Tuesday, January 29, 2013

There's no Place Like Home

Wouldn't it be nice to travel, without all the hassles of missed airline connections, mixed up hotel reservations etc...and never leave your home?

I did it over the weekend. It was wonderful!

My good friend and fellow CHS54 classmate, Sam Salamander and I took a trip from Falls Church, Virginia to my old home town of Charlotte without even getting up from my chair. Sam, who some say is not a real person..(but I know better and I can prove it by showing you his name in the 1954 Key Club Directory! That rumor got started just because Miss Odom always answered his phone.)

 Anyway, we got the idea from Manti Teo. If he can meet the "Love of his life" in cyberspace, then Sam and I ought to at least be able to take a cyber trip down to North Carolina without any problem.  And thanks to Google Earth...it's as simple as firing up the family mouse, and clicking on down.

Make sure it's one of the fairly new versions of Google Earth, either #6 or #7 (which if you haven't played around with that software lately, it really is spectacular!)

We got to the city limits in practically no time and the first place we wanted to see was our old high school. It's still there and the face lift they gave it a few years ago is holding up nicely. One thing I didn't see, or smell, and wondered if it was still there was Sugar Creek. I certainly wouldn't miss it if it was no longer there but I'm curious as to how you go about removing a creek.

We swung by Elizabeth School to see if survived its big 100th birthday celebration in good shape, and it had. I took a look at that vacant field where the Detroit Lions were playing football that day I saw them during recess. I'm surprised that it looks pretty much the same as it did back then.

It looks like they are building a new Alexander Graham Junior High School. This wasn't a very good angle, but what I saw doesn't have the "character" that the AG I remember had. But at least, they have a basketball hoop.

The good old Visulite Theater is still there (behind the tree), although Anderson's Restaurant is gone. Since my Mother worked I ate a lot of my meals "out," I was a regular at Andersons.  One year, she arranged for me to have supper every night at a "boarding house" (It was in one of those great big old houses on Hawthorne Lane...that are no longer there.)  Those were very memorable evenings. That boarding house had a number of Elizabeth School teachers, who also lived there. It was a real warm, family style experience. Everyone ate at 6 o'clock at one great big table in the dining room.  That's where I learned the meaning of the expression, "boarding house reach."

We went by "the old Stanley's Drug Store" which is where Starbucks is now. To the right of Starbucks is where the A&P grocery store was. They used to grind your coffee right there at the check out counter while they were ringing up your purchases. The aroma was fantastic. The A&P house coffee was called Eight O'clock coffee...and it's still around and sold in most grocery stores, but A&P stores no longer exist.  To the left of Stanleys was (I believe) the Colonial Grocery store.

I was happy to see that the rails were still outside where the original Stanley's stood. That's where some of Charlotte's finest
"drug store cowboys" once sat (with their rumps on the top rail and their feet on the bottom one) smoking cigarettes, coughing, spitting and acting cool. I once saw Grady Cole in Stanleys sitting at a card table telling stories to a small crowd of locals who had gathered around. As I recall, he seemed to have some kind of "tick"...that caused him to blink excessively. I was just a kid, so perhaps I just imagined that.

Right around the corner, just 30 or 40 yards is...a Caboose.  That's right, a real old time Southern Railway Caboose!  No doubt the Charlotte TV stations have done features about it (I know I would if I was still there). So you probably know more about it than I do. As I understand it, a CHS graduate named Drew Ahearn put it there. I assume he lives in the house next to the Caboose. I'll bet I'm one of the few people who remember that he once won the Charlotte Soap Box Derby back in the 1940's. Also, I'll bet you don't remember that our classmate Max Evans won it when we were in the 9th grade!

Sam and I decided to go on down 7th Street and veer off on Weddington Ave and see if Wilson Snell's house was still there.  That was my favorite house!  It's the oldest and I think the only remaining "farmhouse" left in the Charlotte city limits!  I used to go over there and "study" with Wilson.  I use that term loosely, since Wilson and I would usually work on more serious things before we would get down and do homework. Things like trying to figure out what the heck was a reasonable facsimile of a Ralston cereal box top...so we could send it in to receive a Tom Mix decoder ring.

We'd work on that for about an hour and then one of us would look up at the clock and declare, "Wow, we've been studying for an hour!  Let's take a break."

I told Sam that it was about time for us to get back home, but I wanted to visit one more place. It's just a small road off  Queens Road that ends at Wilkinson Blvd about where that Manor (?) theater is/was. It means nothing to anyone else, but is etched in my mind forever.  I remember with joy that summer the day  the Polio "quarantine" was lifted...and we children were finally allowed to leave our own back yards! Because of the Salk vaccine, Polio was no longer a threat!  That news was so welcome that  the first chance I got I hopped on my bike and just rode, peddling like a madman!   The fact that I was FREE...FREE...AT LAST..... didn't really sink in until I had traveled about 5 or 10 miles and turned right off Queens Road and began coasting downhill on Henley Place (on the right).  That was a moment, complete with picture, that is permanently etched in my mind.

The Google version, shown above, is only a reasonable facsimile.

(Sam and I had a nice trip back to Virginia. I drove the mouse and Sam Slept. Oh, before he left he asked me to send his best to all his old classmates.  So, "Howdy Yaw'll"....from Sam Salamander.)


Monday, January 28, 2013

Barbara Ann McCall

By Jerry Gaudet

Barbara Ann McCall
We're so sorry to learn of the passing of our CHS'54 classmate, Barbara Ann McCall.
Her Obituary was published in the Charlotte Observer on January 26, 2013

Barbara M. McCall CHARLOTTE - Barbara M. McCall, 76, of Charlotte, passed away on Thursday, January 24, 2013, at Universal Health Care of Concord. 

She was born in Charlotte, on March 11, 1936, a daughter of Charles B. McCall and Pearl Mullis McCall. Together with her parents she was predeceased by her husband, W.C. "Bill" McCall. She is survived by her children, Amy Hudgens (Rick), Jennifer Priebe (John) and Kevin McCall (Kathy); five grandchildren , and three great grandchildren. Mrs. McCall was a longtime member of Cornerstone Baptist Church, and took great delight in attending their Sunday school classes. 

The family will receive friends on Monday, January 28, 2013 from 12:00 till 1:00 PM at McEwen Funeral Service at Sharon Memorial Park, 5716 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC 28212. A service to celebrate Mrs. McCall's life will be held at 1:00PM in the funeral home chapel. Interment will follow in Sharon Memorial Park In lieu of flowers memorials made to Cornerstone Baptist Church, 8947 Albemarle Rd, Charlotte, NC 28227, in memory of Mrs. McCall would be greatly appreciated. Notes of condolences and encouragement may be left at McEwenfs.com.

For clarification, Barbara's deceased husband was a McCall as well, thus doubling her last name rather than changing it.

We have the following contact information:

The Family of Barbara McCall
3225 Tiverton Pl.
Charlotte, NC 28215

 Incidentally, we had four female McCall classmates and two of them married McCall husbands.

Barbara    Joyce  McCall    married a Bennett
Barbara    Ann    McCall    married a McCall
Carolyn    Sue    McCall    married a McCall
Joan    Elizabeth   McCall    married Craddock


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Another Cat Story

Here's an amazing cat story I found on the internet :

Bus riders in Bridport, Dorset England often have an unusual companion on their way to and from work each day an adventurous, 15-year-old cat named Artful Dodger. Dodger, a beautiful orange tabby, regularly boards the bus at the stop near his house and takes a 10-mile round trip, much to the amusement of the bus passengers and drivers.

 Sometimes, Dodger even hops on a lucky rider's lap for a cuddle. The bus drivers and regular passengers know Dodger, and always make sure he gets off at his stop at the end of each journey. Some passengers even bring Dodger food and treats each day.

 Dodger's owner, Fee Jeanes, said she was extremely surprised when she discovered the cat's secret life. One of her daughter's friends said she saw Dodger on bus 10 miles from the family's home. Fee tells the London Telegraph, "I couldn't believe it and panicked. I got into my car to go off and look for him and then at that moment the bus pulled up near our house and lo and behold he got off.

 She soon found out that wasn't the first time Dodger had gone cruising the city by mass transit. "That afternoon I saw Dodger climb on board another bus and I rushed to tell the driver. I was shocked when she told me Dodger was always on there and liked to sit on the seats because they are warm from where people have been sitting.

The bus company, First, told the Telegraph that they don't mind if Dodger hitches a ride with them, saying, "Given this cat is elderly we suspect it would be eligible for free travel, perhaps a bus puss, if such a thing existed."

Friday, January 25, 2013

I Don't Know Nothing 'Bout Art, but...

...neither do most people.

That's why hoards of new visitors are flocking to Boston to see for themselves the priceless collection on display at MOBA.  (The Museum of Bad Art)

The paintings are considered "priceless" because the paintings never had a price on them. The museum was able to acquire most of them by retrieving them from the trash, or picking them up for nothing at yard sales.

Directors at MOBA say their time has come!  They believe that the country has matured enough now to focus on "fairness" and equal outcome.  After all, why should only "good artists" get to show their stuff in museums?

Hence the large crowds of admirers.

Here's a small sample of what you'll see at the museum:

The Athlete

This is a crayon and pencil on canvas
acquired from the trash in Boston by Scott Wilson
  The Artist is unknown.
 It's a startling work, and one of the largest crayon on canvas pieces that most people can ever hope to see. The bulging leg muscles, the black shoes, the white socks, the pink toga...all help to make this one of the most popular pieces in the MOBA collection.



 11X14 acrylicc on canvas

And you thought you were having a bad day!

Charlie and Sheeba

 Charlie and Sheeba
Artist: Annoymous
18" X24" oil on canvas

No longer able to tolerate the incessant
barking, Charlie the chipmonk used a 
band-aid to tape Sheba the sheepdog''s
mouth shut before posing with her on the 
picnic table.   

Inauguration 1961

And Last, but not least,

Mana Lisa
by Anonymous
12" x 16"
Donated by A. Schmidt, Vancouver, Canada
A cross-gender interpretation of the daVinci classic.

Mana Lisa's nose strikes nimbly, offsetting the dialogue between the 
foreground and profoundly varnished background.

I'll continue to do my best to keep you up to date on the cultural happenings of our time.

Next week a look at the country's latest sport AND TV Reality show

Extreme Ironing!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Moo zik Lovers

If you haven't seen this YouTube video of the "New Hot Five" performing in a live outdoor concert (from which their picture on the right sidebar of this blog was purloined) take a look, you, like the almost 6 million others who have watched this , will enjoy it very much!

And I don't say that to butter them up or to churn up any musical controversy, I'm being completely honest. Believe me, if I thought their act was cheesy, I would say so!

They milk this for everything they've got!




If it begins with a commercial, click on the box in the right hand corner that says SKIP THIS AD

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"We All Got a Hillbilly Bone"

bone-ba-bone-ba-bone-bone"  -song by Blake Shelton

There's no getting around the fact there's a lot of truth to many of those good old country (we used to call them Hillbilly) songs.

The current number one song is one that really touches my heart called "You're Gonna Miss This," by Trace Atkins.  I tear up just thinking about it.  He had another hit a while back that was very similar called "Don't Blink."

They're both about love; the love of our children our spouses, our families...and how the little things of life bring us our greatest happiness...and great sadness when their time has passed.

 Thumbing through scrapbooks the other day made me realize how many of those specific little things I had forgotten.  For example the Mother's Day card that my daughter made for our first cat, Sylvester; and the note she wrote about how much she liked Church.

( "I am NOT going to Church tomorrow!")

But I don't need anything to remind me of that phone call I got years later telling me that I had just become a grandaddy!

My little girl had just presented me with TWO healthy grandsons. Twins!

As far as I know there was no history in my family or Linda's, of twins but I was told that in the past,  twins often didn't survive so they were rarely spoken of. That was possible.

They'll be high school seniors next year. Watching twins grow up was absolutely fascinating, especially when they look almost exactly alike, although they are not technically "identical twins."  She swears that she never had any problem knowing which boy was which.

Although, I'm almost positive that I heard her address one of the boys one time,  "...now stop doing that, whoever you are and play nice with your brother."

And Speaking of Twins

Kian and Remi

21-year-old Kylie Hodgson of Nottingham, England, is half-black, half-white. So is her partner, 19-year-old Remi Horder. Back in 2006, they conceived twins. And when the twin girls were born, one was black... and one was white. Remee is blonde and white; Kian is black. 

Since both Kylie and Remi are mixed race, when the two eggs were conceived, the one that became Remee inherited all of the white genes from the family, and Kian inherited all of the black genes. 

The odds of this happening are at least a million to one. 


James and James
In 1940, identical twins were born in Ohio and put up for adoption at the age of 3 weeks. Different couples adopted them, 40 miles apart from one another. Both couples were told that their son had had a twin whom had died. 
What happened after was a series of ridiculous coincidences... and parallel life choices. Both boys were independently named James by their adopted parents. Neither knew he had a twin. Both were great at math and bad at spelling. Both had childhood dogs named Toy.
Both worked as sheriffs. Both bought light blue Chevys. Both took vacations at Pas Grille beach in Florida. Both liked Miller Lite and Salem cigarettes. Both got migraines. Both married women named Linda. Both divorced their Lindas and remarried women named Betty.
Both had sons who they named James Alan, and James Allan. Finally, at age 39, a record search reunited them. And when one of the James' divorced his Betty, his brother James served as his best man for his third marriage, to a woman named Sandy.

So before I sign off for today, since we bagan today's show talking about great music (Lordy, Lordy, I miss those days as a young DJ...) I'll leave you with a couple of classics from the waxworks all time hit parade:

"I Keep Forgettin' I Forgot About You." 

"You're The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly"

"I Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself Or Go Bowling"

and finally,

"If  your Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me"

See you tomorrow, same time same station!  -Ed