Wednesday, May 30, 2007


There were actually two pool halls in my life, but both served as places to gather, to grow socially, and to kill time.

One was way in the back of a local beer joint, actually a nice bar for the day, called the “Rec Center,” short for recreation. “The Rec” had red leather covered stools, and matching tufted booths along the opposite wall from the bar. The mirrors along this wall and one large one behind the bar made the room seem immense, especially to a teenage boy walking anxiously through the bar to the pool tables.

We never wanted to be caught in the bar area, while the pool area could be explained away, should our parents see us.

Naturally, we could not order at the bar, but they would take our coke and chip order through an opening in the wooden paneled wall that separated the two distinct areas - the bar and the pool hall.

The pool table area was separated by a gate and wall of oak paneling that included box newels extending from about half way up the wall to the ceiling. The smoke and beer smells and the conversations easily passed between the sections.

The other pool hall was known simply as “The Pool Hall” and was located in the middle of Harriman. Large plate glass windows separated the smoke, ball breaks, and loud talking and cursing from the street. On more than one occasion, I saw a strong snooker break send the cue through one of the windows and down the street. As a ball hit the floor on break or angered shot, you always heard the overly used “Cost extra to play on the floor!” Later, chicken wire was placed along the bottom of the glass to deflect ricocheting balls.

The Pool Hall” was a deep rectangular building, built in the 1920s, with a few mirrors, some raised platform seating, a cigarette machine and a single “coke” machine. Little else adorned this place, it was basically an old west saloon with the bar missing. The walls were painted a baby blue, but mostly covered with dirty jokes and curse words. The floor was wooden, squeaked when you walked over the greasy boards, and were always dirty, with little piles of red sweeping compound and cigarette butts in the corners. Besides the drink machine, there was nothing nourishing in the place so you had to walk across the street to “The Spot” café, if you got hungry.

This centrally located hall was the prime hangout for most high school boys, and the old “long since graduated” losers of Harriman High. Mostly the old and the young mingled pretty well, except for the manager, who seemed to hate anyone under thirty!

If our money lasted through the first round on a Friday or Saturday night at “The Beacon,” with cherry cokes and burgers, and the obligatory pinball game, one of these pool halls were our next destination!

The Rec” was usually only chosen if we knew someone older was coming by and had promised to buy us a six-pack up front. If this fell through, then it was the half-mile on to town to shoot a few games, then stand, leaning back against a parking meter to watch the cruising parade of girls and boys in cars, trying to look cool.

Mostly there were guys and gals on dates, with whom we tried not to make eye contact. I suppose we were a little ashamed we did not have dates or cars in which to cruise ourselves.

Nevertheless, we stood tall as cars full guys and/or gals came by, hoping that we might be invited to “cruise” with them. However, when you stood with Barry and James, you knew few offers would come, at least from the “popular” crowd.

More often than not, we ended up with a car full of guys from lesser important cliques playing the expected role of circling all the local “drive-ins,” hanging out the windows yelling at former girlfriends and their dates, or anyone else we wanted to see us in a car. Being spotted in a car seemed, at least then, to give us some credibility of being liked by someone, and possibly even dateable!

It was not that I was better than Barry and James; it was that alone I seemed to have the knack of fitting in with other cliques. However, I loved those two guys and I would not hurt their feelings for anything. There were at least two times that I declined a “ride” that was only meant for me.

Being free and capable of moving between groups allowed me to have many more “friends” in high school, although my preference was with Barry, Woody, and James. I really do not remember James ever being on a “real date,” but Barry, Woody, and I often double dated when one or the other got permission to take out the family car.

One night, while standing tall in front of “The Pool Hall” two of our class’ homeliest and healthiest girls pulled up and stopped. Barry and I looked at each other, then our watches, and figured “what the hell!”

The only good memory from that “cruise” was that I drank a tall Falstaff that was the coldest beer I have ever had the pleasure drinking. It was an especially hot and muggy night and little ice slivers kept sliding down my throat. I was in heaven! Of course, it was pretty hard to swallow, slumped down in the back seat where no one could see us! We took their free ride, but we had our pride!

The last time I ever remember being in “The Pool Hall” was in 1969. I had been distracted by a couple of mini-skirts crossing the street from the pool hall side to the Princess Theater, and rammed a Road Runner in the rear-end with my new candy apple red Mustang! While everyone in the pool hall stood at the window or just outside, I had to walk in and use the payphone to call home. Quite embarrassing, especially since they did not know the full “mini-skirt” story!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I sure hope you had as much fun during the weekend as my family did – being with family, who are your friends, is the best! I thank God for the experience we have each and every time we are together. There is no bickering, trying to “one up” the other, or backbiting among us. Except of course, in jest and good-natured fun! We do tease each other unmercifully at times! We are who we are and we never put on airs!

There have been those that come and try to hang with us, but most cannot handle our sense of humor or young party mentality! Those people we just call “old!”

While the ribs were cooking (check out Mushy’s Cookings) we entertained each other with laughter, beer, cigars, with the obligatory photo ops of the Dragons and Knights, and Noel’s guitar pickin’ & playin’!

There is also the panorama view of some East Tennessee farm country, a green mountain vista, thunderheads taking their own sweet time up distant valleys, an occasional deer crossing the field, and birds of all kinds flying overhead. What a wonderful part of the country we live in and we appreciate it immensely.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a little of it with us.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Ha, that is a joke…every day is part of a long weekend to me!

However, this afternoon and early evening was all ours (she won't let me post her shot) to enjoy. There is nothing quite like sitting on the “screened porch” watching the birds, the rabbits, and squirrels playing around the yard or in the trees.

Occasionally there was a fish splashing in the lake, my dog snoring behind my chair, and sometimes you could hear children playing on the dock across the way. I drowned them all out with rock and blues MP3 tunes piped from my PC, through the house wiring out to the speakers sitting at each end of the porch.

If you have not tried a 110 house wiring system, you should. You will get high-quality digital stereo audio to any room in your home where there is an AC outlet! I picked the Radio Shack wireless system!

Anyway, I ask you to enjoy your weekend safely and especially to remember the reason for the holiday. Celebrate your freedom by remembering those who, down through the years, have, and are still dying to make it possible. I remembered two special guys on my military blog, but I am sure you know others to thank by remember them this weekend.

With every sip of my beer and puff on my Macanudo, I remember those that will never again have that pleasure. Think about it every time you hear on the news about a few more dying in Iraq or Afghanistan – one more person/s that will never know the pleasures of life again! Another child who will never know their mom or dad – sons or daughters, brothers or sisters that will never be hugged again. I know it sounds stupid or trivial to you who have never served, but you must not take that loss of life for granted – ever!

If we do not remember them, they are gone – forever and their lives meant nothing.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I was born at home in my great grandfather's bed, after mom grew tired of waiting on me at the hospital. She left and went home and I arrived that night. Dad gave ol' Doc Cotton a five dollar bill for his trouble. Ain't been worth much since!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

From Atlanta’s Phillips Arena...

Roger Waters 2007 Dark Side of the Moon Tour!

Five of us from the East Tennessee area drove down in two cars for the concert – even fighting our way through an hour backup on I-75 north of Atlanta.

After checking in to the Holiday Inn in Decatur, GA, we promptly found a wonderful little pub call The Brick Store Pub and began the evening’s festivities. It was about a 20 minute MARTA ride from Decatur to the front door of the 21,000-seat arena. Inside we found the nearest BASS ALE tap to our Portal 5 entrance. Before going in, I stood in line for about 30 minutes to get a 2007 Tour t-shirt, and made $10 for also ordering for a stranger who stepped up beside and asked me to oblige…and, for $10, a third of the cost of my shirt, I ordered for us both!

Inside we found that our seats were directly above the portal entrance, which meant no one could stand up in front of us! The rail also helped in steadying the camera for the included existing light shots!

Wonderful set list, which included all my favorites except “Young Lust,” wonderful stage set, and wonderful lighting and special effects. I am so glad I went!

When the (spoiler alert) background screen comes alive with a hand retuning the radio, picks up a cigarette and lights if off screen, then comes back for the glass of scotch, you know it’s about to become a HAPPENING! The hand tunes the radio a couple of more times then settles on “In the Flesh,” and you see the 6’4” Roger Waters standing on stage, you’re off!

I began the concert still wishing Doyle Bramhall III would be there, but by the end of “Mother” I was ready to party with Dave Kilminster and Snowy White. They did not miss a lick and believe me we have them memorized!

I have sent other shots to Brain Damage - don't know if they'll post them or not, but check Flickr for the same shots!

UPDATE! They posted click on the embedded link above!

UPDATE 2! OMG, now the Snowy White Fan Club has posted my shots!


Monday, May 21, 2007


Won’t be long now until the “old one” gets to act like a young “flower child” one more time.

Roger Waters at Phillips Arena in Atlanta on the 22nd!
No more posting until I return - "What? What's that you said! Can't hear ya man! I got "The Wall" pounding in my soul!"

"Daddy, what'd'ja leave behind for me?!?"

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I love rummaging through my drawers! They’re actually getting big enough that you could get in them with me and walk around!

Seriously, I was fumbling through stacks of papers in my bedroom dresser and came across, yet another masterpiece, this old doodle at the top of some notes I took years ago, probably about 1978, while just beginning my communications career.

I know it was 1978 because that is my Trans Am sitting in the driveway with red fire coming out of the exhaust, and black marks running up the drive. That’s also the little bungalow I bought after my divorce. It was a great little 2-bedroom house, with gas logs, carpet, and much peace and quiet. Note the CB antenna (on the house and car) the “Black Max” used to broadcast hot tunes from the turntable, and check out the female CBer’s on the weekends! I suppose that was the beginning of “Friday Night Blues!” I’m sure the FCC tried many a night to triangulate my “twenty.”

Ah…what a time I had there! Truthfully, it began lonely, but with music, women, pen and paper, I worked out my issues and grief and got on with my life. I think you could say I grew there – yeah, you can say that!

I apparently thought more about home and things to do outdoors than I ever did about the job, from the looks of my notebooks. However, I somehow survived, even got promoted regularly, even if I doodled instead of focusing on work problems. But, who is to say I was not thinking about solutions when I did my scribbling? I think I probably did, otherwise, I would not have had the opportunity to sit, think, and doodle quite as long as I did!

It’s been said that doodling, an unfocused drawing, can help you to think more creatively, unlock a mental block, and brainstorm ideas. Damn, I must have been good!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Most recently we honored one of the Dragon’s birthdays. Everyone brought something special to eat, their own coolers filled with their favorite libation, and love in their hearts.

Noel, the eldest Knight, brought his guitar and amp and played beautiful country tunes for everyone. Some enjoyed them more than others and attempted to back him up! Just click on THE BACKUP SINGERS and you can get just a touch of their efforts!

It might have been the “cherry moonshine” I don’t know, but they sang their little pee pickin’ hearts out – don’t you think!

I love my family and the best part is they love me – or at least they did before I posted this!

Anyway, posted here are all five of the Knights (Noel separate on the guitar), and all five of the Dragons. “The Backup Singers” feature Judy (my favorite Dragon) and Neena.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Do you know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize that you could not pull something back out of the air and have a second chance at doing the right thing? The ache of knowing you have screwed up and you pray so hard in that moment that maybe no one will know it happened, but it does and you are the most outraged one by its occurrence.

Mr. Hallcocks was not a pretty man, and most people thought of him as being one of the stooped hairy men on the evolutionary chart, two or three back from modern man. His head seemed to be just a skull with the skin drawn very tightly over it, and you were afraid his chin would soon poke a hole through it.

Beyond this, he was a very nice man – a quiet man that always dressed in a suit and nodded his bony head at everyone he passed in the hallway. His specialty was English and best I remember he was good at what he did.

I sat in the back of the classroom with two of my friends, Barry and James, both, the “Fonzie” or “Danny Zuko” characters from my high school days. Each had the classic black hair combed back into a “ducktail.” They did not wear leather jackets, only because none of us was from families that could afford them, although dark shirts and jeans were our usual attire.

Now “Mr. Hallpussy,” as us tough guys preferred to refer to him, had a propensity to brag a little about his exploits in the military. If you played the timing just right, and asked a military question about ten minutes before the bell rang, he would often times get sidetracked into telling one of his yarns and forget to make assignments.

Barry played the Army card near the end of one class and Hallcocks began a story. He also liked to illustrate on the board as he talked and turned to diagram a maneuver, the field of play, or something, drawing a circle on the blackboard.

James nudged me and handed me an eraser he had gotten off the blackboard rail in the rear of the classroom. I took it and looked puzzled. James motioned toward the front of the class to where the “war story” was getting into full swing. I still did not understand what he wanted me to do. He then made a throwing motion.

James and Barry both looked at me and looked toward the front. Everyone was naturally focused on Mr. Hallcocks' story, and the thought passed through my brain that it was harmless and no one would ever know who it was.

I really did not think about it much further than that. I just looked at James and Barry and felt the pressure to follow through. What the heck?

Mr. Hallcocks would occasionally turn toward the class and then look back up at the board. Each time he turned away, James and Barry would whisper, “Go on…do it!

I decided that I would throw the eraser, hit the board, and then look nonchalant. Surely, he will not think it was I and blame someone else. He turned and I threw the eraser!

Somehow, the eraser seemed to pick up momentum as it traveled the fifteen yards to the front and my heart sank into my stomach. “Oh my God,” I thought to myself, “It is going straight at the back of his Neanderthal skull!"

I do not remember ever seeing anything travel as fast in slow motion as that eraser did that day. “Please God! Let it miss, please!

In a split second God did intervene – the chalk broke as he drew; he bent over to pick it up off the floor, and…POW! In a cloud of white chalk dust the eraser hit the board exactly where his little bony head had been a split second earlier!

In the second it took for Hallcocks to stand up and whirl around, I had thanked God for not letting me kill him, and then recoiled into an “I didn’t do it!” pose.

It was then and only then, that I realized that James, Barry, and I was the only three students sitting in the back of the room, and were the only people in the room who could have thrown the eraser.

I tried looking the most innocent, all the while thanking God for saving Hallpussy’s life! But then, the prayer changed to “Oh please don’t let him find out it was me!

Luckily, no one in the front of the room, who might have been more prone to “rat us out,” saw anything, but you could tell they had their suspicions. Hallcocks had the same suspicions and immediately asked, “Which one you guys threw that?

Long story short, neither of us said a word, except, “What?

I do not, for the life of me, remember how it all turned out, only remember him saying, “We’ll stay right here until someone tells me who did it!

I do not remember a “paddling,” but it seems to me since he could not decide between us, that he punished us all in some way…probably some writing drill like “I will not throw things a Hallpussy’s Neanderthal head ever again!”

The things we do trying to fit in with a tougher gang!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I sat in the first row next to the door in “Wee Willie” White’s chemistry class and we were usually the last to turn in test papers and first out the door when the period ended. I liked this arrangement, plus I was surrounded by the brightest in the class and this often came in handy. Now, I am not saying we cheated, but we often double-checked our answers before turning in our test papers!

This particular day I am remembering involved a “pop quiz” that had caught me completely off guard. I was really struggling with some of the answers, and wished more than once that I was not one of those that studied only the night before test!

Just as I was about to offer up a prayer for some assistance, the fire alarm sounded! What a break!Just weave yo papers on yo desk and file out da door,” Mr. White directed.

As we had been drilled many times, we quickly filed out the door, turned right, and headed out the backdoor to the fire-drill designated area outside. Once we stopped at the top of a small hill and looked back toward the school, secretly hoping to see real smoke, the whispering began. “What did you get for number 3?” “What?” “How did you get that?

I was taking it all in and memorizing answers to the three questions with which I had been having problems. Just as I was about to get the last one from someone, “Wee Willie,” who had a German accent, and spoke English with a sort of lisp, mounted the hill and walked among us warning everyone to not discuss the test.

He scanned the little crowd and it was obvious that answers were being exchanged.

As soon as the all clear was given, we filed back in and took our seats. Some of us, me for one, began frantically erasing and changing or filling in blank questions.

Puease pass yo papers to da front,” Willie announced!

I heard what he said, but still thought I had time, especially since his voice came from near the window seats. I continued to write and somebody began to tug at my paper, “Wait a minute,” I said, thinking it was the student sitting in front of me.

Then, I noticed the old dark skinned hands at the top of the paper and realized that I was playing “tug of war” with “Wee Willie” himself!

Oh my God,” I thought with eyes wide open and mouth agape!

Musee, I said no changin’ answers! For dat you get a zewoe,” he said as he tore up my test paper! I do not remember a teacher ever being that mad at me…well, maybe one more!

It was a long time before I was ever more embarrassed than I was at that moment. Everyone looked at me, my face flushed, and bountiful beads of sweat dotted my brow. Oh, I hate that hot glowing feeling that makes you feel dirty all over.

I sat back in my desk and contemplated killing myself with the now dull number two pencil I was nervously rolling between the fingers of my right hand. “Naw,” I said to myself, letting it pass, “that would be entirely too much pain!”

This was the second very stupid act I had committed in a chemistry class. If there were to be other imprudent incidents in school, I decided to let them happen in other classrooms.

Yeah…I know what you’re thinking…there is at least one more on the way!

…and yes…I did pass high school chemistry with a C+ average, but that was the end of my chemistry education. Here it comes…it seems me and chemistry just did not mix!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Looking back, I had a lot of fistfights in school, starting with the third grade, having had a scary episode with the “beast within” that I described earlier.

David was the first guy I met in Harriman that junior year that I felt deserved to have his head taken off. I do not know why he first rubbed me raw and instilled such a dislike for him, but it happened.

The first fight episode ended with the principal getting in the last and more memorable licks!

Purely by accident, because I am not normally a bully, my foot hit some books hanging out of David’s desk and they went sprawling out on the floor. “Don’t do that again,” he said before I could excuse myself!

I looked up surprised and caught the eye of two other fellow students with that “Go on! Do it again and see what happens,” look in their eyes.

So, I nudged the books out again and again David warned me, “Do it again and I’ll beat the crap out’ta you!

There were those looks again – straight from the devil and prodding me on. This time I kicked the books so hard they shot out the other side, and before I could look up for the rewarding look from my fans, David was on his feet laying blow after blow on my head! “Gees, I guess he wasn’t kiddin’,” I thought!

Somehow I avoided a killer blow and managed to loose myself from the desk swinging around my waist, and pushed David back enough to allow me to recoil into my fighter pose.

David had stepped around between another row of students and desks, and like in your favorite western I flung myself across them, knocking the cards, chips, and whiskey bottles off (just made that up – it was test tubes that were breaking), and grabbed David around the waist and wrestled him to the floor between screaming girls and “get’em!” yelling boys.

Before David and I could finish one another off, Mr. White, our chemistry teacher, reentered the classroom and started yelling at everyone to “get back” and “Mushy (not his real name) and David! Stop dat right now,” he said with his German accented American lisp!

Holding each of us by a shoulder, and with his special sounding lisp, “Wee Willie” said, “Daveed and Musee (not his real name), u two r vaweey vaweey wooed” and lead us out the door!

Later, as we sat snickering in the principal’s office awaiting our sentence, we realized we had just committed a grand act. The significance of the “cowboy fight” seemed to wash over us at the same moment. We were legends – we had destroyed the chemistry lab (well, turned over several desks, broke several test tubes, and flasks) and disrupted “Wee Willie’s” chemistry class! We would be famous! “Now these towns, they all know our names…”

Principal Crowel walked in and handed down his decision…ten licks each, from his wooden paddle with the holes drilled in it! Believe me, there were tears in our eyes by the time the corporal punishment ended, but the thought of what we had done carried us through.

For days after that, guys would try to get David and me into another fight, telling first one then the other what was being said about the other. David and I kept our cool, though we still did not like each other very much, and talked when away from school. We finally came to the decision of putting on fake fights after school! Stupid? Yes!

However, that is just what we did, well, about five times that year. We would begin by barking slurs at the other and talking up what would seem to be the worst fight ever.

After school, behind the Gulf Station, a crowd of a dozen or more would gather and the name calling and posturing would begin. Soon David and I would be exchanging blows – real blows, with bloody noses, black eyes, and torn shirts! We were really fighting and for nothing more than the attention!

Seriously, for those that have never had fist fight, after the first good stinging punch that numbs your nose, cheek, or ear, you hardly feel a thing until several hours later. The only bravery comes in standing your ground long enough to get that first blow over – then adrenalin and the taste of blood protect you from any follow up.

The only real benefit from all the fisticuffs was that none of the senior bullies, actually no one, ever bothered us in school. They figured we were crazy and experienced and that it was best to leave us to kill each other.

For David and me…we chalked up one of the greatest “school daze” stories ever to come out of SHHS! We had torn up the chemistry lab! As I look back on it I now realize that I love David for being part of my life – part of my youth!

We have seen each other several times since and we have great respect for each other and behind each smile are the memories of the “fight club” – and its two youthful members. David and I have been friends ever since.

My days in the fight club finally ended my junior year, same year I joined, out behind the Gulf Station, in one final exhibition “cowboy fight” for schoolmates, with my “fight partner” David. It ended like the first, with someone else getting in the last licks - my dad for getting mud and grass stains on a new pair of “white” jeans.

It was the final showdown, because we finally became “seniors” – time to act like men.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Okay, so I’m on my way to physical therapy this morning and the THP hides its car back inside a fenced in “u store it” lot, and caught me doing a whopping 33 MPH in a school zone! Hell – I can walk faster than that!

I tried to get the Trooper to put 150 MPH on it, but he had no sense of humor and obviously was not from the 60’s! He had no compassion for a “sixties kind of guy” at all! How embarrassing to get a “speeding” ticket for 33 MPH! There was not a fuzzy and/or pimply faced high school kid in sight and not another single car!

I’ll never live it down…33…it might as well been 67 in a 55 like all the others!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Between my house and Woody’s was a vacant lot that sat empty for years, but this area served the community and the boys of Pine Hills well for years. In the fall, until the ground was perceived too hard, we played sandlot football until we could not see the ball in its spiraling flight on pass routes. I often joke about some of my aches and pains I now have coming from having played football in the SFLA (Sandlot Football League of America). I cannot count the dislocated thumbs and pinkies, twisted knees, rock contusions, and crack-back blocks I endured during my membership!

This field also provided local churches with space for great tent-revivals in early to mid-summer. Upon this holy ground I committed an act toward women that still haunts me to this day.

Now, as life would have it, Betty Anne’s church held this particular annual event, and signs were posted all over the county. Betty Anne and several of her girlfriends planned to attend, and naturally asked us guys to accompany them to the services. Naturally, we declined, setting off a two-week long “we’re not speaking to you” campaign.

Standing within a rock throw of the field was a Gulf Service Station operated by another friend’s dad. Morgan was the same age as Woody and me and had many of the same interests, especially in girls. We discussed our own strategy for the five nightlong revival, and it boiled down to spying on the girls from high atop the service station.

The first two nights we lay on the roof in the twilight and watched for the girls to file in and find seats. Each night, up until this time, they had taken the same four or five metal folding chairs with their backs to the station, and facing the podium and minister’s lectern.

Through the entire service we peppered them with the small roof gravel, and generally made a nuisance of ourselves. The girls would turn around and look in our direction, having figured out whom and where we were, and then nonchalantly flipped us “the bird” behind their heads.

Then came the third or fourth night and a new “grand” scheme was hatched. We would stand on the brace between the back legs of the usual chairs, making deep holes down into the soft ground, pull the chairs back up out of the holes, and wait for the fun to begin later! What a great plan, and everything worked as expected, we might see a flash of panties as the chairs rocked back into the holes and dumping the girls over the backs in our direction!

The music began softly as people filed in and took their seats, but for some unknown reason (could have been the rocks, I do not know!) the girls took seats on the opposite side of the tent facing us! Oh, my God - how could this be?

We watched puzzled and waited to see who took the designated chairs. It appeared the chairs would go unused as the first song began with everyone standing and flipping to the correct page in the hymnal. However, just then four little old ladies, the youngest about seventy-five came parading down the aisle in the “Sunday Best” looking for seats close to the front.

We held our breath as they moved down the row and stood reverently in front of the “booby-trapped” chairs!

As the song ended, and the minister began to welcome everyone, the little old ladies began their slow and deliberate decent to the chairs. As fate would have it, their little scrawny bottoms touched down in perfect formation. As they leaned back, the chair legs sank as calculated, and over they tipped, to a reclining position, eight legs in the air, with their backs still against the chair backs!

All I remember, as we hunkered down behind the roof wall, trying to stifle our belly laughs, was the sight of the eight opaque stocking legs, with the roll just below each knee!

If it had not scared me some much, I too would have been rolling in the roof gravel trying to catch my breath! However, I only thought about someone being hurt and the beating my mother would give me for embarrassing her so.

As I remember it, the girls got such a kick out of it that they only held out for “not talking” to us for a week.

No old ladies were harmed in execution of this transgression, but the preacher got an eye full, and like me, probably has trouble getting those spread old stocking legs out of his head!

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Woody had an adopted sister and soon after I met him I met Betty Anne and she was the first girl I was “sweet on” in Harriman. There were usually six of us hanging out at Woody and Betty Anne’s (Woody, his girlfriend, Barry’s girlfriend [more on Barry later], Betty Anne, and me) playing music, conducting light petting sessions, and sneaking cigarettes up in one of their rooms. Woody and Betty Anne had separate rooms upstairs, and as I said in the previous post, the parents had never been known to come up to either room since the kids left elementary school.

We played 45’s and huddled around a floor fan, set in the open window, that sucked the cigarette smoke out. Once, in our exuberance, we bumped the fan and it fell out the window, passing rapidly by the kitchen window below, where their mother stood daydreaming while washing dishes. “Woody? Betty Anne? Yawl alright up there?

“Yes mother, everything is fine, Betty Anne said, holding back her giggles.

One of us sneaked down the stairs, out the backdoor, and retrieved the fan. It made the fall, only losing one of the safety screens. We soon had it back in the window and working for us again.

Such a living arrangement was a dream situation for us teenagers, and sleepovers took on a whole new meaning for us in those days!

It all would begin with Woody finding out that Betty Anne was having a friend/s over on Friday night. He would invite me, or Barry, or both depending on the lineup, to spend the night with him and the fantasy planning and scheming began!

Truthfully, nothing in a fantasy ever works out as planned and not much serious ever happened during these times. Woody and I did get to sample a lot of lips and practice our techniques. My job was usually to ensure Betty Anne was occupied while Woody made a move on her girlfriend, but sometimes the girlfriends wanted to sample me as well!

I think in today’s world, such an arrangement would be a very dangerous situation. Probably in today’s world parents would monitor such an arrangement more closely, but in those days there were two things going for young girls.

First, boys respected girls, as a rule, more then than they seem to today. Oh yeah, we took it about as far as we could, but if a girl reacted in a certain negative way or flat out said, “What are you doing?”, or said “Stop” or “No”, we did. After which, we usually felt very ashamed for having taken them for granted and trying to make them out to be something they were not.

Second, girls respected themselves. There was a limit to how far they would let experimenting on “night moves” go and then they called it off. They cared about what we would think, what they would think of themselves, what their parents would think about them, and what the community thought about them later.

Self-respect seems to be blurred today. If an action can be rationalized away, then it is okay and you are allowed to feel good about yourself.

Sex is not really sex, as Bill Clinton explained to America’s youth, unless you actually have sexual intercourse. Oral sex is not really sex! Therefore, it is okay and a girl really has not been violated.

What a great arrangement we have today – sin is really not sin unless, of course, it really is – huh?

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Never let it be said that turkeys are defenseless little birds that should not be hunted! Look what one did to my brother-in-law’s quad-runner!

Seriously, Gary was scouting an area this morning and had to ford a small creek. It rained cats and dogs last night, so the water high in the hills finally made it to the valley creeks just after they crossed.

Coming back to get back to their vehicles, the creek had risen some three to four feet! The only way out was across the water, so they tried it and the water washed the Polaris Ranger some two-hundred yards down the creek. When Gary first stepped out, it was chest high! The water had gone down a lot by the time these shots were taken.

Gary lost a lot of gear, including his cellphone, keys to his truck, the windshield and seat cushion, but got out with his shotgun, the clothes on his back, and his life! His punishment was a long cold walk out!

He has been hinting for me to go with him some, but if turkeys are this dangerous, I will probably continue sleeping in!

Glad you are fine Gary…do not do that again!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Ok...I don’t usually play, but Kuanyin flew me all the way to Maui and asked me in such a nice way that I could not resist letting her interview me. She started this over at her “tame blog” called WHO’S YO MAMA? Why not check her out!

You already know her as the Blog-Blond, her friskier blog, but you might begin to think she’s normal as “Who’s Yo Mama?

So, she asked:

1. Would you like your spouse to be both smarter and more attractive than you?

In many ways my wife is smarter than me…oh, I’m the one with the college degree, but when it comes to common sense and financial matters, she has the edge.

Looks? She has that edge too…always has! I remember the first time I ever saw her – those eyes burned my very soul and I wished then and there that she would be mine for all time. However, it took me another 18 years to get back to my senses.

2. When did you last sing to yourself? Dance by yourself?

Oh, I always sing to myself while listening to either an MP3 or satellite radio in the truck. Strange, but when I’m alone I’m great – better than Sanjaya, but when just one other person enters the area I get “all pitchy dawg!”

Sometimes I’ll do a little ditty to the tunes on “American Idol”, or even to a commercial just to get my wife to laugh. Yeah, it’s that bad!

3. Your house, containing everything you hold dear catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have one last point to safely re-enter your home to save one item. What would it be?

I suppose I’d have to run back and pluck my external HD from the computer table – it has all of my photographs backed up. The fire can have the rest – it’s all just “things” that can be replaced, but photos of your life and loved ones could never.

4. Whom do you admire most, and how does this person inspire you?

This is a hard question for me…I do not know any one person that holds all the things I admire in people, or the values that I aspire to uphold.

I have always loved the kind of men Chuck Yeager, John Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln is and was. Don’t ask me why, just that they have meant something to me and if I could meet anyone in history, these three stand out.

Of course, there is my son, Corey. I have admired his strength in working with children, singing, and witnessing in church, and the way he seems to draw people to him. I asked God to give him that strength and He has twofold.

Then there is Yosemite Sam…”I’m a steppin’!” he said as he walked across a line drawn in the sand by Bugs. Strong conviction and nothing stopped him from doing what he thought was right – not even a "Dirty razzlefracken varmint rabbit!”

5. Would you like to be famous, and if so, how?

The only notoriety I have ever fantasized about has been the possibility of publishing “Cross+Hairs” – a better “Cross+Hairs” with no typos and maybe in movie script format. It’s really about me in a lot of ways – like any writer, it’s my baby!

Otherwise, I like being little ol’ Mushy, in my little ol’ life, in my little ol’ town. It’s what was given to me and I love it – wouldn’t change a thing!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I thought you might like to see how I'm doing post-surgery these days (no...well, look anyway!).

I have to attend a physical therapy session three times a week, plus do the following home exercises twice daily. There are five basic positions:

Position 1 - Golf putter back over my head as far as I can reach 10 times, holding for 1o seconds -

Position 2 - Push arm out to the side and up past my head as far as I can, 10 times, holding for 10 seconds -

Position 3 - Push the arm at the elbow out and over as far as I can, 10 times, holding for 10 seconds -

Position 4 - Pull my right arm up and over behind my back as far as I can, 10 times, holding for 10 seconds -

Position 5 - Put on your signature Mushy straw hat, stick out your tongue, breathe hard, turn face red, and whimper like a small child, 10 times, holding for 10 seconds.

Truthfully, it hurts like a beeeotch and I don't know how much longer I'll have to do this. Probably until it does not hurt like a beeeotch anymore!