Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gwinnett County Courthouse, Lawrenceville, Ga

click for my-gawd bigness

Yesterday we went to a post-Thanksgiving Dinner, or Thanksgiving Phase II, with relatives in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

We drove through downtown Lawrenceville I couldn't help but admiring the regency beauty of their old Gwinnett County courthouse.

I made a mental note to take a picture of it on the way back home. By then it was even better, because more of a fog moved in to make the big building stand out even more.

By the way, in 1978, Larry Flint was shot down here by an unknown assassin, paralyzing him for life. Larry was on a lunch break at his trial for obscenity charges that was published in his HUSTLER magazine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

All Roads Lead From The Big Chicken

“You know where The Big Chicken is?” I have heard and used that question many times before directions in Marietta. Everybody in Marietta knows where The Big Chicken is. No one can miss it. It is high (56’), brightly color, and gaudy. Also The Big Chicken is at the intersection of two of the busiest traffic roads in Marietta, Roswell Street and Cobb Parkway (aka the 4-Lane).

From the Big Chicken to get to:

Lost Mountain Store. Turn out of the south parking lot going west. Drive across the 4-Lane, and stay on Roswell road through the downtown Square area – after that it becomes Whitlock Avenue. Cross the tracks and continue driving west. On the left you will see the new Marietta High School, then on the right you will see Kennesaw Memorial Cemetery – keep going several miles and it will on the right.

Kennesaw Mountain. Turn right on the 4-Lane going north. Two or three miles up turn left onto White Circle. It will come out on the Old 41 Highway, just across from the field of the mountain. Turn right and turn left onto Sylesboro Road.

Atlanta. Turn right on the northbound 4-Lane and proceed to so up a small hill then down a hill which at this point you will be going by White Water Amusement Park, and Richard Street will be on the left. The 4-Lane north will start and uphill climb. At the top of the hill turn right and follow the I-75-South signs until you are on the I-75 South. Just keep on driving…. Sorry, I don’t have the “All Roads Lead To The Big Chicken” to guide you back.

Blairsville. Again, get on the North 4-Lane and follow the I-75 signs, but this time the I-75 N. Get onto the I-75 N go four or five miles until you come to the exit for the I-575. Turn northbound on it and just stay on it. It changes names and numbers several times, but it is same road all the way to Blairsville.

Dobbins Air Force Base. Turn left (south) onto the 4-Lane and head south. You will go buy many car dealers and used car lots. The base will be on your right. After the base was a very famous adult entertainment night club. I don’t know if it is hot as it used to be, or they just found the right people to be friendly to.

Franklin, North Carolina. Again, follow the directions to the I-75 South. Get on it and proceed to the 285 East to Greenville, SC. Turn on it and stay until you get to I-85, then exit on it, Northbound and stay on it until you get to I-985 to Gainesville, Georgia. Turn on the I-985 and it will turn into the Hwy 23. Stay on it until it stops at Hwy 441, Turn left (North) and it will take you to Franklin.

Roswell. Turn left onto Roswell Road and drive straight Roswell, about ten miles away.

South Troy, Chicago: Turn north from the Big Chicken parking lot and you are on Cobb Parkway, also known as the 41 Highway. Go north until you enter the Chicago city limits. Take the 79th street exit, turn left to go over the expressway, and continue east several blocks until you come to Troy Street. Turn left.

Empire State Building,New York City: Essentially follow the same directions as to Franklin to get onto the I-85. Stay on I-85 to Virginia then skip to various highways until you find the right one. Work your way north through New Jersey and to through the Lincoln Tunnel under the Hudson River. On 42nd Street go several blocks down to Fifth Avenue and turn right and drive down to 33rd Street – or look for the tallest building around. If you get lost just ask any New Yorker – they love to give directions.

The water tank on top of Blackjack Mountain. Turn right onto north 4-Lane. Turn right at the first traffic light to get onto Gresham Road. Cross over the I-75 and turn left on Wallace Road. You will see some roadside shrine crosses as you pass Tip-Top Poultry. Go down the hill and cross over Marietta Parkway. Stay on Wallace Road until you come to the stop sign. Turn right onto Barnes Mill Road and drive up the mountain.

If you go in the daytime you may see goats and sheep alongside the road. If you go at night you will see beautiful Marietta Lights.

The Invisible Man Ponders Death in the Neighborhood

Last Tuesday our neighbor Tony died. Tony was 78. He and his family lived three houses down the street.

Tony had a stroke about two weeks ago and was rushed to the hospital. He improved enough for therapy and was sent to a nursing home that specialized in just that. Then he died.

Last May their son, in his 40s, died in their house. Apparently the son lost his job and his wife and was living with them. One day we saw a bunch of police cars, an ambulance, an emergency vehicle, and a fire truck – all with their lights flashing – parked in front of the house. I’m sure Tony and his wife was extremely upset over that.

While I was working out in the yard Wednesday and watching members of their huge family come and go I thought of another death. Directly behind them, Carl’s wife died on my birthday in July.

Carl grew up with Anna’s father and is a family friend. He is in his early 90s. He is a tall man. He has a deep voice and talks slowly and kindly. He reminded me of the donkey Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh.

I think Carl and his wife both has/had a form of cancer or leukemia.

Then it occurred t me that Carl’s wife was number two, Tony’s son was number one, and Tony was number three. There were three deaths on that block this year.

That sort of says something for theory of death comes in threes doesn’t it.?

The burial of Tony was yesterday. They did not have a funeral in a church or chapel, just graveside services.

We made two pecan pies. I walked them down and rang the doorbell – nobody came. I was counting on one friend or family member staying to keep an eye on the house – sort of a tradition.

I went back home and kept checking down the street waiting for the cars to arrive. When cars started arriving I walked down the pecan pies.

When I got even with their driveway was about the same time about 7 or 8 middle-aged good-old boys got out of their vehicles and were all walking and talking about car racing. They sort of fell in around me – they were in front of me, beside me, and behind me but they were talking among themselves like I wasn’t there. .. like I was invisible.

We walked up on the porch in formation and an older man held the door opened for us. Some of “us” decided to say on the porch and some walked on in. The older man nodded at me and told me to come on in. Aha! He spoke to me. I was there, just as I thought!

I gave the pies to the widow and told her we were terribly sorry and we will miss him. She introduced to me to the crowd as her neighbor, not by name. Well, at least she knew I was a neighbor, that is something. As I turned away I almost bumped into a lady I knew 30 years ago when I did a lot of photography. Then she worked in the camera department at K-Mart. I spoke and told her I knew her when she worked at K-Mart. I dealt with her almost daily. Then I knew her name, her family members’ name, and trials and tribulations of her life. She couldn’t quiet remember me she said… well, what else is new?

Christmas Season! Bah! HUMBUG!!

Black Friday opened the Christmas Season.

Tis the time to make the cash register jingle, ♫tra a la la ♪ la la

Which brings to mind this latest Fantagraphics catalog I received the other day.

The cover is a replica of Christmas wrap that HUMBUG magazine had for sale back in the late 1950a – or did they? The advertisement looked real… but that is part of subtle humor – be realistic. At a glance it looks like a repeated pattern of people kissing Christmas cheers. Look closer and compare. I think the art is either by Arnold Roth or Al Jaffee.

I think the reason they had that on the cover of their catalog because (1) it is the Christmas season and (2) it is their sly way of telling of preparing you or getting you in the mood for some Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, and Jack Davis stuff. Inside they said they are reprinting the eleven issues of the short-lived satirical magazine HUMBUG in two hardbound volumes. Now, is the time to put your name in they said.

Well, I would do just that, put my name in – but I already have twice in the past year ordered the pre-publish HUMBUG through Amazon, only to have them cancel it on me when it wasn’t ready as promised. They keep delaying the publishing date.

In this catalog they said it would be available February 2009. Right. We’ll see.

The date has already been pushed up a number of times.

I’m sure they thought of this: Each time they push up the date the target audience shrinks. Those eleven issues were definitely targeted for Kurtzman, Elder, and Davis fans of long ago – and at that time they were probably between the ages ten and twenty-five. Now, that same group of people are the ones likely and their ages are now classified as elderly.

The elderly die off everyday in big numbers.

I think if I was them I would hurry.

This is on the back of the catalog, which is another scene Christmas scene – this time by Will Elder.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Black Friday!!

I remember in the early 60s the price of bologna went up in price. Why? Because a lot of people were buying it. One of the rules of economics is that price is based on demand. If masses of people were buying bologna it surely was in demand – right?

Wrong? It was the cheapest sandwich meat. When the price went up people quit buying it. Duh!

Now, I am wondering if the same will happen with the deep turkey fryer and peanut oil.

Twelve of us gobbled the gobbler yesterday here. I was the chef. As I have done many times before I deep cooked my turkey in peanut oil.

Before price wasn’t a consideration. It think the oil must have been fairly cheap, because as frugal as I am… well, I know me.

A few days ago we priced the peanut oil at Costco and their large container was $48. That was too much. At Walmart the price was $39 for their large container. I am assuming both containers were the size. We bought the Walmart brand.

Yesterday morning when I was preparing to cook I poured the peanut oil into the large container and it was three inches short of coming high enough. The mark I made with the turkey and water was 9 inches and the peanut oil came to 6 inches. Damn!

I hustled to Krogers and the manager told me they sold the last two. Publix was closed.

We took a chance with some old used peanut oil I used twice before for the remaining 3 inches, it worked fine.

I have read that using peanut oil twice is really not recommended because the oil can turn rancid. I guess we were lucky.

But, I could have easily spent $96 at Costo or $78 at Walmart for the cooking oil for a one time meal… $39 is bad enough.

Another thing about deep frying a turkey: After the cooking time was up my son Adam helped me left the bird out of the bubbling oil. It just about takes four hands for this feat (get it, feat? – hands – yuk yuk). When we got it up something went wrong and the turkey fell.

It could have fell on the ground and get dry leaves, bits of earth matter, and dogs’ bathroom stuff all over it and Adam and I would hose it off and keep swear ourselves to secrecy or it could have fell back into the bubbling oil and splash 350◦ peanut oil on both us.

It fell back into the bubbling peanut oil but both Adam and I had quick reflexes and jumped out of the way of the splash.

And everybody enjoyed the turkey – and also the spiraled cut ham and other goodies Anna made and people brought.

Rocky and his fiancé Sabrina brought a DVD-slide show of their trip to South Korea and treated us with what all they saw and the story behind the scenes which included customs, laws, and history of the Koreans. It was very enjoyable and interesting.

We have a lot to be thankful for – just for that morning.

I think my deep-frying turkey days are over. Now watch the price of peanut oil go down.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Check These Sites Out

If you have ties to Marietta, Georgia, and love to see pictures of the Marietta area and/or have an interest in Georgia history here are two good flickr websites you need to check out my son Rocky pointed me to:

Marietta Photos

Georgia History


Be American! Vote for Us!

Yesterday I got a call from a recording. That isn’t unusual, I get calls from recordings all the time. They tell me today is my lucky day, I qualify for Direct TV or Satellite service… or they can get me a special low interest loan, bla bla bla bla.

Yesterday Mr. Computer said he wanted to give ask me some questions for a survey. Just speak clearly, you will be understood.

Here is more or less how it went:

On election day do you plan to vote for Saxby Chambliss? I said, “No.”

Do you plan to vote for Jim Martin? I said, “Yes” (I lied, actually I already voted – but Mr. Computer didn’t give me that option).

Do you believe that one party should control all three branches of the government. “No”.

Mr. Computer electronic voice seem to get higher, maybe even screaming, when it said, “Do you realize that if the Democrats control all three branches of the Government, that is the Supreme Court, the legislation, and the Executive will be just like Germany in the 1940s with the Nazi Party?”

I hung up as I was hearing Mr. Computer scream something about the Democrats being the next “Gestapo”

That is strange. First of all the Supreme Court has a long way to go before it is controlled by Democrats. Secondly, I don’t remember the Republicans worrying about one party controlling it all and being like the Nazis or have another Gestapo before.

I’m glad to see they are finally seeing that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Once a Cowboy Always a Cowboy

"once a cowboy always a cowboy" is what my old reunited friend David G, or as we used to call him "Baby Bird", said in his email when he sent me his picture taken the same day that I had my picture taken with Smiley Burnett, aka Frog Millhouse just outside the doors of the Strand Theater in Marietta.

The bottom picture is David some sixty-one or two years later taken last September at the Bell Boys Reunion.

Happy Trails!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lookie!!! I Am On the Front Page of the Paper Today!

Yep, there I am on the front page of The Marietta Daily Journal today.

You will have to click on the picture to make it big enough to look at.

That is me sitting on Smiley Burnette aka Frog Millhouse. That picture wasn't taken yesterday. It was taken probably about 61 years ago.

Also the picture on the left with the guy sitting on a bail of cotton. That is Anna's great-grandfather Marion Prance that Anna's mother Marie donated to the preserving of Cobb Photographs cause.

John and Nancy Sumner Ray's House

This was my great-great John (1813-1903) and Nancy Sumner (1817-bef 1885) Ray’s house. The house is in Macon County, North Carolina, near Franklin, in the Burningtown Community.

They are buried in unmarked graves in the Burningtown Baptist Church Cemetery. Their descendant Cecil remembered watching the men break the ice and snow to bury John Ray.

John was listed on the 1870 census as a wagon maker. They had eleven children.

This barn was on their property. Also my sons at that moment in time my sons Rocky and Adam were on what used to be their property, in about 1990.

On that same visit Cecil Baldwin (1895-1992) showed us around. Cecil was a bachelor. He was the last descendant to live in and own the house. He was about 95 years old but looked much younger. He died about two years later.

I have heard from family tales that John and Nancy disapproved of their daughter Emaline’s suitor William Trammell and forbidden her to court him.

She climbed out the window and courted him anyway.

When you see this sign, the house is just down a the bottom of the hill on the left.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Good Sign

I was very happy to see the above sign in my neighbors’ yard. Their son is coming home from Iraq.

He grew up with my two sons. They played together, were in the scouts together, and got into mischief together.

I heard a couple of days ago he was back in the states, was at Fort Bragg and was schedule to come home in a matter of days.

Then, we came home this evening from a day of shopping and saw this sign.

Good! I worried about him often. I am glad he is home and I know that his family and friends are elated as well.

The Atlanta Aquarium - Lots of Fish

Above – Piranha Fish.

Note. Click on any picture to make it overwhelming big and better (or worse).

We went to the Atlanta Aquarium Saturday. We invited my two sisters.

We heard on radio that the DOT was working on I-75 near downtown. The Atlanta Aquarium, on line, sells you tickets in time appointments. Our tickets were set for 9am. So, we normally figure an hour of driving to get to downtown Atlanta – but they were working on the highway, so we had better ad some leave earlier than planned – and also we were to drive across Marietta and pick up my sisters, so we thought we should leave even earlier.

Going down the I-75 we heard on the radio that the traffic was backed up all the way from downtown to the Moores Mill Road exit which slowed every down – you could expect to travel about two miles in twenty-five minutes.

Darn! We won’t get there on time! We better speed it up.

We approached the Moores Mill Road exit – the exit where the traffic was supposed to be back up to and the highway was clear. It was a traffic report from XM radio and I think they had things confused.

It was still fast sailing as we approached the next exit, Howell Mill Road, but decided to get off anyway and take the side streets. Anna and I both worked in the area about 40 years ago and thought we knew all the short cuts…. Which I suppose we do.

We arrived at the Atlanta Aquarium at 8:30. I them out in front and went to park. I met up with them at 8:35 and the Atlanta Aquarium was still closed. They would open at 9:00. It was 21◦.

As I said more than once we don’t know how to be late… or we don’t even know how to be not too early.

They had pity on us and let us in the first little section.

While we waited we had a nice little talk with the young lady in charge of opening the gate at 9.

She pulled back the gate-rope at 9 and let us flood in. This was Anna’s and my second visit and wasn’t as awed as we were the first time but enjoyed watching my sisters’ amazement of the huge aquatic life in the huge water tanks.

Each section has an employee or a volunteer on hand to tell you tons of information about the habits of the fish you were looking at that moment.

One room is a huge wall that is a huge window into an aquarium with huge whale-sharks, other types huge sharks and small sand sharks, and other interesting fish. Then, entering the room was about a half dozen volunteers. For a few minutes they stayed in a group studying the people around them. They reminded me of a movie I saw one time that a group of shy young men entered a ball-room at a girls school – and for a short time they stayed in a group sizing up who might need them to dance with them – or in case, who looked like they wanted to know about some sea creature in the tank.

This picture reminds me of Science Fiction Theater that used to be TV about a dozen or so years ago.

Beluga Whales – The Atlanta Aquarium has three. Actually, they own only one male – but two females are on loan from New York, a mother and daughter team. There are plans to mate the daughter with Atlanta’s male.

The male whale was in front of us mostly. He was very graceful swimming and looked very mystic - all white, almost glowing in the blue water.... show off.

The guide pointed out that the Beluga whale to swivel their heads just like humans and can twist and bend their lips just like humans – thus have facial expressions – they smile, laugh, and sing – just like humans. But when the male pointed at me and said something and all three of them laughed - well, that was just plain rude.

I have no idea what these creatures are. I think they are either Martians or mushrooms nose diving.

I took my usual high volume of pictures. But, somehow, they just didn’t come up to par. I think the main reason was I chose in most pictures not to use a flash… and my automatic camera held the shutter up too long to let a little light in, and of course I can’t stay still that long.

See the Sea Horse?
In the center -
Of course, of course.
Did you know the male sea horse carries the unborn babies around and gives birth to them while the female sea horses hang out in bars and play games, such as darts and horseshoes? Those volunteers have the most valuable information.

Afterwards, we wanted to eat at a certain grill we heard about in Decatur, which is a few miles east of Atlanta. We drove all over the area looking for and broke the Georgia law of stopping for people at cross walks a number of times because he were too busy looking for street signs.

Then, near Agnes Scott College we saw a woman walking for exercise. I lowered the window to speak to her and she came running over. I asked if she knew where the grill was we were looking for and she gave me exact directions, like she said, “Turn left at the next redlight and drive 1.9 miles and it is on your left.”

I thought that was strange- being so exact. But later, while we were eating lunch by the window, she speed walked by the plate glass window. I bet she has all the distances mapped and figured out.

Friday, November 21, 2008

We Need Money! Help! Feed the Poor (Us)

Let me see if I got this right.

Say the three big U.S. auto makers CEOs went to Washington, DC, to plead for money for a bail-out because their companies are on the brink of bankruptcy and they each were flown to DC by their private jets?

Ha ha ha.. Haw Haw Haw!!!

You just can’t make this stuff up. And it keeps on coming!

When Cotton Was King

This picture of cotton in the Marietta Square is almost as well known among Cobb natives as the Old Court House.

Speaking of King there was a farmer named Mr, King who lived on what is West Oak Drive now. West Oak Drive runs parallel with Canton Highway, north of Marietta.

An older subdivision behind the area, near the West Oak Office Park has a road named King Road. That makes sense. It was a road named after the person that owned the land at one time. But I think the builder got carried away with the name – also in the subdivision if Prince Drive… which takes away from the meaning. But that doesn’t have anything to do with this story anyway.

I was told the below story as factual. Who knows?

Mr. King had a good cotton crop. But he knew all the other farmers in Marietta had a good cotton crop also.

Cotton is a commodity like any other commodity. The higher price can be demanded when the commodity is scarce.

Mr. King had some money saved. He decided to hold his cotton for a while until cotton was scarce again.

He held on. He and his family lived on his savings.

Then just as cotton was becoming scarce and he was going to carry his to the market his barns caught fire and destroyed all his cotton.

They found Mr. King hanging in a tree in the woods behind his house. He committed suicide.

Greed destroys and sometimes backfires.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

There Are No Problems, Just Solutions!

I remember once hearing a manager wannabe say, "There are no problems, just solutions!"

Now it seems, that any big company that many people depend on – either by employment or by contracts, or use it for a lending base, if the money goes sour, the domino effect is feared, causing a wide spread money black-hole.

Which then, it is felt, that to prevent an economic chaos, the government needs to jump in and bail them out.

So, if the government puts up the money to bail them out, then, I think technically, the government becomes one of the major stock stockholders of the company. I would think that is what is called socialism with the disguise of capitalism.

The rate things are going now the government could be the principal stockholder of many large corporations.

Where is the money coming from to save all these corporations? The government (which is owned by “We the People”) has already spent itself almost out on recent wars. Of course the first thought is raise the taxes but raising taxes has already been deemed too liberal and morally wrong – even though we do owe the money.

I doubt if anyone wants to pass down our debts for our children and grandchildren to pay – if that isn’t a no-no it should be. If we just ignore the problem,then it may happen by default.

Another way for the government to come up with the money is to sell bonds to big money countries such as China, Japan, and Germany. Then, possibly in the long run, they might own the U.S. and all its companies it just acquired.

I know! We will cut benefits for the poor and the elderly.

See? There are no problems! Just a wide choice of solutions!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wally Lamb's Book That I Forgot

For a few years when asked if I ever read anything by Wally Lamb I would say I have read both of his books, SHE’S COME UNDONE and I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE.

Then a few weeks ago someone returned our SHE'S COME UNDONE book. I could not think of a single item in the book to ask the person how she liked that part.

Did I read it?

I know one time I claimed SHE'S COME UNDONE was a great book. How could I claim it was so great if I couldn’t remember any incident or scene in it – or who it was about?

I thought I would pick it up and read the first couple of pages which would kick off my memory and the whole darn book would unfold inside my mind. I read the first few pages and it was like I was reading the book for the first time.

I don’t know what happened to my mind to make me forget it – but I do remember claiming it was a great book, so I just finish reading it again to see what I thought was so great about it.

It is pretty good. It is about a female from childhood through thirty so years of abusive men in one form of another. It was pretty good.

As I read through it some of the incidents I remembered vaguely in the back of my mind – I know one thing I was amazed at was that the book was written in first person of a female’s point of view, which if I didn’t know Wally Lamb wrote the book someone would have a hard time convincing me the book was not written by a woman.

It has a reoccurring theme of whales in one form or another… like the novel Moby Dick, beached whales, singing whales, and so on.

The writing of personalities pin-pointed some frame-of-minds that I have known through the years.

I think Wally Lamb is an excellent writer who knows how to put his mind in his own “Wally’s World” that he takes on the mind-set of his characters. I just wish he would be more productive - utilize his God-given talent more.

Or on second thought, maybe you can't quality and quantity... I am a living proof of that theory.

It is a good read.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Who Hunter?

I have shown all the old Foster pictures I have. Now, we will switch to some old Hunter pictures.

This first picture is of some unknown people that may have Hunter ties. This picture was given to me by a distant cousin. The picture was handed down to her along with some identified Hunter pictures. This is probably a picture of some Hunters also.

By the slope of the terrain in relation to the building in the background I think the building is Carmel Baptist Church just outside of Woodstock on Highway 92. Around back is the cemetery, which our ancestors William A. and Emaline Ray Hunter are buried (Emaline in 1925 and William in 1928). Also some of their children are buried there.

William and Emaline’s son Charles Jefferson is buried there, next to his parents. The picture had been passed down Charles Jefferson Hunter’s family line. He died in 1954. Does that car in the background look like a 1950ish model? Could this be people lingering outside after the burial of Charles?

Would You Like Fries With That Beatle?

I came across these pictures with my negative scanner the other day. This is the first car my son Adam bought and paid for himself when he was a teenager.

He bought it from another teenager that worked at Wendy’s. She worked the drive-through window. I forgot exactly what, but we had to do some dealing at the window. I forgot if that is where Adam and she exchanged money for the title or the keys, or what – but I definitely remember we had a dealing at the window.

The little People’s Wagon was cute. It was an eye pleaser. After he gained possession of it begin to have a lot problems.

He took it to Garage in Acworth that seemed to specialize in VW bugs. After they finished working on it I took Adam up to garage for him to pick it up and discovered the garage was owned by a childhood friend. I remember his name well, he lived around the corner from me.

One time in grammar school in the lunch room he and I got into a fight and he grabbed a little container of honey and smeared into my hair. I still cringe with I think of that sticky stuff all in my hair. I have no idea what the fight was about – we were about 7 years old.

His operation looks pretty impressive. I guess he did well for himself. I recently read that his brother died.

It got that to a point where the bug just would not run. Adam parked it and put a for sale on it. A kid came by and looked at and was impressed. He paid Adam in cash and he and his friend hauled it to his parents’ house, which was about .5 mile away.

I don’t think he ever got the car running. For years and years I would walk and run by his house, to see it parked under the same shed.

Then the house had a ‘For Sale’ sign out front. Then, a month or so later it had a ‘sold’ sicker on the sign. Then, the sign was gone and so was the VW.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Denard Was Nuttier Than a Fruitcake

When I first started as a clerk for the Atlanta Post Office I was assigned to the Parcel Post Annex, which was in the northern industrial part of Atlanta. It was all manual labor, unloading box cars and trucks and sorting big bulk rate mail sacks and parcels by big cities and states.

There was a big fellow there that I worked with from time to time named Denard. Denard was tall, well over six feet and he had thick bones and thick muscles. He didn’t seem that he wanted to talk much with me, so we didn’t.

From time to time someone would walk by our work area and he might call them aside and have a conversation with them. This is when I noticed he had a Jamaican accent. But other times he would talk to people and not have Jamaican accent.

Later I found out he had told some that he was from Jamaican and with those he spoke with a Jamaican accent. Others knew he was from Alabama, so no need in trying to fool them.

This I heard second hand: A new man was assigned to work with Denard one day and while they worked Denard asked the new man if he played golf. The man said yes he did and he and Denard talked golf for several hours while they worked. They talked of their favorite gold club manufacturer, different type of swings, and so on. Denard asked him where did he mostly play and he told him. And the man asked Denard where did he like to play and Denard looked at him carefully, did not reply and went back working but continue to turn around a glare at him from time to time.

Later Denard asked him why did he want to know where he played golf. The man said they were talking golf and he asked him where he played, so he asked Denard where he played. Denard told him he didn’t think it was any of his business and why did he want to know.

Before the night was over Denard was accusing the new man of wanting to know where he played golf so he would know when he was gone so he could go put the make on Denard’s wife and if he ever caught him with his wife he would kill him.

The supervisor had to separate them and made sure they never worked side by side again.

Another time somebody messed up on a dispatched. The supervisor at that time, a guy named Barnwell, said he would kick that guy’s ass if he (Barnwell) wasn’t such a nice guy.

Denard asked Barnwell did he want him to take care of it. Barnwell said yes, it might be better coming from a peer.

Denard beat the hell out of him behind the building. Denard told he was doing it under orders. Barnwell had a tough time explaining that to upper management.

Barnwell was not a detailed guy. He was transferred to finance because of the incident.

Through the years after that I hard more Denard stories, but the above were the first ones and the only ones I remember.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Fosters in Front of Their House

This is the Foster family again.

It looks like this is probably a Sunday afternoon. The folks appear to have their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes on. This is probably in the Milton area, north or Alpharetta, Georgia. The picture was taken in 1905.

This is the last one of my Foster old picture collection. There might be more coming and again there might not be.

But we have others old pictures of other families we are related to - come back, y'hear?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wait! I Said "Maybe"!

In the previous post I said the feature barn on Grogan Street was the last Barn in Marietta - Maybe.

I just remembered another one.

This barn is/was owned by the Manning family, which had at least one judge and at one doctor. They were part of the elite of days gone by and may still be for all I know. One in-law my age is a State Representative.

My late father-in-law, when he was a young man, was working for FDR's CCC Public Works Project told me he and others collected stones on Judge Manning's property to build this barn.

And it is a barn is still standing in the city limits of Marietta. Here is another out-building on the property that is not quiet standing - you might say leaning.

The place is for sale, or at least it was last May when I took these pictures while we were on a tour of historic homes.

The Last Barn Standing - maybe

This barn is the only barn still standing within the Marietta City Limits as far as I know.

There was a time barns in Marietta were more plentiful… and out in the Cobb County countryside, wells, barns were as common as barbwire fences.

This barn is near where Alexander Circle runs into Manget Street and one block away from Grogan Street. When I was growing up the people that owned the barn and the house were black, as their neighbors were. I think they were related but I am not sure.

The elderly man of the house had a wagon and a mule. You would see him in Marietta often with his mule and wagon tending business. He has came to us at least once and plowed up the yard in the spring to plant a garden. Through the years I have seen him plowing yards all over Marietta.

He had a son or a grandson nicknamed “Tarzan”.

In front of their house on Grogan Street was a wooded area which wasn’t wooded at all – it was just bordered by trees so it is hard to see in. It was a nice little serene area with Manget Creek flowing through it, before it crossed Clay Street and then into Larry Bell Park.

One day the little park like wooded hide-a-way wasn’t serene. Tarzan and I had a fight. Tarzan and I were not even ten years old yet. Some white boys aigged us into a fight. I don’t think it was even a racial thing. I don’t know even remember how it developed from pushing each other to slugging at each other. They were just bored teenagers wanting to see a little excitement. We slugged at each other, and moved all over the land. Neither one of us won… we both just gave out of breath – we took a pause to catch our breath and just never got back fighting…. Why should we? The older boys walked away bored. Ho-Hum, they an”t going to do anything – chickens!

On the good side, after that day Tarzan and I waved at each other and smiled whenever we saw each other in our segregated society.

Years later, I worked with Tarzan’s aunt at the Postal Service. She used to live in that house with her parents and grandparents.

Then, when we worked together she lived with her husband off Sandy Plains Road. Her husband was a carrier who was also a part time preacher who conducted religious services for prison inmates on Sundays. One time I went over to their house and hooked up their cable, TV, and VCR.

– I never did tell her my bout with her father or her uncle or whoever I had the fight with– I might have messed up our cordial relationship….. yep, the teenagers were right, chicken!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Georgia Senate Race: A Mud Throwing Contest

Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin are throwing mud at each other again.

I wish we the public would form a huge coalition saying we will vote for the one that does not throw any mud for the duration of the campaign. – they have both distorted the truth so much the truth has no place in politics any longer, if it ever did.

I noticed in this campaign a few lopsided similarities: Used to Saxby Chambliss loved to be photographed with George Bush. According to the photo ops you would think Bush and Chambliss consulted each other all the time and were buddies. You could see photos of both of them wearing hard-hats and one pointing to the other items on the blueprints with the other one nodding approvingly – or standing at a distance discussing something very important.

I don’t know if any photos actually exist like I just described but some pretty darn close do exits.

Now, in this campaign, with Bush such a low approval rating I haven’t seen or heard Chambliss brag about his relationship with Bush at all. Nah!!! That is hard to believe. Surely, Chambliss, with that sincere look of his makes friends for life doesn’t he?

Chambliss proved he is as slippery of a politician as they come - he made Bush disappear. Bush who?

Now, the shoe is on the other foot. Jim Martin is trying to ride on Obama’s popularity with plans for Obama to come to Georgia for a few photo ops and say a few kind words about Jimmy.

I think Obama will make a great president. He seems to be fair, swift, and sharp. He has an excellent memory and can recall all kinds of facts to help him.

I think the U.S. will benefit greatly under his leadership.

However, four and eight years ago a lot of people felt the same about Bush. He was their hero. Now, under 28% will even give him the time of day.

I think Jim Martin should take note of this. History it shows that the political hero today might not be the hero tomorrow – as a matter of fact, he or she might be the anti hero tomorrow.

When Obama comes to Georgia to show that he and Jim Martin are close buddies, if I was Jim, I would space myself at least four feet from Obama during the photo ops. You never know when you might want to have some photographs doctored up a little.

Just a reminder: