Monday, March 31, 2008

The Fox Theater old postcards

This is the Fabulous Fox Theater on Peachtree Street. It is partly grand and shiny because it is the Fox Theater and partly because it was also the Shrine Mosque for Atlanta.

Through the years we have been to movies, concerts, and plays there and was always impressed with its enormity and grandiose…. The popcorn wasn’t bad either.

If BellSouth had their way about 20 or so years ago, it would be a parking lot for their employees who worked in the BellSouth Tower. They bought the building and property and just about had the wrecking balls in place and…..

The public outcry was louder than they had counted on.

The Fox lives.

Foster Family of Roswell, Georgia

This is the Foster family of Roswell, Georgia.

The boy sitting between his mother and father is Anna’s grandfather Paul (1895-1936). He grew up to become a Singer Sewing Machine salesman and repairman. He came to your house to repair your sewing machine. I doubt if such a profession exists today.

The picture was probably taken 1905-1907.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Amanda America Dickson 1849-1893 by Kent Anderson Leslie

Kent and I are both alumni of Marietta High School. We graduated the same year. I knew her and her two brothers well enough to – well, speak to them by name, and they in turn, knew me about the same way.

I knew she had written this book, I read about it in the paper when it was first published and have stumbled on it more than once at the Marietta History Museum. On a visit to the High Museum last year I ran into Kent. We spoke. I decided to get her book and read it. I did and found it very good.

Kent wrote it as her thesis or dissertation , when she was in college.

It is a very well researched book. The end-notes pages take up a big portion of the book.

It mostly takes place in Hancock County, Georgia, and ending mostly in Augusta, Bibb County, Georgia.

A wealthy young plantation man, or brat, David Dickson raped one of the family slaves, Julia Frances Dickson. Julia had a child by this rape, a daughter that was named Amanda America Dickson.

I perked up a this. America is a rare name. She is the second person I know that had that name, except Captain America in the comics. The first person was my mother Ethel America Petty Hunter, or “Janie”.

There are unbelievable amount of censuses, conclusions from the censuses, agricultural reports, state and county laws studied, and statistics and more.

David Dickson did not hide the fact that Amanda was his child and his mother sort of gained possession of her. Legally she was more property of the white ruling family than the daughter of a slave.

In time Julia moved from the slave area to the house and was House-Slave, and through the years more or less ran the household. She even kept the papers and paid venders who delivered things to the plantation – which demonstrates how much trust David had in the lady.

David became the master of the plantation and with his planning it became very productive and he became one of the richest men in Georgia.

Being a self-earned of the richest came with bragging rights which David fully used, he wrote articles on farming – how he did it.

And during this same time Amanda grew up well petted among the white family that care for her.

David said he was very humane with his slaves and it appeared that they had a caste system on the plantation. The more productive a slave was the more benefits he or she got.

After slavery was abolished one old ex-slave on the Dickson plantation remembered the whipping post and the food served in troughs, kind of the same way hogs were fed – how was that for humanness?

Visitors who visited the Dickson house for dinner had a rare experience. Amanda, and I think Julia too, sat at the table and ate with everybody else. They knew ahead of time, if they had a problem with that, then they did not come.

I don’t want to give away too much of the book. Kent looks down every avenue and possibility in the book.

The society in Hancock County, probably more so than most other counties probably was at its height of racism holding the black man down with Jim Crow laws when David Dickson died and left Amanda a fortune. All of his white relatives had a fit and challenged the will. You will have to read the book to see what ruing the courts handed down.

The book also tells how Amanda’s family developed – her husbands and off springs, etc.

I thought it was good and educational – but a bit sad, as far as human dramas go – but that is life.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Johnny and Good Roadside BBQ

Yesterday while gallivanting we stopped by a roadside BBQ trailer to get lunch to carry home.

Johnny is black man that is probably in his 50s or 60s. He is a big hearty looking guy. On the window of his ordering counter is a laminated review newspaper article. He operates out of a white trailer that has a big sign on top that says BBQ. His trailer is on a state highway, near a lot of industrial supply companies and strip shopping centers.

Outside his trailer he has a trailer-wagon that is big home made smoker made of black iron. While waiting yesterday I looked closer at the smoker. It has metals bars of some type – sort of a homemade-custom made grill. One side was damaged and is bent. I guess the trick is to keep the meat from that side – it may slide into the hickory logs roasting – putting out a delicious aroma for all the people riding by to get a whiff of.

We have tried his BBQ sandwiches Ribs, fries, Brunswick Stew, cole slaw and Brunswick stew, and macaroni & cheese. It is all to die for – or at least put up a good struggle – well, maybe just a heated argument. That is all but the macaroni & cheese – you can have my share.

I think he is a very good cooker of pork – I am not too sure about his administrative abilities.

Each time I have ordered and he assemblies my order I hear banging and bumping in that trailer – like he is clumsy, otherwise, he works magic.

It seems each time the price he comes up with is flexible and not the same as the last time. I noticed that. I think he does some price adjusting with his sides. Whatever side he has cooked too much of is what I think he says comes with the meal for that day. Yesterday it was barbecue beans.

One we ordered a “flat” or ribs, whatever a flat is that came with two sides for $25. We ate on it for days.

Although his food looks and smells delicious – I hope you like it, it stays with you for over a day… each time I eat his food – I have a slight indigestion smoked bbq flavor in my mouth for a while.

I think Johnny might give the customer the once-over before he tells him what side comes with it today for what price.

I also noticed when I order Johnny talks white to me. It is straight order of business, no slang, no knee slapping, no carry on.

Before I have been standing there when blacks have ordered and he talks black lingo with them – one black dude in a trimmed suit one time who seemed very proper and businesslike – when ordering he and Johnny because hooting and slang slinging brothers.

Yesterday, after he waited on me and was banging around in his trailer a man drove up and parked in the handicapped place – by the way, the trailer is parked in the front parking lot of a supply company. It was ok for the man to park in the handicapped place, because he had a handicapped license plate.

When he got out, he sure didn’t look handicapped. He looked like a little chubby Irishman.

He asked Johnny what kind of pork was his sandwiches, sliced or pulled. Johnny said “pulled”.

The little guy said that is what he wanted to know and turned around to leave. Johnny sounded very Irishman when he asked the guy what was wrong with pulled barbecue pork.

“Nothing I reckon, I just want to see what I am eating.”

As I walked away with my sack of food I could hear them fussing – not the words but the heat in the words. Finally, the little man got the last word. Loudly he said, “That is right! Each person to his own!”. As he walked to his van.

Friday, March 28, 2008

UN – Exterior postcard

There you can see the UN, the streets that border it and the East River.

I was thinking the other day, if an UFO plopped down in front of you and some strange creatures climbed out and demand for you to take them to your leader – who would you carry them to?

The head prime minister of the United Nations?

Or maybe you think you should take them to the United States leader – which would be the CEO of any of the largest companies that are in the league of the top ten.

But first, maybe you should ask the aliens if they want to see an elected leader? If they buzz and whistle among themselves, then turn to you and say the elected leader, you probably should carry them to President George Bush.

Then Bush can carry them to Dick Chaney, after all, we must follow the chain of command protocol.

WSB-TV Visited Oakland Cemetery

(click on each picture to get the most out of it)

Thursday night on WSB-TV in Atlanta they had a report on Oakland Cemetery, which was named “Beyond The Grave” narrated by John Pruett.

Oakland Cemetery is one the oldest cemeteries in Atlanta, if not the oldest. It has graves of governors, mayors, successful businessman, famous people such as Margaret Mitchell and Golfer Bobby Jones, Confederate soldiers, Yankee soldiers, common people, and paupers – in Oakland there are about a 6 acres of a Potter’s Field, a huge mound of unmarked graves.

The tornado that hit Atlanta just about knocked Oakland Cemetery into an unrecognizable field of stones and toppled monuments. Now they had to close it to the public and are just clearing the fallen trees. They said it will take millions of bucks to restore it like it was, when repairing the stones, etc.

WSB-TV, in their hour did an excellent job giving a brief history of the cemetery, its eccentricities, traditions, ghosts, and what all.

Each time we have been to Oakland I have always been amazed – not only because of the amazing dead that lie beneath the surface but also the monuments and the history – like for instance, where the wall is that separates the cemetery from Memorial Drive, near the Jewish section is where James Andrew of Andrews Raiders was hung for being a Yankee spy, stealing the General Locomotive (The Great Locomotive Chase), and complaining about the coffee a the Kennesaw House in Marietta…. Well, maybe he got away with the last charge.

On weekends there are many tours and docents and John Pruett said in Octobers they have period-costumed ghosts by the certain graves to tell what made that person so special. I didn’t know they did that. I would like to go to that sometime. You may recall in a posting here I said the Marietta City Cemetery and the Confederate Cemetery did that two years in a row.

Above and below are some pictures I took at Oakland. I just like the composition of the top picture,

The two below are Margaret Mitchell Marsh’s grave and the other one (W.E. Kuykendall) is a distant relative who was killed during the Civil War, probably in June or July 1864 during the Atlanta Campaign Battles.

And to guard over the Confederate graves is a sleeping lion.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Isle of Hope - Savannah postcard

I think Paula Dean probably lives in the area of the Isle of Hope.

I wonder if there is an "Isle of Despair" in the area?

Artifacts Still Around

The above door handles and welcoming floor tiles are still in use. The McLellan’s door handles & tiled entrance and Saul’s tiled are left-behind artifacts of my formative years.

The Saul’s store was a clothing store where we bought many of our clothes. They also sold material. I think I could walk in and walk to the table that had my pants size with my eyes clothes… in fact, for some strange reason I dream just that, walking in and going to the table to pick out a pair of pants – I was dreaming, I had my eyes closed didn’t I?

McLellan’s 5 & 10¢ Store had just about everything, but off hand the only thing I remember is water monkeys and little turtles with the painted shells. There store big and stretching to Marietta-then standards. It went straight back and had a door to Anderson Street where this the door handle was photographed, which now is the back door to Eddie’s Trick Shop; it had a door going out to Winters Street to almost face the Marietta Daily Journal before they moved, which that section is LaPeep’s Restaurant; and it wrapped around and behind the First National Bank and exited on Powder Springs Street.

It had a long lunch counter. That lunch counter was just right for the first target of an integration lunch-counter sit-in. I forgot if that lunch counter was actually the first or not. Wherever it was, it must have turned out to be no big-deal, or I think I would have remembered it.

McLellans’ came to be in Marietta when I was about 5 or 6 years old. My father and mother became neighbors and friends with the manager and his wife. They lived only a block away, about where Roy Barnes’ law office parking lot is now. A night or two before the store first opened they gave our family a personal private tour of the store. I remember walking slightly behind the group under strict orders not to touch anything when we walked through the children’s clothes and a well-dressed boy mannequin, about my size, was standing on a table. Daddy just saw him in his peripheral vision and turned around and quickly saying, “Eddie! Get down from there!” finding himself scolding a smiling dummy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rodin - Prodigal Son sculpture postcard

This sculpture in this postcard is by Auguste Rodin and the name of it is The Prodigal Son.

On the back it says the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. I don't remember if we bought the card there or at Oglethorpe College north east of Atlanta, where we went to a Rodin Exhibit last year.

About the only thing I can say is: Rodin is a pretty good carver, an't he?

3 Tysons in a Yard

These are three of my grandmother Minnie Tyson Hunter’s siblings. From left to right, Ed Tyson, Anne Tyson Crowder, and Will Tyson.

I think the picture was taken in the front yard of the Hunter house on Manget Street by the placement of the overhead tree foliage and the telephone pole. If I could see me dangling from a limb, I would know for sure.

Come Back and Stay Awhile - You hear?

I am still watching many hits come in to look the “Joe is dead” thing I named something. About a 100 or more people come a day to the “Joe is Dead” article. They look a brief second and see there is nothing to it, and exit.

Their visits up my visit number which some people want, but lower my percentage of returning visitors and the percentage of people spending a little time with my blog – which are the two percentage group which I am normally proud of… but not at the moment.

Up until the Joe is dead thing about 45% of the people were spending over 5 minutes on my blog; and about 40% were return visitors – both are numbers that I felt good with.

Not with all the Joe-Is-Dead visitors the total is much higher but it caused the two quality visitors’ percentage to drop.

I think I have two choices: (1) To wait it out, surely whatever they read to magnetized them to this blog will become outdated or run its course or (2) delete the Joe is dead thing. It is not that great of an post anyway – then when they search for Joe Is Dead on google they won’t find it here.

Because it is my blog, I am the only one that can look at the numbers– so, it is for my ego only.

Inflating one’s ego is a lot of work.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Anna Ruby Falls Again & Helen, Ga

Here is another post card of Anna Ruby Falls.

As I mentioned, we spent our honeymoon there in the Unicoi State Park where the falls are. And I also mentioned the nearby town of Helen that had a launderette that we did our clothes at once that honeymoon week.

Just a year or so after that the town fathers of Helen decided to make it look more like a tourist trap by making the town look like an Alpine village.

Here are a few pictures of the Alpine-style buildings that I took a couple of years ago and one the same day at a gift shop in Helen that Anna tried taking of me when a drunk female Viking came up. She was just pillaging – that is what Vikings do.

Another Old Friend

Today I had a pleasant surprise.

An old high school friend Horace called. He had been reading my blog and wanted to throw in his 2¢ about this and that.

One of the things Horace wanted to tell me was he stayed near the Holiday Inn in Fort Lauderdale and knew the area pretty good. He also wanted to genteelly correct me on the statement I made on that post about Connie Frances making a statement is now politically incorrect and also I said she was hawking orange juice.

He also told me the name of the feed store next to Hunter’s Barber Shop was Reeves’ Feed Store.

I went back and corrected those posts. Now, newcomers will never know that I made the blunder…. That is, unless they read this post.

Who is that I am thinking of? Could it be Arlene Francis?

At a friend’s funeral we spoke briefly and I think that is the only contact we have had in the past 45 years. Unless he was at the Bell Boys Reunion, after seeing so many old friends, everybody just blended in.

Horace gave me a brief outline over the phone of his life for the past 43 years. He lived a fascinating life. He worked at a profession that took him to New York City, various points of Florida, Chicago, California, and I forgot where else. Oh yes, here in Marietta.

Now he has come home to roost, so to speak.

Compared to his life, I lead sort of a Lum and Abner kind of existence. Well, some one had to stay and mind the store.

Me - A Local Businessman

I think I have a business idea to rake in plenty of cash.

As you probably know all TVs are supposed to be able to received digitized transmissions by a certain day in February 2009.

I researched it this and found out if you have cable with a standard type of TV no action is required. The cable company will do it from their end.

And you probably also know that in this day and time large companies prefer to have independent contractors work for them than people. You don’t have to deal with benefits, social security, and all that. This is my opportunity to take my rightful place in the pecking order of contractors.

Closer to the DTV date people will start to panic – not knowing “no action required”. This will be when I make my move.

I will advertise on posters hung on telephones. “For digitizing your TV by Feb 2009 call this number” and if I have room remind them of the ruling and the date in February.

Then they will call me and I will tell them I can make some adjustments and when I leave they will be able to receive the digital broadcasts as of February when it goes into effect.

I will get me a fancy tool belt that can hold an assortment of screwdrivers, crimpers, a flashlight, and pliers and of course a clipboard. I will come to their house, get in back of the TV and shine the flash light and hum a lot. Then, suddenly I will stop humming and let out a moaning sound, like this TV will be extra trouble.

Then finally I will step out from the back of the TV and tell them it is ready. And explain I had to do some things extra, but tell them I stand by my price, even though I had not counted on the wrong thing blocking my way, but I made adjustments and will work just fine – so, just pay me what I originally quoted – I am not the kind to up the price after I arrived…. After all, I am a man of integrity. And say, “Cash please.”

I might even join the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce and go to their breakfast meetings and rub elbows with other local business men and listen to clever and wise Republicans speakers.

Now, I am wondering what will be a fair price. $25 per TV? $100? After all, I don’t want to get rich, just make an honest living.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Howard Johnsons at Ft Lauderdale postcard

This is one of our BK vacations in the early 70s’. Then, this Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge was the latest state of the art kind of motor lodge. We were on the top floor, across the street from the beach and had a grand view of the Fort Lauderdale Beach and the ocean. Connie Francis starred in “Where the Boys Are” in a movie about and named Fort Lauderdale.

If the Howard Johnson building is still there it is probably a community eye sore.

I remember just across the side street was an great restaurant that had that Hawaiian luau decor that served great fish dishes. I expected to see Moon Doggie make a grand entrance.

Bill & Clyde

These are two brothers, Clyde and Bill, are Anna’s not-so-distant cousins. Clyde was born in 1915 and Bill was born in 1914. I would think the picture was taken about 1920.

They were born in Americus, Georgia, the oldest of 5 children of Home and Louise.

Americus, Georgia, is just 10 or 15 miles from Plains, Georgia.

Bill married Henrietta and they had 3 kids, all born in Atlanta. I do not have Bill’s death date.

Clyde married Agnes in 1941 in Washington, DC, and they had one son. Unfortunately, Clyde died in 1945 as young man at age 30.

Time does a number on everyone.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Think back to the last postcard I had on here yesterday. This blue Stain-Glass. This is the back side.

We sent this card to ourselves.

The postmark, the stamp, or our card addressed to ourselves is the story here. The story is in my memory.

We were standing in line at the UN Post Office waiting to buy this stamp. There were about two or three people ahead of us. It was a one-window operation. The lady being waiting on was going through the available stamps picking out the ones she wanted. It was timely for us, but who cares?

Suddenly I heard a man, in front of us, with a Brooklyn accent, say, “Jesus Christ, you gonna take all day lady?”

We were shocked. In the south we only heard that kind of sentence if they were joking. This was no joke.

The window clerk did not pay the man any mind but the lady did. She got all sputtering and nervous. He repeated his rude remark.

She left, glancing at the rude man in quick looks as she walked by him.

Well, I doubt if the lady left to go buy a I ♥ NYC tee-shirt.

Another Easter Memory - The Easter Parade

On Easter morning, 1964, when I was stationed at Lakehurst, New Jersey, we drove down to Atlantic City, about 40 miles away.

We got there early to get a good bench on the Boardwalk. That is a habit I have down pat… to get someplace extremely early.

We watched the Easter Parade that day. People from all walks of life put on their finest and new duds and walked down the Boardwalk – it was a tradition I just learned of that day. The people near there do it every year.

There were a lot people arm in arm with their mates smiling and marching with keenly dressed children not far behind.

Some people had pastel umbrellas that served no practical purpose as far as could tell; some men had top hats, other had color top hats, dresses from traditional to very boldly skimpy and modern…. And some people dressed down making a mockery of the whole thing.

It was a sight!

Friday’s Gallivanting

Yesterday we started out the day with a few medical appointments. After those we went to Wal-Mart. It is just isn’t a shopping day unless we go to Wal-Mart.

We have about 5 Wal-Marts to pick from. Because we were near downtown Marietta we chose the one across from The Big Chicken.

Earlier this week we read in the paper that the Marietta Police Force now has a contraption that looks like something in a Robo-Cop or Star Wars movie. It is a little metallic room jacked up high in the air. It has dark tented windows and people cannot see in. They do not have to be there – they also have video cameras looking out and a person at the police station can monitor what all is happening in the parking lot.

First they put in the parking lot at of a shopping center in West Marietta in a high crime area. Guess who complained? The merchants complained. They said the police were invading their customers’ civil right to privacy. And they said the large Star-War looking tripod looking thing were scaring off their customers. Were they afraid their civil rights were being violated or afraid their immigrant status was being examined?

Most of my friends consider me a liberal, which, to their definition, I probably am. However, when it comes to the law protecting the citizens and to use what ever device or means they can, my conservatism comes out. I say, keep the things, the more intimidating the better.


We dropped by a place we have wanted to eat out in downtown Marietta, The Travel Fare, or The Traveling Fare. Go to Mill Street just off the Square, you can’t miss it.

If you have read any of my postings that mention restaurants, then you probably know I like hole-in-the-wall unpretentious type of places.

This place is that. It is no-pretentious and as far I can tell, it is a little restaurant with the dining room about the size of a bedroom. On one wall is a mural of a fountain, another wall overlooks the window to Mill Street. On the opposite wall from the front window is things to make the operations easier, such as a shelf for menus, silverware, etc. Also is a picture of their daughter (which was there and a brother a couple years older, he was probably in school). If we figured it out correctly, the solo cook is the co-owner and his wife is the other co-owner and is also the waitress, and their 4* year old daughter was the hostess and entertainer.

*How do I know that she is 4 years old? Because one of the customers asked her how old she is and she held up 4 fingers.

I counted that the place could seat 18 people, if some of them were crunched up, as a group of 8 women in the medical profession did when we were there.

Incidentally, this is two doors down from where Anna’s father worked most of his working life as manager of Veach’s Wholesale Grocery.

Someplace, on a sign or a menu we read that they were proud and maybe even famous for their chicken pot pies – so, that is what we ordered. The chicken pot pie was had very nice big pieces of chicken in it and was delicious. As a side item I picked a salad, which was also very good.

While we were waiting the 4 year old daughter came over smiling and spoke to us in her bashful way, but was mostly drawn to the table of 8 ladies in the medical profession. How do I know they were in the medical profession? Some of them had those flowerily-looking nurses garb on.

We noticed her mother, would let her talk to the customers until the food was brought, then she pulled her away so they could eat. By the way, they all ordered sandwiches. The lady closest to me had a BLT, cut in half, she only ate a part of one and left the other one. I wonder why?

Three men came in that looked like contractors or something of that sort. The little girl went over and socialized with them. One of the men, played a game of quarters with her, showing her how to spin a quarter on its edge on the table. She thought that was pretty good. The waitress and the three men knew each other by name. She told us later they come almost every day- well, she said, at least 4 times a week.

The guy with the quarters had ribs for lunch. The other two had beautiful delicious looking salads. Anna made a comment to me that one got ribs and the other two got salads.

As I said, it is a small room. The guy with ribs and quarters said to us, “They will live longer but I will have more fun!”

I like that.


Next we went to Smyrna for a hair appointment for Anna. While she was in the beauty shop I went to the library in downtown Smyrna. It was closed for Good Friday.

I was not that far away from the Covered Bridge and went there. I had a purpose. Years ago I saw a trolley or a passenger train car in the woods, near the covered bridge, near the train trestle bridge. Now the train tracks is no longer there. In its place is the Silver Comet Trail, which is a strip miles long going through more than two counties for people to exercise by running, skating, biking, walking, and so on. I could not find the train passenger car. I think it had been hauled away, possibly refurbished and is being used in the form of an antique someplace.

While in the area I also wanted to look up the Concord Baptist Church cemetery which is to have a grave of a witch in it. I couldn’t find it either.

Just several days ago Deborah gave an excellent picture and verbal tour of the area, which included the cemetery visit with instructions on where it was. When we got home I read that post again and know what I did wrong – or what I didn’t do right, there is a difference you know.

Friday, March 21, 2008

UN Stained-Glass Memorial by Cargall

Here is a stained-glass window in the United Nations. It is by Marc Chagall. I remember seeing it when we visited there in the early 70s. We were so impressed with it we bought a postcard of it.

See all the little human-like figures floating around, some with hind legs of four legged mammals? And a nun-like figure in deep thought>

I think I know what it all means. No, I don’t think it means “World Peace and Brotherhood”

See the angels?

It can only mean one thing: “World Domination Through Religion.”

Easter Memories Afloat

In the early 50s one Easter morning it looked like it was going to be warm day. My sister wanted to go to drive up to the fairly new Acworth Beach and sunbathe. My friend Milton and I went along. We were not old enough to drive. We were in the 8th grade.

While my sisters sunbathed Milton and I walked around and found a place around the bend that rented row boats for a cheap price. I do not remember it being a cheap price, but the fact that we did it, proves it was an affordable cheap price.

We rowed all over Acworth lake and found on the other side of the lake a swap area with trees going out of the water and we explored down the water alleys bordered by trees. We only had our bathing suits on and did not even think about the sun blaring down on us.

However, after we just about did all we could do and returned the boat we realized we were baked. We both were red as lobsters.

That night I was in so much pain I could not sleep.

But, time heals. Or does it?

The red flesh turned to a dark tan eventually. Now, over 50 years later, any time of the year, in my birthday suit, one can tell the where my bathing suit came to that day.

There is a Milton by the same last name who owns or owned a car dealership in Gainesville. I often wondered if it is the same person.


A few years after that at Victoria Landing at Lake Allatoona, as mentioned before, my friend Monty build a houseboat with our help. We did the important stuff like hold planks while Monty measured and sawed. The first houseboat looked like an outhouse on a floating deck and second houseboat looked something like a giant two-level pup tent.

Before the second houseboat was built, one Easter Eve several of us spent the night and the next morning of course was Easter. We went for a swim. We went in our underwear. Yes, the water was icy cold – at first, but after a while we got used to it and were climbing up on top of the houseboat and diving in.

The following Monday morning at work in Atlanta I told a girl I have known just about all my life about us swimming the day before on Easter. She and I have common relatives but we are not related.

She said, “Didn’t y’all freeze your balls off?” and laughed. It was a rhetorical question.

After she walked off the shipping clerk, James, came up to me and asked what kind of girl talks like that in front of men. I tried to explain to him that the females of Marietta are as innocent as they can be – they just never have been the type to hold their thoughts in their head.

He looked at me blankly – he didn’t understand. He spent his lunch period reading the Bible. I didn’t think he would understand.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Joe is Dead... and?

Back December 14,2006, I had a postings I named Joe Is Dead. In the past 30 hours or so, I have had about 30 to 40 hits from all over the world and the United States to that post.

It is about actor Peter Boyle and his death. I more or less said I hate to hear he had died and I respected him as an actor. That was about it. Of all the things Peter Boyle has been in, my wife Anna and I always identified him by saying his character name in the first movie we saw him in: Joe.

Other than a few casual comments saying they hated to see him go too, it was nothing special.

Now, suddenly all these people from all over Europe and the U.S. have visited that posting and I have no idea why.... hmmmmmm.

Beautiful Reynolds Park - Savannah postcard

The back of this card says the same as the front: Beautiful Reynolds Park - Savannah.

Is Beautiful part of the name? I mean, if I was looking for Reynolds Park on the map, in the index would look under the Bs?

And another thing - this square is suppose to be haunted which they say causes photographs to be blurry. Then, how come this postcard is so clear?

One of Savannah, Georgia's 24 beautiful squares, Reynolds Square is located on Abercorn Street, between Bryan and Congress. It was named for a Georgia Royal Governor, James Reynolds.

I did a little Google surfing and found this from website Reynolds Square, Savannah,Ga:

As a local legend goes, one of the buildings just off the property was used as a hospital for malaria patients, and a there was a makeshift crematorium in the center of what is now Reynolds square. Bodies were gathered not only from the hospital, but from local homes as well. Victims of the disease were wrapped in a bedsheet and their bodies were burned to prevent the spread of the terrible disease. There is some question, however, as to the thoroughness of the attendants; most of the bodies were certainly dead, but a few had probably only lapsed into a coma-like state from the disease. These people were literally burned alive in the center of the square.
That was long ago, however, and in 1969 the Methodists of Georgia erected a statue of Reverend John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist denomination. He is said to have lived nearby, and the statue shows him in a preaching pose. It is a well-photographed attraction in Savannah, but often the photographs show strange colors or hazy patterns, if the photos turn out at all. Many people blame the photographic anomalies on the spirits of those poor souls who were burned alive in Reynolds Square.

Easter Time Memories

One of the things Easter reminds me of is the feed store.

Next to my uncle Herbert’s Barber Shop (Hunter’s Barber Shop) on Church Street was Reeves feed store*. Normally they had a huge Coke bottle with Coke-color liquid in it. But near Easter they would take the Coke bottle out of the window and replace it with many little color chicks, ducks, and bunnies. When I went to get a haircut near Easter I would always go next door to look at the little animals moving all around the show-window.

As Cobb County became less rural there was a less demand for bulk animal feed. The feed store closed down and Benson’s Hobby Shop took over for a short time before it moved to a free standing store in West Marietta Shopping Center on Sandtown Road.

Things are always changing.

*The below is the only feed store that advertised in the 1955 Marietta High School yearbook the Olympia. To get the text I had to overlap and also include a Manley and Adams ad - which they might be another blog one day - we used to stop by there on Atlanta Street on the way home from grammar school every.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Our Kids & Grandkids to the Rescue!

I knew we had kids for a reason, other than a Biblical command to go forth and multiply.
Almost all of us are getting a fat “Stimulus Payment” for just being us. Are we that cute? The idea is that we will take this “windfall” money and buy something nice for ourselves;.. something costly, to help stimulate the economy.

However, according to a survey, less than 50% plan to surge the economy with buying something nice for themselves. They are finally learning that it is best to save for a rainy day or pay on a bill. It looks like the stimulus is not much of a stimuli when people start thinking about a wise way to use the money.

And we don’t have to pay it back!! Sure, it puts us deeper in debt but politicians are not about to raise taxes – that is one of the ways they got elected by balking taxes.

But they still owe the money they borrowed to pay the Stimulus Payments – Radio and TV consumer advocate Clark Howard said our children will have to pay for the stimuli.

I suppose the wise thing to do is put it into savings in your children’s name, sort of a trust, not to spent for anything but future taxes to pay for this fine mess we grownups got ourselves into.

Morro Bay, California postcard

Morro Bay, California postcard

On the back:
Located on the Central Coast, 576 feet high Morro Rock is over shadowed by a rainbow. Commercial fishing boats rest in the harbor waiting out the storm.

This is from my old friend Bluto who, last I heard, lives in the Los Angeles area. It was postmarked Feb 14, 1998, and says no El Nino in sight, and Happy Valentine’s.

Bluto is fellow comic book fan, but he has far wider range of the knowledge of comics than I have (and $$$ spent). That is how we develop a rapport – on a MAD chat room on Prodigy.

I haven’t heard from him for a few years. Bluto had all kinds of ailments and lives alone. If something had to him we would probably never know.


This is my first cousin (on my mother’s side) Anthony. I estimate that the picture was taken about 1950.

Anthony is a retired Deputy Sheriff. Not long ago every time a murder happened in Cobb County when the news stations from Atlanta arrived Anthony’s shiny bald head would be on TV. He was the evidence technician (I’m sure it goes by another name). He took the pictures and gathered up the evidence at the murder scene.

I happened to think yesterday that it has been about a year since his wife Martha died. I looked on my genealogy program and I was close. She died March 16, 2007.

Since her funeral the few times I have talked to him on the phone or ran into him someplace he was living in misery, missing her so much – and I would think on her death anniversary it didn’t get any better.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway postcard

On the back:
Mabry Mill, a water-powered grist mill from the pioneer past, is still in operation. Old-fashion apple butter and sorghum molasses are made here on autumn weekend. There is also a working blacksmith shop as well as log cabins, farm buildings and a church. A self-guiding trail leads you through this region rich in folk history.

I don’t remember if this place is on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Georgia or North Carolina and the card doesn’t say. How can they expect us to self-guide ourselves around there if we can’t self-guide ourselves to find it without them telling us where it is located?

Their response might be, "Well, how did you find us when you bought the postcard?"

A nice rural countryside picture.

James & Dolly Madison and Postal Stuff

On CBS Sunday Morning News Show last Sunday they had a bit about James Madison, Dolly, and their home Montpelier.

I perked up because we visited Montpelier, which, must have been just a year or so after it was bought from the DuPont family, who owned it as a private residence, which they said was 23 years ago. Now, according to the article it is being restored again.

It is just down at the foot of the hill of Jefferson’s Monticello. I hate to admit it, but I don’t remember the house itself, only outside of the house where my son Adam chased the peacocks on the lawn near the parking lot.

Dolly was the first wife of a president to be called “The First Lady”, but that was spoken by Zachary Taylor at her eulogy. But she did earn that title. In the War of 1812, just before the British burned the White House Dolly had many of the things of historical value moved out during the night. And, when Thomas Jefferson was president, he was a widower, Dolly served as hostess to state dinners and things that protocols called for a woman.

James Madison was a little short man and a great writer. Maybe that is why I like him, he was a runt too.

He may possibly be a distant relative. He is a distant cousin of Zachary Taylor and one of the family’s folklore on my mother’s side is that my ancestor Mary Polly Taylor Pullen was first cousins with Zachary. I still have not found any proof of that.

James Madison was partly the author of the Declaration Of Independence and was widely known for his fine style of writing.

Once George Washington needed to send a classy letter to Congress he chose James Madison to write the letter for him. Then, Congress needed to respond to the letter in the same high style of writing, so they chose James Madison to respond to George Washington, and I think they carried on a correspondence for a while, which basically was Madison carrying on a correspondence with himself.

In a way, it reminded me of a Postal Supervisor named MB.

M was a tall redheaded man, very friendly and eccentric. He was a guru of electronic gadgets and watches. He sold them from a catalog that he was the authorized salesman for the area.

M was a supervisor of LSM Machine crews when I knew him. An LSM machine is a Letter Sorting Machine. Back then it sorted about many letters a minute – I forgot how many. Now, the Postal Service Scantronics machines sort that much a second, if not more.

M was transferred to a branch with carrier service and window service. I think it was a promotion. After he was there for a while a customer complained and M replied to the customer. The customer did not accept the M’s explanation and wrote another letter complaining, which M replied again. I heard the correspondence continued for a while.

The letters somehow ended up in the hands of the higher ups of the Atlanta Post Office and someone took a closer look at the letters and made the discovery that the customer doing the complaining was MB and the manager doing the explaining was MB. They were one in the same person.

He was sent back to his old job as manager of the LSM machine.

MB and two or three other people were killed March 6, 1985, when postal employee went berserk with a gun.

Interesting, the last person he shot was a deaf person that was working behind the LSM machine and did not hear the noise of the gun fire – everybody else heard the shots and quickly fled.

The shooter, I think his name was Brownee or Brownlee walked around the machine and there was the deaf person working away – POW!!!

He survived and may have been the only survivor. In 1988 I ran into him and he told me (in his own way) that he was still working for the Postal Service, but transferred to a small town post office.

Monday, March 17, 2008

"The Waving Girl" Savannah postcard

Because Savannah is having a big party today, it is only appropriate to have a postcard from Savannah.

On the back:
This monument was made by Felix de Weldon erected in 1971 by the Altrusa Club of Savannah and is dedicated to Florence Martus, who for 44 years waved a welcome to each incoming ship and goodbye to every out-going one passing to and from the Savannah Harbor. She died on February 8, 1943.

I wonder how many shipboard personnel thought she was saying, “Hey Sailor!! Looking for a good time?”

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!

And a top of the morning to ya! I say as I toast you with my green coffee.

In this part of the U.S. Savannah has a big Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration. I never been there on March the 17th, but I hear they put something in the Savannah River that makes it green and everybody has a drinking good time with a huge parade.

I remember my late friend Bubba Johnson, after he reach adulthood used to go by train to Savannah every year for the celebration. The party started as soon as the train pulled away from, well, whatever a train pulls away from.

I am going to do my part for the cause and have a corn beef sandwich and maybe potato chips for lunch.

Go find yourself a 4-Leaf Clover and have some good luck. Maybe it is a good day for to play the lottery - maybe we will all win!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Anna Ruby Falls postcard - again

Here is another postcard of Anna Ruby Falls.

As I mentioned, Anna and I had our honeymoon at the Unicoi State Park there, back in 1967.

What I didn’t know at the time, the same area of the park is a little settlement called Robertstown. Some of my Trammell relatives lived in Robertstown in the mid 1800s.

Also, about 3 or 4 miles away is the town of Helen. This might not surprise you - the founders o f Helen were my in-laws the England family. Two of the England children married my great-great-great uncle and aunt.

In the past 30 or years they made Helen to look like an Alpine village and is noted for their Oktoberfest ever year. The Englands and Hunters of that time were very religious and probably condemned drinking alcoholic drinks.

Their cemetery is near the river that flows through town. I bet during Oktoberfest you can feel the below ground rumblings if you walk near there.

Eat at Brandi's Hotdogs, No Shoes, No Service

I have been offered a position in advertising.

You may immediately picture me in a board room, all smiles, with a trim suit, and with the aid of my lap top and a laser pointer pointing at things on neat looking charts on the digitized board while the other ad executives nod enthusiastically – they better!

Well, that is not exactly the kind of position in advertising I had been offered.

This is more the type of position that you hold a sign on a street corner dressed like a rabbit or Dracula or Porky Pig. Of course we are still negotiating – like for instance, how often do I get pee breaks – after all, I got an enlarged prostate.

And I have a lot of questions to ask, like aren’t those character costumes hot and stuffy?

Seriously, I have not been “offered” a position in advertising, I have been offered a “lets talk about you working for us in advertising” – kind of offer.

In short, someone emailed wanting to discuss paying me to run an ad on my blog.

I can hardly keep the smirk off my face.

They said they would want to first count and analyze the traffic of hits on my blog. I think, if I gave them permission to check out the volume of traffic and after they analyzed it they would have a good hearty laugh over what fools they made of themselves and apologize to me for wasting their and my time.

Another thing, they said they wanted was blogs with post that have good outcomes.

I never thought about it. I would like to see where the good win over the bad too, but it doesn’t always happen. Look at politics for instance.

And hey! Remember Happy Hour is at 5:00 and Friday is Casual Day!

What were they thinking?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Holy Shit!

“Holy Shit!” just about describes it. Tornadoes are an Act of God.

The unthinkable happened, a tornado came to downtown Atlanta hopping and skipping and tearing up buildings, cars, and generally called panic and havoc.

A basketball tournament was suddenly halted. The tornado ripped off roofs, destroyed walls, threw metals beams around and out of all this, only a few minor injuries has been reported and no deaths!

Watching all the damage reports live on TV last night about midnight I was wondering about all the people stranded in downtown Atlanta. A lot of people were there that came by bus that was to be picked up by the same buses after the game, but the police said no one could enter the city – so how were the bus drivers to pick them up. Well, it could be worse – much worse.

I also thought about the Atlanta Zoo at Grant’s Park. The tornado hit within a couple of blocks of the zoo. The TV reporters showed a warehouse building that the force knocked down two walls and sent concrete blocks flying and steel beams being speared away. What if it had hit the Atlanta Zoo – like the primate house where the gorillas are kept at night or the Cat House where all the Tigers and Lions are kept. That would have livened their cage boredom!

At Spring Street and the street that runs by the old Rich’s and the Postal Federal Annex is the statue of Phoenix, rising from the ashes. The city is resilient and will rebuild itself, just like it did, after Sherman left.

Is Happiness a Warm Blanket?

Here are some picked and chosen results of a 2006 poll on Happiness conducted by the Pew Research Center and reported by today’s page of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Tear-a-Page-a-Day Calendar:

38% of the people over 65 are happy. 28% under 65 are.
43% of married people are happy; 24% singles are.
36% of parents; 29% childless.

Maybe some of the categories overlay each other – For instance, probably “single” and childless are the same people – they got counted twice.

But maybe something not told is the real reason for all the happiness or unhappiness in each group - an unnoticed variable: Maybe all the unhappy filled out their questionnaire from a prison cell; or maybe what was not noted that 30% dwell on their own death, which would make them unhappy. Maybe all the happy people are positive dreamers who have not yet faced reality … or, who knows, maybe all the happy people have a dogs or a warm blankets.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Atlanta at Night postcard

Ahh – the old times camera trick! Give your lens a tiny aperture and leave it on a couple of seconds. If you do it watching the I-75 traffic you should have a two parallel trails of red blurred lights and two of white trails. This picture must have been taken on the North Avenue Bridge, right next to the Varsity Restaurant (“World’s Largest Drive-In”) on the left of the bridge and Georgia Tech campus on the right.

See the skyline on the left, after half ways up. See the blue illumination? That is the Regency Hotel with the Polaris Lounge on top that rotates. It is on Peachtree Street near the fork of West Peachtree Street. The Polaris used to be a fantastic view, before you had a drink, if you took your time, you would have seen the entire horizon surrounding Atlanta, which included Dobbins Air Force Base and Marietta, by slowly rotating around – sort of like a Merry-Go-Round.

A year or so before this picture was taken we used to love to take out of town visitors to the Polaris. Then they built taller buildings all around the Regency, which blocked the long beautiful view. Now, I bet a picture taken from the same spot on North Avenue Bridge the Polaris would not be visible. Hogs!