Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Brunch With Mark Twain

Brunch With Mark Twain

Come on over to Marietta, Ohio on September 17, 2016 for a Riverboat Ride and Brunch with Mark Twain!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Rare Jackalope

I didn't want to brag, but here is my 16 pointer. Rare Jackalope actually as it grew a rack where this sub-breed usually grows their wings.

I was a'walkin' a fence row down home in my hometown of Beloved, Kentucky several years back durin' huntin' season, tryin' to flush some grouse out of the fence row when a whole covey of them winged Jackalopes got kicked up an' flew. The noise of a covey of Jackalopes is somethin' that will scare Yankee folks or the unassumin' mountain man.

I however was ready an' waitin'. This one took to the air but wasn't flyin' as good as the rest as it was still in velvet. It was a big ol' bull Jackalope I could tell even though the mist was a'hangin' on the fence row right thick.

Now, to make it fair all I use is an ol' 20 gauge Stevens single shot shotgun Daddy gave me years ago. I load my own shells an' only put one single lead birdshot pellet an' 70 grains of powder in the whole shell. If a feller ain't a good enough shot to hit a critter with one little ol' single bb size birdshot, well he ain't worth his salt an' shouldn't be a huntin' Appalachian Jackalopes.

If they get spooked an' start to stampede... well, I ain't gonna mention the lost town of Ox Hide, Kentucky (just over the hill from Bull Skin. It was settled after Bull Skin an' since the name was taken an' the folks was set on Bull Skin they went with the next best thing, Ox Hide). A youngin' playin' with firecrackers too close to a hillside plumb full of Jackalope holes started a stampede an' them things came out of them holes like hornets. They ran ever'where, knockin' down houses, barns, trees, eatin' crops, crows, buzzards an' then they morphed like grasshoppers morph into locusts.

Before the town of Ox Hide knew it them Jackalopes had done et the whole town, even the town librarian an' all six books! Nothin' was left. They even et the town off ever' map in the state.

Anyways, I threw that ol' Stevens up to my shoulder, took aim an' hit this one right betwixt the eyes. If you look close you can see the pinhole where that single pellet went in.

It weren't till I had it mounted an' the velvet came off what I though was the wings did I realize they weren't wings a'tall. THEY WAS ANOTHER SET OF ANTLERS!

Folks went crazy wantin' to see it. I charged a dime a peek an made might near $137.59 before one of them pepper-rosie fellers snuck in, took a picture an' sold the picture to the National Geogramic Magazine.

So, I lost the chance to be rich or even to be on the Mike Douglas Show back then. But I still have the only 16 point Jackalope in the world.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Company Towels

One of the first things a young boy learns, usually the hard way is 1) "Young man, you are not company! Do NOT wipe your hands on Company Towels!! and 2) Company Towels are NEVER to be used for ANY reason.

In the photos (not ours, from the web) you can see a lovely arrangement of Company Towels. As stated above, these towels are never to be used under any circumstances. When you wash your hands you either look around till you find a regular towel or dry your hands on your pants. (A boy child eventually learns to wipe them down on the cuffs of his pants so as not to experience ridicule about pants wet in the wrong place.) 

One might consider rubbing hands through your hair first so as to have that "wet and wild look" women love. It is not your looks that attracts women but the fact that you DID NOT use the Company Towels and chose to spare the towel by rubbing your wet hands through your hair.

I don't know who invented the rule or first wove Company Towels. I read in National Geographic that they found Company Towels in King Tut's tomb, still unused since 1323 BC.
According to a papyrus found inside King Tut's wrappings, some slave or priest or mummy wrapper said, "We're almost out of wrapping bandages but there are some Company Towels over there." He was then sealed in the inner room where they found him along with millions of scarabs for suggesting using Company Towels. (in Hieroglyphs Company Towels is spelled "basket, noose, owl, steel, vulture, ripple of water, two reeds, loaf, lasso, quail chick, reed, lion, folded cloth") The folded cloth is actually a representation of a Company Towel made of the finest Egyptian Cotton.

When Mama moved from her condo into a nursing home we found not only the Company Towels that hung in her full and half bath, but EVERY Company Towel she had ever proudly displayed in the homes we lived in years before. Each was still carefully folded and wrapped, first in acid free tissue paper and then in fine linen cloth. They were then carefully stacked in a cedar box with an index as to which house and bathroom they went in along with photos of each set as displayed, the original receipts and notes on how each was folded and arranged. However, there was also a warning that they could never be used again and were not part of the estate in the event of her passing.

There were also instructions that they were to be left in the tissue and fine linen cloth in the cedar box
and the box permanently sealed in plastic similar to the plastic slip covers (see photo attached for reference) that protected her living room furniture when Brother Mike and I were children. 

The box and contents were then taken and buried in an undisclosed spot, much like the fabled Elephant Graveyard. Generations of Company Towels from our family (maternal side, of course) are buried there. Each family has a secret Company Towel Graveyard. The location is passed from one woman to another when they get their first Company Towels.

I was not only sworn to secrecy about the location, but was also hypnotized so as not to even remember where the Company Towel Graveyard was. My cell phone was magnetically wiped clean and my GPS destroyed, ground to dust.

The every day towels that we used daily were much like (and I suspect manufactured by) the Scotts single ply toilet paper one finds in public restrooms and cheap motels. (towel photo attached). You will note that strings do hand down, as they should. The appropriate way to display an every day towel is stretched out wide with strings hanging down for all to see as if a badge of honor or like a "yellow ribbon tied 'round an old oak tree". 

Here is a neat fact about that song: Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown wrote the song as they remembered the off white, yellowed, stringy every day towels from their childhood. The song originally suggested one such towel be hung from a branch of the old oak tree. However their respective mothers got wind of the song and insisted it be changed so as not to show disrespect to the Company Towels of their youth. Tony Orlando was pressured by his Dawn singers to not sing the original lyrics.

One of our favorite games as a child was to see how much of a children's book we could read through one of the every day towels. You might try it at home with your kids or grandkids! It is a fun way to pass the time on a rainy day or even one of those cold, snowy stay at home days of winter.
First pick out their favorite book. It can be something like Dr Seuss' "Hop On Pop" or my favorite, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain. Lay an every day towel over the pages of the book, make sure the lights are turned on overhead and there are no wrinkles in the towel (it is still possible to read through the wrinkles, but it can strain a child's eyes a bit.)

As the child reads congratulate them and remind them the game should NEVER be played with Company Towels and that those towels are NEVER to be touched by any hands other than that of the appropriate woman type lady person.

How do you dry yourself with an every day towel you ask? It is not easy as they are produced from petroleum by-products and are made to be non-absorbent. 

When finishing your shower or bath it is advisable to have a window squeegee on hand to squeegee excess water from your body. The reason Daddy always gave us burr haircuts when we were kids was to keep from having to dry our hair. That is also why hand held hair dryers were invented. Better to use electricity and ruin the environment than even consider using Company Towels to dry your locks!
You then attempts to dry off with the every day towel and when that fails it is suggested that if you live in the country and some distance from neighbors you run nekkid along the road, allowing the wind to dry your hair and skin. 

Do note that you may have to wash the dust from your feet with a hose before entering your home. You then lay on the grass with feet and legs in the air to allow the sun to dry the water from them.
If that is not possible and you have wall to wall carpeting, you are in luck! Simply lay on the floor and roll from side to side till the carpet absorbs the excess water.

A final note about Company Towels: A Communist Plot arose years ago suggesting that Company Towels could be transformed, demoted, misused by designating them every day towels when the woman of the house changed decor or bathroom color. This could be no further from the truth and a terrible falsehood perpetrated to speed up the downfall of western civilization!

As noted above, the appropriate method of changing colors, styles or even sizes of Company Towels is to carefully fold them, wrap them first in acid free tissue paper and then fine linen cloth. They are then placed in a cedar box (hand crafted in the hills of deepest Appalachia by one family who was given the task and secret of the building such boxes 42 generations ago.) and never to be used again.
Even if the woman of the house goes back to the previous color or decor these retired Company Towels are not to be unwrapped in disgrace. A whole new set of Company Towels would be purchased, hopefully at great cost and with no regard to budget or future retirement plans of her spouse.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Studyin' on Things

I love the quiet times on a gloomy ol' rainy day
Time to sit a while in my favorite thinkin' chair
Little dogs asleep and snorin' comfortable
Pushin' my feet to the edge of my ottoman
Takin' advantage of my better nature.

No one home but me just now, for a while
The sound of the fireplace is just behind me
Whisperin' comfortin' sounds as it burns bright
Now an' again a little dog snores an' snorts
I smile when they wake themselves, look round
Then lay their heads back down, assured all is well.

Just yonder out the window the clouds rush
Pushed an' bullied by the Spring wind
Sometimes I just sit an' watch as they race
Movin' just now from right to left across
Like they were some type of Hebrew
Or other ancient language seen but not understood.

Yet sometimes I just sit, listenin' to the sound
Of 'all is well" in this little piece of the world just now.
Just now I'll just sit, close my eyes now an' again
An' just listen, thinkin' an' studyin' on how things was
How things are an' maybe study for a piece on how they should be.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Lost Spring

Spring has lost her way
Somewhere she wanders
Coming here and back again 
Making promises unkept
Warm days and balmy nights
Trees budding and blooming
Daffodils pushing through
Dandelions springing up
Almost overnight they bloom
Only to be bitten and twisted
As spring hides, turns her back
And Winter romps over the scene.

First poem for National Poetry Writing Month