Friday, June 30, 2006

Adam's Wreck

Here is Adam and his wreck. As you can see it was more scarer than mine.

He went around a curve and slid on some leaves and turned over. It threw him out and broke his leg.

We are very lucky a broken leg is all it did.

He is still alive and kicking and I can prove it. He made a response to my blog entry "No place To Go" (or something like that).

Busy Day

We had a busy day today of gallivanting. It was the first day of a week and one day off for Anna. She made a long “to-do” list so we started crossing off things today.

We shopped for various things we are in the market for, like new cell phones and blinds.

We also went by Anna’s chiropractor, which was not on the list, but her back hurt anyway.

Then we ate dinner on the Square at an outside table – there was a nice breeze, and everything else seemed pleasant, even the homeless that would sniff that food from the downside of the breeze seemed pleasant and not spikeful feeling.

Then we went to a outside concert at the park in the Square. It was sort of a southern rock and blues band. They were pretty good. They played all the old southern favorites like “Long Tall Sally”, and others, like “Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Wherever he put his hat was him home… la”, whatever. It was enjoyable, just very crowded.

Of course it being crowded is a thumbs down, but there is an upside - the enjoyment of watching people and not be involved. Like watching old farts contorting their bodies to the beat of "Proud Mary" until their bodies become a raging primal machine of muscles, flab, and nerves jerking. Watching little innocent kids amazed by their surronding is always a treat - I guess we notice it more now as people old enough to be grandparents.

This band reminded me of something I taped on PB the other night and have been watching bits and pieces of – it is something mostly about Bob Dylan and his musing about his complete musical career, and blended into his career was Joan Baez, Maurine Mauldair, Pete Seegar, and more….. I am enjoying watching it, and me watching it in small excerpts works fine, due to my short attention span.

Well,I got to get to bed. Early in the morning I want to be at Free-Flite Bikes, where I bought my Trek Bike. They are giving a free class called something like “Making adjustments on your new bike 101 Class”. And it free for people who bought new bikes from their store. I grab anything free.

Backyard Activities of Days Gone By

From Rocky flying around the back yard as Superman and Adam pulling the sweeper to pick up leaves in the past it seemed there was an activity going on in the backyard almost every day.

Anybody Want To VIEW the Cat Fight?

I don't know for sure but I bet the rating is up on the View, even among the male TV watchers.

Everybody loves a good cat fight.

My Last Day As a Non-Medicare Person

From the day I was born through today I was and am a Non-Medicare Person.

Tomorrow I will be a new era. I will be on Medicare.

So y'all pay your taxes so that I can get get the best of care - y'here?

Woes of a Shopping Center Emptying

I cut grass yesterday. Afterwards, my neighbor Jim came over with his edger and edged the driveway. As he edges I go behind him and blow the debris. Then, afterwards, as always we catch each other up on the latest gossip, man to man style. Instead of talking over a clothes line we talk while holding yard tools.

Which reminds me, I am not sure cloth lines are allowed now…. You never see them anymore, I suppose that in another example of the yuppie presence influence again.

Jim told me they are closing the Krogers Grocery Store slightly less than two miles away. That is a shame. That is a shame.

There is another Krogers exactly 2 miles in the opposite direction but it just isn’t home. It is bigger and in a more influential area. You will not see a workman with a name-tag sewed above his breast pocket there shopping. The store is designed to appeal to the yuppies, which have the money. It is a matter of economics – cater to the rich and ignore the others.

I know this is just about the same subject as I talked about yesterday. But this is a new development since then.

The shopping center that the closing Krogers is out has mostly empty stores now. A Radio Shack moved out two weeks ago. On one end are two stores an Italian restaurant and an office supply store and in the center is/soon to be “was” Krogers and on the other end is a Judo training place, a dance studio, and Buffalo’s Restaurant. And about 10 or more vacant stores.

After Krogers leave I am afraid it will cause a vacuum. And suck the five or so remaining businesses away.

This shopping center is across from a high school. I suspect after the adult traffic quits then you will see more graffiti, more clusters of kids hanging out, and in general a place to avoid.

About the same thing happened to another shopping center not far away. It emptied itself (their main store was a Winn-Dixie), and gangs hung out there and one night was a gun fight and a kid got killed. The state of Georgia moved in and opened up a drivers license place which took up a good portion of the shopping center and little restaurants and things returned.

Why are all the stores lifting their skirts and running? The shopping center is getting the aged look about it. Or, it doesn’t look modern enough. And it is not that old, they built it ten or so years after we moved to the area. Where the shopping center is used to be a regular size house, like ours, with a swimming pool and a patio in the back, and behind that was a big lake. It was an eye pleaser. But greedy developers had to make a shopping center out of it, it is in their blood… now, they don’t want anything to do with it.

That is progress.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Anna's Mother and Grandparents.

This is a picture of Anna's mother and grandparents. Guess which one is her mother.

Speaking of Vehicles

This is the Gremlin I was driving under a greenlight and at the same moment a driver in a pickup truck was driving under a redlight. The driver went through the windshield and died.

I didn't have my seatbelt on either and was knocked to the other side.

Wait! I already blogged this accident.

We Love Our Trucks

We had a Dodge Ram pickup truck. Then we bought a S110 Chevrolet pickup. It is generally understood that I do my go-for errands in the pickup and Anna drives the sedan.

Pictured above is Rocky with his new Toyota pickup truck he bought. It was his first vehicle purchase. Years and dents later he still owns it. He doesn't drive it much any more, he prefers to drive his little hybrid he bought... better gas mileage.

While Adam needed a way to school he commandeered his grandfather's 1960 Ford Pickup and did a good job customizing it with speakers and I don't know what all, but it looked good. He bought a Saturn.

I suppose I am the only one that hasn't outgrown the feel of a truck.

No Place To Go

A couple of weeks ago three cub bears found themselves here in Cobb County. That is three different occasions, not the all at once. And in nearby DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties, bears coming into shopping center parking lots and subdivisions generally interrupted things, and one bear was even shot at with a gun, and they thought it was dead, but they could not find a bullet scar and it was fine and he was taken to the mountains and let loose with the others.

Why so many bears are entering civilized areas? Because their wilderness haven is being constantly reduced because of us… demanding bigger and better subdivisions and shopping centers – but as soon as the shopping centers begin to look a little old and worn we humans want to drop that one and go to the newest modern ones, leaving the old looking like a ghost town or a low rent area.

We have rooted the bears and squirrels out of their forests and woodsy areas where they seem more visible plentiful and we saw poor us, those damn squirrels are eating the sunflower seed we left for the birds – by the way, why are there more birds around now? Duh!

Wait! There is more.

One block from us on what should be named the same street, but they named it something else to keep their distance from us trash are $700,000 new homes. That is on the western side of us. And yesterday lawyers did what they legally were obligated to do and send letters out to the people in the neighborhood saying they will be holding a public hearing of the pros and cons and the county commissioner’s hearing room on building a new expensive subdivision 2 blocks east of us.

We will be surrounded!

What will be terrible that all the yuppies in this area will resent having to drive down the thoroughfare that goes through this neighborhood and see all these eyesore houses. They have to see terrible things like houses with opened double carport, room additions because families outgrew their accommodations, screened in porches, decks that stick out like sore thumbs… those poor yuppies, having to drive through that every day.

So, we wouldn’t want those money spending darlings have to face eye sores daily would we? So, I am quiet sure, at this moment, as I type this, is rubbing his hands together, figuring a good sales pitch for the commissioners to bulldoze these houses away and replace them with expensive houses that would naturally bring in more property tax. Heh heh, that shouldn’t be hard to sell…. Heh heh.

It has been done several times in Cobb County already. So, it is just a matter of time I’m afraid.

Then we will be just like the bears, misplaced, with no place to go.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Henry Gable W

This is Anna's great grandfather, Henry Gable W. ((1857-1936). He married Louisa Kuykendall (1868-1923) in 1880.

They had 5 children, which were not many for a famrer.

I like his X shape pose - which I have seen plenty of photos of that period with the legs positioned the same way.

They are buried in Enon Cemetery in Woodstock, Ga. Recently tombstones were turned over and some smashed and even one grave dug up and the body stolen, which the news said was done on the decease's 100th birthday.

Pink Dogwoods on West Paces Rd., Atlanta

This driveway of pink dogwoods taken on spring days years ago is on Paces Ferry Road in Atlanta, in the most exclusive section. Down the street a block or two is the governer's mansion, and across the street is the mansion that was filmed in Gone With The Wind.
La Te Da!

Doctor and Patient one on one

Remember the other day I went to see a female Indian (Eastern) doctor about the “moment” I had? And then you must also remember that all the little signs hanging on a cork board was “don’t waist my time asking about family members – have them some for their own visit” and have various other signs to speed things up so she may dedicate her time to you and the reason you came.

Now, today I received and email from her. I thought how thoughtful, she was sending me something personal – before I clicked on it to open it I wondered what it was: Was she forwarding a joke to me? Did she make up a joke she wanted to share, like the 10 most excuses men tell her why they need Viagra? Or maybe she, with her Indian nature, was wondering about the Universe and what role we as humans were playing in the overall scheme of things and wanted my input as seen from the typical Caucasian red-neck?

Nah. She didn’t really seem to care what I thought and probably would have no interest in making me laugh, so maybe she wanted to make further suggestions about how to take the right amount of medicine instead of overdoing it.

So, I clicked on and it was a webpage like thing that urged me “to set up an account with them so I could just key in my pass word and see on-line test results and things like that. And it wasn’t said, but I think it is implied: “Then you won’t waste our nurses or telephone operator’s time.”

The lab part of their operation did draw blood for a test while I was there. I guess through this site my results are held hostage.

I haven’t filled out the application yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if for a password I am directed to put in an unique number nobody else would have – like my American Express card number.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Martha "Mary" Petty Walker (1851-1945)

Mary Petty was the daughter of Elijah Petty. She was born in Fannin County, Ga., and died in the same county. She is buried in the Petty Cemetery just south of Blue Ridge, Ga.

At age 20 she married William Peyton Walker (1850-1936). They had 8 children.

Mary was about 10 years of age when the War Between the States started and lived to see the wrap-up of World War II, if she had all her senses about her in those last years. Imagine all the changes she witnessed. Well, maybe on the back roads of Fannin County the changes didn't come as quick as it would the city folk.

Natural Bridge in Virginia

Rocky and Adam are posing in front of the Natural Bridge in Virginia, near Roanoke.

Of course through time water has worked its way through the dirt, clay, and rock to get to the other side. It is a huge natural earth work in shape of a bridge.

Being itself is unique, but another bonus unique thing is it has George Washington's initials on the side of it that young George put on it himself when he was an assistant surveyor, before his career took a turn of marrying into a rich widow and became one of Virginia's elite.

This may be the first graffiti in the New World. I wonder if George had a spray can of black paint with a friend standing near by as a lookout?

Lookie Here!

Okay, you bleeding heart liberals, check this out:

You may have to copy and paste it to your launching site.

Oh Vince, Where Art Thou?

Vince Desantes was born July 16, 1941. I don’t know if he was born in Boston, but that is where he said he was from.

Why would I remember the date he was born? Because I was born on that date also.

Vince came to work for the Postal Service in about 1985 or 1986. He was a Marine retiree – although the you don’t really retire from the Marines, the Marines is a state of mind, so they say.

He was a slim person appearing not to have an ounce of fat on him, dark tanned looking skin, and naturally bald as a pealed onion.

And Vince would fit that state-of-mind principle pretty good. You might think he had an inflated ego until you realized he spent 30 years in the Marines.

Vince came off as the type of person not to take shit off anyone. But if you studied him closely you will see he would not take shit off peons the same entry level he was. He was forever striking up conversations with people of authority and trying to get on their level.

Vince tried buying a new house. He was turned down. That made we wonder just what kind of past did he have, -during an economic blow-up that just about anybody who wanted to buy a house was approved.

Sometime during our work time in the same building I remember he was wooing his aunt in Boston. Somehow he managed to get her in a nursing home and got to be power of attorney which he had her locked away with the keys thrown away and he bought him a new big red sports car with money he suddenly came into.

Joe, a deaf co-worker, claimed Vince was gay. Maybe Joe wasn’t persuaded by Vince’s gruff voice, he may have had an extra sense perception to see things nobody else could.

After work Vince hung out at a certain pub and was on their chili-cook-off team every year. They were considered very good, they won several first prizes at various cook-offs in Texas and Stone Mountain, Ga.

The first chance Vince bid on a window clerk’s job and got it. A few years later I decided to give the window service a try, I have just about done everything else, so I too went to work on the window.

I didn’t like it at all. It was too much kiss-ass to the customers. Which is the way it probably should be, to be very courteous – but just not my style.

Vince was very good at kissing the customers’ asses. And after watching him I figured out he knew which asses to kiss. He loved to rub elbows with the elite. If a county commissioner or any elected official came in he would manipulate the line so they would end up at his station. He was a master of it. If the VIP was close to the head of the line he would slap up his little sign that said he “This Window Is Closed” for a few moments and fiddle with his stamp stock or something. Then when the VIP made it to the head of the line he would quickly jerk away the sign and tell them jokingly (by first name) to “come on down”, as in The Price Is Right. Then he would encourage them to get into buddy – buddy talks.

The reason I know Vince’s birth date is one time before the window opened one window clerk was busy putting out balloons, birthday looking decorations, and a birthday cake around the corner, just outside of the customer’s view. She said it was Vince’s birthday. This is a woman who prides herself on how efficient she is. When she told me it was Vince’s birthday with a big smile I told her it was my birthday too. The smile didn’t leave her face, but it did freeze.

Even though my birthday was ignored I enjoyed the cake with “HAPPY BIRTHDAY VINCE!” as much as anybody, and went back for seconds.

After a couple of years I got fed work with window work and went back to the distribution area where I could lose myself in my music with my ear phones on.

Joe the deaf clerk asked me in his own way did Vince flirt with the men customers. I told him not that I noticed, only the affluent ones.

Sometime during this time Vince grabbed a male co-workers ass and the guy threatened to flatten him, then the word was out.

Also during this time Vince’s aunt died and he bought a new house. One of the first thing he did after the estate was settled was go out and get him a nice young boy. He adopted a 14 year old boy orphan.

The boy was a street wise kid that was always in trouble with the law and school.

Do you know those business reply envelopes? I think in the postage area are some bars, a permit number imprinted and a statement that says “no postage necessary”. Well, somebody has to pay the postage.

A quick 101 course on business reply envelopes. The company that would make those available to mostly potential customers would have to come in the post office and set up an account and put down a sizable deposit in the account. Then, as the envelopes come in a postal clerk would total the amount of postage each day and deduct it from the running total of the deposit the company ran in. When the company’s deposit started running low they would be notified and they would put more money in it – or not.

This has nothing Vince, but something that happened once that I thought was funny. Marietta is the home office of a famous fast food company. This fast food company in their restaurants had comment cards, so you could complement them or complain about your service. Many restaurants have that. A group of people, probably knew each other, in Florida, started sending in these business reply comment cards with cartoons on them. While they had their meal they would doodle on the comment cards and drop it in a mailbox. For a while it shifted from doodles to nude anatomy then it graduated to fornicating and sodomy cartoons. The restaurant chain had to pay postage on each of those – which they were coming in by the shovels full at its peak.

Maybe it was/were a disgruntled employee or employees – with a warped sense of humor.

Back to my story:

Normally, at where I worked Tony handled the business replies on weekdays. Tony was off on weekends, so Vince was Tony’s relief – he did his job on Saturdays.

What I didn’t know until it was over was that Vince was stealing money out of the various business reply accounts. He stole thousands.

The Postal Inspectors came to Tony and they had a plan to set up a trap for Vince. I don’t know the details, but it worked. Vince bit the bait.

The following Saturday it was secretly known that Vince was going to be arrested and Tony would come on his off-day and do the job as they carry Vince away in handcuffs.

Saturday morning came and Vince did not show up. He didn’t call in. Tony was there so he did fill in on his own job.

Later that morning it was the Acworth Police found Vince’s car in a lakeside park. Inside was a man holding Rosary beads with one hand and a handgun with the other hand. His brains were blown out.

His 15 year old “step-son” insisted on seeing the body and identified him.

The body was cremated quickly with no services. The boy wanted to know when could he get his hands on the sports car and how old did he have to be before he could sell the house.

We talked about this at work – some things did not add up. Tony had a old friend that had authority in the City Government of Acworth and he checked around. It even raised more questions:

According to the autopsy Vince’s body weighed about 250 pounds. Vince was skinny as a rail, probably weighing under 160.
According to the autopsy Vince’s body had tattoos on the arm and neck. The real Vince had not visible tattoos with his shirt on. According to the autopsy there were several needle marks on the arms – Vince wore short sleeves and no one recalls seeing needle marks.

But his loving adopted son identified the body as Vince Desantes.

About the same time Vince was suppose to be at work that day, 6am, he withdrew the maximum he could from an ATM machine.

Why would someone withdraw money and kill themselves the same hour? And if so, what did he spend it on? He only had a few dollars in his wallet – along with his drivers license.

We think it is possible that Vince picked up a wayward type of man, and blew him away, maybe in more ways than one.

To make things more interesting, to put a little spice in the pot, so to speak, Vince had a will leaving everything to his adopted son, but as executor he named the person he coped a “feel” from the guy threatened to flatten him.

I often think I see Vince in a crowd, but each time after getting closer I see it is not him. If he is still alive I think he is probably far far away.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Alley in Downtown Marietta

This is an alley in downtown Marietta, one block from the Court House.

On the left of the alley was the police station when I was in grammar school. My father was the chief.

Before I was around and before the Marietta Police claimed it for their office it was the first Stand Movie Theater. One time a man that was watching a movie in the old theater stepped outside into the alley and blew his brains out with a gun. People say you can find the indentation the bullet made today. I looked and I couldn't find it. Although, there is a red circle around a smudge but it doesn't look like an scar in the bricks or anything.

Other people say the alley is haunted. Wait! I see the ghost! See the black shadow on the pavement?

Digging Though Old Photos

Here are two, with similar themes.
The famous Big Chicken in Marietta. The Big Chicken used to be a restaurant, now it is a KFC, well, still a restaurant. It is real handy for us natives giving new people in town directions: "You know where the Big Chicken is? Turn left there to get to downtown." or "Go by the Big Chicken to the top of the hill at the light and turn right and it will take you to the I-75".

And the other chicken is a big chicken too, compared to her baby chicken sticking out of her feathers.

Follow up - Too Much Medicine!

I went to the doctor today because of the “episode” I had at the family reunion this weekend.

The group of doctors that I go to, the one I normally see was booked up. So, I went to the one my wife prefers, a liddie-biddie female Indian (Eastern) doctor.

While I was waiting I noticed signs all over the wall reminding her patients to “Please stick to the subject” – “Do not ask advice for a member of the family that is not here.” And “Please…. “ something else… I got the message, time is money. And no freeloading.

The little Indian doctor was very polite and humble. I told her my heart attack and stroke history. She looked over my list of medicines and determined that the symptoms I told her is consistent with the niacin that I take. She told me to cut it down to once a day. I have been taking it twice a day.

The Slo Niacin that I take is not a prescribed medicine. It is a over-the-counter thing that the doctor recommended to me to help with the cholesterol.

So, that is what I will do, cut down taking it to once a day.

Not that it matters now, but I am wondering how I determined to take it twice day. On the label it states taking it once a day. Since there is no prescription involved, the doctor just recommended to buy it and he presumed I would do what the label directed.

He didn’t know who he was dealing with.

Tiff, Adam, and Tiffany's Sister Steph

While we were up in the mountains this past weekend so was my son Adam. He, his girl friend Tiff, and her sister Steph went to a Luau party in Ellijay, Georgia, where someone did this caricature of them.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Uncle Billy and Aunt Sallie

This is Anna's great great uncle Billy (1846-1944) and great great Aunt Sallie.
He fought in the Civil War. They died two months from each other.

My Biggest Prize For the Day

This is a picture of my Rebecca Trammell Wild, sister to my great grandfather, William A. Trammell Wild. She is also the one that I found her tombstone at Burningtown Baptist Church Cemetery.

A lady gave it to me in a way of thanking me for pictures that I brought to let anybody have any that wanted them.

What goes around comes around.


These two good old boys are twins.

They just rode by and saw that there was a Ray Reunion on the the sign and came on in. They piled up with food and tood aorund and listened to people talk and some times laughed, and some times nodded their heads.

They didn't know anyone there.

I asked them did they live in the Iolta/Burningtown community and said no. I asked where they lived and they told me down the road, they didn't call it the Otto Community, but I think it was very close to there. I told them I used to communicate with a Hess Ray in Otto and he was the first one that told me about my great-grandfather, murder, and skipping town and changing his name. They said Hess is their uncle. They said Hess was taking care of his father but when his father died he sold everything and moved to Missouri. So, they contributed a little to my Ray knowledge with just a little prying and maybe a few pieces of KFC.

Wilson branch

One of the Ray daughters married a Wilson and they moved to Murphy, North Carolina. This group of three are close cousins, 1st and 3rd, and they didn't know each other until I told them.

The middle woman, Lynda, also lives in Marietta. We have dealings from time to time. Lyda's brother recently killed their mother. Shot her dead. Just like that.

Heaven Bound

This lady is 94 years old. She told me she would not be at the reunion next year, she would be in heaven.

Promises Are Made With Good Intentions

This lady was busy handwriting some of my genealogy information onto a legal pad and I suggested she just take the printout home with her and she was very thankful. I asked her to email me to give me her latest family's information. With a big smile she said she most certainly would.

Her computer must be down.

The Ray Genealogical Family Reunion

After we finished at the Fouts/Ray Iolta and Burningtown community we cut across country, the best way and direction I could figure out, stopped at a KFC and bought a bucket of KFC and took the by-pass and went to the Community Center building which had a sign out front saying “Ray Family Reunion Saturday”.

It was five minutes until 12:00. We were ones of the first one there.

We were not the only ones to bring a bucket of KFC… it was pretty common, because a bunch of out of towners came. If there was a pan of something home made then you know they cooked it at home, and the KFC buckets just about represented how many families from out of town were there.

We talked and swapped information and I think everybody that came gained some information about the Ray family that they did not have before they arrived. I printed off genealogical descendents sheets – about six of them that anyone could have that wanted one. And I printed off several pictures each of Emaline Ray Hunter’s children – they were swooped up quickly too.

As I sat there eating and talking a funny feeling hit me. I was became very hot. My legs and arms felt like hundreds of little insects were stinging me. Anna looked over at me and I think she thought immediately I was having another stroke. I was wondering the same myself.

I quit eating and just sat there with Anna getting me a glass of water. After sitting there a while I stabilized and I slowly returned to my normal shade.

After we talked it over we think that I had only pastries and coffee that morning at the bed and breakfast, and now I was eating KFC grease straight off the bone and chasing with regular Coke, normally I drink Diet Coke – no wonder. My body had a hard time processing all the carbs.

Still, when we left, she insisted she drive – which she did, alway to Canton, Georgia, where we stopped for dinner.

Then I drove the remaining 15 or so miles home.

It was an enjoyable weekend.

I told some old lady 94 years old I would see her next year. And she said, “No, I will be in heaven next year.” I told her that where ever she is, I hope she will have a great time. She said she intended to.

For a while there, I thought I was going to beat her there and open the gates for her.

Burningtown Baptist Cemetery

As far as grave finding goes, this one is my best find for the day.

It is the grave of my great grandfather William A. Trammell/Hunter's sister, Rebecca Trammell Wild.

Two Grave Yards.

This picture was also taken in the Fouts Cemetery, but aimed down in the valley for a panaramic view.

Within view down there is anothter grave yard - A car junk yard. You may have to double click to make the image big enough to see.

Even a junk yard doesn't look bad in this pastorial settings.

Fouts Cemetery

As far back as we can check so far Rays and Fouts have intermarried. The earliet Ray we know of is John Ray. His mother was Rebekkah Fouts. We don't know who his father was, excpet his last name was Ray.

Each generation of Rays and Fouts the children have intermarried, marrying their cousins, all in the same community. There are some, but few first cousin marriages, but many 2nd and 3rd cousin marrying.

This is the Fouts Cemtery high on a high hill overlooking the community. The cemetery is well kept and it was interesting to see a huge cross, lined with light bulds, on the top of the hill.

While I was at the Fouts Cemetery a low flying single engine plane flew over me several times, like checking me out. They little dirt road before I turned onto the Fouts Cemetery graveled road was named "Old Still Road". That plane might have had an interest in the area.

Iolta Methodist Church & Iolta Baptist Cemetery

The Iotla and Burningtown Community

We were out of the bed and breakfast about 10:15. We had about 1:45 minutes of free time before we were to go to the Ray Genealogical Reunion. Heck, that is plenty of time to roam the country side of the Burningtown and Iotla Community where my ancestors stomped and many of their descendents are still there. There were four cemeteries I tried to rush through.

This is the area Thelma Swanson took Rocky, Adam, and I back 20 years ago.

It is a land of farms and rolling hills. Because the second hand was ticking away into minutes I made sort of a whistle stop at the four cemeteries and rushed through each taking pictures of the people’s markers I remembered being related.

Anna said the houses are very pleasant looking – this area has not got the “bigger is better” fever yet. Not all houses have to look like the Biltmore mansion. Nice country homes are what they are, nothing more and nothing less.

I photographed about 75 graves graves in a short time. I will show just some of the high lights.

Views From Our Windows

The view with no man-made structures is the front view. Notice the distant mountain rige?

The view with the man-made structures is the side view, in the bottom, of the picture just above the tin-roof line is the Little Tennessee River. It also flows in and around the hills we would visit next, the stomping grounds of my ancestors.

And then I saw an insect on the window studying me.... MOTHMAN!!???!

Lay Lady Lay,Over My Big Brass Bed- our Room

trip, part 2, The Bed and Breakfast

Above is the bed and breakfast we stayed. Our room was the one in the top left corner with the light on.

Everybody told us we would love the Bed and Breakfast experience. They said it was like staying in someone’s home, everybody is so personable.

Maybe everybody did not look through our eyes, or walked a mile in our shoes when they said we would love the Bed and Breakfast experience.

The place we chose was on top of highest mountain/hill in downtown Franklin. In 1898 the house was owned by a wealthy government employee (that is an oxymoron). It is a huge house on probably 5 acres or more overlooking the north part of Franklin, The Little Tennessee River (where my g-g-g-Indian grandmother Polly Hogshed Trammell drowned while tending to her fish baskets), surrounded by high mountains.

The Bed and Breakfast has 14 bedrooms. Not all of them have baths, and some share a bath with the next room. They also have a lounge which they call “The Cellar”, a spa, and a fine restaurant.

If I understand correctly, Macon County is a dry county. So, what is a lounge doing in a dry county? I think it is a technicality that maybe they had legal advice on how to work around it. It appears that large groups of people rent “The Cellar” for the evening – for a large sum and people bring their own spirits and they supply the setups…. Or maybe if they are raided that is what will be claimed.

The place, on their website and their brochure does not claim to have a resident ghost but skillfully asks the question is there a ghost, and then give a brief story of a teenage daughter, Ester, of the wealthy civil servant who had an affair with the stable boy and became pregnant and when her mother found out bad things happened…. And it mentioned that at times guests have reported to have seen Ester or her baby looking for its Mama. Did the management claim they saw the ghost?…. “Noooo.” (looking out of the corner of their eyes, in an innocent way).

We arrived at the bed and breakfast before 3:30. We arrived in Franklin at 3:03 but had to adjust to their street format of one ways. You have two main streets, each is one way opposite from the other. We have the same traffic system in Marietta. We asked a deputy sheriff who we figured was talking to his mama outside the courthouse …. He wasn’t real sure where that street was, but thought it was down by the river. His mama thought so too.

The reason we thought it was his mama because as we approached them she handed him a lunch sack and they embraced. She looked too old to not be his mama.

We found the place. At the foot of the steep street going up to it is a bakery, and the steak house that Rocky, Adam, and I had dinner the time we visited Franklin about 20 years ago. The name of it had not even changed. How unique. I like that.

We entered the bed and breakfast. It is like entering a private home that has a big porch. Several people were sitting around the porch appreciating the cool rainy weather. A big dog sitting on the porch looked at us and looked away. Boy, we must be boring, can’t even get the attention of the residence dog. The first room, and every room had antiques all over the place tastefully placed. A cat walked by and gave us the once-over and prissed out. I think that is in the "How To Have a Bed And Breakfast Manual" – to have a house cat and a yard dog…. It adds the “layed back family touch”.

I had on a tee-shirt of a tombstone. It said something to the effect, “Dead Men Do Carry Tales!” – and in smaller print promoted the hobby of genealogy. The manager lady asked me about my tee-shirt when we first entered and seemed to find the wording amusing. Then we explained to her why we were in Franklin, to attend a Ray genealogical family reunion…. Remember, we told her that, out of earshot of anyone else… take note, you will be tested later.

The lady, welcomed us and carried us up to our room. Our room was two flights of stars up, the final flight was not as long as the first flight. The room looked nice, artistically done. A big brass bed, a fire place, and high ceiling just like old houses have. The bathroom we noticed, had a door opposite of the door we went in, with a latch on it. Anna asked the lady if we share the bathroom with that bedroom. The lady said not THIS weekend – which I took they have not booked that room, but that is normally the case.

I said I would go down and get our luggage and the lady told us afterwards to go down and mingle with the other guests and introduce ourselves.

Introduce ourselves? Why would be want to do that? What would we talk about? Ask one of them if they “Wanna wrestle?” or what?

The place remind me of these places you read about where New Yorkers would go for the a summer vacation in the Catskills or someplace in New England… everything simple, but charming. A touch of class. Like in "Dirty Dancing". God put us there to bring them down a notch or two – to make them more humble.

After I carried the luggage up and Anna was arranging things I did walk down to the big porch to get to know the other guests. A man was reading a book and a woman was reading a book. A boy about ten was doing something, and looking bored. They didn’t look up. I thought I’m sure these people don’t want me to interrupt their reading to introduce myself, and maybe they don’t want me to know who they are. Well, I tried. I left.

Our room did not have a TV or a phone. Which I can understand about a phone. With cell phones and all, why have the added expense and space of a phone. Now, I enjoy watching the news and channel surfing, so I think it would be nice to have a TV in each room. However, they do boast of having a large screen TV in “The Cellar” and also a TV in the dining room. And I knew better to even think about asking about a computer to check on my email.

We had a corner room that had two windows to look out in different directions. The scenery from the windows was excellent.

We went out to meet Steve and Bird for dinner (see previous entry). As we were leaving the hostess said she “could not guarantee us a parking place” when we returned because they were having a big wedding rehearsal dinner there later in the evening. Anna more or less said, “Like Hell!” in a more polite way of course, and asked her just what did she propose as way of parking. She said, aww, just go ahead and park on the side – no big deal.

When we returned we parked in front by the steps. No big deal.

The bedroom only had one light. It had a chair, but where it was placed was near a dark corner by the fireplace. Only one of us could read - by reclining on the bed with the bedside light. After a short time we both fell asleep.

The next morning we bathed, dressed, and went down stairs to breakfast. As we were in the hallway upstairs outside our room Anna tried counting the rooms. On our end there were two rooms side by side, and looking down the corridor we tried counting the rooms. Then, as we went down the flight we remembered one little alcove on the side – did it have a room? I went back up the flight and looked in, yep, it had a room there. So, I started back down to catch up with Anna to tell her that was a room when I sensed movement above me. I looked up and a girl, either a teenager, or in her early 20s, with nothing on but some kind of very sort night gown or maybe a tee-shirt, seemed to be gliding from the corner of the hall where the door to our room was to the alcove where the newly discovered room was. Was that the ghost? If so, they proprietors need to add the details to their brochure she exposes her long legs as she drifts around the hall ways.

I think really the girl was probably a lay over from the wedding rehearsal dinner from the night before – but why was she going to another room? For her to know and for me to find out I suppose – well, not really, it wasn’t for me to find out, so I will prefer to believe she is the residence ghost – it makes a better story.

Breakfast was a continental breakfast of pastries, coffee, and orange juice. One of the pastry selection was something with pecans on it… it was hard. You had to use pressure with your fork and knife to chisel it down to a bite size. I wondered if perhaps they get their pastries every morning from the bakery at the foot of the hill – and if so, do they take advantage of the “day old” prices?

They did not have water on their food bar. Anna doesn’t drink coffee and she would like to have ice water. I stuck my head in the cooking area and asked could I bother them for a glass of ice water. Several people went into action… calling off orders for a glass, for ice – it was like a trained course they went through when somebody ordered something from the norm.

We overheard a family at the next table discussing they were going trout fishing and bring back the trout and the chef agreed to cook it for their dinner that night. I guess they also would want the chef to clean those smelly things … damn, do they want the chef to bait their hooks with those nasty insects too?

We gathered up our luggage and left. We put everything in one huge carry-thing. The same gear that Rocky lugged all over Europe. I was struggling with it going down, which for some strange reason, was much harder than lugging it up the stairs. A man I haven’t seen there before materialized and insisted on helping me… in fact, he carried it all the way to the truck for me. I think he was probably the husband of the hostess who stayed in the back ground. He asked me how did the reunion go? I was surprised we were talked about, but explained to him that the reunion was that day at noon, in just a couple of hours. I thought his wife needs to get her gossiping facts right.

The Trip Part 1 : Steve & Bird

Above: Steve and The Bird.
Some of my blogger friends can stomp all over Europe and not make a big deal of it. But we rarely leave Cobb County, so when, even if it up the road a short way into North Carolina we make a big deal of it.

This time we went up the road into Franklin, North Carolina, and look! We got stories and pictures and even a run in with a ghost to discuss. When we cross the county line our eyes widen and we are amazed at every thing, just like two innocent children.

I will probably you pelt with a couple of things over the next few days about our 31 hour trip. I need to study the pictures and throw them in with my stories – visual aids.

We left at noon Friday. We had already made plans to meet blogger friends Steve and Bird in the area for dinner we got there, they lived not far.

Bird said she only had two types of food she would not eat, fast food or some other, which I forgot… it doesn’t matter anyway, because it wasn’t something we would normally eat.

We did decided to grab a grilled McChicken at McDonald’s before we hit the expressway. Manning the cash register was a young girl that looked scared shitless. It was her first day. There were about six or eight people standing on the side waiting for the orders she screwed up. The poor sweet thing was nervous. She hadn’t counted on people complaining and mad at her if their orders were wrong and plenty of them were.

Most of the lunch crowd were workers. Workers that got dirty and have to wear helmets.. They needed to eat and get back at it. No sitting around and complaining about how hard life is to them, they probably had 30 minutes to eat lunch with a whip cracking boss – a building or paving schedule to meet.

Our order from the time we ordered it until we threw the paper trash in the garbage can was 40 minutes. I told Anna we should have brought Bird down here to heat, that was not a fast food.

About 50 miles outside Franklin it began to come a downpour. It rained off and on cats and dogs for the rest of the evening. I wanted to get out and dance in – it had been a long time since we experienced rain, we are in drought conditions. I hoped this thundering burst of water reached Marietta. I don’t think it did.

The trip took less than three hours. We checked into our room and called Steve and Bird and agreed on a time to meet, we had already decided by email where.

We met them and dined. They both are very knowledgeable type of people and wise – in other words, they agreed with our opinions.

We had an enjoyable session with them.

Steve seemed the type to very relaxed and can talk endless about many subjects. Bird, may not be all that relaxed, she seemed more full of raging energy. I don’t suggest raging as mad, just a ball of energy.

Bird had great body language skills and a quick wit. I think she could do an excellent one-one-one with Harpo Marx, Charlie Chaplin, Lucile Ball, or Red Skeleton. She couldn’t sit still. I bet she would bring down the house dancing.

We had a very nice time with them, and I agree with what Steve said on his blog, this proves that it does not have to be dangerous meeting fellow bloggers. In fact, we are pretty harmless…. And I forgot my blade anyway.

Friday, June 23, 2006


We will not be here for a day or so. If things go according to plan the blog will re-activate itself either Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

If not by then, send out a search party between Marietta and Franklin, North Carolina, and if you don't find us have the police talk to Steve and Bird as "people of interest".

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Little Eddie & Frances Up In the China Berry Tree

The wide open space behind my sister and me is now the Marietta Boys Club building. Change and progress will keep happening.

Rabbit / Food

For the past several weeks we have had rabbits in our back yard, big rabbits, small bunny rabbits, and regular size rabbits. They have about a three yard-span that the cover grazing the grass and eating what spills out of the bird feeders. They are enjoyable to watch.

Tonight Anna was cleaning out the refrigerator and she asked me did I think the rabbits would eat some shredded carrots and baby carrots that we bought as a buy-one-and-get-one-free deal. I said I we would see.

So, I went outside in the back yard and scattered the various forms of carrots over the back yard.

Then I looked up and high on limb overlooking me was the neighborhood hawk. I looked around to make sure no animals were nearby and slightly nodded at the hawk. And it slightly nodded back and looked the other way.

Me on My Motorcycle

This is me posing on my bike.

Rocky & Adam 1994

As I mentioned yesterday I am pulling out pictures, unassorted and sorting them electronically and showing them..... in other words, getting more mileage out of them.

These two pictures I wrote 1994 on the back of.... exact, aren't I?

Adam is the one with long hair and a black Blues Brothers Tee-shirt on.
Rocky is the one with the Hard Rock tee-shirt on.

The Weekend Coming Up

Tomorrow we will be driving to Franklin, North Carolina, where we will spend the night and on Saturday attend a Ray descendants family reunion, which I think will only be attended by family researchers and their spouses.

One of the organizers, D invited me by email. I have been swapping information with D for several months now. I, in turn, forwarded her email to two other Ray researchers – as the cyber invitation suggested, to please inform other Ray researchers.

One of the two, L, that I forwarded it to immediately shot back wondering why she wasn’t invited directly because it was well known she was a family researcher and she knows all four of the organizers and they know her. Heck, I don’t know why.

Yesterday L sent me another email telling me to be aware of D. She said L was a taker, not a giver. She said D would get information from you and not give you information back.

Well, I suppose when I started researching I was more of a taker than a giver. I had nothing to give. Now, as time has moved on and the more I accumulated I became a giver, giving more than I take. That is just the mathematics and the Golden Rule of it.

I have been very lucky running into the right people at the right time willing to share their information.

I have done some dusty deed book research in old courthouse records rooms, but in most parts, why go to all that trouble when someone else has already did the hands-on research and is willing to share?

Is it the hunt you enjoy or the results?

What I am saying, I think it is Okay to be the giver and okay to be taker. It reminds me of one time I had car trouble – and honestly, it has been at least 20 years ago, I forgot if it was a flat tire or a dead battery, but which ever, a young man showed up, solved my problem, it was a flat he changed my tire and if it the battery he boosted me off – when I thanked him for the favor he told me “to pass it on”. Which I try to do.

Also on our trip, Friday evening we have plans on meeting fellow bloggers Steve and Bird – which will make the trip an enjoyable trip as well.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

William Luther F (1879-1941)

Here is William Luther and his wife Lillie Mae Cook (1884-1904). William is/was Anna's distant g+ uncle.

The only thing I know abut them is their living dates which tells me how old they were when they died. William lived about 62 years, and died July 1941, which is about the same time I was born. His wife Lillie lived only 20 years. She probably died not long after this picture was taken.

After she died William married Addie Dryman (1879-1963).

New Feature

This new feature may or may not last very long. Sometimes I start something then after a while the novelty wear off and my mind wanders to something else and…. oh-well.

The past two days in the afternoon when it was too hot to work out in the yard or exercise I have been dragging out old photographs looking at them. I have accumulated and amazing assortment of photos through the years. Some of my sons and other family members and some of just things I thought was a good subject to take a picture of.

I won’t say they are good. What is good and what is bad is up to individual’s taste, or “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. But I do think some of them are unusual and also I get to blast you with photos of my sons.

I decided that I am going to try posting and sharing a good many of the photographs, unless I get hit by rotten tomatoes or a cabbage or something.

These first three were taken at the Atlanta Zoo, A.K.A. Grant Park.

The silverback gorilla is the famous Willie B. who died a few years back. Willie B. was named after the Mayor William B. Hartsfield of Atlanta who masterly dodged all the red-tape and got Willie B. as a baby.

Willie lived about 40 years and was introduced to the opposite sex at age about 35 and knew how to woo and “make his move” to two different female gorillas. And after his children was born he was a natural parent, playing with the youngsters. Watching him play with the infant gorillas reminded me of Marlon Brando in The Godfather in his garden with cherry tomatoes in his eye sockets.

The Orangutans are just a loving parent and child who knew that everybody around them were different and strange – they could trust only each other.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

William L. "Will" Murray

Will was born about 1870. His wife is unknown at this time. He was the child of Winfield Scott and Nancy Petty Murray.
I'm sure he did something interesting. I just haven't found out what it is yet.

Policeman's Family Tragedy

Yesterday we had a tragic thing happen in our neighborhood. A family that was paying rent - or evidently, not paying rent, but should have, was put on the street - the Cobb County Sheriff's Department removed them and their furniture.

They moved here about five years ago from New York. The man of the house was a New York City policeman. He was injured on duty, which he was wheel-chair bound. So, I would think he was retired on disability.

Last year he died.

After he died his three teenage kids, 2 sons, and a daughter seemed to have gotten wilder - or, untamed. I saw them a lot because all three of them hang out at the kids across the street.

They had a fenced-in back yard with several big black barking dogs. They were mean and fierce inside the fence but they broke loose several times and wasn't mean at all. They just wanted someone to pet them it seemed.

Weeks ago the oldest son's girlfriend found out she was pregnant and the boy's mother kicked him out of the house. I think he probably had a job and was bringing money in. When the widow kicked out her son, she may have cut part of her income.

and to make it more interesting the kicked out boy slipped home one day to get something to eat and discovered someone broke into the house and stole his mother's jewelry.

Now, they are homeless. They were evicted for not paying the rent.

What's next?

HOW!! is your bank account?

Going back to Indian wannabees:

When I first learned we were descended from Polly Hogshed Trammell, who was a full blooded Cherokee Indian I shared the information with some Hunter cousins that I know are always interested. One of my cousins wanted me to show him a pedigree chart to show our connection to Polly. With this modern world of computers I gave him his own copy with a press of a screen button.

Later this same cousin told me the next time he was up in Cherokee, North Carolina, he dropped by the headquarters of the Cherokee Indian Nation and showed them the pedigree chart, and they declared he had enough Cherokee blood in him and as a direct descendant he received a certificate and a hunting license to hunt on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, and I think he said there is no “season” – he can hunt and fish for any game, year around.

A few years lapsed and I was doing the wedding photography for a Petty first cousin on my mother’s side. The guy she was marrying was from Chattanooga. At the wedding was his parents and his brother, a guy that appeared to me to be socially awkward. He looked uncomfortable making small talk to humans.

A few more years lapse and the father of the cousin that I took the wedding pictures died, which was my uncle-by-marriage, or uncle-in-law. At the funeral home was my cousin’s brother-in-law, the socially awkward guy.

This time he had long hair dyed black, a headband, silver jingling jewelry on him, a decorative belt buckle, and cowboy boots. I asked my cousin what was with her brother-in-law and she told me did some genealogy and found out he has some Indian heritage.

More time lapse. I was talking to my aunt within a few months ago and she told me that she and her son, a Hunter first cousin, went up to the Cherokee Indian headquarters and had a meeting with the chief of the tribe there. I am not sure the pecking order on tribal things… is their just one chief, or is a chief sort of like a council-person?

She sent me pictures of the Chief and another head honcho presenting my cousin some kind of plaque. Brave of the month?

I don’t know, but I am beginning to suspect that the right to be called an Indian has a price tag attached.

Begging for Prescriptions

I think I have mentioned that at my last cardiologist-doctor visit I was given 5 prescriptions, all designed to prevent heart attacks or strokes in one form or another.

I knew better than to mail them in to my prescriptions by mail company then, because the last time I did that before the old prescriptions had expired they sent them back to me to hold them until they became timely ready. Which I did.

I held them back this time also. And I lost them.

We looked high and low for the prescriptions and could not find them. Because now, with computer printouts, the prescriptions were 8x10 printout sheets, which Anna believes could have got mixed up with the junk mail and tossed.

About ten days ago I wrote a letter to my doctor’s office explaining that I lost them, and now it is time to mail them in, would they please send me another set of prescriptions. As of yesterday, they have not responded to my letter.

Yesterday I called the doctor’s office asking to speak to the nurse and of course a voice mail came on saying she was busy, please leave a brief note with your name, birth date, and telephone number. And she added “I WILL get back to you.” I left a brief message telling her my dilemma. I might as well had told it to the wall. She did not return my call.

I decided to be at their office this morning when they opened the doors and get in their face – which I did.

At 8:00am this morning in the receptionist’s face with a copy of the letter pointing to different things I brought mentioned in the letter, with time running out, it was important to get the ball rolling. The receptionist looked like she had her mind on a nice steaming sausage and biscuit or maybe a chicken and biscuit.

She woke up from her daydream long enough to tell me she would give my letter to the nurse.

At counted on having to sit a while, so I brought a book. Surprisingly, before I got into the second page the nurse came out, a new nurse, good looking and pleasant. She smiled as she handed the prescriptions to me.

I thought how come some one as good looking as that was so careless about reading letters and returning phone calls? Wait! That is exactly the kind that would do that.

Anyway, I got my prescriptions.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lost Mountain Store

This is Lost Mountain Store.

Lost Mountain Store was owned by an old gent named Mr. Newton. That was what his name was, but he preferred "Newt". Behind his back we called him "Snuffy".

Snuffy kept his money in a wood box, bigger than a cigar box. You give him your money for your Coke and crackers and he would open the box and dig out your change. He held it in such a way you could not see inside the box to see how much money was inside it. He was in no hurry to count it out. While you were standing there waiting he had a chance to talk to you and maybe brag a little. He was a talker.

Also he was quiet a shooter. While he had that box opened he was out thinking his customer. Twice he had been held up at gun point. And each time he killed the robber in his tracks. Money wasn't all he had in that box.

His store was between seven and ten miles west of downtown Marietta. Our fiend owned a lake just a couple of miles away that we would go to a lot. We always stopped there and buy something from Snuffy. The store was at desolate cross roads. Desolate back then. Now, it is a heavy traffic area with yuppies going to soccer games, tennis matches, golf games, and so on.

Snuffy has been dead many years. He was a single old man who lived with his sister in a two story house behind the store. It kind of reminds you of The Bates Motel, right?

The store is still there, but now it is in the front of a big yuppie shopping center. To the side of the store, build in is a ATM machine. I heard they were going to make a museum out of Lost Mountain Store. I don't know if that has yet became a reality or not.