Monday, July 31, 2006


I am old enough to be on Medicare, which I am. I probably have a failing (or it has already failed) brain. My brain needs all the exercise it can get.

I read someplace that to learn a-word-a-day and use that word at least once that day is good brain exercise.

Today I learned the word “sphincter” which the dictionary tells me it is an annular muscle surrounding and able to contract or close a bodily opening.

If I translate that right, a sphincter is the “O” ring of your ass-hole.

So, now, how to use it in a conversation, besides defining it or asking what it is… that was quiet a challenge until I saw something on the news about the Whitehouse.

You might say we presently have a sphincter presidency.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Car

Anna and I just couldn't contain ourselves any longer. We went out yesterday and bought us a new Honda Accord EXL. It seems to have everything on it.

We did not even plan on buying a new car this weekend. Had we serioudly given it any thought we would have got the title of our Nissan out of the safety deposit box. We just thought we would visit a few new car dealers and test drive a few and do a little reseach. But what we did not consider it was the end of the month at the end of the car year - it is almost time for new cars to come out. Heh heh.

Salesmen were all over us and apparently were ready to accept any offer, which we took advantage of.

And here it is.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

House of Thomas Jefferson Ridley (1859-1939)

My ancestor's house.
About 1980 I drove all over the back roads of Murray County, Georgia, looking for it. and once I found it, what did I do? Take a picture of it of, course.

Adam & Rocky

Adam leaning on a rail, which I think the rail would normally come up about a regular size adult's knee makes you realize just how small he was.
And Rocky, with a mask on - he always said he would like to run for public office. So is he dressed as a politician?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bluto's Departure

The day Bluto left he drove away in his rented car and I was pretty much tired from entertaining for 9 days. So, I wasn’t sorry to see him go, but I thoroughly enjoyed giving him a tour of this area.

That morning I heard on the news that the security at the Atlanta Airport had been compromised. Everything was shut down and all flights cancelled. SHIT!!! I thought. Does this mean Bluto will be back here?

No, his flight was delayed for several hours because of the security problem but he did leave, thank God.

What it was, a guy leaped over an exit turnstile to go get his young boy that he left standing there while he took a picture.

Skip Williamson & Jon Benet' Ramsey's Grave

Skip, Bluto, Me, & Dent Wildman Myers

Bluto & Skip Williamson

Bluto and Skip Williamson

Although we visited Skip Williamson the 2nd or 3rd day I held him off as the best until last.
Bluto has been a Skip Williamson fan for a long time. I have been a fan for a fair amount of time, since I saw his work in The Realist, Playboy, and Bijou Comics. Skip had created a comic character named Sammy Smoot which he fined tuned and it was very good cartoon work.

We drove over to Skip’s house which is on the other side of town. He lives around the corner from my sister. While we were shaking Skip’s hand his wife Harriet came out on the back porch and gave me a hug. She said she hadn’t seen me in a while, I should come around more often. I felt like a jerk.

Skip showed us all over his studio and his latest projects. Then we left and I gave Bluto and Skip and tour of downtown Marietta on things I thought would interest them. We also visited some Civil War skirmishes sites near Kennesaw Mountain.

At that time period I was fascinated with Cheatham Hill, which is across from where my parents are buried. There was a big fight there in a big area and many soldiers on both sides were killed or injured. While the fighting was going on a brush fire started. There were dead and wounded soldiers lying there with the fire quickly approaching them. Suddenly, somebody called a truce and able bodied men from both sides ran out and picked up the incapacitated and carried them to their rightful sides. Each side helped each other drag men to safely. While they were mingling they complemented each other on their shootings, joked, swapped chewing tobacco plugs, and realized each were humans. The officers on both sides were not happy the men on the lines put a face on the enemy.

That was the Cheatham Hill Battle Field. Now, it is a huge park that mostly runners take advantage of.

We went to the Marietta City Cemetery. There were some famous people buried there that I wanted to point out. I think the most written about person buried there is little Mary Phagan. At age 13 she was raped and killed at where she worked in Atlanta, at a pencil factory on her off day. She had went to work to get her paycheck. The owner, Leo Frank, Jewish, was accused of the murder. There was a trial and he was convicted of the crime and was sent to the State Prison in Milledgeville.

One night, I think about 1915, a caravan of cars with masked men inside drove to the State Prison – all the guards happened to be looking the other way when the men found the prison doors unlocked and even Leo Frank’s cell unlocked. They carried him back to Marietta and hung him.

There has been many books written about this crime and hanging. There is evidence now that Leon Frank was innocent…. Governor Jimmy Carter pardoned him, posthumously.

There is proof that the group that planned and orchestrated the Leo Frank hanging were the city’s elite. The judges, mayors, representatives, and bankers.

That is why the group had no trouble getting in the prison and why no one was near to prevent them. The warden was told if he made it easy for them he would get the new prison wing he had been begging for. Which, they pulled the right strings and the new wing was built.

Next we visited Jon Benet’ Ramsey’s grave at St. James Episcopal Church Cemetery. Also, there are some other graves here of historical significance – but only to me. I doubt if Skip or Bluto would care about who in this cemetery that streets were named after. You would have to have grown up in Marietta to appreciate that I think.

After visiting that cemetery we went for lunch at Betty’s Famous Hotdogs. Betty’s Hotdogs is now owned by Brandi and it is Brandi’s Famous Hotdogs.

Both Skip and Bluto seemed to appreciate the spicy chili on the hotdogs. We sat at the counter at ate. While sitting there, within earshot of Betty and her daughters Skip and Bluto used such words as Goddamn, Shit, Fuck, Mother-Fucking, Mother-Fucker, Ass-Hole, and well, just normal talk behind the shed. They did not keep their voices down, they talked normally. Each time a FUCK or GODDAMN flew in the air Betty’s eyes would widen and squint in disapproval. Betty was helping her daughter preparing the hot dogs and also running the cash register as somebody came up to the counter to pay. You could almost read by their facial expressions and body languages what Betty and her daughter were saying about Skip and Bluto. Like Bluto might say, “Do you believe that SHIT?” And Betty’s eyes would pop open and way saying silently, “Did you hear that? I don’t want that vulgarity in here!” Betty turned 73 about a month later, it was in the paper that she was selling her restaurant and retiring. Her daughter, under 50, with her hurt look, was silently saying, “Just take it easy Mama, I haven’t seen two of them before, they probably won’t be back, just don’t cause any trouble.”
And Skip might say, “FUCKING A!”
Again Betty’s eye popped open wide. The soothing daughter, silently saying, Maamaaa … easy, easy.”
And this went on and on.
After we finished we paid at the cash register and Betty yanked our money from us, and sent us on our way… I noticed she didn’t say, “Come back!” like she was telling other people.
Next we went to Kennesaw Mountain and rode up top to look down on Marietta one way and Kennesaw the other. Then, we started talking about Dent “Wildman” Myers. Skip and I both know Wildman. Wildman is a councilman in Kennesaw and also owns a business in the Downtown Historic district. He is responsible for one city ordinance of Kennesaw that made national news: In Kennesaw, if you live within the city limits you must own a handgun – period.
Once I asked Wildman, who is an arch conservative wasn’t telling people they must own a handgun a form of gun control? For an answer he gave me a glare.
He wears his gun, fully loaded, in a holster on his gun belt.
But to give credit where credit is due, I read that Kennesaw has the lowest rate of crime than any other town of that size in the United States. Besides, no one, as yet had to pay a fine or any other punishment for not owning a gun. The law had been declared unenforceable.
Before Dent Myers opened up his Civil War Shop in Kennesaw he worked at Lockheed. Back in the ‘70s we had a green Gremlin with a round red, white, and blue sticker, with the peace symbol within the circle. Wildman also had a green Gremlin with something to the opposite way of thinking on the back of his car, maybe something like “Bomb Hanoi!”. He and Anna used the same parking lot. She worked for, as she does now, for the Department of Defense. At times they would past each other in the parking and greet each other with the finger.
Wildman has written several books about the different fights on Kennesaw Mountain and is considered an expert. He has served as technical director for at least two Civil War movies I know of.
We decided to visit Wildman in his shop. For him it is a good thing we did, Bluto spent over a hundred bucks in tee shirts, books, and right wing literature. He claimed he only studying that type of mind – but I wonder.
Wildman was quiet impressed with Skip – as one Wildman to another Wildman, and of course Bluto slinging money around. And he probably recalled my face from someplace in his past but not quiet sure where at, but I am easily forgotten.

Another night Bluto went to Atlanta with Skip clubbing. I guess I have grown old. I hate the superficial life in clubs. They went to a club at the Clairmont Hotel on Ponce de Leon at the Corner of Monroe Drive. There were plenty of strippers there ready to party. So, Skip and Bluto told me on our next adventure. There was a black stripper there named Blondie. She was named Blondie because she had a blond wig. She had a special talent not many women can do or probably haven’t even thought about doing. She can crush beer cans with her tits, even if they haven’t been opened. Blondie also writes poetry.

Another day we just hung around Skip’s studio, he had some work he had to catch up on.

Bluto and The Varsity Drive-In

This is T-shirt that The Varsity sells illustrated by Jack Davis of the famous people who have eaten there.

No one of any fame comes to Atlanta without going to the world’s largest drive-in restaurant, The Varsity, to eat a famous Varsity chili dog or glorified cheese burger. It is mandatory that all presidential and governor candidates be photographed at The Varsity.

Bluto had no plans on running for President but he wanted to eat at The Varisty just the same. He saw it on the food channel.

As a teenager we used to cruise through The Varsity every time we were in Atlanta. We tried to make small talk with cars full of giggling girls more than once. Then, when you first drove in the drive-in section a car-hop would hop on your fender and sit on it until you park – he usually had a say in where you parked… because he was directing you with his hands… and the way it was done it was a thanks to him you got such a good parking place. He would slap his number on your window, take your order, and if he was good he had a gimmick … maybe some quick one-liners, maybe the way he could recite the menu backwards, maybe he would have the person in the car that appeared in charge to pick a card and he would guess which card. The more he could fascinate the occupants of the car the more the tip. I never seen a white, Spanish, or Asian car-hop. They were all black. And the sat fact they had to pay to work there. They got no pay, it was all tips, but they had to pay to have their white lightweight coats cleaned.

Later when I worked all night at the Atlanta Post Office about 5 or 6 blocks away, you could count on somebody during the night to make a Varsity run.

The Varsity was separated from Georgia Tech by the I-75 expressway, but is connected by the North Avenue Bridge. The founder, Frank Gordon, used to sell his hotdogs and hamburgers on the Tech campus in a small store front. He started in 1928.

Lester Maddox started about the same way with his Pickrick Restaurant.

Now there is a Varsity at the Mall near Marietta in Kennesaw and also one in Athens. All three have identical menus. I think there may be more scattered throughout Georgia now.

But the one near here was not yet built when Bluto visited.

When we were in Atlanta we did what Atlantians do – we ate at The Varsity, inside where you buy the tee-shirts.

As you go through the line at The Varsity there will be a person shouting at you when it is your time urgency shouting, “Whattayahave? Whattayahave?”

With the urgency tempo you feel they are very impatient and you want to hurry up and give them the information before they grab and shake you for being in a daze. When you tell them, it is surprising how exactly they get your order and how they prompt you to say more: “Fries? Fried apple pie?” Whew! Finally you have your food and you are out of line.

The Varsity has three big rooms with a TV in each room. Each one has a different TV station playing. The seats used to be students desks. But this time I noticed they improved and have little tables…. Progress.

Where Bluto and I decided to sit was in a room in a corner near the TV. Pictures of politicians were all over the wall. There was a picture, life size, of Governor Zell Miller and President Bill Clinton sitting and each enjoying a hamburger… I guess neither wanted to be photographed coming down on a wiener. It was in the exact place we were sitting – there as the corner in the background, the only thing different in the picture they were in and the real life we were in that in their picture their picture was not on the wall. Does that make sense?

Bluto Eats Hambugers at Carey's

One day I took Bluto to Carey’s Hamburgers for lunch. I thought he would find this joint interesting. I was right. Carey’s is across a boulevard from Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta. I didn’t know of its existence until I read an article by Lewis Grizzard raving about their hamburgers and the down-to-earth of the place. He also hinted that there were some racial overtones there.

I first went to Carey’s alone in a December when nearby Christmas shopping. It just seemed like a big hamburger joint, nothing fancy. The room was big and dark. I ordered a hamburger. Shortly after I ordered it, the cook came out, who I think was probably Carey and the man that took my order told the man I think was Carey another hamburger, and Carey started cursing. He said the worse goddamn thing ever he did was let that damn reporter interview him, now he doesn’t have any goddamn fucking time to rest…. Everybody wanted a fucking hamburger.

It was a delicious hamburger. It was juicy and had herbs and spices on it that just made it heaven sent. The big thick slice of onion helped too.

While I was eating a group came in. One of the people in the group was black. There was an office park nearby so the people in the group were probably co-workers on their lunch break. After the waiter took their order he hand delivered it to the back where Carey was. A moment or two later Carey emerged and put a coin in the juke box and left. The juke box played a song about “Niggers who think they are white.” I couldn’t see the expressions of the people at that booth but I would think they didn’t see the humor in it.

And a few years is when I brought Bluto to Carey’s. They had remodeled since I was there the last time. Things were brighter and it was even crowded. A lot of people were eating the special hamburger and there I noticed even blacks were coming and going with no problems. The hamburgers were as delicious as before and Carey made an appearance with an apron on and did the small talk chat at each table with a big smile on his face, even at a table with all blacks. I think after Carey got a taste of money the greed instinct kicked in, wanting more money, it was time to shed his primitive prejudices and smile all the way to the bank…. And just pay someone else to cook the hamburgers.

The Waiter that waited on me last time wasn’t there. In his place was a sexy girl with short shorts. Carey also figured other ways to attract customers. I still wasn’t satisfied – I brought Bluto there to show him a touch of the old south I told him about at Carey’s and it didn’t appear to be around anymore.

I noticed two juke boxes side by side. One was unplugged. The one that wasn’t unplugged had your top 40 rock and country. The one that was unplugged had the racist songs on it. I saw four or five with “Nigger” in the titles. I called Bluto over from our booth to look at them. He was amazed.

I asked our leggy waitress did they ever plug in the other juke box and she looked at me with a smile like a flirting “You naughty naughty boy you”. But, I still didn’t know, not that it matters.

The last time I rode by there I noticed a car rental agency had taken over the space Carey’s was in.

Bluto In Atlanta

Margaret Mitchell's grave in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.

One day we went to the Atlanta History Museum. One of the docents there I worked with at the Census in the year 2000. I always thought she went too much beyond her duties to get that extra attention from management. She would bring blueberry muffins and made sure the managers got what they wanted before she put them out for us to grab. And anther girl just as attention starved brought in larger blueberry muffins, and then she brought bigger ones with biscuits and jelly – and we found ourselves in the cross-fire of an attention-getting war. She got us in the museum free. All this time I had my mother-in-law’s wheelchair borrowed to make getting around easier for Bluto.

He studied each exhibit in detail. Good for him. I am bad about reading what was on the plaque, glance at it and move on.

I don’t remember if it was the same day or not but we visited Oakland Cemetery near the Capital in Atlanta. We saw Margaret Mitchell’s grave, and some more famous graves. Colonel Andrew of Andrews Raiders was hung in Oakland Cemetery. There are several Georgia Governors buried in Oakland.

Andrews Raiders are the ones that stole The General locomotive engine from the depot in Kennesaw, Georgia, and was chased by a conductor with the last name Fulton on the engine The Texan. Before they stole The General they spent the night at the Kennesaw House Hotel in Marietta. Walt Disney made a movie of it. Fess Parker was Colonel Andrews and Jeffrey Hunter was Fulton. They were caught in Ringgold, Georgia. From the time I was a teenager Ringgold was known for 15 minute marriages, no waiting. Several of my friends married there.
We went to the Cyclorama at Grants Park, which also houses the Atlanta Zoo. The Cyclorama is a giant painting of The Burning of Atlanta. It is on a huge canvas that is circular. The seating arrangement turns slowly and you sit and watch the incredible details. Very sad Civil War music is in the background. It is an emotional experience.

In the lobby of the Cyclorama is The Texan, which is the engine that Conductor Fulton chased The General in The Great Locomotive Chase.

One day we visited the Coke Museum and Underground Atlanta. It may have been the day we visited Oakland Cemetery and the History Museum. It was all in the same town.

The Coke Museum is a narrow building sort of in the plaza of Underground Atlanta. When you pay your money you take an elevator up to the top floor and then you walk start off at the top with viewing displays of the very early stages of Coke inventing, marketing, and advertising. Each floor down you progress another era. It is very well done. I heard it has even got better since the giant Atlanta Aquarium has been added.
On the bottom floor you can drink all the different kinds of Coke products from different countries. I remember one time we had Rocky’s birthday party there. He drunk too many Coke drinks. His lips turned blue and he became very chilled. Hyperthermia?

After the Coke Museum the plan was for me to push Bluto in the wheelchair across the plaza to Underground Atlanta. Bluto weighed well over 300 pounds. Those cobblestones of the plaza did us in as far as the wheelchair goes. A wheel broke. I think I ended up paying almost a hundred bucks to get it all replaced. Not only the wheel, but the axel.

After that we walked the block to Underground Atlanta.

Underground Atlanta should have been named Used To Be Atlanta. It was Atlanta up until July 1864 when Sherman came though and burned it. When Bill left on his march to Savannah and the sea, the Atlanta townsfolk had to rebuild. Through a complex of bridges, via ducts, and overhead streets, the built over the original Atlanta.

Then after the new Atlanta was built it left the old Atlanta is a position of never seeing day light… blocks and blocks of narrow cobble stone streets with store fronts, lamp posts, street signs rats and the homeless as inhabitants. When I worked for the Atlanta Post Office I parked on the edge of it free. Everybody was afraid to park to close to the area, afraid they might be robbed. My heap, a old model pv544 Volvo went untouched – even the have-nots turned up their noses at it.

However, I had two attempted muggings on me, which one succeeded, but I’ll save that for another blog entry someday.

Somebody with an enterprising mind found himself in old dusty Underground Atlanta one day and realized what a goldmine it was. With a little cleaning and cops this place could be booming again.

It didn’t take long for Underground Atlanta to rebuild itself. We went there often when entertaining friends from out of town. It was store front after store front of bars, entertainment spots, gift shops – bright lights, loud music. The homeless had to find someplace else to sleep.

One of the best local blues musicians, Piano Red played at one of the spots. There was a theater. There, we saw Jesus Christ Superstar for about the umpteenth time. One time while there I remember I saw a very vogue looking chick with an open blouse with no bra. One small tit was exposed. No one seemed to mind and I think the only person who couldn’t keep his eyes off that one tit was me.

Bluto and I entered Underground Atlanta and spent a short time there, maybe having one or two drinks. He wasn’t too comfortable walking – remember I was pushing a broken empty wheelchair.

Bluto & The North Georgia Mountains

This cabin was built by my g-g-g-grandfather John Hunter (c1775-1848). It is still standing and tbe Union County Historical Society declared it to be the oldest standing man-mad structure in Union County, Ga.

One day I took Bluto to the North Georgia Mountains to give him a whistle stop tour of where I ancestors stomped and multiplied.

We went to Dahlonega where gold was discovered about 1830 or so – which ultimately caused the removal of the Indians to Oklahoma.

We went to Union County and I showed Bluto my great-great-great grandfather John Hunter’s (1775-1848) cabin, which has been declared by the Union County Historical Society to be the oldest man-made dwelling in the county. Inside the cabin looks to be about 10 x 12. Most rooms in houses these days are bigger than that.

Before we went across the field to the cabin we went into a country store across the road from the cabin to buy a Coke. The store was a general store looking place which if one was to have a store in the area, generally it was a general store. It was ran by one person – a young man maybe between 20 and 25… he looked like a good old country boy who. I suspected his parents owned the store.

The good old country boy came up to me and asked me what did I think of old blablablabla. That may as well been what he said, the name or word he said made no sense to me at all. Then he went on to say Old Blablablabla will have to live that down. I then remembered I had a Georgia Bulldog baseball cap on…. He was talking about football, and I remember some foul up a coach had at UGA the past week.. but I wasn’t sure what. I said, “Well, I think he knew what he was doing – you got to remember he gets a lot of pressure from the alumni who pays a big chunk of his salary.”

He agreed, and said he never thought about it that way. Neither have I.

We went to Helen, Georgia. Anna and I spent our Honeymoon near Helen in 1967 at Unicoi State Park. There in the park was a big beautiful waterfall. The town of Helen then was just a sleepy southern mountain town. Now it is a heavy bumper to bumper traffic tourist town. Their attraction? They made the little three block long town to look like an Alpine Village. And they have plenty of gift shops and beer joints with loud music. What more would a tourist want in North Georgia?

We ate at Georgia Barbecue, just outside of Helen. Outside in the parking lot were service kind of pickup trucks: plumbing company trucks, electrical contractors' trucks, county maintenance trucks - in other words, an affordable place in Helen.

About 5 to 7 miles down the road from Helen is Cleveland, Georgia. Cleveland is the home of Babyland General Hospital, where Cabbage Patch Kids are pulled up out of the garden, or something like that. Cabbage Patch Kids was the brain child of Xavier Roberts … but actually these children have no brains. When we found the hospital and found a place to park Bluto was out of the car and marching like he had just seen the coming of Lord and the Lord had his arms spread opened accepting people to come to him.

Bluto has a hard time walking because he has hip problems. But you would never know it the way he was marching to the Babyland General Hospital, home of the Cabbage Patch Dolls. It was as if he received a touch from God and instantly healed him.

He just stuck his head in the door and decided it would be cheaper (and less embarrassing) for me to just take his picture standing in front of the Babyland
General Hospital.

Xavier Roberts took the look from the Appalachian dirt poor artists and turned that poor dirt into gold dirt… gold dirt for him.

Incidentally, between Helen and Cleveland is a little community named Sautee Valley. There, in slavery days there was a man living there considered the meanest man in Georgia. I mentioned this in an earlier blog. He was a distant in-law. His 401K for his elderly slaves was simply to snuff them out of existence then he didn’t have to feed them anymore.

There is a kind of an informal farmer’s market selling various kinds of produce at the intersection of two main roads in Marietta. We noticed riding by there before there was also a trailer with many large display of flags. The United States Flag, various versions of the Georgia flags – there is one version that has the stars and stripes – the Confederate battlefield flag, which was our flag for about 10 years to show defiance to the Civil Rights law, and also the Confederate flag in various sizes. Bluto wanted a full size Confederate Battle Flag.

After we returned from the mountains I started deep frying a turkey and Bluto went to the corner and went to the trailer to buy the flag he wanted. He went in and the proprietor was leaning on a cheap old couch sound asleep. Bluto had to wake him up to buy his Confederate Flag. Somehow, being asleep seemed part of the show for tourists like Bluto.

Bluto on November the 11th at National Cemetery

On November the 11th we attended a memorial at the local National Cemetery in honor of the those who died for our country. This cemetery, about 20 acres, was donated by the Cole family of Marietta directly after the Civil War. Many thousands were killed at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, which is only about 3 or 4 miles away. They were putting the dead Confederate soldiers at a burying ground that was donated by a woman. It would be later known as the Confederate Cemetery, and also the largest one (I was going to say in the South, but I doubt if you would find one in the North). The Cole family who were Unionists donated to bury the dead Yankees. They owned a hotel in town. In recent years some letters have surfaced to indicate Mr. Cole was not only a Unionist but also a spy for the Union. The people buried here were in all the wars the U.S. participated in.

That pretty sunny November day one speaker was the guy who wrote the book Chicken Soup, which I think is an inspirational book – and also a gung-ho book reeking of patriotism. Another speaker was a retired General who was a good speaker. He learned the art of using big words and saying nothing. Can I quote you on that? “Sure.”
“But what did you say?”

The General was very vague and other than telling a funny story about losing his baggage on a flight some where I am not sure what he said. But, the head of the local American Legion worshipped the man. I could tell the way he saluted the General and called his men to attention for the General’s inspection.

Sitting in front of me was a neighbor of mine that I recognized. I leaned forward and spoke to him. He is a tall lean man over 80 years old. He was a Marine who fought in the Pacific in World War II. I think he attends all these ceremonies – once a Marine, always a Marine. The next day his picture sitting in front of me was in the paper.

I think Bluto was moved by the music the Army band played – and so was I. That music and the uniformed rows of headstones with American flags waving in the breeze…. Emotional.

Sunday in Marietta with Bluto

1848 House in Marietta

On a Sunday we went to the 1848 House and met my family there, including my sons, sisters, wife, and mother-in-law for a Sunday Brunch. The reason for the family gathering was it was my sister’s birthday party. The 1848 House was, as you may have guessed, built in 1848. It was originally a colonial mansion with a 1300 acre plantation around it. At that time, on that Sunday, it probably still had 30 or 40 or the original acres. It was built by a member of the Glover family. The Glover name is the elite of the elitist of Marietta. This Glover-guy was the first Mayor of Marietta after it incorporated. Another wealthy mayor, Bill Dunaway owned it when we ate there but he sold it recently. Bill was one year ahead of me in school. His father, William Dunaway owned a chain of drugstores over Georgia that he finally took over. He sold them to a larger chain and invested the money in things like the 1848 House. He hired the best chefs, the best interior decorators, and the best landscapers. The place was plush. It was used more for wedding parties and other private events than opened for public business I think. Anna and I had been there several times at different events before that day. The house had been the subject of the Food Channel on several occasions…. And it deserved what ever recognition it got, the food was different and delicious.

The house comes with folklore and possibly ghosts. There is a gunshot on the steps, that happened during the Civil War. Also Bill Dunaway says there is a ghost that roams around and flirts with the female help and if he gets upset he shakes the chandelier.

My father was born in 1913. When he was a teenager The 1848 House was vacant for brief time. It was believed to be haunted then also. One night a group of boys dared Daddy to spend the night. He made an attempt to, but during the night he felt something pulling at his hair. He ran out. The next day he and the boys went back to investigate. Where he reclined were cobwebs behind him. He believed the cobwebs pulled his hair.

Of course, along with the best of food, in the best of settings, it is very pricey. $$$$ - dine today, for tomorrow we may die.

Also the yards, or gardens, were very enjoyable to walk through, with swings, water fountains, statues, and so on.

I rode by there just this past week and noticed there is now a subdivision of upscale houses surrounding the house. Nothing lasts.

The day I type this (7/23/06) I read in the local paper that yesterday the owner of the 1848 House had an auction to get rid of all the fantastic pieces of furniture, and other things. He had closed his 1848 House Restaurant and sold it. I suppose this is appropriate, a Marietta mayor had it built and a Marietta mayor is dismantling it.

That same day Bluto and I went up to the center of Marietta, what we call the Square, the historic part and attended an ice cream party at the Marietta History Museum. They all knew me there – I had bothered them enough trying to get information concerning my family and I also donated some pictures to their collection so the curator gave me a hearty embrace-hug-handshake.

The idea, was to bring out how Marietta was affected by WWII… in the simpler days when they had ice cream fountains and all. It was a way to draw out the free-loaders and maybe get some good feedback, not to mention some new members.

While we were uptown there was some kind of motorcycle meet. People on Harley Hawgs were going around and around. I noticed several riders with an acronym on the back of their helmets. It was something like YTIGAFWYT. I wondered aloud what that meant and Bluto said, “You think I give a fuck what you think?.” He looked over and smiled, he was proud he knew that. He was a man in the know.

I think a person would that would made such a bold statement, even though he carefully avoided using any profanity on his helmet did indeed gave a fuck what you thought, or he would not have gone to so much trouble showing you he didn’t.

Bluto Arrives

Bluto flew in the second week of November, 2001. 9/11 was the main topic on everybody’s mind – it happened less than two months before. As planned we met him in front of The Big Chicken. We went to Williamson Brothers Barbecue for dinner. I figured Williamson Brothers represented to New South as much as any establishment. Williamson Brothers are very much Republican catering to the same type of people who think they are grass-roots homespun good old boys if they like to sing along with Willie Nelson songs – and also think big business and big money should dominate.

But they have good barbecue.

I think also that night or the next night, Anna, Bluto, and I drove to Atlanta, through downtown by Olympic Park, where the bombing Eric Rudolph did and Richard Jewell got the blame for a while.

It has been four years ago and now and a lot of what we did blended in. I am not sure what day we did what. So, this is sort of a collage.

I took Bluto to meet cartoonist Skip Williamson. This visit lasted more than one day, maybe two, maybe it went into a third day. Skips visit will be near the last.

One morning I took Bluto to Louise’s Kitchen (formerly Bill & Louise’s 0 [Bill died]) which is a southern cooking kind of place where all the waitresses are daughters. They have a bunch of old country sayings and wit on hanging on the wall. The place at that time was known as a political pulse of this section of Georgia. All politicians wanted to get their picture on the wall at Louise’s. TV crews frequently visit the place to interview some of the diners what they think about certain issues or a certain candidate. What they believe will usually be what is voted in.

Jimmy Carter, Roy Barnes, Newt Gingrich, and Bob Barr have there pictures hanging on the wall near the cash register.

Outside is an example of their corny sense of humor. There is a pole that is at least 20 feet high, which is a bird house at the top. The birdhouse is shaped like a mailbox with “Airmail” printed in big letters on it.

Their house – opps, I mean, her house is on top of a hill directly behind a restaurant. During the Christmas season the house and grounds are so covered with different color Christmas lights it looks like a giant candy castle.

Bluto and I Collide in our Minds

The Publisher of EC Publishing Company was William Gaines. EC Publishing was originally Educational Comics started by William’s father Max Gaines. He died, and William took over the company to dismantle it and sell it, but instead, changed it direction and it soared to new heights. It published MAD comic book, MAD magazine, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, and a number of other horror comics, sci-fi comics, and two war comics. The name was changed to Entertainment Comics.

Harvey Kurtzman was the creator, editor, and only writer of MAD comic book and first few issues of MAD magazine. Harvey and William had a difference of opinion on percentage of the take – Harvey was fired – but went on to other great satirical magazines and “Annie Fannie” of PLAYBOY magazine.
Gaines died in 1992 and Kurtzman died in 1993.

Then Internet communicating was becoming easy and I since I was a devoted fan of Harvey Kurtzman I decided to research on-line things about him which lead me to all other kinds of avenues. This research also refreshed my interest in underground comic artists such as Robert Crumb and Skip Williamson.

Someplace, I think on the carrier Prodigy you could go to a specific interest group bulletin board and yak and yak and share your ideas and hopefully learn something you didn’t know. I guess it is similar to a chat room, but these were not live chatting. You leave what you want to say, and check later to see if you had anyone to add their two cents, and you do likewise if they have something up. That is how I met Bluto.

We had similar likes of underground and EC publications. He was willing to spend more money and time than I was on collections. He was single. I was and am married with family expenses.

After swapping emails for about 7 or 8 years we decided to meet. He would fly to Atlanta, rent a car, drive to Marietta and we would meet at ‘The Big Chicken”. It was planned that he was going to spend nine days with us. Nine days????

Several people reminded me that fish and houseguests smell after three days. I thought the best solution was stay away from boredom, stay busy! – I would make a list of things for us to do.

I think what was an added incentive for Bluto was that in the past few years I had made friends with underground cartoonist Skip Williamson.

There was an article in the local paper about Skip Williamson moving into town. I called him up to welcome him and he invited me over, which I went. I didn’t realize it until I arrived at his house that he bought his house from Stan who used to be my supervisor. Stan painted cars part time in his garage – which Stan needed perfect lighting to see how the paint was being applied, which was an idea studio for Skip. Over the next couple of years I went several times to visit and got to know his wife Harriet. She wrote a column about the local politics and it pretty much kept them on their toes.

Bluto - Forward

In November 2001 I had a fellow comic book fan, whom I have never personally met, come and visit with me from California for nine days. Nine whole days.

His nickname if Bluto, so that is his name here, as far as we are concern.

I have recaptured our thrilling time in a lengthy word sketch that also gives you some brief history highlights of the area.

This is lengthy. The last time I checked it was more than 15 pages of single spaced font 12.

If I was faced with a blog entry that looked to be over fifteen pages long I don’t think I would have the patience to read it from beginning to end.

To make it easier looking – or to fool you – I have chopped it up in several chapters. That way it doesn’t look so overwhelming does it?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Austine Hunter Wallis (1927-2006)

This evening I was checking on line the Union Sentinel weekly newspaper of the Blairsville, Union County, Georgia, area, for this week when I read about my old friend Austine Hunter Wallis dying last week.

I was in Union County yesterday and was within a half mile of her homeplace and thought about dropping by paying her a visit but didn't.

Austine spent her life as an educator, as her husband George and her son Andrew. I am not sure about her daughter, I know she graduated from the university of Georgia but not sure if she is an educator as the rest of her family.

In my early years of research Austine called me late one night out of the blue and gave me some valuable information about my great-great grandfather Jason Henderson Hunter, and he was the son of John Hunter, who was also Austine's ancestor. That was the first time me communicated.

We have been communicating off and on since.

The first Sunday of June was the John Hunter Descendants Reunion in Union County. Austine was there in a wheelchair with a nurse and her son tending to her. She invited us over to her homeplace afterwards, which we followed them.

Her son Andrew gave us a tour of the house and how they are restoring to look as much as possible as it did when it first built in 1838, keeping the integrity of the kind of nails, lumber, bricks, design, etc.

Austine was weak, so she stayed in her room as we toured. When we came back we had a nice conversation. But at times during our conversations I saw her close her eyes. I don't know if she was in pain or tired.

I was told she had a tumor on her brain.

I carried to the reunion that day a book I printed from a genealogy program and had binded. I had plans of having it in case to point out to any one just how we were related and any other thing they might find interesting in the book about the Hunters that I dug up.

I didn't put it out for people to paw over. Instead, I gave it to Austine. I am glad I did, I don’t know what she did with it but I know she put it to good use.

Drucilla Wilson Huey (1825-1905)

Drucilla was/is my great great grandmother. She was born in South Carolina and died in Woodstock, Ga. She was married to John T. Huey. They had seven children. Her husband was a big land owner of the area. As far as I know, no one yet have figured out who her parents were.


Our late dog.
She died about 1980.

Mini Reunion, Sort of

Old Man Billy Joe Royal in concert.

We had our mini-high school reunion. I am not sure it could be call a reunion of any kind. It was just a small group getting together at one of the person’s house not far from the Georgia Mountain Fair so we could collectively go.

Our target at the fair was to hear another fellow student in concert at 3pm. Billy Joe Royal.

I think all the survivors of the 1960 graduating class Marietta High School were invited. Originally there were 300 of us, I think that numbered has dwindled down about a hundred or more. I think about 20 all totaled showed up which included the spouses and at least two couples were both 1960 students.

The friend that hosted the pre-get-together has a good piece of land on a ridge. His house looks something like a big ski chalet. The inside is very well decorated with antiques and various heirlooms. One whole side, two levels, is all glass overlooking a series of mountains and ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It appears the house is facing southeast, which has a great few of Blood Mountain, which has had a series of Indians fights on it, and also the Appalachian Trail goes over it. And to the left is Brass Town Ball, the highest point in Georgia.

And at the foot of Brass Town Bald, is the Cholestoe District, where my great-great great grandfather John Hunter settled about 1834.

In Indian talk Cholestoe means Dancing Rabbit. That is not exactly Dancing With Wolves, but it will do.

The owner, Buddy, has a brother who created a program that has been a regular on HBO for several years and it has won a bunch of awards. The brother also wrote a movie that was experimental, it took off, and also won some awards. He is coming out with a new series for HBO this fall.

One lady I did not remember in high school and she did not remember me either. When I got home I looked her up in my yearbooks and she was not in the senior or junior books. That sort of reminds me of the movie "Pallbearer".

Another lady, remembered me and gave me a big hug and she was appeared hurt that I didn’t remember her. I slipped over and looked at Buddy’s 1960 year book and looked her up, and I still didn’t remember her.

Another lady, remembered me and gave me a big hug. I also delivered her parents’ newspaper. I always felt she wouldn’t give me the time of day, and only spoke to me when it would have been awkward not to. She told me she thought about me often – I thought when? When we sat by each other in class and she didn’t speak to me or when I delivered her family's paper and she was sitting on her front steps and didn’t speak to me. Interesting enough, she introduced me to her husband, which after doing some small talk with him I discovered we worked for the same employer in Marietta. The Post Office. He worked for the main branch in downtown Marietta and I worked for the Sprayberry Branch and the Gresham Road office. We knew the same people.

There were two men there named Jerry and Lee. I worked together at the Big Apple Supermarket with both of them sacking and carrying our groceries. One of Lee’s job was to empty the cashier’s garbage cans. I would slip him a dollar and while emptying the garbage he would also toss a carton of Winstons in the garbage and when carrying the garbage around to the back, would drop by my unlocked car and leave the smokes. Lee because was a Cobb County Police Detective. He used to always be on TV. He was noted for being a good crime solver. I think I know why, he thought like them.

Jerry also became a Cobb County Detective. After he retired he bought him a few acres in Fannin County and moved up there. He now has chickens to tend and seems happy. I enjoyed talking to him and his wife Edie

One guy there was a wimp in high school. He was a little shrimp that was always intimidated by us “bad” boys. He was there, probably the tallest person there and for certain the most hyper. He is always trying to sell something. He got everybody in a circle and told them he just booked 24 cabins for a cruise because he got the incredible price at $850, which he was willing to share with us. Some of the people, including him, were wearing the Marietta High School Reunion polo shirts that he sold them last year.

He was dressed nice. Dress for success! I think is his salesmanship motto.

We went to the concert. Inside the fairgrounds some of us had to go to the restroom, we got scattered and didn’t go in as a group as planned. I went in the Music Hall with Jerry and his wife Edie.

Billy Joe Royal put on quiet a show. I went down front twice and photographed him and I think he recognized me… maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. I was surprised at how many screaming old women there were still crazy about Billy Joe. When he wiggled his hips or so a side-stepping moonwalk, which he must have developed to be trademark to cause the old women to go wild.

But at moments Billy Joe was looking his age… when he would hit high long notes his face distorted and wrinkles and muscles sufraced that made him look like a 66 year old man, which he is. He made a few quick one-liners about his age, for instance, he said he went into a bar and was dancing with this woman and he said, “So tell me, do I come in here often?”

I left after he was finished singing. I stopped on my way out and bought a CD by Billy Joe named "The Best of Billy Joe Royal".

I think overall I felt pretty much awkward with that group who used to be care free teenagers. I have changed and they have changed. I may have felt less awkward if Anna could have came but she had to work. But if Anna was there or not, it is like trying to talk to complete strangers - you either luck up to find some one you now have something in common with or you don't.

Although, I must admit, one guy there almost cried when he realized I was me. He hugged me and said, "God! We had some great times!" And that was it. He went back talking about his current life.

I went to a booth operated by either the Civitans or the Jaycees and ordered a smoked trout. It was the worse thing I have eaten lately. It was smoked whole, with head and a face still frowning. The little fellow’s eyeballs had crystallized with the heat and it seemed full of loose bones, which after my bone scare the other night I proceeded with caution and probably let a lot of meat get by.

I was in a screened in area with red and white plastic table clothes and probably a dozen tables. I was dining alone. I noticed a table near had a one hundred dollar bill sitting on it.

Should I take it? A motion sensor would probably triggered off a video and the joke would be one me… or should I tell the cashier about the $100 bill? Did someone make a mistake thinking they were leaving a one dollar bill? I decided to let the chips fall where they will. I got up, threw my half-eaten trout in the garbage and left the $100 bill sitting there.

Then I went to New Liberty Baptist Church in the Choestoe District to photograph some markers of relatives.

And that was about my day.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Addie Carrie Vinson (1871-1931) & grandson Guy

Carrie married Harrison M. Broadwell and they are buried in the Roswell Methodist Cemetery, Roswell, Ga.

The only thing I know about her grandson Guy is that he was born before 1931.

North Georgia Mountains - again

This morning in a couple of hours I will be driving to the North Georgia Mountain. When I get to Blairsville I will meet about 60 other people I graduated with in 1960 and we will line our vehicles up in a caravan and go the North Georgia Mountain Fair where we intend to be part of the audience of the scheduled Billy Joe Royal (Down In The Boondocks) concert. Billy Joe is also an ex-schoolmate friend of ours.

I have never been to a high school reunion, so this is my weak attempt to rectify that.

Some of the people I will see today I haven't seen in about 46 years. This may be very traumatic. Oh me, what did I get myself into?

Bumblebee Grave Yard

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Joke Is On Me

Silly Me! I have been trying to post several things off and on all day today and most of the time a systemized statement would appear saying I lost my connection, in so many words.

So, twice, it did get through, but it was not published. I complained, bitched, and moaned.

Then I thought because apparently my "Chicken Fat" is out of order I would leap over to my "Chickenfat"and try that out again. After all, I haven't used it since January or so. So, I leaped over and lo and behold, there were the two missing blog entries I did today!

What happened is sometime today when I was pestering the system into taking my entries, chicken Fat and Chickefat switched positions. So, when my stuff finally was accepted, the one I was not expecting took it.

So, now that we got that figured out, if you want to see my entries for today (exept this one) look over to the right at the "Other Chickenfat Link".

Monday, July 24, 2006

Life Is Like A Box of Chicken Bones

You never know if you will take your next breath of not.
Back in high school when I worked at the Big Apple a group of us after work went to the Dixie Inn in Woodstock, Georgia. They had a special, all the red snapper you could eat. I choked on a fish bone and fell to the floor. This was about 1960 so nobody knew what to do but turn their head as not to watch me die.

Luckily enough, I coughed out the bone. The waitress almost had to step over me to serve a table... I think she knew from experience to pretend you didn't see this incident - you don't want to be a witness against your employer.

Tonight Anna and I were sharing a Cornish game hen. Boy, some of those bones are small! So small was a bone I barely felt it pass down and hung in my throat. I started gagging. I ran my finger down my throat trying to reach it and some how pull it out. Anna saw my problem and ran over and slapped me on the back two or three times. the little bone came dislodged and loose.

Hotooie!!! I spit it out, not worrying about proper manners.

We studied what I spit out and it was part of the pulley bone, or wish bone. I was wishing I would live.

Where was the other side of the pulley bone? Anna had it. She split the little bird down the middle, almost exactly.

I lived.

Rocky & Adam Nose to Nose

I thought I would save money and develope my own. That didn't last long.

Homer & Cora Prance

Anna's father side. Homer Jackson Prance(1886-1961) was born in Cobb County and died in East Point, Ga (the Atlanta Airport area). He married Louise Cora Smith (1890-1976) on 25 June 1913 in Americas, Ga. Americas is just several miles from Plains, Ga (Jimmy Carter's home). They had 5 children, 4 sons and 1 duaghter.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gourds on a Fence

This was an example of my father-in-law's green thumb work.

J & K

My sons were in school with two brothers J and K. J was in my oldest son's class and K was in the class with my youngest son.

They live in our subdivision a few blocks away so when go for a bike ride or and outside walk or run I usually go by their house, which I did this morning which reminded of the blog about them I was cooking up in my mind.

Both of them seemed to stay in hot water, not only with their teachers, but also thier peers. They both seemed to live in a state of faux pas.

J was the shy quiet sort and an introvert. K was a loud mouth, always seeking attention.

Before high school was over K, the loud extrovert was caught with his friends breaking into a house and burglarizing it. He went to Cobb Juvenile Detention for a period of time.

At the post office it was always a treat to see letters from inmates behind bars. Many of them were fantastic artists that they would decorate the envelope with. K was one of the great detained artists. K was chubby with red hair. On his envelopes he would have Garfield the Cat, that he drew, as himself. Usually, the cartoon would show Garfield, aka K, doing something, like propping up against a tree fishing in a pond and saying, "Life in Prison is Hell!" or something amusing along those lines. He made a joke about his time behind bars.

His older brother J, I been told, is also a great artist. Being the loaner that he is, he because an expert on video games. Unfortunately, there is not much of a demand of expert video game players. He has been out of high school about twelve or so years now, and still works for the same pizza place he did shortly after high school. I think he has something to offer, but he is just too shy or introverted to pursue it.

His brother K, on the other hand, has an expensive car and seems to be living the goo life.

What is the morale here? If anything, it is loud mouths, good or bad, are brash enough to get ahead in life.

Sarah & Opal

These are two are my mother's sister, an older one and the youngest one. To give you and idea how time travels: The youngest one died about ten years ago in a nursing home.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Hen & Chick Roosting

Remember the hen and the chick on the floor? This is the same two, but on a different day. I wonder how the little chick managed to get up on the wood rail.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Like Father, Like Son

Dick Hunter was my uncle. He was a two term mayor of Marietta.
Frank Hunter was Dick's son. He ran for office and lost. Several years later he died as a young man, over ten years younger than me.

Clerks Two - or is it Clerks Too, or Clerks To?

We went to see Kevin Smith’s Clerks II today. At the box office when I asked for two tickets to Clerks II with a senior discount, the ticket seller, a young men, asked us if we have seen the first movie Clerks. What he was about to get at was it may be a shock to us elderly folks to hear such language. Yes, I told him, we saw the first Clerks.

In the theater, I noticed that I was the only person there, including the characters on the screen that had his ball cap on frontward. There were about fifteen so people there. I would wager we were old enough to be anyone else there parents if I could find someone to take a bet like that.

The movie was very funny. We laughed and cackled all the way through it. As usual, Kevin Smith asks some very universal profound questions intertwined with street and gutter talk.

But I guess I am old fashion, I think I like the first Clerks better, Kevin was just doing it over, not improving, just changing locations. The convenience store was burned down and they went to work for a fast food restaurant.

And they were restless. It was time to move on again.

Tales From The Crypt #45 "Telescope" - Jack Davis

You may appreciate the above more if you double click it.
Some blog entries back, the one with the spider carrying her insect pray up her web got us into a brief discussion of feeding bugs to the spider and then eating the spider. And that caused me to reply again, saying that reminded me in the book Dracula of Dracula’s helper, a little crazed man who fed insects to spiders, and fed the spiders to something else, and the something else he ate – or something like that.

In the back of my mind it reminded me of a story in Tales From The Crypt comic book illustrated by Jack Davis. The story was a guy was marooned on an island. He was hungry and caught a fish. A seagull stole the fish then arat stole the fish from the bird and ran, so the caught it and was so hungry he was eating it raw, when he fell into the ocean and a shark attacked him.

Some natives caught the shark and pulled it out. The above picture is the climax.

Happy dining!

It Pays To Advertise

I received an email from a friend of mine yesterday. He is retired living in Panama City Beach, Florida. He wanted to know the name of the hot dog joint I took him to that the owner had a low-cut blouse on showing off her nice "hooters" (as he called them) and shorts to show off her shapely legs.

He said he was talking about the place to the boys in the barber shop yesterday and a couple of the men wanted to know the address - maybe they have plans on dropping by there and getting hot dogs and an eye-full next time they are in the area.

There is something very All-American about that - telling the boys in the barber shop and them wanting to see for themselves.

Word of Mouth is the cheapest form of advertising.

Inside Activites

Rocky jumping off furniture and Adam enjoying the pleasures of a bed.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tommy & I Become Friends - after 5 years

When I was growing up in this town, much smaller then, my arch enemy was Tommy.

We first met at a high school football game. We were in the 7th grade, our last year of grammar school. My friends and I would go to the football game to hang out. We had no real interest in the game.

Beside the cement seats on one side was a grassy bank. That was a hangout for 7th graders – high school wannabee students. At that time there were about 4 or 5 grammar schools in Marietta. And maybe of all those schools maybe each school had four or five 7th grade unauthorized representatives. There might have been as many as 25 7th graders on that bank, and all but your close friends from your own school were potential enemies.

That is what Tommy and I viewed each other as at first: potential enemies. It didn’t help that we got in some kind of scuffle and rolled down the hill trying to punch each other.

After about the second or third summit on the grassy hill it was understood we each came to face off…. But much of it was dares and dirty looks at each other.

The next year when all us ex-7th graders met under the one roof of the Junior High School I found out Tommy’s family was one of the most known families in Marietta - his father owned the Chevrolet dealership.

We continued snarling at each other, showing each other that each was not afraid. We had several pushing contests, which might equal to young male goats butting heads… but we knew when to stop and not get hurt or get into trouble.

Through the eight and ninth grades Tommy continues to be an asshole every time we passed in the hall way.

Tommy had two siblings, two twins a boy and a girl. I got along great with the girl. The boy twin was sort of timid and an introvert… so, we hardly ever got to know each other.

After Tommy turned 16 his father got him a 56 Chevrolet, green and white. I remember one time hitchhiking and he came by and slowed down like he was going to give me a ride and shot me a bird. That is one boy that held a grudge.

This animosity continued throughout our high school years. We never got close.

His father was a very gracious hard working man. One night during our Valentine’s Banquet, because it was snowing, I slid into a ditch. Tommy’s father materialized and he and a black man worked for an hour or so to get back on the pavement and then drove away before I could thank him property. That was his thing on snowy nights, is to ride around and give help to stalled and stuck autos.

Hardly anybody liked Tommy. They thought he was a snobbish asshole – what do I mean, “thought”?

I think his father had a heart to heart talk with him and told him if he wanted to hold his family position as one of Marietta finest elite he had to get in and do a little mischief with the locals…. The next couple of levels down in the caste system…. Show them you are one of them… go with them to tip a few cows over or something…. Win their respect.

One night Tommy was at the drive-in we hung out at. He was right in the middle of everything. He acted like we were best friends.

One conversation led to another and before a few of us, including Tommy was making plans to hijack some watermelons off a watermelon truck. Back then there were no Interstate expressways. On federal and state highways with traffic lights and all. The Chattahoochee River separated Cobb County from Atlanta. On each side of the Chattahoochee was a huge hill. The US 41 Highway, coming out of Atlanta had to climb that steep hill. We have noticed that these loaded down flatbed trucks with watermelons could barely make it up the hill. Also, half way of the hill, was a driveway, going off to someone’s summer home overlooking the Chattahoochee.

The plan was for us to park in the drive way with the lights out. With the truck came struggling by we would simply pull out of the drive way, get behind the truck and a couple of us run along between the truck and the car and pull watermelons off and hand them off to who was in the car.

Tommy was to be one of the watermelon relayers. The planned failed. The driver must have looked in his rearview mirror. He stopped and jumped out with a iron pipe ready to defend his watermelons.

Which scared us, we outside scattered and the car fled like a scalded cat.

But the most important thing is that Tommy bonded with us.

Last year he died, it was rumored he died after being in a coma for a year "after that gun incident.”

Bumper Sticker:

Diapers & Politicians have to be changed for the same reason.

Gourd Birdhouses

With those clouds they sort of look spiritual don't they?

Stanley & Dick WWII

Yesterday you saw my father's two youngest brothers, Dick and Stanley, very young. In this picture they have grown up and joined the services to defend their country in WWII. They also switched sides. now, it Stanly is on the left.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Swapping, Dumping, & Looting

Today early went to my friend’s house to return a series of tapes he loan me about 18 months go. When I had my stroke Christmas Eve he came to the hospital and brought these tapes. They were old mystery and horror programs on the radio. There were such shows as LIGHTS OUT, PETER LORRIE PRESENTS, THE SHADOW, and many more. I think there were 24 or 28 tapes, each with a flip side… so it was either 48 or 56 shows to listen to. I am a slow listener, so it seemed it took me forever to get through them.

Although they were interesting and, well, mysterious, I kept them rare to appreciate them more.

And months before my stroke I was at a garage sale nearby and bought a heap of books by Stephen King and Dean Koontz. And my friend complained about not having anything to read, I unloaded all those book on him and told him to take his time, no rush.

And then I forgot he had them. I only had them in my possession a day or two before I loaned them to him and that was over 20 months ago. He could have kept them and never said a word and I would never know. Out of sight, out of mind.

So, my email I informed my friend that I would be by his house early because I was going to the dump with another load and we agreed to swap out on his carport, with him inside asleep. He is not one to get up early since he retired. That is the only way I know.

I made the swap and then proceeded to the dump and got rid of a bunch more stuff from cleaning out our basement.

Yesterday Adam came over and worked on my computer some more. It has a problem staying connected or getting on line, and it seems to bring Anna’s computer down with it each time. Adam felt we needed a new router and gave me one for my birthday. I bought a six foot USB cable I thought he might need. He came by yesterday and installed it and put the garble-gook stuff in memory. Now it works. He didn’t need my cable I paid $35 for. So, after the dump I went by Best Buys and carried that back.

Then I went to Krogers Grocery Store. I mentioned before on a blog entry that the store is closing down. It is in its final days. I bought a bunch of frozen seafood at half price and some other frozen foods at half price… and bought an assortment of other stuff marked down. When the cashier rang it up I said I forgot the coupons – here. So, she deducted the coupons. Then I reminded her to give me the 5% senior discount for shopping on Wednesdays. She did. I was thinking this is almost like looting the place… the store looked like looters have came in and emptied the shelves. Only thing the looters are 65 years or older and some of them are using canes and walkers and at least one Krogers’ owned electric wheelchair. I told the cashier I felt like I was looting the place, the only thing I needed to do now was throw a brick through the window.

Bumper Sticker

Don't Believe Everything You think!

Okefenokee Swamp, the Edge of

Day Lilies

Not to be confused with Tiger Lilies or Lilies of the Field.

Dick and Stanley

My father's two youngest brothers.

Forget This

I just read on my Uncle John's Bathroom Reader tear-a-page daily calendar that twenty-four from now, you'll have forgotten 80% of everything you learned today.

So, to make it easy, forget this first.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Rocky & Adam, in Different Stages

Heh Heh

Chuckled the graceful spider as she hauled the innocent insect up her web.

Biking on Sidewalks on Election Day

I just went on a 40 minute bike ride. It is nice in the morning before the heat from the sun gets blasting. My heart rate stayed in the117 to 120 range which is good. On my MP3 player I listened first to Switched on Bach which is played electronically on something called a Moog… which makes Bach spacier than it already is. Then Bach Charlie Byrd kicked in with his relaxing music from an album called “Brazilian Byrd” – which I remember the album had a parrot on it.

Today is election day. I passed two polling places. One was at a school far off the road, which I didn’t pay much attention to, I was in La La Land with my music. But the second polling place, a church, made me sit up and be more aware of my surroundings. Mostly because there were two policemen directing traffic for those who wanted to turn into the church’s parking lot to vote. Will they say something to me? I wondered as got closer to them. My biggest problem was the fact that I wasn’t suppose to be on the sidewalk on a bicycle. By Georgia law a bike is just like any other vehicle, it is suppose to be on the street, not on the sidewalk.

As I got closer I saw that one of the cops was a female cop. That could go either way, either female cops have a heart or are very aggressive against lawbreakers.

As I passed them the two cops were talking closely to themselves and laughing. I didn’t get their attention at all.

I noticed cops usually wave at me when they see me riding on the sidewalk. So, I think they had rather see me on the sidewalk then scraping me off the asphalt of the street.

And besides that I am courteous. If a pedestrian and I meet I will stop and use that moment to drink some water and let the old fart waddle on by. Then I will be on my way.

I have already voted by absenteeism. I heard on the news this morning there had been so much negative campaigning many people have more or less turned off to both Democratic governor candidates. That is the way I feel too. I voted too soon - Can I recall my vote?

Very close to the polls I noticed was Ralph Reed posters. By law posters and politicking can not be within a certain number of feet of the election polls, which I bet Ralph Reed broke the law. Is he excused because he has an innocent look about him?

Bringing up that point – I think Ralph Reed is crooked as a snake and twice as deadly – and I think he gets a lot of the Christian grass roots votes because of his innocent boy look – he can get by with more.

If you noticed, I don't like Ralph Reed so I point out that he is breaking the law, while I am breaking a law also. How's that for fairness?

Marie with Hat

This is similar to but not the same picture as one I blogged last week of the same lady. I suspect this one was one year before.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Rocky, Adam, & Adam's girlfriend Tiffany yesterday


This old homeplace was bulldozed away and replaced with a shopping center and a county inside aquatic Center behind it. But what happens when it starts looking old?... call the bull dozer brigade!

Aunt Bee

This picture was given to me as a birthday present, sort of. It is a picture of my father's only sister Bee. You may recall other pictures of her - one in a fur coat and one standing by a 23-Skidoo looking roadster automobile. Here, she is just standing in her yard, as you can tell she enjoyed dressing up to the nil. Another aunt, Bee's sister-in-law included it with a birthday card because she knows I collect pictures of family members.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Boyz

this picture of Adam reminds me of one of Peter Pan's boy soldiers in Never Never Land.

And Rocky is Rocky.

I Made It!!

That is me holding up my Peachtree Road Race Tee-Shirt which comes with bragging rights.

I also made it into my 66th year today, which sometimes looked doubtful. Today, is my 65th birthday.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

1st Block Away From The Center of Marietta

This is the first block of Atlanta Street after leaving the center Square of Marietta. I was born on this street about 3 blocks down. This first block I think I could walk down it blindfolded and stop at any door and tell you who was there years ago, and maybe who is there now. Cox Printing has been there ever since I remember and the store just up from them that sold stamp and coins and also Western Union grams... Now that Western Union is out of business what will they do? As long as no body tells them they will be happy.

One time in recent times I was running on a Sunday morning on that block and suddenly around the corner ran a black man who as soon as he got around the corner, ducked int a doorway and leaned against the wall. And just then a Marietta police car cruised by going slow. The whole time I was running towards him. As soon as the police car cruised out of sight he stepped out from the bulding as walked normally like an ordinary citizen. He said "Good monring" to me and I said the same. It was a great to be alive.

My father was the police chief just across the street about 50 years before.