Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Plentiful Harvest

The perfect fall afternoon, blue skies, eighty degrees, scooter ride.

The wagons of shelled corn on the way to the elevators told us that harvest was underway.  The fields gave testimony to that fact.

This beanfield is not quite ready to cut, but we saw several that were.

These tractors are resting from their hay-making chores.  The product is mowed, fuffled, and raked.  Soon it will be baled.

Hay that is baled for market is usually baled in rectangular bales, but most people who plan to use the product locally bale in round bales.  Depending on size and density of product, a round bale will weigh anywhere from 700 pounds to 1800 pounds.  They are handled with tine attachments on the tractor.

The last of the Uncle Jeptha Tales
appeared here on September 25.    
Should you wish to read or reread 
any of them, They can be accessed 
via the “Short Stories” and “More 
Stories” tabs at the top of the   

Monday, September 29, 2014

How Old People Have Fun

Saturday BBBH and I made our annual trek six miles down the road to visit the Atlanta New Earth Festival.  I believe I attended the first edition forty years ago.  We have done several in the past few years.  Temperature in the eighties, the spouse grumbled about being in jeans rather than shorts.  Just a few years ago as we left the festival we walked from town to the car in a raging snowstorm.  You just never know.

Saturday we

1)  Planned to ride the scooter.  The valve stem blew out while I was attempting to elevate the air pressure in the rear tire.  We drove the car.

2)  Paid an old guy four bucks to park on his grass, and yet we were three blocks from the beginning of the festivities.

3) Wandered through blocks of street venders, I often leaning against a tree or a post while BBBH "shopped."

4)  Ate festival-priced barbeque sandwiches.

5)  Then walked four blocks to the necessary. This village of 740 souls sells all the premium space, and all the rest of it, too, to vendors, plan for eighty thousand visitors, then put the toities way out in the back forty. Near which the train was parked.

6) Talked with the conductor, reminiscing about the good old days of rail transportation.  Walked to other end of train where I snapped picture of this old residence.

7)  Talked to engineer at other end of train, then took this picture.

8)  Turned around and found a very expensive smart phone lying smack dab in the middle of the street.

9) Were searching for someone who seemed to have some semblance of authority when a young lady, twenty something, threw her arms around me, gave me a big old hug and told me how wonderful it was to see me again.  She did not pick my pocket, and I have no clue.   BBBH said maybe it was one of my grandchildren.  I don't think so.

10)  Limped/staggered the remaining six blocks to the car, drove home, and crashed.  In bed, I mean, not the car.

Oh, by the way, the earth is not only not "newer" than it was forty years ago, seems to me it is in worse shape than ever; but what do I know?

The last of the Uncle Jeptha Tales
appeared here on September 25.    
Should you wish to read or reread 
any of them, They can be accessed 
via the “Short Stories” and “More 
Stories” tabs at the top of the   

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Grasshoppers and Me

As I was walking across the backyard, I espied a grasshopper hopping in the grass.  Though the rascals have been in near-plague proportions at times in my life, I seldom see one these days.  My inner Little Boy insisted he have it.  I stooped and grabbed for it, but my outer Little Boy no longer exists, and Hop!  She eluded me.  However, I am much the larger creature, and slow and clumsy as I may be, a couple of steps and a reach enabled me to capture her.

I opened my hand.  There she perched, yellow and brown, perhaps two inches in length.  The insect gazed at me, crawled out onto the second joint of my index finger, pondered her next move for a few moments, then launched herself into the freedom of the air.  She landed a dozen feet away.

Reading the Bible the next morning, I came across a reference to the grasshopper in Amos 7:1 where the creature is characterized as destructive. wreaking havoc on the young crop.  My mind drifted to the much earlier incident  in which the Israelite spies reported back that  "we are as grasshoppers" in our own sight, and in theirs  Here the grasshopper represents insignificance.  (Numbers 13:33)

What other references do we find to the grasshopper?  In Leviticus 11:22 we find that the grasshopper is fit for human consumption, nutrition.  In the Book of Judges, we find the insects represent great multitudes.  (6:5, 7:12)

In Job 39:20, the grasshopper represents timidity.  Isaiah uses the creature, again to represent insignificance. (40:20)  Jeremiah uses the imagery of vast numbers. (46:23)
So scripture gives us that the grasshopper is variously nutrition, timid, insignificant, multitudinous,  and destructive.  And this doesn't even consider the references to locusts.

What is the difference between locusts and grasshoppers?  A lot has been written on the topic, and I am not an entomologist, but I have distilled my reading to this, which satisfies me.  Locusts are simply grasshoppers that have gone into a color-changing and swarming stage in their existence.  You can read about the role of serotonin*click* and all that stuff, if you are so inclined.

Consider this. God used the insignificant grasshopper as a scourge against resistors (think Egyptian ruler), as sustenance for his people and his prophet (John*click* comes to mind), and in numerous instances throughout His Word as simile or metaphor to convey His message.

The Lord who can use such a minor creature can also use you.  The difference is the grasshopper had no choice; you have.

The green grasshopper visited our yard a few years ago.  It was much smaller than the one this story started with.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Is that an elf on the shelf?

Bugs.  It's a Bunny.                           

Stair steps to the stars? 

Just a way down for the wascally wabbit.

The last of the Uncle Jeptha Tales
appeared here on September 25.    
Should you wish to read or reread 
any of them, They can be accessed 
via the “Short Stories” and “More 
Stories” tabs at the top of the   

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Epilogue #T

A note from Uncle Jeptha's auditor.

Jeptha Miller was born in Hawkins County, Tennessee in 1876.  Right proud he was that he was an American when the nation celebrated its centennial, though of course he did not remember that celebration.  He always hoped and often said that he would “be around fer the 200th anniversary, too.”  That was not to be, though, as Uncle Jep passed away in 1968 just two days after his 92nd birthday.

Jeptha moved with his family across Clinch Mountain to Scott County, Virginia when he was but a slip of a lad, nine or ten years old, I think.  In 1894 he and Aunt Grace were married and established their home in Hawkins County.  Grace was my grandmother’s sister, and hence my great aunt.  To me, she was always  "Aunt Grace."  Jeptha and Grace left Tennessee in 1902 and moved West where they settled on the High Plains of Eastern Colorado.  They lived out the rest of their lives a few rods and a skimmer handle from Holly and came to love the dry land and its people.

These tales spun by Uncle Jep are no doubt true, for never truer man lived.  And whether the characters and events existed in the hills or on the plains, or only in the mind of the Old Uncle, they all contain within them the truth of life and living.  Uncle Jep was kindly and generous to a fault.  Should you need it, he would give you the last scrap of food in his house, or literally the coat off his own back.  But he would kick your butt, too, if you slacked off on the job or carried less than your fair share of the load.  He was a flawed man, though.  He did not take kindly to being interrupted when he was spinning a yarn, and he could not abide a person who would kick a dog.  This latter was because, he opined, “A dog will not turn on his friends, which is more than can be said of some people.” 

While some of these tales are represented as having been told me during breaks as we worked together, or around the supper table of an evening, many of them I heard from Uncle Jep in his last four or five years during visits to the home place some years after I had moved away from the Plains and had a family of my own.  Some of them I heard many times, for Uncle Jep did not believe that a tale was diminished by repetition.

The family believed Aunt Grace died of grief and a broken heart. She passed a day and a half after Uncle Jep died.  They were buried side by side on the same day in a little cemetery on a prominence on the High Plains they so dearly loved.

Uncle Jep’s patois, or lingo does not represent itself to be a dialect, so one should not look for that.  Imagine you hear the Old Uncle’s delivery in a deliberate way, not quite a drawl, but slow nevertheless.  We recall that Mr. Miller grew up in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, so it is natural that some of the expressions he used may well originate there.  But remember also that he lived sixty-six years of his adult life in a very specific Western locale.

© 2014 David W. Lacy

A note from vanilla

I hope you have enjoyed this little experiment in fiction we cooked up over the past year.

Uncle Jep's stories are displayed in two collections, the tabs at the top of the page labelled "Short Stories" and "More Stories" will open them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another Did That

I posted this article a couple years ago under the title "Jurisprudence Trumps Science." The thing that motivated me to look it up and drag it forward was this. We finished the garden tomatoes at supper. Beautiful golden and red slicers, so tomatolicious. Summer time gives me the opportunity on occasion to toss in this little tidbit for the edification of the auditors. And 121 years later, it seems yet that suing the government is a zero-sum activity. The plaintiff is likely to get zero, and the cost to the defendant will likely be zero. The attys win, though.

Jurisprudence Trumps Science

On May 10, 1893, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld a lower court decision and declared the tomato to be a vegetable, not a fruit.

 Notwithstanding testimony to the contrary, and much reading from dictionaries by both parties to the dispute, ultimately Justice Horace Gray wrote the opinion for the court in which he essentially said that notwithstanding that all botanical references did seem to support its status as a fruit, because of its historical place on the dinner-table,  eaten with the main course, not as a dessert, the tomato is a vegetable.   

Some background might shed some light on this astounding turn of events. Under the Tariff Act of 1883, fruit were admitted duty free, whereas vegetables were not. The plaintiff had been paying, under protest, tariff on tomatoes and was therefore suing to recover said payments from the Collector of the Port of New York and to require such collections to cease.

 Does it take a genius to figure out what is about to go down? Merchant vs. Government of the United States, essentially, though that is not the name of the case. What duly appointed and honest justice is going to rule contrary to the interpretation of the government?  If the government says the tomato is a vegetable, the tomato is a vegetable. Case closed.

Case is Nix vs. Hedden, 1893.
Image:  The Kitchen Table

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Passage through Space and Time

Fall officially started at 10:29 EDT last night, so I am told.  The little orbs in their pathways continue to make their circuits.  The days of our lives have been reduced in number by one, if we count from yesterday.  So much is predictable, and yet we know so little about what the future holds.

Several years ago on the occasion of the beginning of Fall I noted that Stella d'Oro was still providing blossoms, though many flowers have faded.  I wrote this little verse in her honor, and as a reminder to Self that perseverance to the end is a virtue.

Oh, Lily, little Golden Star
May I live my life as you are.
You blossom where you're planted
And yet you are quite unda'nted               
Through wet of flood
And you've now withstood
The long heat and dry of drought.
Your gaudier sisters have had their day.
They no longer bloom, their foliage hay.
And yet you soldier on.
May I keep at it 'til I'm gone.
May of me, as of you, it be stated
He started early and finished late and
Through it all, he kept the faith.

Consider the lilies of the field-- Jesus

Monday, September 22, 2014

Needle Pricks

Lin shared her story about quilting and her experiences "getting back into it" after some time off.  This brought back a flood of memories.  I am in possession of a very old quilting frame because my late wife, Ellie, was a quilter and I still have some stuff.

 This was the last quilt Ellie made.  Pattern is "Hunter's Star."

 There are eighty blocks in this quilt, all hand-pieced, 32 pieces per block.
That would be, uh, hmmm.  Way north of two thousand pieces.

 Ellie chose a light pink backing and had much of the quilting done before she died.

 Her friends in her quilting club finished the quilting. (Bigify to read.)

The quilting frame is tall and the artisan stands while she works.  A tall barstool will work, too.
It occupied a four foot by twelve foot space in our living room for quite some time.
Each of Ellie's grandchildren has a crib-size quilt that their grandmother made.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

He Cares for Me

Yesterday, a beautiful, nay almost perfect, Fall morning, I left the house on the bicycle quite late, yet in time to get to the post office before the noon locking of the door.

Exercising more caution than is my wont, when I came to the highway I stopped and planted both feet whilst waiting for the traffic to pass.  How unlike me.  I usually ride along the berm, hoping for an opening through which I might dart.  Six blocks along I came to a red light, and again I stopped. What is this strange behavior?  Right next to me was the rear end of a 53 foot semitrailer,  and as we both started through on the signal, I had a flashback to my teen years, a time in which I very likely would have grasped the back of the truck to allow it to tow me through town.  Sometimes, on Nevada Avenue, back in the day, about the time the driver shifted into sixth and the speed approached forty, I would let go, and let him go.

And thus it was that as I pedalled through the intersection and the truck pulled away from me that I thought "How many times did the Lord or His guardian emissary protect me when I was too stupid to watch out for myself?"

I know you will be incredulous, but as I thought about that I realized that the times were doubtless numerous; then I wondered how often He protected me in situations that I don't know about, some of which may not have been the result of my own stupidity. I'll never know, but I've no doubt the number of times is staggering.

And why, you might think, would vanilla believe that the Lord cares for him and protects him even in his folly?

This, for starters.  God sent Moses to lead His people out of bondage, and notwithstanding their repeated disobedience, and folly, and murmurings, God protected them and watched over them.  It is no stretch for me to believe that God who cares for and protects a couple million "stiffnecked" people in that day cares for this hardhead today.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.  Psalm 91: 1 - 6

Further reading: Deuteronomy 32
"Moses on Mt. Nebo" by Nehemiah Persoff

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I Don't Know Why

I found this fascinating, nor do I know why I am directing you to this tale.  But there you go.

This serial killer, Louise Peete, died in the California gas chamber, 20 September 1947.  Grisly details?  Here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A History Lesson in Rogersville #T

Caney Creek, Tennessee
October 1, 1901

“Hidy, Miss Dora!”  It was Uncle Jeptha.  I was in town with Mama.  “Miz Rutledge, Ma’am!  Fine day.  Might Dory sit here on this bench with me whilst you shop?  I get her a sassparilly.”

“Please, Mama?”

“Certainly.  Now you be right here when I get back, hear?”

“Do you know about the war thet was fought right here, Chile?”

“You mean the War Between the States, Uncle?”

“Thet’s the one.  Waal, they was a big ol’ battle right here where we are a sittin’oh, thirty-seven, thirty-eight year ago.  Way afore your time. Afore mine, too.  Ha!" 

“My Grampa Rutledge was in the war.”

“Most ever’one hereabouts were.  See, the thing is, Tennessee were with the South, but lots a fellas hereabouts had fit for the United States years afore, ‘n they join with the Union.  Lots a families plum split apart account a thet.   Your Aunt Grace Grandaddy were one a them.  He join the Union army, go off to fight for the North.  But one November he get a short leave, come home to see his wife ‘n kids.  ‘N whilst he were here, His cousin Avery, Avery were Reb all the way, Avery tell the sojers in grey thet ol’Steven were at his house.  So they capture him, send him to prison camp.  Waal, sad ending account a Steven tuk sick there an’ die.  Never get home again.

"So thet is how come your Aunt Grace fambly have nothin’ to do with Avery’s chirren ‘n gran’chirren to this day.”

“Oh, that is a sad story, Uncle.”

“War is a sorry bidness, Honey, a sorry bidness.”

Mama pick me up then and Nellie Belle carry us home.

Please, God, don’t ever, ever let there ever be war again.

Goodnight, dear Diary.

© 2014 David W. Lacy 48

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


BBBH is today's guest writer on String Too Short to Tie.


Grandbabies are always in demand
But sometimes, upon my head, I could stand 
They give us a chance to bake cookies
Which we are not supposed to eat
With the excuse made to others
This sin we won't soon repeat

We go to the show and watch Snow White
Then go high up a hill to fly a kite
Get to play games down on the floor
With beautiful little people we adore
We can go to the zoo and watch an ape
Or slithering serpents at which we gape
Can give hugs and kisses and say goodnight
Pull up their blanket and tuck them in tight
We sit around rocking in our chair
Glad one of our grandbabies could be there
I always wanted to see them more
But if we don't work, we will be poor

They grow up so fast, how time flies
When I look back tears fill my eyes
Hands tucked under a chubby cheek
Lying on a little pillow fast asleep
Angels watching over their souls to keep
Thank you God, I think I'll weep

Psalm 91:11    Proverbs 22:6

from Gifts from God, Grace Jo Anna Press, 1995
©Grace JoAnn Harrison Lacy 1995, 2014

One of those grandbabies is forty now, and none of them are kids anymore.  But there are great-grandbabies!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Elgin Baylor

Born September 16, 1934 in Washington, D.C., Elgin Baylor was perhaps the greatest small forward (6'5") ever to play in the NBA.

I was a student at Seattle Pacific during the time Baylor played for Seattle University.  I saw him play NCAA ball.  Did not see him as a pro where his career extended into his late seventies as management employee.

I post this honoring his achievements on the occasion of his eightieth birthday.  Much has been written about his career. For those who are basketball fans, look it up.

Happy birthday, Mr. Baylor!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Football, You Bet! (Replay)

Friday nights in Perfect, as in half the towns and villages in the state, the lights come on in the local high school football stadium.  This past Friday night, the lights went out, so to speak, for our local warriors of the gridiron.  What I am saying is that they ran into a buzzsaw, suffering the worst defeat in the school's history.  Now I have many acquaintances and a grandson who are members of the team.    We all understand that in a contest of this nature there will be a winner and a loser.  But we are all winners if we pick up the pieces, move on, and face the next encounter with pride and courage.  And of course we hope that the rival who beat us is grateful to us, the loser, for without a loser, there can be no winner.

Since I was thinking football, I went back to the archives and pulled up this story I posted four years ago.  It is from the "Loonville" series of tales I shared which were based on our experiences in that fair community long ago.  Perhaps I'll resurrect a few more of these vignettes?
Here we are in Loonville, Friday evening deep into high school football season! The air is crisp, but not bitingly cold. Nylon jackets will be the order of the night, as we gather at the football field for the kick-off between the Loonville Shawnees and the Podunk Hellions. Arch arch-rivals, districts separated only by county road 600 North, if you are coming from Podunk, or 1600 South if leaving Loonville. Same road either way.

Sometime since then, the mists of memory befogging the details, both communities recognized the political incorrectness of the one moniker and the social inappropriateness of the other. The teams have been redubbed "Hawks" and "Argonauts" respectively. These changes were just wrong on several levels, imho. Loonville is situated full within the stomping grounds of the Shawnees of old. What better way to honor them than by keeping their name alive? Yes, I know the history is not pretty. And as for Podunk calling themselves Hellions, I taught school there for six years, and that is not wrong.

Friday nights are no more intense in Texas than they are in Indiana when two hard-nosed teams harboring grudges and enmity meet on the field of honor. The Shawnees are coached by Jim Laird who for a man of his tender years (he's in his mid-forties) has the highest percentage wins over losses of any coach in the state. Virgil Grimes who coaches Podunk has more wins, but he is but a couple years from casting his bait into a lake in the Ozarks on a daily basis. The rivalry in football, back to the earliest date that both schools fielded football teams, stands at Shawnees 12, Hellions 11, deadlocks 4. Loonville must defend its honor and maintain the edge. Podunk, on the other hand, is riding a 32 game win streak and has only five more to go to set a state record.

There is no need relating the play-by-play, and how Corcoran, with but eight seconds, fourth and seventeen...

So anyway, Podunk is now riding 33, and there is no joy in Loonville.

© 2010 David W. Lacy

Sunday, September 14, 2014

All We Need is Love? Still True

This oldster spends perhaps too much time in the past, but I have a lot of past.  This article is a re-presentation of the very first devotional, or spiritual life post ever displayed on String Too Short to Tie.  It was put up four days after the inception of the blog itself.  Pastor Keith mentioned herein was the assistant pastor six years ago when this was written.  He has since moved on to another community as lead pastor of a congregation there.

Today my youngest child, Kenneth, turns forty-seven.  Happy birthday, Kenny!

All We Need is Love?

This morning's worship service started with the congregation singing "Since Jesus Came into My Heart."
I have ceased from my wanderings and going astray
Since Jesus came into my heart.
And my sins which were many
Are all washed away. 
Since Jesus came into my heart.

Floods of joy o'er my soul
Like the sea billows roll
Since Jesus came into my heart.

The title of this post is the title of Pastor Keith's sermon which he introduced with a video of the Beatles' "Love, Love, Love." Then a short, romantic clip in which a young man declares his love for his lady and her response is "You had me from 'Hello.'"  The point? Love as social concern is good, but falls short. Romantic love is good, but falls short.

The scripture lesson is I John 4: 7 - 21.
Perfect love is of God, for "God is Love." The Bible is God's love letter to us. It reveals God's power, God's truth, but most of all, God's love.

14: And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15: Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

We can have perfect love.
Perfect love is made complete in us when we love one another. "Love isn't love until you give it away."
Love one another.
Love of God and others is a commandment.

20: If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21: And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

After church the BBBH (Beloved Beautiful Better Half) and I went to Jim Dandy for the breakfast bar. We made a sincere effort to love the Methodists and Presbyterians who were there also.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


An unexpected benefit of the camping experience eventuated thusly.  Behind the RV, to Kent's left, is the woods.  The wild grapes were climbing the oak tree and the ash tree behind our vehicle.  Kent and his mother picked grapes, lots of grapes.

Following our trip home and a day to rest up, BBBH turned the grapes into jelly.  

And there is a gallon of wild grape jelly!  (Counting the bowl on the table from which we are eating.)
With no disrespect to Welch's™ their product does not come close to the lip-smacking flavor of this jelly.  Take it from a guy whose last choice in the jelly aisle is grape.  This stuff is flavoricious!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Making a Mountain of a Molehill

I read through Dora's diaries.  They covered her life from age seven to her eleventh birthday.  I shared a sample of the diligence and effort she expended in keeping the journals, and while entries were not made on a daily basis, they did present a picture of the life of a little girl in the Appalachian hills at the turn of the century.

My purpose in obtaining the diaries was to find stories from Uncle Jep as told in his younger day, a time before I knew him.  So I am not sharing further the intimate details of Dora's life, but rather I have selected a couple of stories as told by Uncle Jeptha and recorded by the youngster who listened to them.

Caney Creek
June 29, 1900

I was in Uncle Jeptha's garden today.  He was hoeing the corn.  Aunt Grace was picking snap beans.  I would help her with them later.

"Girl," Uncle Jeptha said, as he stopped and leaned on his hoe handle, "you see thet biggest ridge yonder?  The Great Ridge?  Do you know whut thet is called?

"Of, course, Uncle Jeptha.  It is Clinch Mountain.  Everyone knows that."

"Good.  But do you know how it come to be?"

"A course, Uncle.  God made it.  He made everything."

"Waal, yes, I s'posin' He did.  But do you know how He make hit?"  'Course you don't, but you need to know, so I'ma tell ya.  Way off north an' east a here, way up in Ol' Virginny, way back afore any these ridges was made, there live a mole.  You know whut a mole is, Girl?"

"Course I do.  Look yonder just the other side the fence, a runnin' through the grass there.  There is a molehill, right there!"

"Why, so there is, Chile.  So you know how it come thet a mole will burra in the earth, jes' so."  Waal, this here mole I'ma tellin' ya about was no or'nary mole.  He were the King of all the Moles, 'n he were the hugest mole thet ever was.  Why, he was so huge, thet when he stood on the ground his head reach mought nigh ta the sky!"

(I see Aunt Grace set her bucket down, stand up straight and lean against the fence.  She is looking square at Uncle, but he pays her no nevermind and go right on with his story.)

"So it happen one sunny day King Mole stick his head in th' groun'.  Mole don't like the sunlight, doncha know, 'n he start a flingin' dirt with his giant claws, twel he gone plumb underground, then he start to move along, as a mole will do.  An' he head off to'rd Tennessee, 'n he keep agoin'.  Why, he never come up out the ground twel he were all the way 'tother side a Rutledge.  You know where Rutledge is, Girl?'

"Course I do, Uncle.  My daddy come from Rutledge.  He grew up there.  He says the town is named for his people."

"Good Girl!  Why, yes hit were named for yer Daddy's people.  There is another story there.  But anyway, as you can see, that mighty molehill make by King Mole is now call Clinch Mountain.  Yep, thet were some mole, thet were."

"Now, Jeptha Miller," that was Aunt Grace a chiming in, "why are you fillin' the child's head with such foolishness?"

"Now, Hon, whut can I say?  Thet was the way hit was."

"Run along to the house now, Dora, Sweetie," said Auntie. " I'll be right in 'n we will make some nice lemonade, then we'll snap these beans."

So I did, and we did.
Good night, Dear Diary

© 2014 David W. Lacy 47

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Salamonie 2014

Our September excursion took us to Salamonie Lake, Lost Bridge State Recreation Area.  We arrived and set up camp on Sunday afternoon.  Crystal clear late evening, spotted a gso satellite in the western sky.  Monday and Tuesday were gorgeous days, perfectly conducive to the visiting and playing we elders engage in when we get together.  (Think nothing more strenuous than Hand-and-Foot.)

 The satellite from 22000 miles, tiny hand-held camera, greatly enlarged.

 Son Kent and daughter JoLynn arrived noon Tuesday.  She knew Kent was coming, but Mom was pleasantly surprised when she discovered JoLynn came, too.  Tuesday afternoon fun with the kids.
 And some food prep for the evening pitch-in.  Make sure that is cool enough to bite!

 Must be Kent with the problem, whatever it might be.

 Got acquainted with a new friend, though it chose not to hang around very long.  Shutter snapped, insect gone.

 The fire, of course.  Always a couple of fire-bugs in the crowd.

Relaxing a beautiful evening away.  But we had seen the weather forecast.  Most closed their awnings, rolled up the carpets, packed in preparation for the storm.  Wise move, too.  We were on the road by nine o'clock Wednesday morning.  Clouds burst open just as I finished the chore at the dump station.  Drove home in the rain, but with a forty-minute stop at The Spencer House Coffee Shop for fabulous coffee and a visit with daughter Shari.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

46th Annual Pork Festival is Over



And the Parade

No picture available, because this reporter is not getting up at the crack of dawn to take a picture of litter and street sweepers.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Red Brick Roads #T

When I moved to Tipton 45 years ago, there were still several streets in town that were paved with brick.  Eventually they were all removed and paved with modern macadam technique, with the exception of a couple of short less-traveled sections which were simply paved over.  I turned down one of these short stretches on my bicycle and noted that winter ravages, summer storms, increased twenty-first century traffic have dug a hole in the tarmac, exposing brick beneath.

The first brick paving in Tipton was laid along two and one-half blocks of Jefferson Street in 1890.  This brick was common building brick, yet it survived the rigors of traffic for nearly a quarter century before it was replaced in 1914 with vitrified brick.  At that time, twelve miles of Tipton streets were paved with these bricks.  This allowed Tipton to boast the largest number of  "feet per capita" of any city in Indiana.*

I have a few of the brick pavers which were lifted from the streets of Tipton in the 1990s.  These bricks are quite attractive, and imagine if you can the thousands of wheels that rolled across this bit of history.

*Pershing, Marvin W. History of Tipton County, Indiana: Her People, Industries and Institutions, 1914

This is post number 1900 on String Too Short to Tie.  That works out to 26.9 posts per month over the life of the blog, or a post on 90% of the available days.  Conclusion:  This is not quite a daily blog.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dora's Diary

The postmark was "Rogersville, TN."  I ripped the package open, and there inside were the two "books" Dora had written as a child, obviously very old but remarkably intact.  The edges of the paper tended to crumble a bit as I thumbed through them.

The covers of the books were pasteboard, carefully cut to enclose Dora's handmade pages.  On the front cover of the first one was painstakingly printed


The second book, or Volume 2, was labelled similarly, but it was done in cursive writing, appearing to have been written by a girl of ten or eleven, a little heart dotting the "i".  
I opened the first "volume" and on the first page, I read this, all in painstaking manuscript.

August 11, 1895
Caney Creek, Tennessee

Today is my birthday.  I am now seven years old.  My friend Myra and cuzzins  cousands Leroy and Effie came over for cake this afternoon.  Leroy give me a willow whistle he had carve, and Effie give me a hankie she had embroydee.  Myra's was the best, tho, coz she is my best fren.  I shall keep it near my hart, and you will have to guess.

Mama say now I am seven I kin go over to Aunt Grace and Uncle Jeptha house by myself tomoro.
Good night, dear diary.
Dora M. R

Second page:

August 12, 1895
Caney Creek

Oh, Diary! Today I walk by myself over to Aunt Grace house.  As I walk thoo the gardein in front the house, I hear Uncle Jep call "Dora! Over here!"

"Hidy, Uncle Jep!"

"Oh, my ain't you all grown up?  Those shoes are new.  Do they feel as good as they look?"

"Oh, yes, Uncle.  Mama and Daddy give them me for my birthday.  Acourse I know they's my new go-to-school shoes, an' I won't be a wearin' of them again until school, but are they not the pertiest shoes?"

"Sturdy, nice lacing, good support for yer ankles.  Bet they got 'em in Kingsport?"

"I don't know, but I surely like them!  Is Aunt Grace in the house?"

"Not really, cause here she come now with goodies for the good.  That would be you and me.  And her, a course."

Good night, dear Diary, Mama jus come in to put out my light.
Dora M. R

Editor's note:  The young girl was a credible writer, a fairly good speller, and faithful to the tales.  However, she was not much on punctuation, so some has been added for clarity.  Entries otherwise presented as Dora recorded them.

© 2014 David W. Lacy 46

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Good Times, Another Time

Lin posted a back-to-school picture of herself and her brother at a somewhat-earlier-than-the-present point in her lifetime.  One can always depend on The Duck and Wheel with String.  It is infallibly entertaining.

At the conclusion of her post, Lin challenged her readers to provide pictures of themselves in their back-to-school finery.  Well, I am the sort of person who will take a dare.  Sometimes.  Thus it was that I got out mother's old shoebox of snapshots and started rummaging through the years gone by.

I found this, among other things.

On the front steps of the church where Dad was the pastor, this little family get-together took place on a sunny day, circa 1943.  Reading from left to right, as is our custom, Mother, Kid on Roller Skates, Sister Vee, Father with cousin Esther, Cousin Wilma, Uncle Wayne, Cousin Ruby, and Cousin Wayne Junior.  Given the structure of the composition and the evidence of the one missing, I am guessing that the shutter was snapped by Aunt Stella.  Although Cousin Charley Bill is absent, too.  No telling where he is.

We lived in Canon City and Uncle Wayne and Aunt Stella lived with their tribe in Granada.  Though 175 miles separated us, there were occasions when we all got together, either in Granada or in Canon. A 350 mile round trip was a significant day trip in that time, even in Uncle's 1937 Oldsmobile.  Yet I am fairly certain their visits to our place were day trips.  Accommodations perhaps being a factor, but more likely Uncle's aversion to being away from his beloved section on the Santa Fe.

Good times, good families, good memories.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pork Time on the Square

Workers are driving tent stakes, moving bleachers, blocking off a fair portion of our lovely downtown area.  It is Tipton County Pork Festival time again and preparations are in full swing.

Festivities scheduled from noon, Thursday, September 4 until the end of Saturday, September 6, on the Square in Tipton, Indiana.

Think of this as my annual public service announcement.  Check the Festival website by clicking here.  More importantly, come and spend your money!