Friday, February 29, 2008

Another Something Happened on this Date

The first Playboy Club opened this date in 1960.


The pictures were scanned from the Li'l Abner strips of 1950. Click to enlarge to read the words.

Years ago somebody declared this date National Sadie Hawkins Day. But the creator of Sadie Hawkins Al Capp once said, "There is no definite date Sadie Hawkins Day falls on. Each year Sadie Hawkins Day is the day I say it is."

If you are creator you can say things like that. Look at the Bible.

Salt Lake City postcard

This card is from my friend Pappy. As you can see he lives in the outskirts of Salt Lake City. Look! There he is near the horizon hollering.

On the back the card says: View looking South with State Capitol building at left, LDS church office building center, and Salt Palace at right. Located at the “Crossroads of the West” busy Salt Lake City is famous for its four season, climate, majestic mountains, and recreational facilities.

When I think of Salt Lake City (and the area) I think of an expert historian of comic books (Pappy) and also the area is crawling with people who take their genealogy seriously

Clifford Came Marching Home - Hoorah!

Anna’s uncle Clifford Prance (1919 – 1992) returned home from the war in the 1940s.

His three nephews (Anna’s brothers) James, Julian, and Tommy were most likely proud of him. Who wouldn’t be? I know I was proud of my uncles who went to war and did all that shooting. I could aim pretty good with my cap gun, so I knew what it was like.

And I am sure Clifford’s parents were happy too, that he came back alive.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hunter Relatives' Cabin postcards

Both these postcards are of the same cabin. For what it is worth, I like the top picture the best.

Both cards claim that it is oldest dwelling in Union County, Georgia.

Once my two sons and I parked on the side of the road and walked down to the cabin and let ourselves in. I was surprised just how small inside it was. I don’t see how more than two people could live there but apparently they did.

The fireplace inside is made up of irregular size and shapes rocks or stones. There was a long snake skin that was weaved in between the out-jutting rocks. A snake had did his molting there.

Both cards also state that Daniel England built the cabin around 1840 and that construction of greatly hampered by Indian activity (hostile activity).

I think the cards are wrong as for who built the cabin. From what I have heard the cabin was built by John Hunter, my great g-g-grandfather. Daniel England married John’s youngest daughter Harriet Hunter.

John Hunter died in the mid 1840s, leaving his single daughter Martha Hunter as the only person living in the cabin. Harriet and her husband Daniel England moved in with Harriet. Martha died about 1860, which left the Daniel England family occupying the house.

The Notalee River flows behind the house. I read that the Coot Ray Gang of robbers were on their way to the cabin to take their gold that they have mined. And Daniel England threw the money across the river to a brother-in-law, who buried it in a secret place. My sons and I went down to the river and looked around…. Well, you never know what you might stumble over… unfortunately, we did not stumble across a sack of gold, or anything else. Darn it!

Meanies Playing Pool

The other day I had a picture from the book MARIETTA – THEN AND NOW of the Root House on Lemon Street.

The picture was looking west towards Cherokee Street. It reminded me of a building just outside the picture. It was a gray or white building, it might have been stucco. It was shaped almost like a block. It had a huge pipe coming out of it, as if to route steam or something. It was Red’s Pool Room.

As far as I know there were three pool halls in Marietta. One was Past Time Grill and Billiards own by Neal and later owned by my cousin Dalton Tyson; one was on Lawrence Street near the corner of the East Park Square which was where the blacks played pool; and the other one was Red’s Pool Room.

Red was a mean looking guy with red hair. Not only was he mean looking, his clientele’ were also mean looking. All of them looked like they had soon as stab you as look at you. But, first beat you in a game of pool You gotta have sport!

Neal's Past Time was very well lit, Red's place was very dark, except what was illuminated under the lights just above the pool table.

They looked like the kind of characters somebody that Dirty Harry, would walk in to ask questions and end of having to beat everybody up.

Of course doubt if we could beat anybody up, but we were pretty sure we could outrun them, if it came to that. We preferred to kid around than be serious enough to fight. The people in that pool hall played pool in too serious of a serious way.

They were a little bit too serious and mean for us. We played there a few times, but preferred Past Time Grill with Neal and his wife. They were a Mom and Pop kind of business, with their helper Howard who had a patch on one eye and had a serious limp. He reminded me of Chester on “Gun Smoke”.

After you finish your pool game and ready for another one you hollow “Rack!” and Howard would rush over limping lopsided. You flip the dime on the table, or a quarter if you felt generous.

We said we bet Howard woke up at night hearing the somebody hollowing “Rack!” – just another bad dream, and he would go back to sleep.

One night we were at somebody’s house and one of us were visiting their uncle in a boarding house and saw Howard there. So, a bunch of us called the boarding house and asked to speak to Howard saying it was an emergency. When he got to the phone he heard to the word “RACK!!!” and a hang-up.

That is about as mean as we got.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Old Farts at the Funeral Home

Within the past few days I had a friend to die and also a relative of Anna’s to die.

Earl was a postal friend. When I first transferred to the Marietta Postal Office I first worked at the main office and there I worked with Earl for a short time. before I was transferred to a station branch.

Twenty some odd years later we ran into each other again, last year in North Georgia at a informal class reunion – some of our class, about a dozen met and we went to a Billy Joe Royal concert. One of the classmates was Betty. I was Betty’s parents paper boy back in the early mid 1950s. Betty was married to Earl. After we found out that each of us worked for the Marietta Post Office we had a lot to talk about, a lot of common friends and enemies – but we could not remember each other…. Well, I can understand Earl not remembering me, but I can’t understand why I couldn’t remember him. But we talked and got to know each other, and for a while I swapped forwarded email jokes with him and Betty. I hated to hear he died.

Anna’s mother’s late first cousin’s wife Lois died. I knew of Lois before I knew of Anna. Her and my mother double dated when they first moved to Marietta. Lois moved from the Blue Ridge, Georgia, area and Mama was from the Murray County, Georgia, area, which is right over the mountain from Blue Ridge.

Tonight Earl and Lois, and four or more others were having last farewells at Mayes Ward Funeral Home. Anna and I took Anna’s mother. The parking lot was so full, I let them out and had to drive four blocks away to the Square to park.

I got to see and talk to several old Marietta postal friends, mostly retired. One retired postal friend is trying to organize a monthly breakfast and asked would I come and be part of it. Sure. So, he took down my name, address, email, and telephone number. I bet I don’t hear from him. I get lost in the cracks a lot.

All the old postal friends I saw I can think of one thing: OLD. They have grown old on me. I have gone eight years without seeing most of them – I am a recluse by nature. Speaking of nature, it took its course on my friends. They have grown balder, grayer, and fatter…. Me too!

And two visiting retired postal workers had to walk with the aid of a cane. Gads, We are breaking too.

NAS Lakehurst, NJ, Hangar #1 postcard

This is hangar #1 at the Naval Air Station at Lakehurst, New Jersey. The card says it is 224 feet tall, 966 feet long, and 350 feet wide.

It is a huge hangar. You can see it from miles around. A friend of mine who is a retired Air Force Pilot told me just after you fly away from the Air Force Base closest to New York City, once you are good and up in the air and straighten out you can see the hangar. Used to when I was station there New York was a 60 mile car ride. By the way crow flies, or a jet flies, it may be as little as 50 miles, and after you subtract the miles it took you to get up high and airborne, it may even knock it down to 40 or 45 miles…. that is still a long way to visually see the hangar.

It was also big enough to house the soon-to-explode German’s Zeppelin HINDENBURG, just outside its doors. I knew that, and so did everyone on base that has been there over 5 minutes, there were pictures all over the base of the HINDENBURG exploding into flames, May 6th 1937, at 7 pm. That was before my time.

Whenever we went someplace for the weekend, the big hangar looming over the trees as drove up was always a welcome sight. It meant “home away from home”.

Our Helicopter Detachment, Helicopter Utility Squadron Four (HU-4) was two hangars down, which I suppose was Hanger #3. It looked to be about 75% the size of Hangar #1.

Bob & Joe's Sailing Shed

Yesterday morning Anna left for work about 5:45am. It was a little windy when she left but it seemed not too bad. Then about thirty minutes I thought I had better look outside. I just had a feeling.

It had just begun to rain. I thought I better get Kathleen’s and Jim’s morning paper in a dry place near their house… so I did. After I got Jim’s paper under his overhang I was out in the street, in front of our house walking towards Kathleen’s when suddenly everything lit up. It was suddenly whiter and brighter than daylight. Then there was a roar of thunder. I hurried and finished my task.

Bob and his family lives directly across the street. I heard a noise and looked over. Bob’s shed he recently assembled was on its side leaning against a fence. The wind tossed it.

I came into the house and was trying to decide if Willow and I were going for a walk in this weather or not when the power went off. It was off for about the next nine hours. We were sitting in the dark.

In less than an hour daylight came. But because it was cloudy not a strong daylight; sort of a hazy daylight.

When I could see good outside, about 7:00 I went back outside to study Bob’s uplifted shed. I took pictures.

Joe and his sister came out and got into his mother’s van. Joe was driving, evidently he was going to work, which he insisted on driving and his sister was going to drive back. It would be more impressive if he drove… it is more manly for the male to drive.

They rolled down their window and he said, “See what happened to my shed?” (my shed?)

“Yeah – terrible!”

“I might take off early today and come back and look up my house insurance papers, to see if this is covered.” The way he said that, you would think he is a young executive. He works for Jiffy Lube. Every time I have seen him working he was standing out front by the street holding a sign saying “No Waiting.”. “My insurance papers”? Other than his baby, he is the youngest member of that household – how come it is “My”? … at the most it would be “our” shed and “our” insurance papers.

They were lucky. Well, we were even luckier. About a quarter of a mile away, there was havoc.

Through all morning I heard sirens and helicopters. The helicopters were probably the news people.

I did not want to opened the frig thinking it might let the cold out, so I got into the truck and drove to Wendy’s and got a hamburger. I drove down Trickum Road, which is a block away, and as soon as I got on it, in the parking lot of a church was a TV reporting truck with a big antennae and two or three trucks with red lights on the tops of their trucks. Two or three blocks away the road was blocked and a policeman motioned for me to turn around, which I did and went another way.

On the way back home I had to zig-zag to get to my destination. Almost every thoroughfare was closed – men were working with chainsaws removing trees and limbs from on tops of houses… all over tall trees were snapped like match-sticks. Police were all over the place directing traffic around things. It looked like a tornado came in, and just madly jumped up and down and danced away.

On the news later in the evening, they said there were some injuries, but non life threatening. Good!

Bob came home early and he and Ann were out looking a the uprooted shed. I was doing something in the yard and Bob hollowed over, “Eddie, see my shed?”

“My?” Here we go again. – I suppose Ann’s money paid for the shed.

Immediately Bob told me that he had the shed anchor down good. He blamed it on Joe. He said Joe left the door opened and the strong wind blew in and it was like a parachute – it just sat sail.

Bob told me the plans he had for their house, since they are “stuck here for a few years”. He is going to make an addition to go all the way to the fence. I know that will be a sight for sore eyes.

Maybe Joe will leave the door open and it will set sail.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Confederate Memorial carving on Stone Mountain

This is the Confederate Memorial carved on the side of Stone Mountain, which is east of Atlanta. Stone Mountain is solid granite. The carving, height-wise, equal to a ten story building, and width-wise, longer than a football field.

Another postcard I have with the same picture says the carving was over a half-century in the making. If I remember correctly there was a lapse of many years between carvers. I don’t know if it was a contractual problem or a creative problem.

Not too many years ago, 20 or so., the KKK held an annual meeting at or on Stone Mountain with a good old fashion cross burning and made what announcements they had to make, like who they endorsed that was running for office, and what public person they condemned. But those were days gone by.

Now n a summer nights, weather permitting, people come and bring their picnics, beer, and blankets on a big lawn, that is also bigger than a football field. It is high on the further side and degrades itself in height until it gets almost to the foot of the mountain.

When it gets good and dark, with the help of laser wizardry Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, and Stone Wall Jackson and their horses come alive and gallop off the side of the mountain with Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, and/or Elvis singing southern patriotic songs.

The laser does some other fancy illustration tricks to music. Then they have the fireworks over the mountain after that the lights are out and time to walk to your cars. Then the Rebel Yells.


The Roots of the Root House

See the two houses above? They are the same house - if I interpreted the below page out of MARIETTA - THEN & NOW right. The house is the oldest house standing in Marietta. It was built by a pharmacist Doctor Root in the mid 1830s, shortly after the white man could move to Cobb County.

I took the picture of it in a neighborhood in the 1980s or early 1990s, after either my mother or father told me that is where she (mother) lived before she married my father. When I took a picture of it, it was on Lemon Street. The other picture, as a landmark and historical piece of work, I took the picture after the house was moved to the Marietta Loop, at the corner of Polk Street.

In the book MARIETTA - THEN & NOW* by Joe Kirby and Damien A. Guarnieri, a picture of the house is on Lemon Street – the same picture I took, and it tells of it being built on Lemon Street by Marietta's first druggist Doctor William Root and recently moved to its present location.

There are some structural differences in the house from one place to another: The chimney appears in one to be on the edge of the roof and the other, more in from the edge, and one has an center eve and the other one doesn’t. Oh well, I guess the hammer and crowbar did some adjustments for appearances sake.

Mama came to Marietta from Murray County, Georgia, to work in a mill. Her father had recently died and she had to work and send money home. I am not sure if her sisters came with her or shortly afterwards. They lived in two houses during Mama and Daddy’s courtship. One was on Washington Avenue across from the National Cemetery and the other one was on Lemon Street.

What I didn’t know was the house on Lemon Street was the oldest standing house in Marietta. Now, it is a museum – or a sort.

My mother lived in the oldest house in Marietta that one day would become a history museum and a landmark building for the Cobb County Landmarks Association.

How is that for a “claim to fame”? Surely that comes with some bragging rights, right?

*excellent book about Marietta, its history and its growth.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tallulah Gorge postcard

Tallulah Gorge is in the northeast part of Georgia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The gorge is over a mile long and has a dept of 608 feet. That is what the back of the card tells me.

The card also tells me Tallulah means “terrible” in Cherokee Indian talk. Is that how Tallulah Bankhead got her name?

By the way, Oliver Hardy, before he was in show business, was a supervisor of a railway line that went from nearby Tallulah Falls to Franklin, North Carolina.

Oliver Hardy’s home was in Madison, Georgia. US Hwy 441 goes right by Tallulah Gorge and fifty or so miles down the road, through Madison.

I vaguely remember a famous tightrope walker walked over it one time Wallander? I searched for such an event on Google with no luck.

Of course Tallulah Gorge has a Lover’s Leap. It seems every steep drop off in this area has a lover’s leap with an Indian princess and Brave from opposing tribes doing the leaping.

Each time over the years we have been there I am overwhelmed at the dramatic natural beauty of the gorge. About the only thing I can think of each time is “Wow!”

Also, the gift shop there is a right winger’s paradise, or it was the last time I was there… many rightist slogan bumper stickers. I guess it would not have survived if there wasn’t a market for that kind of merchandise.

Harvey Kurtzman - His Comicbook Art

In the MARVEL VAULT book, that I received for Christmas, I came across the above yesterday. It is by my old hero Harvey Kurtzman.

When Kurtzman was trying to get his foot in the comicbook publishing world, so to speak, Stan Lee gave him a helping hand (which I’m sure gave himself a helping hand as well) by having him do things like the above, and the Hey Look! Series in Marvel Comics, which were later reprinted in MAD comicbooks:

Harvey Kurtzman true calling came as a an editor of the visual publishing world. Every word in the first 23 issues of MAD and most of his war comics FRONTLINE COMBAT and TWO-FISTED TALES were his words.

I was going to show a samplings of more of his work, but that would be a pretty big chunk to bite off. More than I can chew.

His comic book covers have a boldness that is hard to describe. Below are some comicbook covers that he did the illustrations; all EC publications:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Helton Creek Falls postcard

Helton Creek Falls is in Union County, at the foot of Blood Mountain*, near where my Hunter relatives and ancestors lived. It is close to Vogel State Park. Before there was a Vogel State Park or the lake at the park, that were the farmlands of the Reece family, which are Hunter descendants also. One of the members of the Reece family, Byron Hubert Reece, He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and earned two Guggenheim awards. He took his own life.

*One time when the boys were still boys we stayed about a week in a cabin on Blood Mountain. Then we found Helton Creek Falls.

*Also Blood Mountain was in the news lately, as a possible murder sight of Meredith Emerson, which Gary Hilton, confessed to which he is believed to have committed in Dawson County – nor Union County.

Sunday Morning Pulpit

For months now I have been retrieving Carl’s morning paper, out of the gully, when needed and putting it in the middle of his driveway where he can see it.

Carl is old and tall. I think to maneuver himself down into the gully in front of his house and bend over, he is putting his fragile bones at risk.

Carl lives over a block away. Each morning I make sure I walk by and check on his paper, and if need be, I’ll put it up in the driveway where he can see it. Carl is also almost blind.

Over a week ago, I could not find Carl’s paper in the driveway or his gully. Finally I saw it, in his carport in between his truck and car. I thought, he would never see it there.

But then I asked myself what business do I have going onto his carport to rescue his paper. If he came out it might be disturbing and he would want to know what I was up to.

I decided the heck with it, he would surely stumble onto it during the day.

Which, I think he came upon it. Everyday since then, the paper has been resting between the two vehicles. Carl doesn’t have to walk as far, and he knows where to find it. The paper deliverer must have changed his ways, or the deliverer changed.

I feel my job is done; now I can walk in any direction in the morning I choose.

Sometimes you have to let things worth themselves out.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Restaurants lately

This posting is existing for the sole purpose of me trying out my new “No Farting” picture I swiped from another blog – it looks like it works pretty good.

Yesterday evening we took my Mother-In-Law to John Boy’s Country Cooking All You Can Eat Buffet. They have very good fried chicken.

While we were eating this slob of a person came in that I have seen many times. He used to work at the Krogers we frequented. One time he worked the meat market in the late evening. You know what kind of messes the Three Stooges got themselves into – well, imagine a movie about “One Stooge.” He seemed to have caused a mess and havoc every place at Krogers he worked.

I wondered for a while if he had a drinking problem, but no, I think he is just a grownup with ADD.

One time in the meat market he was frying up a big mess of sausages and was eating them as soon as they became done. I asked him were they free samples. He looked sort of surprised at the unique idea and said, “They can be – you want some?” And he broke up another package and cooked some more, so I could have a few links.

Another time he did something similar when he was transferred to the Deli section.

For the past several years in the summer time at concerts on the Square the last Fridays of the month I noticed him attending with a man in a motorized wheelchair. They come late and demand to be up front, and will literally push people out of the way with his motorized thing. One time I almost suggested to them the best way to get a seat in the place they want, come early like we do and set up your stuff, like chairs, cooler, whatever… but I didn’t.

And here and there I would see the slob. Lately, he seemed to be wearing dirty clothes. He looks to be about my age. I doubt if he is married. I haven’t seen any signs of a wife.

Yesterday evening when he walked into John Boy’s (alone) the waitress asked him where he wanted to sit and he told her just a minute, let him look at the fried chicken first, last week he was disappointed over their chicken. He looked, approved, and told her where he would sit.

Then he got two plates and started going through the line. One plate was under the top plate. We wondered why he needed two plates. He knew what he was doing. He went over to his seat, put the first full plate down and took the empty bottom plate and headed for the buffet table again. He filled it up too.

Two plates full! Nope, more than that! After he put the second full plate down he went and got another empty plate and picked up where he left off. He probably got a good double and triple servings of everything they had to offer.

Then he went and sat down and started eating and talking on his cell phone at the same time…. What a slob! Have your ever seen anybody hold a piece of chicken with both hands to their mouth and have a cell phone balanced on their shoulder? I wish I had a camera.

Then, we got up to go. Before I realized it - it slipped up on me. I let a fart rip. Not a silent one, but a ripping one! I was afraid to turn around to look, but I think my butt was right almost against the back of an elderly lady’s head. A lot of elderly people eat at John Boy’s. I know of one lady that might have second thoughts before going there again.

So, who is the most grotesque, me or the slob? I think we may have cancelled each other out.

That was yesterday. Today, we went to Smyrna for Anna hair appointment. Afterwards we went to a new barbecue restaurant called “Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ”. It was delicious. We both had pulled pork sandwiches. Anna had cole slaw and I had chili, which had onions and peppers in it. The music system played real Blues music, that really got down… is the only way I know to describe it…. People like Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, and on and on. Good music and good food.

Although the interior was designed to attract yuppies with an the rustic ski resort look the old framed black and white pictures on the wall showed a lot of people barbecuing in different ways like at family reunions, church meetings, nearby a railroad work place, and more…. Good photographs and good food. The prices seemed a bit high, compared to the hole-in-the-wall bbq joints I like to go to… a sandwich here cost $8 to $9. But, again, I don’t think your can beat their pulled pork. A half rack of ribs were $14 and most places a half rack is about $9.99.

The waiter went on and on how fresh everything is. The food they prepared for today’s consumption came through the door this morning fresh.

So, I guess you get what you pay for.

Jim ‘N Nick’s is on South Cobb Drive, just south of the East-West Connector and is franchise. They have two more in Georgia, one in Hiram and one in Conyers. They have restaurants in all the southeastern states and Colorado.

World Famous Col Poole’s Ga BBQ postcard

That is what the card says. It is right. It is BBQ and it is world famous. It must be, why else would all the politicians flock there to have their pictures taken?

Inside the restaurant are many pictures of politicians eating there. There are pictures on the wall of politicians such as Jimmy Carter, Zell Miller, Lester Maddox, and others. In each picture they are eating and smiling. They wanted to be seen. I bet they happened to be running for office when the pictures were made. There are pictures of those same politicians eating at the Varsity in Atlanta, and I bet at other restaurants. They all smile when they eat, which is probably gas or hot air.

The little light rectangle specks on the hill behind the restaurant are mock tombstones, each representing a pig that gave his/her life for your enjoyment. The name of the hill is “Pig Hill of fame”. I told Anna I thought they should change it to “Pig Hill of Flame”. For a price you can be a donor of another tombstone to represent the pig who gave his life for your pleasure… and I think your name goes on the wooden plaque too, along with the pig’s name.

What will the future archaeologists think when they come across the this hill?

Tasteless humor and tasteless exterior decorating skills? But at least, they have tasty barbecue… or they did when we went there several years ago.

Col. Poole’s World famous Georgia BBQ is located in East Ellijay, Georgia. You can see it from the highway.. you can’t miss it… you really can’t.


(it gets even worse when you click on it)

One man’s treasure is most other people’s junk.

I came across this while we were straightening up the basement. It was in a folder with about a dozen of the same.

It is a homemade Christmas card, or in this case a Christmas sheet of paper. I made it when I was in the Navy in December 1964. I did the original on mimeograph paper, and ran off about 20 copies on the mimeograph machine and sent some of them out at Christmas time.

I couldn’t just throw them out. Now, what?

Poor Old Doc

When I worked in the time keeping – Date Collection site of the Post Office I worked with an polite elderly gent by the nickname of Doc.

Doc didn’t have to, but he wore a coat and a bow tie every day. That was his style. He believed one should be presentable in the work place.

His dressing well and courtly ways paid off. Upper management liked his style and promoted him to supervisor. We all smirked, because Old Doc didn’t know beans about the operation or the details of time keeping.

Luckily, he was well liked, so his job got done because nobody wanted him to look bad.

After being a supervisor for a while he retired. I forgot how long he was a supervisor. I would think he probably tried to be one for at three years. When one retires the retirement is figured on your highest rate of pay, and average for three years.

After he was retired a short time Doc came by to see us, patting us on the back and smiling like he always did. He said he needed a little favor. He said his wife was now legally blind and he just could not make ends meet. He needed to borrow some about ten thousand dollars from the Atlanta Postal Credit Union and needed some co-signers.

Several people stepped right up and co-signed for the loan. My old friend Will (mentioned earlier) co-signed and tried to get me to sign. I told him that the credit union made a success of themselves by deciding who needed a co-signer and who didn’t. They only told the bad risk people they needed co-signers.

Will said the credit union didn’t know all the circumstances, some things you just can’t put down on paper – there aren’t blanks that ask if your wife is blind or not. I still didn’t sign.

Finally Doc got enough co-signers and got his money.

A couple of months later Doc was arrested for holding up a bank. Of course Doc was arrested and eventually was tried, convicted and went to prison. Everybody who co-signed on his loan had to pay their share to make the loan good, which the credit union recalled for everybody to fork over their share of the loan. I think it cost each person about $2000.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Monticello postcard

Monticello was Thomas Jefferson’s home that he designed and built nears Charlottesville, Virginia.

When the boys were young we went to Virginia on vacation several times. One trip was to Charlottesville. There we toured Monticello*. I was quiet amazed at just all the things Thomas Jefferson dabbled in, gadgets, experimental agricultural, wines, books, the stars, and many more things which included Sally Hemmings.

When we were there a group of college students were doing a dig where they believed Jefferson’s garbage dump was. They was working from a long ditch, maybe twenty feet long. I stood and watched them work shifting fine dirt for about 30 minutes or so and the only thing they found was a bent piece of metal they thought might be part of a eating utensil, somebody else would have to decide what it was. I got bored and wandered away.

Why couldn’t management get a big giant boulder- ball come rolling down a hill and chase them down the trench or something to give us tourists some excitement?

* And on the same trip, just at the bottom of the Monticello’s hill was James Monroe’s home, Ash Lawn-Highland, where Adam chased the peacocks on the front lawn. All this time I remembered it as James Madison’s home Montpelier – but on checking it out on google I found that Montpelier is in Orange County, Virginia. I’m glad to have cleared that up in my mind (rolling my eyes and popping bubblegum).

What About Them Dawgs!?

There is an interesting article in The Marietta Daily Journal this morning.

One is about an artist who specializes in dogs. His name is Stephen Huneck and lives his home and studio is at Dog Mountain in ST. JOHNSBURY, Vermont.

He has created dogs in several types of art: statues, canvas, and more (it was a long article). He has a church for dogs (see above) and a Disney World – type of place for dogs, so said the article.

Stephen Huneck feels that dogs are mystic and could teach humans a lot about loyalty, forgiving, accepting, and loving… I agree.

But! Sister Mary Martha may have something to say about that… she would probably remind us that dogs are not going to heaven – she usually says that in regard to loving cuddly caring animals. If that is the case, then that only makes them even better – they are not doing all this loving and expecting to be awarded for it in the hereafter. That is true good.

In the article it said that his dog sculptures are so realistic live dogs have actually sniffed the sculptured dogs’ rear ends. Now that is a complement!

Charles Brooks Foster, bachelor

This is Anna’s great grandfather Charles Brooks Foster (1856 – 1928). He lived 72 years.

This picture is labeled that it was taken one year before his marriage. He married Christmas Eve 1876, at age 20. He is probably age nineteen in the picture.

He married Ardella Vinson (1857 – 1933). They lived in the Alpharetta - Roswell, Georgia, area. They had five children, four sons and a daughter.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Undergound Atlanta Surfacing

Under Ground Atlanta postcard

One time when I read about a whole forgotten city underneath Atlanta after work one time Anna and I drove all around down the empty streets. It was creepy. Like a forgotten town, with advertisement signs and all.

Not long after that, the city leaders gave Underground Atlanta a face lift, to attract tourism. It was mostly one bar after another. A lot of Dixieland.

I remember Dante’s Down The Hatch, Wits End* (*Bring Money), The Burning of Atlanta Bar, a saloon type bar with the famous radio personality Piano Red, and endless bars.

One time while walking around down in Underground Atlanta a sign out in front of one bar said it was featuring singer Jay Hunter. I have a cousin named Jay Hunter, I went in, and sure ‘nuff, there was Jay with a guitar singing. He sung much like Gordan Lightfoot.

A few years ago, when my friend Bluto came to town we visited Underground Atlanta and it is nothing like it was when we went often. It seemed to be mostly gift shops. Before it had a New Orleans Dixieland style about it.

The beat goes on, or does it?

Dora Hunter Spiva Turned 103!

(reminder - click on each picture to read or see the people better)

Speaking of Hunters – there is a big Hunter patch in Union County, Georgia. Blairsville is the county seat.

Our ancestor John Hunter settled in the Union County area, near where Vogle State Park is now. Many of his descendants still live in the area.

One is a lady by the name of Dora Hunter Spiva. Dora is my 2nd cousin, twice removed. Dora had her 103rd birthday this past February the 10th.

Union County Commissioner Lamar Paris proclaimed that day as “Dora Hunter Allison Spiva Day.”

Every time I have talked to her I thought she was charming, graceful, witty, and clever like a fox.

She was a school teacher and attends all the high school reunions and appears to know everyone there. I was telling her niece that my then-neighbor was impressed because she remembered him and called him by name. Her niece said more or less, she was clever – she would spend the couple of days before a reunion studying pictures with the names.

Still though – she has to add years and sagging skin to those pictures of young people.

Which brings me to mind she always had called me by name at Hunter Reunions and seemed to have known me. Did she? She can probably read body language like a book, and everybody, including me, had on a nametag.

The last Hunter Reunion in Blairsville we attended was the first Sunday in June, 2006. Dora was there with her niece and as usual she was very cheerful and witty. And at her age, then 101, she knew she could say what she damn well pleased.

For instance, one lady showed Dora her grandchildren. Dora did a double-take, and came out with: “Why Lord, those are the (you expected her to say cutest) ugliest babies I ever saw!” And let out a hearty laugh. It cracked me up too.

That year she didn’t look 101, and according to the article in the paper, she doesn’t look 103 now. I think I do, I must have taken her place in the “old looks” category.

Dora is on the right. In the middle is her niece and to the left is Tommy Ingram, also a Hunter descendant who owns Track Rock camping Grounds. He has been supplying the place for the Hunter Reunion in Union County for many years. See the gray hair lady behind Tommy's shoulder? She is/was Austine Wallis. She is the family researcher who got in touch with me to tell me of our relationship. She died of a brain tumor about ten days after I took this picture.

Saved by D

Since us Hunter males are confessing skipping classes or lunches or pulling fast ones on teachers and principals it is only fair I drag a female Hunter in on it.

My 2nd cousin, once removed, D., was a year behind me in school. She was the studious kind that do everything right, and even worked in the principal’s outer office.

Normally, we stayed out of each other’s way.

One day, several of us, Paul, me, and I forgot who else skipped slipped off the Marietta High School campus to a friend George’s parents house. They were, what is now called affluent.

There we played on their new pool table and sampled the father’s moonshine that he bought in north Georgia. In fact, we did more than sample it, we got loaded.

We made it back to school at 1:00 or 1:30, just in time for the next class after lunch. I was trying to walk normally down the hall of the basement level when I saw my cousin D. approach me without smiling. Without saying a word, she handed me a note and walked on.

I read the note. It said that Mr. Cox was on to me. He had been looking for me all lunch period and couldn’t find me and she overheard him tell someone in his office he had me to rights now.

I had to think fast. After that moonshine I had just what I needed: The woozy look.

I went to the restroom and smeared soap under my armpits. I heard that would make your temperature rise.

As I was walking out of the restroom Lloyd Cox was walking in. He glanced at me and did a double take. He shouted where have I been the whole lunch period.

I told him right there in that restroom – I said I didn’t feel good.

He studied me a minute and said he thought I had the flu. He wanted to know if I had a way to get home. I told him I would manage,

D. and I swap Christmas cards every year. She is currently globe trotting seeing grandchildren. A couple of times I have thanked her in a card for saving my skin and she didn’t mention it back. It was her way of saying, “Don’t mention it – please don’t mention it again”.

Here's Joohhnny!!


I was reading you blog the other day and I read about Ms Nell V. and how you impressed her with you math addition. I also enjoyed reading about the jokes that were played on her. It was fun reading.

I was kind of like you in high school with the don’t give a shit attitude and the non-conformist look on things. It was more fun to raise hell and drink beer on the weekends than to study. (It must run in the family). I also have several stories about Ms V., one that I would like to share with you. In fact I think you should start a collection of local Marietta High School tales of students like us and put them on your blog. It makes for good old hell raisen fun stories.

My senior year I had Ms V. for advanced algebra and trig. In the spring before graduation, I have forgotten what problems we were working on, but as usual one day I did not do my homework. Ms V. always got into a rage if someone did not do their homework. I could tell by her body language that she was really pist-off with me when she found out that I did not turn in my homework. She went into this long tirade about what we were going to do after we graduate and that we would be garbage men, or some other low life job. She then asked me why I didn’t do my homework. I said “Ms V. these problems are boring. I worked a couple of them and they are all just alike and once you work one you can work them all. (There were about 40 problems on this one page and we were assigned all of them). I just thought I was wasting my time.” She said, “Young man if you are so smart go to the black board.” She loved sending students to the blackboard to embarrass them in front of the whole class. So I strolled up to the board and she assigned one of the harder problems and told me to work it out on the black board.

I wrote the problem down. As I was writing the problem down I said to myself that I was in way over my head and how in hell was I going to get out of this one. I’ll just pretend I know what I’m doing and try to break down the problem as if I were Ms V., and stand up here and work the problem. I wrote and erased, and wrote and thought and erased some more, and worked some more. I tried to drag it out as long as I could. Then Ms V. said “Now Mr. Hunter explain as you go, and tell the others what you are doing.” I said to my self “O shit here goes”. I started explaining the problem the best I knew how. She then said, “Mr. Hunter that is correct.” I just about fainted. Somebody up there likes me. Ms V. said “Mr. Hunter I want to apologize to you. You do know what you are doing. From here on out for the rest of the year you do not have to turn in any homework as long as you keep up and understand what we are doing.”

I don’t know to this day, 43 years later, how in the hell I got it right. All I know is I got my C in advanced algebra and trig. And I did not do any homework for the rest of the year. And in May of ’65 I graduated from high school. I still have not used that kind of math crap since.

Cousin Johnny

True Stories About Hunters by Hunters

Today is Hunter Day on this blog! Wait! now that I think about it everyday is Hunter’s Day.

The first essay is by my first cousin Johnny Hunter and the next will be by me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Joseph Vann Postcard

You heard of Joseph Vann (1798-1844) haven’t you? He was the owner of the Vann House in Spring Place, Murray County, Georgia (between Dalton and Chatsworth).

His father James Vann, who was killed, probably for killing his brother-in-law in duel, and Joseph inherited the house and a lot of land.

Joseph owned slaves. He was an equal non-opportunity slave holder. He owned black and Indian slaves. He was just as cruel to the Indians as he was to the blacks.

Chief Vann did one good thing for the community of the area. He financially supported a Moravian Mission to come in and use the land he donated them to build a church and a school for the Indians, to teach them to read and write. The Moravian also cared for sick people…. Joseph must have had a little kindness in him.

My ancestor Jesse Bookout worked for him, which caused some kind of ruckus, because then, it was against Georgia law for a white man to be an employee of an Indian.

This may be the reason Joseph was evicted from his property. He was evicted for working white men. He moved to Tennessee. He died on a ferry boat when it exploded, while in a race, near Louisville, Ky.

The Vann House is a unique mansion looking house that was built by slaves. We went through it one time, sort of a self-tour. It is an interesting house. They claim there is not a nail in it. I heard on PETV that the stairs are unique that they are self supporting with no other support than themselves. There are no braces or anything to keep them from falling – someone designed them to lean against itself. Figure that one out.

My first cousin on my mother's side uncle and aunt on her mother's side was responsible for having the Vann House to get a face-lift. It was becoming run down.

Just Shuffling Along

Monday we went to Kennesaw Mountain Memorial Cemetery where my parents are buried to put flowers on their grave – which we were late doing. The flowers have been prepared for weeks, but I just haven’t been that way for any reason.

Over my parents’ grave I reached down to pull the old flowers out. The styrofoam that held the flowers was snug in the metal vase. I really had to twist hard to get that Styrofoam that tight in there. Boy, am I good! I tried with force to dislodge it the thing crumbled, leaving me holding the flowers in my hand and I had a vase full of hard Styrofoam. Damn! Pardon my French, Mama and Daddy.

We carried the vase home to work on it. With the aid of a huge screw driver and a knife we got the Styrofoam cut up it in bits, and put the new flowers in it.

Yesterday I returned to the cemetery to put the flowers in the vase on their grave.

As I said, whenever possible I like to combine trips. After I placed the flowers and was on my way home, I thought if I just turned here instead of there, and go down Old Mountain Road at the base of Kennesaw Mountain I could enjoy the view and not only that, I would be in eventually going right by Brandi’s World Famous Hotdogs. I have not had a Brandi’s spicy chili hotdog in 2008. It was time.

In Brandi’s I noticed Brandi wasn’t there. She must have been at Brandi’s World Famous Hotdogs in Cartersville – either that or maybe she is out pregnant or with a newborn again.

Either way, she left three able-bodied ladies in charge. One of the ladies was the cook who has always been there, even when it was Betty’s World Famous Hotdogs. She has similar facial features of Betty, I think she is probably Betty’s daughter. The young lady that used to be new and act new and inexperienced seems to be in charge now and smoothly runs the operation – she has Brandi’s features, so is probably her sister. The 3rd girl is the main waitress… she had a low cut on, to expose more than a couple of inches of cleavage. I read someplace that good cleavage exposure ups the ante in the tips department… and it goes to the ceiling if the exposed cleavage waitress will look the person paying in the eye and make some kind of body contact – like patting him on the shoulder…. Of course it helps if it is a waitress and the customer is male.

I got my food to go. At Brandi’s, and when it was Betty’s, I have always found it amazing that the staff work in perfect harmony with each other with perfect communication without saying a word. All three women listen to the customers when they place their orders and work as a well oiled synchronized machine. I don’t think I have ever heard any of them speak a word to each other but they talk a lot with their facial expressions.

And now I noticed they have tee-shirts available. The lady that I think is probably Brandi's sister was wearing one. It was white, on the front it said, "Brandi's World's Famous Hotdogs" and on the back was a fiery looking race car. Fiery looking race car? If white is the only color they come in, I think their typical diner has that good old southern deep-fried fat around his middle, white would tend to show off that lard. I won't rest until I have one of those tee-shirts!

On the way home I thought it of Willow sadly watching me sadly eating my hotdog and not offering her any of it. So, I went through a fast food hamburger joint and bought a 99¢ hamburger and “had it my way” nothing but meat and bund for Willow.

When I got home, first, I chopped her meat and bund up in bite size chunks. I did this because she sometimes likes to take her food to the carpet and eat it… this way, with bite size chunks she is more likely to eat it over her bowl. She did, but she gobbled it up. She was finishing up just as I was sitting down to eat.

Willow sat and sadly watch me eat my hotdog without me offering her any.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Yam What I Yam! kakakaka

Have you ever heard Popeye laugh in the old Popeye cartoons. It sounds something like a lawnmower trying to start: kakakaka.

The above is a copy of postcard I bought off a postcard rack someplace.

For years and years I have been buying postcards. Whenever I see a postcard rack I would carefully study each card and buy a couple.

"What are you going to do with all those cards?" I have been asked more than once.

And I would answer, "I don't know yet, but when I do know, I will have them." Well, to get some mileage out of them before I discover why I have them, I thought I would show some select ones here and now, or now and then - whichever.


The Kennesaw House

In the book Marietta – Then and Now by Joe Kirby and Damien Guarnieri tells of the Kennesaw House. It tells that a parapsychologist, hired by the History Channel, said there were one thousand ghosts in the building. I don’t doubt it. It has a lot of history.

In the Civil War it was a hotbed for intrigue and well, war kind of stuff. Andrews Raiders spent the night there before stealing The General locomotive from the South in Big Shanty (Kennesaw) the next day.

The owner of The Kennesaw House was the Fletcher family. There is an excellent book named “Journal of a Landlady” by Louisa Warren Fletcher and edited by Henry Higgins and Connie Cox with Jean Cole Anderson. It is very good, but and I enjoyed just as much was the parts outside her journal where the editors tell many points of interest in Marietta and what is so historical about each point. Anybody interested in the History of Marietta would feel awarded if they read the book.

It was up until Sherman’s visit four stories high. Sherman’s men started the act of destroying it, I suppose layer by layer, and was called off when Sherman learned the Fletchers were born and bred in the northeast or Mr. Fletcher was a Mason, I forgot which – which, an old age art of favoritism was utilized.

Now, the Kennesaw House houses the Marietta History Museum on the 2nd floor and a investment firm on the first. I forgot what is on the 4th level but it is something interesting – but evidently not a retention holder, for me anyway.

When we were kids, preteens, I think it was some type of hotel or rooming house. We used to slip by the people on the first floor, quietly go up the squeaky stairs, which was a challenge not to make any noise and play on the two levels. We would play “Hide & Seek” up there and hide in the various rooms that were not occupied. I think some were and some not, but mostly not. Each room was decorated in a basic manner. A bed, dresser and chair. I remember on each dresser was a big porcelain or white glass bowl and in it sat a big matching pitcher. Each room was timeless, it could have been in 1860 or 1956.

I don’t think the rooms had bathrooms. If so, we would have used them. The restrooms must have been at the end of the each hall, just like old hotels, which it was.

Later, when teenage fashion was everything. Up until I was a teenager the fashion for boys was Levis with the cuff rolled up just once. By the time I was well into my teenage years the fashion was still Levis, but no cuffs, and the pants were what we called pegged. The inseam was cut and reseamed, causing a tight legging look.

Some boys had their mothers peg their pants, some did their own, and others carried them to a tailor. I went to Hazel the Tailor. Hazel was a little bald headed frail black man who had his shop on the ground level of the Kennesaw House,. Outside his window you could see the railroad tracks and the Freight Depot, which is now a parking lot. Time stands still for no one.