Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Rogers Ferry

The above is Rogers Ferry crossing the Chattahoochee River. Then, to get from Roswell to Atlanta, and visa-versa, you had to use a Ferry such as Rogers Ferry. On this trip Anna's ancestor Buck Jones and his mule are the passengers. I wonder if the mule had to pay full price or is it cheaper if he sat in Buck's lap?

Hmmmm ... Buck Jones is on Rogers Ferry. Did someone say Buck Rogers is a ferry?

See how rumors get started?

Expieriments with Physics

Allatoona Damn

A friend I grew up went to Georgia Tech. He majored in physics.

For a while he, as a student, he was quiet taken away with the mathematical physical science of objects, which led to a few experiments.

Once he wondered what would happen if one shot a shaving cream compress canister. Would it spew out, or would it take off like a rocket spewing or what? So, we bought a new can of shaving cream and we got my .22 rifle and we went out in the woods. We put the canister on top of a stump and shot it. I don’t remember, but I would guess that it probably took several shots before we hit it. But when we did, the compressed cream did shoot out and the can did not stand still. The can almost suspended itself in midair and it spun. When I saw it spinning in midair, leaving a trail of liquid soap around and around it made me think of a galaxy.

Our second experiment, my friend was curious if we took a stack of note book paper up to Allatoona Lake Dam and made paper airplanes and throw them off the dam itself, what would they would do. It is a big dam. I don’t know how it compares to the Hoover Dam, but it is huge. One side is Allatoona and on the other side is an almost straight down cement cliff that must be several hundred feet down. It seems that way anyway. And at the bottom is the Etowah River which flows by Cartersville, the Etowah Indian Mounds, and then Rome, Georgia. I don’t where it goes then. The Etowah River is at the bottom of a very long valley. And at the dam interrupts the valley. It is windy on top of the dam. The wind is carried down the valley, almost like funnel, hits the dam and then goes the only place it can -straight up. We made a few paper airplanes and threw them off the edge. With the wind coming down the valley, then hitting the dam, and turning vertical and shooting upward was what he had in mind. Each airplane seemed to stay airborne a very long time, before it got knocked off the route of the upward wind constant blast. One paper plane may be still there. We got tired of watching it and left with doing what it has been doing for over an hour. It would go high, then out of reach of the upward wind, then fall down, and the wind would catch it and up it would go again. Over and over. Ho-hum.

The third experiment, my friend bought a 57 Chevvy convertible to do his share in a car pool of other Tech students. It was two-tone aqua and white. He came by to show me his car, it was clean and did not have a dent or scratch on it. We went for a ride in it with the top down. We had a few cans of beer. I don’t remember why, but we got onto an old dirt road out near Dallas, Ga. That road is a place we regularly went and parked our cars, and walk through a little clump of woods to slip into the Dallas Drag Strip. At the moment my friend was taken away with Einstein’s Theory of Relatively (E=MC2). I know, I know, the 2 is supposed to be smaller. I asked just what the theory was about, in layman’s terms please.
He said in its simplest form, say you are on a bus, standing in the aisle. You mark an X on the floor where you are standing. Then you jump up and land. Where do you land? You land on the X. Shouldn’t you land several feet behind the X because the bus, more or less will travel out from under you, or at least it seems the X should travel out from under you. No, whether you know it or not, while you are standing there you are also traveling forward at the same rate of speed of the bus. So when you jump up, in midair you are also flying forward at the same speed of the bus. And on the other hand, if you should jump up in the air and the bus stops suddenly, you are still traveling but the bus isn’t, so you should land up several feet in front of the X, closer to the front.

So, I said, “You mean, if I throw this half-full beer can up in the air, the same time you suddenly stop, the beer can should land in front of the car?”

He confirmed that it should.

OK, lets try it!

On the count of three I threw up the beer can as straight up as I could and at the same moment he slammed on the brakes.

The beer can went up, then back down.


The beer can hit his hood and put a mall dent on it.

So much for experiments.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Railroad Storage Bins

These are pictures of old storage bins along one side of the railroad tracks in downtown Marietta, Ga.

These bins are pre-Civil war. They were used to store cotton and various crops waiting to shipped out by railway. These bins are on the edge of a parking lot.

Plans have been submitted and approved to build a 5 or 6 story apartment and building here, which will probably squeeze out the storage bins, or the least, making them inaccessible.

I always thought it was something nice, like having a huge chunk of rock and cement history, always there.

Opps! There goes some more progress!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Barbecue Crow, Alabama Style

Williamson Brothers Barbecue is a place near downtown Marietta. They reek of Republicanism. They have signed frame pictures on their walls of all the local Republicans such as Newt Gingrich, Bob Barr, Johnny Isascon, and so on. But they didn’t stop there, they also have at least two signed pictures of George and Laurel with framed letters from George thanking them for helping out in a crisis. I know of two instants they were in D.C. handing out free barbecue; when Newt was first speaker of the house and when the Pentagon was hit. They supplied free barbecue to the workers repairing the Pentagon – the latter they deserve praise.

After you are in their restaurant about five minutes you know they are staunch Republicans.

However, they do have good barbecue, so we eat there fairly often. I would say, they cook their barbecue by Alabama traditions, because that is where they are from.

Today we ate there. Anna had barbecue pork pulled and I had barbecue beef, sliced. Near us was a man in his early sixties who seemed high strung. He was a braggart and a loud mouth, he wanted everybody around him to know his opinions, which I could tell, he was telling his opinions as they were facts. He is just as arrogant as many other Republicans I thought. The more I listened, he was telling the woman he was with that he went to Georgia Tech but chose to drop out his senior year and go to the Vietnam War. He went into the Navy. Then after doing his part he came back to Tech, finished up.

Surely that wasn’t his wife he was telling all that to. He must be on a blind date.

A man and woman next to him and the his date (whatever) stood up to leave. He made some comment about how rotten George Bush is and the man I was listening to joined in and agreed with him. He said George will go down in history as being the worse president this country has ever had, if we can survive the rest of his term. The more he talked, the louder he got.

Well now, what about that, I misjudged the guy. He saw me nodding in agreement with what he was saying and as he and his blind date was leaving, he stopped by our table and went on and on about what a mistake he made when he voted for George W. Bush.

Wait! I wasn’t wrong! I cast him into a Bush voter and he was. He just isn’t anymore. So, maybe I was wrong too. He said he was never going to vote for anybody who was a Democrat or a Republican again, he was going to vote for people running on a Independent ticket.

I told him I always voted for the man, not the party. He said he voted for Bush, but wish they would impeach him now.

I wanted to ask him did he want some Williamson Brothers Special Barbecue Sauce with that crow he was eating, but didn’t.

4 Generations

This picture of the four generations of Hunters is not that interesting on face, and it looks like maybe the person operating the camera might have jiggled or something, it looks slightly blur.

The old man on the left, my great grandfather, fought in the Civil War, afterwards was involved with his uncle in killing a man over a horse, and changed his name from Trammell to Hunter.

The man holding the baby boy was my uncle. He owned a barbershop and Marietta's first airfield. He had a Piper Cub type of aircraft. He took me flying when I was a young boy several times. Then he had a wreck, which almost crippled him and he sold out his airfield, which became a drive-in movie, but now is a shopping center. He took up fishing instead.

His son, my first cousin, that he is holding, fought in World II, just to give you an idea how old this picture is. He has been dead at least 15 years. He and I have clashed before, he was too demanding on what he wanted when he asked for some prints of copies of old pictures.

The man on the right is my great grandfather. He was my buddy. He taught me to ride my bike and once saved my life when I backed up to the fireplace too close (coal burning) and a cinder popped out and my clothes caught on fire. He threw me down and rolled me. My legs were covered in blisters for a few days. I don't think it ever occurred to my parents to take me to the doctor.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


An ex-coworker, now retired, the same as I went to Nashville last weekend. He and his wife are country music fans. I heard on the news that last weekend Nashville had a big snow, so, today I called to see if the weather had ruined their trip.

It didn’t. They had a good time. They went to the Grand Ole’ Opry at Ryman’s Auditorium. He said that night was the last night until, I think he said, Fall, that they would be having the Grand Old Opry in the Ryman Auditorium – I think for the next several months the performances will be held at the concert hall at Opryland or wherever.

Their visit to the Ryman reminded me of my visit to the Ryman back 1963. By coincidence, my retired co-worker friend’s wife’s uncle was a friend of mine. Small world. He, I, and a couple of other boys went to Nashville, in my used PV544 Volvo.

I have an earlier post about that purchasing that used Volvo. It may have possibly played a part in the U.S. history.

When I bought the Volvo it had bad brakes. My friends and I thought we could replace the brakes with no problem and little cost. Which we did for little cost and no problem that we knew of.

On the way to Nashville going down a very long hill my brake petal went to the floor board. We sailed down with some of us screaming. Luckily, they had a truck runaway ramp which accommodated us to a coasting up a hill stop.

Somehow my friends made some adjustments and the brakes were fixed for a while, so onward to Nashville we went.

We got a room in a tall hotel next door to the Ryman Auditorium, I think the name of it was the Andrew Jackson Hotel.

We went on a walking tour of downtown Nashville, before the Grand Ole’ Opry. This wasn’t what you would think a walking tour is. At that time in our lives we could care less about the local history. We wanted to scout out some bars and a cheap place to eat.

So, we decided to eat at Woolworth’s. They had a sign of some kind of special dinner in the window. We went in, got a table by the window, and ordered. We got our food and were eating when I looked up and a tall man in dirty clothes and carrying a guitar was watching us eat – like he was appreciating every bite. After covering our mouths, we discussed what should we do – it appears he was homeless and hungry. So, we motioned for him to come in, which he did, and joined us. We bought him a meal.

He really appreciated it. He gobbled it down. We thought he was drunk. He told us that he grew up with Cowboy Copus and Cowboy told him if he was ever in town, come on down to the Opry and he would line it up so he could play to the audience and maybe become famous. He said he taught Cowboy how to play and he really was appreciative. Before I typed this I ran a search on Cowboy Copus and see that he is from Adams County, Ohio, so I assumed his the man who claimed to his friend would claim to be from Adams County also.

We went on the Ryman. We got our seats, which were very high up, what now days is called the “nose-bleed section”. The seating looked like rows of church pews.

The Opry was really enjoyable it was interesting how they change the setup from one performance to the next. There were so many house-hold name stars singing, after a while they are seem to blend in. Cowboy Copus was more or less the M.C., doing about the same thing Ed Sullivan did, introduce acts. The only performer that stood out was Patsy Cline that I remember.

Between one of the acts Cowboy played a song. While he was singing, and on the lowest level aisle I saw movement. Somebody was walking up towards the stage. He had a guitar. I recognized his old brown coat. It was Cowboy Copus’s friend! I punch my friends and directed with my finger the man marching up. We were all laughing, not believing it.

The man got to the stage and put his guitar on it and started to climb up. Suddenly, ushers appeared from nowhere and jerked him away from the stage. He hollowed at Cowboy to tell them who he was.

Cowboy kept on singing, not missing a beat.

After the show, we went to Ernie’s Record Mark, and a few bars where amateurs who wanted to be discovered sung, probably for free.

We finally settled in a bar called “The Jungle”. A waitress there was named Bonnie. A big tall gal that tried to talk us into taking her back to Marietta with us. She had a cruel lazy husband and nine children. She wanted a change of scenery. She gave us her home number.

The next morning we called her and explained we were in a little Volvo with 4 passengers already. She said that was OK, she changed her mind anyway.

Which is just as well, because at that time each of us still lived with our parents. But we didn’t tell her that.

Cowboy copus and Patsey Cline were killed in an airplane accident the next week.

If Anybody Knows, Moe Knows!

Once at a New Years party, before 1960, Ron drunk himself into a stupor and passed out. And several of us in the wee hours of the morning was discussing the importance of no-telling what, and Ron rose up from his reclining position, put one finger up in the air and said, “If anyone knows, Moe Knows!” and passed out again.

Ron had a soup bowl haircut at the time, similar to Moe of the Three Stooges. He was instantly crowned with the name “Moe” which stayed with him beyond his life.

Today I went to his memorial service, and I heard him being referred to as Moe several times.

Ron, aka Moe, died in Mexico on February the 13th of this year, while on a scuba diving tip. He was 64.

Both of his parents died fairly young, in their late 40s or early 50s, both of heart ailments. When Ron turned 55 he quit his job at Lockheed, he felt his time was nearing, and he hadn’t did everything he wanted to do – which mostly was skydiving and skin diving.

He also like to hang out at bars and drink a lot. A compulsion I got over after I was released from active duty in the Navy.

They way he was an excellent union representative at Lockheed.

I think his wife probably left him around that time, she wasn’t around today. His grown daughter, her husband, child and his brother were at the service. His brother was an Annapolis cadet, thus, later a Naval officer, which I got the vibes Ron was slightly intimidated by his brother, say 30 or 40 years ago. They were natural enemies until the past several years, when they grew close to one another.

His brother broke down crying a couple time at the podium while talking about him.

It was a terrific reunion. I saw many old acquaintances that I haven’t seen in over 45 years. It is amazing, knowing you are in the same room as these old farts, some bald, most gray headed, many with facial hair – and knew them all then, in their crew cuts and clean faces. As I mingled and shook hands their old appearances seemed to have materialized in front of me, and they no longer looked like old men. It is always interesting to watch as someone who would know me well realized just who I am and watch their face light up. I used to be just an unpredictable bundle of joy.

But since I got married I developed into something of a recluse, keeping tabs on my only closest friends, letting all my rare free time go mostly to my extended family.

Today I got to wallow in my old friendships, at one their expense – sorry Moe.

Speaking of Cotton...

This is James, Anna's great grandfather. No, he isn't the one that went off in the woods and killed himself. As far as I know he was successful farmer. Here he is selling his cotton at the open cotton Market in Marietta - sort of a zoom-in of the previous picture.

When Cotton Was King

This is Marietta around 1901 or so. Cotton was the number one product that made some families rich and broke some other families' backs.

The timing of carrying your crop of cotton to the wholesale buyers was a gamble. One would never know until they got there at what price cotton was selling for per pound.

I know of one case where a guy held off carrying his cotton to market, holding until he predicted the price would be at its peak. When he carried it, it was at its peak alright, an inverted peak. That day was the lowest it had been in many years.

He was found in some woods the next day where he ended his life.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Treadmill Delivered

The Nordic Track Treadmill was delivered this morning.

As I mentioned in a previous post I was afraid it was going to be handled by an old man who sounded on the phone as he was on oxygen, having to gasp for every word. Again, I misjudged a phone voice. The voice belong to a young healthy man and he had a helper, also young and healthy. They handled to treadmill like I would handle, well, something not too heavy.

One reason it was handled so well was that it came in two or three parts, and maybe all three total were heavy accumative, but so much one at a time.

It seems to work fine.

It was interesting listen to the two men talk between themselves as they assembled the machine. It went something like this:

"I was helping unload something at this woman's house yesterday and she told me burn the boxes. Burn the boxes? Why? Don't Fulton County have a outside burning law?"
"They do! (laughs)"
"Yeah, they do, she told me to cut them up in small pieces and burn them on the grill. Well, I did, but first, I asked her why don't she burn them. She said that is what men are for."
"She wasn't married?"
"Nah, she an't married, 52 years old and has no husband or no kids, but she does have one of those little hotdogs - er-Dachshund dogs."
"Sounds like she is set in her ways."
"Uh hun, she is. Then I was in with her in her car and she said went by a McDonald's drive-in window and I got a hambuger, and after the first bite, she told me she forgot to tell me, she didn't allow anybody to eat in her car."
Other guy laughs.
People are interesting.

If I Ever Win the Lottery

I was wondering what if I won the Lottery. Just what if. Hmmmm.

Our house is paid for, so I can’t pay off what is already paid off. But my two sons owe money for their houses, so that would be the first thing we would do.

Anna could sing “take this job and shove it!”

And, maybe the third thing we would do would be to get us a nicer house out in the woods someplace. And maybe a cabin in the north Georgia mountains.

And that is about it for now.

Then put the rest up for a rainy day.

That sounds nice and moderate but who am I fooling? Once I get a taste of a big supply of $$$$ I would demand more and more things, and be as greedy and materialistic as the next person.

The more you get, the more you want.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Symbolism in Commericals

I just saw a commercial on TV for Cialus.

In the commercial a couple, maybe over 60 years of age, walking on the beach, were holding hands. Romance is in the air.

In the background, was a huge lighhouse, which looks like it has been standing there for a long time... you might say standing there erect for a long time.

Federico Fellini couldn't have done it better.

Dora Hunter Spiva - one tough babe

Above – Dora in 1937 and now.
After my oldest son was born in 1975 I decided to pursue our family tree to hand down to him one day. Of course, now I am pursuing it to hand down to two sons.

By 1980 I learned that my g-g-g grandfather John Hunter (1775-1848) settled in the north Georgia mountains, near Blairsville, Union County, Ga., in 1834, and every year they have a Descendents of John Hunter Reunion. We went the Summer of 1980.

There, we met many distant cousins that I didn’t know existed… well, by then I knew some of them existed on paper, but to actually see them was a pleasure. Usually, around 200 Hunters come with their covered plates.

Arriving fashionably late was this tall long legged graceful lady that had a way of walking that made you think of a swan. She spotted me and walked over and introduced herself, as Dora Hunter Spiva. She married Daniel Spiva but he had died years ago. She taught school but was retired. She was graceful, she was flirty, she gave me her full undivided attention. While standing there she listened to every word of how we were related and maybe about an hour later she introduced me to another relative and recited our relationship perfectly. She had a very witty way about her and a very sharing way about her, when she talked to you she shut off everybody else around. She gave you her full attention, and she commanded the same.

When I got home I asked my neighbor Harold Killian if he knew Dora Hunter Spiva. He was born and grew up in Union County. He did, in fact Dora had taught him in several classes in high school.

Not that this has anything to do with the story, but while mentioning Harold Killian I should mention while doing my genealogy I discovered we were related on my mother’s side. My progenitor Nellie Malinda Killian Dyson ran off with her male neighbor, Henry Ridley and left her husband Solomon Dyer, they were both married, but evidently fell in love, and left their families for each other and moved to Murray County, Ga. Nellie and Harold’s ancestor were siblings.

For the next several years I attended the annual John Hunter Descendents Reunion, sometimes we all went and sometimes only one or both of my boys went. Each time I went Dora and I had a nice visit. She always remembered me.

Her student and my distant cousin and neighbor Harold Killian died the same day I had my heart attack.

Around Christmas time of this past year I read in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution that a scholarship fund was created at Truett McConnell College in nearby Cleveland, Ga., in Dora Hunter Spiva’s honor, on the same year she turned 100 years old.

She turned 100 years old February the 6th and is still going strong.

I had another neighbor also from Union County who recently moved. They are James and Brenda. The other night Brenda called about another matter and I asked her did she and James see the article about the scholarship in Dora’s honor, they hadn’t. But they both had her as their teacher.

Brenda was telling me on the phone that last year was James high school reunion and at 99 years old Dora was there, walking up saying the person’s name first, and reminding them of various bits of mischief of whatever they got themselves into in school.

Brenda said she made the comment to one of Dora’s nieces there that Dora was very sharp remembering each person like she did. The niece said don’t let her fool you, she has been studying the year book for that class for a week now reminding herself who each person was and reading her notes about each person.

I think that is still sharp – to have a system to utilize names like that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Brandi Revisited

Today my friend John that I grew up with was up from Florida. He retired in Panama City Beach several years ago, but still has family and connections here and shows up fairly often. When he comes he calls me and we usually get together for at least a few hours.

John wanted to know how I found out so much about my family history and I told him to meet me at the library this morning I would show him the basics of research. We met at 9a.m. I showed him where the county history books were and the census microfilms, then we started talking about old times, and sitting in the middle of a research area carrying on a normal tone of conversation I thought we might be making a nuisance of ourselves, so maybe we should move on to my house to show him how to do genealogy on the Internet.

When we left the library it was lunch time. I suggested we go somewhere to grab lunch. "Where do you want to eat?" We both asked.
"It doesn't matter with me, just wherever you want to will be fine with me." We both answered.

I carefully suggested Brandi's World Famous Hotdogs. I was careful because ever since I have known John, which is about 60 years, John has had a skittish sensitive stomach. I think I have a calloused that shields the inside of my stomach - the hotter and spicier, the better. John said he was game. So, we went to Brandi's.

The hotdog chili was just as spicy as ever and the onion rings, once you bit through the deep friend batter and pulled out a hot scalding naked onion ring - well, it is always an experience.

I noticed tears were coming out of John's eyes and his nose was running. That spicy chili was loosening up his sinuses.

In the corner of Brandi's is an old Coke big red box that you get your own drinks out of. I picked out what I always drink in the way of soft drinks, Diet Coke. John picked out a Red Rock Ginger Ale. He marveled at the brown glass bottle, it hasn't changed since he drunk it as a kid. He told me he didn't know Red Rock was still in business.

Brandi overheard him and came over and told us that she did buy her Red Rock bottled drinks for the restaurant at Publix, but she said she found out they had a bottling company in Atlanta, so now the company delivers them.

As usual Brandi had on a low cut blouse, exposing a good percentage of her boobs. I think each laugh and each sentence she spoke each boob would bob separately. A good deal of her advertising budget probably goes to Victoria's Secret or Frederick's of Hollywood.

Compromising With The Delivery Service

Last weekend after extensive comparing shopping we bought a Nordic Track Treadmill, which I already mentioned in a previous post. The first sentence was kind of a catch-up or quick review, sort of like what they do in soap operas. Like, "The time I was married to Rachel, but left her and our children, when I realized she was also my mother."

So, yesterday the delivery man called and left a message saying he would deliver it Friday morning. He sounded very old and sick. The treadmill weights up in the hundreds of pounds. How is he going to deliver it all?

He left his number so I called him back wanting to know if we could pick another time besides Friday morning, because my wife Anna takes off every Friday, and that morning is the time we attend our Weight Watchers meeting.

I could hear his lungs wheeze in and out as he was thinking. He said no, he had his route all mapped out and and it had to be that day and time. I suppose, since the delivery service holds the product, and he is his only employee in his own delivery service, he can pretty much tell you when he is going to deliver it and compromise isn't part of the service.

And being that he is old and wheezes and had to get up oxygen to speak every word he can even have his way more.

So, Friday morning it is.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

General Schofield's Headquarters

This is a picture of an old mansion of an old plantation owned by the Chaney family on the outskirts of Marietta. In 1864 when Sherman's troops occupied the area it was Yankee General John F. Schofield's headquarters.

This was close to my son's house before he moved. I took this picture about a year ago.

I was in the area the other day and I and saw that now, the front yard is a subdivision of townhouses and the mansion is their clubhouse.

Tch tch.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Universal Preteen Boy Photo

Just about every preteen boy has hammed it up in front of the camera flexing his wannabe muscles. Here's mine.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Old Friends

When we returned from a day of shopping for a treadmill I had a message waiting, an old high school friend Paul called. He said he had some news, so I returned his call.

He told me our old buddy Ronnie was found dead in a hotel room in Mexico. His body was cremated and they are sending the remains to his family here.

This is uncanny similar to another friend of ours, Bubba, who died in a cheap motel or rooming house in Texas. They had led similar lives of partying and gambling.

At one time, about 30 years ago, Ronnie was on the run because he owed “the big boys”* a big gambling debt. He may have been in hiding since, I haven’t heard.

Paul also said another old friend H. called him and they are getting together today. In high school H. was something of a braggart who thought he looked just like Elvis and sung just like Elvis. He also claimed he was a big singing star on weekends at the Silver Slipper night club in Atlanta. He said the girls would go wild when he shook his legs and hips like Elvis when he sung.

After high school H. and Paul were roommates. One time after Paul gave H. his share of the rent for H. to put with his share and pay the full balance, H. left town, leaving the rent unpaid. Paul hasn’t seen him since.

H. said he had a stroke and Paul said his speech was slur. He said since his stroke he had been at the VA hospital in Milledgeville, Ga., for the past 18 years.

Wait! There is something wrong with this. I don’t know if Paul remembers, but I do. H. went into the Air Force after high school and was kicked out after several times of going A.W.O.L. Does the Veterans’ Hospital extend their benefits to dishonorable discharged people?

More Aunt Bee

Shopping For a Treadmill

Yesterday we spent 9 hours in the area visiting a bunch of exercise equipment stores looking for Mr. Right Treadmill. If I am counting my fingers right we went to 8 stores, maybe 9.

Our objection was to find the best for the lowest…. Or the most for what we were willing to pay. Anna was armed with printouts from Consumer Reports on-line comparison charts.

The first store, a discount store, there were nobody around that give you any information, and it appeared they didn’t have but three very low graded types of Treadmills, and one of them was only partially assembled, so I am not sure I should counted that one or not – maybe it did teach us one thing, don’t go to a discount store if you want to talk to a salesman that should have all the information.

The second store we visited had a salesman to give us his full attention and he had all the answers. His machines seemed a little on the expensive side. And he smirked a lot at us. By his body language and his smirking I could tell he thought we were funny with our Consumer Reports and questions. However, once, when lifting an end of one of the machines to show us the space saver quality the body strain caused him to fart. Then I got to smirk. He who smirks first, gets smirked at last – or something like that.

Another fitness equipment store the salesman gave us his total attention, the only thing he had no attention to give. He was a muscle-bound jock who I think only had the expertise in weight lifting. He kept telling us wrong information on the machines we were asking about.

We went to a big sports discount store that had a big selection, but could not find anyone to spend some quality time with us, so used the restroom and left. Besides, they had a big delivery and assemble fee, which all the stores seem to have.

We went to a couple of other stores, including a used sports equipment store and could find nothing that met our requirements in performance or out of the wallet.

Then, we visited a Nordic Track store in the mall. The sweet innocent looking college girl was working on her pre-med paper because it wasn’t very busy. She showed us the a treadmill that did all we required and it was nice and sturdy. The delivery and assembly charge is free. We bought it. It should be delivered one day next week.

Unless of course, that sweet innocent college girl took our money and ran.

Friday, February 17, 2006

23 Skiddoo!!!

"Just Ask Judy" blog (link on the right) inspired me to post this picture.
The roaring 20s gal on the right is my father's only sister, Bee - short for Beatrice. At the time of the picture she worked for Southern Bell. By all the pictures I have seen of her of those times, she was dressed to be a "Thorough Modern Millie" kind of girl.

It must have paid off. She married a man that owned half of downtown Marietta. They had five children and adopted two more. They lived in a big house and it was big enough to hold bodies of my grandparents' caskets for wakes or whatever (different years).

Back in the late 40s and 50s I remember she always drove a hawg of a Caddy. She always had a downhome appeal about her with a very thick southern accent.

One thing I never could figure out, her and her kids would take their vacations to Florida, separate from her husband.

She smoked with the flair of a movie star. She was born in 1903 and died in 1971 of cancer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Twiddle Dum Saga continues – part III.

Remember, the last episode of Twiddle Dum it appears he had separated with his older brother, Twiddle Dee and was living with a male redheaded middle aged fast food server.

And since he was no longer under the critical and demanding eyes of Twiddle Dee he quit dressing so military and dressed in his true nature, a big slob. His attire now is pants hanging on him and a maroon tee-shirt with several food stains on it. I don’t think he had changed since the last time I saw him. His hair is also inconsistent messed up with no rhyme or reason.

Today on the way home from the funeral home after paying my respects to my neighbor’s family (his sister died), I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few items – today is Wednesday, which means 5% Senior Discount Day, and they used to have bingo on Wednesday mornings for Senior Citizens, but evidently that fell through.

As I was looking for a cashier with not many people waiting, or little in their grocery carts I saw Twiddle Dum doing the same… he was dragging, leaning over his cart, depending on it to carry the bulk of his weight. He looked partly in a sleepy trance.

This time, the middle aged red-headed fast food server was not with him like last time. Did they part company?

Out of curiosity I asked the cashier that waited on me about Twiddle Dee. She said he turned 21 on January the 1st, and he now he can legally buy cigarettes. She said she used to see him and his brother all dressed like militants but now his brother doesn’t come there anymore. Yeah, yeah, I knew that.

I think it was sometime in December when I saw him last, before he was 21. I wonder, if he let the middle age male fast food server live with him because he could buy him smokes? Now that he is 21, he has no need for the fast food server, so kicked him out?

To make things even more interesting, when I left the grocery store and was about a half mile down the main road, I saw the middle-age red head fast food server walking by himself on the sidewalk.

I think there is a kind of story they do movies about with those boys.

This Date Four Years Ago In Another Galaxy...

On this date, 4 years ago, February 15, 2002, I had a heart attack a cold morning while running.

Was it the greasy deep fried onion-loft we had a Outback Steakhouse the night before? Or, just my general life-style. Probably both.

Now, 40 pounds lighter, I eat more moderately, but I do enjoy my spices and barbecue, which I have to have from time to time to feel complete.

Anyway, I am still kicking. And it is time for my daily run.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Glover Machine Works

Glover Machine Works has been in Marietta for over a hundred years. They have manufactured several things, mostly war related things.

They also produced over 100 locomotive engines from the Civil War up to the 1940s. the locomotive is a Glover Machine Works product.

My grandfather, Frank Hunter, was a machinist for Glover, and my father worked there as his first paying job as a machinist apprentice. We lived only about three blocks away. On Sundays some of my friends and I would slip thought a thick-vine wooded area, climb over the back brick fence at Glover Machine Works and play on the very engine that is pictured above. Then it was a rusty red-brown color.

The Glover family just about owned Marietta at one time. One of the Glovers that owned a large plantation just outside of town and was the mayor for several terms. His mansion in recent years was a restaurant that was called “The 1848 House” and has been featured on the Food Network. It has been haunted since the Civil War. A man was killed there and his spirit still likes to hang around and aggravate guests and staff, so I heard. I have been there several times and have not seen any ghosts, but I did see a bullet hole the staff like to point out.

Now the aged mansion is a club house for a new upscale townhouse subdivision that was built on its property.

When my father was a young man the house was believed to be haunted then also. He was challenged to spend the night in the attic alone. It was a bet, so he took his friends up on it. In the attic, during the night, just as he was about to drop off to sleep someone or something tugged at his hair. He ran out. He lost his bet. The next day they went back to look to see what it could possibly be and where he sat was very near some cobwebs.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Place Called FREEDOM

Now, to build back my good name, ahem!
I finished reading “A Place called FREEDOM” by Ken Follett. It is a very good book. It starts in Scotland about 1770, give or take a few years, at a coal miner’s area. The coalminers were, in most cases the property of the lords/property owners. Shortly after childbirth the parents would have a Christening at the local church, which the local lord controlled what was preached and what was said. At the Christening the parents would dedicate their new child to the lord. Then, it was legal – the newborn was the property of the owner of the property and coalmine until he turned 21 of age, but it was an unwritten understanding that the person would be the property of the leading family the rest of his/her life.

And what added insult to injury, after having the people under them work like animals just to keep the local wealthy family wealthy, they looked down on them like the poor people did not have enough intellect to have good judgment, morals, or taste.

The protagonist of the novel, Mack, had something to say about that. He broke away from that tradition and became a dock worker in London, which he organized a labor organization. And, by a strange combination of coincidences and circumstances, Mack winds up in American (Virginia) as an indenture servant.

I thought the book was an excellent way go gain some knowledge of some details of history that did not make it in the history books about the settling of America and the laws of England designed to keep the rich rich and the poor poor.

A few little historical odd-facts that I happen to remember, occurred in the book, so I think I can believe that the rest of the history-related things in the book happened. Ken Follett must have did a fantastic job researching.

The fictional story was just a vehicle to move from one time to another, and from one place to another to observe its local laws and customs. Action, the fiction part, was lame, in a way.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


William Elijah Joseph Petty (1875-1935).
Holding the flowers with the flag near he looks like he might be a gentle person doesn’t he? He was a hot temper raging maniac at times.

I am told by someone who knows protocol that the flag is positioned just the opposite of what it should be and William Elijah is holding the bouquet in the wrong hand. I think the print was made from a negative, and from the wrong side of the negative. But, I will leave the pictured unchanged by me.

William Elijah Joseph Petty (wait! I am going to call him what his siblings called him, Elijah) was my grandfather, my mother’s father. I never met Elijah, he died six years before I was born.

Elijah was a man of contradiction and as the song was sung in “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou”, he was a man of constant sorrows.

The reason I think he was a walking contradiction was that he treated some of his children very cruelly and petted the others. He and his wife Viola produced twelve children but three died at childbirth.

My mother was one of the ones that he mistreated, that he would beat with no mercy. He would give swift whipping punishments for no apparent reason. And the next minute he would have one of his pets in his lap having a good time with that one.

In today’s times Elijah would be locked up and the children would be put in foster care.

Because of him, I think, the children fought among themselves to the end of their lives.

Elijah had TB or some other lung disease. He was told to move out west. The family moved near Gillette, Wyoming. That is where my mother was born.

They sat up homesteading. I think they got land on the Homestead Act but am not quiet sure. They had a rough time. In the winter the snow and blizzards got so terrible they moved into town to wait out the bad weather.

Once on their homestead a well known outlaw gang came and wanted food for themselves and their horses and a place to stay overnight. Elijah had “Ola” cook them food and he gave it to them and told them they had to sleep in the barn.

All night long while the outlaws drunk, rode their horses, and shot of in the air, Elijah sat outside in front of his house entrance door with a gun, ready to fire to protect his family. In the morning the men left.

They had such a hard time out on the prairie trying to scrounge out a living, they realized they had two choices: (1) move back east or (2) starve to death.

“Ola” took the all the females and the young children via train back east. Elijah took the two oldest boys in a wagon with their belongings. The two boys, Tom and Wallace, got to spend a number of months of quality time with their father in the opened air.

Wallace grew up, got his degree in teaching and quickly became a principal of a high school and in a short time went to work for the Georgia Department of Rehabilitation and became the department head in due time. Tom, on the other, became a con-artist and a gospel singer.

Drive-In, Part II

Judy remembered her days at the drive-in in the previous blog comments.
Which triggered off me remembering more about my drive-in days.
On occasions some of us would slip in the drive-in. A friend, Larry, had a '57 Ford with a large trunk. It could hold three teenage boys. One evening it was my turn to drive. I paid for my one ticket and entered the large parking lot and went directly to the back row. I got out, looked around, and went to open the trunk to let my friends out and from nowhere appeared a man with a flashlight. He said, "You can't park here son, this is the colored section."
I said "Yessir!" And as I started back to the car and he was walking away, he turned around and said, "And you better let those boys out of the trunk, they might smother to death."

Back then it was a fad to have drive-in car speakers hooked up to your radio in your bedroom. I didn't get to get on at that fad because my father was the Chief of Police and I knew he would figure out very quickly how I acquired that speaker.

A lot of teenage romance sparked in the cars.... I think some bunches of girls went together just to cruise up and down the aisle looking for cars they recognized, then pull up beside them, to check out who that male had a date with - and then the rumor mill and the gossip circuit would travel faster than Broadband or DSL to bring the news to all nosy teenagers in a five mile radius.

It was always nice to get to know the people behind the concession counter at a drive-in. They controlled the free refills - but you had to buy the first one. Little did they know that practice is still carried on today, but now, completely legit.

Once Homer the local notorious homosexual parked by a few of us teenage boys and kept asking us did we know so and so, and did we know so and so else, and so on. We finally asked where was he getting all these names and he pulled out a Marietta High School year book, The Olmpia and said, "My menu."

One night at the drive-in a gang decided to give Homer a good beating (remember, this is the south in the late 50s). Homer was proably over 40 years old and overweight, yet he outran some of Marietta High's top athletes and jumped a wide ditch that no one else could leap over and one kid even broke his leg by falling into the ditch.

I bet that was hard to explain to his parents - why he fell down a ditch behind the drive-in.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Viiew of History From the Sky

I hope you can make out what this is. This is a GoogleEarth.com satellite picture that I found my way to a local college.

The picture is the Southern Poly Tech campus (formerly Southern Tech) in Marietta, Ga.

Slightly below the center of the picture do you see the pie slice shape area with curved lines going from one side to the pie slice to the other side? That is a remnant of the old Georgia Drive-In Theater that has been out of out of operation for about 40 years. It closed in the mid 1960s. And the County government with the board of regents help bought the land and build a college there, which is pretty prominent in the engineering profession.

From high up it looks like the concession building which is also the projector building is still standing. And the parking lot, if the rest of the pie was there, would look more like a half pie with semi-circles, each circle representing a layer higher. The closer you got to the big giant screen the lower you would get.

I remember once, we went there and partly watched a movie that we had already seen a night or so before. We knew when a crucial moment was coming up, so we drove down near the screen, turned around and turned on our headlights on bright.

You should have heard those car horns honk.

Man, were we immature!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Superbowl Sunday - later

We went to a very popular barbecue joint tonight which is usually very crowded. There were only us and two other couples as far as I could tell.

Then we went to see the movie "constant Gardener" and only about 6 or 8 other people were in the theater.

There was no traffic. I felt like Tony Perkins in the movie "On The Beach" I think was the name of it.

Super Bowl Sunday

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. I think I read someplace that Super Bowl Sunday is the 2nd most eating spreads of the year. It even beats Christmas.

I wonder why it would it would beat Christmas as far as festivities go. Maybe it is because Christmas is for families and Super Bowls are for parties and families. So, since not everybody has a family to visit on Christmas, it is almost hard to not be invited to a Super Bowl party. But in that case, why doesn't it beat out Thanksgiving as well?

My oldest son is giving a Super Bowl party. The youngest son is invited to a Super Bowl party.

Which reminds me, about a year ago, a lady, who was a neighbor in my childhood died. Sunday evening, (Super Bowl Sunday) I went to the funeral home to pay my respects. She was a big active church member of a Baptist Church here and had about a dozen kids (two of them died before she did). Only about four of her children were at the funeral home to accept visitors. What visitors? I was the only one that showed up. The other siblings and the Baptist Church members of her church were attending a Super Bowl party.

Us? We are nerds when it comes to football. The only reason I would watch it was to hope for another wardrobe malfunction of another female rock star.

Surprisingly, we are not the only ones who could cares less about the Super Bowl. This is an very informal survey but go to the video rental stores tonight like Blockbuster. The shelves will be cleaned out. Why? Well, I think people that do not care for the Super Bowl would channel surf and find repeats or things not so fun to look at – because the TV viewers market knows most of the eyes will be on the Super Bowl, so the other networks do not want to waste money on the programming tonight. And by a chain reaction, Blockbuster and Hollywood video will end up with empty shelves tonight.

I wouldn’t mind seeing all the commercials on the big game tonight. All the innovative type of commercials make their d├ębut.

Also, I think the restaurants will have plenty of room tonight…. Not much waiting and they will be glad to see what few customers that show up. We plan to take advantage of that.

Well, anyway, Happy Super Bowl and I hope your favorite team wins.

O'Henry Kind of Story - But True

While shopping at the mall before last Thanksgiving Anna saw a pocketbook at a leather store for $59.99 and decided to buy it. Then she read a sign there saying if she bought that item from that table, then she could buy a 2nd item 50% off. She couldn’t decide what else to buy so didn’t buy anything.

A week before Christmas, we went into the same leather store with intentions of buying the pocketbook. The price had been changed to $99.99. Again, we left the store without buying it.

A few days after Christmas we returned to the leather store and she found the same pocketbook. This time it was $69.99, ten bucks higher than the first price. Anna said it would surely come down to $59.99. Again, we made our exit.

Yesterday February the 4th, we were in the Leather Store and the pocket book was marked back down to the original price of $59.99. Anna noticed a bent place in the leather strap. The bent place was probably caused by Anna picking it up trying it out many times. She could not see paying for a damaged pocketbook. We left without buying the pocketbook.

There is an O’Henry story there someplace.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

From the Bowels of Marietta

The above was taken just one block from where I was born (but 64 years later). I have been a MAD fan since it was conceived - well, actually about four months after it first hit the comic racks, but I quickly snatched up the back issues.

I wonder if there is a connection?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Groundhog Day in the Waiting Room

Today was another 45 minutes in the waiting room of the physical therapy clinic.

When I sat down there were three of us. One very graceful and pretty woman who looked to be in her 40s or early 50s but I deducted from things she said she was in her early 70s. The other man was a neatnik, who wouldn’t look comfortable wearing jeans. He had on a Georgia Tech jacket. He, in due time said he was 81, and that looked about right, but he said he looked much younger.

Somehow we got into a discussion of Iraq. The 81 year old man said the U.S. should not allow all these people speak against the war, it is bad for morale and the enemy will think we are weak. I said that is just the curse of freedom, if you going to have Freedom of Speech, then you have to put up with what you disagree with too.

The dyed black haired lady was also shoveling thoughts into the conversation and was agreeing with what I was saying.

The man said his mother had seven boys and all seven boys went into WWII and all seven came out of it alive. He said one brother kept going to different schools offered in the service and never saw any combat time but because of all the education he soaked up, he became an officer.

He asked me did I go into the service. I said yep, in the Navy, I enlisted after Kennedy gave his TV speech about missiles in Cuba.

Then we talked about how the county has grown in the past twenty or so years. I asked him was he born in Cobb County and he said yes. I asked him his name and he said, something Bramlett. The name didn’t ring a bell.

Then, he said his mother had seven sons and all of them went to war and they all came back alive, and one son went to one school after the another in the service and saw no combat time, but was commissioned and officer because of the schooling they kept sending him to. Then he asked me did I go into the service.

I looked at the lady puzzled. She said, “Dejivu?”*
I said, “Ground Hog Day?” She got it and laughed.
The poor old gent apparently was had Alzheimer’s disease. I would have never known.

I replied, “The Navy.”

He said, “Did you carry me over the ocean in World War II?”
“No, my Navy time was in the 60s”.

He said his mother had seven sons and all seven went to war, and all came back alive, and so on….. and did I go into the service?

The lady and I both were communicating with our eyes and body language on how to knock that record off its track. She and I started talking about history in general – it came out that she has very recently found history fascinating and was very good at it. We converse about the Civil War locally and different battles, and other historical things.

The man kept interrupting us to tell us his mother had seven sons who went to war… and what branch of service was I in…. finally, we steered him off the subject of his war and talked about Viet Nam. Which we all agreed, that it was a useless war.

I have about 35 pages to go before I finished my book, I was hoping to finish it in the waiting room, but I didn’t get any read. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.

As my sister and I walked out she asked me who was that man was and I said he last name was Bramlett. She said that was right, she remembered him. He used to be our parents’ plumber. That guy a plumber? It is hard to picture that guy, in his neat knit clothes with shit up to his elbows.

* Deji-vu – OK, I know it is misspelled but I couldn’t find anything in the dictionary resembling it and my spell check made a few worthless attempts.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bad Weather and a Late Friend

Today we were wondering if it will come a big snow this year. With all the global warming they speak of, I have my doubts. Now, they think a big shelf slid off a glacier, which could possibly cause havoc in time.

A big heavy snow in Georgia is a rare occurrence anyway. Every time I think of something big like that I remember the ice storm we had in March 1961.

The area was not prepared for it, so virtually most of Metro Atlanta shut down. All businesses, but emergency types came to a stand still.

But, that did not prevent us from going out and playing in it. A friend’s father owned a used car lot. We took his worse car out and tried things that we normally would not take a chance doing in. We tried to climb hills, and having a thrill sliding back down, after the car couldn’t make it, we went to a shopping center freshly built and would spin around there and even took the car out in the woods spinning around.

We finally ended up at the town’s country club. We heard the youth were gathering there to slide down the long rolling hill of the golf course. We got there and our friends were slipping in the kitchen outside door of the country club and coming out with serving trays and sliding down the icy hill with those.. Some had cardboard boxes they flattened out and a couple of friends had a car hood turned over they were sleighing down the hill in.

I ended up with a round serving tray, which I didn’t realize it until I started down hill is that a round tray spins as you go down, which makes it harder to control than a rectangle tray. I slid down to the bottom of the hill into a pond. Luckily enough it was only about 3 ft deep.

I walked out, with cold water sloshing from my pants and boots with every step. Then I was too uncomfortable to play anymore.

I went to visit a late friend’s mother. My friend, was killed in a drag race in June of 1960, less than a year before. I kept telling myself to go visit her, but just didn’t have the time or how to act.

She was very glad to see me, even wet and frozen as I was. She gave me some of her late son’s clothes so I could get out of wet clothes. She fixed hot chocolate and banana bread and we had a very nice visit, most the afternoon. We talked about her son, and the things we used to do – she wanted to hear all of it.

To this date, every time I eat banana bread I think of her.

The last year while looking for some dates of some of my relatives in a cemetery I knew it was the same cemetery my friend was buried in, so I found his grave, and his mother and father were buried in the same plot. His mother, the lady I visited, died in 1997, not that long ago. Back then, I knew his father was sick and died, but I forgot or just didn’t realize how close their deaths were. The father died in 1959 and my friend died in 1960.

Waiting Room, Part II

My sister had surgery last week on her rotator cup. She now has to go to physical therapy and because of the surgery, unable to drive, so I will be taking her for a while.

Yesterday I took her and made me a little comfortable nest in the waiting room. I brought a book. On a TV attached on the wall near the ceiling CNN was on.

One nicely dressed elderly lady was sitting across from me. Another lady came in and sat near the first lady. I deducted by their conversation they didn’t know each other.

Bush was on CNN, giving a live speech from Nashville, of him rehashing his State of the Union message. He seemed to have more of a southern accent and also more of a good old boy attitude. I suppose he changed to suit his audience. I think he might could have changed to the color of his background if he concentrated. I heard him say he wanted to cut out some of these programs, so our children wouldn’t have to be paying for what we are doing today. I suppose he overlooked a biggie in the spending department: Iraq.

One of the ladies said, “That Bush, once he sets his mind on something, he doesn’t back down.”
The other one said, “Yep, whether he is right or wrong.”

I amenned that.

The nicely dressed lady was called in. The more humble lady sat and continue to watch TV. A Spanish couple came in and sat on the couch beside her. She politely said she would give them more room and she came and sat beside me on my couch….. was she fleeing? Hard to say.

I asked her was she a native to our county. She said no she moved here in 1956. She said she was born and raised in the Fort Payne, Sand Mountain, Alabama, area. I said that is where to band Alabama is from. She said, yep, her first cousin married the lead singer, and then, they even had less money than her family did.

She went on to say that she quit high school in the tenth grade and got married. Her and her husband moved to Chattanooga. Because of her husband’s health a doctor recommended they move to Arizona, which they did.

In Arizona a doctor told them they needed to move back east, which they did.

They moved to this area. I think possibly the doctors in both states, did not want a man doomed to die on their hands, so suggested they move – move from them, anyway.

He was a bus driver. He died.

After he died she took an adult learning class on how to take the G.E.D. and afterwards, took the test and passed it.

She got a job with the county school's lunchrooms.

In her career she worked at three different county school lunchrooms, first a grammar school, then a high school, and lastly, another grammar school, closer to her home.

Then my sister came out of therapy and we left. I hope the lady was finished with her concentrated verbal autobiography.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Saint George

I received this Bush joke and just had to share it. I can't help myself:

Subject: Fwd: Bush, the Saint READ BEFORE TONIGHT's SPEECH!

President Bush was scheduled to worship at a small Methodist Church outside
Washington, D.C., as part of his campaign to reverse his deteriorating approval rating. A week before the visit, Karl Rove visited the Methodist Bishop who was scheduled to preach on the chosen

"As you know, Bishop," began Rove, "we've been getting a lot of bad publicity among Methodists because of the president's position on stem cell research and the like. We'd gladly make a contribution of $100,000 to the church if during your sermon you would say that President Bush is a saint."

The Bishop thought about it for a few minutes, and finally said, "This parish is in rather desperate need of funds. I agree to do it.

Rove wrote him a check.

The following Sunday, Bush pompously shows up for the photo op, looking especially smug. After making a few announcements, the Bishop begins his homily:

"George W. Bush is a petty, self-absorbed hypocrite and a nitwit. He is a liar, a cheat, and a low-intelligence weasel. He has lied about his military record and had the gall to put himself in a jet plane landing on a carrier posing before a banner stating "Mission Accomplished."

"He invaded a sovereign country for oil and money, turning it into a training
ground for terrorists who would destroy our country. He continues to confuse the American people by insisting on a nonexistent connection between the horrors of 9/11 and the reason he started his war in Iraq. He is the worst example of a Methodist I have ever personally known.

"But compared to Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and the rest of the Cabinet, George W. Bush is a saint."