Friday, September 19, 2014

Almost Forgot

It be talk like a pirate day.

Arrrrr.

Class Act


I Tried to post a video of John Morgan campaigning for Charlie Crist directly from You Tube.  It posted for about five seconds and then disappeared.  Here's the link.   Definitely not safe for work due to language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2NnWUVp0r0

Bulldogs Ain't Supposed to Cry

Every time I go to Hog Valley, as I did earlier this week, I think of how much it reminds me of what Bell Florida was like when my family lived there some fifty years ago. Whenever I go to Hog Valley, I always think about writing something about what it was like in Bell back then.   It was sleepy little town with aspirations of some day becoming a crossroads community.  It never did because they never had a need for the other road to actually go on across the highway.  Mayberry would be a big city compared to Bell.

My Dad was the Principal of the the school there.




Back then, it was just this old brick building.  Grades One through 12.  It was the only substantial building in Bell.   There's a road that runs along the left side of the picture.  Its just outside the picture and that's where our house was.

The school mascot was a big, muscular bulldog wearing a spiked collar.





I still have a pennant somewhere with the  bulldog in gold on the Royal Purple background.

We had a huge garden.  My Dad bought a plow at the hardware store.  It was the kind that you push yourself.   One of the neighbors saw him out trying to bust sod with it and came back with his tractor.  He plowed that garden up in nothing flat.   It was a fascinating thing for a little kid to watch.  The neighbor wouldn't take anything but a "Thank You" for it.  That's how people were there back then.

Our dog was a city dog that my Parents got when they were in college.  It was small for a dog that lived outdoors in the Country but it didn't seem to know it.  It was always getting whipped in dog fights but it never backed down.  It would charge out of the yard at whatever dog wandered by and get its butt whipped.  When my Dad would hear our dog in a fight, he'd run out the front door with his little Stevens .410, wade in amongst the dogs and fire a shot in the air.   You'd hear a group yelp and dogs would scatter.    Yes, we lived across the street from the school house too.  Not across the highway.  Across a limerock street.  Some of those dog fights were on the school grounds.  Probably can't do that kind of thing on school grounds anymore.  At least not more than once.  Back then it was just the quickest, most portable way to break up a dog fight and nobody thought anything of it. 

We had a maid named Mamie.  She was an awesome, sweet "colored" lady.  Very much a country gal and I liked her.   She was always a little wary of my Mother.  She thought Mother was a yankee because Mother is from North Carolina.  She didn't like or trust yankees one bit.  No amount of convincing ever completely set her at ease.  Yankees is sneaky and they'll tell you they ain't a yankee just so you won't watch 'em like you ought to.

The house has been gone for years.  It was ancient when we lived there.  It probably fell down pretty soon after we moved out.  A fiberglass box with telephone equipment or something has been where the house used to be since at least the 1980s.

I remember a hurricane beating the hell out of the house one night and my Mother waiting for the eye to pass over.  When the wind died down, she took us to the school because they had a new  gymnasium made of concrete blocks and it wasn't surrounded by trees like our house was.  I remember how terrified she was that we'd get caught when the wind picked back up if we didn't hurry.  Of course, the house made it through without a scratch.  The trees were just blowing in the wind and their branches were hitting the roof.  They weren't actually blowing down onto the house.   They built houses to last in the 1880s.  They didn't build them to just barely meet code.  She can be forgiven for her panic.  As I said, she's not from Florida and it was her very first hurricane.

I remember the old metal screens that still worked but were so rusty that they'd crumble if you touched them.  We had an old oil stove that stood in the living room in front of the fireplace and I never could figure out how Santa Clause got into the living room with my battery powered tow truck and locomotive engine with that flue pipe running up the chimney.

I remember the night that the store down the block burned down. We stood in the yard listening to their ammo cooking off and watching the flames through the trees.  Dad was at the store with every other able-bodied male past age 10 trying to do something with no better fire fighting equipment than garden hoses and fire extinguishers commandeered from the school.  The Fire Department, such as it was,  was in Trenton on the other side of the County.

Now "our" street is paved.   The school is huge complex that serves half the County.  There's more than one gas station and more than two stores.  They even have restaurants and the obligatory Family Dollar Store at the edge of town.   Everything changes.

So last night, just before 8:00 PM, I got a text from my brother way up almost all the way into yankee territory asking me what was going on in Bell.   I had no idea and he texted again to say something about a mass shooting.   I looked on line at the Gainesville Florida TV station's website and found a few short lines about a man killing his family and a promise to add details as they became available.  After they didn't even cover the Sheriff's  news conference at 8:00, I started looking elsewhere (can't interrupt the umpteenth rerun of Gray's Anatomy for something as inconsequential as a mass murder).  Seemed like everybody but Channel 20 was on top of it.   Its national news now so I don't need to put in a link.  You've already heard as much as I have.  If not, just Google "Don Spirit in Bell Florida."




This fifty-one year old grandfather had squabble with his daughter.  The house was well known to the Sheriff's Department.  They had been called out there plenty of times before this.   It happened shortly after the grandchildren got home from school.  Maybe one of the kids set him off.  Maybe he planned it ahead of time and waited for them to get home so he could massacre them all at once.  We may never know but he killed his daughter and her six kids, called 911 and then killed himself when the Deputy got there.

The press is already starting to edit and spin.  Its too early right now to tell how fast they will spin it but they can't just report honestly.  On the way to the office this morning, the national news was saying that the Sheriff had asked the people keep everyone involved in their thoughts.   No, he didn't ask that.  He asked that everyone keep them in their prayers.  They played the sound clip of the Sheriff and he didn't say what they said he said.  The Sheriff's Department has the same request for prayers on their Facebook Page.   The national news can't stand the thought of prayer so bad that they can't even use the word in a direct quote.  Maybe they'll start referring to prayer as "The P Word."

They are also saying that he served three years in prison after "accidentally" killing one of his sons in a hunting accident in 2001.   That's true but misleading because its not the whole story.  It makes you think he was sentenced because of the actual killing but that's not the case.  He was sentenced for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  He had a felony drug conviction and wasn't even allowed to pick up a gun to look at it, much less take one hunting.   Of course, we can't let a little detail like him being banned from so much as picking up a firearm get too much air time.  Gotta start letting that detail fade away.

You may have noticed that I put the word "accidentally" in quotation marks.  That's because the "accident" where he killed his son involved him showing his son that there was rust on the muzzle of his rifle. The rifle "went off" and the bullet hit the kid in the head.  That may not be first degree murder but I won't call that an accident.   How many of the Four Rules did he violate and why?   In my considered opinion, this guy was an asshole from the get-go. 

This morning I did hear that the family wasn't originally from Bell.  They had lived there for several years but originally came from someplace else in Florida.  Maybe I can still remember Bell the way it was since he didn't really belong there among the good people that I knew.  Maybe I shouldn't even try to remember.  Maybe this is the way society is "progressing."   Everything changes.  Maybe even in places like Bell. 






Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hump Day - Rump Day: The Bear Rump

If a video of a completely bear rump will get you in trouble at work, proceed at your own risk.

video
I did say B E A R.

I went to Hog Valley this morning.  That's about as exciting as it gets up there until Official Deer Season opens.  

Tony Stewart Case Going to Grand Jury

I worked in the pits at a dirt track a time or two (or three or ...)  during high school so I'm not completely ignorant about dirt tracks.  I saw the video.   I really don't see how its Tony Stewart's fault.   I hope this is one of those cases where they go to the Grand Jury and say "we really don't think the guy is guilty but we want you to say it, not us"  and not a Prosecutor using this as a chance to make a name for himself. 

http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/11538761/tony-stewart-case-death-kevin-ward-jr-sent-grand-jury

And no, I'm not particularly a fan of Tony.   I don't dislike him.   I just don't really care enough about NASCAR to be a fan of anybody.  I only dislike Danica because of all the hype they shoved down our throats about how great she was and how the other drivers were learning all kinds of stuff from her ("Look, she's taught the other drivers to let go of the wheel before they hit the wall head first)"  and I dislike Jimmy because The Lovely Bride is a Jeff Gordon fan and  it makes things easier at home if I hate Jimmy.


Hump Day - Rump Day: The Tactical Rump

I suppose I'll carry on with this theme until it gets boring or too embarrassing.  Until then, here's some Tactical Rumpery to help  get us all past the middle of the week:








Running low on suitable rumps.   I'll have to go look for more by next week.   Dang.

They Start Out Young