Memories Not Mine

i continue to try to put some order in this mess in order to leave behind no task of having to decide what to keep, what not to keep, and who should keep what i leave behind. Make sense?  Don’t know. Just driven to try. But it is one heck of a job.

This weekend, i found this photo in my cousin Nancy Schwarze’s envelope she sent me a couple of years ago.

i didn’t recognize the woman. Shouldn’t have. i never knew her. Know where she’s buried though. She is amongst the Prichard’s in the Wilson County Memorial Gardens to the east of the original mausoleum in a section that keeps my grandparents on my father’s side and other relatives from both sides. She has a modest sized monument adjacent to the headstones of my surrogate grandfather, “Papa” Wynne Prichard, and his wife, Aunt Corrine. Daisy and “Papa” were brother and sister.

She was a spinster. She left the family lands around Hickory Ridge, i’m guessing in the early 1900’s for a job. i do not know what that job was, but apparently she did all right. She became a favorite of my mother, her siblings, and apparently the daughters of the other Nashville family, Uncle Gus and Aunt Bessie Lancaster, the latter of which was the sister of my grandmother.

Aunt Daisy was a favorite because when those children would visit her in Nashville (at least a day’s trip back in those days), she would shower them with new clothes and new shoes. i remember my mother waxing eloquent about the shoes and the dresses Aunt Daisy bestowed upon her.

Aunt Daisy, like many others is only a memory once removed for me, and will be not much more than a postscript in genealogy research of the next generation of Wynne’s and Prichard’s.

i looked at her picture and had a sense of loss. i wish i had known her. She died in 1930. i’m guessing she was in her fifties. i wish i had some way to learn of her story. There is a kindness in her smile. She shows signs of a younger beauty. i wonder why she never married. There are too many gone with the passage of time with no story left behind.

So i’m posting her picture here. And when i get back home, i will attend to her modest monument in the cemetery along with those relatives i knew and too many i didn’t know.

It is a slight effort on my part to honor our past and the folks who made that past whom we will never know.

Murphy’s Law

From my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives thanks to Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Pipey, and cousin Nancy:

Fourth Law of Procrastination: Procrastination may eliminate the job entirely if the need passes before the job can be done.

Goofy guy’s realization of the long term effect of the Fourth Law of Procrastination: This could mean eventually i will have gotten everything done.

A Slice of Heaven with Thanks to Steve and Maria Frailey

There are moments that just flat stick in my mind as wonderful. Last night, i revisited one.

We were on the cusp of sunset, which comes a bit early in our home but lasts almost fifteen minutes more if i climb to the top of the hill to watch the orb settle beyond the Pacific and give me hope of witnessing another green flash. i’ve seen about four from my perch over the years.

But not last night. i rested, luxuriating almost in my office as Maureen put together yet another gourmet meal).

i played early golf at Miramar with my long time Navy buddies at Miramar, a very respectable and, for old guys, long course where Top Gun used to be, but BRACC gave it to the Marines and Top Gun moved to Fallon, Nevada (Pity: i’m pretty sure the Navy wouldn’t have allowed Denny’s to occupy the new clubhouse after one of my favorite 19th holes of all time burnt down years ago) — oh lord, i just thought of about ten stories around my father-in-law, Ray Boggs and his escapades with our group: saved for later. Regardless it was a pleasant Southwestern corner weather day, ’bout perfect in spite of my sporadic pretty good and damn awful golf.

Even with a beer afterwards, i got home before noon. The ladies were out doing good deeds. i had my standard (when those two women aren’t here) crackers and cheese, and took a nap. A long nap. Actually completed a couple of tasks, took a deep soak epsom salts bath and retreated to this home office where i sit now trying to catch up on emails and Facebook, organize the rest of my day, tomorrow, and my life, and the world in general although i don’t think the latter is going to take…so to hell with that one.

And up on Facebook popped a memory from five years ago. It was a wonderful trip concocted by Steve and Maria Frailey. They asked us to join them for a day and overnight trip to north of Warner Springs proper, a small country community almost to Riverside County in the country. And i’m talking country like nothing of the country were i grew up. We met the Frailey’s at our “glamping spot,” two tents, the interior of each looking like something out of a luxury travel bed and breakfast photo. We lunched at the County Line BBQ Cafe, a ramshackle, rambling, redwood crazy place with incredible barbecue. From there we went to a new winery. The wine was too young and the setting, though nice was a bit too fancy for me. Then we spent a goodly time on the patio on top of a mountain at the Hawk Watch Winery where we would go into a barn filled with wine casks and a huge long haired cat. Good Wine too, real good wine.

From there, we drove up the gravel road to Sierra Roble Winery, another top of the mountain place again with great wines.

To end the afternoon, we drove back to the “glamping tents” between the vineyards and the house and tasting room for the Shadow Mountain Winery, a little slice of heaven. Steve and Maria introduced us to Pamela McGreary, the wife and tasting room guru who is also an artist. They provide the San Diego Zoo their wine and Pamela creates the labels, both for the zoo and their wines. She is a wonderful artist and a superb hostess.

At the end of the day, we gathered our prepped ingredients from the cars and walked to the covered patio. Steve pulled out his little made-for-boat propane stove. We dined with superb food and a bottle of the wine we had purchased that afternoon. The country air was cool that night, perfect for sleeping.

The next morning, the McGeary’s had set out a continental breakfast on the patio. As we were winding down with another cup of coffee, Alexander, the husband and co-owner wandered by and asked us about our stay. Then, without  provocation, he offered to give us a tour of the vineyards and the production process. The man is flat amazing. He pointed out the wines in the different sections of the vineyards, including “Old Gus,” the original section for the vineyards from the 1930’s, and a section where Alexander used the different styles of staking and and hanging the wines. He provides lessons for fledgling vinters and other students and dedicated this section to illustrate the various methods.

Alexander was so good, this guy actually understood the intricacies of the cultivation of the grapes. We concluded with a trip around the processing plant.

It  was one of those short trips that fall into the category of perfect.

And of course, there was one of Steve’s classic photos. Adjacent to the “Old Gus” vineyard was an old bathtub. Steve coaxed Maureen into the photo shoot because i had already laughed and sat in the tub. Maureen sat on my lap. It was only later when my cousin, Nancy Schwarze from Florida told her about the connection with the viagra commercial.

i’m still laughing.

Thanks, Steve.

Please Excuse Me

Over the past several years, i have acquired a large number of followers as subscribers and many who read my posts when i provide the link on Facebook.

i am grateful so many folks seem to enjoy my posts.

i sometimes think i might charge a little bit to cover expenses and perhaps make a little money for golf and travel. But we are doing okay, and i know i probably would not subscribe to something, even if it’s good, if there is a fee no matter how slight. Like many of you, i am the child of parents who experienced the depression, and mine taught me to be frugal. It just took a while to sink in. Quite frankly, i don’t want to lose any of you. That idea has been put aside.

My parents also taught me to be courteous. Courtesy includes replying to someone when they write or text or comment or whatever and calling back when they leave a message. i have been remiss at this of late, at least in a timely fashion.

i want to apologize for not responding immediately or possibly overlooking your comment or response. It is not intentional. The volume of those comments and responses have grown. If i missed you or am late in my thanks, please excuse me. i will continue to attempt to respond to every comment on my website and every response on Facebook.

You personally i consider a friend, not just a Facebook “friend.”


Murphy’s Law

From my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives thanks to Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Pipey, and cousin Nancy:

Frothingham’s Fourth Law: Urgency varies inversely with importance.

Goofy guy’s extension of Frothingham’s Fourth Law: In consideration of the times we are in now, there are too many perceptions of what is important, but they all are urgent.

Some Thoughts about Ingmar Bergman’s “Seventh Seal”

Written last night and today:

Some thoughts about Ingmar Bergman’s “Seventh Seal”

i saw them walking over the mountain
way, way up high
i did not know where they were going
they looked majestic
walking with the reaper
he’s not reaping wheat;
it was the end of course,
the end of a powerful message
of Ingmar,
who i never completely understood;
that’s okay
he would never completely
understand me
he knew me
i thought his dark movie
generated thoughts
about what should be
what shouldn’t be
we might consider
he gave us an avenue to consider
things we may not have considered
the chess game is over,
let the minstrel show continue.

Some Thoughts About Mothers on Mother’s Day

Once again, i have retreated from my disdain of government proclaimed days of honoring stuff except for Christmas, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving.

But heck, it’s Mother’s Day. Gotta do it.

Today didn’t start well. The plan was perfect. The execution of the plan went down the toilet. i know the exact moment.

i called Sarah’s name softly. She was not awake. i did not hear her instruct me to wake her up if she was still sleeping last night.

No problem. i’ll get it ready myself. So i began to prepare breakfast in bed for the mother of this house. She sleeps later than me, so it should be easy. i got out a tray for her plate, silverware, and napkin. i even used the nice silverware. i got out her plethora of condiments for her “Bread et Cie” bread. i peeled and cut the fresh fruit, blueberries, kiwi, banana, and a sweet tangerine. i placed the bread in the toaster to toast in a timely fashion, i got out the egg, pot for cooking the egg between soft and hard boiled the way she likes it. i got out the very European (in my mind) cute egg glass holder and put it on her plate with the fruit. i pulled up a spice medley for soft boiled eggs to prepare. i made a pot of coffee for her. i got out the orange and mango juice she likes and a small pitcher of water so she could mix it to her standards. i put her morning pills on the side of the plate. i printed out a poem and a photo of the gift she would be getting because i can’t get any gift for her on time because she checks our expenditures, especially mine every half-hour or so every day. i was near putting it all in motion, but then i realized i had to take her the coffee.

So i got out the frother about the size of a small tin of Maxwell House from years gone by. Her coffee is Trader Joe’s variety. Then i got out the ground cinnamon; then i got out the chocolate bar and the grater; then i realized i would need another plate for her to grate the chocolate, which she usually does over the sink; then, i got out the creamer; then i got out the almond milk for the frother.

Then i decided i needed to get a twelve-foot van from U-Haul just to get the stuff from the kitchen to our bedroom.

That was the exact moment i knew it wasn’t going to happen.

i gave up just as she opened the kitchen door to the dining room and smiled at me.

She had a nice breakfast at the breakfast table. After she made her almost coffee.

We laughed about it as we usually do.

*     *     *

i will call my daughter Blythe later today. She is a wonderful mother. i will wish her and her mother, Kathie, who is also a wonderful mother, my best and my thanks for being such wonderful mothers

i almost pinned on one of Maureen’s white roses to my shirt to honor my mother, Estelle Jewell, who left me almost exactly six years ago at 97. i thought of my grandmothers, Mama Jewell and Granny Prichard, and smiled remembering how much love they had for their children and grandchildren. i thought of others: Aunt Evelyn Orr, Virginia Harding, Martha Duff, Carla Neggers, Kate Jewell, Abby Duff , Aunt Colleen Prichard, Pat Boggs, Aunt Louise Jewell, Aunt Alice Jewell, Aunt Barbara Jewell, Aunt Naomi Martin, Nannie Bettie Lynch, Patsy Boggs, Ann Minolti, Millie Crawford, Dani Boggs, Stefanie Johnson, Nikki Guardado, and others i have unintentionally omitted, and i was glad they were mothers for all of us.

The amount of love all of them and nearly all of the mothers in the world carry in their hearts for their offspring cannot be contained in this world.

But today, on Mother’s Day, i want to especially acknowledge my second mother. In fact, she was a mother to every child she met.

Bettye Kate Prichard Hall had four miscarriages  before Dr. Lowe told her she couldn’t have children because it would be too dangerous to try again. So she just adopted all children she met. Her love for children also had no bounds, could not be contained.

If that white rose wouldn’t have looked so ridiculous on my tee shirt, i would have pinned on two, one for Aunt Bettye Kate.

Aunt Bettye Kate on our front door stoop with Johnny Orr, my cousin, and the not so happy goofy kid, 1944.

Music: An Icon Gone

He is being honored as one of, if not the originator of Rock ‘n Roll.

Gone. Little Richard. As my brother Joe posted:

There will be a paaarrrteeee in the Big House tonight!
Rock in Peace, Little Richard!

Paaarteeee! Indeed.

i clearly remember him the first time i saw him: “The Girl Can’t Help It.” i didn’t really forget Jayne Mansfield, but he was so different, so in touch with what i thought Rock ‘n Roll should be. Twelve-year old listening to WLAC blues from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 am (if i didn’t get caught with the radio under the bed covers after ten) because such music was frowned upon, if not forbidden where i come from but i was enthralled (still am) with the man in that crazy outfit with his leg up on top of the piano beating those keys like he was tenderizing meat and taking us to places where we had never been before and found out it was a place we wanted, maybe even needed to be. There are other stories i shall not share here out of respect for a couple of folks, including the late, great Little Richard himself. And later, he became an outrageous icon for unification of just about every label we have pasted on folks. The simple minded may not have understood, but he was saying to me to treat people as people. And he was doing it with rocking and rhythm outrageous.

But back to the silence. The man, as much as the man could have went into seclusion from Rock ‘n Roll and returned to religion. But he couldn’t stay away. Couldn’t. And there was i, a deejay to pay for the rest of my college because i had blown an opportunity and had to put my shoulder to the wheel and was pushing and astounded at making it happen with being a deejay, a weekend, top-forty rock ‘n roll self-proclaimed warrior amongst other gigs when Okeh records took Little Richard on the rebound.

They call it  a “modest” hit. In 1966 Middle Tennessee, i think “modest” is way over inflated. But there was this one deejay who thought it was great, Little Richard great, maybe even greater, a lesson or two even. He played the “A” side as frequently as he could get away with it.

So i hope, up there at the party, the man who once proclaimed, “If Elvis is the “King of Rock ‘n Roll, I am the Queen,” is singing this song.

And how can you not listen, tap  your feet, feel the beat, laugh, and then learn a few things listening to “Poor Dog,” i mean lines like “it’s a mighty poor dog that can’t wag its own tail” are right on. Right on target.


Murphy’s Law

From my “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar archives thanks to Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Pipey, and cousin Nancy:

The Rockefeller Principle: Never do anything you wouldn’t be caught dead doing.

Goofy guy’s Speculation concerning The Rockefeller Principal: i’m willing to wager Nelson wasn’t thinking that far ahead.