Saturday, February 05, 2011

Great Day in the Neighborhood

Today was a fun day. I got a letter from an old 401k plan that I thought I'd closed out years ago. As it turns out, I'd left a few hundred dollars in there and it's been collecting interest. It's not enough to retire on-no wait, I'm already retired. Is America a great place or what!
We received an invitation to go to a local restaurant for an early dinner this evening and we accepted. We got there early enough that the owner gave us a personal tour through the restaurant/museum/roadside attraction. I've heard of this place for years, and we actually had dinner there once, but we didn't really get a chance to SEE the place before today.
You could tell the owner had Irish blood and when we asked, he smiled broadly and began to weave us a story of his family and how they come to be in Oakman, Alabama.
The old family photographs hanging on the walls all had interesting stories behind them. 
We sat down in front of a stone fireplace to talk as hickory logs snapped in the warm fire and it felt good to be alive.
After a few hours there, I realized there is a killer interview, and story that I will write about the Bull Pen in the near future. I also think it would even make a very good short documentary.  
There's an old fable called acres of diamonds that tells of a farmer that dreamed of owning a diamond mine. He traveled all around his home searching for diamonds but could find none. He became frustrated and sold his farm for pennies and moved away. The new farmer went to the stream to fetch water and found diamonds on the stream-bed. As it turns out, the first farmer had been living on acres of diamonds.
When we find a place like the Bull Pen in Oakman, I sometimes feel like that first farmer. We've been all over the place looking for places to see, good food to eat, and interesting people to write about. Now that we've finally taken the time to look,  we're finding interesting places right under our feet.


  1. You've got to love the long lost and forgot about money. My wife contacted Alaska and found I had a savings account being held for me...30 years later. A quick letter, some identification and my wife cashed the check. Funny - glad you had a great day and found some long lost treasure...good eats to boot

  2. The restaurant looks interesting and fun, and Jilda looks so pretty. Glad you found a good story.

  3. How interesting!! Love old places with lots of history and stories behind them.

    Your wife is so beautiful too! Glad you accepted the invitation and had a good time!! ~ Coreen

  4. I have enjoyed haing a fettle through your blog!
    regards john

  5. First you garner unexpected honors, and THEN you find long lost money?

    You, my friend, are leading a charmed life. Good for you - enjoy!

  6. how come the irish have so mutch to do with abroad i know the americans celebrate st patrics day we dont really learn about the irish in history when we were at school even thou its just next door to us litrly


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