Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween, Mr. Principal #T

Did I tell  you about the time your Daddy and your uncles pranked the principal on Halloween? Well, them boys was sump'n, let me tell you.  Now I don' 'spose your Daddy's ever tole you of the onry-ness a them kids?  Anyways, there was a whole passel 'n'm kids, mostly boys and your pa right in the middle the bunch.  Now one a them boys was just a year older'n your pa, and another'n a year younger.  Whut a trio they made.  No, they warn't no singin', but mischief! Lawd, ha' mercy.

So anyhow there was this October when they was prolly 13, 14, and 15 year ol'.  Halloween a comin.'  Now the principal a the school over there was Ward Livengood.  Well, he was "livin' good," what with his nice income from the second-best job in the county.  Har! har! Livin' good.  I sometime crack myself up.  Anyway, ol' Ward, he come out here from Indiana, had him a dee-ploma from Oakland Normal School, doncha know.  What was the best job in the county?  Why sheriffin', I reckon.  You got no idee the ways them fellas can line they own pocket.  But that's a tale for another time.  So ol' Livengood marry a sweet thang from over to Terre Haute, and headed West.  Lureen Tuttle, she was, and the only way I would know that is she never cease from tellin' ever' one she meet about "the Tuttles from Terre Haute."

So Principal Livengood got the school over there, an' that school were the centerpiece a McClave. They had just built hit a couple years afore, and it were a two-story brick, three ya count the basement.  Now Livengood drive him a little ol' Model T Ford car, runabout, they call hit.  So anyway, morning of November 1 he walk on over to school-- didn't even notice his car wasn't aside his house, on account he only drove hit to work but rarely.  But he get to school, unlock the building and clumb on up the stairs.  Imagine his surprise when he get to the second floor, and there a settin' in the hallway smack again' his office door is his very own personal Model T!

And do you think that trio and they cohorts had anythin' to do with that?  Not much, they didn't; no more'n hit was them left Fred Sparks's outhouse in the middle George Watt's broom corn field.

© 2013 David W. Lacy

You may note at the top of the page there is a new tab, "Short Stories."  I have placed the current series of stories I am posting on Thursdays here in one place, should you like to review any of them.  New ones will be added each Thursday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween

Tomorrow.  Tomorrow is Halloween.  It has become quite a big deal, commercially, that is.  Why, I bet the dollar turnover on decorations and partying is as big as Christmas.  Yet still, I don't think of Halloween as a holiday.  A day for fun and mischief, perhaps, but even the mischief has gotten carried away from fun into wickedness.

But that's not the reason for this post.

Here is the reason:  Wishing you a fun and safe good time on Halloween.  And,

inflicting on you once again my all-time favorite Halloween cartoon.  You are welcome.

Purely for your entertainment (and to keep you out of trouble) check out these rules for sharing your Halloween spoils.

Please return here tomorrow for another of Uncle Jep's tales from the High Plains.

You may note at the top of the page there is a new tab, "Short Stories."  I have placed the current series of stories I am posting on Thursdays here in one place, should you like to review any of them.  New ones will be added each Thursday.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Governor Ross

Nellie Tayloe Ross.jpgNellie Tayloe was born near St. Joseph, Missouri, November 29, 1876.  Miss Tayloe married William Ross in 1902.  She had met Mr. Ross while visiting friends in Tennessee.  They chose to make their home in Wyoming, and in 1922 Mr. Ross was elected Governor of Wyoming.  Late in 1924 he died.  The democratic party nominated Mrs. Ross as their candidate for the special election to replace the deceased governor, but she refused to campaign.  She won anyway.  When the 1926 election rolled around, she again refused to campaign, and this time she was defeated. Thus the first woman governor in this country served in that position for two years.*

Mrs. Ross was nominated to run as vice-presidential candidate alongside Al Smith in the 1928 election, but the convention selected Joseph Robinson as the candidate.  Though Ross disagreed with Smith on the issue of prohibition, she made a nominating speech in his behalf and supported him in the election.  She later served as vice-chairman of the DNC.  In 1933 she was named Director of the Mint by President Roosevelt.  She was the first woman to hold this position, a post in which she remained for twenty years until her retirement.

In her retirement years, Nellie Ross traveled extensively and wrote many articles for various publications.  She died in 1977 at the age of 101.
Nellie Tayloe Ross 1876 - 1977 RIP
*Ma Ferguson was inaugurated Governor of Texas twelve days after Ross's inauguration.
Sources: Famous Firsts by American Women;

Monday, October 28, 2013

Taxes and the Case of No Return

Just wrote the check to pay the property taxes.  I'll cruise on over to the court house later this morning and drop it off.  Taxes not due until the second Monday in November, as always, and I used to  wait until the very last hour to pay them.  That was back in the day when the bank paid an honest rate of return for the use of my money and I tended to leave it with them so long as I could.  Now, it matters not, and the County might could* use the money to meet an imminent payroll, or please a long-suffering creditor.

So today I will pay my property taxes.

*The phrase "might could" is used deliberately and correctly.  Grammar police: pass on by.

You may note at the top of the page there is a new tab, "Short Stories."  I have placed the current series of stories I am posting on Thursdays here in one place, should you like to review any of them.  New ones will be added each Thursday.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dogwood Jelly

 When we arrived at our hotel last week, we parked as seen here.  I immediately spotted the pretty little tree behind the hedge, but I did not know it.  I asked the host what it was and he replied that it was some kind of dogwood.

I believed that could be so, as I am familiar with three or four dogwood varieties, but this one was different.

Note the knobby texture of the rind of the fruit. Interesting.  To the internet!  Easily found.  It is a kousa dogwood.  It was recommended that one grab the fruit before the wild things consume them!

With permission from the hostess, we brought a small bucketful of them home with us, and thus it was that we found ourselves in another jelly-making project.

The yield was but three half-pints, but yum yum!  
The fruit is tasty, if interesting, eaten directly from the tree.  Sort of an applesimmon flavor, contains one cherry-pit size seed; but it also has some teeny tiny gritty seeds(?) .  The rind really needs to be spit out-- too tough to eat.  A less-than-fully-ripe fruit has a bit of an alum-quality, but the ripe ones are quite pleasant.

 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. . . Genesis 2:9

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Pint of Lightning #T

Did I ever tell you about the time Gene went back home and stayed a month with Aunt Mel?
"Why, yes, as a matter of fact you did, Uncle Jep."  Now I most never interrupt nor comment when Uncle is spinning one a his tales, mostly on account ya can't get a word in edgeways.  "You told me how she put him to workin' so hard on the farm, he decided he'd be better off to home."

Nah, I don't mean that time.  He was a youngun then, his Paw thought hit'd do him some good to find out what bein' responsible for hisself was like.  Weren't more'n fourteen, I reckon, maybe fifteen.  His Paw made him earn the train fare and pay him back, too, when he got home.

So, anyways, Gene was a growed man by this time.  Workin' in the bakery over to Syracuse.  Puttin' some money away, too, fixin' to make somethin' of hisself.  Had his eye on that Smollett gal.  She was from up to Eads, you know, daddy tore up lotsa countryside puttin' in wheat and rakin' in dough, if you get my drift.  Reckon he made his conterbution to the Dust Bowl.  Ol' Drought and Wind, they passed that bowl around, ever'body chipped in something, I'd say.  Lotsa people hiked it on outta here, but them's stories for another time.  So Gene had that ol' A model Ford coupe, an' he decide afore he married he'd oughta take a run back to Ol' Virginny, keep the fambly ties tied, so to speak.  So he drove that car all the way back there.  Got stopped in Looey Vill, too.  Had his driver's license, but couldn't put his hand on no papers fer that car.  Cop hauled him to the station, too, and ever'body there thought Gene looked mighty suspicious-- shifty, they mought a said.  Gene was persuasive, but he warn't glib, and he allowed as how he was good friends of the sheriff in Prowers County, and if they'd let him get off a wire to him, Ol' Frank Coleman would vouch for him.  So they done it, and Gene lolled around downtown fer three, four hours whilst waitin' a answer.  An' they got it, and let him go.

So, anyway, after about a week a gettin' there, Gene come to Aunt Mel's house in Gate City.  See, by this time, Mel had sold her farm and done chucked it in, so to speak.  She had bought a little house, just edge a town, close enough to ever'thing, she said, that she could walk wheresoever she needed to be, and far enough from ever'body her cow and her goats wouldn't bother no one.  They mought hear the rooster of a mornin', though, but that's life.

Aunt Mel bought that house offen the Larkin estate when ol' man Larkin passed.  Hit were in purty good shape, but needin' gen'ral cleanup and attention.  They say Larkin's daughter, Sybil, inherited, tuk the money, and said, "The dusta this hell-hole won't never besmirch my shoes again."  And no one's seen her nor heard from her since.  So Mel was right glad to see Gene, and fixed him a pallet on the back porch, and give him a "to do" list.  Now Gene was right responsible by now, and he tuk it all in stride and in good spirits, told her, "Aunt Mel, so long's you set that good ol' down-home cookin' in fronta me, I'll be at your service."  An' he fell to, scrapin', paintin', cleanin'.  He even built new back steps to the house-- done a right neat job, he did.  And then he was hangin' wallpaper in the sittin' room.  Gene used to he'p his Mama when she papered for people.  Twel one Sattidy noon time, Gene says, "Ima go on over to Kingsport for the evenin'."

So he gotten his A model and whu-whu-whu on down the road.  He decides to go to Harlan's for his supper-- Jake Harlan has the Oasis edge of town there in Kingsport.  Purty quiet crowd, good food, and not too much rowdy'n around.  Jake married Cleota Jones from over to Rogersville, you know.  Gene dated Cleo some when they was in high school, but there was no hard feelin's atween Gene and Jake-- all worked out for the best.  Anyway, he gets his order in with the cute little waitress-- he thinks she mought be Nick Widman's daughter, but he weren't sure, and he was too much the gentleman to ask.  Nick Widman had run off with Cub Wadkin's wife, you know, Marlene was her name, I think.  Anyways, ever'body said they gone to Albuquerque.  Your Aunt Maude over there says it's so, says they have six kids a they own, evidental forgettin' all about his three and her two they left back in Tennessee.  Happy as if'n they din't know no better, and breedin' like mice in May.

So anyhow, while Gene was waitin' on his order, of a sudden somethin' slapped him on the back.  It were ol' Anse Willowby, down from Bristol, did a little buyin' for his store, doncha know, and had a evenin' at loose ends.  Now Gene re-cog-nize him at once, though he'd not seen him since they was kids.  Gene went to school with Anse the couple years they lived over on the Holston, fourth and fifth grade they was good buddies, Gene says.

So like they never been apart, they make it up atween 'em to go out and have some fun, so then they et up and got in Anse's Buick, one them ol' long-block eights, bear on gas, but hell on wheels!  '31, I think it was.  So then they drive on up to East Ridge to ol' Peck Willowby's place.  Now ever'body knowed Peck run a still somewheres backa his place, but the revenooers could never find it, 'n they got a pint a lightnin' fum Peck.  Now a pint is more'n enough fer two young bucks-- 180 proof, hit were.

Well, best leave the rest of the evenin' blank, 'cause it were blank to Gene somewhere after they left Hiltons, and he don't rightly know how he get back to Aunt Mel's house.  But when the toe a her army boot landed in his ribs, he shot off'n that pallet right pert like, 'n she were in no mood to talk.  Booted him plum off'n the place, and that's when he decided to get back home.  Bread was needin' to be baked, and he was needin' to get back to the straight 'n narrow, hopin' Raejean Smollett would never hear of his adventure "back home."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Conversations With Random People: Really?

And so it begins.  I did not get out until 10:15 this morning, but nevertheless there was still this patch of snow on the windshield.

What a way to start the day.  Regular readers of STSTT know how I feel about snow and cold; yet I choose not to complain today, for the next step of my day provided me with a lesson about grumpiness in old men.  To wit, one may be grumpy just because; but he need not shed the doom and gloom on everyone with whom he comes in contact.

I entered a local place of business to get needed maintenance on a vehicle.  It required a wait in the nicely furnished customer lounge area.  After having sat there long enough to look at most of the pictures in a motor magazine, the old guy opposite scooted over next to me.  He initiated this, not I, even though you may find that hard to believe.  Unlike previous reports of random conversations with strangers, there will be no quoting of the conversation this time.  Suffice it to say 1) I did very little of the talking, and 2) what the grumpy old guy had to say was scurrilous, maybe even slanderous, certainly vindictive, and loaded with invective.  Perhaps he just needed to unload.  His name was soon called, thank the Good Lord, and I hope he felt better.  (But noting, though not hearing, the talking between him and the poor girl at the cashier's counter, I suspect he hadn't yet finished dumping on his world and anyone who intersected it.)

So I pray for myself that when I am grumpy, and yes, I am sometimes grumpy, I will not make someone else miserable.  What did Mama say?  If you can't say something nice, don't say anything.

Or something like that.

Too, the weather has finally ended the growing season.  This is the end.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cathedral Visit

Yesterday we visited the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, Episcopal, in downtown Detroit.

On display in the vestibule is this sketch of the cathedral as it will appear when completed.  The tower is not yet finished.

Our docent was my brother-in-law, Bob Prout who is a very active member of this congregation.  He built this model with Legos.

BBBH is awe-stricken as Bob draws her attention to one of the innumerable marvels in the building.

This icon dates to the sixteenth century.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Social Interactions

Notwithstanding the wedding, beautifully detailed, perfectly executed, and a fantastic sit-down dinner at the country club, it was a weekend involving social contacts for this old bird.  The bride was gorgeous, it is said all brides are beautiful, but in this case it was true indeed; and the groom was handsome.  Things bode well for the future of my sister's branch of the family.

So as I say, it was a weekend of socializing.  It is clear that either I am weird, or everybody else is weird.  Or so I thought.  But I had an epiphany as I stumbled through the interactions with family members and complete strangers.  It is not an either/or situation.  It is both/and.  Everyone is weird, including myself.

Pally Lin asserts that she lives in "Weirdville" and I've no reason to doubt it.  But I am here asserting that we all live in Weird World.

And I was right where I wanted to be this weekend and had a wonderful time!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Weekend Getaway

Our hotel, "932 Penniman a Bed and Breakfast"

 The little tree is a Kousa dogwood, perhaps the first one I've seen.

 Our boudoir.

 Our washstand.  Kidding, it is decor only.

 The way up.

 Where we have our sumptuous breakfasts.

One of numerous public sitting areas.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Where have we been. . .

and where are we now?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Test of Patience

Did I tell you about the time your granny's mother come over to visit her daughter?  Stayed two years, she did.  Sam plum wore his wits clear to they ends tryin' to figure a way to get her to go home.  Now, Sam liked Margaret, that was your great grandma's name.  Nobody ever called her "Maggie" or "Peggy" neither.  She was Margaret Sarah Alexena Florabelle Chloe Ann Wilson, you know, of the East Branch Wilsons.  "You may call me Margaret," she says.  Anyhow, Sam did truly like his mother-in-law, but as he put it, "in shorter bits and pieces, no disrespect intended."  Now I for one don't rightly see how you could take her any shorter, 'cause she stood maybe four-foot five in those black high-top  shoes she allus wore.  But I'm strayin' all over the pasture.  Say, did you see that new bull Red Hurd got over in his south pasture?  Bee-yoo-tiful black thing he is.  Simmental.  Red got him offa Ayers over on the Huerfano.  That bull ain't no orphan, though, got a pedigree longer'n my left arm.  Red is proud as a Leghorn rooster just done the whole Plymouth Rock hen house.  But he ain't talkin' how much it cost him.  'Feard Maybelle will find out, I reckon.  Well, Bob Ayers did take his wife, Lou Ann to Galveston for a week, for what that's worth.  Both 'n'm  come home redder'n a Maine lobster been in the boilin' water.  Anyway, Doc Barrett says they'll live.  I know it is a sin to covet, but I really wish I had that bull.  Forgive me, Lord.

Anyway, Sam always was durn handy, and clever, too.  Now Margaret always had those shoes custom-made over to Manfred's in Knoxville.  And she always went in for a fittin'.  Problem was, they seem to never wear out.  The shoes, I mean.  So Sam writes to Arly over to Florence and asks him to send him a small piece-- six or eight square inches would be fine-- a small patch of doeskin.  Sam enclosed a envelope with a stamp, round-trip postage cost him six cents, a whole month's worth a horehound drops.  And he'd owe Arly.  So Arly goes over to Chipita Parsons-- you know her; Indian girl married Larry Parsons from up to Westcliffe.  Well, she cured doeskin the old-fashion Injun way; chewed it 'til it was softer 'n the cheeks south of the equator on a new born babe.  Well, he put a swatch a tad smaller 'n the inside the envelope and mailed it to Sam.

Now Sam had addressed the return envelope to hisself "c/o genl del, Holly."  So when Sam was over to Holly in June with a load of wheat, he stopped by the pee-oh.  Now the postmaster was Sam's cousin, Aaron Bell.  You know, Aaron come west along with Sam and Arly.  He was one of the Cave Cove Bells.  His granddaddy fit in the War of Northern Aggression alongside ol' Stonewall Jackson.  "Oh, oh, Sam.  Your lady friend writin," says Aaron.  "Mary finds out she'll peel your hide right offa ya."

Sam ripped the envelope open and flapped the skin right under Aaron's nose. "Ima make a coin purse for my grand kid," he said, whirled around and pushed through the screen door, but afore he let it go, the lie turned sour in his mouth.  So he looked back and said, "Aaron, I ain't a makin' a coin purse, and you kin mind your own bidness."

Now Sam put his plan into action.  See, Margaret, she left her shoes outside the blanket hangin' over the doorway to her room when she went to bed of a night.  So Sam, good man as he was, would keep her shoes cleaned and shined up, see that the laces were fit.  So he carefully built a thin strip a doeskin inside the toe a each shoe-- glued 'em in ever so carefully, even the cobbler wouldn't notice.  The idea was he'd add a strip each Sattidy 'til Ol' Margaret was concerned her feet had growed, and she'd have to go back to Knoxville to get a new pair fit.

But the very first week Margaret was so uncomfortable and annoyed, grumblin' takin' off her shoes, runnin' her hand up inside, that Sam's conscience got the better of him.  He determined not to go ahead with that.  And behold!  On Thursday, the in-law mama gets a Western Union from Mandy Hopkins back home.  Mandy was Margaret's closest friend.  Married Maxwell Hopkins when she was fifteen.  Had fifteen kids.  Well, Maxwell done all right, anyway.  Happiest couple in Kingsport, ever one said so.  "MARVIN BROKE FOOT STOP COME HOME SOONEST STOP M HOPKINS."

Sam ambled out the house, didn't let the screen door slam, and soon's he was outta sight the kitchen, he cut loose with the fanciest footwork you ever see.  Danced a jig right there in this garden, right where we air a standin'.  He was sorta singin', "God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.  Praise be to God!"

© 2013 David W. Lacy

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Hirsute Manly Man

As I was browsing through the archives at Bob Warr 'n Picket Fences I came across some pretty good stuff, if I do say so on Bob's behalf.  Here's another commentary from June 2012.

What is it that makes facial hair fair game? You be clean shaven, or I be ravin’.

In the sartorial realm, mostly if we don’t care for someone’s hairdo or clothing selection, we smile and say nothing. If we really like something, we may pass along a compliment, unless of course we are a “dirty old man” and the recipient of the compliment is a nit twit who thinks everything is harassment.

 But we don’t pass along our distaste for another’s taste. Again, unless of course, the man is bearded, mustachioed, or side-burned. Then you are entitled to express your opinion, no matter how uncomplimentary or derogatory. Thank you very much.

 “You need to trim that beard.” Probably meaning, “Shave it off.”
“I hate handlebar moustaches.” Meaning, “That’s the ugliest thing I ever saw.”
“You are wearing a Fu Manchu? What’s that all about?” Meaning, “That’s the ugliest thing I ever saw.”
"Sideburns? Who are you, Elvis? or are you fighting the Civil War all over again?” Meaning, “Shave it off.”
“A van Dyke?”  Looks like the devil.” Meaning, “You look like the devil.”

 Ladies, scrape your face every day for a half-century or more, or cut us some slack. Every square inch we don’t have to shave is a square inch of relief from agony.

The ladies protest that they have their own shaving woes.  Too true, but I think Bob's intent here is commentary on comments, not on shaving.

Tomorrow we shall have another of Uncle Jep's tales of hi jinks on the High Plains.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fifth Anniversary

I think that usually on October 15 I make mention of the fact that it is an anniversary for String Too Short to Tie.  This year, though, is rather a big deal, for it is the fifth anniversary!  Five years. Imagine that.  I would never have thought it to be a remote possibility.  A lot of things have never seemed possible, and yet they exist, or have existed.

Some things I have learned by entering the Blogosphere

(blogosphere:  Imagine a million lunatics wandering the streets mumbling to themselves. Write it all down and put it on the web. Congratulations, you've just created the blogosphere.-- The Urban Dictionary)

1.  Writing a blog doesn't make me an author.  Whether I am a writer or not can only be determined by the output.  If anything is communicated, and if any of it is worth communicating, then I have written something.  Otherwise, not.

2.  The fun of participation in the Blogosphere is largely in the reading of others' works.  Most bloggers, like myself, are not authors.  They are people who like to share experiences or ideas, people who like to play with words and expressions.

3.  I have read some blogs in which I get a distinct sense that the writers thereof are endeavoring to recreate themselves.  What they present on the internet is not the real person, but a persona.  Many of these have defaulted to Facebook or Twitter, great platforms for being more, or less, than they really are.  When I encounter a writer who is genuine, who expresses himself or herself well, who actually has interesting things to say, I place that blogger in my reader, and I visit regularly.  A disclaimer: Much of my writing is based on nostalgic reminiscing.  I do not intend to deceive or misrepresent.  But these materials are based on memory, and I will be the first to admit that that creature is a selective beast.  And of course I respect your sensibilities and sensitivities too much to reveal myself even to the warts and agnails.

4.  I like the interaction with readers who take the time to read an article then leave a comment.  Often these exchanges become a more interesting part of the post than the post itself.

5.  I have had numerous occasions over the past five years when I considered stopping the whole thing.  I will have such times again, I suspect.  I suspect, too, that if and when cessation actually occurs it will be on the order of T.S. Eliot's whimper, rather than a great spectacular.  I mean, it hasn't been anything spectacular to date, so why would one think it would go out brilliantly?

6.  I wish Blogger would develop a feature such that the spam comment folder would be automatically emptied after a certain length of time, or a certain amount of crap has accumulated.  The filter does a pretty decent job of catching most of the drivel, but when I'm away from the 'net for a week and return to find a lot of comments in the spam folder, well, that presents a chore I don't much like.

So,  stick with me, if you are so inclined.  I'll be around until I'm not.

This is post number 1650 of which fewer than ten were written by someone else, and probably not more than ten are repeats of previously posted articles.  I really need to get out more.

Monday, October 14, 2013

History by the Numbers

When I was a school boy, the study of history fascinated me less than it should have, but the numbers, the dates, associated with certain events captured my attention.  Thus it was that there are a basketful, small basket, of dates associated with Western culture etched permanently in my memory.  Among these are 732 A.D., the Battle of Tours; 1066, The Battle of Hastings; 1215, Signing of Magna Carta; 1492, of course, crediting Columbus with the "discovery" of the New World; 1607, Jamestown Colony; 1620 the Pilgrims and Plymouth; 1776, the Declaration of Independence; and 1789 the Inauguration of President Washington.  There are others on the cortex, but this is representative of the sort of thing I absorbed.

And today is observed as representative of not one, but two of the above.  In the United States, this Monday in October is chosen as Columbus Day.  I commented on that this Saturday past.  The second is the recognition of the impact of the Battle of Hastings which is said to have been fought on October 14, 1066.

The events leading up to this conflict were precipitated by the death of King Edward in January of 1066, and specifically by his failure to provide a clear heir to the throne.  Harold Somebody-or-Other was crowned king, but there were other pretenders to the throne.  Among them were Duke William and King Harald III, or Harald Hardrata of Norway.  Anyway, in a series of conflicts with King Harold, both Hardrata and Tostig, brother of King Harold who supported Hardrata, were killed in battle by Harold's forces at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in September.  This set the stage for William, and the rest as they say, is history.  Well, so were the events that preceded.  Volumes have been written about the Battle of Hastings in which King Harold lost his life and the kingdom to the Norman.  And that is the way things were in England, 947 years ago.

William has been known ever after as William the Conqueror.
King William I, 1066 - 1087                

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Summit Lake State Park

 Much of this past week was spent with our pals at Summit Lake.

 Little Wiener seems to be adapting well to us.  He even enjoyed the camping experience!

 The shelter and a little kindling is about the extent of the work that gets done!

 We were grateful for the fire-- and the jackets.  The heater in the RV was on during the nights!

The music around the campfire is one of the things that make this all worthwhile!

Then the week, the gloriously, beautiful, sunny (but chilling evenings) week came to an end, and we are safely home once again.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Columbus and I

So it is sort of de rigueur that one post something about that great fifteenth century mariner, Cristobal Colon, on this date.  It is marked on your calendar as “Columbus Day,” presumably because we Anglo-types cannot correctly pronounce “Colon.”  Well, yes.  Chris did not find what he set out to find, did not know what it was he did find, and is remembered in the annals of history as a great explorer.  Works for me.

Most people can correctly pronounce my name, but strangely enough, a very high percentage of them, left to their own devices, will misspell it.  I once set out to get rich, and either I did not get there, or if I did I did not recognize the riches when I got there.  I could be famous.  Wanna devote a day on the calendar to me?
Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria (Black and White)

Image courtesy University of South Florida

Yes, I am aware that the Federal Uniform Holiday Act has changed 
Columbus Day from October 12 to some Monday in October, but you
 know what foot-draggers some old guys can be.  Stuck in the past, 
we are.

Friday, October 11, 2013

C'est plus. . .

Bob Warr posted this on his blog a bit over a year ago.  O. Henry wrote it over a century ago.  The passage of time since either event occurred has not improved the situation.  Bob doesn't mind my re-posting this.  See I credited the source.  Both sources.

Excerpt from "The Foreign Policy of  Company 99" by O. Henry.
This was written over a century ago.  The more things change, the
more they stay the same.
Jeffries is James J. Jeffries, noted boxer of the day.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pipe Wrench and Bad Words #T

Did I tell ye about the time your grandpa an' me was takin' out the old windmill?  We was livin' there on the high plains, and generly we'd a just left it, but times was hard and anything ya could salvage was a nickel in your pocket.  Arly Page, he was your grandma's cousin, he even saved the asphalt shingles offa his shack in Holly.  Carted 'em all the way to Canon when he moved up there.  His wife, Irene, come from over thataway, you know, and she'd have it no other way but she was goin' back where her mama was, Arly or no Arly.  Well, you know Arly, and besides they had them twins, dickens of a pair, they was; but Arly couldn't bear to be apart from 'em, so they moved over to Florence and Arly built 'em another shack.  Them twins even straightened  nails from the old one to put up the new one.  Sally, she was the purty one a them two, she later married Wes Turpin, had the Ford franchise over to Pueblo.

So Sam, that's your grandpa-- I swear I gotta call him Sam, you know I mean your grandpa.  But speakin' of swearin', there was no way on this Earth Sam was ever gonna be heard to swear.  Sign of a weak mind, he always said.  So anyway, Sam had aholt of an ell on a two-inch horizontal pipe, hopin' to break it loose.  He give a mighty heave upward on the handle a that pipe wrench and the pipe broke!  That handle come right up, well not meanin' to be indelicate nor anything, but it caught him right where a man least wants to be hit.  Sam turn loose a that wrench and doubled over like a jackknife closin' on its blades.  Shoulda heard him groan.  When he finely can speak, he says, (I think), "Oooh, gonies."  But he never cussed.  Not one cuss word outa his mouth.  I told you Sam didn't abide swearin'.  Ho!  Not like Preacher Redkin over to Swamp Lick.  Man, could that guy cuss!  String out a swear two minutes long, never repeat a word.  He warn't really a preacher, you know, but everybody called him Preacher on account of his ability to misuse the Lord's name in so many unique and creative ways.  So then Sam picks up his wrench, straightens up, and says, "Could ya put your wrench on that hunk a busted pipe so's I kin get this ell offa here?"

So then we drove the new well and hooked 'er up.  Fred Slocum over't the hardware says to Sam one day, "Sam, where'd ya get your parts for that new mill-- ain't seen you buy nothin' in here but horehound drops in a coon's age."  Aside from Sam, the only person I know to forever be suckin' on one a them drops is your Aunt Jean.  But she's not had a tooth in her head in thirty year.  Her son, Jack, you know Jack, married Evie Tidler.  Married her on Christmas Eve, and they got snowed in in their cabin for six days.  "Didn't you dang near starve, Jack?"  Uncle Milt asked him.  "Who cares?" said Jack.  Evie give Jack twins middle the next September.  Twins do seem to run in the fambly.

So Sam said, "Salvaged 'em or made 'em.  Hada pay your prices, I'd be a old man afore I had a well.  Cattle'd die.  Gimmee two penny wortha them horehound drops.  Please."

© 2013 David W. Lacy

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Foggy Morning

All sorts of things have been said, and written, about a foggy morning, little cats' feet and all that.  I'll not add much to it.  But one good thing about such a day is the way in which water droplets are captured in the spidey webs.
 I like this.

Visibility: quarter mile.  It is clearing.

No fog, but the leaves are pretty.