50 years.

Oh me, my mind is getting confused again.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Dog Food

Yesterday morning I was out on my morning walk. As I was approaching a certain fenced yard I was expecting the usual barking. The yard is occupied by two dogs, both are small and look identical to each other, they must be siblings. As I walk by most mornings they bark at me. I don't think they like my MP3 player.

This morning they were not barking. As I got closer I realized why: One was hunkered over taking a dump and the other one was behind him eating the nuggets as soon as they hit the ground.

Which got me thinking. When people carry their dog to a public park usually there is a sign telling the dog owner they are responsible for picking up any poop the dog might discard of. So, wouldn't it be easier, instead of carrying a little plastic bag with you, just to carry two dogs?

We am?

A rule in journalism is that you use first person plural, as in "we". Which sometimes can get confusing. The New Yorker magazine seemed to have carried this to the extreme, such as in their ramblings about the goings ons in the town, they might say something similar to "as we were getting a haircut the other day...." or "As we entered the men's restroom the other day we noticed...." I imagined a group of men, all squeezing in the men's restroom and in unionson they all noticed the same thing at the same time.

The other day on the local TV newscast the TV station was sponsoring a can-a-thon to feed the poor during the holidays. Several of the news show personalities were at a plush shopping center to push the can drive. The weatherman, an anchor man, and an anchor lady were there with sacks in their hands saying just drive by and drop some cans off, they will be happy to unload your car. The anchor man is a new man at the station. He said, "This is a very nice shopping center, we have never been here before." The anchor lady, also going by the "we" rule, agreed, it was nice and added, "We have been coming here for six years now."
So, which is it? Y'all are here for the first time or have y'all being going there for six years now?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Silent Communication With Music

This is the one that I tried to launch from my old blog and failed:

This past Saturday we went to hear the Cobb County Symphony Orchestra present their annual Christmas concert. As expected, they played a lot of Christmas music and they were very good.

We were ones of the first one in and thus got to sit up fairly close, maybe three or four rows from the performing artists.

We were close enough to to study their expressions, facial and body. Two violin players, a gray haired man and a thin blond woman, had a little joke going, I could tell by their facial expressions and body movement. As a matter of fact, at times they were trying to keep from spilling and beans and giggling uncontrollably, or so it appeared. When they stood up at an applause time I was mildly amused that the blond lady was about a head taller than the gray headed man. There was a black female cello player who really got into her work. She seemed to be in a trance as she sawed away at her instrument with her whatever it is. It looked as if she was so focused on making dramatic beautiful music that if she had changed her focused and decided to fly she could dart around near the top of the room and do all sorts of Peter Pan types of stunts. But, she was in all her mind and body concentrating into making this music, then, her thing she saws away at the cello strings, hit her little light weight music book stand it it toppled over. But the female siting next to her, caught it, raised it back to sitting positon, without either of them missing a beat. After the incident the black girl kept looking and smiling at the girl who caught the stand to show her gratitude. Another twosome, which I am not sure what instruments they were playing appeared to the an odd-couple. The man was dressed like all the other men, wearing a black penguin tux, he appeared to be in his 60s. The girl, appeared to be in her early 20s. She had on the black outfit all the other females were wearing which I think was silk looking shirt and pants. But, she was sitting on her crossed legs, showing white and black striped socks - which took away from the formality look, but added to her rebel or outlaw look. They were kidding each other in silent body language as the violin couple.

Three groups of chorals or choirs (what is the difference?) sung. One group had teenagers. It appeared that three or four of the teenage girls had crushes on the director. With their eyes they were begging for his approval.

Here we go again!

Here we go again! I had a blog, but apparently let it lapse too long and it lost its power. I did not add anything for over 30 days, so now I can go to it and I can add to it, but when I launch it, it doesn't go anywhere.

"Here we go again", incidentally is quote from Harvey Kurtzman on the editorial page of the first issue of HUMBUG magazine - wait, maybe it was HELP! magazine.

So, if you don't succeed the first time, try try again.
And that was a near-quote from the odd pair in the James Bond movie "Diamonds Are Forever".