Wednesday, March 19, 2014


     Running errands at lunch yesterday,  the fine folks at Sirius XM Radio ("80's on 8" channel) graced my truck with this song:

So, after work,  I had to do a quick YouTube search and watch this video for the millionth time in my life.  I'm not sure what makes this video more epic - the throwback Braves jersey on one drummer, Artimus Pyle being the other drummer, Donnie Van Zant wearing that black hat or the fact that it's the very first song that was "our's." (is it "ours" or our's?  anyway..)     On our third or fourth date this song came on the radio in my little '94 Ford Ranger.   She hollered "I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!!!!!!!" and reached for the volume.   Though I went down some bad roads to find her, I'm happy that I did.  Jeff Foxworthy is laughing somewhere because, truly,  if a .38 Special song puts you in a romantic state of mind you miiiiiiiiiight be a redneck.

     This Saturday would be a good Saturday to be in Tupelo.  (yeah, I'm a frequent visitor to Daily, your source for Northern Mississippi news and, I'm not sure why.)   They're holding their craft beer festival and six Mississippi breweries will be featured.  And, because I'm a "word nerd" and like appropriately named places and things, I'm not sure which participating brewery's name I like the most - "Southern Prohibition Brewing" or "Lazy Magnolia."   After a visit to the Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company's website, though, we have a winner.   Whether it's their  "Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale" ("the first beer in the world, to our knowledge, made with whole roasted pecans...")  or the grace and genteelness evoked by the image of a magnolia tree (possibly shadowing  a wrap-around porch with a ceiling fan and an old dog lying on the step) there seems to be plenty to like.  What? I should actually taste their goods before I act like they're the second coming?    C'mon - "We love great beer, great food and all things southern...cheers y'all!"  They sound like pretty good people to me.

     Also in my semi-regular visit to the Daily Journal, I ran across this  piece from Leslie Criss.  It took me straight back to that little East Atlanta Library (next to the fire station if I remember corrrectly) and my favorite story about my other favorite story.  "Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel" was my favorite story.  But then I graduated to "Mike's House" which was a story about a little guy in whom (who?) I found much in common.  He loved my favorite story so much that he called the library "Mike's House" because that's where his favorite story lived.  Though I didn't have the luxury of being within walking distance of the library (as did Ms. Criss) I usually did jump in a big blue '64 Chevrolet leaving the library with both of those books under my arm.  Until, that is, Santa was gracious enough one year to bring me a copy of both.  They're probably still in this house somewhere and held together by a lot of tape.  Wish I could find them and sit cross-legged (not sure if it's correct anymore to call it sitting "indian style") in the middle of the living room floor with some cherry kool-aid and a handful of those butter cookies with holes in the middle that you can wear like rings. I'd cancel a couple of already scheduled conference calls to go down that road again. (and then take some Tylenol to alleviate the after-effects inflicted upon 2 arthritic knees that sitting cross-legged in the floor would cause...) 

"You know, you might consider taking Jesus Christ as your personal Lord & Savior..."
"I like Jesus very much...but he no help with curve ball."
"Are you trying to tell me that Jesus Christ can't hit a curve ball?"

     Great baseball quote from a great baseball movie ("Major League")   I ran across more great baseball dialogue this morning while reading an interview with Arthr Idlett, a member of the Atlanta Black Crackers.

"Pitchers had to play outfield and catchers had to alternate at third base.  Most teams carried about three pitchers.  Well, that pitcher could pitch every third day.  We didn't know about tired and all that kind of stuff.  They would get sore arms and they would rub the other down with mustard roll and we made a concoction of alcohol and black pepper, rubbed him down."

     Talk of pitchers' arms and pitchers' elbows are things modern day baseball fans in Atlanta have heard way too much of here in the early days of this spring's training.  Perhaps there needs to be more mustard, alcohol and black pepper in the modern day pitcher's regimen.  So to more pleasant thoughts - I learned in the same interview that "Spiller Field" (which was at the Ponce de Leon Springs Amusement Park) was the original home of the Crackers (both black and white.)  There was a lake at the amusement park and the original stands of  what became Ponce de Leon park were built where the lake was drained.  It's funny to read about baseball in Atlanta during that time and learn that baseball FAR eclipsed football in popularity in Atlanta.  Industrial, school and league teams dominated much of the city's summer leisure time. In the early part of the twentieth century, one found games being played anywhere you found grass. 

"The visiting team furnished two balls and the home team furnished two balls.  That was four balls.  Okay, we've stopped many a game until they found the balls..."   

Monday, March 3, 2014

Stuff on a Monday...

     Amazingly, the funniest thing I've read in a long while comes from my March, 2014 issue of Outdoor Life.  In the "Monkey Business" section (a monthly feature, providing "Good, bad and weird news from the outdoors that you might've missed")  There's the story of a guy walking into a liquor store, trying to trade a live alligator for a 12 pack of beer.  He was, obviously, arrested, and made the rest of us who have an affinity for brewed beverages feel much better about ourselves.   "At least I've never tried to trade an alligator for beer!"  It reminds me of the funny pic (or meme or whatever you call these things that float around the internet) of Johnny Cash sitting in some shrubbery eating cake.  It says something to the effect of "You've been high, but you've never been 'Johnny Cash sitting in a bush eating cake' high."  So, thankfully, the Good Lord puts people on earth that make us feel better about our own existence.  A lot of them are frequently found in Wal-Marts and Waffle Houses. (aaaaaaaaaaaand now I want a patty melt plate, some Heinz 57, scattered, smothered and covered and peppered.)
     Speaking of funny,  the lady of the house and I had the opportunity to see B.J. Novak at the Atlanta History Center.  He's a writer, actor, director, producer and probably most recognizable for his Emmy-winning work on "The Office."  I've also heard tell that he was in the cast of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" though I don't know because I'm old and don't see many movies. He was in our hometown to promote his new book "One More Thing - Stories and Other Stories."  We felt right cultured having Friday night dinner there on West Paces Ferry and then going to a book launch affair. (I STRONGLY recommend the "fisherman's stew" at Coast Seafood on W. Paces diagonally across from the History Center.  When my bride read the description of it on the menu she said "Oh, that's got 'YOU' written all over it...")    Anyway, Mr. Novak was FUNNY.  The first inclusion in his new book is a very comical depiction of what would happen if  "The Tortoise and The Hare" had a rematch.  I've read it three times since we got home  (a copy of the book was included in the price of our ticket.)   It's funny to read - but it was hilarious when Mr. Novak provided his reading of that chapter.  Just, DANG!   I work hard on my written word and my creativity but when you're exposed to some folks you realize that you're a pinch-hitter in single A ball and some folks are batting lead-off for the Yankees. 
     And, while we're on the subject of that night and my bride, the evening was an anniversary celebration.  Seventeen years ago she took on the monumental task of spending the rest of her life with this loose cannon.  Through the miracle of social media (Lordy, I HATE using such trendy terms!) I've reconnected with a lot of people who have roots in the same ground as mine.  And I know that some of those people are thinking "Holy crap! HE found someone to marry??!!"  Trust me, I think the same thing.  In one of my earlier blogs, I mentioned the moment  at the funeral home when I overheard her whispering to the woman that raised me (who was wearing the same dress she'd worn on my wedding day and was "laid out for burial" as the old folks used to say)  "Don't worry, Erfy....I'll always take care of Tim."  If she can hear me, I'd like to reassure my saint of a mother that her daughter-in-law is  living up to that promise.  From the countless "I can tell you're worried - what's wrong?" moments to the "I bought you some more Sweetwaters but I didn't know you still had some in the fridge- don't drink them all just because they're there!" moments she is, most definitely, taking good care of me.  Life often gets in the way of our free time together.  So - as sappy as it sounds - Edwin McCain says it all better than I ever could.  Happy Anniversary and, truly, "everything you are, is everything to me..."