Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Building is Yellow! And Has Been a While

This picture was taken at Mill Street looking north up the tracks. I took the pictures more than a year ago. How do I know? Because now a walk is over the tracks where we are looking. The building on the right is yellow. It is the old Denmead Warehouse/Veach's Wholesale Grocery and presently a Thai Restaurant.

I'm confused. I thought this was recent charges that the owners of the building recently went ignored city codes and painted it yellow. It has been yellow for at least a year.

Evidently the city takes pride of the appearance at the railway tracks and Mill Street. About a year ago the city pulled a few legal maneuvers to get rid of a red Pullman's car which they thought was an embarrassment to the city. It looked like a good landmark to me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Septic Tank and Thanksgiving

1st Try

When you think of Thanksgiving you probably don’t think of a septic tank in the same thought. I hope I won’t ever again, but I have my doubts.

Wednesday we were getting ready for Thanksgiving. The plan was to cook a turkey in our Big Easy oil-less fryer. We have done this often enough to know what to do, which is just as well since I lost the instructions. Anna was working on the dressing preparations upstairs for cooking next day, and I was downstairs looking for the fryer instructions. I heard the commode flush upstairs and saw water gush out of the washing machine drainage pipe. I ran up stairs and reported it appeared our septic tank had problems. A second flush confirmed the situation. Shit! I mean, real SHIT! This was an emergency! The bathrooms were unusable and anything going down the drain was sure to come back up. We couldn’t ask our ten Thanksgiving guests to put up with that. The septic tank had to be pumped.

I called my 90 year old widow neighbor and told her about it and told her I was just going to dig a hole over her septic line and put one of those outhouses for sale on the side of the road near Cleveland, Georgia.

We called a septic company to send someone out. He had a very hard time backing his tank-truck and back-hoe down our driveway and finally gave up, parking on the street. That should have been a warning bell right away. The young man could not say enough good things about himself. He was there to save us, more or less. Before even taking a look at our system, he said he would take us out of danger – in so many words saying he was our savior. He reminded me a lot of the Stanley Steamer commercial carpet cleaner that takes his job a little too seriously. He continued to reference his new born baby at home. Good for him and his wife!
He took his back-hoe off the truck and had us sign approval, saying it would cost $150 more for that service. What? They offered a marked down come-on price of $198 to pump out the sludge, but it would cost $150 to use his equipment to do it? He told us he was going to give us a quick 101 Septic Tank Course which involved him telling us the numerous problems that could cause the tank to upchuck the stuff instantly.

When we told him to just pump it out, he said he could see that money was no object to us to get it fixed right that day. Don’t know where he got that! “Money no object”? Another alarm went off. Then he began to say the gas company would have to come out and paint the grass where the gas line was. He called them and left a message.

He told us that after he pumped it out he would get it repaired, even if it took all night. When asked how much that would cost, he proposed between $3000-$5000. Full Alarm! We were dealing with a shyster!

Anna said she would do without a septic tank before she would pay that much without shopping around and said just pump it out. After that, he stuck around maybe five more minutes and said he couldn’t wait around for the gas man to mark the yard, so he left. He wasn’t gone but 5 or 10 minutes when the gas man arrived who clarified since the meter was on the side of the house and the septic in the back, there was no danger. He said the septic man should have known that. So, we didn’t call him back.

Anna called her mother and arranged to divert our dinner to her house. We even had to go take a shower at her Mom’s. You just don’t know how to appreciate the conveniences we take for granted. Our daughter-in-law Sabrina stepped in, preparing the balance of the meal. What a life-saver! The next morning we cooked the turkey and the dressing and carried it to my mother-in-laws for a delicious Thanksgiving meal with our family.

Wednesday after the man left, Anna did research on the internet and found what proved to be a reliable septic tank company through Service Magic with good reviews through Friday the new septic tank man and his helper came, dug the hole, pumped it out, and looked at the setup, saw that the T section was damaged, which they repaired. Cost $1900, which is much cheaper than $3000-$5000.

The second septic tank man had a pot belly like I do. Denim pants have a tendency to slip down and rest at your ass crack, which necessitates pulling them back up from time to time. I think that is called plumber’s cleavage. When I first met the man, we both first pulled up our pants before we shook hands. It was like a ritual.

Once he had to stop work and sit down. He turned his boots upside down and shook them, explaining that his son likes to put pennies in them.

We thought it was all clear until Sunday water came back into the basement after washing clothes. So, we called the septic people out again Monday.

After digging up the yard again, he hooked up his pump to the house and sucked with all he had. Apparently there was a blockage that finally let loose. We hope it is clear this time. Keep your fingers crossed!!

2nd Visit

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lookie what I found on the Internet! It is a postcard of the three of the most popular churches in Marietta as they were many years ago.

In fact, we were in Saint James' Episcopal Church just over a week ago. Saint James and the First Baptist Churches are on opposite corners of each other on Church, Polk, and Lemon Streets. Both churches, external appearance-wise, have had drastic make-overs since they looked like the above.

And the First Methodist moved blocks away into a new building that doesn't look gothic at all. And sadly the old First Methodist Church was demolished.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


WHAT'S MY LINE? Or was it WHAT'S MY NAME? or MY JUB? It was a popular panel game show on TV in the 50s. Not so popular that the name is branded in my memory though. Just the past week on PBTV was a special on Woody Allen who appeared on this show - the panel members wore blindfolds and Woody spoke in a squaaky mousy voice. Wait, why didn't he disquise his voice? Wnen I saw that part of the Woody special I thought of the MAD version of the show, WALA!

Also senate sub-committees scouring the media to cull out who they thought were anti-American and those they thought were trying to corrupt the youth of the time. I think they did more corrupting and being anti-American than anyone they investigated. But as you can see, this pun was intended to throw a few punches at them.

Of course it was more than likely this story was written by editor Harvey Kurtzman and illustrated by Jack Davis. It first appeared in MAD comicbook #17.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NOTE!! The Below is a Satire on Ad Campaigns

Hello. I ran away from home with and joined a carnival when I was ten years old. A lot of grownups I worked with had tattoos and I said, “What the heck…” and got one myself. It wasn’t enough, I got a few more to fit in with my new peers.

Later, after I quit the carnival I was arrested for arm robbery and was sent to prison. I learned in prison a person with a lot of tattoos looks intimidating and gets more respect and privileges. To be the kingpin of the prison yard, I had some homemade tattoos added. After that, big dangerous thugs serving time for assault, battery and murder would step out of my way. Man, that was living!

I have my eccentricities like everyone else, but I am just a plain ordinary guy. My name is Snake-Eyes Shaw and I’m a Mormon.*

*(just jesting).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rich's Officially Opening the Shopping Season

When Richs’ Department store was in downtown Atlanta their main store on Forsyth Street were two big buildings facing each other. They were connected by a multilevel bridge. On each level, normally, was an eatery, or some unique department that was best suited to be on a bridge.

Each year on Thanksgiving night they would have the lightening of the Rich’s Christmas Tree ritual. The tree was always gigantic and normally hauled from north Georgia.

There was entertainment galore. For instance a choir would sing on one level and when they finished the lights around them would go out, putting them into darkness and another level lit up with another group with another Christmas song. They had choirs, soloists, and the couple of times we went a well known country singer and perhaps a pop or rock singer that was popular at the time.

After the music and the kids were getting restless all lights on all levels went out and on top the silhouette of dark Christmas tree shape thing seemed to come to life with very bright Christmas lights and all levels lit up with more people singing about the birth of Christ.

It was a true Oooohhh and Aahhhhh presentation.

It reminds me of the priests that bless the shrimp boats or other fishing boats at the beginning of their season. Why? Because in a way, this is the bringing in Black Friday, so let the commercially-money-charged Christmas begin!

Which reminds of one time Rich’s had a statement on everything during the holiday season proclaiming RICH’S IS CHRISTMAS. Local civic leader Jennie Tate Anderson started a campaign condemning that statement. I think Rich’s withdrew it in shame.

Now, there is no Rich’s. Macy’s bought out Rich’s and changed the name. The tree lightening ceremony is still a big event at Macy’s Lenox Square Shopping Center. But to me it is just not the same. Maybe, that is because I have never been to that one.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The First Thanksgiving

"Look at those savages! They don’t even know about Jesus! We will force those heathens off their land and claim it as ours! heh heh"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Before the Secret Service

Andrew Jackson

1835 - Would be assassin Richard Lawrence made an attempt to assassinate President Andrew Jackson. First Lawrence's gun misfired. He pulled out a second gun and it just didn't go off. Nobody noticed this going on except President Andrew Jackson, who was no stranger to physical confrontations. The president attacked Richard Lawrence with his cane. They had to pull Andrew off Richard.

I bet that was the last time that happened.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So Long Mountain Woman

I have known Betty since we were in about the 9th grade. It seems she was always into something. She was full of life. I remember at high school dances she was the best and most energized dancer I have ever seen. Before the night was up she was covered with perspiration. She had her own beat.

Her husband Larry died several years ago. His body is at Kennesaw Memorial, in a drawer overlooking the pond. Not long after he died I rode by and I saw an elderly man with the palm of his hand on Larry's marker and he was crying.

Betty was cremated. The obituary said the memorial service would be private.

I ran into her at Krogers a couple of years ago and she had changed. She seemed embarrassed – that was not like the Betty I knew, who didn’t know what embarrassment meant.

We called her “Mountain Woman”. One look at her and you would do like we did, think of her as Mountain Woman. I think Larry Holcomb christened her with that name.


THE SPIRIT - Created by Will Eisner and generated by his staff was a comic ahead of its timee. Or I think so anyway. This story was first published in 1947.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Soaking up Cultural at a Play

Last nlight we went to see the play KOSHER LUTHERANS at The Stellar Cellar in the basment of the St. James' Episcopal Church.

It was a real play with a professional director, professional actors, on a real stage, with a real intermission, and a real audience.

We estimated that there were 65 seats in the little theater.

The play was a light comedy with the message of religious tolerance. It was done pretty good I thouht.

The house was packed. On our row three middle age women were sitting on our right. As soon as the play started the stomach of the lady sitting next to me starting growling. It sounded like an angry cat that was about to go into claw to claw combat. The whining and growling of her stomach got the other two ladies mufflling thier gigglings which one of them must have exerted too much holding her mouth end in that her rear end tooted a short fart. That got them giggling again. I wanted to join in on the fun and lean over with my hand out and say, "Pull my finger." But I didn't.

I'm glad it was a comedy.

On this Day in History, November the 19th:

1874 - William Marcy “Boss Tweed” of Tammany Hall (NYC) convicted of defrauding the city of $6M, sentenced to 12 years.

1938 – Born: Ted Turner, "The Mouth of the South". I like Ted. He is outspoken and tells it like he sees it. I also like the top picture, he looks shit-face drunk.

1959 - Ford cancels the Edsel

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Age Old Question: Should People in Glass Houses Throw Rocks?

The news media has reported that Freddie Mac has been paying Newt, through their lobbyist, millions in "consulting fees" in the early 2000s. Isn't that sort of thing is what Newt was criticizing the Democrats for?

Didn't Ask, Didn't Tell

A couple of weeks ago Anna and I and raked and blew the leaves on my mother-in-law’s very long driveway. After we finished it looked nice and clean. I joked, “We better take a picture of it.” Meaning the leaves are not finished falling

The other day I was back over at mother-in-law’s house. This time I brought J, a Latino, to help me clean off the roof. The roof was covered in piles of leaves. J, with a blower, very skillfully blew the leaves off while I was on the ground raking and shaking bushes as the leaves landed on them. Afterwards, the roof looked clean like a new roof.

I thought I would recycle my joke: “I better take a picture of it to make it last.”

J looked puzzled and said, "Do you want me in the peecher?"

We went to our house and first cleaned off our roof. The shortest point to the roof is from the deck. I suggested to J that he put the ladder there to go up. J climbed the ladder to the roof and was about to heave himself off and up when the ladder slipped out from under him. Luckily, the bottom leg of the ladder slid against my shoe and wasn't going any further. J could carefully ease himself down. He said he thought it might be better to go up in front of the carport. I agreed.

I put J cutting vines and other plant life off or near the fence and while he was doing that I sucked up leaves with my blower/vacuum. J prgressively and systematically worked on the fence, leaving a clean fence behind him as he moved forward. It was looking so good it is hard to beleive that fence is at about 35 years old.

At one small area J was close to a patch of monkey grass. I told hlim my dog Willow likes to look for chipmunks in the moneky grass there. He said with his unique accent, "Chipmunks!"

I nodded and agreed, "Chipmunks."

After I sucked up all the leaves in the monkey grass and in the trees' edges I got my riding lawnmower and mulched the leaves in the yard. The first thing I noticed was my gas cap was off. I walked around the yard looking for it from the last time I mulched a couple of weeks ago and didn't see it. How it got off the mower, I had no idea. Anna designed a neat looking gas cap from aluminum foil and molded to the opening.

While mulching the leaves in the back yard I found the gas cap. I hit it with the mower. It lodged onto my blade and blocked the blade from mowing. I put the Snapper riding mower on its end and tried to knock it off the blade with a hammer and couldn’t get it to bulge. It was on too tightly. I decided I would have J help me put it on the truck and after I carry him home take it to the shop.

It was about lunch time. I asked J what he would want for lunch. He timidly asked if there was a Wendy's close by. Yes. He said he would like a chicken sandwich. I asked if he wanted their spicy chicken sandwich and he looked a little surpised, and said, "No, just a regular". Then I remembered last time he did some work here he wanted a Chic-Fi-a and then I also asked if he wanted it spicy. Which he looked a bit taken back that time too - like I was stereotyping him, which I guess I was.

By this time J was finishing up with cleaning the fence and had two truckloads to load up and carry to a landfill. The first load filled up easily because it had plenty of and limbs of two small trees cut down. I told J to spread a pile of mulch left over from a tree cutting we had not long ago and I asked the tree man to leave it.

The next truck load started off very slowly filling up. It was mostly tiny vines and it was time consuming putting on the truck. Then J took it on himself to start rolling a handful of vines which as he rolled was like a snowball, making it pick up more snow and getting bigger and bigger. Instead J had a vine ball getting bigger and bigger. By the time he got to the truck with the vineball it was bigger than the bed, but it was loose and springy. It took both of us to lug in onto the truck bed, with it hanging off both sides. J climbed up in the truck and jumped up and down on it and each jump it compacted itself into a smaller size. It was hard unloading alone, but it was an idea truck load.

When I got back J had finished spreading the mulch into a very methodical pattern over the ground

I asked him to help me load the lawnmower onto the truck and I told him how the blade had lodged itself into the gas cap. He wanted to see it. We lifted it up and with a hammer he dislodged it - it was fixed!

He saved us a bunch. We have been paying a group around $100 to clean my mother-in-law’s roof annually. Considering how much we were paying J and how much time it took, the roof cleaning cost about $5 this time. And the lawnmower, I don’t think the place I carry my Snapper would have even looked at it for less than $75. J is someone who is willing to work and do a good job. I think he takes pride in his work.

His work was done. I paid him and carried him home

I did not ask J if he was legal and he did not tell me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Old Marietta

This house was on Hansen Street in downtown Marietta. The street is still there but with completely different surroundings. Now the street cuts through the First Methodist Parking lot. The little girl is Frances Hunter, who is celebrating her birthday today.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On This Date, November the 15th, in History:

1864 - Sherman burned Atlanta. Tch tch. Shame! Bad General! Bad!

Psst! Sherman also made POWs walk ahead of the Federal troops in case of hidden mines.

"War is Hell." William T. Sherman

Monday, November 14, 2011

St Joseph and the Scouts

This was the sponsor of the Boy Scout troop I was in, Troop 132. The church was Saint Jospeh's Catholic Church. I functions where the help of the scouts was needed I was in awe that the priest guzzled beer and smoked like the rest of the men. That was not exactly what my baby blue Southern Baptist eyes were used to.

The church moved to Lacy Street, off Campbell Hil Street.

Their bingo and corn beef and cabbage nights were good too.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


This may be an appropriately timed story, being that it is only two days after Veteran's Day and in the 150th Anniversary Year of the Civil War. This is about the the first shot in the Civil War at Fort Sumter in the Charleston, South Carolina, Bay. Alhthough history writes itself, I'm sure the fine details were filled in editor Harvey Kurtzman and illustrated by Will Elder and John Severin.

Friday, November 11, 2011

German Fast Food

Above, a slab of processed Doner meat.

Yesterday, around lunchtime we were near Highway 92 and Bells Ferry Road. I suggested a place we read about called Doner Frankfurt, a German Fast Food. We had a coupon.

The eatery was in a shopping center and not very big inside, maybe about the size of a Waffle House. I think it is a franchise.

You order at the counter and like Subway or Blimbie you stand there and tell them what you want on it, which isn’t much.

The two types of meat their Doner is chicken and beef. The meat appears to be a processed or pressed meat built on a stand and the slice off slivers of it to make your Doner Sandwich.

I saw on the sign they also have bratwurst.

The beef Doner taste much like a Greek gyro. If you like authentic gyros then you will like a doner. The sandwich is something similar to flatbread.

I think the gyro taste is the feta cheese and yogurt you can elect to have put on it.

They had a few sides available such as German potato salad that was in a cool box with a window. They also had a rack that had potato chips.

The owner or manager I think had a German accent and seemed unorganized. While a lady was ringing us up at the cash register he interrupted her and asked if a lady who just received her food and walked away had paid.

I always thought when the cashier is operating a cash register she is on sacred ground, She is counting money and needs to be totally focused. As far as I’m concerned his question could have waited. She paid.

Armistice Day, Hug a Veteran Today!

Or at least tell him or her thanks!