Monday, December 29, 2014

Chicken-fat's Swan Song?

Just when I thought the blog Chicken-fat was on a roll, BLAM!

Due to illness It will probably  have to take a sabbatical.

I know, I know, I said the same thing before.  But this time it is more looming. 

The good thing is that most of the blog's  daily attendees are not there to see what I have produced for that day, but for something I have written  or flounder in the past.  Most are searching for  comics in my Sunday Funnies section, my genealogy findings,  and there is also a big percentage on a historical search and came up when they googled whatever they were looking for.

Maybe I can coast on the posts already posted for a while.  (the previous sentence probably could be re-structured and be a poem).

Keep coming back and checking, and eventually, hopefully, Chicken-fat shall return, just like a toothache.

Sitting Next to a Legend's Step-daughter

You never know who you might sit next to in the barber shop or beauty shop.

Not long ago in the beauty shop Anna talked to Leslie E. Stern, who, it turns out  is the step-daughter of Iwao  Takamoto.

Iwao Takamoto was well known as being one of the best known animation artist for Hanna-Barbera Productions.  He is known to have created a number of the characters that became household words.

Leslie was five years old when his mother married Iwao.  Iwao was the only father she knew.  She wrote a book LIVING WITH A LEGEND  about her formative years with a legend.  Adam gave the book as a birthday gift to Anna. 

We are looking forward to readying it. 

Maybe one time in the barber shop I sat next to Carl Barks, Disney's chief cartoonist before he died.  Who knows?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Preambling the Pre-Varners Reunion

One of the early board meetings about  having a Varner's Reunion.  The meeting was held at The Varsity, which seemed appropriate.  


Anna gave me Tuba Skinny's new album OWL CALL BLUES for Christmas. 
Above is the title song (lifted from Youtube), performed by Tuba Skinny and vocal by Erika Lewis.

Also check out the CD album cover below, illustrated by Shaye Cohn, cornet and fiddler player on the album.

(click on image to be able to see thing better, like the gater)

Outside CD Cover

Inside CD Cover

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Oh, What Big Eyes You Have!

We saw the movie BIG EYES this weekend.  It was a Tim Burton movie and because of that I thought it would be great.   When I saw it, I thought  it wasn't all that great.  I think the reason we were not impressed with it so much because we did not have the element of surprise.  We knew what would be the "capper" .  We heard and read too many interviews about the movie.

But in case you do not know how it ended I will not ruin it for you.  It might help you like it better.

However, I have to say, that Tim Burton was out of his element; he is famous for making supernatural movies such as EDWARD SCISSOR HANDS and animated features such as THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and other dark movies such as BATMAN RETURNS or  THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW.  This movie was on the sunny side, sort of.

As far as I know it is a factual story about the artist couple Walter  and Margaret Keane.

Now, to my own personal eyewitness of the BIG EYE paintings:

When I was in the Navy stationed in Lakehurst, New Jersey, we frequently went to New York City, and without fail went to Greenwich Village.  Some time or another, in an art gallery window was some paintings or prints of the BIG EYED sad little children by "Keane"  I was impressed by the sad feelings the pictures stimulated.  Then, about every time we went to the Village I saw more BIG EYES by "Keane" in the galleries windows.  The popularity grew and grew.  The pictures were selling like hotcakes.

This was in the year 1963-65 when we there often.  And that was about the time period the movie took place.   A big murel of Keane's BIG EYES was to be at the New York City World's Fair in 1965, but something went wrong.  See the picture and find what.

I thought it would be funny if at the end some old irate customer demanded his money back because he thought the name of it was "BIG ASS".


Created and oversaw by Will Eisner.

click on each image to make it bigger and readable.

Old Union County Court House, Present Union County Museum

This is the old Union County Court House in Blairsville, Georgia.  .  It was a court house and now it is the Union County Historical Museum.  We have visited it each time we were near and enjoyed it each time.  Two of those times we attended blue grass concerts up stairs in what was a court room.

I groan every time I think Cobb County didn't do the same with its old courthouse.   It was always an eye pleasing site, especially if you had been away and its clock tower welcomed you.  

It would have made a great museum too.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Electronic Snobbery

I think sometimes we, as humans, are so self-centered, forget what is a luxury and what  is not.
The latest some asked for my 04 year old mother-in-law's cell phone number.  I doubt if you will find many 94 year olds with a cell phone  constantly near them.  My mother-in-law has one, but, as far as I can remember, never has used it.  She has it for emergencies.  But she does religiously keep it charged.
Years ago I ran into my cousin and he asked me did I have some new genealogy information.  I said yes and he asked me to FAX him  the information.  FAX?  I told him I didn't have a FAX machine, he looked at me unbelievable.

We are constantly being told some texted us some information.   We try to live frugal lives, believe it or not, and  texting cost more.  So we don't do it.  I don't know anything texting can do that an email message can't.

It reminds me several years ago my elderly neighbor (now deceased) and I were talking about the barbecue places in Marietta.  He had been to several and would like to know about more.  Then, not long after our conversation a local TV program was about Metro Atlanta's Barbecue joints.  I toped it with my VCR  then.  I carried the VHS tape over to my neighbor and I handed it to him.
He said, "Don't you have to have something to play that on?  I don't have anything like that."  In other words, he did not own a VCR Recorder/Player.

I looked at him "unbelievable "

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Invisibility Catching and Christmas Office Party

I hate to keep talking about my invisibility.  I would much rather say, "Look!  You can see me!"  That would make me much happier.
Now, I am wondering if my invisibility is contagious.  My mother-in-law may be becoming  invisible or nonexistent  too.   Last night at the dinner at the nursing home she was at the same table as we were, so she got shot-changed a plate of food to start off with too;.  But, in the long run we got fed, it just that it took a while for us, they ran out of paper plates. 
She will be getting out of the nursing/rehab home soon.  We will stay with her day and night to help her until we can get a qualified caretaker.
We feel we should make her house more TV/Internet friendly.   We called AT&T and lined up for a tech to come to her house and install a DSL line, which I think we should be able to get HBO and the Internet.  We agreed on the price and the tech was to come this morning in the window frame of between 8am and 11am.
I arrived at 8am and  stayed to noon.  The tech was a no-show, and as we said at the post office, a "No call".
We called AT&T and told them the whole story and they kept getting it mixed up, "Do you want DLS or some other word?"  We don't know their lingo, we just want it hooked up on the Internet.

When we told them my mother-in-law's number they told us there was no such number.  That is strange, she has had that same number since the 1950s and have paid her bill every month and they say there is no such number?  See, my invisibility is contagious!
Another thing that seemed confusing we told them the tech did not call us to cancel the appointment and  the lady asked were  we at the same number, which was bla bla bla.  We said we never heard of that number, our numbers were bla bla bla.  That confused her.
We wanted to know why he didn't call and she said they could not reach him to talk to him.  We said that is hard to believe that the company that is the master of the communications world cannot reach one of their field workers.  Does he have a phone?  


We first noticed that the lady had an accent, Indian (Far East), we thought).  Occasionally she hung up on us and we called her back.  Finally we mentioned that she hung up several times and she said she was actually checking on something and put us on hold.   The next time she just put the receiver down and we could hear back ground voices as she "check on something" or whatever.  A lot of people were all speaking a foreign language and sometimes  laughing and sometimes shouting or screaming.
We asked where were they? 
And she added it was their Christmas Day. 

Were we  interrupting a Christmas office party?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Jack Davis turned 90 "What Me Retire?"

There is an article in WIRED magazine that said  Georgian Artist Jack Davis is retiring or has retired.  Jack is one of the first four illustrators of the original MAD comic book and  the only survivor  of  original  staff of five.
He also did a lot of art of EC Comics' horror comics, as TALES FROM THE CRYPT.

He also has done a lot of other art for other publications such as TIME and TV GUIDE.   Not to mention his free work  of UGA, the University of Georgia  Bulldog Mascot for the UGA Booster Club.

I  just read on Google that Jack Davis "an't"  retiring after all. It was just a rumor.

Speaking of Jack Davis and the UGA Bulldog, and By Gosh, By Golly,  it is Christmas time and here are some Jack Davis art.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Singing at Signature Nursing & Rehab

Sunday we visited Anna's mother Marie and were putting on our jackets getting ready to go when we heard a roar down the hall.  It got louder and turned into music.  Then we realized it was Angles!   Of course I  whipped out my camera and started videoing.


Christmas Stuff at the Georgia Gov. Mansion in 2011

This is a Christmas thing.  On our anniversary in December 2011 we went to the Governor's mansion to see it all decorated and listen to the Christmas Music by young people of different organizations.

Click below!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

SUNDAY FUNNIES!! Christmas with Saint Nick!

Whenever I can I like the comics on SUNDAY FUNNIES to be seasonal or topical.  So, what do us Pagans want  to see at Christmas?  Santa!  That's who!

This Santa story, illustrated by Will Elder, was  in the first issue of the comic book PANIC,  was the first story of EC comics to be banned in Boston, among other cities.   PANIC was published by the same people that published MAD... in fact, they used the same artists.

 I should add that the story was first of many EC stories to be banned.

pssst!  click on each image as you look at it that way you can read the balloons and it will make more sense.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Tade's Body Language

The Confederate Memorial at the Confederate Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia.  
The lady on the right is my great aunt Octavia "Tade" Tyson Carr (1886-1957).  Although in the picture her face is not clear, I know it is her by the body language.  She held her head high and  appeared to be judgmental. 

Tade looking at her sister (my grandmother) Minnie Tyson Hunter.  To the left is their sister Annie Tyson Crowder.

Tade as a teenager.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tuba Skinny - 3 Weeks Ago

That is what YOUTUBE said:  TUBA SKINNY, 3 WEEKS AGO.

I can just see years from now at a concert they ask the audience what they would like to hear and someone raises their hand and stands up and say,  "I would like to hear Tuba Skinny playing 'Three Weeks Ago'".

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Umbrella Rock on Lookout Mountain & Marietta Familie

The first picture is Anna's father's mother side of the family, the Wrights. 

The second picture is Anna's mother's father side of the family, the Moons. 

They are on Umbrella Rock on  Lookout Mountain, which part is in Tennessee and part is in Georgia.  They are in the Tennessee part in Point Park, a Civil war sight.  The black and white pictures do not show it but they also had a great view of the Cobra Bend of the Tennessee River (below).

The Wrights and Moons may or may not known each other.  But it is ironic that one of the Wrights, Lilla owned a neighborhood store on Canton Road at Kurtz Road in Marietta and the Moons on a neighborhood store on Roswell Street, across from Victory Drive in Marietta.... not that stores ownership  have anything to do with Umbrella Rock or the Tennessee River.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Disneys' Timely Deaths

Recently on Facebook I saw a cartoon of a man on a block of ice.  A man standing with his young children complaining about "this wasn't what I had in mind,  when I bought tickets to see Disney on Ice."

Of course the joke was referring to the long lived rumor that Disney did not really die, he is frozen until they find a cure of whatever he was  about to die of.

Now, having said that today's date in history, December, 15, 1966, Walk Disney died.
Now, get this:

On this same date in history, December 15, 1997, Lillian Disney, Walt's wife, died.

Sally, 1960 Leap to 2010

This is Sally, a former high school classmate of mine.  Her last name starts with a G and my last name starts with a H, so we sat near each other in some classes we had together.  This picture was taken at our 50 Year High School Reunion, Part i, in 2010.

Although we sat near each other in many classes through high school we have never spoke.  It seemed she ignored me.   I don't blame her.  She was definitely there to learn and my friends and I were there to have a good time.   While she was taking notes we were giggling, pulling pranks on each other, and generally causing some kind of ruckus.

She grew up to be a school teacher.

When I took this picture was the first time I spoke to her.  I more or less apologized for being such a disturbance near her in school.   She more or less said, "Apologized for what?"   She said she loved watching us, every moment of it - but she wasn't the type to cut up like that, but did enjoy watching  our antics.

As we talk, I wonder, was she silently correcting my grammar with a red pencil?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Randy Newman Sings KING FISH

On my walk this morning I listened to Randy Newman.  One of the songs was King Fish, which is about Louisiana Governor Huey Long.   I paid attention to the words Huey Long is a distant Tyson relative.  I remember reading something about the Long family of Louisiana.  Interesting, Huey Long was tried to help out the little man when doing such a thing was frowned upon by the elite- well, it still is.     He even tried to give blacks equal rights and because of  that his wife tried to have him declared  insane.  True!  

Take it away Randy!


click on each image to make it bigger and makes sense

My old Friend Skip Williamson and his one and only SAMMY SMOOT.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Atherton Park

This is Atherton Park in Marietta by the Visitors Center, which was the Train Depot.  It is named after Howard "Red" Atherton, who was Mayor of Marietta.  I haven't ever talked to Red, but I have talked to his father several times when he told me to either buy something or get  - He didn't want his drug store to be a hangout, but it was anyway. 

This picture was taken in the fall years ago, on one of my morning walks.  This picture doesn't show it, but in the evening it is alive with a bohemian touch.  Students at tables studying, playing guitars, having deep discussions, having not so deep discussions, and of course there is usually b motor cycle or two.