Photographs and Memories

I’m hoping not to ramble on about this as is my usual way. 

I’ve been really enjoying Bridgett’s  posts of old family photos.  Kathy T‘s  have been great as well.  Kathas a good post about scrapbooking, and it mentions old photographs, and their importance.  In our day and time, photographs are how we tell our children and their children who we are, and who we were.

All of this is reminds me of something in my life I don’t think I’ve ever really grieved.  It never really mattered, till now. 

I’ve gone on and on here ad nauseum about the house fire we had in 2002 (The Year from Hell™).  We lost everything – EXCEPT – miraculously we were able to save almost all of our family photos.  This is a blessing I will never forget; thank God we still have photos of our wedding, and all the baby pictures of the kids.  Unfortunately, all of our family photos only go back to 1984.

You see, there was another fire in my family, one I don’t talk about as much.  In 1984, when I was 20 years old, my parents’ house burned to the ground. I had been living there on and off during my “drifting” period.  This fire was a total loss; the house literally burned to the ground.  No photographs survived. 

Trillian and Zaphod have no idea what I looked like as a child.  They’ve never seen photos of my parents when they were young and strong, they don’t know what their grandparents on my side looked like. 

As far as they can tell from the photographic history, I sprang from the earth a full grown man.

It never really hit me till now.  It’s quite sad.  I remember so well the laughter I had looking at photographs of my dad as a child and teenager – and the sense of connectedness.  My kids really don’t know that feeling.

But, all is not lost.  When my grandmother died, my dad split up all her old pictures with my uncles and aunt.  I understand that there were some of me, my brothers, and my parents when they were young, along with my grandparents and other relatives.  They are hidden away in some trunk at my parents’ house in Florida.

When I take the kids down for their 2 weeks with the grandparents this summer, I’m going to make Dad get out that old trunk.  I’m going to bring back as many old photos as my mom will trust me with, and I’m going to spend a good part of those 2 weeks scanning.

I’d like my kids to know who I am and where I come from.

Y’all Just Ignore Me

I know I must be maddening sometimes.

Most of the time, I don’t even know I’m doing it.  I have a tendency to go to your blogs and proceed to talk about myself.  I hope you don’t take offense.  This is how I think things through.  Unlike many, I am not the type to logically work through pros and cons of a given position in a disconnected, analytical manner.  I am intuitive and emotive, and my mind first tries to work around a concept experientially.

I don’t know if there are any others out there who have the same thought processes I do, so I don’t know if y’all just think I’m an egomaniac or not.  It just occurred to me that maybe you do.  I probably would think that way, if I were you.

Sorry.  I don’t know any other way to be.

Posted in Me. 1 Comment »


This post will self-destruct in 1 day.  I can’t chance Lintilla seeing it, but I need your help.  I finally put my expensive SLR camera to good use and took some really neat portraits of the kids, made them black and white to give them that “arsty” feel, and had them blown up.

Of course, I blew them up to a size nobody has a frame for.  Michael’s can make them, but obviously not before Christmas.

Anybody know a place that sells matted frames for 12×18 photos? Anybody that has a lot of stuff in stock?

Or, did I blow it?

Big Weekend

I’ve got one heck of a busy weekend coming.  Saturday night, the Sunday School class is coming over for dinner and a movie.  I have been working like crazy to get the house “ready”.  Lintilla thinks I have ridiculously high standards of cleanliness when company is coming over, and she’s probably right.  I mean, who scrubs baseboards for people they see every week anyway?  But, it is what it is.  I still have quite a bit to do in the morning.

My mom, dad, and brother Zarniwhoop are driving up from Florida – Zarni wanted to get to see at least two Titans home games this year, and we’re taking advantage of the current home stand.  Most of the day Zarni and I will be at the game.  I’m having to miss a service at the prison for the first time, and I hate that.

But I hope my X-Alt buddies understand: it’s less about football, and more abour spending time with my brother.  We used to be inseperable, now I see him maybe six or seven days out of an entire year, if that.  And, I’m looking forward to visiting with  my parents, too.  I love them very much, even if they are a little, er, eccentric.

Oh, and the Vandy football team will show us tomorrow what they’re really made of.  I’ll keep one eye on that.

I’m still working to get Trillian over her strep throat.

So, if you don’t hear from me till Monday, that’s where I’ll be.

Posted in Me. 2 Comments »

On This Day In History

I really love sites like Brainy History, which list historical events on a daily basis.  Sometimes, I wish I had pursued making a career of my love of history, instead of just dabbling in it.  But, then again, I AM a dabbler.

But, it’s amazing that you can pick any day in the calendar, look backward, and see lots of interesting events, people, and places.  Take today for instance.  I picked these events out of a very long list, and threw my own comments into some:

Today In History: August 16th

Notable Events:

  • 1513: Battle at Eguinegatte/Guinegate: Maximilian and Henry III beat France

  • 1570: King Janos Sigismund Zapolyai signs secret treaty with Maximilian II (Bush’s fault)

  • 1691: Yorktown Virginia founded

  • 1743: Earliest boxing code of rules formulated in England (Jack Broughton)  (fight fair, y’all)

  • 1777: Americans defeat British in Battle of Bennington, Vt (yeah!)

  • 1780: British decisively defeat Americans in Battle of Camden, SC (uh-oh…)

  • 1812: Gen Hull surrenders Detroit and Michigan territory to England (Dang!)

  • 1829 Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker arrive in Boston to be exhibited

  • 1858: Britain’s Queen Victoria telegraphs President James Buchanan

  • 1863: Emancipation Proclamation signed (that was a biggie!)

  • 1870: Fred Goldsmith demonstrates curve ball isn’t an optical illusion (enter baseball)

  • 1896: Gold discovered in Klondike, found at Bonanza Creek, AK

  • 1898: Edwin Prescott patents roller coaster (wheeee!)

  • 1903: Tigers play a home game in Toledo Ohio, Yanks win 12-8 (Ohio!)

  • 1904: New York City begins building Grand Central Station

  • 1914: Zapata and Pancho Villa over run Mexico

  • 1920: Ray Chapman, of Indians is hit in head by Yanks’ Carl Mays pitch; he dies next day, only major league fatality. (May it never happen again)

  • 1927: 1st HR hit out of Comiskey Park Chicago (New York Yankee Babe Ruth)

  • 1943: Bulgarian czar Boris III visits Adolf Hitler

  • 1944: 2nd Canadian Division occupies Falaise Normandy (Go Canadians!)

  • 1946: Great Calcutta blood bath – Moslem/Hindu riot (3-4,000 die)  (Dang)

  • 1947: Ralph Kiner becomes 1st Pirate to hit 3 consecutive HRs

  • 1954: Sports Illustrated magazine begins publishing (No swimsuit edition yet…)

  • 1955: Fiat Motors orders 1st private atomic reactor (What the?)

  • 1959: U.S.S.R. introduces installment buying (I knew it was a commie plot!)

  • 1961: Martin L. King protests for black voting right in Miami

  • 1962: Ringo Starr replaces Pete Best as Beatle drummer (That worked out pretty well)

  • 1964: St. Louis Card Curt Flood gets 8 straight hits in a doubleheader (Holy Cow!)

  • 1965: AFL awards its 1st expansion franchise (Miami Dolphins)

  • 1969: Woodstock rock festival begins in New York (Ivory Soap sales plummet)

  • 1974: Ramones concert debut (NY’s CBGBs) (Was Hutchmo there?)

  • 1975: Peter Gabriel quits Genesis (Enter Phil Collins)

  • 1977: Yanks blow 9-4 lead in 9th but beat Chicago 11-10 in bottom of 9th (the Bronx is burning!)

  • 1980: Jools Holland quits Squeeze ; Cozy Powell quits Rainbow; Bill Ward quits Black Sabbath (a good day for hissy fits)

  • 1983: Paul Simon weds Carrie Fisher

  • 1984: L.A. federal jury acquits auto maker John DeLorean on cocaine charges (snort!)

  • 1985: Madonna weds Sean Penn on her 27th birthday

  • 1987: New York Mets beat Chicago Cubs, 23-9 (Harry had a few extra that day)

  • 1987: Astrological Harmonic Convergence – Dawn of New Age (How did that work out?)

  • 1988: IBM introduces software for artificial intelligence (still trying to get Paris Hilton right)

  • 1991: Belgium census is 10,000,963 inhabitants

  • 1997: For only 2nd time Stanley Cup leaves North America (heads to Russia) (and ever since, the NHL has been overrun with Russians)

 There were, of course, some historic deaths on this day:

  • 1938: Robert Johnson, U.S. Delta-blues singer and guitarist, poisoned at 27

  • 1948: Babe Ruth, Baseball legend (New York Yankees), dies in New York at 53

  • 1949: Margaret Mitchell, U.S. writer (Gone With the Wind), dies at 48

  • 1956: Bela Lugosi, actor (Dracula), dies of heart attack at 73

  • 1977: Elvis Presley, rocker, dies of heart ailment/drugs at Graceland at 42

  • 1989: Amanda Blake, actress (Gunsmoke), dies at 58

  • 1991: Shamu the Whale, dies of respiratory failure at 16

  • 1995: John Cameron Swayze, news anchor (NBC), dies at 89

  • 2003: Idi Amin, Ugandan dictator, dies at 78

 There were also some notable births:

  • 1897: Robert Ringling, circus master

  • 1913: Menachem Begin, Israeli Prime Minister, 1977-83, Nobel 1978

  • 1923: Shimon Peres, Israeli Labor Party leader/prime minister

  • 1925: Fess Parker, Fort Worth Texas, actor, Davy Crockett, Old Yeller

  • 1930: Robert Culp, Berkley California, actor, I Spy, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice

  • 1930: Frank Gifford, born in California, NFL halfback for the New York Giants/ABC sportscaster

  • 1946: Lesley Ann Warren, New York City, actress, Cinderella, Mission Impossible

  • 1947: Carol Moseley-Braun, Sen-D Illinois

  • 1949: Bill Spooner, rock guitarist and vocalist, Tubes

  • 1953: Kathie Lee Gifford, Paris, Florida, hostess, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee

  • 1954: George Galloway, British Politician

  • 1958: Madonna, [Ciccone], Bay City, Michigan, singer and actress, Like a Virgin

  • 1958: Angela Bassett, born in New York City, actress, What’s Love Got to Do With It

  • 1960: Timothy Hutton, born in Malibu, California, actor, Turk 182, Ordinary People

  • 1963: Steve Carell, American Actor

  • 1964: Slartibartfast, blogger

  • 1969: Ben Coates, NFL tight end for the New England Patriots

  • 1974: Ryan Longwell, NFL kicker, Green Bay Packers-Superbowl 31

  • 1980: Vanessa Carlton, American Musician

You see, every day is historical and interesting.  I just picked this one because, well…I don’t know.

Posted in History, Me. 7 Comments »

Oh, Happy Day

Wanna Talk About Number One, Oh, My, Me,My

The end of the last post was kind of fun. Liberating in a way. I’m going to see how many “facts” I can list about myself. I’m not one of those people who can make it to 100, but I’ll free-associate here and see what happens.

I was a DES baby. This caused the next several facts about me:

  • I was rejected by Uncle Sam to serve in his army in 1983. This fact gives me “checkenhawk immunity” 🙂
  • I have slightly higher estrogen levels than most men, which means I get weepy watching movies and Extreme Makeover, Home Edition, I write oh-so-sensitive poetry, and I actually enjoy cooking and housework. Do NOT get the wrong impression, however. I also like football, Nascar, hockey, heterosexual sex, Salma Hayek in a pushup bra, and war movies. I guess that makes me hormonally ambidextriuous!
  • One label I will never have is “Babymaker”. This, in the end, turned out to be a blessing.

    I am proficient in 6 programming languages.
    I can play 7 instruments on a basic level, 4 (piano, guitar, bass, mandolin) well enough to brag about it.
    Lintilla and I stopped at Krystal in full dress and tux after our wedding.
    I spent my youth and young adulthood worrying about being underweight (sigh).

    Here is a major fact about me that even I don’t understand: I am simultaneously paralyzed by shyness in one-to-one situations (especially with females), yet I am fearless speaking or performing in front of a crowd. I have NEVER had stage fright, even in front of a thousand people, even preaching. But get me alone in a room, and you’ll be hard pressed to have me look you in the eye. I guess, as long as I’m in a situation where I can ‘hold forth’, I am in my element. I must be a psychopath.

    I got a perm in my long-ish hair in 1984. I think I thought it would make me look like Young Springsteen, but with my wispy mustache and glasses, I looked JUST LIKE Weird Al Yankovic.
    I am left handed.
    I write with my right hand, however. (Thanks, stupid kindergarten teacher!)
    I, like all the men in my family, have a phobia about talking on the phone.
    My dad never quite knew what to do with me. He could handle my older brother, he was just a hellraiser. But I was weird.
    I was once sent home with a report card that had a single comment: “Strange behavior”
    I know this fine person.
    Lintilla and I lived between Smyrna and Murfreesboro from 1989-1992. We sold our house right before the boom.
    My family moved a LOT when I was a kid. By the time I graduated high school, I had lived 10 different places, all in middle TN.
    I saw Rick Springfield/Til Tuesday at Municipal Auditorium in 1985. Nothing like being surrounded by 12,000 hot & bothered women.
    When I was 19 and semi-living-at-home, my parents’ house was destroyed by fire. I lost everything I owned.
    In 2002 (which must be refered to on this blog as “the Year from Hell”), we lost our house to a fire. We lost almost everything we owned, except, miraculously, the boxes and boxes of pictures and momentos.
    I also had Bell’s Palsy in the Year from Hell. I still can’t whistle.
    The state of TN and the FBI have a ‘file’ on me. This was long before the Patriot act; if you adopt, especially internationally, you have no secrets.
    I have Titans season tickets.
    I am a lifelong Vanderbilt football fan. This prepared me to be a Titans fan.
    My best friend is the guy who says “This portion of Channel 4 News brought to you by…” He also is the ‘voice’ of most of the locally produced ads at WSMV.
    I have never been west of St Louis.
    Before this past summer, I had never been north of Bowling Green, KY, or east of Asheville, NC.
    I have a fear of heights.
    I have been an on-screen personality in an infomercial.

    2006 has been the best year of my life.

    There’s a lot more, but then I wouldn’t have anything to blog about, would I?

    That was fun.

  • Posted in Me. 4 Comments »