Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Carol Joe Clayton (1942 - 1953)

Carol Joe Clayton was born the day before Halloween and died on Valentine’s Day.

He lived with his family next to us in the Clay Homes. He had seven or eight siblings.

Months ago I had planned on mentioning him today. He used to tell me he was born on Halloween day. And while visiting his family at the funeral home when his mother died earlier this year one of his brothers brought up the fact that Carol Joe was born on Halloween and died on Valentine's. But, as you can see, his cemetery marker plainly says he was born October the 30th, a day before Halloween.

Oh well, that is close enough.

When we were 4 or 5 years old Carol Joe enjoyed squatting and taking his dump in plain view. I have always been an early riser. One summer morning I got up before anybody else and went out to play. I didn't have shoes on. I stepped on Carol Joe's shit. I hate that feeling of stepping on human shit barefooted and it gets in between your toes.

I marched to his apartment, went in, and went back to the room he slept in with two of his brothers and woke him up and more or less pushed him outside. I showed him the the squashed shit and told him to never "dookey" in my yard again. As far as I remember he didn't.

When I was in the Navy Carol Joe was driving over one of the two covered bridges in Cobb County. He met a truck head on. It was a one lane bridge. Carol Joe was killed instantly and the bridge crumbled.

Now, there is only one covered bridge in Cobb County.


This group of sweet adorable little trick or treaters are receiving a copy of Humbug magazine, a satirical publication in the late 1950s.

HUMBUG magazine was the joint effort of Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, and Jack Davis (who did the above art). They and a few others started their own magazine with a boss to dictate to them what should be in the magazine. They had the freedom to publish what they wanted.

HUMBUG lasted about a year or so and crashed.


The other day I was looking at my exercise log and saw that I have not ran or rode my bike in the month of October. Not only that, but my walking has decreased a lot and I have a craving for barbecue and ribs.

I think my body is trying to revert back to it primal instincts and stuff itself then look for a cave to hibernate during the upcoming winter and live off my fat.

It seems at every change of seasons my body wants to just to into a slumber state. It may have something to with age or it may have something to do with laziness.

Whatever the reason, I am trying to reverse the motion, or, non-motion in this case. My cardiac doctor tells me I need to get my heart rate up just about every day up between 100 to 128 bpm.

To reverse the trend I went for a 5 mile bike ride Sunday, walked yesterday on the treadmill, and this morning after I walked on the treadmill I went out and ran for 30 minutes.

I always enjoy myself when I run outside. It is a pleasure to see leaves, trees, flowers, and whatever else there is to see, and listen to my MP3 player to oldie music. And I feel much better.

But first I need to convince myself how good it is to exercise daily. How did I do?

Long Long Time Ago

That is me being held by my Daddy the policeman and my sister standing.

We lived in a housing project in Marietta called the Clay Homes. I look about 2 or 3 years old in the picture. I was born in 1941, so that must have been about 1943 or 1944, about the time I started smoking.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I'm Da Chief

We went to a Fall Festival in downtown Marietta this weekend.

When I saw a tent for the Marietta Fire Department I asked the two firemen when their museum hours were and they told me more or less when I come and leave. They said they normally keep the museum locked but all I had to do was tell the captain on duty and he would unlock it for me. I know they have some neat fire fighting contraptions, I remember seeing some big kettle or boiler looking things with brass tubing and pipes all over it - I think it was horse drawn. They also have one or two old fire trucks from the 20s and 30s. And my target will be to see my uncle Doug Hunter's in a group picture on the wall that was taken in 1946. And if possible see if I can talk them into making me a a copy.

Maybe if I wear my Fire Chief hat the captain will listen to me.

While I was at the Marietta Fire Department tent I saw a stack of red plastic fireman hats but forgot about them just about as quick as I talked to the fireman about the museum.

But later, while Anna was dealing with someone about a necklace at a crafts booth that I saw a little kid walk buy with a shiny red plastic fire chief's hat on. Then another one. Then another!

I wanted one!

I went back to the Fire Department tent and stood in line with the kids and got me a hat. I wanted one because it has MARIETTA printed on it. Now, what do I do with it?

A Leader to be Proud Of

On The Today Show this morning (during my workout) they told with election day coming upon us George Bush is in plenty of the commercials. But, he is playing a reverse roll. The last time around, it was a shoo-in if the Republican running had a picture of he and President George Bush having a quality moment together. And this time around the Democrats are taunting the same photograph – showing proof he was in cahoots with the President. In fact, the incumbent Republican office holder is saying, "Wait! I did not agree with Bush on everything!”

And the Democrats plays another commercial that the Rep paid for the time before saying he agreed with the President 98% of the time.

There were several Republicans that fit that description.

The Today Show showed in one photograph of the Republican candidate and Bush having quality time. The same picture was altered to remove the President. The candidate didn’t want to be seen with him.

I think it is pretty much the unwritten rule that congress members vote alone party lines. You are shunned if you don’t. Now, considering, the King of the Republican Party and the Nation is considered a nut by more and more people, Republicans are bragging about how independent they are.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pettys, Spouses, and 2 Ridleys

These are my mother's siblings and the siblings spouses, mother, and her mother's brother, or my mother's uncle Walt Ridley.

Walt is the one on the second row, about in the center. Poor Walt was mentally challenged. He walked 3 miles everyday to be near his sister. Then, in the evening he would would back home.

My mother is standing to Walt's left. Either my father is taking the picture or he was not part of the family yet.

Jail House Rock

I mentioned in an earlier blog entry about a lot of us went to Daytona Beach in the summer of 1960. And I mentioned some of the trouble we found ourselves in.

While typing the bit about Larry B. throwing french fries and Clell kicking us out of Atherton’s Drug Store reminded me that Larry B. was part of the Marietta bunch that went to Daytona Beach that year.

After five to seven days almost all of us went back to Marietta.

Larry B. and several more friends were having too much fun. They stayed. And they stayed without any money. They were broke.

I forgot who else besides Larry stayed in Daytona Beach, but I remember what he did which was his trademark.

At the time, Larry had a little trademark joke of putting both hands, one on top of the other hand, cup the top had under his chin, which was to represent a long beard. Then, whatever he said, he imitated a goat’s na-a-a-a-a and wave his lower hand, as if his beard was blowing in the wind.

For instance, he would come up to you with his metaphor beard blowing and say, “You have a d-o-l-l-ar I-I-I can bo-r-r-ow? Nn-a-a-an!”

My nickname was Rock, so Larry the goat imitator addressed me as “Ro-o-o-c-c-c-k-k-k” and his hands under his chin.

As I said, Larry and his friends were broke. They decided to take up the profession of grabbing pocketbooks on the beach and running with them. They picked old women that they could outrun.

They got caught anyway – all two or three of them.

They were in jail waiting their trial or for someone to pay their bail, whatever. I think their parents and friends (me too) decided to let them sit it out.

Behind bars, in the middle of night Larry would jump up on the bars and shake them and say “Jailer! Jailer! Help me! Help me! I am sick!” Then the jailer would ran back and find everybody in the cell asleep. He would walk away, and just as he was shutting the door Larry jumped up with his hands under his chin and said, “J-a-a-a-i-ler!”

The jailer would run back and demand who said that and they would all pretend to wake up, wanting to know what was going on.

That was just my old friends having fun, with no sense of what was right or wrong and always out for a laugh.

Larry spend most of his adult life as a bell hop in Atlanta. He was witty and a smooth talker, I bet he did okay. I haven’t seen him since we left him in Daytona Beach. I heard his sister bought him a house here in Marietta close to her and he is retired. I have been intending to call him, but keep putting it off because I wonder if he remembers that I didn’t help him when he was in the Daytona Beach Jail?

Actually, he was the last thing on my mind. Two friends of mine were in an auto accident a few days after we returned and one was killed. I just put Larry out of my mind.

Now, he is back in it (my mind, that is).

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Halloween Hoodlums!

The Incredible Shrinking Couple

Yesterday Anna went for a bone density test. She said she lost 3 inches. She said she is 3 inches shorter than she used to be. But after talking about it with her mother, she may have only lost 2 inches. It seemed she may have not been as tall as she thought.

On my physical this summer I found I lost 2 inches.

So, at least we are shrinking together.

And it won’t be no time until we won’t look strange playing in the toys aisles at Target, which we probably did yesterday. Anna is invited to baby shower next week and after buying the upcoming baby a gift she wanted to give the 8 year old boy member of the household a gift to, so he wouldn’t feel left out. We spent a while in the toy aisles at Target trying out different toys, trying to find the right suitable toy.

It is hard to put yourself in the frame of mind of a 8 year old and try to outguess yourself on what you would like to play with……. But somehow we do well at it.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Uncles and Baseball

This is the sports section of a 1940 Marietta Daily Journal.

I have three uncles, in the pictures. They are all on the Hunter side, therefore, all brothers.

The 3rd from the left on the first row is Doug Hunter, who almost went professional.

The 2nd from the right onthe first row is Stanley Hunter, who was also a very good sportsman, in baseball and football.

On the 2nd row, the first guy on the left, is Dick Hunter, the youngest of the Hunter brothers. I wonder why he isn't in uniform? Too young? Was he the bat boy? After his Navy time and years at Lockheed Planning Department he went on to become Mayor of Marietta.

The next man standing to Dick is the manager, Al Bishop. Al later became manager of the Larry Bell sports park compex. He seemed to have materialized when all us kids were on the verge of trouble. Now, there is a sporting complex named after him, out near County Farm Road.

This was summer of 1940. About a year a and a half before the U.S.A. found itself in war, which included these baseball players.

Productive Friday

It was a busy Friday.

As I mentioned I had a lot of picking up to do.

And I went back to my mother-in-laws to follow the complex system of electrical cords and connectors, timers, multi-plug in adapters, and all… now, I have all about 5 or 6 fluorescent fixtures working, giving light. Two are not working because the plug that reaches the 2 prong plug in is 3 prong. How it worked before, I don’t know. On the way to the airport yesterday I stopped by Home Depot and bought a electrical strip with 4 plug-ins. It will work, but who how often does one see an electrical strip dangling from the ceiling? It kind of fits the mood of all the wires and times goings ever which way. So, after I get it plugged in today there is just one more fixture to deal with… I have no idea why it is there. It has no wire with a plug going from it. I’ll deal with that later (Scarlett O’Hara said something like that).

A side-note: At Home Depot while studying the different kinds of plug-ins and adapters, and stips another man, a few years older, was doing the same. I turned and asked him did he live on Bryant Lane. He looked surprised but said yes he did. I told him I see him a lot out walking his dog. Then he felt obligated to help me find what I was looking for and because he did that, I felt obligaged to help him find what he was looking for. I'm glad a third party didn't come by and asked didn't one of us live on Bryant Lane or the other Corene Drive.

While picking up yesterday the Women’s Center at the hospital called. An electronic voice – a female voice – how can a electronic voice have a gender? It did. It politely told me that Annemarie had an appointment at 10:00 tomorrow morning but she needed to be there 30 minutes before hand to fill out the paper work. So, she had an appointment at 10:00, which is really 9:30? It gave me several options to press one if I received the message, press two if you would like directions, and I forgot what three was, but it wasn’t “I am not the person you are calling, but I’ll relay the message” that I was hoping for. They did leave a telephone number to call if you had any questions.

I called Anna on the cell phone. She was checking in her rental car at the airport. She didn’t know anything about an appointment at the hospital. What was it for? She asked.

So, I dialed the number Ms Computer provided and the live lady asked her name and birth date, which I gave her, and she said there was some mix-up, she didn’t see where she had an appointment today. I said, “Wait!” – check Annemarie Hunter. I told her first Anna Hunter. And sure ‘nuff, Annemarie was scheduled for a Bone Density test.

So, I called Anna back and told her that. Okay.

At the airport I went to the North Terminal and parked in their huge parking lot. I wondered if any car was there with a body in the trunk. That would be an idea to put a body – it wouldn’t be found for days, maybe weeks…. Until the stench started radiating the area.

Just outside the doors going into the Terminal a young twenty-something black yuppie lady high-fived a young white yuppie man. One was coming in from a flight and the other one was meeting them… I am not sure which was doing which, since I am not the nosy type (ahem!). And neither had baggage. The white guy, in a witty way, said, “I think we are allowed to do that.”

Which I think he meant, in the old days blacks and white of opposite sexes didn’t show any kind of affection in public. You just didn’t. But that was 30 or 40 years ago. But, we still have our reputation that is hard to shake.

I think the white man was probably the visitor… a nervous visitor with a sense of humor at that.

I was early. Anna’s flight was due at 5:09. It was about 3:30. I found a huge round room with a huge waiting room. In the middle of the room was a huge skeleton of a T-Rex or maybe a Dinosaur… I think it was probably a metal structure – a piece of art – nothing to try to climb or play on or anything. Why in the waiting room of an airport.

Around the edge of the huge room were several upscale restaurant. One jazz piano player was playing. That was nice and relaxing.

I enjoyed reading my book some and watching the people a lot. I was seeing a parade of all walks of life prance, slither, and drag by. Very interesting.

One couple was a Muslin couple. She had her head piece on but she wasn’t your typical female Muslin. She was flirting with her husband, holding his hand and he was whispering sweet nothings in her ear and she was giggling and acting like Ms Cutsy, which she was. It is hard to believe that was an arranged marriage.

A black Army soldier was sitting next to where I sat. I asked him was that seat taken and he politely said no. He was reading what looked to be the Smithsonian Institute magazine. After a while a black lady in civilian clothes walked by and came over to the soldier. They knew each other. They are in the same unit. Evidently, her home is Atlanta and she was there to pick up somebody at the airport and he was a layover, waiting for his next flight. They did like probably most people who worked for the same organization would do if they ran into each other away from their workplace – they talked about people they both knew in their unit…. Office gossip is universal.

Then, a white woman walked by and interrupted them, saying, “Excuse me, I just wanted to say THANK YOU!” He smiled and nodded at her.

I felt emotional. To me it is very heart warming for people to show their gratitude, unsolicited.

Anna’s plane arrived on time. She was a pleasure for my eyes to see.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Monster Mash

J.O. & Lessie

This is Anna's grandparents James O. Prance (1880-1961) and Lessie Mae Wright Prance (1897-1957).

J.O. was a farmer and Lessie was a home maker, which was exactly what it was - they made almost everything they ate or wore.

They had six children. One died as an infant and one son lived on the 12 years. The other four (3 sons and a daughter) made it to adulthood and lived productives lives in the community.

My Bachelor Life Stops Comes To a Halt

Today is the day I Anna returns from Texas and I am to pick her up at the Atlanta Airport at 5:09. I am to pick her up at the North Terminal, not to be confused with the South Terminal, which I did Monday.

Apparently the South Terminal looks like mostly Delta Flights covering the Eastern US. The North Terminal is other flights, such as AirTran, which Anna flew, covering Western flights.

And I am jumping up and down raising my hand saying, “But what about International Flights?” And the guide says, “Shuddup kid, ya bother me!”

Before I leave to get her today there is some quick housekeeping I need to do. For three days I have been in the frame of mind of living in a 9 room walk-in closet. There may be a jacket hanging over this chair, a pair of Levis on the floor by the bed, and another pair draped over another chair, and shirts here and there, and shoes strolled around like beer cans on the edge of the Interstate.

I need to pick up all the near-shots I made at the kitchen garbage can… just a few napkins and wadded up paper towels – there are no food morsels because I ate most my meals out.

However, I did put all my dingy underwear into the dirty clothes hamper. I have standards.

I also raked the leaves in the front yard and ran the lawnmower over it to mulch the scattered maverick leaves. Every time I turn on my lawnmower, with the same reaction as Provo’s Dog, my neighbor Jim comes over with his edger to edge my driveway.

I am a person who is something of a recluse and enjoys his privacy. Jim, with his edger, pops my privacy bubble. Although I appreciate his generosity, if I was that concerned over my driveway being edged I would have bought an edger long ago – and told Anna I just might do that. She said I might hurt Jim’s feelings. Jim is over 80. I guess edging my driveway makes him feel needed… and I get my driveway edged – it all works out, kind of the like the little birds that pecks the dingle berries off elephants’ asses.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bob Rides Again!

I mentioned that I noticed Bob’s motorcycle parked at Jim’s the other day, after Ann kicked him out of the house.

Today Jim called me and told me about Bob’s visit. I think he waited long enough for me to call him and ask.

Bob told Jim he was dying of cancer. He also said he bought a house with 4 acres in Canton, Georgia. He said he and his son Joe are still living with his friend a few miles away, waiting on the loan to go through.

Then in the next breath Bob told Jim he was flat broke. Even his motorcycle gas tank was nearly empty and he didn’t have a penny to put in it.

Bob is a habitual braggart. Every time I have talked to him he had to brag something: about how much he is making an hour, or how much he paid for something expensive. Or some physical feat he accomplished by sheer determination. The only thing is a braggart and a liar should have a good memory. His hourly pay changed often, sometimes it was $37 per hour, other times $27.

So, it was in Bob’s instinct to brag about buying a house with 4 acres (although, he does not have the credit to buy a any kind of house or any kind of land). He does not even have enough credit to buy a car on credit. Bob is also a habitual liar.

And his pants are probably on fire.

This is not the first time he has played his cancer card. He and his family has used that card several times for guilt money and pity.

One Thanksgiving I was deep frying a turkey on the drive-way and Ann pulled her car down and told me Bob was having an operation to remove a cancerous tumor from his brain (on Thanksgiving Day) at a Medical Center in Augusta, for us to pray for him. I think the cancer card has worked to get pity money, just from what I have overheard.

Bob has also pulled out his heat stroke card several times and used – several times in prison and at least once in his own back yard.

The other day the cancer card worked. Jim gave his all the money he had in his wallet.

Oh by the way, Melissa said her dad (Bob) just bought her a nearly new Corvette to take to college this winter. Her last dream-come-true car her daddy presented her is in their driveway in about 4 or 5 pieces. Now, I am eager to see this Corvette.

Probably, some day in the distant future (hopefully) when I stand at the Pearly Gates Saint Peter will tell me to take the DOWN elevator because I talked about my neighbor. And then I see Bob on the other side of the fence enjoying himself and I say, “What About Bob?” (don’t tell me you haven’t heard that question before) and Saint Peter smiles and says, “Well, at least Bob had a life.”

Wednesday - Its all about me

This is one of those blog entries that as I type this opening I have no idea what will pour out my mind and where it will lead me. Probably no place.

Monday morning I took Anna to the Atlanta Airport and she flew to Dallas for a series of talks in nearby Arlington, Texas.

Tomorrow (Thursday) evening I will pick her up at the airport.

Monday, returning from the airport I was going north of a I-75 & I-85 combo which takes you through downtown Atlanta. A few exits north of the center of town the six lanes divide off 3 on the left for the I-85 which is to South Carolina and the 3 right lanes will lead directly north to Chattanooga, but more importantly to me, Marietta. I thought I was on in one of the 3 right lanes to stay on the I-75, but I was in the foremost right I-85 lane and didn’t realize it until it was too late. I had to go up the I-85 and get off on the first exit, then I zig-zagged in downtown Atlanta neighborhoods until I got to Peachtree Street, and worked myself up to a better point of getting back on the I-75. I know the area I was making my way in pretty good from when I was younger. It was amazing how much things have changed.

Last night I took her mother Marie to the Cobb County Genealogical monthly meeting. We are both charter members. She hasn’t been in years and I only go when I see that a good speaker is lined up.

And last night they had a good speaker. They had Dr. Tom Scott, professor at Kennesaw College, who has written a book about the history of Cobb County from the 1930s to present time. Marie and I both bought the book when it first came out. She hurried up and read through it. I have about 100 pages to go.

I am a slow reader, plus I juggle several books at the same time. I like to have a history or sociology book around reading, a worthwhile book, and a good old fashion high intrigue book, like something by Stephen King.

Dr. Tom Scott talked for at least 60 minutes non-stop. He told of changes that were wise or practical changes, with led to social changes, and other long-range profound changes, with a few ironic antidotes. And he was speaking of people I was related to and knew in my formative years. I really enjoyed his speech. He had no notes to refer to, he talked straight, getting dates and people’s names right – even their middle names, and appeared to be very humble. He was born and grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, he did not come to Cobb County until 1968. He may have done such a good job with the Cobb County history for the same reason I stated the lady ghost tour guide and owner – on the outside looking in, you can see what the people on the inside can’t, because they can only see what is in their vision, not the overall picture.

He said, it has been proven, without exception, that in any geography region, as race or the caste system ceased to be an issue the economic conditions improved.

When I took Marie home I went down in her basement to try to hook up all the electrical cords leading to the two timers and also replaced two fluorescent light tubes. I think there is about 6 or 8 fluorescent light fixtures, all leading in one form or another to one of the two timers…. I got completely confused. Some of the fixtures cords seem to lead off to no place, or even, returned to itself. I told her I would come back later when I was in the right frame of mind.

I worked about 4 or 5 hours in the yard yesterday, doing a lot of bending over which I am sure is the reason my left leg is hurting now. So, that is why I am not exercising today - or right now, anyway.

Have a nice Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Gourd In the Glass Jar

Last night it was to be freezing. I loaded our hanging ferns in the truck and carried them over to my mother-in-law’s and along with her hanging baskets transferred them to the basement for the winter. Along with her chairs from her screened in porch. I did it all in three loads.

That is a annual routine for us. She has a big table with a series of florescent lights overhead on a timer and a network of things hanging from the ceiling to hang some of the hanging plants and the ones in pots is put on the table.

While there, I noticed a gallon glass jar – or it may be a 2 gallon glass jar, almost completely full of a gourd. Anna’s father, when he was alive, did unique things in his garden. He would take jars and bottles and put a small gourds in them and as they grew to fill up the container. Then, he would cut the vine and let it dry, and you have something unique.

He did the same with cucumbers. He would grow them in empty whisky bottles he found on the side of the road, grow them, put the stuff to make them pickles in the container, and then you have a whole pickle much bigger than the bottle opening.

So, yesterday, in the basement I was admiring her late husband’s neat gourd work and she gave me the above.

She also gave me an old ledger book that Anna’s great great grandfather kept with his farm business dealing in the latter part of the 19th century. I think it will be something nice to look at and figure out the history around it. The penmanship is very early American – you might see it in the near future.

Three Wild and Crazy Guys

They look like they are ready for a little street corner action don’t they? Whistle at the women and hope they will smile back. The guy on the far right is my father-to-be, Ed.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Local Ghost Tour

I think The Marietta Daily Journal was timely in announcing a new company in Marietta: Marietta Ghost Tour. Halloween is just around the corner.

From the article in Sunday’s Marietta Daily Journal Marietta Ghost Tour’s tour is based on real local ghost tales. This is good. It is not something someone made up recently.

I think I could add some that they do not know about. The old Dupree House, my father, as a policeman was called to their old white brick big house many times because things up in the attic going bump in the night. Mrs. Dupree was sure it was a ghost.

Several years ago Anna and I went on a Ghost Tour in Charleston. I thought it was very good. We met at the appointed place in the old section of Charleston which went by the old jail and several old taverns, the old court house, and several other buildings. We were told of duels, hangings, and other things that caused spirits to hang around un-rested. Each story fitted a good niche of history that I really enjoyed, like for instance when dueling was a commonplace practice.

Whether you believe in ghost or not, if you appreciate history I think you would appreciate the Charleston Ghost Tour we went on – there are several to choose from. Savannah also has ghost tours and I’m sure New Orleans and New York has them also. Now, Marietta has one!

From what I read in the Sunday paper Ms. Joni Goodin, a newcomer* in Marietta, is giving an excellent tour based on real ghost local ghost stories – and you also get a good dose of local history in the bargain. What more could you want for $15 – you can hardly get a good salad for that.

* I think being a newcomer in Marietta gives Ms. Goodin an advantage. She automatically sees things from a different prospective: from the outside looking in – she probably sees things that we local yokels take for granted.

Chicken Fat as a Household Word

This may explain why Chickenfat is a household word here at Chicken Fat. Here, MAD artist Will Elder demonstrates in an "Archie" spoof titled "Starche" Reggie picking on a freshman by dipping his butt down in bolling chicken fat.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Celebrate With Us Our 1 Year Anniversary Belated

My one year blog anniversary came and it went without much fanfare. I wasn’t even aware of it until today when I looked it up. It was over a year and a month ago. I saw a bog this weekend of someone about to celebrate their first anniversary and was having a count down – only 5 more days to do and it made me wonder when I started mine.

My blog entry was September 3, 2005. It was on my first blog attempt CHICKENFAT (one word). The first entry was telling step by step of our tour of the historical Fox Theater in Atlanta. Now I have gotten much more sophisticated – now my blog is called
CHICKEN FAT (two words). How is that for progress?

Back then I was struggling with visuals and the English language. I think my readership was three.

Now, a year, one month, and 19 days later, I am still struggling with visuals and the English language but I am proud to say I think I have built my readership up to four.

Well, look at it this way dear reader, you are one of a select few with an acquired taste for only the best (but best what?)

Smyrna, Georgia

Yesterday, we were in nearby Smyrna, Georgia. We were there for two reasons, One was for Anna’s appointment to get her hair done. And after she got her hair done we were to pick up Belle at Happy Hollow Kennels. Or is it Sleepy Hollow Kennels?

Belle is Rocky’s dog and stayed there while Rocky was out of town.

While Anna was at the beauty shop I decided to get a cup of coffee and walk in the downtown section of Smyrna. A couple of years ago they gave the downtown area face lift and now it has a park/old town atmosphere. There are plenty of fountains and cobblestone sidewalks as you make your way around City Hall, Police Department, Fire Department, Library, Civic Center, and a bunch of upscale stores and restaurants.

It was a nice morning with a cool crisp air and a slight breeze. It was just one of those mornings you felt good that you were alive and walking around enjoying it all.

While walking I decided to get me a cup and coffee and walk with it. Which I did, at an upscale French wannabee Restaurant. I told Anna about the joint when I picked her up and we also had lunch there.

Anyway, back to my walk: There is also a big pond or little lake with a park-like setting around it with a walk around it, a couple of observation decks hanging over the water, and benches to sit on. I noticed in the water were five ducks. Four of the ducks were the kind of ducks that decoys look like… with the green head and ring, I am not sure what they are called… the 5th duck, was sort of a fifth wheel, it was a white duck. But I thought it was interesting that the white duck felt like it was part of the gang and stayed with the four ducks… what ever turn they made the white duck did too… in fact, once the white duck was the first to make a bowed turn to check out some people on the deck (and to see if they were going to toss some bread or something for them) and others followed it.

By then, the coffee had did its job and I needed to pee. The Smyrna Library was nearby so I decided to go in and use their facilities. When walking up the steps, a room was to the side with a sign on the door that said, “Book Signing Now”… which got my curiosity up – who was it?

So, I went in that room and it was a big room. Taking up one side was a long line with a bald headed little dried up man signing books. I wondered who he was and went over to another table where several of the books were on a table. I picked up one of the books and it called “Paper Boy” and it subtitled said something about a man growing up in Smyrna. A man came up and introduced himself to me. A very positive chap. I asked him if he knew my friend, who I sold my house to 31 years ago, who had Smyrna ties. He was surprised I pulled that name out of the sky…. It was his first cousin by jove! Sometime during the conversation a little lady told us they only had two books left and suddenly I wanted one. I flipped through it and it had a lot of interesting history in it. It was 750 pages and the cost was $55. No, they didn’t have a way to accept credit cards… I hated to part with most of cash money, but I did, I paid cash for one. The book I got was a signed on and they told me to get in line and the author would write something personal in it.

I realized that it would have to be something impersonal instead of personal since we never met, so I declined. I hate lines. Instead I helped myself to their reception area – cookies and cheese and crackers - I don't think anybody was touching it, so I hated to see all those good sweets go to waste.

Later, while looking over the book I realized that maybe a something personal would be nice – the author was first cousin to my aunt Ruby who is the widow of my father’s late brother Jack. I called my sister and she told me Ruby did a lot of the research for the old geezer.

Afterwards, I picked up Anna and we had lunch then we picked up Belle and we carried her back to her home – her crate. After a long pee in the backyard – she must have been holding it all week – Belle rushed inside her crate. She was home at last.

Rocky flew in three hours later.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hair Means Good Circulation

I’m still dwelling on my doctor’s visit the other day. The doctor’s intern assistant who first saw me before the doctor made the comment that my legs were very hairy – “So, at least you are getting good circulation”.

Then today while I was thinking about that comment I found my self rubbing my baldhead. Hmmm…. As I was thinking about the intern assistant saying at my legs were hairy, so at least I was getting good circulation… as I rubbed my bald head… hmmm.

ZZ Top or Walker L. Petty?

ZZ Petty? No that is just old Walker Petty surrounded, not by ZZ Top groupies but his family. Walker L. Petty was born about 1876, probably in Fannin County, Georgia. His death date is unknown.

Walker was the son of Elias Petty. He married Woodie C. Toler, July 2, 1899, in Hamilton County, Tennessee. Hamilton County is another way of saying Chattanoga.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Si! Who Is On First!

We went to about as an authentic Mexican Restaurant that there is last night. Most of the combination dinners are numbered, so you order by the number to avoid confusion between the Mexican waiter/waitress and you.

Anna and I both agreed we wanted number 21 and we also wanted to tell them we preferred soft tacos.

The waiter came to take our order. Anna ordered number 21 and said her husband wanted number 21 too, and we both wanted soft shell tacos.

The waiter said something to make us think he interpreted what she said was that she wanted number 21, and I wanted two number 21’s, and in addition we wanted soft shell tacos. I think the word “too” threw him off… and she soft tacos didn’t help either.

No, no, we both said – she wants number 21, and I want number 21. And make them soft shell tacos.

He somehow dug a deeper hole and got it wrong again when he repeated it back. Then I did a visual demonstration – pointing to her and pointing to me, and said with soft tacos.

He nodded his head and walked way with our order. I was interested to see what kind of surprise was in for us. Delightfully, the ordered came as we requested.

Wednesday continued

I forgot to mention that Wednesday after my doctor’s appointment and getting my Brandi’s Famous vittles to go and after eating those unmentionables grinded up and reshaped into hotdogs, I went shopping at Krogers. Wednesday is Senior 5% Saving Day. I now have to go to a newer Kroger because the older I went to closed down.

I prefer to pick my cashier – some of them, especially the news ones, seemed to get fussy over coupons and such. I picked one that used to be at the old Krogers and transferred to this newer Krogers.

Most of the employees from the old Krogers who transferred most of them came to this one, it is only two miles down the road. But there is one old employee at the old Krogers I haven’t seen. She was a little old woman who was mentally challenged. I always tried to speak to her and she always slapped me on the back and laughed like a wild maniac.

Her and a sacker, also mentally challenged would arrive at Krogers each day by a special county paid for “Twinkie Bus” who transports the mentally challenged to their jobs each day. I think it is a good program.

I haven’t seen her since the old Krogers closed down, so I asked the cashier about her. She said she is at the East Lake Krogers now. She told me that Krogers has a Starbucks and one day she was in there and she saw her sitting in Starbucks alone taking a break. She asked her how did she like her new job and she said she liked it but she didn’t know anybody, she didn’t have any friends.

It is hard being an outsider, and probably even tri-fold harder if you are different from the rest. I mentioned cliques not no ago – I bet she does feel terribly excluded. The cashier almost cried when she told me. I almost cried too.

As I left I noticed the next door Walgreen’s Pharmacy was having flu shots that day. I hurried home and put up the frozen foods and returned to Walgreen’s thinking it would take a few minutes to whip in and get my shot and whip out. Wrong!

I stood in a long line two hours.

Interesting to note a young lady in front of me told me she was seven months pregnant. She was Caucasian. The nurse’s assistant went down the line asking was anyone on Medicare, if so we must fill out a certain form. I raised my hand and so did the young pregnant lady in front of me. Then, the same assistant went by asking if anybody was on Medicaid and the lady in front of me raised her hand again.

She was on Medicare and Medicaid and under 25? She used a very expensive looking cell phone to call her fiancĂ©’ to tell him (at that point) she had to stand in line for another hour and an half. So, she wasn’t married, pregnant and on Medicare and Medicaid. She also had on expensive new clothes. She was very polite and cordial but I bet she knew how to play the system like a violin.

Maybe we can hire her to go through our papers to see just what we are not getting that we are entitle to.

The Dumb Giving Advice to the Wise

How would you like for a doctor who has been operating for 12 hours straight turn around and operate on you?

I doubt if you would like that at all. You probably know from experience that after about 10 hours of working you begin getting tired and maybe even exhausted.

I know from being a scheme examiner and efficiency checker, after 9 or 10 hours the errors increased.

And getting a good sleep before hand helps less errors also.

The body needs it break from work and to get some sleep so it can rejuvenate itself. Without the rejuvenation errors are almost guaranteed.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Little Old Man On His Porch

The do not know the name of the man above, I wished I did, then I could probably find out if he is dead or not.

For a few years now, on Sunday mornings off and on, I have been biking down around the center of Marietta looking at my old stomping grounds and taking a picture now and then.

Usually I find myself gravitating towards my home during my formative years, which is on Manget Street in Marietta, overlooking the huge park with its series of various sport fields.

Behind us lived my uncle Herbert Hunter (1901-1976). The back of our yards touched. Herbert’s wife Willy died a few years before him. He spent about three years living alone.

In the mornings his routine would be to pick up his widow neighbor Mrs. Morgan’s morning newspaper in the driveway, read it, then fold it back up and place it on her front porch, so she would not have to walk down the steps.

One morning the paper was still in her driveway. She got it and walked out a little ways to look at Herbert’s driveway and his car was there. She walked over and knocked on his door, nobody came. She called his daughter, and shortly, he was found dead sitting on his couch in the living room.

FF to my bike rides in older Marietta. As I cruised through my old neighborhood there was always a little old man in a wheelchair sitting on his front porch with his little black dog near by. His house was on the other side of Herbert’ house from Mrs. Morgan. Each time I would ride by I would wave at him and he would wave back. He had a little sign sticking up in his yard saying he sold Amway products – or was it Stanley products?

One day, I turned into his little short sidewalk going to his porch and got out and talked to him. I told him my uncle Herbert lived next door.

He said he was very fond of “Mr. Hunter” the one that found him. He said “Mr. Hunter’s oldest daughter” called him and asked him to check on him. He had a key to the house. He opened the door and there was Herbert sitting on his couch, dead. He lived 75 years.

After that, I kept stopping by talking to him. He was always sitting on the front porch watching people walk by. Now, it is mostly a transition neighborhood with a lot of Hispanics. One time a lady was sitting on his porch swing, which he introduced as a “friend”. Un-huh.

Not only did I when I rode my bike down the street I would see him but also when I was in my truck I would take a slight detour and see him sitting on his porch and wave.

Then, he wasn’t there! Neither was his little black dog.

I made a point of rerouting ever time I was near downtown Marietta and he has not been on his porch any of the times I rode by.

I can’t help but think, somebody found him.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Morning at the Doctor's Office

Mid morning today I had an appointment with my cardiologist. It was just a routine 6 month visit. Now, my doctor’s cardiologist “group” now takes up and entire floor of a medical building. The 3rd floor. The failing heart business must be good. When you stepped off the elevator there is a pleasant look lady asks you can she help you. I told her the doctor I had an appointment with and she said that would be the Violet

I went into the Violet Room and signed at the window and sat down and started reading a book I brought along. 1776. I have a knack or other people have a knack of piling up behind me. If we go to a restaurant we usually hit it just right that there is little or no waiting – piles of people come after we do and pretty much fill up the waiting place, after we made it through.

This morning, after I signed in, before I was situated good a lined formed at the counter to sign in that was 9 or 10 people deep – almost out the door of the Violet Room.

There was a long tall skinny fragile looking old woman there that looked to be in her 90s. Wait – there was something familiar about her… I vaguely remember her body language… hmmmm… high school! She was in the same year I was, she couldn’t have been over 65 or 66. She kept looking at me and I spoke to her saying didn’t she go to Marietta High School, she graduated, actually in 1959, a year before I did. She seemed delighted when I told her my name, but I could tell it was a false delight. I don’t think she could conjure up my memory.

I found a chair to wait that I could see people as they came off the elevator and also come into the waiting room. I could check everybody out. I noticed at the elevator area there are two hostesses. One asks you what doctor you are to see, and direct you in the right color room and the other one asks you can she get you a cup of coffee and she was also handing out little sweep pops on a stick.

I also noticed they were just downright flirty to older men, in their 70s and 80s. I guess they figured they were harmless and they enjoyed being flirted at. No harm done.

The nurse, a black lady, called for me. I followed her to the scales. I took off my jacket and my shoes. I asked to play a little music so I could strip some more. She giggled.

The doctor said all looked good, and told me to keep up the good work.

As I left to get on the elevator one of the hostesses was out there, she said, “Let me press “down” for you” She had to justify her job. She said some people when she tried to be friendly with them would not be friendly back. I imitated what the people not being friendly back must do, I grabbed my heart, and said, “Poor me, I have a bad heart!” She got a kick out of that. But, she was putting the charm-to-old-farts trick on me.

I left the doctors’ office with his last words to me to keep-up-the-good-work in mind and went to Cindi’s World Famous Hotdogs and had a chili-slaw dog and a chili burger.

One good thing, when Cindi bought the hotdog joint from Betty Cindi brought her long tall skinny sister along to work for her. Every time I have been there to eat the teenage sister looked very unhappy and discontent. Cindi wasn’t there today. She wasn’t there last time I ate there either. She was pregnant, so she is still out with the baby. Her sister seems to be happy, efficient, and running the operation now. It just took her some time to get it right, that’s all.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Governor of Georgia

Georgia Lt. Governor Mark Taylor (Dem) and Governor Sonny Perdue (Rep) are both running for Governor of Georgia. They are both throwing mud at each other. And they are both losing points. Nobody likes to hear a candidate throw throwing mud and slinging slanders.

I think Mark got a good punch in with pointing out point that the good governor (hmmrrff!) side-stepped paying abut $100,000 on a land deal in taxes by a back dated law slipped in that only benefited him.

Mark made his point, throwing more mud can only hurt him. I think he should wash all the mud off his hands and stand back and let Sonny dance around and laugh all he wants to and make up stories about Mark's nose growing like Pinocchio’s and if he wants, he can sing, "Liar, Liar, pants on fire".... and generally poke fun of Mark and let Mark just smile and turn the other cheek. I think Mark will pick up points and Sonny will lose points.

That is what I think.

Word Jazz

Have you heard of Ken Nordine? Back in the ‘60s while in the Navy I got hooked on Ken Nordine’s Word Jazz. To hear Ken Nordine speak or read with someone tapping bongo drums or playing a flute lightly in the background was very – er, very mind expanding. Your first thought, if you were over 18 then, might be “The Beat Generation!”

But now I am not sure it was the Beat Generation. I think it may have been the Beat Generation packaged and marketed into LP albums.

I thought Ken Nordine was good. I have several albums by him speaking on and on. I remember one that stands out about the lonely junk man in the junk yard and how he calculates and shrewdly estimates the worth of all the junk around him.

But getting back to the what Word Jazz is. Music Jazz is improvisation with musical sounds… jazz musicians are willing to do progressive and innovative sounds with their music instruments.

In that case, shouldn’t Word Jazz be making improvisation with the written word? To try new things with sentences and with the help of visual effects – well, improvise.

Isn’t that is what some of us bloggers do? Most of us had no formal journalism higher education (I know of one exception, my son Rocky, he has a degree in Journalism and I think has an excellent blog). We do what we can to share what we want to share. And the good thing, or bad thing, according to how you look at it, we know no rules to go by…. Which is good in a way – we can break all the rules and not know any better, we are not limited or bound by what we can do. We can get away with things!

And of course, we can make faux pas jazz too, which I have proved countless of times.


A lady in DeKalb County, Georgia, has a bumper sticker that says "I'm tired of all this Bushit".

The police there pulled her over and gave her and charged her with Georgia law that prohibits lewd or obscene bumper stickers.

HOWEVER!! That law was ruled unconstitutional over ten years ago. The lady is now suing.

You can buy that sticker or other anti bumper stickers at Junkman's Daughter in Little Five Points in Atlanta.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Prance Family: Sunday at the Home Place

I don't know the above picture was taken on a Sunday afternoon. It just looks like it was.

This is Anna's Prance family forefathers and foremothers before she existed.

Tossing What used to be FRENCH fries

After school we usually dropped by Atherton Drug Store and hung out in front, the magazine rack, or the lunch counter.

Doc Atherton would at times come out and ask us to leave if we were not going to buy anything. And he might tell us to put down the magazine we are reading if we were not going to buy it.

He gave his head man at the lunch counter, Clell* full authority to kick us out anytime we were causing trouble.

Clell was very skinny and very nervous. Most the time Clell would pretend he didn’t see us do some mischievous or talk loud or whatever.

But one time our friend Larry B. bought a large order of french fries and sat down at a booth with 3 or us. Naturally, we all grabbed a fry or two. Larry said, “Damn! Everybody have some fries!” and started tossing them all up in the air which were landing in old ladies’ coffee, other peoples food, and so on. Clell had to act. He kicked all four of us out.

Time marches on. Later Clell opened a greasy spoon kind of eatery and had a booming business. We ate there a few times. I always noticed the parking lot was full as I drove by. A couple of years ago, because of his failing health Clell sold his restaurant to someone else and early this year I understand the restaurant was sold to a larger chain like Waffle House or Huddle House.

And, while I was in the Navy on Halloween night, 1964, a natural gas leak in the Atherton Drug building caused an explosion.

Several of my friends were killed and injured (one lost his foot). They were still hanging out like old times.

Time marches on.

* - for many years I thought his name was Cleo and everybody kind of slurred in to Clell – but when the name his restaurant was ‘Clell” – then I stood corrected.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Debate

Today we watched the debate between Lt. Governor Mark Taylor, the Libertarian candidate – sorry, I forgot his name, and Governor Sonny Perdue.

It was a replay of a debate that took place a day or so ago.

First of all, I admit I am biased. I had plans on voting for Mark Taylor before the debate started and after the debate I still have plans on voting for Mark Taylor – even more so.

When Mark Taylor repeatedly accused Perdue of he pulling off a deal of signing a loophall law, that was retroactive back to when he made his land deal, which exempted Sonny from paying taxes on that land transaction, which would only benefit him and him alone, he did not deny it – he just made fun of Taylor’s make-believe liar’s nose growing. I bet as a child Sonny was good at dodge ball.

Also I noticed that after Sonny spoke each time his cheering section went wild and when the two other candidates try to speak they tried to boo and holler so no one would be able to hear what the opposing candidates had to say.

I noticed that about Republican cheerleaders, they respect nobody’s voices but their own. They sure are rude and obnoxious.

But I suppose they are right, after all, if you are against the Republican Party you are against America and God - just ask them.


Speaking of CLICK makes me think of clique. You know a little group of people who think they are better than everybody around them and they don’t invite any new comers in their little social circle.

You would think Cliques are for the snobbish wealthy. I think it is a human trait for every walk of life. Everybody wants to be part of something that excludes other people. And it is only natural to think you are better than the folks not invited into your exclusive group. Have you ever thought they don’t want in your group? They probably belong to another group and don’t want you in.

I noticed cliques all my life and have guiltily been part of them. Now, I even see it in the blogging community.

Looking at the movie CLICK

We rented the DVD moive “CLICK” with Adam Sandler. It was okay. It seems most actors are type-cast. Adam’s specialty is ‘Mr. Good Guy’. He played his normal good guy self in CLICK.

It was about a up and rising architect/executive who had too much on him. His work was so demanding that he could not spend hardly anytime with his wife and/or two young children.

And he is magically given a remote control that he can CLICK to instantly solve a problem presenting itself. He can put everything on pause and slap his boss, or fast forward through a situation… taking “lets hurry up and get this over with” a step further.

Unfortunately for Adam he fast forwarded through most of his life and becomes a rich lonely old man. His wife moved on and he doesn’t remember his children growing up – he shot past that era. And, now his son is a busy successful architect like his old man. It reminded me of the song “Cats Cradle”.

It is a light comedy movie, so instead of comic relief the movie gives you a tragic relief, Adam dies in the rain as an old man as his family is bending over him crying…. And yes, we are crying too.

The message, I think, is don’t be a fool, your children grow up only once – do less professional work and stop and smell the roses, or off-springs.

But wait! He wakes up! It is the ole “It was all a dream trick!” Movies, sitcoms, and comics have been using that solution for impossible situations for years.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Rock and Its Mysteries

A few entries back was a picture of my Dad with his courting clothes on and another guy with a big rock behind them. I mentioned that it could be the big rock where my mother's family lived.

The above is that rock. My grandmother Frances Viola Ridley Petty (1885-1968) and her youngest child Sarah Petty McLemore (1927-1999) is standing there with their rock as a backdrop.

Interesting, this rock covers an entrance to a cave. Before the rock covered the entrance a spring came bubbling out. And in the first room of the cave were Indian artfacts.

But Indian artifacts were of no use to my grandfather like money would be. He sold the rock on the side of the hill to the Georgia Highway Department and they blasted the hill to loosen up the rock - thus the big rock fell and sealed the entrance to the Indian lore. Hopefully, somebody will rediscover it someday.

Wednesday the 11th

My 84 year old neighbor Jim was telling me yesterday what all happened to him on Wednesday the 11th (two days before Friday the 13th).

He and his wife were out shopping and his car quit - it had no power whatsoever. A lady in a brand new, “and I mean brand new” (Jim’s quote) showed up and volunteered to help get him started with booster cables which he took her up on.

Then they went down a main street and in a turn lane of another main street the car went dead again. Then, several people came by hollering at him to move his car out of the way and turn on his emergency light. He couldn’t turn on the emergency blinking lights – he had no power what-so-ever.

His wife called Jim’s brother older brother who lives nearby. His brother and his wife came and the brother got out and directed traffic around them.

Finally he had it hauled to a place that works on cars. The next morning they called him and told him it was the alternator, which had to be replaced and a new battery which was ruined by the bad alternator.

But, back up to that evening: His brother lent him their Lincoln. They took it home, drove in the driveway and Jim turned around to his wife and asked for the garage door opener remote. She said she thought he got it from the car and he thought she got it. Not only did they leave their means of getting into the house in the car but also his wife’s pocketbook.

He took a ladder and propped it against the house at a carport window and climbed in.

There is a bank there, Jim would have had to put the ladder on a slope and hope for the best. We were not at home or I could have helped.

Jim had to break into his own house.

About the same time: When Jim’s brother and his wife got home his wife went out in the back yard to do a little yard work before dark. The brother, inside, felt he was having a heart attack – maybe from doing the traffic directing. He called 911 but didn’t tell his wife - she was outside and he didn't want to deal with the steps I suppose.

So, his wife is outside piddling around and up drives ambulances, rescue units, fire trucks, and whoever else goes on 911 calls.

Bottom line is that he was rushed to the hospital and he was right, he had a heart attack. But they must have did whatever needed to be done. The ran a catheter and installed a little balloon and he was sent home on Friday the 13th.

All's well that ends well.

Freedom Of (and From) Religion

On Law and Order last night the story was about Muslin terrorists in New York City. It was a touchy subject which I thought was treated straight forwarded and maybe blunt, in a gentle way, showing both sides. It pointed out how the U.S. Government had a history of treating minorities unfairly and how unfairly sometimes the U.S. Government gets treated.

At one point assistant D.A. Jack McCord told the leader of a Mosque that he had to decide if he was Muslin first or a U.S. citizen first.

That is a good point. Of course we, the audience, probably said in unionson: “U.S. Citizen First! Of course dummy!”

But what if Jack McCord told a Bible thumping Baptist preacher or priest he had to decide which he was first: A U.S. Citizen or a follower of Christ? What would we people with our remote controls mostly say?

Or if the person Jack McCord told was a Jewish rabbi? Probably the majority of us would have to thank about that one.

I think if you want to follow your religion then you are guaranteed that right in the Constitution. Just remember, every body else has that same right, regardless of their religion, Muslims included.

Friday, October 13, 2006

chess News

The Gods are playing chess again.

The lady who was injured in Macy's 1997 Thanksgiving Parade by some out of control floats - remember that incident? Her Manhattan apartment was the one that the airplane crashed into this week.

Ed & Big Bad John

My father is the guy with the dark suit on the right. He might have been slightly uncomfortable with the big guy with his hand on him. And the guy had to be big. Daddy was considered a fairly tall person - to me anyway - he was something like 6'2". So, the other guy must have loomed at 6'5" or more.

Daddy looks single in the photo. He looks like he has his courting clothes on. So, that would date the picture before 1937 (they married Feb 1937).

Now, for the background: I know of no such giant of a rock nearby in Cobb County, but there may have been. About that time the Georgia Highway Department and the CCC were blowing up big rocks into fragments and using the smithereens for roads. Or they could have made a day trip to Stone Mountain or Lookout Mountain where there are plenty of big rocks.

Or another big rock was on Mama's folk's property in Murray County, Georgia, near Cohutta. That means Janie carried Ed home to meet her family - things were getting serious.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dainty Eating Contest

Several years ago, in nearby Kennesaw we found a restaurant we really enjoyed. They specialized in oysters and shrimp. They had big juicy delicious jumbo shrimp that was cooked in a light batter.

It was owned and ran by a bunch of Koreans - I guess one big extended family. I think every time we have been there at least six Koreans workers very synchronized performed what needed to be done with exact timing. Hardly any of them spoke English.

Usually they had an Asian waitress who could speak broken English and a Caucasian waitress that I called the official Red Neck Translator.

The restaurant, a converted Waffle House, for some reason, attract red necks. If we went on Saturday evenings people had on their dancing clothes ready to go out on the town – and on weekdays most of the people were blue collar workers.

We enjoyed eating there and so did Anna’s mother. We took her with us whenever we knew in advance we had plans of going there. Sometimes, we just ended up there without planning. And sometimes by inviting Anna’s mother we would be inviting Anna’s by default.

One time, I think the first time we took the two ladies with us, I ordered my usual dozen jumbo shrimp and Mary ordered 6. I gobbled mine up quickly, just in time to sit and twiddle my thumbs while watching the aunt delicately eat her remaining 4.

The next time we went with the two ladies I cut my order down to 6 and ate slower. The aunt still outlasted me.

The next time I ordered 6 again and this time had a plan. I would casually watch her eat. For every two bites she would eat, I would eat one. In between her bites I would play with the coleslaw or my Diet Coke can, or go to the rest room.

I don’t know how she pulled it off, but she beat me again. It came to the point where I had one bite of shrimp left and she had two whole shrimps. I gave up and chomped down on my last bite and watch her slowly eat the remaining two. She beat me again.

I think her game plan is that she takes smaller bites.... itsy bitsey bites.

I did not know how I was going to deal with her next time – what game plan I could come up with… it seems she could slam-dunk me with one hand tied behind her back..

Wait! Maybe that is it! Maybe if I tie one hand behind my back – maybe that will work.

I was saved by getting whipped again. The restaurant closed with a sign out front saying closed for improvements or something like that. Then the bulldozers came, flattened the building and hauled off the rubble, all but the sign, which they put on a lone sign post which is now in a vacant bare dirt vacant lot.

These Little Piggies Are Going To Market

Now that we are home, tucked safely in our house, I am reflecting off and on about the trip. I thought of something else worth mentioning - or to get a little more mileage out of the trip:

Returning home going south on the I-95 we passed a truck load of pigs. The 18 wheeler had metal slats where you could look inside and see some the doomed pigs. They were all standing; there was not room to sit or lie.

I felt sorry for those pigs. No one told them of what was in stored for them. They didn’t know where they were headed.

I wondered, if say, going over the speed limit like the truck was doing, hauling ass (and butts) down the I-95 a slight error in judgment could cause a wreck.

What if the pig 18 wheeler was involved in a sudden accident and some of the pigs got hurt and maybe breaking some legs?

I suppose another truck would come and haul them on to their final destination. But what about the pigs with broken legs? We Americans like to think of ourselves as humane and gentle. Will, whoever in charge see that the pigs with the broken legs are given a splint and a shot to ease the pain, or will they just load them back on a truck, broken legs and all, and make them stand the remainder of the trip?

What do you think?

Hunters Faces & One Without a Face

Here are most of my father's siblings and their spouses which includes him and my mother.

My mother is easy to spot. She is the one with no face.

Why she scratched off her face is a mystery.


A part left out of our trip: No big thing, just a little detail I forgot to mention.

Anna has a new boss. The level above her all switched jobs effective October the 1st.

The new lady over Anna stays in her office or wherever. As far as I know she has only came out and spoke to them once.

But she sends them emails and Anna copies on the emails she sends. Friday when we were on the road traveling in the Carolinas Anna checked her blackberry for any recent emails activity and there was one from her new boss wanting some kind of report.

Through modern day electronic magic with a blackberry Anna gave her the report or answer she was requesting. Her new boss wrote back and thanked her and told her to have a great weekend.

We thought it is possible, being that the lady is new, and rarely leaves her office, she might not even knew Anna was on vacation.

It is possible to be, saying riding a helicopter over the Grand Canyon oooing and awing over the magnificent sight and you check your email and respond to whatever your boss requests, and then go back to your camera clicking and the boss thinks you are sitting at your desk just around the corner.

Now, that is progress.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More pix of Outer Banks

Sir Walter Raleigh's eathen fort; 2 pix from our room balcony; winding stairs up Cape Hatteris Lighthouse; sea gulls; mural at Pigman's BBQ; Sea Scape, the light house near where Blackbeard was beheaded.

Outer Banks pictures

Back of ferry, ferry cabin; approaching ferry; birds: beach; walk-way to beach; inside Wright Bros museum; replica of barracks & hangar @ Kitty Hawk.