Friday, August 31, 2007

The Nacho Nazi

Above: Photos of Ellen Degeneres and Whoopi Goldberg, taken by Annie Leibovitz.

Today Anna and I took Anna’s ex-coworker (retired) Bridgett to the High Art Museum in Atlanta. It was our 3rd or 4th visit this year. We wanted to treat Bridgett to the Annie Leibovitz photo exhibit before it closes, which is soon.

But while there, we also pretty much covered the whole museum… studied almost every painting and every sculpture.

When we first entered we had to go through some kind of preliminary paper work. Anna took care of that while I looked at the people around us. I was pleasantly surprised to see an old high school class mate K. walk by. I called her name. She looked at me puzzled, trying to figure just who I was and what was I up to.

I told her I was Rock from high school. She remembered me and looked quiet taken back. I didn’t know what to do – should I chew on a sugar cane or something? We hugged. I introduced her to Anna. Bridgett was a few paces away so it would have been awkward to pull her over.

K is a nice success story from what I have read in the papers. She has the prefix Doctor before her name. She is a college professor, has written several fictional books based on real history of the bondage of blacks, and I forgot what else. The important thing is she is not holier-than-thou or pretentious.

Her older brother and I did not get along and had a physical fight, back when we were grammar school age and I think we both held a grudge until his senior year when we went watermelon stealing together one night. Her twin brother I didn’t know that well, he was scholarly, and I was er-well, unscholarly, to say the least.

She was telling me of another brother she has that I didn’t know existed, about 4 years younger.

Also, I had the utmost respect for her mother and father. They have both each of their names household names in the community for themselves helping the less fortunate.

We spent about four hours in the museum. Afterwards it was dinner time. We decided to eat at place my son Rocky told us about called Taquaeria del Sol. Rocky told us if we ever at there, “you better know what you want when it is your time to order”. You stand in line and order and then go sat down and they bring your food. While we were standing in line I asked the lady behind us what would she recommend and she told us. And had a few other suggestions…. Which she added: “You better know what you want when it is your time to order.”… so, we waited in line and went over the menu, weighed her suggestions and was ready to order when it was our time. \

It reminded me of the Soup Nazi on Seinfield.

We all ordered tacos and enchiladas and for starters guacamole that was thick and lumpy with nachos.

After I paid we went to find a place and it just occurred to Anna that we did not get a receipt or a little sign with a number or anything… how will they know what to bring us? She asked a waiter walking by how would they know what we ordered. He smiled and said, ”We’ll know.”

He was right. They brought the right stuff. It was good. Mine was spicy just as I ordered it. We will be back.

Somebody Shifted the Earth!

As I mentioned several times, I have noticed a cluster of Canadian Geese hanging around where an area that has been graded out, new streets paved, and new McMansions are about to go up. Just about every day I notice the geese standing around quacking or squawking or just standing, similar to day laborers.

I assume each morning it is a different bunch. I think that is what they do, land as a team, look around for something to eat, rest a little while and take off again on their long trip.

Willow and I usually walk by the area every morning about 8:00. Did they spend the night? Probably. And if we go out in the evening I see a bunch in the same place… is that a newly arrived flock? Probably.

This is the first year I have noticed the geese hanging around that certain area.

And to coincide with that, it is also the first year that a certain pond directly east about two tenths or a quarter mile away is not festered with the geese. I walk by the pond several times a week and I haven’t seen a geese there all season.

I wonder if the same geese that normally stop at the pond got something confused and landed on the side of the road? I could understand one flock of geese accidentally doing that, the lead flyer got his bearings confused or something. But a flock day after day?

I am wondering if maybe the magnetic pull or whatever guides the lead goose – to give him or her a sense of north and south – has shifted a little, causing about a quarter of a mile miss?

You never know what mystifying things Mother Nature is playing with.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

They Can Create Any Kind of Dog

A week or so ago on the National Geographic channel had an article about the generic engineering of dogs.

They said, and showed of course, that about 90% of the different breeds of dogs were not around 200 years ago. They came with the industrial revolution. They are human designed and produced.

The humans have purposely bred certain breed of dogs with a certain other breed of dog to get a certain live product. It may take several generations of breeding to get what they were planning. Some dogs were bred to hunt small game others big game. Others to be smellers to smell things out – bloodhounds come to mind; racing is another. Of course, we can not overlook the rescue dogs in the Alps with their little kegs of rum.

In the article they had a Russian man who bred dogs to smell for bombs at the airports in Russia. So far, they have been 100% right. He has a dog crew of about 40 and it took him years and years of cross breeding to come up with the perfect bomb sniffer.

There are dogs that herd, dogs that do smart things, dogs that lead the blind, and dogs that lie around and take it easy like Willow – except when she wants to gallop at high speeds all over the yard…. Incidentally she is part Whippet, I think she was designed to race.

On the National Geographic program a genetic engineer showed all these formulas on a print out, that made a dog what it was…. And how some of the chromosomes (whatever), could be lost or gained for the next generation… one set might represent hair color, another eye color, and another teeth alignment.

Which brings to mind – knowing the greed of the human race I bet there is group of scientists right now engineering a dog to have er-human like features…. Maybe some chromosomes will make it have a short snout, maybe another chain of chromosomes will cause it to be hairless, all but head full of blond hair, or maybe a red head… then, another combination would eliminate most of the 6 or 8 teats a dog has leaving only two, but all the others teats that are not there, the physical matter would gather in the two remaining ones… of course, the lips would be fuller, and engineered to hold lipstick.

It would take a special store to sell these dogs, a store for a certain kind clientele. – maybe a lot of low lights and maybe loud music and a strobe light.

Now is the time to get in on the ground floor. You will be rich in no time! Send me your money, I will see it is invested in the right breeders.*

*Preferably in unmarked bills.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Welcome To The Sunny South

The latest issue of GEORGIA BACKROADS magazine (Autumn 2007) has some interesting articles. Two of the articles deal with racism in Georgia’s past. One article is about slavery and the other is about the Jim Crow state of mind.

I don’t see how my progenitors could have condoned such. But apparently they did.

Which brings me to the above picture. I copied it from a great aunt’s collection years ago. She told me this picture was a post card from a picture that was super-big and was on a wall of the Atlanta Airport in the 1940s facing the doors people came in the building from the planes. She told me underneath the picture said “WELCOME TO THE SUNNY SOUTH!”

What was politically correct over 60 years ago is not necessary politically correct today. Time changes.

The mountain in the background has the shape of Kennesaw Mountain here in Marietta.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dr Willow, PHD(og)

The latest Family Tree Maker Genealogy program

Today I received the latest version of Family Tree Maker, which this time is call
Family Tree Maker 2008.

I just looked shot through the tutorial DVD looking here and there. The program seems to have vastly changed which a lot of bells and whistles. It gives you a lot of options with what to do with your genealogical information.

For instance, if you want to tell a story vocally about your past, you can key in your telephone number and click “call me” and then your telephone will ring and you pick it up and tell your story you wanted to tell. After you are finished, go to the site you are directed or linked to, and download the story you just told – or, I think you could do the same thing with an elderly relative. Rehearse what they are to say, maybe make a few notes to remind them, or to keep them on course, and then download their story.

I think I am going to try to download it tomorrow.

Oh me, What fine mess did I get myself into this time? (I ask myself while adjusting my derby hat).


This evening will be our last night of Dog Obedience Class at the Atlanta Humane Society.

The Atlanta Human Society has been making the news lately.

A week or two ago somebody stabbed a pit-bull with a dagger in the head. The pit-bull survived after an operation to remove the knife and the Atlanta Humane Society offered a $1000 Reward for information on whoever did it. I wonder if that is for “dead or alive”?

And of course, Atlanta being home of The Atlanta Falcons plenty of people are donating their Michael Vick’s souvenir jerseys to the Atlanta Humane Society, which the society said they are putting them in cages for the dogs, sort of like a little blanket. The society also said the dogs get attached to them and want to keep them when they are adopted, which the society obliges them.

Speaking of Michael Vick, some pet supplies stores now have Michael Vick chew toys. I am thinking of getting one – not for Willow but for me to put in my little office.

Yep, it is about to be all over with. There were six sweating and panting grueling (or drooling) weeks of instructions coming to an end.

The instructor told us she would like to see each dog perform each of the commands the dogs have been taught: Sit, Down, Wait, Stay, Heel, Come, and maybe a couple of more I don’t remember. She also said more or less, that if we show up with the dog, the dog will get a certificate.

Anna and I have been cramming with Willow for finals. Willow prefers to gnaw on a play-bone or nap instead of panting over it all. So, right now it is a mystery will Willow do her exam or wander off to sniff a butt. I keep remembering the bottom line: just show up.

The instructor also said if anybody has taught their dog a trick she would love to see that. The only trick I know Willow has done is snatch a squirrel’s tail off at high speed. I wonder if I can catch a squirrel and put it in a cage for this evening?

I can see Willow with a back robe on a little black square scabbard hat. Damn, now we have to teach her another trick! We will have to teach her to flip her tassel from one side to the next when she gets her certificate.

Shall we take Willow out to eat afterwards? Maybe to a steak house, we would have to eat on the patio of course. We could order two delicious medium rare steaks and tell the waitress to brings a few bones out too.

To quote Sandy, Little Orphan Annie's dog: "Arf!"

Monday, August 27, 2007


That's me working on me pirate's "AAARRGGGG!!"

It is official, we did the paper work. We set sail to the Bahamas in about a month.

Actually, I am trying to decide should I go as a pirate who sailed the 7 seas; or a suave smooth talking guy who wears a navy blue blazer with white pants that looks like he should be a fixture on the Christina, who knows all about sailing; or maybe the Mississippi River Boat Gambler look. Whacha think?

Monday Morning Pulpiting

Is there a Supreme Being?

I honestly do not know. But, here is a fact to ponder on the proving side. I read today in Uncle John’s Almanac that on the all overall average there are 105 male humans born for every 100 females.

I think with wars and other things men generally do more the dangerously jobs. Probably about 5% of the males don’t live long enough to settle down and raise a family.

Is the 105 boys to a 100 girls born a divine adjustment? I think it just may be probable… maybe the Supreme Being calls the 5% adjustment the “War Factor”.

And in modern times you have the divorce factor and you have always had the out-for-a-good-time factor… all these modern day factors just might short-circuit the divine computer.

But even so, with all the calculating He or They had to do, to make all living things depend on each other in harmony – do you really think He (or They) is/are concerned about religious formalities, ceremoniously parading around in robes with gold lace, staffs, and all that? I don’t think those superficial things would be needed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

More Ados From Across the Street

As I said before, there is never a dull moment across the street.

And this is good therapy for to sit down and type out my feelings. However, you may be saying, "That's good for you but what do I get out of it?" Maybe pleasure seeing someone suffer and glad it is not you? Pity? I don't know.

Last weekend Joe acquired a Wrangler red jeep. I wouldn’t say he “bought” the jeep, although he may have, but for now he possesses it anyway.

The jeep either does not have a muffler or it is not on correctly – the loud unmuffled engine sounds like an engine at a carnival.

It is a convertible jeep that you can manually remove the top and fold it up. Joe prefers to have the top off. At one point he took off the two doors and leaned them against the house to join other things leaning or close to the house. I think it probably looks cooler to have the doors off – kind of like your ball cap on backwards. But now, the doors are back on. Maybe that is a safety hazard if the shotgun rider is holding a baby – especially the way Joe like to squeal his tires around curves.

Just after Joe got the jeep while I was out cooking on the grill I heard Joe talking loudly in a hollering fashion. He reminded of the Baptist preachers that used to be AM radio… hollering and gasping for breath between sentences. He was hollering at his baby’s mama. She was sitting not saying a word.

I imagine she may have said something like, “Good you got a jeep, now you can carry me to work!” And he hit the roof. She got a job at McDonald’s about 1.5 miles away and I suppose sometimes she had to walk to work. Joe has no job.

Now, with a jeep, hauling his mate back and forth to work would certainly take up fun time in the jeep.

After he hollered at her a while he hopped in his jeep and rode around the block and stopped two doors down and tooted his horn. His friend came out and he came him a squealing ride.

Yesterday my neighbor Jim called me and told me the hummingbirds are at their height of populating the area. I looked out the window while he was talking and sure ‘nuff, a saw a hummingbird dart of in an oak tree and another hummingbird at one of our hb feeders.

Then Jim went on to say, “Did you see the ruckus this morning?”

No, I didn’t, what?

Joe and his mate got into an argument out in front of the house. Soon they were going at it physically, Joe got her in a headlock and dragged her inside the house. Moments later the mate came storming out with her pocketbook. He lounged out of the house after he, literally picked her up (she is a short person) and totted her back into the house with her kicking and screaming.

In the process she dropped her pocketbook. Joe came out and got the pocketbook and went through it, looking at everything in it.

I wonder if this had anything to do with a visit from the case worker the day before. I was cutting grass and the case worker was there. I saw her get out of her car and go in. During the time she was there a pickup truck drove up and sat there. The mate came out and got into the truck for a second and got back out and went back into the house. Then, several minutes later she came back out and got into the truck again. A girl about her age was behind the wheel.

I wonder if they enjoying a joint why the case working was doing her paperwork?

Jim asked me if I had seen the baby lately and I said no – not that I recall. He said a friend of the mate’s mother reported her as being a neglected parent and they were trying to find out who reported them so they could kick their blankity blank. But Jim suspected the authorities took the baby away.

Jim also said the next time he saw violence over there he was going to call the cops, as far as he knew the baby was still there and could be in danger. I told him I agreed, I would do the same.

The latest – this morning at daybreak: We have tire skids on our front lawn. A bunch of cars gathered across the street last night, it looks like one of them wanted to make a statement when they left.

All things come to an end. I am trying to be patient.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Geese Git!!!

This morning on our walk (didn’t run) we again came across a bunch of Canadian Geese standing around just off the road we were on and the drive going into a newly cut subdivision. This is at least five, maybe six, times I have seen the Canadian fowl there.

Once, like today, I just walk by and there they were standing, and I think one time riding by in the car there was a bunch standing there.

The area must be an official designated rest stop for Canadian Geese.

Then there was the time a few days ago I noticed the man that lives across the street from the new subdivision swiftly walking towards the geese waving his hands as to scare them away – which I think he successfully did just that because I saw a flock in their V pattern taking flight just about a block away.

Which brings to mind, why should the old fart care if the geese take a breather from flying or not? What’s it to him?

I have noticed a couple of times in the evening after the workers in the newly built subdivision leave he will stand about where the geese were standing and watch his two grandkids ride up and down the vacant new streets on their bikes, without having to worry about cars.

Now, he must think he owns it, and that area is just for him and his grandkids.

In the past few years the same man has accumulated two huge camper-like vehicles, something like Winnebago’s. The both sit in his back yard, which makes it crowded because he also had a pool added… then he had a big utility shed added – it looks like you would have to take a deep breath and tiptoe to get around his backyard – no wonder he needs the extra space across the street – who does those Canadian Geese think they are?

The Wild Hogs is not The Wild Ones - but similar

The Wild Hogs.

We rented the movie The Wild Hogs yesterday. It is about four middle aged men who make up a yuppie weekend bikers group, who needed a change in scenery, so to speak. They decided to take a ride to the west coast. It is traveling movie in a way. They run into a bikes association that take the members take themselves more seriously, and the fun begins!

It stars Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy.

My in-depth review: It was pretty good, mostly funny. It could almost be rated G and be a Disney movie if it didn't have any bad-words in it, which it does.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Suddenly It All Made Sense!

There may be pieces of a puzzle laying around in front of you and you don’t even know they are pieces of a puzzle that if put together make a bigger picture.

Years ago we had a locksmith come and do some work.

This locksmith is a big man with a beard. By his attire he prefers to give the image of a Hell’s Angel kind of guy. He wears a lot of leather kind of stuff, rings, Celtic crosses dangling around his neck, and I forgot if he sports any tattoos or not.

He reminded me of the bearded cyclist that was a reoccurring character in the soap opera “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”.

His locksmith shop is on a little driveway behind the local Dairy Queen. I forgot why, but one time I had to go by his shop to pick up something or maybe to have a key made and the shop had little pieces of junk all over the inside – I don’t see how he could find anything, but he did with no problem. The building looks to be about 8 feet by 14 feet. Mostly there is a counter and a old couch. A small black and white tv was on the counter and he and an elderly lady, probably “Mama” were engrossed in a soap opera.

Not that his attire has anything to do with this posting but while he was in front of me I thought I would describe him so you would a better picture.

While he was at my house doing his work he looked over across the street at Bob’s house and said something to the effect, “Your neighbor is a sorry person, we go back a long time. He owes me money” and he said it several ways over the next 20 to 30 minutes, but that was about the story. He didn’t give any details.

That was years ago.

Now, lets leap to the present. Bob is in prison until December.

I was out working in the yard a day or two ago, picking up litter and debris that found its way from across the street to our yard. If I see a McDonald’s milk shake cup in their yard one day, I can count on picking it up out of my yard in a day or so. I could just go ahead and get it out of the way and go across the street with a sack and police their yard but I prefer that that to do it the way we do it now.

A pickup truck drove up in their driveway and blew the horn. The daughter came out and hollered, “Joe’s not here! He is having to work today!”

“Where at?”

“Behind the Dairy Queen – he is doing some work for grandpa.”

Ahah! So Joe’s grandfather owns the land behind the Dairy Queen – which is the property the locksmith is/was on. Bob could have easily been on the property helping somehow and hit the locksmith for a loan or did some kind of shady business deal with him. I don’t know the details, but you can bet there were details.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday's Exercise

Kudzu landscape

This morning I walked 62 minutes and ran 26 minutes. If one was watching me exercise they might say I made a feeble attempt to walk 88 minutes.

There is a teenager that lives two blocks from here that rides the bus. He is a tall gawky kid. I think he is probably 16 or 17 years of age and well over 6 ft tall. I have walked by him a number of times and he has yet looked up at me. He is always looking down. I think that is his regular demeanor – like he feels constantly intimidated. I would not be surprised to learn that he is picked on in high school.

In fact, maybe Willow would like to join the gang and pick on him too. We walked by him and Willow growled, which is very unlike her to growl at any being, animal or human. Even, when we got by him she looked back and gave a kind of under her breath bark, like a disapproving sound.

I think it is possible that Willow picked up something very negative about the guy.

We didn’t see him this morning because he were going by his stop earlier than usual to beat the heat.

However, a mile or so way, was a another bully target waiting on the bus. He was a scrawny little guy that looked very nerdy and studious. He was blankly looking into space, while, across the street was a heavy-set egomaniac teenage boy pacing back and forth with a sneer on his face looking at the kid, like he could not wait to get his hands on him and bully him some more. He reminded me of Mike Fink, the Keel Boat Captain and/or the bully-guy in the movie “Back To The Future”. I hate to profile, but big bullies with ego problems just act too much alike.

Then an unusual thing happened. An Indian teenager (Far Eastern) walked up to the bully and laughed about something and talked smoothly to each other. Apparently the Indian kid and the bully had some things in common and seemed to appreciate each other.

Wait! This goes against my profiling rules. The Indian (Far Eastern) kid is suppose to be standing, non-smiling, across the street by the nerdy kid, looking into space.

Is the whole world going mad?

I remember our biology teach in college telling us the sequence of events of when England declared Australia their colony and had British troops stationed there an Officer’s wife brought a cactus to plant in her new back yard. There was not natural enemy of the cactus, so it grew too much. To halt its growth, the British brought in rabbits to eat the cacti. Guess what, the rabbits had no natural enemy in Australia so the rabbit population got out of hand. So, then the Brits imported a certain kind of snakes that loved to eat rabbits… and guess what? You know.

Which brings me to mind my walk and run this morning. Not long ago, on long roads much of the countryside was overtaken by the running vine plant Kudzu. I think I read that Kudzu can grow a over a foot a day in the summer. Sometimes it is not unusual to see trees and deserted lost in Kudzu – it has sort of a surrealist look… piles of kudzu in shapes of houses, barns, and trees.

Kudzu was imported from Japan. It was imported to help prevent soil erosion. Guess what, it has no natural enemy. It overtook the south.

Now, a natural enemy to Kudzu has arrived. Unfortunately, it also the natural enemy to other natural forms of wildlife: The McMansion.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Jones Family Cemetery

This is the Jones family cemetery on the edge of an Industrial Park someplace in the old Milton, Georgia, area, presently near the Fulton and Forsyth Countys’ line.

I think it has been vandalized before. A fence is around it now, which probably makes it even more of a challenge.

Agnes Amanda Allen (1821-1970) was is Anna’s g-g-g-grandmother. She married Seaborn Jones. Before she married her initials were AAA.

Isaac Wesley Bagley (1840-1930) was married to Martha Frances Jones, Anna’s distant cousin.

V. Bascomb Bagley (1876-1957) was a son of Isaac and Martha Frances Jones Bagley.

Sarah Ann Elizabeth Brown (1848-1920) was Anna’s g-g-grandmother. She was married to William C. “Buck” Jones.

Sarah L. Jones (1852-1906) is Anna’s distant cousin. She married William R. Powell. It appears that her marker either fell or was toppled and broke.

John Seaborn Jones (1884-1886).

Martha Frances Jones (1854 – 1936) was Anna’s distant cousin. She married Isaac Baglely.

Seaborn Jones (1814-1891) was Anna’s g-g-g-grandfather.

William Cinitra “Buck” Jones (1850-1930) was Anna’s g-g-grandfather.

William R. Powell (1843-1920) was married to Sarah L. Jones.

Bumper Sticker

Amount of Freedom equals the Distance Between Church and State

Extra! Read All About It!

Thinking about the comic strips makes me also think of the newspapers they were in. “Li’l Abner” was in the Atlanta Journal, the evening newspaper, and “Pogo Possum” was in the morning paper, The Atlanta Constitution. They both were printed on the same presses and had the same owner (the Cox family). In recent years the two papers combined into one. But now, with news found so easily on the Internet - who knows what is the future of the newspapers.

“Little Orphan Annie” was in the Constitution. “Buz Sawyer” was in the Journal along with “Dondi”, which I think was an off-shoot of Buz Sawyer – or maybe “Steve Canyon”?

I delivered the Atlanta Journal and got to know it's format well. On the front page was a small two or three paragraph column called ‘Piney Woods Pete’ who delivered somewhat of a open-minded conservative view, which some believed Piney Woods was really Ralph McGill. Also on the cover was “Street Scenes” which was a little blocked off area that told of usually three funny or oddities that happened in the area.

The morning paper, The Atlanta Constitution, had a slogan, “Covering Dixie like the Dew” or something like that.

On Sundays The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution combines their publications into one. The Thanksgiving day paper was always the largest (pre-Christmas ads) and Christmas Day was just about the smallest.

Weekly Saturday was the smallest paper. I always enjoyed the Saturday paper because it usually, if not always, had a paid ad for the Pickrick Restaurant – which mostly consisted of the political views of the behind-times nut Lester Maddox, the owner. It was entertainment to me – I didn’t take him seriously… who knew he would be governor some day? And the ad would also tell the special for the upcoming Sunday – Drumsticks 19¢, wings 15¢.

Also, something else in Saturday’s The Atlanta Journal I can’t quiet pull from my weak mind to remember: part of Saturday’s paper was printed on green paper. Maybe it was the TV schedule…. Oh well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meet Joe Btfsplk!

This is Joe Btfsplk. He was a reappearing character (when needed) in Al Capp's Li’l Abner comic strip years ago.

See the black cloud over his head. The black cloud symbolizes all the bad luck that goes where Joes goes. Wherever Joe went mayhem went too.

I remember in a fairly recent novel by Sharyn McCrumb she mentioned “the little man in Li’l Abner with a black cloud over his head”. Well, that was Joe Btfsplk. I’m glad he got some recognition, even if his name wasn’t used.

The reason I am introducing him now, is several times in the past on this blog I almost referred to him – but, if you don’t know who I am referring to, then the point is lost.

Meet Joe Btfsplk!

Speaking of Archie and Plagiarism

Above is our 4th grade glass. Archie, Walker, and I are on the front row kneeling. Walker is a reader of this blog. Walker has taste.

Don’t get the wrong idea, Archie was one of a kind in his own shy way. I am speaking of my plagiarism.

I mentioned Archie yesterday in my post and kicked my memory some.

Archie and I (and about 28 others) spent the first seven years of our academic life together. As I mentioned, Archie was shy – if the teacher called on him. But he was also a good student, just quiet. When my buddies and I were making a racket in class you could hear Archie giggle, which sounded similar to a pigeon cooing.

Once Archie and his family lived on the north side of Marietta for a short time, which would make him out of our school district, but I think his parents probably talked to someone in the school board of letting him stay at Waterman Street School. I think he was there the entire seven years.

He lived next to my mother’s sister, who was a new bride, and her husband. On one of my family’s visits he and I discovered many arrow heads. They were real arrow heads – made of flint and all that kind of stuff, chiseled to have a point on one end and wide fish tail base. We had a jar full between us. I don’t remember what happened with my share of the arrowheads. I probably traded them off for whatever I was collecting a year or so later.

Another time he and his family lived in the Clay Homes, which was a low rental project – which I spent from age 1 to age 7 at. My grandmother lived there the same time Archie’s family was living there.

One time while my family was visiting Grandma I over next door in Archie’s bedrooms talking about whatever preteen boys talk about and going through his comicbook collection.

He had MAD comicbook #4. My life changed. I suddenly transformed into another being. More about that MAD (and plagiarism) later.

I sat down and read every page of that comic and I was reborn – or maybe re-afterbirth. The comic made fun of authority, trademarks, and it held nothing sacred – it was my kind of comic book. From that point on to present I just about looked at thing through MAD eyes… or my sense of humor changed anyway.

Here is the comic book that transformed me. The cover was illustrated by the editor, Harvey Kurtzman. Noticed his unique signature?

In high school Archie and I went our separate ways… it was a merging of all the kids in Marietta our age of five or six – maybe seven – grammar schools. Then it was a case of water seeking its own level.

We made new friends with similar interests. You probably can use another plumber’s metaphor here: Shit flow downhill.

I think sometime in high school Archie and his family moved to the county and he went to a county school.

When I got of the Navy in July 1965 Archie was my mother and father’s mailman. Mama had him a glass of ice water waiting for him everyday, and he would sit on the door step and take a break and cool off. We were glad to see each other. It was also the last time I saw him.

When I transferred to the Marietta Post Office about 16 or 17 years later Archie was working at Lockheed.

That was 42 years ago. I think he is probably still alive.

In MAD #4 I was very impressed with the first story, SUPERDUPERMAN, which was a lampoon on SUPERMAN. It was expertly illustrated by Wallace Wood – who gave it just enough whimsical non-sense. Of course, then reading MAD for the first time, I did not know Harvey Kurtzman wrote every word and was demanding just how the illustrations were to be…. Whatever his demands were, they worked! I was hypnotized.

Here are a few of samplings of the SUPERDUPERMAN story:

When I was flipping through Archie’s comics and MAD I should have been home working on a short essay using creative writing that Mrs. King, our 7th grade teacher assigned us. I kept procrastinating and finally, had it put out of mind.

But when I got home I had a new inspiration. SUPERDUPERMAN! I think I remembered the whole story, every panel and every panel. I sat down and wrote it – almost exactly as I read it. Mrs. King thought it was great. She had me read it to the class. Only Archie knew just how “original “ I was.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Poetry Not Suiting the Occasion

This is my 1300th post for this blog. That sure was a lot about nothing! So, to continue the tradition:

Sometimes a poem has good intentions but misses the point.

Back when I was at Waterman Street Grammar School in the late 1940s I remember the kids restrooms were in the dark huge scary basement. The boys were on one side and the girls were on the other side. In between were scary dark corridors.

In the boys’ restroom was a long trough that the boys would urinate onto a cement wall which the pee would flow down into a trough. The more talented boys would have pissing contests to see how high up on the wall they could go. Archie was the leader. Archie was the shy type that when called upon to read something aloud, his face would turn red. But he didn’t mind whipping it out and pissing up the side of a cement wall.

There was also a row of stalls for bowel movements. The doors were removed. I remember in one stall, I think the 2nd one from the urinal trough, was a little handwritten plagiarized poem:

Here I sit broken hearted,
I paid a nickel,
And only farted.

That poem tells a lot. For instance it tells the price of things those days. A nickel for the use of a stall. I don’t think you have to pay anything now, I think charging was ruled unconstitutional. But before it was declared unconstitutional I think you had to fork over a quarter or maybe even more.

And the fact the little boy, grammar school age, probably thought the same neat poem was witty and fitted the occasion for any bathroom stall, even ones that don’t have doors.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm the Leader of the Pack!

I quit running for a while because of the suspected heart problem the doctor thought I had. I kept up my walking.

Now, I am building up my running again with my trainer Willow. I have adding a minute each time I run. Today we ran 22 minutes and walked 46 minutes in the furnace outdoors.

The dog obedience teacher, the dog book I am reading, and the Dog Whisperer all say that dogs operate on a hierarchy system. You can argue politics all day with them but their instinct is to be a pact leader or follow a pack leader.

All three suggest you put yourself as the pack leader. At times I think Willow challenges my authority and tries to be the pack leader herself.

This morning while running she was running on my left. She saw something interesting on the right and cut across to smell it. I plowed right into her, stepping on her foot. She yipped and we both jumped.. I jumped away from the point of impact and so did she. Again, I landed on her foot. She yipped again.

After that she seemed to teach me with a new respect and stayed on my left side.

I am the new pack leader! When Anna is not around, anyway.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Roaming on a Hot Fridy In Smyrna, Ga

Yesterday, I was in neighboring Smyrna, Georgia, with about a two hour wait. Anna had a hair appointment. I have found two hours to be about right for a good long walk in Smyrna’s downtown uplifted section and while there visit the Smyrna Library. They have MAD magazine as one of their magazines on the magazine rack and they also have a good genealogy section.

It was too hot to walk. Being the softy I am, I decided to spend the time in the air conditioned library.

I went to the magazine section and went to the magazine wall, and the place the MAD magazine was marked there was no MAD magazine. I picked up an Archeology magazine instead. Walking to nice cushioned armchair I passed a black man sitting on a double couch. He was young with a fatigue shirt on… and patches with statements sewed all over his fatigue shirt. He was asleep. I suspected he was the one with the MAD magazine. He was, it was sitting on the other seat of his couch.

I flipped through the magazine looking at the pictures and the descriptions under the pictures and then got the latest National Geographic off the wall and flipped though it. The guy was still sleeping, hogging the MAD magazine.

I picked a Dog World magazine off the wall and flipped through it. I was hoping there would be articles about dogs’ habits and instincts. No, they were more interested in breeding. Article after article about breeding. It is not a magazine for rescued dog owners.

Then, I decided to take a chance. I walked over and took the Mad magazine from the seat next to the guy. I felt like George in Seinfield.

I flipped thought it… it seemed slightly better than last month’s issue, but still not a premium humor as it used to be… I think now they are going after the young women’s market – or so it appears.

Then I got sleepy. Maybe the MAD gave me the same boredom as the guy I got it from.

I went to the rack and got something else but by then I was pretty much a goner. I was just too drowsy to read.

To wake up I needed to get circulation in my body. I walked up the stairs to the second level. There, I went to the Genealogy Research Room, which is an interesting room.. it is like a little rotunda or maybe a miniature Oval Office with a large amount of research book. I found a good book which I found an ancestor’s will, transcribed word for word. Since I didn’t plan on this I didn’t have a pen or paper. I used the copier machine.

I put a quarter into the machine. I think the copies were 15 cents each. After I took the first copy I saw I needed more pages copied but did not have any more change so I fed the machine a dollar and took several more copies. Then, I was through and had $.40 left to use. I looked around and found a possible two buttons to press to get my change back. I pressed each one at a time and each one at the same time and the 40¢ remained on the digital readout. It wasn't going anywhere. I was in the room along - for a brief moment I considered raising that cover over the glass, lowering my pants and sitting down, and show them what I think about their machine change giving ability.

I left the library happy. I had genealogy notes and had read the latest MAD.

But I was still drowsy, so I went to the drive-thru at a Chic-Fi-and ordered a small coffee. When it was my time at the window to receive the coffee the Latino lady took one look at me and said, “That’s OK, its free!” Did I get it on my looks? Yep, the Senior look.

Next we had lunch at an upscale place my son has high regard for, also in Smyna. The sandwiches were delicious – but costly. It was nothing like Brandi's Famous Hot Dogs where you face a sign when you enter that says, "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service." When we came in you can see the chef’s section. They had a huge fish of some kind cutting it. Somebody said something about heating a cookie in a microwave and one of the chefs said they didn’t have a microwave, then he scoffed, “Not in my restaurant!”

Did he mean me or a microwave?

Friday, August 17, 2007

For Every Solution There Is A New Problem

We have read that two things will certainly change the subject when a dog is behaving in a way we don’t want. One is rattling a Coke can with pebbles in it. Willow can not stand that racket and dashes away, wishing she had hands to hold against her ears. Another thing is a water gun. While she is being naughty, so to speak, squirt her with a water gun and she retreats and gets herself out of shooting range.

When Anna comes home from work Willow gets so excited she get uncontrollable jumping on Anna, almost knocking her down and also scratching her arms. Solutions: can of pebbles or a water gun. It has worked every time.

The past two times I have cut grass with the riding lawnmower Willow has got ahead of me and ran backwards, being very close to the machine… one slip up and she will be one blended dog.

I decided to have a water gun on my person the next time I rode the mower, ready to blast her with a squirt. I hid the water gun in my pants and when Willow got in front of the moving mower I carefully and slowly pulled out my gun.

Willow saw what I up to and dashed away and kept her distance… which is good – it kept her away while I was cutting the grass. I am mildly surpised she recognized the water gun.

But I was thinking, riding the riding lawnmower or any other time you need the water gun handy if you have to go get the water gun and loaded it with water it loses its effect. So, I was thinking I need some kind of holster.

Then I was thinking to keep it cheap I would have to buy one (water gun holster) at Wal-Mart – which is meant for kids, so it probably would not fit around me, so I would have to wear it like a shoulder holster. Then – what if I forget it is there and go to the Post Office or Krogers and there I am seen wearing a plastic belt & holster around my shoulder? Would I be looked on as a nut?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Westmoreland Diary

This book is what I call the Westmoreland Diary.

It is a diary or journal of the community and the Westmoreland family. The weather is recorded, who bought what calf from whom, who married, who died, who had an accident.

It was kept by a member of the Westmoreland family who, I think self-appointed herself to keep journalistic records of the area.. By some of the mournful outlooks I think it was written by Minnie Westmoreland, wife of Ben Westmoreland and mother of Bonnie and Gwen Westmoreland.

I am interested in the contents, not only for the day to day living described, but there are bits about my Hunter family and Anna’s Prance family. They all lived in the same community, which centered mostly around Noonday Baptist Church.

The Westmoreland lived at the corner of Bells Ferry and Booth Road. At the time of the writings, from the early 1900s to the middle 1900s that particular area was a small community, everybody knew one another and many times related to each other.

My great grandfather William Hunter is mentioned several times here and there and also some of his sons, but most of all, William’s son Arthur Hunter is mentioned many times. Why? Because he married Gwen Westmoreland.

Arthur and Gwen Westmoreland Hunter moved to Cordele, Georgia, not long after they were married, but apparently, kept the road in between both points hot – or at least dust flying.

Also, the members of the Prance and Wright family are mentioned here and there – which would be Anna’s kinfolks.

Of course the Hunters, Prances, and Wrights had no idea they would be in-laws, after they were dead.

Only by chance did I end up with these pages copied. My mother-in-law asked me to scan them for a church project on the history of Noonday Church that she is doing. So, ahem!, I ended up with a copy of each page.

There are 70 pages. I have so far transcribed 7 pages, which is 10% of the entire volume, so I thought I would show those now, and possibly show increments as I transcribe more pages. It may take a while to get all of them finished… I juggle several projects all the time.

A few mechanics of it: The diary was recorded on an old ledger book. Well, I guess when she started off it wasn’t old, but it increased in age the same as its author. At first, the writing is perk… near the end the writings appear to be shaky.

Also some of the dates are sometimes confusing, in the wrong place in the book, not in chronological order… but those are few and rare.

The Westmoreland diary:

Page 1:

We left our old home in Chattooga Co., Ga., Jan 12, 1903.

Moved to the Posey Reed place Dec 22, 1903.

We moved into Jarmer’s house November 26 1917.

George Latimer died May 30, Wed. Buried May 31, 1973.
George was 83.

W.L. Durham telephone number West 1865j.
Brooks on Russer Street 1704j.

Mrs. Johnny Brown died Tuesday, May 29, 1973. Buried May 30, 1973.
Mrs. Brown was 70 years old.

Page 2:

Jelly made in 1910. Apricot 20 glasses.
Apple 12 “.

Page 3:


Harry Latimer died Feb 23 1915, and Jim Role died Oct 16, 1915. Two brothers died in less than eight months. Both had consumption.

Old Mr. Russell died Oct 23 1915. Buried at Dawson Cemetery.

Anna May Latimer died Jan 13, 1917.

Page 4:

Jack Poor was killed in Birmingham, Ala., Oct 16, 1915. He and three others were killed by an explosion. Jack was buried at Bascomb (Methodist Church) Monday.

John and Len Booth’s son Gland died Nov 6 1915.

Arthur Hunter (William Hunter’s son) left Woodstock Sunday, Oct. 31, 1915 and went to Cordele, Ga. Gwen and the children came down here Nov 4 and staid until Dec. 10. They left here this morn and was going by Mr. Prances’ (Anna’s relative) then on by the boys. Ben and Olin were going on to Marietta and carry cotton. James and Luella are going on to Atlanta with Gwen. They will go to Will’s tonight and to Cordele tomorrow.

We bought our new stove Dec 18, 1915.

Mr. Mack Dobbs dropped dead at his home at Blackwell Nov. 29, 1915, was buried at Dawson Cemetery Nov 31, 1915.

Cousin George Griffith died last week in Nov. 1915.

George Coggins’ barn was burned Saturday night Dec. 4, 1915, and two other barns and two dwellings burned Sunday night Dec 5, 1915.

Pearl Prance died Thursday night at 8 o’clock Dec 9, 1915. Bro. Dyer preached her funeral at their home at 2 o’clock and buried at the grave yard at 4 o’clock.

Robert moved to Mr. Hunter’s (William Hunter) Friday, Dec 17, 1915.

Blanch Beavers and Willard Rich was married Dec 25, 1915.

Mr. M.R. Lyons of Marietta was buried January 31, 1916.

Page 5:

Bonnie went home with Will and Lou Jan 2 1916. Staid there a week came to Smyrna Monday eve and spent the night with Ludie Paris and staid til Thursday. Lois went with her papa (she and Mary Lou Tate) to Marietta Thurs the 13th and Bonnie came up with her papa, Lois, and Mary Lou staid. It turned so cold they had to stay until the next Wednesday.

Mrs. Jane Tate died suddenly Feb 10, 1916. She had been sick a few days. She was buried Sat the 12, at the Gresham Cemetery.

Mr. Willis Pear died Feb 11, 1916.

Miss Malinda Newton died Feb 12, 1916.

Cousin Ollive McGriff of Atlanta spent the night with us Feb 12, 1916,

Emma Durham came the 17th of Feb and she and Lois went to Mrs. Stennent’s Sun the 20th and staid there ????. Emma left here the 26th for home.

We sat out 100 cabbage plants Thursday the 24th of Feb. We had the garden turned that day.

Lois got Midget from Mr. ?, Sat Feb 26, 1916. She was 7 weeks old when Lois got her.

Bonnie took her bed with the griffe (?), Sat, Feb 26, 1916.

Lois took her bed Sun Mar the 5th and I went bed Mon the 6th but did not stay in bed but for 2 or 3 days. Bonnie was in bed a week. Lois and I were not sick as long.

March the 22nd 1916 was the windiest I think I ever saw, There was big fires that day in Augusta, Ga., and Nashville, Tenn.

Mrs. Cynthia McHan was taken sick Monday Apr 24, 1916 and died Sat morn at 2:15 Apr 29. Was buried at the Gresham Cemetery Sunday morn Apr 30. Brother Dyer preached the funeral. There was a large crowd there. We will miss her. She was 81 years old Oct 1915.

Page 6:

Gwen and children came July 14 and Arthur came the 20th. They left here and went to Wooster (?) July 26, went to Atlanta the 28, got home the 29th.

Bonnie sold her calf July 14 1915, to Mr. Austin for $100. Lois sold her heifer to Max Durham July 18, 1916, for $15.

They commenced working on the McHan Bridge Aug 16, 1916.

Aunt Amelia Durham came to Pa’s on Aug 16, 1916. She, Pa, and Ma spent yesterday the 18th with Aunt Ella came to Pa’s ???. I have not seen her yet.

Mary Nelson came October the 9 and Lizzy D????? October 16.

Cousin William Cooper, Cousin Laura, Rex, Ralph, and Mildred came from Fountain Barn (?), S.C., Aug 22, 1916, and made the trip in one day.

Howard Durham and Mr. Culverson came Wednesday night and staid here til morn.

Sold Zeppa to Homer Rick Sept 21, 1916, for $30.00

There was a ???? earth quake shock this ??? 4:30 o’clock. It was raining and the wind blowing hard but we felt the shock very plain.

Ren Ligen and Annie Downs Kilgore married Oct 24, 1916.

Gwen and children came Nov 16, 1916 – Moved back from Cordele.

Page 7:

Cousin Nathan Fowler died Fri Dec. 8, 1916.

Cousin Sue Reed died Thurs Dec. 21, 1916.

Bonnie went down to Willis Dec 24, 1916. She went to the hospital sometime that week and was operated on Jan 1st, 1917. Bonnie came home sick Jan 7, and broke out with measles. She was in bed five weeks. She went into the kitchen and ate dinner for the first time Feb 15, 1917.

Anna May Latimer died Jan 13th, 1917.

William Allen Hunter got his leg broke Sun morn, Jan 28, 1917. They carried him to the sanitarium the 31st.

Charlie Hunter had his sale Jan 31, 1917, and moved in with his father.

Mr. Henry Petree died Feb 8, 1917.

Rev. E.M. Dyer’s house burned Feb 9, 1917,

Gwen and children came Feb 20 the first time they have been here this year. William is getting along very well, he can’t walk yet.

Mr. Eugene Booth was ordained to the ministry at Noonday Church Sat., March 31, 1917.
Dr. ????, Dr. Jamerson, and Rev E.M.. Dyer was there had dinner on the ground and spent the day.

Lucile Wilson’s husband Mr. Chaney was killed Mar 31, 1917.

Miss Sallie Latimer and Mr. Lern Bennett married Apr 14, 1917.

Elvis Presley Died For Your Sins!

Wait! Actually He died for His sins.

On this date 30 years ago Elvis died. Four or five years ago we paid homage to him and toured Graceland.

About the only thing I know to say about him is that he sure could sing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An Evening With The Braves

Years ago with the scouts, our boys’ baseball team, or school, I forgot which , we went to a Braves’ night game at the Atlanta Stadium. Over a several year period we went to about a game a year. This was one of the first times we went – I remember I was impressed with the Wave, the bouncing beach ball, and the “Charge” music when it would make all the difference in the world if the Braves scored.

At this game, I remember Dale Murphy was up to bat, the bases was loaded, and the score was something 9 to 11, favoring the other team.

Everybody was hollering to tell him to knock it out of the park. I thought I would join the festivity and holler too. I hollered, “Dale! HIT A HOME RUN!!!”

Just the second I started hollering my message it was on of those rare instances that everybody were between sentences or hollering words. My voice carried over most the stadium better than a PA system would have done. Everybody turned and looked at me. Dale Murphy looked up towards me – but I wasn’t positive he was looking at me.

Before I realized it, time was called. Dale, the batting manager, and I think it was Bobby Cox was standing away from the plate talking. The also were looking very serious. Dale pointed up at me. The other two looked up to where he was pointing. They both focused on me at the same moment, I could see it in their body language.

I felt kind of silly, all three of them looking at me and other people in the stadium also looking at me. I sort of gave all three of them a half-hearted wave. They, in-turn, gave a recognition of my wave by a nod.

Then they got back in their conversation. Finally, Bobby Cox nodded and he and the batting manager marched off the field.

Dale knocked a home run and the three men on base ran in, which scored 4 points in a row. The managers and Dale Murphy gave me a big hearty “We did it!” wave.

The next half inning something similar happened. Again, I was caught up in the fever of hollering instructions, she same as all the people around me were doing, and I hollered, “Strike him out!”

Again, my voice traveled, because it was bellowed out between shouts of other people. Like sometimes in school when my voice carried when everything fell silent and I ended up in trouble.

Again the there was a time out with Bobby Cox (I think), the pitcher, and the pitching manager. Again, they followed my suggestion and struck out the batter.

The Braves won.

As we were gathering up our belongings getting ready to leave two men in suits approached me. They were all smiles. They were had some papers… they asked me how would I like to come to work for the Braves as a Strategy Advisor for 500k annually.

I thought about it for a second and told them no. I told them I worked for the Postal Service and if I didn’t show for work tonight some people, including them, just might not get their mail tomorrow. And of course, getting the mail through is much more important.

I walked away with my head high.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Iolta Methodist Church Cemetary, Macon Co, NC

The last cemetery on this blog was Iotla Baptist. Now, it is Iotla Methodist in Macon County, NC – just down the road. I was mildly surprised that only a few relatives were buried at Iotla Methodist. But again, it is a small cemetery.

Clarabell Barnard Fouts was wife of William Theodore Fouts (1878-1956). My data on him shows he is also buried here but I did not see his marker. Theodore is my 2nd cousin, once removed.

William and Clarabell’s daughter Astor Fouts lived only 17 years.

I don’t know if I am related to Norman Lynch Barnard (1851-1927) or not, I took the picture for future reference. With the last name of Barnard chances are he is related to Clarabell Barnard Fouts. Also, with the middle name Lynch he may be a descendant of my g-g-g-g grandmother Mary Zilphia Lynch Rhodes (Roads) Trammell. It is unclear if her first marriage was a guy name Lynch or Rhodes (Roads). I think she was a Cherokee Indian.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Daddy's Birthday

If my father was still alive he would turn 96 today. He died in 1988, about a month short of his 77th birthday.

He was a big gentle man who always spoke softly. As kids, some of my fatherless friends he took special interest in to see that they didn’t get short changed in their formative years.

He loved to tell long adventurous tales, making up as he went to his nieces and nephews with them sitting in his lap. He had a number of siblings, each with younger children, and an equal amount of in-laws with small children. With the way family visited each other back then, he was good for a story every weekend and some weekdays. In the stories he made up as he went he pretty much described the kids on his lap, and they became so engrossed and transfixed they felt they were the characters. Sometimes they cried. One time, one niece suddenly hit him across the face she was so upset.

But normally, they were greatly entertained by those stories.

Daddy also called the same kids a week or so before Christmas and they thought Santa Clause was calling them. He would talk deep and bellow out deep Ho-Ho-Ho laughs which pretty much fascinated the kids. He asked them about their behavior and what they wanted for Christmas… chances are he would bring up something that they recently got in trouble for (a little bird told him) and had them promise they wouldn’t do that again. He probably enjoyed their call from Santa more than they did.

He was not a religious man most of his life, but about his last ten he was Baptized at Crestview Baptist Church in Marietta and within a year was one of the founders of the Due-West Methodist Church in West Cobb County.

He also did not care for sports until about the last ten years of his life. Every one of his seven brothers loved sports – to play themselves and to follow teams, local and nationally. Daddy did not give sports that much of a thought until his later years, then he tried to watch the Braves and Falcons on TV whenever he could.

There might be hope for me yet.

Another thing he was very non-pretentious and very frugal. He never considered a car radio – wasted expense. He never wore tennis shoes or sneakers, never wore shorts, or a pair of pants that was not black or dark blue, and he always wore either a collar blue or white shirt…. Anything else wouldn’t be him.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday Morning Action

There is a couple that live in our neighborhood that we have know for near 30 years. They both have always seemed positive and upbeat. They live about three four blocks away.

As a matter of fact, one time when our boys were young he came by one Christmas season in his Santa Clause outfit and had an on-the-knee chat with my two sons.

He makes his living by being positive and smiling. He is a motivational speaker. He has been paid by several large organizations to give inspiring talks to the employees to produce more. I know the Postal Service has had him several times to give talks. Frankly, it always bugged me that a non-producer type of person trying to verbally inspire a producer type of person to be more productive.

He also has a few books out about how to get ahead in your company.

His wife has always been in upper management executive type with an off-beat wit. In their front yard is a five foot tall stump of a pine tree cut down. She planted some kind of ivy on the top and nailed eyes, nose, and a mouth below the green ivy and it is striking.

This morning Willow and I were out running about a mile from our house. And the Mr. materialized walking. We greeted each other and talked. Recently, downtown Marietta had a “Christmas in July” sale and he was commissioned to be Ebenezer Scrooge to walk around the Square dressed as Ebenezer Scrooge would have dressed and play the part.

This morning Mr. had car troubles. They have had a red convertible for several years and he told me it was broken down in shopping center nearby. Could I help him pull it home. I said sure. I took Willow home, changed out of my sweaty tee-shirt and went to his house.

We took his van to the shopping center where the convertible was. On the way he asked me did I hear about his wife and I said no. He said he hasn’t seen her but twice in several months. She is at a alcoholic rehabilitation clinic. Wow! We talked about her drinking problem…. Which I think living with a positive thinker like he that would always be trying to make lemonade out of lemons might drive one to drink.

I feel what they both must be going through.

He turned the motor on the car and it ran a few seconds and went dead. He asked me if I had any idea what the trouble might be. I said no.

He had canvas straps he hooked to his van after we pushed the car out from the curb. He took down the top and told me it will be more fun with the top down.

I said, yeah, I can whistle at women as he tows me down the road. I went on to say that I doubt if I would impress anybody being towed while I am whistling. Besides, I can’t whistle. However, I do have a plastic whistle at home – I wonder how impressive that would be, whistling at women with a plastic whistle while being towed?

I didn’t realize it but is scary being towed like that. I remember being in that position before and it didn’t bother me, I just handled it. But this time I was apprehensive – no power, being towed – if he had stopped suddenly I wasn’t sure my reflexes would be quick enough for me to slam on my brakes.

But, we have no problem. On the way, I looked around on the dash trying to figure out what kind of red convertible this was but couldn’t.

At their house we parked on a hill in front of his house. There the plan was for him to get in the drivers seat and I would just push enough manually to get him rolling and he could turn the wheels into his driveway, and coast to the end. Then, when he had it towed away to a shop it would be easier for the wrecker to get.

I pushed. Somehow he didn’t turn sharp enough and the side and back plowed into a brush thicket. I think that pretty red car got scratched up.

He mentioned that it was one of the few Linguinis of that kind in existence. I thought Linguini was a pasta. We push and tugged and I got on the other side of the bushes and held them bent back and he gave another push and jumped in and the coasted to a clear spot in his driveway.

Mission accomplished.


Every soap opera has to have an evil person. Usually they more than one evil person – but you gotta have at least one evil person to raise the adrenaline of the viewer. The soap Days Of Our Lives has its share of mean and evil people. The king of evil forces on Days seems to Stepeno. He reeks of evil.

Evil or not, Stepheno is also a smooth talker, suave, and says profound things.

Last week, while Anna was watching it I heard Stepheno say, “We are who we are.”

My quick response to that was “I yam what I yam!”

Do I have a quick wit or what? Ka-ka-ka-ka!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Art of Empowering

The man walked up to the loading dock. He frowned at the little short man with greasy hands and forearms that was wearing an apron.

The little man with the apron smiled and said, “howdy!” The man did not want to waste his time with this little runt.

Man: Sir, I would like to speak to the person in charge of this establishment.
Man with Apron: Ok. Go around the building, and go in the first door. Ask for Mr. Big Shot.

Man goes as directed and meets Mr. Big Shot.

Man: Mr. Big Shot I would like to speak to you about some modifications your company needs to make to stay up with your competition.
Mr. Big Shot: That is good. I have empowered that sort of thing to my number one man, Mr. One. His office is the first one on the right.

The man knocks on Mr. One’s door.

Mr. One: Can I help you?
Man: Yessir, Mr. Big Shot sent me to discuss with you some modifications that will keep you up with your competitors.
Mr. One: That is nice, but actually, I don’t know much about that kind of stuff, I empowered Mr. Hoot to run things like that. You need to talk to him. He is out in the warehouse, in a little office by the shipping door.

The man finds the cramp little office by the big shipping door and sees Mr. Hoot marking things on a clip board. He tells Mr. Hoot he was there to suggest some modifications. Mr. Hoot nodded, asked him to step out side, so while he talked he could smoke.

When they stepped out and the man started talking about his proposed plans, Mr. Hoot halted him while lightening a cigarette.
Mr. Hoot: Hold it right there, you are talking out of my league when you are talking about that sort of stuff. I empowered Harold to make decisions like that. You will find him back inside through the door by the fire extinguisher.

The Man walks through the door to find he is in an employee’s break room. A few workers are sitting around with their lunch boxes eating and watching TV.

Man: I am looking for Harold.
Man With Apron: I’m Harold, what do you need?

Later that evening Mr. Big Shot, Mr. One, and Mr. Hoot are having drinks at their club.

Mr. Big Shot: Boy, today was rough.
Mr. One: Yes, terrible pressure today.
Mr. Hoot: But we got the problem under hand – that is why we make the big bucks!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Chef Jeff

I don’t know why, but at the bird feed section of Wal-Mart I seem to find myself in conversations with men… I guess that is a man thing, stand around and talk about different methods of bird feeding.

Today, I was standing in front of the bird feeders studying. A man in his late 20s stood and begin studying too. He asked me was I looking for something squirrel proof. If so, he said, he bought one at Home Depot that the bar in front, once something as heavy as a squirrel sits on it, it collapses down, which of course would dump the squirrel. He said it works great.

I said, no actually I didn’t want to have any kind of feed, like sunflower seed or corn that squirrels like because I our new dog grabbed a squirrel the other day and at least yanked his tail off, so I don’t want to encourage squirrels to hang out in our yard.

He said this area of Georgia squirrels have no natural enemies so they have become too plentiful. He said my dog might have done the humane thing to have killed and ate a squirrel. Well, that is one way to look at it.

Then he said the squirrels from where he is from has plenty of natural enemies – up in the mountains of North Carolina. I told him most of my genealogy research goes through his home area. We discussed a couple of counties in western North Carolina that we both knew. He told me his father bought a 100 acres of land on the Nanahala River in Macon County, Ga., and his father recently died and now it is his.

Somehow we got talking about cooking. We talked about Cajun cooking. He loves the food prepared by the brothers at the Cajun Butcher Company not far from my house. We both were salivating talking about their tasteful turduking.

He told me was a chef at a private club. He said he has a culinary degree from Western North Carolina University. He gave me his business card and said, “I’m a good old boy.”
A good old boy?

His name is Jeff. Chef Jeff.