Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mountain Woman

Betty was not at the Bell Boys Reunion yesterday. I think she would have loved it. Betty one a tall big boned fun-loving girl that went by several nick names. The only ones that come to mind is Mountain Gal, Mountain Girl, and Mountain Woman.

She was always in a party mood, whether she was walking down the hall at high school or cruising Varner’s Drive-In.

Usually after a football game there was a dance at either Larry Bell Gym, or Saint James’s Episcopalian Church. Betty loved to dance. She would dance every song and pouring with sweat before it was all over.

If there was party she was there, unless of course, she was at another party.

Once when I was on the Grand Jury I saw her in the halls of the court house, dressed loudly of course. We talked. She was there as a witness to some kind of violent event – I forgot what.

She married a guy named Larry. Larry and his brother were known for their fighting ability and the fact they fight often.

I read Larry’s obituary only about a few years after they married. I don’t know the reason Larry died at a young age. His body was put in one of those eternal shelves things. One time at the my parents are buried I rode by and saw an elderly man braced against Larry’s marker on the outside of the shelf – the man was holding flowers in one had and he was crying. It would have been a great picture if it wasn’t invading somebody’s personal moment.

A year or so ago I ran into Betty at Krogers on a Wednesday (Senior Citizen Day). She had gained weight and not too happy to see me… she talked to me but she covered her mouth as she talked.

One time, on another Wednesday I was at Kroger’s and ran into a co-worker Patrick. I told Patrick about running into Betty there just a week or two before. I was telling Patrick that two of Betty’s favorite expressions were “Don’t let your meat loaf” and “look at that rise in those Levis’”. And turned around and there stood Betty. She and her grocery cart rushed off.

I haven’t seen her since. She must have changed Krogers.

I need to learn to keep my big mouth shut.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bell Gang Reunion - bits and pieces 2007

I went to the Bell Gang Reunion today. I went alone, Anna had some shopping that needed to be done.

Last year was the first year I went. Last year, I was unsure if I should go or not because I was afraid of running into my old bully arch enemy Vernon. I went and Vernon wasn’t there. Years ago in grammar school Vernon was a bully and loved to pick on me. Like a fool, I took it like a dormant tree stump. Then, I had a friend, Frankie who went to Catholic school. Frankie had a hot temper and several times we got into fights and each time I whipped his ass.

Then at Larry Bell Park Swimming pool one day Vernon picked on
Frankie. Frankie lost his temper which came to no surprise to me. What did surprise me was that Frankie whipped Vern’s ass.

Hmmm. Frankie could whip Vern’s ass and I could whip Frankie’s ass. So, why was I letting Vern pick on me? I purposely sought Vern out at the pool the next day and walked by him, waiting for him pick on me. My fists were doubled up and I was ready to let him have it. He didn’t say anything. He never picked on me again.

Today at the Bell Reunion I reminded Vern how he used to pick on me and when I saw Frankie whip him I was ready to do likewise. Vern laughed and said, “Well, it is a good thing I didn’t pick on you anymore.” He is one of the friendliest people you would want to meet. His picture is above.

I saw many old high school friends. Some I remembered and some remembered me then I remembered them – and some we just looked at each other blankly. Age wise, this reunion covers about a 12 years or more. So, there were some people that came and gone before you were in school, and some you came and gone before they went to Marietta High School.

It was very enjoyable to see old heads you forgot existed… and some I just couldn’t place – I tried to visualize them without the wrinkles and sagging jaws, but just couldn’t connect them.

Also there was my old friend Monty. I have mentioned Monty and my antics many times on my blog. We were very good friends. Then after our Navy times, when we would cross paths on the Square at concerts we would did not speak. I guess I was just timid. I changed a lots since then. I am a different person, so I was unsure how to act around him – be like I used to be? Or more sincere without a wit? And another thing that held me back was we looked each other in the eyes during many concerts in the past few years and he didn’t speak either. Today he told me why: He didn’t recognize me. Not only have I changed inward, but outward as well - facial and hair changes. Anyway, today we had long talk and caught each other up on our family that we each have had since we ran around together. He also told me he reads my blog and told me how to get to his two websites (one with music). But I forgot – if he reads this I hope he emails me ( his sites' addresses. I took his picture but it snapped at an awkward moment, so it will not be published here.

I was told Neal was the little 2 year old boy that was with my sister who was 3 years at the time in 1941 when they both saw a train run over a man while they were out playing. That little 2 year old boy now has a long white beard.

Dick saved my life one time. His family and my family, as a kid, would go to Sweet Water Creek every year to celebrate their son Eddie’s birthday and my birthday, which were only one day apart. One time, in the creek I stepped off into an underwater current and it swept me away. Dick and my father dove in and pulled me out.

The food was good. They had pork barbecue, barbecue chicken, heavenly baked beans with hunks of bbq pork, Brunswick Stew, hot dogs, beer, and I don’t know what all.

It was held, like every year, behind the Horace Orr American Legion, one block up the 4-Lane, and one block west of the Big Chicken.

The Bell Gang Reuion pre-game

Today is the day for the annual Bell Gang Reunion.

For years I have been fretting to go or not and last year we finally went and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

And I'm going this year if times allows. We have a seminar we are attending in the mid-morning but I am going to try to leave as soon as I hear what they say and hit their refreshments.

Dining In Cobb – again.

On the 4-Lane about a mile north of the Big Chicken there is a building that used to be an Arby’s Restaurant. It has been several converted into businesses over about the past dozen years.

Lately, as we drive by we have noticed a sign about a sea food restaurant coming soon.

Yesterday we must have had a premonition it was finally opened. We drove directly there with plans to try them out. We decided that if they were not open yet we would just keep on going and eat at Williamson Brothers Barbecue.

They were opened. When we walked in we saw there were two people behind a counter and a woman alone in the dining area talking on her cell phone. The two men behind the counter gave us their complete attention. One was white and one was black. The black man was an older man. The white man was probably under 30. He had a an effeminate Cajun accent.

The black man asked us if this was our first time there. We said yes.

Their menu was printed on the counter. We asked them how long they have been opened. The white man said today was their first day.

We laugh and nodded at the other man and said, “He asked us if we have been here before.”

The man shrugged and said, “I know.”

According to the menu most of their seafood was fried. We did not want fried food. I saw that they had steamed shrimp and ordered a half pound spicy and a cup of gumbo. Anna ordered steamed shrimp not spicy and a cup of clam chowder.

From the time we sat down we realized we have gotten ourselves into another mess. No napkins were available unless you go to the counter and ask for them. We both got a plate of spicy shrimp. I thought my shrimp was spiced just right to - just spicy enough to enhance the taste. Anna does not like spicy food at all. You had to peel de-shell and de-leg the shrimp yourself. That was fine, but left your hands a smelly mess. No napkins?

When the white guy paid a polite visit to us to ask how the food was we told him that her shrimp was too spicy. He politely took the plate and soon the black man returned with another plate of shrimp that wasn’t spiced up. He stood there to check to see if it was ok. It tasted better, Anna said.

The gumbo was good. It was shrimp gumbo with bits and pieces of whatever. The shrimp in the gumbo still had the legs and shells too. It looked as if Anna’s clam chowder was dumped out of a can, which I am sure it was. A can of clam chowder would cost under two bucks. They sold it to us for $3.95.

We left. As walked out I asked Anna should I run back in and ask if they are opened on Sundays… HAW!!!

We are just going have to be more selective in where we eat. Our adventures in dining usually ends in an upset stomach.

Soon we will be eating on the ship – at their mercy. Oh me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Times, They Were a-Changing"

See the road? The name of it at the time was "The 4-Lane"**. It was the updated version of the US 41 Highway* that was the route between Chicago and Miami.

Mariettans got to fleece the tourist on their long trips about here.

This picture was taken about 1956. Over to the upper right where the used car lot is standing in the picture would later become the parking lot for the famous "Big Chicken".

About a dozen or so years later the I-75 plowed itself through... which, it just by coincidence many politicians just happened to own land right along the exact route the new I-75 highway was planned. Such mystic! I wonder how that happened? Well, we elected them, the same as we elected our president.

*Not to be confused with the earlier version which is now know as the "Old 41" or the "Dixie Highway".

** Now, the 4-Lane's name is Cobb Parkway. If you want to quickly find out if a person is a native or not ask him where The Big Chicken is. If he says "at the corner of Roswell Road and the 4-Lane" you are talking to a native.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Blackwater Gate Is Leaking

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I Yam What I Are

I am still trying to decide what I should wear on the cruise.

I am thinking about presenting a different image every day. Maybe one day be the suave sophisticated gentleman that I am, as in above.

Maybe one day I will put on a yellow raincoat and be a Gordon Fisherman that knows the sea well and maybe impress some young people with my sea stories.

And it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t dig up my old Navy uniform out of the attic and one day be “I yam what I yam!”

The Joy of Watching TV

(above: Benny & "The Seasick Sea Serpent" c-early 1950s)

I think next week is something like “The Joy of Reading Week” or something. I think the television industry ought to demand equal time by having a “The Joy of Watching TV Week”.

This morning on the local TV news were three people behind the desk, the two anchor people and the weatherman. An anchor person told a news bit about the new TV show “Cave Men” (or “Cave Man”, whatever) changing their shooting location from Atlanta to L.A. They said the story is suppose to take place in Los Angeles and there is no way they could make the Atlanta buildings as a backdrop resemble the buildings in L.A.

Then the weatherman chimed in and said, “Atlanta may not look like L.A. but lately it definitely looks like San Diego.” Think about it. Neither of the two anchor people showed any type of expression or made any kind of witty come-back like they usually do.

That didn’t bother the producers of the lawyer/detective series staring Andy Griffin. I think the name of it was “Mattlock” but I could be wrong. It was suppose to be in Atlanta and the surrounding area. More than once when Andy was out of town riding in the country side you could see bare rocky mountains in the background. With the exception of Stone Mountain, all the mountain and hills around here are covered with trees.

Tonight I will be in front of the TV. My two favorite sitcoms will be back for the season. “My Name Is Earl” and “Office”. They are both just extremely good in my opinion. They both have the kind of humor that is a human study. In both more is said visually by people’s expressions than spoken.

So, have you watched a good TV program lately?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Boogedy, boogedy, boogey!

Remember the Marx Brothers “Night of the Opera”?

It was a swell movie. It had class while making a mockery of class. It had its own style. Something about the movie, like other Marx Brothers movies showed it was not mandatory to respect authority… in fact it was more fun not to.

They were slapstick anarchists.

The Marx Brothers had so much more pizzazz than the Three Stooges. There humor was blunders and hitting each other. The Marx Brothers did calculated evil to snobs and hit them, not each other… after all, they had to respect something.

In Night of the Opera when a horrible looking witch-like character was singing her operatic notes Grocho jumps from private balcony seat area to another and when he landed amid the dignified people sitting there watching the opera he put his hands on each side of his temple and with fingers opened, said, “Boogedy, boogedy, boogey!” and went on to another antic. That act burned an impression in our minds. We were impressed.

When we saw that – I forgot where, it was too old to be at the movies, so we must have been at someone’s house watching TV and saw Grocho say “Boogedy boogedy boogey!” we cracked up laughing.

To suddenly raise both hands to your ears and spread out our fingers and quickly say “Boogedy, boogedy, boogey!” became an art among our little group. Timing was everything. It worked best when it wasn’t expected and out of context. Some of us became quiet good at it.

Those were the days!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Zoom, Zoom

This morning I was walking Willow as I do all mornings. I try to get her at least 30 to 45 minutes daily, and sometimes go that extra mile (literally). This morning was one where we were going for 60 minutes. We just talked to the traffic guard in front of a grammar school. Her son and our sons were in the Weebelos Cub Scouts together. She, holding her Stop sign, walked Willow and me across the Ebenezer Road at the corner of Beaverhsop Road.

I was carrying a sack of dog shit with me which she had let go of less than 10 minutes ago. On Beavershop Road we went over the rise of hill and were on our way down the slope on the other side when suddenly her pronged chain training collar just fell off. I was holding a leash with an empty collar. As soon as I noticed it so did Willow. She took off running.

And she is a very fast runner. Her breed, as far as racing and speed go, is up there with greyhounds.

I know from experience not to let her know you are trying to get a hold of her. If she senses that, she thinks it is a game and plays “keep away” from you. I didn’t know what to do.

She ran around and around me, maybe at no shorter than 20 feet from me. I sat down on the side walk thinking that would be the most tempting for her to come up and get a petting… also, if I reached for her while she was standing she is more likely to jump back.

On each of her circumference runs around me the far end of the loop crossed Beavershop Road, which she crossed it twice on each lap. Luckily Beaverhshop Road is not a very busy road. Only a couple of cars came by when she was putting on her show and slowed down for her.

My plan worked. She finally saw I was not going to play and she came back and I grabbed her by the collar in a gentle way without scolding her. I petted her, thanking her for coming back.

I hooked the leash to her other collar and carried her home. Then, I put her into the truck and we went to the dog park near by. She ran and played chase with other dogs to her heart’s content. Finally, she came up to me like saying, “I’m tired, I wanna go home and lie down – can we go now?”

Westmoreland Journal continued -

Back on August 16, 2007, I blogged the first 7 pages of the Westmoreland Journal.

Here is another dose.

After transcribing these pages I am about to change my mind on wrote the journal. Now I think it might have been Mr. Westmoreland. Beside the fact some of the names are kin by blood or related to me I enjoy reading the journal, it is like looking at a little community in the olden days.

Along with the transcribed page is a picture of the original page. Click on any of the orginal pages to be able to read them if you want.

Here are pages 8 through 12:

Page 8:

Bonnie and Lois gave an Easter Egg hunt to their S school class Sat April 7. They hid 135 eggs. There were 27 that came. The children had a big time hunting the eggs and then ate the eggs and a basket of tea cakes and popcorn balls.

Ma and I went to Marietta with Mr. Overcash to Marietta April 20, 1917 and Ma staid down to visit Will and others.

Mr. Will Latimer family left Woodstock May 1, 1917. Mrs. Irene, George, and the children left for Tenn. May 2.

Pearlie High (?) came May 1 1917 and staid till the 10th.

Albert Dobbs was shot May 14, 1917.

Big fire in Atlanta May 21, 1917.

Mr. Marion Goover’s son Willie was killed May 22, 1917.

Bonnie went to Roswell June 3rd, and staid a week.

We had a fish fry in our pasture July 4, 1917. (many details of who came and brought what covered dish)

Olen, James, Mr. Gene, and Willard went seining(?) that morn Lucy and her three boys, Clara, Louella, Christine, and the three little York girls came over in the wagon. Slate (?), Lucille, and Margaret came. Bonnie, Lois, and myself went with them down to the spring in our pasture, had all the fish we could eat. We carried fried chicken, potato salad, biscuits, table mustard, custards, and cakes. Carried meal and baked cakes of cornbread, made a kettle of coffee, and had a big time. Ben went there before dinner.

Page 9:

Olen, Clara, James, Louella, Christine, Grate, Lucille, Millard Booth, Bonnie, and Lois went to Roswell July 12th on a fishing trip and came back the 13th. They had a nice time but didn’t catch many fish.

Mary, Robert, Ethel, Mattie Joe, and Cecil came and spent the day July the 22nd . The first time Robert had been here in a year. Margaret came home with Bonnie From S.S.

Arthur and Gwen moved to the Johnston house Aug. 2, 1917.

Mett, Pollie, Minnie, Milear (?), Sam, and Walter came Aug 16, 1917, and left Aug the 22nd.

Miss Clarissa Kendrick came Aug 22 and left the 25th, 1917.

Mr. Bob Carlyle died Aug 24, 1917.

Aunt Mitt Gresham died Sept 8, 1917.

James went to Dublin Sept the 16th to hunt him a home but came back without renting.

Luther Johnston died Sept 20, 1917 and was buried the 23.

Pa sold his home to Arch McCleskey Oct 9, 1917, and moved in with Mr. Hunter (William A.) in Woodstock. Arch sold his home Sept 3 1917 and will move into Pa’s house.

We sold our home to Hanan Goodson Nov 7, 1917.

Page 10:

Mr. Coker and Mr. Wring were crossing the R.R. crossing near Acworth at the Mill Nov 6, 1817, in an auto – the train struck the auto – killing Mr. Coker instantly and Mr. Wring died the next morning on the 7th.

Arthur left Woodstock for Cordele Nov 19, 1917. Gwen and children came down here that eve. James carried his things up to Woodstock that day to send to Cordele. He is gathering the crop (?). Louella and Christine are staying at the Yorks and James stayed there at night.

James and Louella left here Sunday eve, Dec 2, 1917, was going to spend the night in Atlanta with Bertha, Gwen and children left Monday morn the 3rd. James was to meet her at the car barn and they were all to go to Cordele to live another year.

Olin sprained his ankle Nov 17, 1917.

We moved into James’ house Nov 16, 1917. bought his part of his and Olin’s place.

Homer Knight Dec 7 1917 and was buried at Gresham Dec. 8.

Swapped Bill and Grit (?) for state Dec 15, 1917.

Uncle Thurman Durham came Dec 23, 1917. The first time he had been back here in 27 years. He staid till Feb 2, 1918.

Cousin Mark Paden died Dec 27, 1917. He would have been 93 years old first of Jan. 1918.

Mrs. George Roberts (Aunt Joe) died Dec 28, 1917.

Page 11:

May York got shot in the eye by a sparkler Christmas night. They carried her to Atlanta and they took her eye out ???? blood poison set in.

Barlah Chance was carried to Dr. Nolans Son (?) Sunday Dec 30 and operated for appendicitis.

John and Anna Alexander came to Pa’s Jan 1, 1918. Came to see us Sat the 5th and staid Monday. Ben carried them to Kennesaw Mountain the 7th.

Clara Westmoreland broke out with measles Jan 8, 1918 and Olin had them nearly three weeks after she took them. He first had grippe then toothache. Then measles with his tooth abscessed.

Clay Cook and Lita moved over here Feb 18, 1918.

Dr. W.S. Hendrick died Feb 25, 1918.

Bonnie went to Cordele March 11, 1918. and came back 29.

Calvin Chance has pleurisy was taken sick Mach 31, 1918.

Mattie Durham took her bed the 2 or 3 or April. The dr said she would have to stay in bed one month. She has heart trouble.

It snowed nearly all the morning April the 11th. The tape of the houses were one inch in snow. Then there was a big frost April the 12.

Page 12:

Luella came July 13, 1918. James came July 24, they went back August 24, 1918.

Ma was taken sick Aug 1, had the flux, and was real sick. The Dr came to see her twice a day for several days. She got some better, then worse, and died Aug 28 and buried Aug the 30th.

Dasie and Linda started to Texas Sept 23, 1918, came home Oct 13 and brought Matt with them.

Gerdie Stennett died Sept 7, 1918.

Bro Donahoo, Ben, Bennie, and Lois went to Chattanooga Oct 16, and came back 17.

We moved into our new room Nov 30, 1918.

Sam Westmoreland came Dec 30, 1918.

Cousin Bud Fowler died Dec 20, 1918.

Brother E.M. Dyer was walking on the R.R. tracks at the Mill near Woodstock Feb. 19, 1919, when a freight train came up behind him and knocked him off the track. They carried him to Marietta to Dr. Perkinson’s office and did what they could for him but he died in about three hours after he was hurt. His arm was broken all to pieces and his skull broke.

Dr W.H. Perkinson’s little daughter Jane died Feb 17, 1919.

Nell York and Frank Poor married March 1919.

Bob Bentley was killed by a live wire May 14, 1919.

Lillian Goodson’s little girl died the night before.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Overheard from across the street.

Son: Dad, is that illegal?

Dad*: I don’t think so, I do it all the time.

*Just returned from his 3rd or 4th stretch in prison.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ruby's 80th Birthday Bash

We went to an 80th birthday party my Aunt Ruby yesterday. Ruby was married to my late father’s late brother. She and another aunt-in-law are the last two standing of that generation on my father’s side.

The party was held at her nephew Bubba’s house on the very exclusively street Paces Ferry Road, near the Chattahoochee River, in the exclusively section of Atlanta – the governor’s mansion is just down the road. I wonder if Bubba ever gets Governor Sonny’s mail by mistake. Bubba? Sonny? I could see how the first names might confuse a carrier.

When we arrived a uniformed Atlanta policeman was there to direct you into their driveway. Their was a sign saying “Valet Parking”. During my meager frugal existence I have always tried to avoid valet parking. It always seemed an unnecessary expense. I saw nothing wrong with walking a ways to save a couple of bucks.

I told the cop we were going to park our own car. With his directions and holding up traffic drove down a long hill towards the river maybe 2/10ths or a quarter of a mile to find a place on the side of the road. Anna was furious. I made a bad decision.

Well, it was a quick decision. Plenty of my quick decisions are bad decisions. I don’t have a chance to weigh the pros and cons.

The house was very posh and plush. There was a staff of people fluttering around that were cooking, walking around with serving trays handing it out in front of you to take one, two manned bars – the food was very nice. Food food all over at many stations to get a little plate, about the same size as a saucer, and get you a helping of shrimp, crab cakes, barbecue pork, - have another lady slice you off some rare roast beef or well done – I chose the rare.

Then a couple of other guys walked around picking up dirty plates and drinks.


Four or five of my cousins were there. We sat under a tent in the driveway with them after we made a tour of the house and wished Ruby a happy birthday.

There is a book I am reading called “Paper Boy” by Pete Wood. He grew up with Ruby in Smyrna and my sister recognized him when he and his wife came. I couldn’t resist myself – I had to go up to him and tell him how much I am enjoying his book. He seemed grateful I did, and we talked about some of the Hunter boys (my uncles) that he knew.

Pete Wood lived in downtown Smyrna and was a paperboy in downtown Smyrna. In the book he takes each house in town and gives the genealogy of the house of who owned and who owned it after that, and where they came from, their children's names and what they grew up to be and who their children's children married... about 500 pages worth.

A first cousin David and his wife Nancy were leaving. Nancy told us group of cousins that they were leaving early to go to south Georgia to her cousin’s new land (or farm maybe) he just bought. They were going to skeet shoot.

She also came up and introduced herself to me as if we haven’t ever met. Well, we have many times, over their 35 year or so marriage – in fact their son and our son is the same age - born within a week of each other and we have even mentioned that. See how forgettable I am?

I was wondering how we were going to gracefully exit – walking up the driveway when other people were having their cars delivered to them. And then my sister said it was time she was going. Hah! We could ride out with her! And she could take us to our where we parked.

Which we did, but I was the one that tipped the valet deliverer instead of my sister.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


As far as I know Willow caught and ate her first chipmunk today.

We heard her yip outside. I went to the window and looked out. She was lying on the ground playing with what I thought was a stick, like she sometimes does.

A minute or two later I heard her yip again and this time the 3 dogs from next door were barking also. I looked out and Willow was in her same position – then I saw the dark stick move and Willow raked it back towards her. It looked like a little mouse from the den window on the second level.

I rushed outside. When I got closer I saw that it was a little baby chipmunk. It was all wet from Willow’s slobber and looked in a daze. Willow was torturing it like a cat would to it’s victim. I reached down to get her collar and she grabbed her prize and leaped out of my reach. I tried again and again she ran twenty or so feet away.

“No way you are going to eat this after I did all the work catching it and torturing it!” she probably muttered.

I wanted to get her inside and then come back and kill the little baby chipmunk with a big rock or something to put it out of its misery. Willow had other plans.

I don’t want to punish her for killing and eating little rodents… her talent may come in handy if mice or rats ever decide to move in the neighborhood. So, I went back inside.

About an hour later she came back inside, she seemed quiet content with herself.

Later I expect to see that little animal’s stuffed carcass mounted on the wall in the basement where she hangs out when we are gone.

Dining at New Restaurants in Marietta

Lately we have been in a state of mind of getting ready for our cruise.

For example yesterday at about noon we noticed a new restaurant in a old remodeled shopping center. I am not sure what the name of it is but on the glass door is a sign that says “Brazilian Food”. And underneath that is another neatly printed sign saying, “Buffet today”.

Well, we will down that way – sort of. So we said why not? We will call this dining experience “research”.

And of course, it is a buffet.

In the same shopping center is a restaurant called something like Asian Buffet which has rows and rows of yards of hot steamy containers with all the Asian foods which all kinds of fish, shrimp, chicken, and much more.

We thought the Brazilian Buffet might even out do them… we said to ourselves that the Brazilians have a lot of beef and pork dishes. We went to another Brazilian Restaurant last year across town. It was not a buffet but it was expensive. As you ran low of things one of the servers would rush up to you and cut off slices of whatever your preference is until you let him know to stop. I think that day I ate myself into a stupor.

We entered the Brazilian Buffet with excitement and mouths drooling. And our smiles became frozen and our jaws and the language of our body sunk.

There was a table, not long at all, with maybe 4 or 5 rectangle vats. Each had something in it. The first one had mashed potatoes, the 2nd one had chunks of beef glistering in a liquid of some kind, and there was a rice with chunks of chicken, and a pasta. The price was $6.95 per person.

Also what we noticed there were no sneeze shields above the food. Tch tch.

We were the only customers except a young man and woman who were sitting looking into each other eyes – they looked Spanish and she had on a low cut. Maybe he wasn’t looking into her eyes. And I thought maybe they worked there and was on break, they had no plates or anything in front of them.

We the manager and his whole crew – two waitresses, and an old man (cook) lined up to look at us, or to check us out. I think customers were a rare commodity there and what was even rarer were customers with Georgian accents. They all seemed very polite.

We asked did they have menus. He pulled out a pile of laminated menus and hand us one, and said something to the effect, “Opps! That one is not in English, it is Portuguese.” Then he flipped through all his Portuguese and Spanish menus and found us an English menu. I think he only had one. I thought, “Is this like dialing “2” for English?”

He explained why he had so many non-English menus – because Mari-ét-ta has about 50,000 Brazilians* living here. I liked the foreign way he pronounced my home town Mari-ét-ta – it sounded, well, so International!

Therefore in a restaurant that caters to the Brazilians and Latinos of course there is no reason to have most the menus in English… you cater to your customers not people that wander in and probably won’t return. We were on their turf.

We ordered what by the description was a glorified hamburger each. A hamburger patty with a slice of ham, corn kernels, split linked sausage, a fried egg, lettuce, tomato, and tiny little bits of fries – it looked something like a Dagwood Sandwich. It was the ingredients for an upset stomach for sure…. I think today I will go above par in the fart count.

The woman with the low cut was delivered a bowl of ice cream by the cook. The man got up and got him some mashed potatoes and beef. Then, after he finished it he was delivered a bowl of ice cream by the old man cook.

While we were eating several people came in and got orders to carry out. I was not facing them but I assume they were given Styrofoam cartons and used the buffet. Business was picking up!

On one side of the room was a big flat HD TV. A soap opera was on in another language. I think it was probably a Brazilian soap opera. It was funny to watch and not know what they were talking about. One guy in it, looked like he was in Purgatory or something similar and he was negotiating with the devil who looked very much like the Devil looked back in the 50s with horns and a tail and a pitchfork. And another scene was a man and woman talking – close up faces and when one would say something that I think was meant to be meaningful sound effects would come on – like the DJs had back in the 50s and 60s. Sometimes it would be something like bells, or a squeeze bulb horn, or mostly it was some kind of whistle that would so sadly, “Wah, Wah.”

We walked out with upset stomachs. Well, you never know until you try – then you win some and lose some.

*Wait! Maybe he said there are 15,000 Brazilians in Marietta rather than 50,000. Fifty thousand seems to be too many for a fairly small community like this.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Things You Are Likely to Remember Much Later

I enjoy reading. I also enjoy watching TV. I do my share of both. Both are relaxing, sometimes educational, and enjoyable.

HOWEVER!!! Thirty-three years from now when I am ninety-nine what will I be more likely to remember – sitting on my ass reading a book or watching something on TV or a trip or some kind of adventure?

Judging by what I remember 33 years ago, when I also read and watched TV I do not recall a single time I was seated reading or fixed on a TV program – the times all blend in. However, I do remember all the “what a fine messes I got myself into” and our travels.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Another Statistic

According to Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader tear-a-page-a-day calendar the average person farts 14 times a day. That is one fart about every one hour and forty minutes for a 24 hour day. However, if one usually doesn’t fart during his sleeping hours then we can say that is 14 farts for every 16 hours, or one blast for about every one hour and six and half minutes, on the average of course.

Of course some people hardly let one slip at all - except the "silent but deadly" type that you can't really pin-point who did it and then there are others, especially after dining at a Mexican Restaurant, might "Let it rip" more frequently, and loudly, that might sound like moving furniture.

Keep that is mind the next time you pull somebody’s finger.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

People Don't Change that much

Almost twenty years ago I worked as a window clerk at the Postal Service for about two years.

The man with his secretary would come in daily. The man always wore shorts and had long country-girl length hair. He was not young. Then, I think he was probably in his 40s or early 50s. He was an Australian. He was the CEO and owner of a recording company.

I found him interesting because as they stood in line he was always dictating letters or instructions to his secretary. She would be busily taking notes. When it was his time with a window clerk he usually would have few recordings to mail. Each time he wanted to look over all the stamps that window clerk would have so he could pick the appropriate stamp to do with the personality of the person he was sending it to, or what ever. He was a micro-manager if there ever was one.

His secretary was British.

One day his wife came with him and the secretary and all three stood in line. Again, he was giving his secretary notes, but this time he was also giving his wife detail instructions on some household work they were having done. His wife was pregnant.

Today, at Krogers I saw him with his entourage: an Asian woman and a young man who looked about 19 or 19. Wednesday is Senior Discount Day. He looked the same. His long hair had some gray strands in it, but otherwise, no.

We kept ending up being in the same aisle or crossing paths here or there in Krogers. He looked at me and smiled and spoke but I could tell he did not remember me enough to know where he knew me from but remembered enough to know he should have remembered me.

I am invisible and forgettable – I get that a lot.

Interesting, the Asian woman kept about a aisle distant from the Austrian and his son. She would study the contents or instructions on a label of something, either decide to buy it or not buy it, go put it in his buggy and so out and scout for some more stuff.

He continuously talked to his son unbelievable details of products and how they were lined up to draw your eyes to it. And in front of a certain product he was somewhat confused and couldn’t figure why they only had two different companies’ product when they normally had three different companies’ products represented.

Strolling down the aisle talking to his son reminded me of the way he used to do his secretary. He needs ears to absorb what he thinks aloud.

Kennesaw City Cemetery

Kennesaw made the news ten so years back when they passed an ordinance making owning a gun mandatory. True. Talking about gun control!

Interesting, since that ruling has passed Kennesaw has one of the lowest crime statistics of any town of the same size.

The only family I know of buried in the Kennesaw City Cemetery is my grandmother’s brother’s family Bud Tyson (Thomas G. Tyson).

The cemetery is bordered by a closed school on the east side which I think is now partly used as the city's education administration and on the west side the property of a motel on Cobb Parkway that appears to market those out of town workers - they have weekly rates. They also have guests who like to hang out in the cemetery and socialize and drink their beer - or at least on my two visits to the cemetery seemed that way.

Next to the railroad tracks in downtown Kennesaw is a old building. My father told me it was originally built as a building to hold grain before it was shipped and it was built by Bud Tyson. That same building has been remodeled and for years now has been a Civil War museum housing The General locomotive. The General, you may recall, was stolen by Andrew Raiders during the Civil War and was chased to Ringgold, Georgia – which inspired a couple of movies, one with Buster Keaton and the other one made by Disney and starred Fess Parker. They have other very interesting exhibits there too. I have been there several times.

I did not know Bud existed until I got into genealogy and started asking family members questions about the family. Bud died in 1919 and his wife Etta Hilderbrand Tyson died two years later. Both died too early in their life, leaving two young children.

Their children apparently were raised by the Hilderbrand family and never came around at family functions. I wonder who is putting the flowers down?

Thomas G. Tyson (1882-1919)

Etta Hilderbrand Tyson (1890-1921)

Georgette Tyson (1914-1996)

Thomas G. Tyson, Jr. (1916-1989)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cut the Yellow Ribbon Around the Oak Tree!

Bob is out! Again!

I heard Bob would be in prison until December. I guess I heard wrong.

I drove onto our street yesterday and noticed several people in front of the house next door. A skinny bald headed man was holding Joe’s and the baby mama’s baby. Also Bob’s mother’s car was parked in the driveway.

That wasn’t Bob holding the baby was it? Naw – couldn’t be – Bob was on the heavy side with a head full of unruly hair when he went up the river this time. This man is lean.

Then I heard the man laugh in Bob’s loud boisterous laugh. Shit!

But Bob’s used-to-be-wife said she was not going to allow Bob to come back to her house. I kept my mouth shut, or bit my tongue, remembering her saying that the time before last when he was in prison, that he would not be back at her house. What she meant to say probably, was, “Not until he is released, anyway.”

After Bob held his grandchild the family piled into Joe’s red jeep and drove off. It sort of looked like the Beverly Hillbillies, Vandiver Heights style, that is. Joe is proud of the loud sound of the jeep. I could hear them turning corners – I think the loud muffler sound went lower as she let go of the gas to turn each corner.

So, that is why Joe was washing all the red mud off his jeep. He wanted it to look its best when he showed his father – oh yeah, give the baby a bath too if you want to.

One neighbor pointed out that because of the drought using your outside watering for lawns or for washing cars is against the law (or ordinance) now. I asked when that start making a difference with them.

The pile of people hanging off the jeep returned and Joe and his mother got into the car and left…. For now.

Then when I took Willow out there was Bob motorcycle. Also the garage door was opened with junk piling out of it. It has been closed since the day he left.

And Bob was out pushing the mower cutting grass. And Joe was sitting on the door stoop with his arms folding making it look like he was fuming and thinking.

Yep, Bob is back home!

Life is grand.

Everything is Back Up! Forward, Ho!

But - forward Ho to where?

My son Adam came by yesterday and got the DVD working and the Tivo on the correct video section. He also corrected a telephone installation that I flubbed up during the carpet time... and to top things off, he connected my computer speakers. I still can't see how he did... there were not enough speaker line to reach the computer - or that is what I thought.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Buy My Book or Git The Hell Out of my Country!

News item: The latest Zell Miller book sold more in the north Georgia Mountains (Zell's area) than the latest Harry Potter book.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ahhh - Fall Is In The Air!

Ah, Fall is in the air. There is a slightly cool pleasant breeze. On our morning walk there was just enough of a wind to make some leaves shake.

I wonder what that did do Willow smelling sense? Dog are suppose to be excellent smellers... and I guess a nice breeze might carry a good whiff of a raccoon or rabbit right up to her nose and by the wind's direction tell her if it is five o'clock direction or so on.

Which reminds me, the other day on our walk the other day, a cat came prising by taking it's own time. It was smart enough to know Willow as secured with a leash and it got within feet of Willow and sat down and cleaned it crotch. In the meantime, Willow was going wild, standing up trying to leap, whining, crying, if she just sink her took in that little smart ass... and the cat stretched, what looked to be a calculating aggravation, just a few feet away from the leash's length with her on the end. Then it sashayed on off.

Anyway some say it is light jacket weather, some say it is football weather. I say it is nice. Autumn and Spring are my two favorite times of the year.... not too hot, not too cold... just right.

The carpet is down and looks nice. Rocky came over yesterday and helped me bring boxes full of books and decorations up while Anna did the placing. If it wasn't for him and his youth we would be about 25% through now.

Going up and down those stairs toting things did a number on my leg joints and muscles. It may take a while to feel like running again. Walking is nice though. As Willow and I walked this morning I was thinking maybe it is time (age-wise) to quit running and be more consistent my my bicycle riding. If I could ride three times a week I would get a good cardio workout, about the same if I had ran, and not nearly as much pounding and impacting all those bones between my ass and the bottoms of my feet.

The down side of that is that biking can get unbearable cold. A pleasant breeze like today could feel much colder, especially, if you are over 50 or 60. However, I never have tried riding a bike dressed for cold weather - so that may be my answer.... duh!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

And Again, Maybe Not!

I am back, for what ever good that is. I doubt if me being back will cause any ocean tides to shift or anything – but here I am anyway.

I’m here with sore joints, muscles, and bones from lifting things and toting them.

We are not through. Putting everything back will take days. Rocky is coming this morning to help us. Adam has to work this weekend 12 hour days.

Of course the first things that went back into place were the two computers. When I dismounted them I labeled each wire to where it would go back. At the time I was labeling what I wrote down made sense but looking at it later, late last night, some of my notes on the labels made no sense at all. But somehow, I finally got almost everything hooked up, except my speakers. I didn’t even leave label a good hint on that one.

And instead of jumping in my computer and making a blog postings I jumped right in trying to hook another important item – the TV with all its bells and whistles. I did the same clever system of labeling all connections that was plugged in the TV, VCR, DVD, TiVo, and Comcast cable box – and again, at the time I was labeling what I put down made sense – and sometimes even illustrated the hole – but later, when I was tired, some of it made no sense. I will look get back onto that this morning.

Speaking of labeling, Anna was saying she was going to put stickums on some of the rolling furniture that would say “rollers may off” and on one roll-desktop “bad leg” and I asked could she write that in Spanish too. I was right. Four Mexicans came to do the job.

None of the Latinos could speak English… so, there were some lack of communications – but not too bad, which some of that I credit my excellent pantomime talents. I don’t know if I got my message across but I did make them laugh.

They were hard workers. They worked without any type of break (even bathroom break) for over six hours. And they were very courteous and polite, almost Uncle Tom like.

The youngest one, probably about 22 or 23, did not start off that way. At first he was non-smiling but he finally changed his attitude towards me. I have walls in my office with framed MAD comicbook covers and other illustrations – mostly signed by the cartoonists. The young man was completely awed by these frame pictures.

The carpet looks nice. Willow didn’t bark at all. Which is good – or is it bad? Four strange men walking around doing things to the house? I thought her job as the official sentry would bark out a “Halt”! until she could check out their work orders or something.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This Blog Will Probably Be Gone a Few Days

We are having carpet put in tomorrow.

Today I have to disconnect everything so they can move things out of rooms. This computer is one of the things I will have to disconnect. The only thing is, I'm not sure how to connect it all back up again.

I am going to take notes and put little stickums on where things go... well, remember, its me.

So, one of my sons might have to take over the mess after I get all tangled up in all those wires and cables. So, possibly, the connecting may not get done until next week.

If you don't hear from me in a few days, enjoy yourselves until I return. Then we will get down to the serious business of taking over the world again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Me Too!

One of the books I am reading (or looking/reading) is AGAINST THE GRAIN: MAD ARTIST Wallace Wood edited by Bhob Stewart.

I have mentioned this publications before – at least once, maybe more. It is an excellent publication that goes in details of the art and the complex personality of one of the original four MAD artists, Wallace Wood. Bhob did an excellent job of compiling and throwing in his 2¢.

The reason I am bringing it up again is yesterdday I started the Wallace Posts section, in the book, which samples of his constant correspondence. In the introduction of this section in the first sentence Bhob states that Wood was a prolific letter writer.

Well me too!!!

In school, grammar and high school when of my friends moved or joined the service I self-appointed myself a constant letter writer to the recently departed (departed – map wise), to keep them up to date on what was happening in their old home town. But after a while they made new friends in their new area and their correspondence would grow thin…then whimper, and a final poof.

And when I went into the Navy I would write my friends daily prodding them information on the home front. And I also wrote my family daily for the same reason.

Then after my service time, I corresponded with about three or four Navy buddies for years and years.

Then there was a gap of a couple of years.

Then researching for genealogy came along and swapping information, which meant a lot of letters back and force with fellow researchers.

Then email came into existence. I was already trained for it.

A friend I have known since the first grade and I started emailing daily, sometimes twice a day, playing sort of trivia game of Marietta and a long running continuously conversation that lasted about 5 or 6 years. It finally ran its course because of our political difference.

Now it is blogs. What’s next?

As I have told my correspondents I just don’t know how to write a short letter. Once I start typing on the keyboard I don’t know when to stop. I go on and on… constant clatter of the keyboard.

Wally Wood and I have another similarity. We try to put appropriate art with the text. And sometimes another similarity – Wallace Wood art! The difference is that his is original and mine is swiped.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 Anniversary

This is not an anniversary that you celebrate. It is an anniversary you morn for the ones that fell. The only Americans that would have reason to celebrate are head honchos at the White House and the Board of Directors of the Halliburton Corporation. They are the only ones that gained monetarily and the public trust over the ordeal.

And we keep a war going on terrorists – but not in the countries the original 9/11 terrorists infested. Make sense?

No, but it does clear the way for a nice pipeline.

Monday, September 10, 2007

4 Generations of my Ancestors

I'm just experimenting. Click to make it readable.

Freedom of Speech

While I am on the subject of exercising Freedom of Speech –

About a year ago there were some people protesting our involvement in Iraq in Atlanta. They were orderly marching with signs.

Across the street were some elderly counter-demonstrators, a veterans organization, standing around holding signs supporting our involvement in Iraq.

It was on the news. A newsman asked one of the elderly war supporters his thoughts on why we should be in Iraq. He told the reporter his feelings on why we should be there. I forgot what he said, but I remember I disagreed with his reasoning.

Then the reporter asked him what he thought of the demonstrators across the street protesting the exact opposite of what he supported. Of course the reporter was trying to stir up something for the sake of his Pulitzer. The elderly man was a quiet man and a gentleman. In a very few short sentences he said something to this effect: “I wish people would leave those kids along. They have as much right to their opinion as we do ours. And that is one of the reasons I fought in a war, so we can keep on having freedom of speech – whether I agree with what they say is unimportant, leave them alone, they are not hurting anybody.”

I felt emotional. He was, in a sense, my foe, but he touched my soul.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

This picture is by Norman Rockwell. It is called “Freedom of Speech” of his Four Freedoms series.

See the man standing? He is utilizing his freedom of speech. See his admiring neighbors look up at him?

What do you suppose he is saying?

If the picture was made in the 30s or 40s, do you think he is saying that the town should give blacks equal rights and privileges as white people?

Or maybe it is the late 60s and he is saying we should get out of Vietnam?

Or if it had been five years ago – complaining about the way Bush got us in a war looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction… no Norman was dead by then.

In fact, I bet all the speculations above are wrong.

The man was probably saying something they agreed with – why else would they look up at him in an admiring way?

I think it would be a more realistic portrait of Freedom of Speech if the people were scowling and frowning at the man. It is easy to exercise your Freedom of Speech when everybody thinks around thinks you are right. It is harder when most the people nearby strongly disagree with your statements.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Friday Evening, Funeral Homes and Eating

Yesterday morning I read in the obituaries that Jimmy M had died the day before. I ran around with Jimmy M in high school. He graduated the year before I did and went into the Air Force and I haven’t seen him since.

Back in high school we worked various part time jobs together for spending money. When we worked at Minute Carwash on Saturdays and Sundays sometime back then. The regular crew, all black, called Jimmy “Chicken Head”. He had a long neck that crooked forward a little, and the little head at the end of the neck looked something like a chicken head or maybe a turtle. He accepted the blacks calling him “Chicken Head” but got offended and hot when one of us called him that.

I already mentioned in a posting that one time he, a friend that became a rock and roll singer, me, and someone else helped the manager of a bowling alley clear off some property the man had just bought out in the outskirts of the town, back when it was country and the manager caught himself afire trying to pour gasoline onto a small fire to make a bigger fire and we had to rush him to the hospital. It never occurred to us to try to phone for an ambulance. Well, that was before cell phones and we were out miles from anyplace.

Jimmy M was a skinny kid the last time I saw him. Last night in the his casket and he looked huge… and old…. I could not imagine that old man dancing so good as Jimmy danced…. I would have never thought the two people were one in the same body.

He no longer had a long slim neck that would inspire someone to call him “Chicken Head”.

I was not considering going to visitation at the funeral home but was considering going to the funeral today. Then, Anna and I discussed the logistics of it. Tomorrow, I will be needed more to help with the shifting and boxing up stuff for the carpet to be installed next Friday. And besides, I did not necessary want to go with Anna and her mother to her mother’s women club picnic tonight.

And my friend Paul called and told me I had to go (he was joking) because Jimmy M was president of the Ratscats in high school his senior year and as Paul said, “Passed to baton to you.” The Ratscats was an underground fraternity at Marietta High School that has been going on long before my time. I was the president my senior year.

I asked Paul who did I pass the baton to, I forgot. He said, “Roger G.”

I said, “Roger G.? That’s not fair, he died already!”

We were talking nonsense.

At the funeral home I got to see a few old high school chums. Bobby, an old friends, was fussing because the new high school is air conditioned, reminding us that the way we air-conditioned a room when we were in high school was to raise the windows. Don, another was bragging, as he always does at these get togethers. He usually tells me how many houses he owns and is renting now. But he skipped that – he was talking about some kind of collection of 8mm movies he is working on to convert to disk.

Don and I were talking about old friends who have “gone on” and also talking about live friends and what they were up to. I said “And there is Larry Holcomb.”

Don said, “Yes, I ran into him last week.”

I said, “You did?” Larry has been dead about 5 years.

Don said, “Yes, he hasn’t changed a bit, same old Larry.”

Maybe that is why Don didn’t brag about his rentals. He forgot he had them!

I left. Anna was to eat at the picnic with her mother. It was up to me to eat someplace on my own. I went to a new sea food place in Kennesaw. There fresh sea food was displayed at the counter, on ice. You pick it and they cook it I suppose. I noticed the dining area was empty – not a good sign. I changed my mind, I decided to be naughty.

I decided I wanted an old fashioned Wendy’s Hambuger with a side order of french fries that I would drown in catsup. On the way to Wendy’s I went by a KFC and changed my mind – my mind reminded me how great KFC thighs and breasts taste. As I planned to turn around I forgot about KFC by thinking of the next place down the road, The Varisity, which have delicious chili dogs and chili burgers. I was drooling at the thought of those when somehow one side of my mind felt left out because it was thinking of KFC, so I decided to go to the next one of those, which is on Canton Road.

I went to the KFC on Canton Road. By the way, this place got a low rating by the county restaurant inspector for cleanness. Allll right!!! The chicken was delicious, just as I tasted in my mind. It was finger licking good.

The food was good but the restroom smelled like an old fashion outhouse.

Just a couple doors down is a restaurant called Johnboy’s Country Buffet. Across the street from Johnboy’s is a named called Okra’s Country Buffet. Johnboy’s is always crowded and hard to find a parking place. On the other hand, Okra’s is, well, to be kind, I will say you would never have any trouble finding a parking place.

Johnboy’s in ran by a bunch of Asians. Okra’s looks to be ran by a bunch of er- county-like people. So, why do you suppose the outsiders do a better business than the insiders?

I think if you are outside the fishbowl it is easier to see in the whole fishbowl than if you were inside the fishbowl to start with. I suppose the same thing goes for advertising and marketing.

Friday, September 07, 2007

K-9 dog dies after being left in patrol car.

Above: Headline news in this morning’s Marietta Daily Journal:

First sentence:. The Acworth Police Department is investigating the death of one of its K-9 unit police dogs that died of an apparent heat stroke after being left inside a patrol car late Monday.

The article goes on to say that the Acworth Police would not say if charges will, or can be charged against the officer in charge of the patrol car.

Tch tch. Shame. Bad Cop! Bad Cop!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Kemp Cemetery

This is a continuation of not letting all the cemetery photos I have taken over the years to go to waste…. This way I can get more mileage of them.

The Kemp family and Anna’s family intermarried. A number of Prances married Kemps. In this little cemetery on Steinhaur Road in north Cobb County Anna has distant cousins with the name Bettis, Carlile, Kem and Prance. Of course the cemetery has many Kemps and it is confusing just which Kemps are related to the Prances and who are not, so for now, I will bury my head in the dirt (and ask).

Catherine Bettis (1917-1923)

Charlie Bettis (1875-1920) and Annie H. (1884-1948).

Lela Pear Bettis (1910-1930)

A.T. Bettis (1838-1881)

Elizabeth Carlile (1856-1939) and husband John Shaw.

Charlie Prance (1861-1922) and his wife Fannie.

Sallie, wife of W.L. Prance.