Friday, October 31, 2008


Tonight we got our first trick-or-treater in three years. He was our nephew Jordan from next door. He was dressed up like a kangaroo. He was about ten minutes into his Halloween adventure and he looked like he was already over it.
You really need to be a few years older to grasp the full gravity of FREE CANDY. There is no better buzz than to walk around in spooky clothes slamming down hands full of candy.
When you have a bunch of kids you have a lot of bartering going on as the night progresses. I'll give you five Smarties and a Tootsie Roll for four MaryJanes. Are you going to eat that candied apple? "I'll give you all the licorice in my bag." "I'd rather snort a fireball!"
If you want to mainline some candy, I recommend Pixie Stix. They are pure sugar with a little bit of food coloring to make you tongue turn blue. Pound for pound, there is no confectionery substitute. A dozen of those things and you have a quality Halloween buzz.
Oh sure, if you hit some high falutin neighborhoods you might get some Godiva or Ghirardelli chocolate but sometimes they try to put some healthy treats on you. When it comes to that, you cut your losses and move on to the trailer parks where they know how to treat kids.
Anyhow, I hope you all have a great (and safe) Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I'm not sure it is possible to pick a more beautiful week to take vacation. I didn't go anywhere but just worked around the house doing some much needed chores.
I've also been setting up places where I can sell my book. I have submitted the draft copy to Books a Million. I have no idea what impact it would have if it does get accepted. There is some small print there about returns that look a little ominous to me. Yes, we'll take 10,000 copies.....then six months later, yes Mr. Watson please give us the address to which you'd like the books returned. We sold three copies. Please make the check payable to..........Yikes!!! I need to tread slowly here and get advice from someone who's been here.
This weekend is my great nephew Stone's birthday. He was born on Halloween. He asked if he could have his party at our house. He wants us to spook up the barn and scare the dickens out of his friends. We told him we could do that. We'll hitch up the wagon to the tractor and do a hayride, a bonfire, and the whole nine yards.
I went down on the back 40 and cut a load of hickory today so I'm moving slow right now.
Happy Halloween Eve.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wrong Numbers

We get people who call our phone number by mistake all the time. Usually I catch the mistake quickly and send the caller on their way. Once in a while I’ll get someone who behaves badly as if it were my fault they fat-fingered the number.
“Who is this?” they demand.
“I don’t know, I can’t see you,” I say. This is the ‘Spanky response.’ Spanky was one of the Little Rascals in the black and white TV show from the thirties and forties.

“This is John Doe,” they bark, “who is this?”

“That’s easy,” I say with a grin, “you just told me you’re John Doe.”

At this point, they either start laughing or slam down the phone. Either way, I consider it a victory.

I’ve received a few wrong numbers that were memorable. Several years ago, I got a call one evening from a woman who sounded a little like my mother and after a few moments of tentative conversation, she asked about Ole Red.

At the time, we had a dog named Ole Red. He had been mangy and half starved when he wandered up into our yard and somehow into our hearts.

“How is Ole Red,” the caller inquired. I thought this was an odd question coming from my mom. She is not a dog lover, and I didn’t realize she knew we had a dog named Ole Red but I gave her an update on the beast.

“Well, he’s laying here on the floor wanting me to scratch his belly,” I reported. “He chased a cat all afternoon and he’s about half dead,” I explained. “He’s a mess right now; he smells like a wet rug, he’s about blind and half deaf too,” I said. “It seems all he does these days is sleep and pass gas. He’s getting so old, I’m afraid we’re going to have to put him down,” I said with a tinge of sadness in my voice.

There was a long pause on the other end, and then, “Are we talking about Red Uptain?” the caller asked in a panic. (The name was changed to protect the innocent.)

When I realized she was talking about a person whose name was Red, I began to laugh uncontrollably. I could tell the woman on the other end was getting upset until I finally managed to tell her that I was talking about our dog Red and that she must have the wrong number. Once she realized that we weren’t going to put her friend Red Uptain down, she began to laugh too.

Just this week, we got another wrong number. Jilda answered the phone and the caller asked to speak to Rick. She handed me the phone and the caller launched into “when are you bringin’ my truck home? I need it this morning!” “Who are you trying to call?” I quizzed. “Rick Smith” the caller said in exasperation. “Why, is he foolin’ around with my wife,” I joked, “I’m gonna get my gun and check under the bed.” The next sound I heard was dial tone. I wanted to tell him I was pulling his leg, but apparently, he figured it out and took a dim view of my telephone shenanigans.

Life is short, you have to get your kicks where you can. The next time someone calls your house in error, I recommend that you say, “No, she cannot come to the phone, she was abducted by aliens.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's a Choice

We've spent this evening peeling and preserving apples. We put six gallons of apples in the freezer and we haven't made a dent in the batch.
Yesterday our niece Alesha came over and got a few bags of apples and she stood and watched us pick for a while.
How old is that tree? she asked. I told her it was twenty eight years old. "How can you be so sure," she asked. Because, I said, we planted it the first year we moved up here.
We spent most of 1980 in Mobile putting the town back together after Hurricane Fredrick wreaked havoc on the city. That fall we moved our trailer from a small trailer park in Sumiton to the property where we now live.
I had been working for the phone company for a few years at the time but we still didn't have a lot of money to spare. However, we knew we wanted fruit trees on our land so we scrimped and saved and bought a batch of apple and peach trees. We both knew it was an investment.
It took several years for the trees to start baring but we've enjoyed fresh fruit almost every year since.
We live in a quick fix time. People want to lose weight overnight without diet or exercise, they want to take a magic pill to make them feel better. The simple fact of the matter is - there is no such thing as a quick fix.
Life is a series of choices and the quality of your life depends upon the choices you make. You can kick back on the couch and have a few beers each night, or you can take a walk, visit the gym. You can go to the doctor and get on pain medicine or go under the knife to treat back pain, or you can go to a yoga class routinely and fix most back pain before it becomes chronic. It's a choice. You can go to the store an buy apples from who knows where and take the chance of ingesting some kind of insecticide, or you can go out and plant a tree and enjoy it for the rest of your life. It's a choice

Monday, October 27, 2008


The temps are dropping into the low 30's tonight so the gig was up today on the apples. I had been letting them get riper by the day but I worried that the cold weather would make the mooshy so I got out the eight foot step ladder and picked a boatload of apples.
Tomorrow we'll be getting some ready to put in the freezer, we'll can some, dehydrate some and make a few pies.
We also picked that last picking of the peppers and tomatoes. Jilda always puts up a bunch of jalapenos each year. We have kinfolk that love these as Christmas gifts. The pepper sauce is also good on the turnip greens that we planted a few weeks ago. Yum. I love the fall.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thinking of a Friend

There is a song on Jackson Browne's first record called "A Song for Adam" and it is one of the most touching songs I have ever heard. It's about the loss of a friend, and every time I listen to that record, it reminds me of my friend John Elliott. Now Adam commits suicide in the song and my friend John died young of cancer, but I easily identify with the sense of loss.
John Elliott was the son of one of Alabama's greatest congressmen, Carl Elliott. Carl was close friends with John and Jackie Kennedy and during a turbulent time in our nations' history. Like his father, John was a remarkable man.
He had a booming baritone voice that could be heard across a room over a din. Some of my fondest memories revolve around John.
He and another friend Skip, arrived in our yard about 6:30 one Saturday morning. He laid down on the horn a quarter mile away from our house and it was still blowing as his wheels crunched on the redrock of my driveway. I thought it was some kind of early morning Bible School parade.
I was still in my PJ's and I walked out on the porch to see what was causing all the commotion. "Let's go" John bellered. "Go where?" I asked tentatively. "To the Yacht Race," he said as if he had explained this a dozen times. "Where are they having a yacht race John?" "At Dolphin Island," he said is exasperation as if he were trying to explain something to a stubborn child.
Meantime Jilda had stumbled out of bed and walked out to the porch to find out what was going on. Gradually the fog began to clear in my mind and I understood what he was saying. Each year they have a Ragatta at Dolphin Island which is south of Mobile, Alabama. That's about five hours away if you don't stop too much.
John bellered again, "let's go!" as if we'd agreed to this trip months ago. In fact, neither Jilda nor I knew anything about the race, but we but instantly understood that the 'JohnTrain' was about to leave the station and we decided quickly to get onboard.
We threw on our bluejeans, grabbed our swimsuits, and an overnight bag with a change of clothes. We threw the bags and the guitar in the trunk and jumped in the back seat. He jammed on the accellerator and burned rubber as if we were already late.
Jilda said "John we didn't eat breakfast." John tossed a sixteen ounce Budweiser over his shoulder and said "good, have some ham and eggs!"
I could not begin to describing this remarkable day we spent with our friends at the ocean. It involved a beautiful summer day, lots of good seafood, music, and stunning scenery that cannot easily be described with words.
Each time in conjure up this memory, it makes me both happy and sad. Happy for having enjoyed my time with John, an sad that my friend is gone and we'll never have an opportunity to have that kind of experience again.

A Song for Adam
3rd verse
Though Adam was a friend of mine, I did not know him long
And when I stood myself beside him, I never though I was as strong
Still it seems he stopped his singing in the middle of his song
Well I'm not the one to say I know, but I'm hoping he was wrong

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fun Day

It was rainy and blustery all day yesterday. We decided to drive up the Huntsville and spend the night so that we could be in Lynchburg without too much trouble this morning.
We headed out before dark and still traces of rain sprinkling the windshield but by the time we made it up to the Tennessee River, the clouds were beginning to part and the sun showing through the clouds was an incredible golden color. The trees are just beginning to turn and that light shining on those trees was stunning.
This morning as we ate breakfast, it was totally overcast and looked as though the day would be a repeat of yesterday but by the time we headed north they began to disburse and the sun came out strong.
We went on stage at 10 a.m. and Lynchburg was buzzing. There must have been ten thousand people walking through the square sampling the BBQ and all the other goodies that were on the grills.
The crowd grew steadily all afternoon and I have no idea how many were there. It was wall to wall people.
After our set we walked up to the Jack Daniels welcome center and had some lemonade and chili with the Tennessee Squires and afterward we headed back to the square to look for lunch.
Our host Paul Jones, who is "The Old Time Radio Show" bought two racks of ribs.
We found a place in the shade and ate the ribs with our fingers. I was in heaven.
The folks in Lynchburg know how to put on a shindig. We felt blessed to be a part of it.

Friday, October 24, 2008


We are playing the Old Time Radio Show in Lynchburg, Tennessee tomorrow. It may be crowded because it's also the annual Jack Daniels BBQ Cook Off. Last year it was televised on the Food Network. Not sure if it will this year and even if they do, there's no way of know if we'll make it on screen but maybe we will. After all, one of The Overalls' most requested song is one we wrote entitled BBQ. Here are the lyrics:

I've got a cravin for something fine
Don't want burgers and I don't want fries
Don't want chicken and I don't want fish
Nothin fat free I want a real man's dish
Not just any old thang will do
I want some BBQ

A slab of pork with lots of sauce
You can get it like that down at Archibalds
A half pound of pig on wonder bread
I'm in heaven and I ain't dead
Nothin' else in this world will do
I want some Bar-B-Que

I feel sorry for them folks up North
They don't know nothin' about cookin' pork
They can grill steaks and they can cook hot dogs
But when it comes to smokin' hogs
Them ol' yankee's ain't got a clue
'Bout Bar-B-Que

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Yesterday I broke up a small plot in our gardent to plant some turnip greens. As I wrestled with the old tiller, I could smell wood smoke off in the distance. Things have gotten dry the last few weeks and I worried that wildfires would haunt us again this fall.
My apprehension eased a little when I watched the forecast last night. The weatherman said we're in for a 'change in the weather'.
I had to work late again tonight and I headed for the truck just before dark. The sky looked gray as a gun barrel and I could smell rain coming from toward the south. As I drove home drops of rain hit the windshield of my truck now and then.
As I sit here writing, I can hear waves of heavy bands of rain on the roof and it sounds like a good round of applause. The temps will drop down into the 40's tonight and by Sunday, we'll be scurrying for our long johns.
I'm ready to kick back and rest these weary bones.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Memory Lane

I thought I had six blank pages at the end of my book and I did not want to waste them. I put all the columns I wanted in there and it was my intention to fill those remaining pages with pictures of our friends, family and pets. So I spent days going through boxes of photographs looking for those gems.
Going through old (and new) photographs lifts the spirits and sometimes makes you sad. Sometimes they touch your heart. Unlike moving pictures, video and old film, still pictures capture an instant in time. One person in the photograph may 'steal' the moment with a smile, a funny face or odd look while a look on the face of someone else may reveal a deep sadness that makes you wonder what was going through their mind at that particular moment.
When I look at pictures of myself, I don't look like the same person. I guess in many ways, I'm not the same person.
This picture was taken when I was in the Army in 1971. Twenty years old and a long way from home. I'm not sure what was on my mind at the time but I looked homesick.
As it turns out, I had just the right amount of stuff to fill out the book so all the picture surfing was for naught.....well, not really. It's always fun to walk down memory lane.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I'm feeling a little giddy just now. Fatigue will do that for you. I got a call this morning before 5 a.m. and I've been on the call all day long.
Not sure what it is about computers that are in the dirt but people get really excited. I've had calls from bosses I didn't realize I had. It's good to know they care.
I think I'll end tonight's entry here because I just saw an alien out of the corner of my eye. Those old flashbacks come at the oddest times.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hard times

When the going gets tough, the tough get mauled - in the stock market. Financial markets have been like a roller coaster lately. I shredded my 401k statement this week without ever looking at it. I’m not sure my heart could have taken the strain.

Sam Walton didn’t let ups and downs in the financial markets bother him. He waxed philosophical when he said, “It’s only paper.” Of course, old Sam had more money than anyone else on the planet so he could afford to take the high road when the bottom fell out.

My mama, bless her heart, taught us how to weather hard times. For instance, when you don’t have money for gas, you should use the sneaker express. “Walkin’ ain’t crowded,” she explained. This is good stuff. You save on transportation costs and get exercise too. What could be wrong with that?

Another recommendation she offers is to reduce food costs by eating a lot of butterbeans. I think we had some kind of beans every day when I was growing up. The good thing about beans is, if you don’t eat them all, you can throw them in the fridge and they are just as good the second day. Mama didn’t waste a lot of food. Only when leftovers started growing green stuff off of them would she consider throwing them out to the chickens and dogs.

Here is something Mama preached - baloney is as good as steak when you’re hungry. I’ve only been really hungry a time or two in my life, but by George, she was right. I always keep a few pounds of baloney in my freezer in case times get tough.

Here’s a unique way to save a bundle on clothing for teens today. Instead of paying high dollar for holey stonewashed jeans, you can buy regular blue jeans for the teens. Then put the kids to work until they wear holes in the knees. That way their jeans are like an investment. As they wear more holes in the seat, they become more valuable. A good pair of worn out jeans is like a vintage guitar or a bottle of fine wine.

There are a lot of folks around Walker County that know about hard times because they lived through the Great Depression. They know what it’s like to go hungry and they learned to survive. Everyone had to use their heads and they had to work. It would never have occurred to these folks to waste anything. My mother-in-law, as long as she lived, reused aluminum foil time and again. When she used a piece to cover a bowl of squash in the fridge, she washed the foil when the bowl was empty. I don’t remember her ever tossing one of those plastic margarine containers. When she used all the margarine, she washed the container and stored it under the sink. When she had leftovers, or sent a piece of chocolate cake home with you, out came the plastic containers.

For years, my mother kept her money in a coffee can in her freezer. She used banks later in her life, but she never grew to trust them completely.

I think we as a country have grown fat and complacent. The younger generations have enjoyed many years of prosperity so coming to terms with hard times is uncharted territory for most of us. The fact is, things could get a lot worse before it gets better. We may all have to learn to do more with less. I think Mama could teach us a thing or two.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I have a few blank pages at the back of my book so we decided to fill them up with old pictures of our pets, our family and friends.
I've written about our German Shepherd Duke in the past but I don't think I ever posted a photo of him.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Jilda and it just happens to have ole Duke in there too.
Another good shot I found going through the the box of pictures is the one below of my niece Samantha and our dog Blackie.
Blackie is still living and spends most of the days sleeping under our kitchen table.

We've always had dogs. My mother says it's because we never had children, and maybe there's some truth to that. Lord knows all the dogs are spoiled worse than the first grandchild. I also know for a fact that our dogs are treated better than some children we've known.

We're going through the book for the final time this evening so I'll be turning in the final edit tomorrow. The next step is to have the printed copies in hand. I'm so close I can smell the barn.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Blue Dot

Most of the people that know me, know that I am a liberal. As one of the very few liberals in Alabama, I catch a lot of flack. That's OK, I can take it. You cannot be a blue dot in a red state and not have a sense of humor.
On average, I get around five political jokes per day. Ninety percent of them are from the conservative point of view. I read them and if it's funny, I laugh. But more and more I'm receiving a lot of really harsh emails that are outright lies. A simple check on Snopes shows that they are untrue but people still mass mail out this garbage.
I've gotten in the habit of checking Snopes and if the email is untrue, I copy the link to the verification and I do a Reply All. I've made a couple so mad that they removed me from their distribution list - boo hoo.
I'm not sure how the election will turn out but my hope is that whoever wins, they can bring some sanity back to this country. God only knows we could use some.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I don't do a lot of cookin' but what I do cook is quite good. I usually stop somewhere and pick up dinner on Friday because it's a long day for the spousal unit.
I worked from home today and decided to cook "my thang" which is chili. I have won awards with my chili. I took 4th place one year and second place another year in the Brushy Creek Chili Cookoff in Jasper. The competition is hot (pun intended) at the chili cookoff. You see all kinds of chili. Chili with potatoes, chili with shrimp, possum chili, vinison chili and I even saw chili with carrots and celery. I steered clear of that concoxion. Placing in the Brushy Creek cookoff was good but I never brought home the gold.
The other thing I can cook is cornbread. So tonight, I whipped up a batch of my special cornbread to go along with the chili.
Jilda says she could smell the cornbread baking before she opened the front door. She ate two bowls of the chili and gave me the 1st place award.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Photographic Record

I was looking through some pictures to include on the last few pages of my book and I came across what it probably the earliest photo of Jilda and me. We were standing knee deep in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Panama City, Florida. It was the summer of 1969. Her family always went down in June and spent a few weeks at the Quinn Cottages which was just behind the old Seahorse.
Our first date was the night I graduated - May 24th 1968. I started to college and to work later that year and bought my first real car.
The next summer, I drove to the beach to join she and her family for the weekend.
In the photo, both of us together probably didn't weight much more than a bushel of potatoes. Had the sun been directly behind us, I have not doubt you could have seen right through us.
We have a plastic tub that we store under our bed and it contains the photographic record of our life together. I'm guessing there is a hundred thousand photographs in there.
Most of the photos are snapshots of our friends, our pets, our family and the places we've been.
Flipping through the photographs brought a smile to my face but there was also a tinge of sadness. We've lost a lot of friends and family through the years. You never realize when you're with someone that it may be the last chance you have to tell them how much they mean to you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Final Draft

I got the final proof of my book today. It's that last chance to edit, correct, or change the content. When I turn it in this time, I'll have a printed book within about two weeks.
This has been a very interesting process. During the initial submission, I went over columns with a fine tooth comb and corrected what I thought was all the errors. I had a friend go behind me just to make sure I had caught everything. He found additional mistakes that had slipped by. I was surprised.
When I got the first draft of the book printed last week, I had my nephew James go over the manuscript and he found even more errors. I couldn't believe it, but when I looked at the little squiggle marks, it was hard to dispute.
I've got a day or two to take one last look in search of the elusive error. I really wish I had paid more attention in English class.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


It's so easy to get out of the habit of doing right. There is massive construction at work so contractors have blocked off half the building. It was once so easy to go downstairs and walk around the inside of the massive building for fifteen minutes and get a good exercise. Since they blocked the passageways, that is no longer an option. You have to walk outside. Since I don't have a shower at my desk, I choose not to walk outside during summer months.
The solution is to exercise after I get home. That wasn't happening either. So I went several weeks without daily exercise and all of a sudden, walking became a pain in the rear. I got out of the habit and I began to feel it in my energy level and my general health.
To seal a habit, you have to do something over again until it becomes second nature. If you quit things before you finish, that too becomes a habit. Before long you are adrift like a ship with no rudder.
I got back on the exercise wagon last week and I've stuck with it. Soon I'll have redeveloped the habit and I will look forward to my walks. Next, I'm going to re-habit practicing guitar nightly.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I’m old enough to know better, but I did it anyhow. I went to the Sumiton Frog Festival last weekend, and I got BLAZED. I could have put on sunscreen or simply worn a hat but I did neither so I paid the price.

Jilda and I worked at the Frog Festival on Saturday and it was smalltown life at its best. We howdy’d up with old friends, ate BBQ, peanut brittle and some of the best fried catfish I’ve ever put in my mouth. Our musical group, The Overalls, played at 10:30 just as the autumn sun started to bear down.

I remember thinking as we were playing the third song of our set, “My, the sun is getting a little warm.” Next thing I knew, I looked like Mr. Lobster.

Jilda was much smarter (as always), because she slapped on the sunscreen before we left the house. She chided me this morning as we drank our coffee. I would have protested had it not hurt too much to turn my head. It brought back memories of my very first sunburn.

I was about 7-years-old the first time our family went to Florida. My dad didn’t get in a hurry so we made a number of stops along the way. One stop was at a little roadside attraction on Highway 98 in Florida. They had dried starfish, postcards, and mountains of seashells. A salty breeze blew out of the south and it felt good on my face.

We stayed in a small cottage on the west end of Panama City Beach, and I got enough sand in my shorts to build a sandbox in our backyard at home.

My dad went on a half-day charter fishing excursion and brought back a cooler full of grouper and amberjack.

The sky was overcast that first day, and we played at the beach until it was too dark to see before heading back to the cottage. Mother cooked up a batch of fried fish, and we ate ourselves into a stupor.

The next day, much to my dismay, we went on a sightseeing trip and spent most of the sunny day in the car. All I could do is look longingly out the window at the emerald water a few feet away.

The next morning we hit the beach at 10. For a while, we looked like the families on the postcards. However, after several hours in the gulf coast sun, we all looked like we had spent time in a microwave. Everyone was ROASTED!

The last day of the vacation was not a happy day for the Watson family. All us kids were in varying stages of exquisite pain. My mom was not sympathetic because she too was fried.

Needless to say, we cut the vacation short and spent the next six or seven hours in pure sunburn Hades. Blood curdling screams ensued if one of us kids brushed up against another. Ominous threats came from the front seat.

We finally made it home but my mother and older brother Neil had big honkin' water blisters forming all over their backs and shoulders. My sister and I both have complexions much like our dad's and while we were in pain, we didn't shed our skin like a snake. That one trip to Florida was enough for my mother.

When Jilda and I went by to see my mom this afternoon she asked me how I got burned. I told her I'd been at the festival all day without sunscreen. I remembered this vacation story and asked her if she'd like to go to the beach. She shook her head adamantly. I could almost hear her say, "I’d rather stick my head in a fireplace."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Some Days Are Diamonds

I packed a lot of stuff into this weekend. I had a great deal of web work for the school alumni website and the bluegrass website, as well as some work on last minute graphics for my book. We did manage to have a laid back Sunday afternoon with some of our best friends.
Jilda roasted a couple chickens and broasted some potatoes. We had salad and fresh tomatoes. For good measures, we picked some apples and she made some kind of apple pie with cream cheese with cinnamon and whipped cream on top.
I snapped a picture of our Rooster Clyde. He's only about four months old now, but he's learned to crow. He starts about 5:30 in the morning. Jilda says if he starts any earlier, we'll be having him for lunch next Sunday.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Workin Late

I'm making this update from the tailgate of my pickup down on the river. Glenn Tolbert is picking on the stage of the Blackwater Bluegrass Festival. I've shot quite a few photo but there's act before I take these weary bones home.
It was overcast most of the day here, but it was still quite warm. The Overalls played a gig for the Walker County Arts Council.
We've got company coming tomorrow. Our friends Tom and Judy along with Brenda and Danny will have dinner with us and we are excited. We haven't had the opportunity to spend much time with them so tomorrow will be a treat.
Have a great Saturday night.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Calling it a night

It's been one heck of a day. I left early to leave the final edit with my printer this morning and have not slowed down since.
I do the website for Blackwater Bluegrass. I stopped there first and shot pictures of three bands. After that I drove to the high school to shoot a football game for the high school site.
I'm fighting some kind of sinus gunk and taking antibiotics that kills gnats and mosquito's that fly nearby.
I'm about to call it a night.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I woke up this morning at 2 a.m. and went into the kitchen to fetch a glass of water. I noticed our motion lights were on so I stepped to the garden door to take a peek to make sure no one was making off with my old lawnmower.
I looked down toward the shed but I didn't see movement. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw something much closer to me. I realized that it was a huge owl perched on the rail of my deck. I guess he noticed movement behind him and twisted his head 180 degrees to look me over.
Apparently I wasn't a threat (no wonder, he looked as big as me). I could almost hear him saying, "I'll go for the eyes, humans are easier to whip if you peck out their eyes." Anyhow, he sat around for a while longer surveying the back yard for mice, rabbits, or small dogs. When he was satisfied there was no dinner inside the fence, he flew away.
That is one magnificent creature. From the size of him, I'm betting he's the one that's been here for years but I have no way of proving it.
Even though he could probably whip me in a fair fight, I consider him a friend and he will never have an issue with me.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


As I reflect on these pass few days I'm trying to take the long view. Sam Walton described it best when he said, "It's only paper." Of course Sam had a lot more paper than we do. He could afford to lose some.
My friend at worked warned me not to check my 401k balance but I didn't listen. He heard me gasp and walked around from the next cube to make sure I wasn't having a conniption. All I could do was shake my head.
Like most Americans, I'm hoping this crisis will settle down after the elections. Hopefully whoever wins will get some smart people working the problem and come up with answers that don't add fuel to the fire.
I check the Gallup Poll website daily. What I'm seeing there is interesting. Who knows what the numbers will be on election day but it's quite clear that Americans are mad. Only 9% of those polled are satisfied with they way things are going. The Gallup is showing Obama moving out to a 11 point lead over McCain. If these number hold true to November 4th, will Obama win? Who knows.
I think what these numbers are saying is that America is ready for a change and they will support who they think can positively effect change. Only time will tell whether the votes will fall.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Scrambled, Smothered, Covered......

Some days I feel like a short-order cook at the Waffle House. My phone starts ringing before the rooster crows and by mid day I feel as if I've run a marathon.
You tend not to get bored. The instant I started fading from the task at hand - bam, the phone rings and there's another fire to put out. I think my mind actually enjoys this activity but when I sit down at day's end, it still wants to race like a greyhound on diet pills.
I think Jilda and I need a real vacation. Each Sunday, we pour our coffee, sit on the couch, open up the paper and devour the Travel Section.
Ever since I saw the photo from my friend Granpappy's trip to the Canadian Rockies, I've been hankerin' to go. I'd also like to stop by Montana and stomp a few trout.
Jilda's had her heart set on going back to Ireland. I must say that's an appealing destination as well.
I'm working on my exit strategy on the day gig, but if the stock market continues in the wrong direction, I'll be working when I'm 90. I can just see it now: let's have that computer scrambled, smothered, covered, and spanked.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Self Discipline

I've been slacking lately. When I first started the blog it was not uncommon for my entries to be 500 words long about a wide range of topics. Now it's become a journal of sorts. The main reason is a matter of time. I sometimes spent an hour and a half coming up with a topic and refining it until if flowed off the page.
The nature of my job has changed. I'm also working on the book project, writing columns for newspapers and working on music for a new CD.
One of my buddies said to me, "why don't you cut down on the number of entries you do each week." That actually makes sense, but deep down I know my nature. Missing a day here and there might soon develop into a pattern, then a habit, and the next thing you know I have to force myself to sit down and face a blinking cursor on my screen.
Self discipline is one of the hardest things to master. I've known people who would be millionaires if they had a little self discipline. It's more important, in some ways, than talent and creativity.
So, until I get a few things off my plate, the words may be thin, but it is my intention that they be constant.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Small Town Life

I'm still buzzing from the Frog Festival. The organizers, one of which is my lovely spouse, put in a great deal of time to make the event successful.
We arrived yesterday at 5:30 a.m. and vendors were already arriving to set up booths. By 7 a.m. the pandemonium began. I had my doubts that all the trucks, vans and SUV's would be off main street before the gates opened, but they were.
Shortly thereafter the aroma of ribs cooking over an open fire. One booth was cooking up funnel cakes and another, fried catfish. I walked around shooting pictures for the Frog Festival website. The guys cooking the catfish called me over to test the first batch of fried catfish. I started to give them my Visa card, set up camp, and eat myself into a stupor but I had pictures to take.
After The Overalls finished performing it was lunchtime so Steve, Jilda and I headed up the street to get a BBQ rib sandwich. We got a wad of paper towels and sat in the shade on the grass and ate what might be the best ribs I've ever eaten. The only thing that could have possibly made it better would have been a nap after stuffing my face. But alas, I had to take more pictures.
All in all it was a beautiful day. I will include a link for you to view the pictures, but I also wanted to include in this post what Jilda wrote, in a letter to the editor, about the event.
A Good Ol' Day in Sumiton
by Jilda Watson
Saturday October 4th, 2008 was a good old day. If you are of one of those folks who find themselves wishing for and dreaming of the good old days, if you long for the day when you walked down the street and your neighbor smiled at you, when it was safe for children to walk the sidewalk, if you dreamed of a town where the people were not embarrassed or afraid to show their love for God and country, where soldiers were remembered and respected, where young and old, people of every color and faith, well to do and not so well to do, walked the street without fear, where BBQ, fried fish, fried pies, and snickers and fresh lemonade flowed like milk and honey, where dulcimers, candles, wind chimes, and frogs of every kind were made with much love, where the music and talent seemed to ooze from the streets themselves, then you should have been at the 2008 Frog Festival in Sumiton, Alabama. For the third year, there was a place in Walker, County where time stood still, a place where we could all look back in a few years, and remember a good old day.
Click below to go to the website.
The Frog Festival

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Frogged Out

We got to the Frog Festival at 5:30 this morning and it was down right chilly. By this evening, it looked like I has showered in my clothes. I did have some of the best BBQ ribs I have ever had. Yum!
We have another gig tonight. More tomorrow. Happy Saturday.

Friday, October 03, 2008


The sumac is the early bird of autumn leaves. I first saw the crimson red leaves almost a month ago. The next thing you notice is the golden rod. There is something about the light in early fall that makes the yellow seem luminescent.
Yesterday afternoon I was driving down from the Interstate, towards home as the sun was setting in the west. I turned a curve and the sun was glistening through two huge ironwood trees. Ironwood leaves turn the most incredible color of red/orange/yellow that I have ever seen. I'd love to have a car that color.
The wild daisy's are also showing out now. I plan to shoot some pictures tomorrow.
It's been a rough week so I'm calling it a night. Y'all have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bad Moon

Today has been a blur. I read where there is some kind of odd planetary alignment. Not sure if that's the cause, but it seems like I've been swimming upstream all week. I've had weired problems at work. My friends have all been cranky. Jilda says that everyone is "out of sorts". That seems to happen now and again.
Oh well, my pager is going we go again.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

One Step Closer

I'm in the final edit stage of the book. I have the draft copy and I asked my nephew James, who is a wizard with words, to look for errors. I've read these columns a gazillion times and thought they were close, but he found more errors than I expected.
I'm really appreciate his help with this.
I'll turn this edited manuscript back to the printer this week and they will print the "final draft" which is more of a last minute format review. Once that is complete, the printing begins.
So I'm one step closer.

Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required