Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Milk and Bread

Metro Atlanta is expecting a winter blast of sleet and below freezing in the early hours tomorrow morning – the weather people predict it should arrive around 3am.

My neighbor said she thought there will be a big crowd at the grocery store to get milk and bread. I went and on my usual day today, Senior Discount day, expecting to have to slug it out with seniors near the bread and milk. The store was almost entirely empty of customers – just a few here and there.

The cashier I usually get was walking around taking big high steps and swinging her arms, I guess as a comical form of an exercise and mimicking “nothing to do”.

She said she was surprised not many people were there. She said she expected people to all pile in buying milk and bread.

Why does everybody think everybody wants milk and bread and people might be froze in by a winter storm?

By the way, I bought milk and bread. Not because of an impending winter storm but because we were almost out

Monday, January 29, 2007

Varnell, Georgia

This is where my grandmother, her daughter, and grandson lived during World War II. It is in Varnell, Georgia. When they lived there Varnell was only a wide place in the road. As I remember there were just a few enterprises in town: a country store, a fish hatchery, a post office, and two churches.

It is located about 15 miles northeast of Dalton, Georgia, and about 6 miles southeast of Tunnel Hill, Georgia.

Just about a mile or two away from Varnell is the famous Prater’s Mill. Prater’s Mill is on a creek or river and has an old fashion working mill in the old building. There is a Prater’s Mill Arts and Crafts Festival held every year.

Gustavus Prater I think is the founder of Prater’s Mill. He married Josephine Pullen (1852-1928) on 30 March 1876. Josephine is/was my first cousin, 3 times removed.

A couple of years ago I was snooping around some graves in the area and dropped by, the little old house my grandmother, and her daughter and grandson lived in and it was still there.

Back in the mid 1940s there was an outhouse back behind the house. On the back was a back porch, beside the porch was a wooden barrel that was used to catch rain water. Why catch rain water? That was the only running water they had.

I don’t know if they drank the rainwater in a barrel or not, but I would think they surely used it for bathing, cooking, and washing dishes.

About 50 feet down on the road on the right is a spring bubbling out of the ground. It is about the size of a dinner table. That was the drinking water which my sister and I used to go down and carry up buckets full.

The spring is very clear. You can see many pebbles on the bottom. You also see many little black shelled creatures that we called periwinkles. The periwinkles kept the water clean.

The same trip I took the photograph of the house I went to the spring. It is still there with its periwinkles on the spring’s pebbled floor. While I was looking at it a family of Latinos came up in an old car and filled up several plastic gallon empty jugs.

The Spring one time made national news, many years before my grandmother and Opal moved there. Two Mormons came to Varnell and handed out brochures about their religion. The town’s men promptly took the two men down by the spring, tied them up and shot them dead. Religious tolerance? Not hardly.

Across the street from their house, about where I stood to take the picture was a country store. It is was still there, and the only difference I could see was that they added gasoline pumps. There was my first introduction to ice cream on a stick, such as hunkeys. Behind the store was a big hill or a small mountain. Back when we visited often the two roads in town were dirt. Late at night after we had gone to bed you could hear cars speed around the curve of the mountain/hill at high speeds and sliding on the dirt and gravel. My grandmother would say they were out hooting, hollering, and drinking.

I remember a small room in the house that you had to walk through to get from the living room to a bedroom. The small room had shelves with jars of homemade canned goods. The room smelled of dark cold old unfinished wood. They also had a "slop bucket" when one had the need "to go" in the middle of the night.

Every time, even to this day, that I eat meat of a chicken wing with a biscuit or roll I remember my Grandma getting me to try it, saying it tasted good. Which it did.

My grandmother had three sons in the service, two in the Navy and one in the Army. There was a war going on. All 3 made it back alive.

After the war, ever so often all her kids and their families would converge. And the little house and the little yard got crowded. In the picture see the old unpainted house next door? It belonged to the Methodist church and it was for current minister and his family to live. When it got too crowded at my grandmother’s place one time I remember visiting the minister’s family. They had a little girl about my age named Mary.

Next to the minister’s house were railway tracks going to Chattanooga or Dalton. Beside the road and the tracks was a water tower for trains. If back in the mid 1940s I could concentrate and put myself about 82 years in the past, standing in the same spot, I possibly could have seen The Great Locomotive Chase, it went up these same tracks, The General, commandeered by Fess Parker, being chased by The Texan, commandeered by Jeffrey Hunter. The Great Locomotive Chase started in Kennesaw, Georgia, then named Big Shanty, and ended in Ringgold, Georgia. Ringgold is where many of my friends in our teenage years eloped and got married. No waiting. It is also where a distant relative of mine, Alvin Ridley, a TV repairman, was arrested for locking his wife up for 20 years and starving her to death.

Mary and I started to explore. We climbed the ladder up to the top of the water tower. I think we climbed down inside, which I don’t remember. Some body from either my extended family or Mary’s family saw us go down into the water tower tank and panicked. I don’t remember them getting us down but somebody did. I think the minister’s family were not real pleased on my influence on their little Mary.

I think I was about 5 or 6 years old and she was about a year younger. I wonder if Mary remembers our water tower adventure?

This was taken in the front yard of the Varnell home. I'm the brat on the first row on the far right.

You Know Who....

Click on the pictures to read the balloons.

I have mentioned more than once (as people bragging often do) that in most movies that before all unfolds I can tell you who is going to get killed, who did it, and the surprised ending. I ruin movies for Anna all the time.

This is partly due to watching the details… things said that has no reason to be said, or sometimes what not is said but insinuated.

I developed this talent, if you want to call it a talent through the years. I think I first (harp music lightly playing) realized movies have certain formulas by reading HUMBUG magazine edited by Harvey Kurtzman, after he left MAD and TRUMP folded.

Cartoonist Jack Davis and Kurtzman had a regular – irregular feature in HUMBUG called “You know Who Gets Killed”

I picked out a good cross-samplings the feature to show you what I am talking about.

And that planted the seed in my head “you know who killed them”, “you know who is going to live to the end” and so on.

Ma AT&T?

AT&T has bought out BellSouth. According to what all I read it is going to be a friendly takeover. And AT&T announced it will be do some things customer friendly too, so we will not consider the takeover a negative thing.

Of course, there will be changes, but in so many words they said the changes will be nice changes.

One change I am interested in is my email address. Now it is Will I have to change it to @at&

One of the changes will be to change the stationary and all logos wherever they may be. I was thinking of the huge building in downtown Atlanta that has big letters that spell BELLSOUTH. That will have to be changed to AT&T. How much do you think that will cost? Ten dollars? Maybe fifty dollars? I think it will be up in the thousands.

And that big tall building is not the only one, BellSouth has hundreds of buildings and substations that BELLSOUTH will have to be removed and AT&T will take its place. I think a million bucks to do all the changes would be a very conservative estimate.

But whatever it is you can bet the costs will be relayed to and paid by us customers, in a customer friendly way of course.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Jones Family Reunion c1929

click to make larger.

This is an old reunion of the Jones family – I estimate it was held about 1929. It was probably held in Milton County, Georgia. Milton was where most the Jones family of that time lived.

Milton County, Georgia, no long exists. The northern part of Fulton County a small portion of Cherokee County made up Milton. Now, there is a movement to get back on the map as a real county again.

The posing preparation for the picture it looks they tried to follow the conformity of churches of that time: The men on one side and the women on the other.

See the three kids on the left? Two of them are Anna's mother's brothers. Anna's mother is the shortest female on the women’s side. She was about 9 years old at the time.

Look at the row of men on the left. One person stands out because he did not have the top part of his dress suit on. That is Anna’s mother’s dad. His kids are right in front of him.

Looking to the women on the right, the first person in the women’s row is a man. He may be also be oldest one there and will do what he darn well wants to do.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cakes, Cookies, Donuts - Si!

WARNING: This may appear that I am profiling. Well, I guess it is. We are always interested in other cultures and we developed our profiling from what we see or read.

A Disclaimer: I don’t think I am any better than anyone in the Latino community. And I admire their work ethics and I do believe their large numbers, and being frugal by nature, is holding down inflation. My only gripe is that I wish more of them would pay in the system to help pay for the benefits they enjoy and buy auto insurance.

Yesterday we were near downtown Marietta. Across from The Big Chicken is a La Suprema Bakery. I think it is a chain owned and operated by Latinos. And apparently, its target customers are the Latinos of the community.

Since it opened we have been curious about what kind of bakery goods the local Spanish people were attracted to, so partly out of nosiness and partly to quench a sweet tooth we went in.

It probably had 50 feet of counter space, shaped like a big horseshoe with squared corners. It was manned by one Spanish speaking woman… or I guess it was womanned by her.

We noticed some beautiful tiered wedding cakes; big fancy colorful cakes. On one cake instead of the normal little figurines of a wedding couple was a figurine of hot flashing Latin dancer with something bright red on, the way her clothes appeared to have just bounced in the air, it looked like she was solo in a flamingo dance – what was that, the groom's cake?

By the looks of the cakes, it looks like they really party down at a wedding.

One item behind the counter looked interesting. It was a sheet of little blocks of something. We asked the lady how it tastes and she tried telling us but there was a language barrier – she just hauled off and gave us a big block so we could taste for ourselves.

While we were there a black lady, very modish dressed, came in and went through their pictures of cakes, apparently she was planning a big bash. Then a Mexican family came in, which maybe there were maybe 5 or 6 of them. The father just sat down in a chair and watched his wife, his mother or mother-in-law, and maybe a sister scatter about getting things. On one wall was different types of baked bread. That is what they mostly got, but I think they picked up a few sweets too.

When they got their shopping done he came up and paid. I guess in the family he handled the money. Then they all piled into a nice looking van and left.

After they left I noticed where he was standing by the counter paying was a credit card looking card on the floor. I picked it up and looked at it. It had a picture of the man who was just standing there. It was a debit card. I called the lady over, interrupting her from going through the picture-of-cakes books, and gave her the debit card. She smiled and graciously said, “Thank you suh!”

We bought some little cookies that looked to be the sweetest thing they had. We soon discovered they were kind of dull tasting… not much of a good sugar rush at all. They were kind of like Lorna Dune cookies. I thought Latinos liked food with a bite – you bite it and it bites you back … like good spicy Mexican food should.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Now You See It, Now You Don't!

Tonight we rented the movie THE ILLUSIONIST staring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, and Jessica Biel. It was mystic, it was romantic, it had suspense, it had catsup, I mean blood, it had greed, and it had the viewer’s attention all the way through it.

Edward Norton played magician Illusionist Eisenheim. Boy was he good! He could do any magic trick! Well, it gets more detailed than that description. I thought it was a great movie.

It also reminded me of my friend El Postino’s post today on his blog Paranoia Strikes Deep entry “You Are In My Power”. El Postino takes on the old cartoon magician Mandrake the Magician and hypnotism in general ….. great post, El Postino!

Ring Of Fire

I learn something new everyday!

Yesterday I learned from FACT OR CRAP Daily tear-off calendar that after Johnny Cash died a hemorrhoid cream offered his daughter Roseanne Cash to buy the right to use Johnny’s song “Ring of Fire” in a hemorrhoid cream commercial. She turned down the offer.

I ran a search for “Ring of Fire” and didn’t find much. I was hopping to find a ring of fire, maybe a volcano opening with red hot lava around the edges.

I also learned that an area in the Pacific is called The Ring of Fire because of the active volcanoes in the bordering the imaginary circle and within it. Alaska borders the northeastern part of the circle, it looks like Japan might be the border for the northwestern part.

Then I searched for hemorrhoid and was one site offered pictures of hemorrhoids for sale. Who would pay money for pictures of hemorrhoids and what would they do with them. Wait! I forgot the ex-Waffle House manager and his remote camera. He might be their best customer.

The ring above was the closest I found to a ring of fire.
Wait! Here is a better one (thanks to Michael Banes):

Art Is To Be Shown

Back up a couple of days and see me waiting in the waiting room of the dealership that is working on my truck. I am going to get a little more mileage out of that day.

I had a two hour wait. Luckily, I had a good book to read. On the TV a sports channel blasting. The TV was mounted high on the wall. The sports channel had countless interviews, quick short sports shots, I think in reference to whatever they were talking about and on and on. At one point I was the only person in the room and thought I would try to reach up and change the channel. I reached up, yep, I could barely reach the channel up and down buttons – which was some kind of receiver box… then, I realized what kind of receiver box it was… some sort of satellite net work. So, instead of surfing into unknown areas for me, I let well enough be.

In walked a young slim woman that couldn’t have been over 25, but I bet she was more like 18 or 19. She had a baby face - 13 year old face. She was on her cell phone. I overheard her say “And we painted the whole apartment in wild colors and the manager had a fit, he told us we had to get written permission to paint anything - before.” She laughed at whatever the person on the other end said. Then, it was just boring chit chat. Or, for all I know, she might have been talking to herself to a dead phone to avoid the only other person in the room.

She had on some kind of tight-ass black jeans and a short shirt that exposed her midriff. Gads! It was cold and windy outside. She didn’t even have a coat.

She sat down across from me and continued her conversation on the phone. I noticed her feet. She had on sandals that exposed the top of her feet. On each foot was a tattoo. From where I was sitting each tattoo looked identical: It looked like a picture you would relate to the Chinese because it had a big orange ball that was the sun overlooking a dock (I think).. the dock had lines, maybe bamboo… and there were more details I couldn’t quiet make sense of from where I sitting.

I wonder if I had asked her would she remove a sandal so I could study the art more? Surely she wouldn’t mind. She probably paid big bucks for those tattoos, which was a work or art. A tattoo ARTIST? And, art is meant to be looked at, right? If you pay big bucks for a piece of art for your home or office you are not going to drape it with a sheet or anything so people can’t see it. You paid money for people to look at this and marvel. So, why would she mind showing off her art by removing her sandal?

Her feet might just be the tip of the iceberg (turned over). Maybe there was more art to be shown. If she didn’t mind removing her sandals she might want to show off her really prized art work – if she started to unbutton her shirt to show me her tattoo of a battleship across her chess…. I would probably leap across to the TV satellite receiver in one leap and quickly start trying to find else what else is on TV… all you need sometimes is a jump start.

But of course, I didn’t have that problem. As I said many times I am invisible to most people most the time (unless they want something). Why would anyone show off artsy tattoos to an empty room?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Flock of Conservatives

In our den we have two bird feeders stuck to the windows with those little rubber stopper things. Up until yesterday I kept one full of sunflower seed and the other one full of safflower seed.

I like to have safflower seed available because the squirrels turn their noses up at it. They prefer sunflower seed.

Up until yesterday I would watch the same little birds, same breeds fly on the safflower feeder, fly off, then stop by the sunflower feeder and grab himself a sunflower, then fly to the nearest limb. Break open the seed like cracking a nut. Sometimes it is quiet a job, they have to beat the seed against a limb, holding it with their beak. They wouldn’t have it any other way, it is their instinct.

I have four feeders of sunflower seed in the yard, so was one really needed in front of the window? The same birds came to one as the other, so it was not like we were losing watching a bird species or anything.

Yesterday I loaded both window feeders with safflower seed.

The little birds didn’t know quiet how to take that. They would fly on the edge of safflower seed and grab a seed or two, then leap over to the other one where the sunflower seeds were, looked confused a second, then fly away. They expected sunflower seed there. The feeder that did not change, the seed is going down quicker than the one that changed.

Apparently they don’t like change. A flock of conservatives.

Seriously Folks - the Local News...

This is just a few random rambling thoughts. If you are looking for on-line coupons you won't find them here, but I suggest you run a search on “coupons”. Huh? You did and that is why you are here?
Yesterday, in Carroll County, Georgia, a Waffle House manager was arrested for planting little spy video cameras in the women’s restroom of the restaurant he was the manager of. Not only that, but he planted them into all the neighboring restaurants. The little cameras transmitted what they recorded into his hard drive at home. The man’s ex-wife was at his apartment doing something on his computer came across the pictures and notified the police. I think some of the shots would probably be something that could be played on America’s Funniest Videos. I wonder how he managed to get the little cameras into the ladies rooms of neighboring restaurants? Dress like a woman?
A police spokesman said that when they look at the video’s he really will be in big trouble if there are any children on it. I thought it was funny the way the policeman worded it, it reminded me of what we said in the 3rd grade – “really big trouble”.
And what kind of policeman will view the videos? Will there be more than one to volunteer for the job?
And I think it would be funny, after it is all over with, the ex-Waffle House manage pays his debt to society and gets back into the mainstream of professional managerism. Then one day his ex-wife is using the john in the privacy of her own bathroom and she does not notice the tiny little lens hidden by an air vent looking at her.

Here in Cobb County an alternate grand juror has been charged with murder. The Cobb County District Attorney said it shouldn’t interfere with the man being an alternate Grand Juror. Wait! Being an alternate means if enough jurors don’t show up to get the required forum amount someone is drawn from the alternate list. I have been a grand juror before and the main thing we did were hear the D.A. present possible crimes that was committed and why a certain person is a suspect and we as jurors would vote “no bill” or “yes (bill)” for an indictment. We also had plenty of coffee and donuts. And, I remember one morning we met at the County Prison Farm and had a big breakfast made by the inmates and we toured the compound and made recommendations.
What if this accused murderer is pulled from the alternate pool and gets to sit in? Will he be in a orange suit with chains? That means his chain will rattle when he lift his hands and arms to eat a donut or drink from the cup. And, if they meet at the County Prison for a tour and breakfast will he say, “I’ll meet you there!” And I'm sure he will have plenty of recommendations to make the county prison a more fun place to be.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Charles & Ardella

These are two of Anna's ancestors.

Charles (1856-1928) at age 20, in 1876, married Ardella (1857-1933). Charles lived 72 years and Ardella lived 76 years. They had five children, that was born and raised in the Roswell-Alpharetta, Georgia, area.

Pitching a Shit Fit Helps Get the Job Done

The other morning I took my truck to the dealer to have a few things done. I arrived when they opened the big doors at 7:30. The maintenance guy (advisor?) told me he had three cars ahead of me so it may be a 3 or 4 hour wait, maybe longer.

I couldn’t see sitting there in their waiting room for that long of time with nothing to read (I was in between books). So, I suggested I bring it back later and leave it overnight. He said that would be better, then “his men” could start on it the first thing the next morning.

I did. In the early evening I left the key and the work order in the hands of the same service guy I earlier talked to. He again, told me he would get “his men” on it the first thing in the morning.

The next day I waited until 11:10 to call and asked for him, Nick, and asked how my truck was coming. He said they haven’t started on it yet and still have about 3 cars ahead of it and they were going to “try” to get to it before the end of the day.

I pitched a shit fit. I reminded Nick what he told me twice, that that “his men” would get on it the first thing in the morning. I politely told him I wasn’t real happy with his promises made on the spot to make me happy momentarily only to not fulfill that promise and I wasn’t happy, to say the least, I needed my truck. I was just about to tell him I was going to kidnap his family and chop off one finger of one family member at a time for each hour until my truck was ready, but he interrupted and said let him check on it and he would call me back.

He didn’t call back. I called him back. He said they were working on it now and should be ready around 3:00. (which in service language meant 4:00).

Never underestimate the power of a good old fashion shit fit.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This Is It! a Harvey Kurtzman book.

It is a big coffee table type of book. Thick pages and heavy. I haven't had a chance to submerge myself into it yet, but it looks very promising

There are interviews, big samplings of Harvey Kurtzman's art, writings, and editorship. When I start picking at it I might find some things I want to share.

Harvey was a comic book editor for EC Comic Books - he produced two great anti-war comic book series, and then MAD comic book and eased it into being a magazine after 23 issues. He also wrote the script for Annie Fanny in PLAYBOY.

By the way, the cover art of the book (above) and the art for the previous posting that the little fellow is opening and envelope was done by one of the original MAD artists Jack Davis.

Today I Received a Package

Have you ever ordered something and waited and waited for it and it finally arrived?

Well, that is about how I felt today, except I didn't wait and wait. It arrived about less than a week after I ordered it.

To be continued in the next entry.

Old and New Courthouses

Elementaryhistoryteacher posted on her blog Georgia On My Mind a picture of the Terrell County Courthouse in Dawson, Georgia (not to be confused with Dawsonville, which is the county seat of Dawson County). The picture shows a beautiful regal courthouse with a clock tower – the link is in the first sentence, see for yourself.

It reminded me of the Cobb County Courthouse that I grew up in its shadow. I knew my way around every room, every office, and the outside.

In the black & white picture above, see the stairs, on the right at the edge of the alley? Up at the top of the stairs was my uncle’s bonding company. He was in partners with one arm missing from the elbow (WWII) named Bill. We called him “One-Wing”. Later my uncle and One-Wing parted company and my uncle started another bonding company, just around the corner and down the street.

Behind the Old Courthouse was the Sheriff’s office and jail and next to it was a granite stone building with bars, which was the Marietta Jail. In either jail there were always some men holding onto the bars looking out when we walked by. Then, there was an urban legend that hard packs of Camels, one pack had a little statement if you flatten the pack out that stated “You won a $1,000,000” instead of their usual statement, which was something like “LSMST” . The prisoners liked to smoke and would toss their empty packs out the barred windows. We would pick up the hard Camel packs and search for that statement.

When I graduated from high school Herbert McCollum was commissioner and it was no secret he wanted to do away with the old Courthouse and replace it with a new modern building. Herbert’s wife Jessie was a gentle lady and was my 3rd grade teacher. Herbert replaced my father as Chief of the Cobb County Police with one of his political cronies. That is politics.

Herbert tried several ways to get the county to go along with replacing the courthouse with a modern one, but could not get the support. It was rumored that he would give the old janitor a dollar every so often, and the janitor would climb to the top of the tower where the clock was and toss out a brick. Herbert was hoping that the idea the Old Courthouse was crumbling and was a safety hazard. But that didn’t work.

Then the Old Courthouse mysteriously caught on fire, which the fire swept all the floors and destroyed it. That did work.

Incidentally, the bricks from the Old Courthouse is now in the shape of a private residence. The contractor paid to haul the bricks away hauled them to his property where he built a brick house.
Pictured above is the Old Courthouse and its replacements (ugh!).

Please forgive me if you are catching me posting something similar to what I posted before.

Monday, January 22, 2007

James William Garrett (1878-1950)

The man that is the center of the front row is a distant cousin. His name is/was James William Garrett. He lived in Fannin County, Georgia.

I don't know a thing about him, but I bet he enjoyed playing baseball.

Coyotes In My Yard?

My neighbor Jim called the other day to warn us that he saw a coyote in our yard, for us to be careful.

Careful? I don’t think coyotes attack humans. We are too big for them to snag us in jugular vein and drag us back to their den. I think he probably meant be careful because a coyote from the wild could be carrying rabies.

I checked the yard several times and I haven’t seen a coyote or any signs of one… no Acme Dynamite boxes or Acme Giant Boxing Glove on a spring machine or anything like that, but I will keep an eye out.

Then I remembered about a year or so ago a man who has a sizable amount of land who raised cattle at the foot of Blackjack Mountain, about 4 miles away, was telling in the paper of always being on the lookout for coyotes and he has killed several. He also raised sheep, which would probably be the coyote’s likely target. The man has died fairly recently… which might be another blog entry one day.

Then, speaking of mountains, I thought of Sweat Mountain, which is even closer. Last Friday we looked at a new subdivision at the foot of Sweat Mountain. We were not interested in buying, we just wanted to look a new house a friend recently bought. We didn’t know which house she bought so could only guess and speculate. However, while there we did look at a model opened house and thought it looked nice. And the best part, only a small patio and hardly no yard, the yard work is contracted with monthly fees you pay to association. But getting back to the house inside: It looked quiet nice and plush – but after studying the rooms and storage space, closet space, dens, computer rooms, and all – it was smaller than our house now, we would have to give up a lot… we were dazzled by the large kitchen, stone tile in the living area, and the interior decorating. I don’t like the part of giving up a lot.

But that new subdivision took a huge chunk out of the bottom part of a mountain. It looks to maybe 50 to 100 acres big. The wildlife had to relocate.

There are more and more subdivisions popping up. And that is why Jim saw a coyote the other day, and that is why several cub bears were seen in Fulton and Cobb County last years.

We humans are like a huge colony of termites destroying all habitats.

But remember, if you live in newly developed subdivision be kind to the wild animals seen running around. They probably have more of a right to be there than you, and they can probably show you where their ancestors marked it off with urine stains, the most official border that Mother Nature understands.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Howard and Junebug

A few days ago while channel surfing we came upon the movie “Junebug” on one of the Starz channels.

Junebug is about a mountaineer artist who is also a preacher. He is elderly and his art is finally getting a reputation and a couple of agents are fighting to represent him. There are several back country characters in the movie that makes it a very interesting movie.

The movie reminded me of Georgia folk artist Howard Finster (1916-2001) who is also a preacher. I’m told that Junebug was inspired by the life and works of Howard Finster. You may have seen his work on one of the R.E.M. CD covers. Howard Finster lived in Chattooga County, Georgia. The movie was fictional and had it take place in western North Carolina instead of Georgia.

There are a lot of Howard Finster’s works of art at the High Art Museum in Atlanta. He not only painted but also sculptured. A lot of his works have words all over them, which I think are Biblical quotes or the book and verse numbers.

Above are some of Finster’s art and a picture of him.

The Good/Bad Old Days

Once or twice a year my neighbor Kathleen’s daughter Jane visits her from Virginia. On each visit Jane has a project in mind. In the past it has been to replacing steps, laying carpet, painting a couple of rooms, and whatever else. Jane doesn’t come down to visit to twiddle her thumbs and look at TV.

On some of the projects, if there is any cleaning out, I may get something out of it.

On Jane’s Christmas visit she gave me a stack of Reminisce magazines from her cleaning out.

Off and on, I have been looking at the different issues. Reminisce magazine is about the good old days. Of course, it’s target readership are people who were alive and enjoying life in the 30s, 40s, and probably the 60s. Probably at one time the magazine had articles about the 20s, but their audience for that time segment has, well, moved on. Your time is coming – watch out!

The good old day in the magazines show people dancing at big dance halls; movie stars such as Clark Gable; fancy new cars which would be antiques now; radio crystal sets; plays (“Yankee Doodle Dandy” comes to mind); and you get the idea. The magazine wants to bring back memories of yesteryear; a neatly packed package of nostalgia.

One thing I noticed missing in every magazine: African-Americans. What does that tell you… the Good Old Days wasn’t that good?

this is what was the "colored" entrance at the Strand Theater in Marietta, Ga.

You mean they did not enjoy going to the movies entering in the “Colored Entrance” and having to sit way back in the back part of the balcony? – if they were allowed at all. It was common sense that if a theater did not have a balcony the blacks were not allowed. Or being not allowed in restaurants, or if a restaurant did allow them to buy they had to order at an outside window marked “Colored”. I remember seeing restroom signs at the Cobb County Courthouse saying “White Gentlemen”, “White Ladies”, “Colored Men”, and “Colored Women”… in another county building was restroom signs saying, “White Gentlemen”, “White Ladies” and “Colored”… both sexes had to share the same bathroom, which most white people thought was fine, “those people don’t have any morals anyway”. And there were the back of buses, and I could on.

What used to get to me was to be talking to a white person of authority and that person would be friendly and warm and the same person turn around and talk to a black person and naturally be sharp, curt, and contemptuous for no reason.

Those were the days my friend, I thought would never end.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


My daddy is the cop in the background on the left. The picture was taken in the early 50s. When we go to the local O'Charley's Restaurant we see this picture framed in the lobby with other oldie local pictures.

It looks like Daddy and his two fellow officers Jesse and Earnest caught someone trying to smuggle cases and cases of blackberry jam into the city.

The Shit-Zu Gang

In yesterday’s Atlanta Journal was an article about several stray Shih Tzus dogs on the lamb at townhouse development in Marietta.

There were four of the little pampered-looking dogs, one got ran over which then narrowed the pack down to three… now another, which leaves two, and one of those is pregnant. So far, the Cobb County Animal Control have tried and tried but have been unable to catch them. Some of the people in the neighborhood put out out food for them.

I don’t know if they remind me of street gang of yuppies or a Gary Larson cartoon.

Belated Birthday Wishes to Robert E. Lee

Yesterday was Robert E. Lee’s birthday. A lot of southerners hold Robert E. Lee special in their hearts – I am talking about the rebel flag waving white-trash redneck kind of southerners but also other southerners as well.

How come? I don’t know. I think it is visibility. If I was to pick a CSA General as my hero I would pick General Joseph Johnston. He seemed to be a very good strategist who could read his opposing General (William T. Sherman’s mind).

I think maybe because Robert E. Lee was more popular, compared to Johnston, was that Robert got more visibility. Robert’s command and battles were more near the northern states and even into the northern states (Gettysburg), and very near Washington D.C. So, he was more of a threat in the northerners’ minds, thus a bigger hero to the southerner. But, I said maybe. I don’t really know.

Some Civil War experts debate whether Robert E. Lee was all that great of a general or not. I attended a debate one time where two Civil War authors debated on his serious military strategy blunders that cost many lives of his troops.

He graduated high in his West Point class and proved to be a good U.S. Government officer before he made the decision to take sides with his native state of Virginia.

Which reminds me, Arlington Cemetery was his front yard. It was a way to piss him off, bury the dead Yankees in his front yard.

I know Robert E. Lee had a gentle way about him, which cause people to respect him. And he also get respect when he talked respectful to lowliest infantry soldier. He dealt with all humans respectful and even the animals. When he noticed a horse panting from working too hard he would pet the strange horse and order that it be brought water.

Which, without looking, I will say his horse’s name is Traveler. I think I am not unique knowing his horse’s name, may other people know Traveler’s name. How many other Generals can you name their horses. For me, none and I bet the same is true for most other people. Traveler is almost as popular as Trigger.

I think maybe all that respect paid off in dividends… that respect just keeps on coming.

Let that be a lesson to you, play your cards right with respect, and your cemetery marker or tombstone might see new flowers placed before it regularly a hundred years from now.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Humans and Computers

A lot of people, mostly elderly, do not want anything to do with computers, electronics, or anything with a bar code or has digital numbers lit up.

They feel human contact is more reliable. I agree on some occasions I had rather explain my needs to a human than narrowing down my wants on a touch-tone phone by touching numbers – first let get your language out of the way, press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish., 3 for Gitchi.

A friend, who is married to a Pilipino, thought his grocery bill was higher than usual the other day and compared the cash registered ticket-tape to all the items they bought. All the bar coded items checked out. He found they were charged $15.03 for one taro root (Asian sweet potato), which was listed as $6.99 a pound instead of the .69 a pound it was suppose to be. That was a human error. He got his refund.

At Krogers the same day he overpaid for the taro root when my stuff was being rung up at Krogers the lady before me came back with her ticker-tape receipt saying something was suppose to be buy one and get one free and it didn’t ring up that way. The cashier told her to take her receipt over to the Customer Service counter and get a refund. And somebody over heard her behind her waiting on the cashier of the next lane and said that is exactly why she was waiting, so she turned around and went to the Customer Service counter too.

The cashier said that was about the 4th or 5th complaint she had in about an hour. She said some stock person made the mistake of putting “Buy One and Get One Free” sign at the wrong product, and naturally people bought the wrong product thinking they would get one free, which they are, if they go through the service counter. She cashier said it seemed it would be easier and cheaper to just go back and move the sign to the product it should be at.

But they didn’t.

We will count that not as human error but as human laziness.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Name Is Eddie

Did you see My Name Is Earl tonight?

Every episode yet has been funny and original.

Tonight Earl was trying to cross off his list a guy that he and Joy accidentally kidnapped. To find out what sort of good favor he could do for the guy he found out the guy had died. The guy’s ghost visits Earl in a dream and tells him he wants a real funeral, other wise he will be given to the medical school for all kinds hands-on for students to work with.

Earl went to see a very strange funeral home that prefers to have upright corpses doing natural things, like sitting up watching their favorite TV show or what have you. But Earl wants his friend to have just a plain old fashion wake or visitation in the funeral home. He tried to find some friends of the guy to come and sit and he could not find any friends the deceased had.

While he and Joy were in the guy’s apartment they noticed that he got a lot of emails. He was an email and blogger junkie. At his wake, his body was sitting at a desk with a monitor in front of him and his hands on a keyboard. In real life he was kind of invisible but in cyber space he was a fireball of personality.

Does this remind you of anybody, my fellow bloggers?

What Goes Around Comes Around

We have a hawk in the neighborhood. My neighbor Jim gets mad every time he sees it and sometimes even says he is going into his house and comes back with his gun, saying if it tries to attack one of his little chipmunks in his yard he will blow its head off. So far, he has been all talk. This is a neighborhood, you can’t be shooting firearms.

Well, I don’t expect hawks to be like Henry Hawk of the old cartoons with the rooster Foghorn Leghorn pulling a fast one on him. Hawks have to eat too, and their body needs fresh flesh, blood, and guts. And to get such items they have to kill. It is nature, nothing personal.

I see our neighborhood hawk from time to time high up in a tree, dignified, with his head high, like he could care less what is on the ground crawling around. I am sure he, in his own way, is keeping tabs on every thing crawling below him. When he does see something that whets his appetite he falls so gracefully from his limb and in one snatch, gets it and goes on his way (or her way).

We also have blue jay birds that come in a group and take over my critter feeders. They remind me of a street gang that show up, push everybody around then fly away. Blue Jays scream and squawk a lot like they are complaining and threatening…. And they eat other bird’s eggs, and if they see another type of bird, or a squirrel or chipmunk they will peck at it to run it off. The blue jays are a bunch of ass holes – that is what they do best.

I have seen blue jays scream and peck at visiting crows and chase them way.

On the other hand, crows scream and attack hawks. I have seen a group of crows gang up on the neighborhood hawk and chase him away and trying to attack him high in the air.

From time to time I see a little clump of fur in the yard, usually a squirrel’s. I know it was meal for the hawk and he didn’t clean up after himself. Yesterday while loading up the feeders for the winter storm that was suppose to come (but didn’t) I saw a clump of blue jay feathers. Animal Kingdom Justice.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why? Is The Question

Off and on for a couple of weeks now I have looking at previously copied from the PB channel video programs on the Revolutionary War. I think there were 4 or 5 to watch.

At the beginning of each one a statement was made that all dialog was from somebody’s diary or records.

The one I saw today British General Charles Cornwallis and his troops were more or less pinned in Yorktown, Virginia. They could not leave from land or sea. That is where they surrendered.

General Cornwallis said, “Do we have a plan? If not, why are we here?”

Is there a lesson to learn from that statement?

Dodging Faith

About 3 blocks away is a street that goes from one main road to another main road. Sometimes when I walk, run, or bike I find myself on that street cutting over to the road it leads to.

It is a nice scenic road. There are two lakes, a very big Greek Orthodox Catholic Church and a couple of big pastures with rolling acres. It is always a pleasure to walk on that road.

A year or so ago, when cutting across to that road on the street a lady would come out and wave at me or when she was picking up the morning paper and I trotted by she would give me a big wave and I would give her a big wave back.

Then one day she was standing there waiting on me. She introduced herself. Her name is Faith. She is has pretty white hair – I would guess she is probably between 60 and 70 – which means I am guessing she is about my age. We talked and we talked. Anything you say to her brings up more to say. Gad, she must be lonely.

I think either her husband or her father is senile or a strange bird and she is his caretaker. I have seen him at a distance watching us talk.

One time she wanted to know if I knew a good plumber so I told her about Jeff the Plumber. I didn’t know Jeff’s off the top of my head so she asked me for my number so when I was home she could call and get it. She called and I gave it to her.

Later she called me again and told me Jeff did an excellent job at a reasonable price. Well, good, I was glad to help out.

Then a few weeks later she called and wanted to know if I knew a good lawyer for wills. I told her we just had our will done and gave her the number of the law firm that did it. A couple of weeks went by and she called me again and wanted to know just how well I knew that the people in that firm. I said they were old reliable Mariettans, they had a solid reputation. I forgot how it went, but somehow there was a reason for me to give Faith my sister’s number because she used the same lawyer for her will as we did.

She called my sister and I think she concurred what I thought: Faith is lonely (not to mention nuts).

I suppose she stopped me about 3 or 4 times while I was on my exercise route and called me about the same number of times. She doesn’t know to shut up and let the person she is talking to to move on.

A week or two at the Post Office I was in line to mail a package. She saw me and left her place in line behind me and told me Jeff the Plumber went up on his prices, now he charges for the gasoline he uses…. I wanted to say, “So?” but held off, saying I haven’t used Jeff in a while. It seems like his gasoline he used is part of his cost, and in order to stay in business he will have to pass the cost on to his customers. Jeff is too honest, he should just raise his prices and don’t explain why.

She wanted to talk more, but luckily it was my time at the counter to mail my package. I mailed my package, jived with my co-workers, waved at Faith, pointing at my watch and got the hell out of there.

Today while shopping Senior Discount Day at Krogers I saw Faith at a distance. I worked myself around the aisle I saw her standing yapping to a lady… but better that lady than me.

Lucky for me Faith had on a red jacket, which was easy to spot with my peripheral vision without looking at her directly in the face. I successfully dodged her without even looking at her for probably 30 or 40 minutes.

Slippery, aren't I?

Walking And Running

I walked on the treadmill for 35 minutes this morning then ran.

Until today I have not ran since mid November. I am proud to say I ran 20 minutes and 40 seconds and my pulse climbed to 120.

As far as pulse rates go, my heart condition it is recommended that I exercise to get my heart rate in between something like 103 and 128. When it goes above 128, if you were looking at a meter with a dial, the area past 128 would be a dark red. And I am to keep it going at that rate for 30 minutes.

So, my plan is to work myself up to at least 30 minutes per run.

Then who knows? I might even work myself up to 31 minutes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Four Brothers and Four Wives

I don’t remember posting this picture before. These are four of my father’s eight brothers and their wives.

Of the eight people in the picture, only one is still alive, Ruby. Ruby is the first lady on the right. Her husband Jack is behind her. Jack was at Pearl Harbor and had his 15 minutes when he saved Eddie Rickenbacker’s life in the Pacific.

The next is “Bus” or Robert Ray. He was a lineman for a R.E.M.C. company. He almost became a professional wrestler. He had a reputation for being very strong. In front of him is his wife Zelma. Their only son Jerry was a pilot, shot down and killed in Viet Nam – In a way, it took their life from them.

The next was Stanley who fought at Normandy at D-Day but didn’t like to talk about it. He and his wife Sarah had two sons.

The last is Doug. At one time Doug was scouted to be a professional baseball player. He was one of the funniest and wittiest people I have ever met. His wife Lolagene was a great story book reader for kids at the library.

Going Postal Outside the Post Office

Yesterday we went to Costco. I took a cart and so did Anna and we went our separate ways to buy stuff. We came upon each other in an thorough-fare aisle and we stopped and was going over our shopping tactics when I noticed a lady standing near me. Then I noticed I was blocking an aisle so I backed up to give the lady and her cart enough room to turn in, but was still talking to Anna.

The lady said, “Well, Eddie aren’t you going to speak?”

I focused in on the lady and it was a old postal co-worker that I haven’t seen in about 9 or 10 years or maybe longer. She transferred to main office and became a telephone operator for the post office. She has changed. Even if I looked at her before I might not have recognized her. Aging changes the appearances of most people in a near ten year period, whether we like it or not.

Linda was a little perky aggressive red-head that was never lost for words. She appreciated my wit.

“Linda!” I said. I asked her how she was and how Robert was. She said Robert was fine and he was over in the electronics area. She said they were about to become grandparents for the first time and Robert was about to freak out. I immediately thought of Robert’s children by his first marriage, – They were grown in 1982, maybe Robert was already a great grandfather from his first marriage, but I decided not to bring that up.

She said she better go find him. She told us to take care and come to see them in up in Cartersville sometime, since I don’t have anything to do, being retired and all.

If anyone overheard our conversation they would probably think “that’s nice, the old guy is retired and he used to work with the woman he was talking to and knew her husband Robert as well.” In fact, we were close to a free sample person handing out little cups of fat-free potato chips – Maybe that is what she was thinking.

The free sample lady probably didn’t think about or remember the local news headlines in about 1982 or ‘83: JEALOUS HUSBAND SHOOTS WIFE AND HER BOYFRIEND IN A RESTAURANT.

Back then Linda was married to someone else. Someone she regretted being married to. Not only did she regret it but so did her mother. Her mother encouraged her to have an affair.

Enter Robert: Robert came into the picture and begin flirting with Linda. She told her mother and her mother came one night to the post office break-room in the middle of the night to meet Robert and she approved of him. That is a close mother- daughter relationship.

Then Linda and Robert had a hot motel affair going after work on many mornings.

We took our lunch breaks then at 7am. Robert and Linda had gotten in the routine of going to a nearby Hardee’s and having breakfast then. One of her husband’s friends saw them at Hardee’s on several occasions and told him.

One morning, her husband was part of the breakfast crowd at Hardee’s. He pulled out a handgun and shot Linda in the face and shot at Robert but missed. The husband was soon apprehended. The bullet went into Linda’s cheek and exited her jaw also. The poor mixed up husband was sentenced to ten years (I think it was ten) in prison.

I noticed that you can hardly see Linda’s scar on her face now.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Clinton Lied!

Today while driving we got behind a little red car. On the right a bumper sticker said:


and on the left a bumper sticker read:


I said I wanted to see who who was driving that car, I sped up and passed her (it was a 4-Lane blvd), looked over and it was a little old gray headed lady.
Go them'em Granny!

Gilroy Was Here!

While Googling John Gilroy (1898-1985) I came across the above two interesting items.

John Gilroy

Rocky brought us gifts from his trip to Ireland.

For me he gave me a pack Guinness Brewery coasters. There are about 30 coasters in the pack and one each one is a different lightly humor illustration by John Gilmore.

I was curious about John Gilmore and googled him. John lived from 1898 to 1985. He was born into a large family of seven siblings, 4 brothers and 3 sisters.

His art work in these coasters remind me of an illustrator’s work that maybe did the covers for some sporting magazine as Field and Stream and maybe calendars too. Or maybe I have the style confused with a blend of several artists.

The ones shown here are mostly of a zoo-keeper character he apparently developed, but there are others of working men in humorous situations.

Gilroy did Guinness art from the 1930s to the 1960s when he worked for Benson Advertising Agency. Disney made him an offer that he could refuse.

He fought in WWI in the Royal Field Artillery in France, Italy, and Palestine. He was also a highly regarded portrait artists, which he made some for members of the Royal family. He was married.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I'm On a Roll

Because I did such a good job listing my old friend Pappy’s links I thought I would try it again with a three more blog sites that I check daily:

1. Potrzebie is a site operated by Bhob Stewart who has been a MAD/Kurtzman fan as long, if not longer than I have and has a book out about one of MAD’s first artists, Wallace Wood called, Against the Grain: MAD artist Wallace Wood. Bhob also has some good jazz music to videos to appreciate.

2. Silly Humans by Michael Bains. Michael has some very good insights on people and the political climate. I should have had a link to his site long ago, but something he said then made me think he was pro-Bush, so I didn’t. I was wrong. Again, my reading comprehension was way off.

3. Ask Sister Mary Martha. The good sister is a nun with strong opinions she delivers with wit – very sharp wit. I enjoy her essays. I don’t always agree with what she says but it is her flow of wit that I appreciate.

New Hot Link - Get It While Its Hot!

A picture is worth a thousand words.

A couple of days ago I wrote that while running a search on Harvey Kurtzman I came across an old abandoned friend’s blog site about Golden Age Comics and in about a day’s time we renewed our friendship.

He has another blog which is more universal appealing (for those not golden age comic fanatics). It is similar to my site but better (we were born under the same sign)…. He deals in all subjects on a personal level and puts a lot of thought in each sentence. If you are a repeater to my blog, I think you will enjoy this blog, which he calls Paranida Strikes Again.

The above picture of the White House Clown (Ronald McBush) was his first picture on this blog.

Later today I am going to try to include it with my favorites on the right, which is always a challenge for me.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

What Happen to Junkin'?

I enjoyed watching Junkin’ on Saturday afternoon on Turner South months ago.

In general, it was about a man and a woman and their small TV producing crew visiting yard sales in the South. They would look at interesting objects out for sale and ham it up for the camera with whatever they picked up… some of it was just plain corny, but good because it was rough and candid, and unrehearsed (most likely).

Some they bought if they could talk the owners down in price then give the audience a chance to bid on it, sort of like E-Bay.

The people behind the tables doing the yard sales were real down to earth unpolished kind of people. That is what I like watching. But also the girl, Val – she was pleasant to look at – she is a gal with many unpredictable expressions.

I just about forgot about Junkin’. Someplace in my mind it was on the back burner. Like many other things on hold in my little world. This afternoon I turned the channel to 53, and Junkin’ wasn’t there. Then, I looked in our paper’s TV listings and saw that it wasn’t on for the whole week… and not only that but the cable channel it was on, Turner South wasn’t there either. I think it is an all sports channel now.

The rug was slid out from under me and I didn’t even know it.

Another Visit to the Photo Booth

Not long ago I displayed photo booth pictures of three adults - two brothers and a sister posing separately in a photo booth.

Now, here are their niece and nephew, again, a sister and two brothers, posing in a group photo in a photo booth. Based on the guesstamation of everybody's ages in both segments the photos could have been taken near the same time, maybe the same booth.

The young girl in the photos is my mother-in-law and her two brothers.

I Lost Weight!

I lost 6 pounds last week. I decided to do something about of all the enjoyment I gained during the holidays. I still have a way to go.

I picked back up exercising and being selective and even writing down what I eat. I expect the first week to be a surge then my weight lost will probably trickle down a little each week.

Why am I doing such a foolish thing? I was overweight when I had my heart-attack, and after I trimmed up after that, I regained it, and then I had a stroke.

Its about that time again.

I was talking to someone without a pound of fat on him a year or ago and he was telling me how rigid his diet was, no fried food, no fast food, no ice cream, or it seemed anything else tasteful. He said unless he is ran over by a train, he will live to be over a hundred.

“But why would you want to?” was my immediate thought.

That reminds me of two relatives which were brothers talking at a Christmas gathering. I will call one C and one P. P, overweight, was talking about the fine tasteful quality of whole milk over low-fat milk. C told him whole milk was bad and low-fat milk was better for him. P scoffed at the idea. While the two were sitting talking the subject of cemetery lots came up and C said they bought a plot. C said he and his wife has not got around to it yet, but needed to buy lots too. C said they have two plots too many and C and his spouse were welcome to take those two for their cost, which the value has went up. C was interested and talked to him more about it.

Where were C’s wife and P’s wife during this conservation? Outside smoking.

In a very short time, about two months, P died. Eight months later C’s wife died, and two and half years later P’s wife died. The three are buried in the same cemetery plot, which you can just about go back to the two brothers’ conversation and link the cemeteries.

Well, I thought it was ironic anyway.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Small Cyber World

More than a few times I have ran into people with common denominators and old friends and/or both. Reuben is a good example. He found me through my blog. I think he said he ran a search on HU-4 our old helicopter squadron in the Navy and came me. He has visited me twice in the 60s, but went on to a Navy career and we lost touch. He re-touched, after he found my blog.

Another example is an old friend which for this I will call Pappy. Back when emailing and bulletin boards were infants – in the 90s – Pappy and I ran into each other on a Prodigy bulletin board that had the running subject of Harvey Kurtzman, his artists, and all the other people that connections with the early MAD comic book. After a while, we were swapping information daily, which also developed into a daily “Good Morning” and we extended our talks to share family news, work news, and things like that. We became good friends, although we never met, and it was doubtful if we ever would, he lived in the west and I lived in the southeast.

All good things come to an end… I think we talked so much we ran out of things to talk about – burned out, so we quit communicating. Since then, I have often wondered about Pappy and his family.

The day before yesterday I ran a blog search on Harvey Kurtzman, just to see if there were some interesting blogs about the man I that I thought so much of. I came across Pappy's Golden Age Comic Blozine I loved the visuals and the excellent articles. I made a couple of comments on his posts and sent the guy an email telling him how good I thought his blog is.

Yesterday evening Pappy emailed me and told me I was his old friend. I was delighted to hear from him. He has a great site, check Pappy's Blog out.

Alls well that ends well.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Miskakes Were Made

Last night Bush said mistakes were made and he takes full responsibility. How is he going to take full responsibility? Bow his head and look ashamed for one minute?

Now, if he is talking about it is okay with him to start impeachment proceedings, then, he is talking business.

I agree, a mistake was made... a terrible mistake, which goes along with the old saying "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." In other words we made a huge mistake when we reelected the ego maniac clown. We (the American people) made the huge mistake by reelecting him, and we are taking full responsibility, over 3000, so far.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Coupons - The Winning Formula

This morning in Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader I read that only 6% of coupons are used by consumers.

I don’t know but I bet that the companies who put out these coupons have to allow enough of a profit margin to pay 100% of the coupon redeemers, not just the 6%.

Naturally, based on statistics the companies know that only 6% will use their coupons which will make their profit margin even wider than they can officially foresee. Which such an unexpected profit margin, I’m sure the CEOs get big annual bonuses for raking in the profits.

And not only that but some grocery stores, such as Krogers most the time, double their coupons, and that means they have to allow a profit margin as if 100% of their customers will use the coupons, and then they only have to pay out to the 6% coupon users, they win too.

Everybody Wins! Except the 94% of consumers that don’t use coupons, they are paying for it.

No Magnetic Sign For Me

Have you ever notice the magnetic signs on some pickup trucks? They usually advertise something the owner of the truck does for a price. I have seen independent businessmen advertise that they will haul away junk, clean out roof gutters, haul away dead dogs, and many other things that maybe somebody unskilled but is trying to make a go of it in the business community.

I think the best one I saw was not a magnetic sign but white paint on the door of a black truck. To add to the flavor the letters were crooked and some of the letters misspelled. I think there were about 4 or 5 things he listed, more than a magnetic sign could hold. He was a multi-taster. I think it would have added to it if one of the specialties was marked through, just to show the public he wasn’t ashamed to admit he is not perfect in everything.

Anyway, I decided I will not be ordering a magnetic sign or using white paint on my truck door to announce I can install water filters on the back of older refrigerators.

So, I won’t be part of the Cobb County business community of neatly dressed Republicans who go to the Cobb County Commerce Breakfasts once a month and listen to keynote speakers, or maybe even speak myself.

I made that decision yesterday while attempting to replace our water filter on the back of our refrigerator.

Before I attempted to do such a transplant, I shut off all incoming water valves – 3 or them. And the blasted thing still leaked buckets of water as I worked… literally, buckets! I got the old one off okay, and the top part of the new one attached okay, but on the other end I stripped the plastic thread trying to screw a brass coupling onto it. Then, when I tried to take it off, with my wrench I made the ridges of the plastic nut-thing smooth and trying to grip it, and water was all over the floor, then wet towels were all over the floor and a ruined new water filter.

Luckily, I caught my friend-plumber Jeff between jobs and he came and rescued me – for a price.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ireland Pictures

My son Rocky has some superb photographs of Ireland in Dublin, Belfast, and Galway on his blog that he took last week. It is a thorough look at all three cities. Look at them if you get a chance (bring your lunch).

5 BBC (Before Big Chicken)

This is The Big Chicken minus The Big Chicken when it was a Miss Georgia Dairy. (scanned from the 1960 Marietta High School yearbook The Olympian.

Old Big Chicken Before the Strong Winds

If you double click and look closely you will see the beak and the head are lined with birds sitting.

Embroidered Big Chicken

The Big Chicken Beanie Baby

The Big Chicken - You Are Here

Paris has the Eiffel Tower; New York City has the Empire State Building (pardon me if something is newer or longer lasting); Atlanta has The Peachtree Plaza; and Marietta has The Big Chicken.

Before the structure was The Big Chicken it was first a Zesto, which served custard type of ice cream. I remember when that Zesto first opened. I never had an ice cream that poured instead of scooped before. Then, about a mile away, also on Roswell Street (it becomes Roswell Road as you cross Cobb Parkway) a Dairy Queen opened up. I did not like the Dairy Queen. The ice cream was as good, but in my book they were copying Zesto. And not only that, but Zesto had a birthday club. You got a free ice cream on your birthday. I think I was about 12 then and a free birthday ice cream meant a lot.

The competition of Dairy Queen put Zesto out of business I think. The fact that the Dairy Queen was closer to town and Zesto was practically out in the country at that time. That is not the case now. It has just about flipped the opposite way.

After Zesto went under Miss Georgia opened it up as a kind of ice cream and milk shake bar. They were like Howard Johnson’s, with many flavors. I think other than chocolate and the butter pecans, all their ice creams with all the different flavors were one flavor, vanilla, and they had a big array of bottles with colored liquids in each that would give the flavor you wanted. That was before Baskin and Robbins.

Miss Georgia lasted a good while, it was something like a chain.

Then came Johnny Reb’s. The Johnny Reb restaurant chain in Metro Atlanta was owned by Tubby Davis. Johnny Reb had different type of restaurant. He had one on Cobb Parkway (then the “4-Lane” on Riverhll, just above the Chattahoochee River and behind it was a Disneyland-type of place called Storyland. And I think he had another one in downtown Atlanta. The one in front of Storyland and the one in downtown were nice restaurants. They were the kind of place you could carry your date on prom night and the waiters would kindly look the other way while you spike you and your date’s drink.

The Johnny Reb that was destined to become The Big Chicken wasn’t as upscale. I think the name of it was Johnny Reb’s Chicken Shack or something similar. Tubby Davis hired a 1957 Georgia Tech graduate who was working for Atlantic Steel to make a huge advertising statement that would stand out. The engineer designed a steel structure shaped somewhat like a chicken. It had a moving beak and rolling eyes.

In 1993 strong winds just about dismantled the metal sheets. Kentucky Fried Chicken bought the business and just about decided to flatten it and just make a standard free-standing KFC place when they realize the locals considered it a tacky landmark that was worth defending. KFC remodeled the chicken and it is still standing and flapping its beak today.

By the way, the top edges of the monstrosity is caked with pigeon and starling shit. The Big Chicken is also a good roost.

Being that it is a Kentucky Fried Chicken is probably appropriate. But, what some feel is not appropriate is the Pepsi sign on The Big Chicken. This is Coke country.

About a block away is east on Roswell Road is where Frey’s Gin was. That is the sight of the infamous Leo Frank hanging in 1913. He was accused of raping and killing 13 year old Mary Phagan. But that has nothing to do with this blog entry – or does it? I might one day in the future make an entry about this terrible happening.

The Big Chicken is a 56 ft tall structure that is something of a beacon in Marietta. Well, not really a beacon but a landmark. It is a perfect landmark for giving directions. It is at the corner of Roswell Road and Cobb Parkway (the “4-Lane” to us natives”). The two roads are the most traveled in Marietta. Everybody new and old know where The Big Chicken is located. That makes it an ideal landmark for giving directions. At that corner, almost at the center of Cobb County you can go in the four main directions. It is easy to give directions from that point, because you know the newcomer knows where The Big Chicken is.

It is also on two passing crossing highways, State Highway 120 which goes to Roswell, Georgia, if you go east and Dallas, Georgia, if you go west. Cobb Parkway runs north and south and is the US 41 Highway. If you go south you go to Atlanta and if you to north you will go to towns north, the most known is Chattanooga and Chicago.

That is true for directions. Even far out of state directions. I had a Navy friend that lived on South Troy Street in Chicago, which crossed the US 41. Before I first went to visit him he gave me directions: he said get on our street, which ran into Cobb Parkway, turn left and stay on it for about 850 miles until you get to Troy Street and turn left again. Two turns.

Maybe all roads lead FROM The Big Chicken.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Dog Named Skip(per)

When I was in about the 2nd grade we got a dog we named Skipper. We had him only a short time and he was ran over on Atlanta Street about 3 or 4 blocks away. Daddy, as a policeman, picked him up and brought him home where he died. I don’t remember much about this dog, but I do remember I was really upset when he died.

After that we got another little puppy we also named Skipper. We picked him out of a litter of one of daddy’s friends who lived in the community of Elizabeth, just north of the hospital in Marietta, in fact, within a stone’s throw of what is now Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs.

Skipper was part collie and part bird dog. He was as big as a collie or maybe bigger and had the pretty markings of a bird dog, white hair with some black spots, and black ears.

We called him “Super Dog” because he could leap fences in a single bound and quiet a lady’s man. Several of our neighbors complained about Skipper fathering their sweet little female’s latest litter.

That was before the leash law. Generally, where I rode my bike and walked to Skipper went with me, running a hundred feet or so ahead of me, exploring and sniffing things.

We lived almost two miles from the center of Marietta. Then, we had a ’53 Chevrolet. Many times, probably more times than not, when we drove off towards town going to school or whatever, Skipper would chase behind us block after block. Finally we would give in, pull over and open the truck and he would jump in and when we returned home we would opened the trunk and he would jump out, stretch, and probably adjust his eyes to the bright day.

I read in Judy's blog this morning that her cat found it a resting place in the back of her van when she was packing up stuff in the back – and went unnoticed.

That reminded me of the time we were talking and one of us said, “Where is Skipper?” We haven’t seen him around for almost a week. It was not unusual for him to be gone for a day or two at a time. It happened so frequently we would not worry, knowing he would return soon.

But this time was the longest he had gone. Had he been ran over? Did somebody steal him? We started trying to think the last time we saw Skipper and one of us remembered opening the truck for him to jump in on Lawrence Avenue.

Oh no!!!!!

We knew we had to do what we had to do. It was at least 3 days, but more likely 4 or 5 days. With hesitancy we went out and opened the trunk.

Skipper jumped out, stretched, yawned, probably adjusted his eyes, and acted as if it was all routine – like, “What are you looking at?”

The trunk was clean of any dog waste… no dog poo, no dog pee smell – just some white hair and sweat.

We got to enjoy his company for a few more years. In fact, I am not sure of his fate. Mama said she gave him to a man who owned a farm out in west Cobb County.