Saturday, February 28, 2009

See? Si?

In a Doctor Group’s Waiting Room:

An elderly dark skin man humbly approached the counter and handed the lady behind the counter his paperwork.

She looked at it, frowned, and then told him, no no, the paper work meant he needed go to the hospital. She added, “Do you know how to get to the hospital?”

She shyly shook his head no.

By the way, the hospital is joined to the doctors’ building we were in by a 2nd floor enclosed bridge.

She must have know the man could not speak English so with broken Spanish she made huge waving motions saying, “you go alllll waayyyy arounnnnd to the breeeeezeway and enter the hosstpitaallll Si?”

He slowly nodded, I think just to be polite.

Then she explained to him once he got into the hospital building via the enclosed bridge he is to take the “Eelllevaaaator”.

She did a pretty good job pantomiming stepping into an elevator and pressing a button and going up…. But first she had to lower herself to a stooping level, in order to give the visual she was going up up.

It would have been great if they had an escalator in the hospital – I would love to see her do an “escalator-up” routine.

After making terrific hand and arms motions and doing an imitation of some one in an elevator then she did a terrific imitation of looking for the suite number that was on his sheet of paper.

Again, she asked him did he understand so far – si?

He politely nodded with a half smile.

She smiled and in some much pantomime told him he did a great job learning it and for him to go on over to the hospital.

He turned to walk away.

He did not go out the exit door. He went through the door to the inner offices.

She jumped squawking and running after him and led him to the door that would take him out to the building’s corridors. He looked confused.

She smiled confidently, "Another Job well done."

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Orleans - more slides

Here are some more New Orleans slides. I know I did not take them in January 1965. On that trip with the Navy it never occur to me to take a horse and buggy tour of the French Quarters. However we did when just Anna and I went in the early 70s, and also we took a horse & buggy tour in 1993. So, it could be either of those. Someone who knows cars could probably give an estimate.

Interesting before our 1993 trip we read up on the history of New Orleans and when we had took the history tour we heard the tour guide, while making the horse “giddy-up” made many factual errors….. oh well, it was somebody working their way though college, so she made a few honest mistakes – so what?

Joe, I’m still looking for more Jan 65.

The Queens Pocketbook.

Yesterday we were Belk’s Department Store. We were in the ladies handbag department when I overheard a lady say, “this pocketbook is fit for a queen”.

It reminded me of a post I did some time ago about Queen Elizabeth wondering what she carried in her purse … a small handgun? A knife with a retractable blade – in other words a switchblade knife to intimidate her assaulter? The name of that post was "The Queen's Handbag".

If she had a gun and or a switchblade she would have need training on how to use them. With the gun she would probably go to a shooting range someplace in England but I don’t know where one would go to be trained in the art of knife fighting. I think one of the key elements of knife fighting is to intimidate your opponent… which hopefully will frighten him and he will run away, therefore avoiding the physical confrontation all together.

I think the best way to intimidate him is for the queen to bend slightly forward and nervously toss the knife from one hand to the other, have a wicked smile on her face, and hyperventilate like she will enjoy cutting him up.

I can’t quiet picture the queen of England doing that, and I bet it will take the assaulter by surprise too…. he surely to run away in fright.

And of course the pocketbook should have a disposable paper toilet seat protector just in case she has to use a messy toilet, and makeup…. Have you ever seen a queen without makeup?

And of course makeup means a mirror – maybe two mirrors, so she can hold behind her and one in front of her so she see if any unruly ruffs of hair is where she can’t see otherwise.

She also will probably need a blackberry… the world’s richest woman will surely want to be in constant communication with her subordinates… also, a camera. How can anyone go anyplace without a camera?

Also, with that gun, you never know what kind of situation she might find herself in, so a couple rounds of ammo would come in handy. Who knows? She might even need a railroad flair also.

I think maybe a back pack would be more practical can a pocketbook.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lakehurst, New Jersey, Downtown - 1963

About a mile, maybe less, from the gates of NAS Lakehurst was the town of Lakehurst. You can see from end to the other of the downtown business district. Count the traffic lights.

We frequented a laundry you can almost see on the right. It was ran by an elderly Jewish couple with numbers tattooed on their hands and their two daughters or granddaughters, who were boy crazy.

There were two churches and four bars in town. I know the all four bars stayed crowded, I don’t know about the Churches.

On a little side street was a sweet little house with a white picket fence bordering the small yard. Inside, if the residents were home were three people, a sweet little girl that usually was seen hugging a doll, and her two parents, both drunk – the father, the sailor quietly drunk, and the mother raging drunk and cursing. Lets call them Lucy and O.

O was our immediate superior. Lucy felt it was her duty to give us a home cook meal from time to time, which each time ended in a disaster.

Lucy was banned from the four bars in town because the physical fights she had in each one of them. New Years Eve 1963 us friends just got out of our car and were going into one bar – the told us they were have free food in buffet line-up on NYE Lucy approached us in the parking lot and wanted to go in with us. She said they probably wouldn’t way anything because she was with us. They did. They told her to leave. She said she had changed, she would not cause any trouble and just quietly drink with her friends, meaning us. She was even convincing to us – we told them we would vouch for her. They talked back and forth and they would just about to ease up on her and allow her in saying, “well, if you promise… we know how you drunks get….”

That was the wrong thing to say. Lucy said, “I am not a fucking drunk!” and grabbed a pool ball off the pool table and threw it and broke a window.

They told us all to get the hell out and not come out. The food, the beef, fried chicken, potato salad, and all looked so good.

We drove off leaving Lucy in the parking lot daring them to come out. She was screaming they did not know how to treat a fucking lady, so she wanted them to come out so that fucking lady could whip their asses.

We debated since we said we would vouch for her behavior were we responsible for the window. We convinced ourselves no, because technically they had not accepted her in yet the deal wasn’t sealed. As a matter of principle, ahem!,, we stayed away from that bar a few months.

We found another bar.

Another time earlier that year Lucy invited us to eat and my friend Don said let him cook spaghetti. He knew how to cook an excellent spaghetti sauce. Lucy said oh boy, that sounded great. Before going to their house we stopped by a little grocery store to buy the ingredients and Don was really on cloud nine.

We thought it was a dinner just for Lucy, her daughter, and us two. O was on duty that night. She had invited two drunken women, trying to “fix us up” and a family of four which were some of Lucy drinking friends. We bought enough food for four and had to feed ten people. Where was Jesus when we needed him.

The brute man-guest dished out his portion first and left hardly any left and then he complained because there weren’t much left. Then, he asked for the catsup. I thought Don was going to kill over dead – killed by being insulted by his fine meal he prepared by someone wanting to douse it in catsup.

I kidded him about that catsup and the food was fit for a king for months.

About a block behind where I stood to take this picture was a lake down a side street. This is it. One time in the middle of winter my friend Sam took us to the lake and it was froze over. It looked like all the citizens of Lakehurst, young and old, turned out to enjoy a day of ice skating.

“Look! There goes the laundry girls skating by, they are pretty good!”

As you can tell, we returned in the summer.

A Big Family Gets Bigger & Bigger

The above picture was taken about 1944 of the Marietta Hunter family. That is me in the right front, the little kid sprawled out in front of my daddy, the man with the dark policeman’s uniform on.

On the right is my grandfather and my sister. I point out my grandfather because then I thought everybody else in the picture worked for him and me.

The picture is blurred but I can just about name everybody in the picture.

And time moved on and we have the below pictures taken in about 1979 or 1980. Again, it is the Hunters of Marietta, only multiplied. I am near the front in a ball cap. I doubt if I know half the people there.

Click to enlarge

That was close to 30 years ago. A lot of the young people in the pictures have grown to adulthood and had children of their own by now. Now, I doubt if I could recognize 25% of the family, even though I have them indexed on my genealogy programs…. And being invisible like I am, I bet less than 20% know me.

Big Wheel Keeps on Rolling…rolling.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This Country's New Applause Sign

I watched the President speak last night. I thought it was a very good speech. The speech was delivered enthusiastically and it was inspirational.

Sitting behind Obama were sitting the vice president and the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. I couldn't help from watching her expressions. She smiles, she frowns, she wenches and once it even looked like she puckered her lips and shot a kiss to someone out of camera range.

I also noticed each time time there was an applause she was the first on her feet clapping breaking the silence.... and the senators and the congressional members followed her lead. Every time.

Sometimes her enthusiastically clapping caused the applause to get louder and louder bringing down the house.... it looked to be all her doing.

She is sitting in a good place - right behind the president. So, if people are watching the president and the Speaker jumps up to clap everybody will see her.

I suspect she is the new Applause Sign.

An Interesting Painting

This was done by my mother's late brother William "Bill" Leroy "Roy" "L-Rod" Petty.

My old slide of it, caked with mold and other fragments pretty much clung for their lives when I tried to clean it off some.

And I didn't realize it but I had the camera slightly tilted.

But, now it is what is is.

We called him "Roy". He was a war hero in WWII on D-Day in Normandy. His fellow rangers called him "L-Rod". His friends, neighbors, and business associates called him "Bill".

And of course his two sons called him "Dad".

Happy Ass Wednesday!

Strand Memories

Sunday, as previously mentioned, we went to an opened house at the Strand Theater.

We have already been once after it was renovated. We went New Years Eve to hear Billy Joe Royal in concert. But that was to see and hear the concert, we didn’t have a chance to look around.

I have many memories from my Strand days.

"Baby Bird" (David Green)


Back before I was 12 years old attendance was mandatory for kids my age on Saturday morning. We would see normally see a cowboy movie or sometimes a movie featuring the Bowery Boys, a cartoon, a newsreel, and a cliff hanging serial – which insured us being back the next week to see how the hero got out of that fine mess he found himself in.

Then, a lot of times Saturday or Sunday night I would return with my family to see a good grownup movie, maybe a musical, maybe a shoot’em up cops and robbers movie… movies that are on the Turner Classics today.

I remember one time in the day time (why in the day time?) I was playing with a Roman candle and the blast of white-hot flames licked the palm of my hand which was a very painful ordeal. Also, it presented me with a problem. I was afraid to tell my parents of my blunder because fireworks were illegal and Daddy was a policeman. The only solution I could think of going to a Strand Theater matinee and buying a large Coke and sitting there lost in the movie with my hand down in the cola and ice. It worked. It helped to be on friendly terms with the girl behind the counter – I explained to her what I was going through and what I needed and she told me to keep the cup and she would refill it for me with mostly ice.

I’m sure there were better solutions – but at least this way I could be entertained while wallowing in misery.

After being a teenager we went a lot to movies in mid afternoon after school. Back then you could buy your ticket and go in anytime. If you entered a movie midway you would just wait until that scene rolled around again to leave. Many times you are your companion would say, “This is where we came in.”

As teenagers the ushers kept on us. We would make comments and wise-cracks throughout the movie which the usher kicked us out on more than one occasion and we have even been banned. We knew we just had to wait it out a few months until a new usher was hired… it was music to the ears when we heard “the Strand has a new usher.” We could return.

One time an usher made us leave and told us not to come back Larry B. told his mother. She listened to his “watered down version” and said “Humbug!” It was the first time I heard someone use “humbug” as an expression, other than Charles Dickens. She went down to the Strand and complained to the manager and came back and said we were allowed to return – providing we used our best behavior.

Our best behavior wasn’t saying much, but we got to go back and the usher sort of ignored us – just a nod.

A little man that was a ticket taker was Sharkey. Sharkey was nice, quiet and polite, and not all that observant. We found we could enter from the outside and light up. There was a small area between two sets of doors that smokers smoked… it was also where Sharkey was stationed. After we smoked a cigarette and talked to Sharkey a while, we would ground our cigarettes in the container, and go into the lobby of the theater as if that is where we came from.

Once there was a manager at the Strand named Tiny. Tiny was a big fat brute. He was a Marietta Policeman until he was fired for shooting blacks on several occasions. He later moved on up in the Theater business world to be the manager of the Rialto on Forsyth Street in Atlanta.

I remember watching all the old scary movies when I was young and movies like Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon and I am not quiet sure where and when I saw them. That type of movie either rated a Saturday morning audience or a grown up audience anytime… however, they almost fell into the “B Movie” category, which in that case they would fall in the Cobb Theater group – they were always showing B movies.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Greenwich Time in NYC

These pictures were taken almost in the mid 1960s so there is a good chance some of these places don’t look the same.

Above - The Village Voice. I used to love reading The Village Voice weekly newspaper On the cover was always a cartoon by Jules Feiffer (“Sick Sick Sick”) and a column by jazz critic Nat Hentoff. Both were good reads. I forgot if I ever dove in depths off beyond the front page or not.

This is the famous Washington Square and the Arc de Triumph which serves sort as a gate to Greenwich Village. And the big round cement thing reminded me of the common water hole all different types of creatures use to gather at.

Usually on one of the benches in the park a group was playing music and probably a very strange looking eccentric character sitting down resting.

Used to every time I heard of Washington Square I thought of O'Henry's book but now I think of Shel Silverstien's song "I Buried My giitar in Washington Squar"

The Guy Russell Men’s Clothing Shop was in LIFE magazine the week before I took this picture. The feature was about gays living in New York City and pointed out that Guy Russell’s clientele were mostly gay. I wanted to take my Navy friends Dick, Don, and Ray’s picture by an establishment that was in a national magazine, which they readily agreed – of course none of them read LIFE often but later when I pointed the picture and the article in LIFE they were not too happy. “A good laugh was had by all”.

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Strand Open House last Sunday

Sunday was all about the Strand, the organ music of the Strand, and self-guided tours of the Strand during their open house day.

With a full house audience they treated us to different types or organ music. A large part of the Friends of the Strand belong to another organization of organ connoisseurs. They play organs, restore organs, and know all abut them. The name of the organization, local-wise, is: Atlanta Chapter of the American Theater Organ Society and their email address is

It reminded me of “Moe” the giant Organ at The Fox in Atlanta…. Which reminded me of Moe’s main player Bob Van Camp, who also was an announcer on WSB Radio, and at one time was co-host with Bert Parks a TV show daily at 1:00pm that had a room full of women as an audience…. And that reminded me the music entertainment for that show “Boots Woodall and the Peachtree Cowboys”… but back to the present.

One of the things one of the organs players did was accompanied a silent movie up on the screen. The movie was hilarious! It had all the makings of a good old fashion black and white silent movie. The only name I recognized in it was Walter Berry, who was the villain. It was a great movie. Walter Berry even tied up the sweetie on the railroad tracks – just like Oil Can Harry often did in Mighty Mouse. The organ music complemented the action greatly.

They promised The Strand would have more silent movies and the organ complementing the action.

I wondered, since they were talking and demonstrating all kinds of organs, and they were asking for donations, it would be appropriate for them to come out with an organ grinder with a small organ and his pet monkey with a cup that would scamper around and harass members of the audience and maybe screech at them and threaten them by showing his teeth until they threw money in his cup.

They also had some old time favorite sing –a-lone songs with the words rolling on the screen. Ron Carter announced he was going to have ushers walk around keeping their eyes on the audience to make sure they were singing. If they caught somebody not singing they were going to haul them up on stage to sing. I had horrors thoughts of me up on stage singing solo with the audience laughing at me, not with me.

I sung with all my heart. It is first time I ever sang along with a big group of people.

Also a girl about ten or so sang two solo songs. She was very good. A good deep voice that would carry good. She dedicated the second one to her cat that died last Tuesday. The song was written by Dolly Parton and was named, “I will always love you.”

Oh - I didn't mean the little girl was dragged up on the stage for not singing. She was part of the program. She was all dressed up to sing solo.

I found the tour very interesting I have never been back stage at the Strand to see the dressing rooms, or up high near the top where we went out on the terrace.

Here are interiors shots of our walking tour:

Above - A self-portrait of me while looking at one of the four dressing rooms.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Village Idiot

What a handsome brutish looking doorman this joint had about 45 years ago!

This was the Village Barn in Greenwich Village of NYC. The handsome brute is no doorman or bouncer. It is just little old me.

If I remember correctly this place was known for its folk singing and maybe hootenannies. Back then I was just getting to appreciate folk music. I just fell in love with Joan Baez Concert Album II and raring to learn hear other folk music.

I find it interesting that the words AIR CONDITIONED are on top. Saying you were air conditioned would draw people in.

In today’s world it is expected without bragging on it.

View From almost the Top

Click on pictures to enlarge them.

That is almost the top of the newly renovated Strand Theater in downtown Marietta. I took these pictures from the terrace - which could be a good place to throw water balloons from.

The strand is one of the tallest buildings in downtown Marietta – so, what can I say? I know: It is pretty looking at the scenery. .

The above picture is looking south. On the left is the Courthouse. The street coming into town from directly south is Atlanta Street. See how far you can see the pavement on Atlanta Street? About where the view of Atlanta Street peters out is where I was born, on the right side of the street out of sight. See the light pole in the foreground, almost close enough to reach out and touch? See the sharp spikes lining the top where birds can not sit on? Compassion souls aren’t we?

We went to an open house of the newly renovated Strand Theater Sunday. After digesting it all, I may have a post about it in a day or two.

This scene is a little to right of the top picture of the northeast corner of Glover Park. No leaves on the trees makes the park look very cold. The white long gazebo is where the music artists do their thing during the summer concert series.

Now, a little swivel more to the right and over the junky looking building roof tops and beyond is Kennesaw Mountain. Between the roof tops and Kennesaw Mountain is Marietta Station Walk which is alongside the railroad tracks. It was old warehouses built before the Civil War to ship cotton and crops. Now, the old bricks have been sandblasted and it is a yuppiedom of lawyers offices and other types of bean counters. I have ran and rode my bike in this area early in the morning and see the homeless up and stirring around. I think they huddle up in the corners of the complex of buildings after dark.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chumley's Was and Will Be - or Will It?

This is my Navy cube-mate Ray entering into Chumley’s Restaurant in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, c 1964.

I don’t remember how we learned of Chumley’s. However we found it, we knew we discovered a gem. There is no sign, advertising, or directions. If you didn’t know it was there you would walk right by. First you go through an outer gate to a small courtyard then, into a door, which, if you didn’t know otherwise, would think it was a door go a street level apartment.

We liked it so much we told our friends who made it a point to visit it when they went up to the Big Apple. And they probably told their friends.

I read someplace that it was a speakeasy during days of prohibition – the reason there are no signs – they were still doing fine without signs.

The prices were reasonable – which might have explained why it was always crowded there.

The walls were covered with book jackets of their clientele. We saw Shel Silverstein there – at a distance. My friend Sam once talked to William Price Fox, the famous southern writer, there.

In the early 1970s I returned to Chumley’s with Anna. I remember we had beef stroganoff there and with very delicious with a tingly alcohol flavor.

The building collapsed and now it is being rebuilt – but I doubt if it will be the same atmosphere – but again, the atmosphere I knew has probably been long gone because it became a tourist attraction… hmmmm? Die we start that?

This is what I found on Wikipedia:

Chumley's is a pub and cultural landmark in New York City's West Village, established in the 1920s, that has been a gathering place for writers, poets, journalists and activists of the Lost Generation, the Beat Generation, and others. Located at 86 Bedford Street, it has a "secret" entrance on Barrow St with no exterior sign, giving it the air of the speakeasy it once was. Purportedly, the expression "to 86" (meaning to hide or get rid of something, or to stop serving a person) comes from the police warning Chumley's before raids by Prohibition agents to "86 everyone out the back door" ("86" being the Bedford Street address number on the door). [1]
A plaque at the tavern, dated September 22, 2000, and placed by Friends of Libraries USA, states that Chumley's has been placed on a Literary Landmarks Register and goes on to describe Chumley's as:
A celebrated haven frequented by poets, novelists and playwrights, who helped define twentieth century American literature. These writers include Willa Cather, E.E. Cummings, Theodore Dreiser, William Faulkner, Ring Lardner, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eugene O'Neill, John Dos Passos, and John Steinbeck.[2]
Posted on the walls of Chumley's are the covers of books supposedly worked on there. Because of its historical significance, Chumley's is a stopping-place for various literary tours.[3]
[edit] Collapse
On April 5, 2007 there was a major structural collapse of the chimney inside Chumley's, causing the Greenwich Village landmark to close temporarily along with some surrounding buildings and 12 apartments above.[4]

Chumley's has closed. The building has been torn down. The building is being reconstructed and it is anticipated that Chumley's will reopen sometime in the future.

Sunday Comics & Preaching Combo

Click on each page to read the balloons.

I have mentioned this before. EC’s SHOCK comic book series was very moralistic. They tried to deliver a message. The editor and writers took a stand on things they knew are wrong …. Such as mob violence and vigilante justice.

This is such a story illustrated by Wallace Wood. The introductory splash page and the last two pages are here to show the ending…. Just not the pages in the middle, but you get the story line and the message.

Don't forget the collection plate.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mythical Gods on Weekend Liberty

I took this picture in New York City about spring time of 1964 – give or take a year either way.

I directed my Navy friends Dick Hyatt, Don Lash, and Ray Shultz to pose on the fountain complex outside the Plaza Hotel as if they were mythical gods adorning a fountain.

Darn! I should have sprayed them with white paint first.

Good Times Just Over 2 Months Away

I think the outside summer concerts kick off the season Friday April the 24th, at Glover Park, in Marietta, Georgia.

See above? They are patiently waiting.

And the next day on April the 25th is the Varner's Drive-In Reunion. Get your tight-ass Levis out of storage. I will tell details later as I learn them. Stay tune.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Time Stood Still - almost

You have already seen the pictures of Barnes' farm across the street from our house in Smyrna. All these pictures were within walking distance of our house – probably less than a mile.

Smyrna is still in Cobb County, just a few miles down the road.

What you see are pictures of 35 years ago. But the same scenes are pretty much the same today. The Concord Covered Bridge is still there…. But instead of the RR rails and crossties are no longer there. it is now the Silver Comet Trail, a thirty-plus mile exercise paved track that people walk, run, ride bikes, and even to keep up with modern times it has had a murder and a few muggings.