Sunday, August 28, 2016

And then there was Jim

Anchor, the mascot, was a good memory from Valdese. The #2 mascot was Jim, a huge crow. Fall and spring when all the windows were open at school, Jim would fly to a window sill, stand and look in. At times (very seldom) he would venture inside and hop on an empty desk. After a while it was just an accepted diversion. Watching the light glisten off his shiny feathers was neat as he would cock his head to the side as if listening to the teacher.

Students would throw scraps, from snacks, to him during recess. I don’t remember anyone getting him to eat out of their hands, but many tried to coax him that close. Both mascots seemed to enjoy recess time.

The past times for students at recess and lunch was hand ball (the ball was a Dixie cup filled with paper and sorta formed a waxed paper ball. The idea was to keep the ‘ball’ in the air as the kids batted it back and forth. The ball was never ‘slapped’ hard, everyone tried to get it to the opponent so it could be returned, mostly hitting it underhanded. The idea being to keep it up as long as possible.

The other was called hand slapping. One guy with palms up the other with palms down on top of them. The one on the bottom tried to be fast enough to ‘slap’ the other guys hands before he could move them. It was fun to watch, the fast guy always left the slower guy with red topped hands.

Being a small mountain school, honesty was expected. Theft was VERY seldom. During my last year there was a rash of thefts. Pens, pencils change, costume jewelry and watches. Some taken while guys practiced football or baseball. At times things were tense with accusations being thrown between the town kids and mountaineers.

Valdese had a lighted ball field. When an electrician was replacing a light high on one pole, the thieving mystery was solved. All the missing items were discovered in Jim’s nest, Jim our crow was the thief. One of the ‘funniest’ things of the school year. The incident spread like wild fire, everyone was laughing.  It was a big relief to staff and students.

Sister Shirl Graduated at VAldese. The only person in my family to have a HS diploma.  She was a smart kid, I do not know what happened to her? ;-)  Don't throw stuff Shirl, it was a joke!!!!!
Nite Shipslog

 The 1953 MG was built while I was in Valdese, I never heard of the MG until about 1965, but it became my dream car. I never did get one.  But I still like the looks of the car.

Maybe this Christmas?  Sherry?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Anchor, a Good Memory from Valdese

Ideas, some fly by me and I don’t have time to catch them. I just missed one. But yesterday, as I sat behind a stopped school bus, I thought of School!..... (I attended 4 different schools growing up......) 

At the bus stop, I saw parents who had driven their kids from a subdivision to the highway. None of the houses could have been a mile off the highway. Cars and trucks sat there as the kids boarded the bus.
 (All photos from the internet)

Much is said about the changes in lifestyles of this day and time. I was never ‘fortunate’ enough to ride a school bus. We always walked to and from school no matter the temp or weather. I have friends who say they were never ‘fortunate’ enough to be close enough to ‘walk’ to school and HAD to ride school bus. LOL. (Is that one of the ‘grass is greener’ thingies?)

The distance we walked was at a few steps, up to 2 miles. I wonder the determining factor on riding school buses or walking. 

The parents driving their kids’ one block to catch the bus?  But there was never any apparent danger of walking, except maybe a scrap or two between hot headed boys during the walk, or staying out of the road since many places there were no sidewalks.
 (I lived about 100 feet to the right of this photo)

It is HOT but these kids will have A/C on the bus and in school. I remember all our schools had one wall completely lined with windows. They were always open in the summer heat, some rooms had a huge oscillating free standing fan.
  (Faculty minus Principal and coaches)

My mind eases back to the BEST school I ever attended. Valdese, NC. A small mountain town. The toughest teachers I ever had, looking back they were also the best. There were two mascots at the school. One a huge St. Bernard named ‘Anchor’ (I never knew if he belonged to anyone or where he ate). He was allowed to wander in and out of classrooms, kids would pet him as he passed their desks. At times he would spend a whole class time with us. I am not sure if Anchor ever had a bath. Some of us would spend recess untangling his long hair. He enjoyed that.  There was never a more loved stray dog. Anchor was also the only St. Bernard I remember seeing in the flesh. I still wonder about him.

 In Valdese, One step put me on school grounds. Our house bordered on the HS property. I never saw Anchor during summer break, but he was there first day of school. Only 3 years in Valdese, but I met lifetime friends and have great memories.

I hope to talk about Jim tomorrow night the sneaky mascot.
Nite Shipslog

<<<<<<<  >>>>>>>>>>>
 These cars, 1952 & 1953 were new when I attended Valdese jr & HS
The 1951 Buick, dad owned one of these.

Friday, August 26, 2016

I don’t look good naked anymore, but Bewildered I can be.

I don’t look good naked anymore.  I think that means I have gotten Old. Folks tell me I must live under a rock.  I don’t remember seeing that statement until about ten years ago when I attended Rose and Vondale’s 50th anniversary. They had a large picture of him on the wall with that caption under it.

I think that applies to my thinking, I just don’t think good in the woods anymore. I was walking a day or two ago and became bewildered. Davy Crockett was once asked if he ever was lost. His answer was, “No sir, I have been bewildered for a few days at a time, but never lost.”

The trails weave and crisscross all directions on this 200 acres. I walked upon this lake unexpectedly. I had been day dreaming, planning repairs and fixes on a house. I stood, took a picture, turned and jumped a big deer, I didn’t even raise the camera, and I just watched that white flag disappear down the trail.

  I continued on the way it seemed should be back toward camp. In 5 minutes, I was back at the lake, but not the same spot. So I took another picture.

 It didn’t seem I had walked in a circle, but I checked my watch and continued, marking my trail as I always do. In awhile The path widened to a road and  I came to a gate with a residence on the other side. Some ting wrong here!

I checked my watch, I had been walking 10 minutes since the lake. So I reversed and followed my tracks in the sand back to the lake. I then took the safe route and retraced myself, back by the lake again and out of the woods in 30 minutes.

Today I made the same route, this time paying more attention. Ah ha, there are TWO lakes about the same size.  Well that solved some of my bewilderment.

I looked it up even listened to it, the song"I don't look good Naked anymore." I know the musicians on here could sing it, if they stooped that low!
Nite Shipslog

PS: Mary Deqli Esposti, New commenter here on Shipslog  Thanks, I am enjoying your comments, along with the rest of the gang, even if you are a smart aleck, LOL (at times) It is great to have you here.  I think you must be a sweetie! I tried to say thanks, but alas could not figure how.  SO THANKS!

PS2: You must strike when the iron is hot they say, both  houses we liked now have contracts. Yep it is a sellers market here in Florida!


The 1956 Pontiac with continental Kit

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A day out

We took a long ride today. One of our favorite things, a day in the car together.  Sherry and I are together nearly 24 hours a day EVERY day.  I love it, she ‘manages’.  Nah, really she loved it too. WE dropped by the title company today and Kirsten had the check for our earnest money.

I never stop getting addresses of ‘cheap’ houses for sale and since I just happened to ‘bring a list along’ my sweetheart said I haven’t been to Merritt Island in a while, let’s go. (When we first moved to Florida our mail service was in Merritt Island).

Three were trailers, 2 were dumps not worth the $44K they were asking. One got an ok beside it. Then to a HUD (government owned). Ah, a nice block home in a very nice neighborhood. I got out and was greeted by a young 80 lb playful bull dog.  A neighbor came running over apologized for the dog but gave some insight on the house. It needs some structural work, one corner has sunk about an inch. There are no cabinets in the house but it is a nice floor plan. The RV will squeeze in. But the price is $71K. I wanted to see if Kathi was interested in working the house, but it is a long way away

On the way back toward Deltona, my girl was deep in thought. She spoke, how about offering $60K, we agreed to think about it.  I haven’t contacted Kathi about it, we are still unsettled on it.

We looked at 2-3 in Deltona, and re-looked at one our bank has repossessed. It too needs interior work, no cabinets in it either. The work needed on the two that are interesting is my kind of work. I want them both. Hahahaha

But our time in Florida for now is down to about a week then we have to go back to NC. Sherry’s 60th HS reunion is coming up. She and her friend Evelyn say they graduated when they were 8 years old.  They say that some folk find it hard to believe, but that is their story and they are sticking to it.

On our trips, we reassess our lives, we always come up with, “We are two of the luckiest people in the world and we manage.”

I guess that is good I read this somewhere:

You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to manage!

Nite Shipslog
PS:  We will not work on houses for a few weeks, but that won't stop me looking on the net. LOL


Boys managed to sneek a few drinks off of the truck back then, but today I am afraid the driver might lose half his load.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

House hunting UPDATE

Well the last one we made an offer on did not work out. When the Realtor said, “The Oslo street house is out.” My girl said, “GOOD.”  I gave her a dirty look, but it didn’t faze her.
   Oslo was nice fromthe front

Kathi, the realtor, understood what Sherry was saying, there was a lot of work to be done on the house.  BUT that is what I was looking forward to.  Not everyone can look past a disaster and see beauty. Not everyone can look at an unfinished home, even if it only lacks the floor covering, and see a beautiful home.  Sherry could see the finished product there at Oslo Drive, but is sorta like ‘others’ in my family who think I am over the hill. LOL
 (A little different at the back)

When I think ‘over the hill’ my mind wanders. I was once remodeling a home and the owner said, keep an eye out, there is an OLD MAN in overalls who keeps looking at the fence you are installing.

In deed the old guy did show up. When I approached him I realized who he was, Mr. Powell local businessman and builder in Gastonia. One of the few Cadillac dealers in the USA who owned every car on his lots, no program cars. He had built the subdivision where we stood, and at one time owned all of the 125 homes outright.

I introduced myself and we talked a little he was about 85 and sharp as a tack. Some folk thought he was about as rich as God. He had kept the house next door for one of his grandsons. He was checking the property line, to make sure I did not encroach.

There are a lot of stories about Glenn Powell. One or two personal ones. But the one that sticks out is from my BIL Elmer and dickering for a new Caddy. They got down to $50 difference. Elmer said, “Mr. Powell are you going to let $50 stand between you and the sale of a new Cadillac?”

“No offense Elmer, but I would let $5 stand between me and a sale, I really don’t have to sell that car today, I’ve learned someone will buy it tomorrow.”  Elmer did not buy the Cadillac he went to Glenn’s competitor and got a Lincoln.

So in the housing search, this is not our first rodeo, I know something else will come up. I like to think, all things work together, when you try to be one of the Good Guys!

Nite Shipslog
The Chrysler Cordoba.  Every time I see this car I think of Ricardo Montalban 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Welcome to the Real World, Jack, BUT my feelings are still hurt!

Life has been very good to me. Concerning my new adventure, writing, I have had GOOD constructive criticism from proofers of my books. Every one of them spot on.  But even they at times apologized beforehand. LOL.  Bonnie (of Organic Discourse) was the first to really bore in on my ‘errors’.  She was spot on and I learned a lot from her. It had a lot to do with me only knowing her via the internet. She guided me thru ‘Finally Love’ and the book was a success.

My Sherry and friends Evelyn and JoAnn have also corrected me and justifiably so.  So, after 9 books, I decided to shoot for a larger audience. An audience outside friends, who wouldn’t hurt my feelings for anything.  Most folk who read my books, know me, which makes a big difference.

Once, during my AOL Journal time, The Shipslog was ‘Journal of the week’.  That was during the time we first starting hiking the trail. WOW what an honor. Comments sky-rocketed. BUT when my book on the AT was published, I wasn’t ready for this:
 Amazon, yep, Amazon recommended my book “The Appalachian Trail”. WOOPEE!  However when I opened up to a new audience, I was not ready for my FIRST ‘negative’ review”

 ZERO STARS (what? I am used to getting reviews from ‘friends of FIVE STARS!)  Then it got worse……………
Quote: “I will never forgive Amazon for recommending this book (?) It was a complete waste of time and money, etc (and it got worse).” OUCH! Boy that hurt!

There were a few more negative comments, I did actually get some 5 stars, LOL (mostly from friends, of course).

But I sat back to think. I have read negative reviews on books I have enjoyed. Not all of us enjoy the same authors.  But in this case I do understand most of the negative comments (after I cried a little. LOL).

When anyone thinks of a hike on the AT they research and buy books that will help them understand the hike. We did.  Most folk are solo hikers and are interested in the day to day needs, I wrote a short novel and included actual ‘happenings’ on the trail.  It was not a book of advice for hiking the trail.


Many hikers are young and would never think of using vehicles to aid in their hike that would be ‘cheating’, or ‘blue blazing’, as the hikers would say.

My first feelings were, ‘I would like to refund these folks money.’ That is the honest truth, I still would like to. Since I cannot do that, I have to take into account that these folk took time to EXPRESS themselves, they could have just cursed me under their breath and went on. But they took their time to say how they felt, good or bad.


So I says to myself, ‘put on your big boy pants, suck it up, and if you can improve from the comments do it.’ Of course that was after I quit fussing and crying!  LOL

Nite Shipslog

PS:  You gotta love Bonnie, She posted this on a forum we follow:

Well, you've hit the big time when you get 

complete strangers to review your book.

*************   ************
 Ever feel like youare driving the top one, in a race with the one below?  
Life is good!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Biding our time

Here we are a few miles from the beach but have been too busy nursing a knee or traveling to check on homes for sale.  Sherry has been walking about a half mile then I continue for another mile and a half.
 The first half mile:
A nice fountain in the park.

I'm not crazy about these plants what ever they are, They are both striking but too much for me.

This is our home or two weeks.  We like it. I will drop off my girl here and continue into the sand, she fears the loose sand anymore.
This is the long white fenced entry road, I stayed to the side on the grass and sand.
 Basically the only color I saw was these purple berries.
 I really liked this huge rock it is about 4' high and 8' long with various holes, so I wonder what made the holes. Must have been water.

 I love palm trees.  They always amaze me withstanding the many hurricanes that hit Florida. Again, we are seeing some beautiful Cumulus clouds. Below is the entrance of the park, My walk took me out to the road, Old King's Road South
Finally I walk thru this massive live oak Hammock. Filled with 'bearded trees', a term I have only read from Rick W. ('course he has a bunch of odd discriptions!)

 I became interested in ant hills, these dudes ain't from NC. These aren't HILLS. As a matter of fact they ain't hills, they are inverted.
 The one above was active. Some dude was inside kicking sand out. The work seemed to much for the ants I know. I asked, but got no answer.

 There is evidence here that there is some Georgia red dirt hidden beneath this white sand.

The walk is nice, but it is hot of course. 

Nite Shipslog

1964Pontiac GTO