June 30, 2009
Originally PUBLISHED August 9, 2003
I love Southern food. I'm a skinny little shit, but I still like to eat the good stuff I find around me all the time. Here are MY TOP TEN SOUTHERN FOODS
1) Southern Fried Chicken. I have a recipe that'll blow your drawers off.
2) Fried Okra. Good? Just damn!
3) Blackeyed peas and rice. Good with all of the above.
4) Fried green tomatoes. If you've never tried them, you've never lived.
5) Pinto beans and cornbread. Food of the Gods.
6) Fresh watermelon, bought at a roadside stand from a farmer that you can dicker with. He's selling them for $2.00 each, but you can get three for $5.00 if you flash some green. A Southern watermelon in the summer is as sweet as you mama's kiss.
7) Grits. ALL HAIL GRITS!!! I don't give a shit what the Group Captain thinks about this matter. Grits are GOOD, with over-easy eggs in the morning, or with fish and shrimp at night. Anybody who doesn't eat grits should be dragged off and shot.
8) Low Country Boil. If you don't know what that is, you are pathetic.
9) Barbecued pork ribs. I'm taking about falling off the bone tender, with lots of hot sauce. Come South and taste mine. You'll never go north again.
10) Fresh fried, skillet-made creamed corn. That'll make you kiss the cook.
I could go on, but I am finished now.
June 29, 2009
my green thumb
Originally PUBLISHED May 15, 2006
A nice rain fell last night, so I decided to take a tour of my garden when I returned home from my visit with the sports-medicine doctor today. I LIKED what I saw.
I have tomatoes out the wazoo. Big, softball-sized rascals that are tugging the plants down to the ground in spite of the poles I have them mounted on. Some of them should be ready to eat in a few more days. Hell, I MAY harvest a few and fry 'em green. I'm gonna have a BUNCH of tomatoes.
I PICKED three ripe squash today. I have a lot more where those came from. ALL of the pepper plants are producing--- the little bell peppers aren't much bigger than marbles now, but they'll be ready to pick in another week or so. My banana peppers look like little green icicles hanging off the plants and they are ABUNDANT.
My corn is about two feet high now and getting ready for some high-nitrogen fertilizer. My Silver Queens are whoring for me quite nicely. If I don't have some kind of disaster soon, I may get a bushel or more offa those plants.
I must have a green thumb, because I threw some watermelon seeds out around the back of the garden a couple of weeks ago, and the vines are running like crazy now. Just damn! If I had believed that the melons would prosper so well, I woulda planted some cantelopes, too.
My okra plants aren't very tall, but they're blooming beautifully. If I trim those when they start producing, I may get a LOT of okra this year. And I LOVE fresh okra.
And beans? I gotcha some beans growing. I planted the bush-type this year, so I don't have to fuck with giving them something to climb on. Those suckers are getting as thick as hedge bushes now and THEY have blooms all over them, too.
That row of potatoes I planted is standing tall. I can start "scrabbling" a few of the new potatoes in another week or so.
The ONLY things I planted that do NOT look really good are the cucumbers. They seem kinda puny and anemic, but they aren't dead and THEY are covered in blossoms, too.
All of this is happening amid a profusion of weeds. I've been too puny to really tend my garden the way I should, but it appears to be flourishing despite my slackardly ways. By Gawd, I SHOULD have planted some marijuana, for medicinal purposes only. I think I coulda put a Columbian to shame...
My mama always said that I grew a good garden because I come from a long line of Kentucky farmers, and growing crops is in my blood. Maybe she was right.
It's lookin' gooood out there.
June 28, 2009
Originally PUBLISHED May 28, 2005
I like the color. It's dark and murky and looks exactly like.... BLACKBERRY JUICE, with lots of foam on the top and bubbles in it. I figure that in about a week, it'll be ready for the finishing touches. (Heh. Some of you people probably thought that I was making this shit up. Well... I AIN'T! Oh, I'm making the shit up, all right, but this is NOT a fantasy.)
My Uncle Virgil was at mama's house today and when I told him what I was doing, he insisted that I save some for him. He always liked my home-made beer and wine. He never tasted any of my moonshine, but HIS DADDY (MY grandfather) taught me how to do it, so I suppose that I owe him a slash or two.
I have no idea how this chemistry experiment will turn out. If all goes according to plan (which it has, so far), I should be able to make close to a gallon of brandy, once I water it down to around 100 proof and if I don't blow up my got-dam still in the cooking process. I should have about 20% alcohol in the mash (I put 10 pounds of sugar in there) when it's through percolating in that 5-gallon carboy.
I bought twelve Mason jars on my last trip to Wal-Mart, which will be MORE than enough to catch my squeezin's when I perform the ILLEGAL part of my plan, probably sometime around next weekend. I've got the still ready, just not fully assembled yet. If the cops raid me tonight, I am doing NOTHING against the law.
Right now, I'm making home-made wine and THAT'S not illegal.
When I get ready to run it off, I know what to do. The trick to making good stuff rather than bust-head is to toss what comes out of the worm onto an open flame until it explodes like gasoline instead of making a steamy hiss when it hits the fire. Then, allow about half a Mason jar to go to waste. That's the BAD alcohol that evaporates first. That's what will give you headaches, make your hair fall out and cause you to go blind.
After that, catch it all until you throw some on the fire and it hisses again instead of exploding in a bright, blue flame. Quit when that happens. You're done.
Of course, I'm lying about every bit of this. But if I WERE going to do such a thing, that's how I would do it.
June 27, 2009
Originally PUBLISHED May 31, 2004
That's when I learned that my clothes sucked. I couldn't be "cool" without Gant shirts, Gold Cup socks and a Barracuda jacket. My parents couldn't afford such shit, so I bought my own clothes. (Did I mention before that I've had a job almost all of my life since I was 12 years old?) I wanted THE UNIFORM that cool high school students wore.
It took me years to realize how foolish I was at the time. My parents may not have had much money, but I was a lot richer in other ways than most of the "cool" people I tried to emulate. I was a dickwit at the time.
Tonight, I've been listening to The Top 100 Country Music Songs Of All Time on CMN. My pick for the very best country song (Hank Williams: "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry") came in #32, so I am curious to see what is #1. But this has been a rough evening.
I've sat on the floor and cried a few times tonight. "Coat Of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton made me think of my mama, and tears rolled down my face. "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles made me think of Jennifer and my son, so I cried some more. "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" made me think of my whole family and I wept like a baby. "Strawberry Wine" by Dena Carter brought back memories of better days, set around a kitchen table where I played guitar and the woman I loved sang that song. "Forever and Ever, Amen," written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz, and performed by Randy Travis, was the song my brother and my old-time singing partner, Sally Roundtree, sang at my wedding when Jennifer and I were married.
I cried some more.
Say what you will about country music, but it cuts straight to my heart. The words and music are so simple, yet so earthy that I fall head-first into the songs. They are about my life. I am a hillbilly and a Georgia Cracker. That kind of music sings to my soul.
Aw, shit. I don't know what I'm trying to say. If you don't get it when you hear the music, you're never gonna get it. It's either IN YOU, or it's not.
It's IN ME, and I want to watch the rest of the show.
June 26, 2009
Three years already
Three fast years, but so much has happened. Can’t help but to think that Rob would have had plenty to say, especially about the current political climate in the U.S.
I can see his posts now! *lol*
He’d be simultaneously mortified and energized at the changes that have occurred, and with his metaphorical sleeves rolled up, he’d be in the thick of things, fully engaged in a grand ‘ol Donnybrook, railing at politicians and apathetic citizens alike.
Three years gone, yetstill missed, and still touching people across the world with his words.
I can’t help but to imagine Rob’s spirit still visiting River Street on occasion.
I can imagine him passing the open doors of the bars in that bittersweet hour just before last call, catching snatches of guitar chords and fragments of heartfelt, but wearily sung “one last time” lyrics of well loved songs.
What’s that? Gordon Lightfoot???
“The minstrel of the dawn is here
*His smile deepens as he listens to the song with a seasoned, gently critical musicians ear*
*His smile broadens a little*
“A minstrel of the dawn is near
Here maybe, as the song ends, he turns and crosses the worn pavers and cobblestones of River Street to the River's edge, gazing first upstream at the brightly illuminated span of the bridge over to Hutchinson Island, then slowly turning to look downriver and eastward towards Tybee. He watches for a few minutes as the recently departed billowing storm clouds, lit from within by flashes of lightning, race off towards the ocean.
With a sad smile, memories roll over one another...
Memories of family, friends, Old Savannah and the simple pleasure of life in the Low Country. Memories of fresh shrimp, oysters so good that you could taste the ocean, the warm, pungent smell of the tidal marshes,and the satisfying joy of a full basket of blue crab caught from those very marshes on a golden day spent with the daughter he loved. Memories of a life well and hard lived, albeit too short.
Looking down, he sees that the tide is going out and carrying the river's burden back out to the wide ocean.
So much of Rob’s spirit still echo’s in these images and resonates in the words and images he left. His writings here show only one side of a deeply complex, enigmatic man, yet his writing reflects so much of the best of his spirit and heart, even through all the pain and hardship.
Three long years…still missed, still read, still touching lives.
“The minstrel of the dawn is gone
June 25, 2009
Originlly published July 13, 2005
I confess. I am a criminal.
In my younger days, I STOLE watermelons from a farmer's field. Those things dotted the landscape everywhere and I figured that he wouldn't miss JUST ONE, and I learned to grab my pick, tuck it under my arm like a football, run like hell and jump the fence before I got caught.
My friends and I weren't particular about how we sliced it, either. I usually had a pocket-knife, but if I didn't, we just bashed the melon on a piece of brick, broke it open and ate with our bare hands.
There is NO bigger treat for a bunch of young boys than a stolen watermelon on a hot summer day. Bejus, but I remember that.
The ones I buy today aren't nearly as sweet.
June 24, 2009
Originally published April 21, 2003
I actually DID end up with a woman in my house last night. I didn't get LAID and wake up with a nekkid woman in my bed, but I damn sure had a someone of the female persuasion drinking wine with me until almost midnight. I am one charming rascal.
I'm hoping that she comes back tonight. She said that she would and she might spend the night this time. I'm going to boil some shrimp this evening.
THAT will get her drawers off.
At least I hope so.
June 23, 2009
early in the morning
Originally published August 17, 2003
I wish I slept better than I do. It would be nice to just slobber all over the sheets in complete unconsciousness for about 16 hours one weekend. I could do that when I was in college. But I can't anymore.
I stay up late and still wake up at an ungodly early hour. That's good on work days, but it sucks on weekends. Sometimes I like to go outside in the dark and smoke a cigarette while looking at the stars. Mars is very bright in the sky now. You can see it as a red planet on a clear morning. I would love to go there.
I fantasized about being an astronaut since I was a child. One of the biggest disappointments in my life was John Glenn, a man I once admired who later proved to be a complete political whore, selling his soul for another trip into space. I hate him now. I've never wanted anything badly enough in my life to do what he did.
I'll never go into space except through my Robert Heinlein books and my imagination. But Quinton may get the chance. I hope he takes advantage of it.
I look at the night sky and I see possibilities. Just as the early navigators crossed the ocean to find a New World, we are destined to go THERE, into the stars some day.
Man is an inquisitive creature. Exploring comes natural to him. And there is one hell of a frontier waiting for us among the stars.
June 22, 2009
speaking of old wimmen
Originally PUBLISHED April 11, 2006
I went to visit my 94 year-old grandmother on Sunday. That's the first time in four weeks that I've been mobile enough to make the trip over there. Mommie had an interesting story to tell me.
Somebody moved as a guest into her neighbor's house and brought two full-grown Rottweilers with her. The guest turned the dogs loose in the back yard. The yard is fenced, but it's just a four-foot cyclone barrier, which ain't much to a Rottie.
Mommie turned Fancy, her 5-pound Yorkshire Terrier, out for a bathroom call one morning. Shortly thereafter, she heard a tremendous ruckus in her yard. Fancy yelped frantically.
Mommie is frail and almost blind, but she still motors pretty good for 94. She grabbed a broom and ran outside. What she found made her blood run cold.
Both of the Rotties had jumped the fence and attacked Fancy. One of them had the little dog in its mouth, just one snap of its powerful jaws away from turning Fancy into hamburger meat, and one swallow away from making her a meal. Mommie started swinging her broom and lit into the big dog like a demon from hell.
She cracked the big dog twice with the broom, then the broomstick broke off just above the bristles. She continued her assault with nothing but half a broomstick until the big dog dropped little Fancy and ran for its life. Its companion followed in retreat.
When Mommie picked Fancy up off the ground, she thought the little dog was ripped to shreds, because Fancy was wet all over. Being mostly blind, Mommie couldn't see any injuries, but she could feel what she assumed was blood all over the dog. She took Fancy inside to doctor her.
Luckily, Fancy was wet with dog slobber and not blood. Once she was washed off and towelled dry, she was fine. But Mommie was pissed. She had my Uncle Virgil go cuss out the neighbors and then make a report to the Animal Control authorities about the loose dogs. Nothing more ever came of the incident, because the "guest" moved out of the neighbor's house a day or so later and took the dogs with her.
I chuckled at the story, because I could SEE my frail but fierce hillbilly grandmother taking on two giant dogs (that probably outweighed her) with a broom and winning the fight. Hell--- I wouldn't want her mad at ME, even if she IS almost blind now. But the story upset me, too.
I am a dog lover. But I've got no use for people who own big dogs and allow them to get loose and cause trouble. That incident could have been REALLY BAD if the dogs had been in a killing mood. And it's a damn good thing that I wasn't there when it happened. I don't own any guns, so I NEVER travel with a loaded one in my car...
But if anybody called Animal Control after that, it would be to pick up two dead dogs before I got them buried in the yard.
Originally published March 21, 2005
My brother and I are going to get together, probably next Sunday, over at mama's house and entertain the relatives. We haven't played together in a long time, and even though the cobwebs usually fall away quickly when we play, we just want to make sure. He's coming to the Georgia Writer's Workshop at Jekyll Island next month, and we want the Fabulous Smith Brothers to sound good.
Dave and I started singing harmony together when we were little boys. We've been doing it for almost 40 years now. He has the better voice, with a much larger range than I have, so I give him the hard vocal parts and I take the easy ones. I'm a better guitar player than he is, so I give him the easy parts and I take the hard ones. That partnership works out well. We're really pretty good together. We intend to blow your doors off on Jekyll.
We're even going to practice first.
June 21, 2009
sad, but true
Originally PUBLISHED December 7, 2005
I might think that this was satire if I didn't hear the same kind of shit all the time. I sometimes wonder how so many people can remain so woefully ignorant in the midst of so much news reporting today.
Maybe it's just sheer overkill. We get so much news that we become confused instead of informed. It's just too much information for people to keep it all straight in their heads.
But being confused or woefully ignorant damn sure doesn't stop people from answering opinion polls. Then, the POLLS become news, which causes the uninformed to turn to the clueless for guidance.
If 60% of the people answering a poll said that the moon is made of green cheese, that's gonna tell a lot of people what to think, especially if they can see a nice, simple bar graph of the poll results. People may not have the slightest idea what the moon is made of, but they don't want to sound confused, ignorant or out of touch with the intellectual mainstream. They want to be part of that BIG bar on the graph.
Trumpet the poll results, then take another poll. All of a sudden, 85% of the people believe that the moon is made of green cheese. That's how we get "conventional wisdom."
No wonder we're... well... fucked up as a can of worms today.
June 20, 2009
My fame lives on
Originally PUBLISHED June 3, 2004
I'm not exactly proud of this, but I still believe in my central point. I just shouldn't have been so "vicious" when I posted it.
I believe in freedom. I have a real problem with people who can't handle being free, then make lame excuses for the way they behave. With freedom comes personal responsibility. That's why a lot of people can't handle it.
People who can't run their own lives either turn to government to run it for them, or else they behave so outrageously that government FEELS OBLIGATED to step in and run it for them. Either way, these people are doing NO ONE, including themselves, any favors.
And if you're black, female or a coal-dusted hillbilly from Harlan County, Kentucky, you need to know that the bar is set just a little bit higher for you than it is for the rich white boy down the street whose daddy owns a bank and two car dealerships. It may not be "fair," but that's the way it is. You have to try harder and be BETTER than that rich kid. (In the long run, you WILL BE, if you try.)
You don't accomplish anything but self-destruction when you show your ass in a riot at a got-dam basketball game. That's not how ALL of my family, who grew up poor in the armpit of the Appalatchan Mountains, got out of those hills and made something of themselves. They all carried wherewithall on that trip to better things. They worked hard, learned anything that they could and NEVER stopped trying.
I'm sorry, and you can call me a racist if you want, but blacks, by and large, do not have that kind of attitude. They listen to assholes such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who have nothing more on their agenda than to KEEP the downtrodden right where they are, and they vote 95% Democrat, which has never done a fucking thing except keep them right where they are. If you think of yourself as a victim, guess what? You will ALWAYS be a victim.
You can be a victim or you can be free. That's a personal choice, and it's up to YOU to make it.
Who ever told you life was "fair," anyway?
(UPDATE: Okay, let's just put it this way: "Freedom isn't always supposed to be pretty; it can be messy and at times ugly if it does not conform to what you would rather see...but it is supposed to be real....a true expression of what we are in all of it's forms. It requires discipline above all else, tho, which sounds contrary to those who do not understand it.
(Another Update: be sure to read the comments on that post. While you're at it, vote for me. Chap a delicate ass.)
June 19, 2009
Originally PUBLISHED August 23, 2004
I just saw a commercial on television that I totally disagree with. It was from somebody humping a Ritalin-like drug for "Attention-Deficit, Hyperactive Disorder."
I call bullshit. When I went to school NOBODY had that disease, and I attended school with some really diseased fuckers. We were called LITTLE BOYS. We ran and jumped and played and fought and fell out of trees and set things on fire. We didn't LIKE being cooped up in school all day. We had wiggles in our legs.
I once worked with a guy named Mac (I won't use his last name, although I don't believe he would mind--- but I'm in enough trouble from this blog already.) and he had a son named Mac, too. Big Mac and Little Mac. One day, the school councillor called Big Mac and said that Little Mac had a behavioral problem and she believed that he should be put on Ritalin.
Big Mac exploded. He had quite a temper and he stomped off to the school to tell the authorities in change that there wasn't a got-dam thing wrong with his son. "You people want to punish him for doing exactly what I did at his age," Mac thundered. "You ain't gonna dope my boy to keep him from being a boy. Let him grow up, go to college and THEN do drugs, the same way I did."
Little Mac never got put on Ritalin.
I believe that a lot of what is called ADHD today is nothing more than a lack of discipline at home and boredom in school. My parents KNEW how to get MY attention. I had a hard-wire running right from my ass to my brain, and my parents weren't shy about ringing me up on that thing. If mama said, "Sit DOWN!" you sat down. If daddy said "BE QUIET AND STOP THAT!!" you shut up and stopped. If you didn't, they most certainly would make a direct wire-call from your ass to your brain.
I don't believe enough parents do that anymore.
June 18, 2009
things I thought about today
Originally PUBLISHED September 29, 2003
* I thought about Palestinian fathers who strap bomb-belts on their sons and daughters and send them off to die. Then, I thought about the pie-fight I had with Quinton and Jack this weekend. How can ANY father love his son and still strap an explosive belt on him, and tell him to go detonate himself in the middle of a cafe? What kind of savages are those people? I would throw myself on a hand grenade to save Quinton's life. I would NEVER take pride in seeing him become a "martyr" in a totally useless, totally stupid cause.
* I thought about my job. I thought long and hard about the fact that I don't qualify for the package that's being offered to people that are a mere three and one-half years older than I am. I wish I could take it. Hell, I would throw my clock number in the hat RIGHT NOW if they would let me. I can retire with reduced benefits on February 16th of next year. If they would sever me NOW and throw in about two years worth of pay, I could do what I really want to do.
I could write, full time, and see how much I could sell.
* I thought about football. I did a lot of coaching with Quinton this weekend about how to line up a tackle in the open field and how to "lead" a runner when he's trying to cut the corner. I also told him to use his helmet first and shoulders second when making a tackle. I don't give a shit what some have-no-clue-about-football pussy such as this one has to say:
admit I have misgivings about Rob's attitudes and values. To teach his son to 'hit to kill" in a game of football does not strike me as wholesome. Macho yes. But wise? I don't think so. It's okay to encourage competitiveness, but that's not the same thing as what Rob said he wanted to encourage.
Dumbfuck. DID YOU EVER PLAY FOOTBALL??? It AIN'T a NICE-GUY GAME. If you are not willing to "hit to kill," your pussy ass has no business on a football field. That ain't fucking soccer you're playing out there. The helmet and shoulder pads protect you, but they are WEAPONS, too. If you can't use them as such, you don't need to jock up and go out there.
If you EXPECT to hit or GET hit on every play, you're ready for it. You learn how to take a lick, how to fall, how to give a lick and keep on your feet. You learn to stay ALERT all the time. People who go to sleep on the football field get hurt. If I stay on my toes all the time, I'LL be the one who hurts YOU. I don't see anything wrong with teaching my son to play football the way I played it. He gives away a lot of size out there, the same way I did. I am showing him how to WIN in spite of physical shortcomings.
Sometimes, in football, it boils down to who wants it badly enough. If you won't hit, hang up your jock and go home. Football just ain't your game. It's a collision sport. If you ain't willing to collide, you'd better just quit, RIGHT NOW.
And mamas who can't handle that fact should NEVER let their darling, precious boys play football. Buy them some goddam Barbie Dolls to play with. You always wanted a fucking girl anyway.
* I thought about Blood Mountain. For some reason, I dreamed last night about being back in the cabin. I dreamed that I had slept all day (Bejus! I wish I could!) and I was late for the blog-meet. I was alone and I couldn't find my car keys. I went into a panic. (I have this real anal part of me that demands total punctuality in everything I do. I live and die by deadlines at work and I'm still alive.) I went running out of the cabin with no pants on and realized that I couldn't ride to Dahlonega UNDRESSED the way I was. I started back to the cabin to find my pants and woke up at 4:20 this morning.
Yes, I dream vividly that way.
* I thought about my mama. We didn't go visit her this weekend. Me and the boys had pie-fights and football games, and I am a shitty son for doing that instead of visiting my mama.
That's what I thought about today.
June 17, 2009
Originally PUBLISHED July 7, 2004
"Get the crab, Sam!" Stacey yelled. "Don't let him back in the water!" The crab was scuttling back from whence he came.
Sam kicked the crab, stomped it, grabbed the net and beat the crab some more, then pinned it to the mud with her foot. "Daddy! Come get it!"
I did. One claw was broken off and the crab appeared to have all the fight whipped out of him. I picked him up by the back legs and tossed him in with his brothers in the tub. He just floated there, dazed and confused. I'm pretty sure that he was dead by the time I put him in a pot. I think he died of post-traumatic stress syndrome.
The end result of the crabbing trip is posted below.
This batch wrestled with chicken necks and lost.
June 16, 2009
pouring down rain
Originally PUBLISHED March 22, 2005
But from what I see on the Weather Channel, the I-95 effect is going to keep the worst of this one to the south and the east of me. Anybody who lives in southeast Georgia knows about the "I-95 Effect." It is real, too. Mother Nature seems to pick which side of that road she wants to shit on, and she does all of her business on one side and not the other. Ask anybody who lives around here.
That interstate may be a blue line on a highway map, but I swear to Bejus that it's a border on nature's map, too.
June 15, 2009
Originally PUBLISHED October 07, 2004
I like to go up into the north Georgia mountains every fall, usually in late October. I enjoy seeing the trees with their leaves glowing in brilliant colors, like day-glow paint. I don't see a lot of that where I live. We have too many pine trees and oaks that DON'T change colors in the fall.
I hope we catch the leaves in full splendor at Blogtoberfest in Helen. I think we might be a couple of weeks early, but I'm going and hoping for the best. We've had a lot of rain up there this year, and usually that's good for making fall colors. In dry seasons, the leaves just say "fuck it!" and hit the ground as quickly as they can.
Fall is campfire weather, fireplace weather and football weather. I still remember Saturday mornings and going outside in the fall as a boy, dressed in sweatshirt and jeans, and hearing the THUMP of somebody kicking a football as I hopped on my bicycle to go join the game.
Yeah. I like fall.
June 14, 2009
The Strangest Thing
Originally PUBLISHED January 28th, 2005
I visited my sweet mama today and she asked me a strange question. "Robbie (she still calls me Robbie), do you remember the watch your father was wearing when he died?" I confessed that I didn't. "Well, I do, and I want to show you something. I was going through some of your daddy's things and I found this yesterday."
She shuffled back to her bedroom and returned with an old Casio (I think) digital watch and I recognized it when I saw it. "Pop's watch," I said. "I remember it now." She handed it to me.
"What do you think of THAT?" mama asked.
I thought it was a cheap watch. I thought it was typical of my father to buy an inexpensive, but fairly good-looking watch because he cared more about utility than decoration. It fit fine on his wrist, it kept good time and it wasn't ugly. What more did he need in a watch?
That's when I noticed that the watch was still running.
I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!!! My father died on October 12, 1992. Mama found that watch yesterday and IT'S STILL RUNNING. I don't know what kind of battery that is, but I want a similar one in EVERYTHING I own. That's one hell of a battery.
But... my dad was one hell of a man, too.
June 13, 2009
Real life update
Good news and bad news...
The bad news is that Rob's beloved Mommie passed away on April 18th, surrounded by her loving family.
If you'd like to read, or leave a message in, Mommie's online guestbook, here's the link to it.
Quinton, of course, was at her funeral service and it's said he's becoming quite an impressive young man.
As much as it would have pained Rob to have experienced the loss of Mommie, I know he'd be as proud as a man could be of his son.
Quinton was his pride and joy. He loved that young man so very much.
I miss you, Rob, every day.
I hope you've found the peace that so eluded you in life.
June 12, 2009
My left foot
Originally published March 14, 2004
My left foot still isn't right. I don't mean that I want it to be a right foot, because the toes would all be turned the wrong way and I would have a lot of trouble buying shoes. I mean that my left foot did not heal properly from the fall I took last month.
Yeah, yeah... I know. I should have gone to the doctor. Too late for that now.
All of the bruising is gone, the swelling is almost gone, but the bones aren't the way they once were. My foot still hurts and the top of the arch doesn't look the way it should. I have mismatched feet now, and I never had that before.
I believe that I also fucked-up some tendons or ligaments in there, too. Something ain't right, but at least the sumbitch can still work up a good case of foot-stink when I wear sneakers. I may walk with a slight limp, but I can walk now.
I don't know whatever possessed me to get that stupid bitch, Oddball. I haven't seen her for a week now, but I have the broken foot, chewed-up pillows and piss-stains on my carpet to show for her brief appearance here. I suspect that she's back in the pound and she can stay there for all I care. The longer I was around that dog, the less hope I saw for it.
I don't need a pet anyway. I need a good lawyer.
June 11, 2009
Originally published November 8, 2003
I don't have much of a sweet tooth. Because my brother was diabetic, I grew up in a home that never had dessert with supper and candy was something you either bought with your own money or collected on Halloween. Mom and Dad never kept sweets around the house. I seldom eat sweets to this day.
But I like pecan pie.
I like the ones I get from the Kroger's bakery down the road becuse those pies don't come out of a box. Those broad-hipped country wimmen in the kitchen bake those things by hand and they are damned good. I bought one yesterday and I just ate a big slice of it so that the boys don't get it all before I have a taste.
I'm a good cook. I can make fried chicken that'll knock your socks off and I grill the best steak you'll ever taste. But I don't bake pastries. I never learned how to do that.
What is a good recipe for pecan pie? What is that stuff that goes in the middle?
I want to try to make one.
June 10, 2009
I may still do it
Originally published March 14, 2004
I started to sleep in the woods tonight. I went and rigged my hammock and a tarp over it today and gathered a bunch of firewood. The weather is perfect for camping and I've got woods right in my back yard. I don't like what's happening in my life right now and I think a night in the woods might do me good.
But I believe that I'll wait until after Monday. If I get to see my son again, he and Jack would consider the three of us sleeping in the woods a grand adventure. I've got a two-man pup-tent I could raise for them and they both have sleeping bags. We'll cook hot dogs and I'll tell ghost stories while we feed the campfire.
But I'm just liable to go sleep out there tonight. Just for the hell of it.
June 09, 2009
Originally published March 13, 2004
I am allergic to all kinds of stuff. I learned early in life that if I am stung by a honey bee, I may end up in the emergency room at the hospital. Wasps and hornets don't have that same effect on me, but something about honey bee venom surely does disagree with my body.
I once was playing football in the front yard of my house and somebody either threw or kicked the ball into a big hedge bush. I stuck my hand in there to get the ball and something stung me. I didn't know what it was, but it hurt like hell. I retreived the ball and intended to keep playing. Two minutes later, however, my right hand was swollen to the size of a sixteeen-ounce boxing glove and I was having trouble breathing. I fell down in the yard and I couldn't get back up.
My brother ran to get Mama. She almost had a heart attack when she saw me. By then, my right arm was the size of my right leg and I was breaking out in red splotches all over. The fact was obvious that something was terribly wrong with me.
My father was working a 4-to-12 shift that day and Mama had no car. She ran to a neighbor's house and asked for a ride to the doctor's office. The woman agreed, but her good car was gone to work with her husband and all she had to drive was an old 1938-vintage Buick sedan that he was restoring. The car ran, but the headlights didn't work.
"We'd better make this fast," she said. "I can't drive that car after the sun goes down."
I don't remember a whole lot after we piled into the Buick and went to see the doctor. Mama had enough sense to look in the hedge where I stuck my hand and it was working alive with some kind of brown caterpillars. She caught one and put it in a jar to take with us.
I still don't know what kind of caterpillar that was.
The doctor took one look at the bug and said that it had poisonous spikes all over its back. "They can sting, but most people don't have this kind of reaction to them," he said. Well, I did. They shot both my butt-cheeks with some kind of medicine, then sent me home. We made it back before sundown.
I fell asleep on the couch and hallucinated all night long. I remember waking up once to find my father sitting beside me. He was reading a book, but I saw horns coming out of his head and all kinds of other evil, nasty things. I was out of my mind with fever. He fetched a glass of water and gave me a pill that he called a "knockout drop" and he told me to take it. I did, and I went back to sleep.
I recovered after three days and went back to the doctor. He told me that I was in anaphlactic shock when I arrived at his office after the sting. If Mama hadn't gotten me there when she did, I might have died. "Boy, you need to stay away from snakes," he told me. "If you have this kind of reaction from a catepillar sting, you won't survive a snake-bite."
Maybe that's why I still have a visceral fear of snakes.
Right now, the dogwoods are in full bloom and the pine trees are starting to drop yellow pollen everywhere. I always get a chronic runny nose and sinus problems this time of year. I've been to more doctors and tried more medicine than I can shake a stick at, but none of it ever worked.
But I've been taking Advil allergy-sinus tablets for about a week now and I like them. My nose has stopped running. The pills don't make me sleepy or fire me up so that I feel as if my scalp is crawling. I may actually get through this spring without rubbing my nose raw from blowing it all the time. I can't be sure yet, but I've seen some good signs so far.
I still intend to stay away from snakes. No sense in pushing my luck too far.
June 08, 2009
Come Monday, it'll be alright
Originally published March 13, 2004
I always liked that Jimmy Buffett song and I've performed it more times than I can remember. I go to court come Monday.
I talked with mt lawyer today and he isn't very optomistic about my chances of coming out with my Cracker ass intact. The BC is going to pummel me and there's not a whole lot I can do about it except break out the checkbook and pay every barracuda swimming around me. If that's what I have to do, that's what I'll do.
I don't have a hell of a lot of choice. It's either do that or go to jail.
We live by the rule of law in this country, but that rule of law does not always lead to justice. I am not the one who dissolved the marriage. I am not the one who committed adultery. I am not the one who moved an unemployed, dope-smoking lover into my house while I was still making 1/2 the payments. I am not the one who flushed a 10-year relationship down the drain without a backward glance.
But I'm the one who's going to pay for it. Go figure.
June 07, 2009
Originally published November 8, 2003
The boys are asleep after a tumutious day. I am tired and ready for bed myself. My right arm is sore from throwing a football as far as I can to watch Quinton catch it. That boy is getting better every day and my passes seem to fall shorter every other weekend. He's hitting his prime and I am going downhill fast. Father Time is one mean sonofabitch.
Somebody gave me a bottle of gin for Christmas last year and that sucker has been in my liquor cabinet since then. I had a bad experience with gin when I was in high school and I remember the feeling that I was puking up pine bark from drinking that stuff back then. I never wanted any more gin since that ugly evening. Tonight, I had wine, vodka and beer to choose from, but I decided to open that bottle of gin.
I poured a drink with some club soda and lime. It tasted pretty damned good. I'm on #2 now and it STILL tastes pretty damned good. Gin is not bad, as long as you don't down an entire pint straight out of the bottle as I did once a long time ago and puke your guts out afterward. I might have been bulletproof in those days, but I damned sure wasn't drunk-proof or hangover-proof.
I see now that gin is meant for sipping, so that you can savor that pine-resin flavor instead of cursing God as you hurl your cookies into the bushes on the side of a dirt road while you hope that your asshole doesn't come out right through your mouth. Bejus! I wished for a quick death that night.
Tonight is much better than my first experience with gin.
June 06, 2009
Originally published March 11, 2004
I went back to Harlan, Kentucky in 1976 to visit with my cousin, Ernie. We took a trip to Lewellen and climbed the mountain where the old coal mine once operated.
We went up the route where the man-trip used to run. The rails were all gone, but the cross-ties were still in place. It was almost like climbing stairs. We both carried .22 rifles and shot a couple of copperheads on the way up. We also got into some heavy poison ivy, which was a mistake we didn't discover until later.
When we got up to the mineshack, it was still there, covered with dirt and leaves and smelling of old sweat and broken dreams. The mine-shaft was nothing but another part of the mountain, solid rock sealed shut by explosives that my father helped to set.
We found a lot of paperwork and blueprints that were still up there in desk drawers and file cabinets. Many had my father's signature on them. We found a big, wooden wire spool that must have been 3' in diameter. Guess what we did with it? We rolled it down the mountain.
That thing bounced, hopped, skipped and jumped until it tore itself apart. It never made the bottom of the mountain. It ended up in splinters.
We also found two boxes filled with old electrical insulators, the kind made from glass. One set was blue and one set was green. Guess what we did with them? We used them for target practice with our .22s. We broke every got-dam one of those things, and I didn't learn until later in life that those glass insulators were collectible items, worth a lot of money to some people.
The old slate dump was still burning, just as it was when I was a child. I can still remember that smell. I'll bet that it's still burning today. When slate catches on fire, it burns for a long time.
Ernie and I finally came down from the mountain. We both ended up in the doctor's office the next day because of the poison ivy we encountered. I never saw it, but we must have gotten into a thicket of it. I had that shit all over me and so did Ern.
I dreamed about walking up that mountain yesterday.
June 05, 2009
Okay, I'll tell you
Originally published November 9, 2003
I received this email from Chris:
I've listened to Jesse Jackson and other race-baiting assholes call the Confederate flag a symbol of racism. I've also seen hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan waving that flag as they behave as race-baiting assholes. I see very little difference between the two, and they BOTH defile that flag.
I took the scenic route back from north Georgia last weekend and as I drove through small Southern towns along the way, I noticed something. Almost every one has a monument to fallen Confederate soldiers. The South bled hard in that war. Then, when the South lost, the carpetbaggers came to rub salt in the wounds during Reconstruction.
I live in the only part of the United States that EVER was conquered and occupied by an invading army. That crap may have happened over 150 years ago, but memories live long in the South. We still sit on the front porch, drink sweet tea and talk about great-grandpa and great-great grandma and smile at the memories.
We remember. Most of the Southern men who died in that war were not rich, they didn't own slaves and they followed Lee, Jackson and Longstreet out of loyalty to the South. They were sons and grandsons of men who fought the British in the Revolutionary War. They believed in THEIR RIGHTS and didn't want a strong federal government telling them how to behave. They were willing to fight and die for those beliefs.
That flag is not a symbol of racism. Only a fuckhead such as Jesse Jackson or some sheet-wearing loon from the KKK sees it as such, and both have a vested interest in doing so. They use the flag to further a political agenda. They both make me want to puke.
That flag is a symbol of DEFIANCE. That flag is the symbol of a REBEL, someone who will NOT be a docile member of the herd no matter what price he has to pay. Goddam, but we have too many docile members of the herd in this country today. I refuse to be one. THAT'S why I have that Confederate flag on my truck.
Southern men have represented themselves in our armed forces far out of porportion to the national population ever since that war. Southern boys grow up running the woods and handling guns from an early age. They hit what they aim at, they can build a fire and they know what a long walk in oppressive heat is like. They make damn good soldiers.
And deep in every Southern breast burn memories that can NEVER be erased. We talk a language all our own, we eat food that nobody else does and we HAVE OUR PRIDE. Southern white males are the last minority in the country that "polittically correct" people can insult with impunity and we've had that shit heaped on our heads for a long time.
So, we REBEL. We DEFY.
And we fly the Confederate flag.
If that pisses you off, kiss my Cracker ass. We do that TO PISS OFF people such as you.
June 04, 2009
Originally published March 11, 2004
I keep a loaded Colt .38 revolver in a holster that hangs from a hook just inside my front door. I keep the door locked all the time now, which is something I never did in the past. If the doorbell rings, I grab the pistol first, then look outside to see who is there. Only then do I open the door.
I sure have freaked-out some Jehovah's Witnesses that way.
One thing liberals and gun-control freaks don't understand is that the sight of an armed man is enough to convince most criminals or people of low degree to leave you alone. I believe in that fact.
I also believe that the gun by the front door is not a bad idea.
And NO!, you trolling assholes. I don't keep it there when Quinton is around. But he's not around now, and I'm getting death threats from people who don't have the balls to follow through on their words. Come ring my doorbell, assholes.
See what you find.
June 03, 2009
Originally published November 9, 2003
I've gotten a lot of email from people asking, "What the fuck did I do to piss you off?" because they can't comment on my site. I had some folks banned. The bans were aimed at two individuals who crossed a line I will NOT see crossed on my site. I had entire IPs blocked to get rid of them.
If you were caught in that large net, trust me about one thing. I am NOT pissed at you. TWO PEOPLE just could not be civilized in the blogosphere and I had to cut a big hole to get rid of them. Rid of them I am, and there's another shitwit asking for it tonight.
I like having open comments. I appreciate flattery, but I also enjoy the contrarians who tell me that I'm full of shit when I am. Hell, I am full of shit a lot of the time.
But my comments are NOT a forum for some fucked-up asshats to insult my friends, bespoil people's reputations and hold court as if THEY were paying for my bandwidth. They don't, and they won't. Period.
I regret banning anyone who didn't deserve it. You have two people to thank for that fact and THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE.
If you read this blog, you probably know, too.
June 02, 2009
Originally published March 11, 2004
Who can remember the products advertised by these slogans?
*Take a puff... it's SPRINGTIME!
*A little dab will do you.
*We're #2. We try harder.
*We'd rather fight than switch.
*"I'm Gertie Smirts. I iron shirts. I iron shirts 'till my fingers hurt."
*See the USA... (sung by Dinah Shore)
*Where's the beef?
*I can't believe I ate the whole thing.
*A silly millemeter longer
*"Look Ma! No hands!"
*I'd walk a mile for...
*I'm coo-coo! Coo-coo!
*Tastes great... and they are mild.
*It's the soap that floats!
*It's TWO! TWO! TWO mints in one!
*Less filling, tastes great!
*The King of Beers
If you don't know the answers, I'll post them later.
June 01, 2009
Originally published November 9, 2003
When I was over at Mom's house today, my Uncle Virgil and Aunt Peggy came to visit. I was worn out from playing football with the boys, so I went to sit on the screen porch and talk with my family while the boys choke-slammed and killed each other. Virgil enjoyed the show. "They don't get tired, do they?" he observed.
No, they don't. But when the back yard became quiet a few minutes later, my ears pricked. I looked back there and couldn't see Quinton or Jack. "Where did those heathens go?" I asked.
"They went behind that oak tree over yonder," my grandmother answered.
I knew what they were doing. They were pissing in the bushes. I stuck my head out the door. ""Are you guys peeing in the bushes?" I yelled. "Yes, sir," was the reply, in perfect two-part harmony. "Okay," I said, and went back to sit on the porch.
"Ain't nothing wrong with peeing in the bushes," Virgil said. I agreed. Ain't a damned thing wrong with peeing in the bushes. I did it as a kid and I still do it today.
When Quinton came back on the porch for some chicken, Virgil asked him, "Boy, what were you doing back there behind that tree?"
"I was marking my territory," Quinton replied, with a big grin.
"Marking your territory? What happens if some other little boy goes back there and pees in those bushes today? There goes your territory."
"No, sir! I've been peeing in those bushes for six years now. That's MY territory."
I thought Virgil was going to choke with laughter.
Damn, but I like being around my family.
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