Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jack Darnell Meets Jack Darnell

For quite some time now I have had a desire to meet the man whose name I have used all my life. Today that dream became a reality. I was disappointed in one thing, the old man had HAIR! HAHAHA!

His bird house outside his house is bright, the hills around are bright and cheerful and full of daffodils.
Jack himself proved to be a true Tennessee gentleman. His hospitality was engrossing, it overwhelmed. Jack lives in the community of Coker Creek, Tennessee. Life never ceases to amaze me, on the way up highway 68 a couple days ago, (due to a detour) Sherry took a picture of a beautiful Methodist church. That church is just 8/10ths of a mile from Jack's house.

Jack is a year or two older than I, we have many of the same interests, but the one central thing that brought us together is that we both love to write. He has published a book that is going well, called, 'The Book That Jack Built," Unique in the fact that a ten year old did the illustrations and another ten year old did the cover.

His book is about Appalachian Tales, riveting. WE purchased a few and he autographed one for Elsie Mae. WE are standing at his spring, that he has piped out about three feet. He walks 100 Yards to draw his drinking water. He said it kept up the stream even during the drought a few years back.

On the way back from the spring I shot this picture of his barn.

The 'facilities' (out house), it is comfortable I tried the seat, it is a one holer. (But Lucy there is no sears catalog, he cheats, he has real toilet paper!). This man may have the name I have, but he is one of a kind.

This is the outside canning stove, he says it is too hot to do the canning inside. (More daffodils).

I had to shoot these. Can you see the square headed nails? They are original. The house is over 150 years old. This is heart of Yellow pine. Tough durable lumber (No kidding, you say!!!)

Jack & his Publisher Yvette Warren. She was also a delight to meet and talk to. She is enthusiastic about Jack's potential and his work. I am limited to the photos I can put on here, So I skipped the good picture of the mantle. The mantle behind Jack is one solid rock. It took some Rock mason to hang that sucker.

Jack's kitchen, he joked about being a gormet cook, making toast and coffee. He says the secret to good coffee is don't add too much water! LOL Jack joined the army and they assigned him to the motor pool. Problem was he had never driven a car, so they made a cook out of him. (Side note: A few days ago my oldest son pointed out that military belt buckles were not the only type of buckle. You cannot see them too well Jack (son), but both these Jacks, who have never met are wearing military style belts, something else in common, so there!!!)

In his bed room is the manual portable Smith Corona typewriter. He says he uses a lot of correction tape. (Some of you folks may remember correction tape!)

Jack took me out to his book room, the walls are lined with shelves,that is expected by one who loves books, but this lamp, on top of the singer treadle sewing machine, caught my attention. Ever see one? I never had. Jack says it is a kerosine Alladin's lamp and as bright as an electric bulb. He said he didn't use it anymore because it must be turned off very slowly to keep from breaking the fragile wick (mantle). He said when he get's ready to go to bed he just wants to blow out the lamp and hit the sack.

Here we are back out on the front porch, Jack is graciously signing his books for us. Note the firewood and kindling on the porch.

This is the back side of Jack's house looking up from the creek. Daffodils everywhere.
No electric or running water in that house.

We said good by to two new friends. Yvette who is a misplaced (or specially placed) Cajun from Lousiana. They were displaced by Katrina, and have been a blessing especially ot Jack who cannot stop singing her praises.
He no longer uses cornhusks in a tick for a mattress (too noisy he says) so he has advanced. He also drives a car and does his laundry at a laundry mat. He keeps a cousin's horse 'cause the cousin lives in the city and doesn't have room for it.
A wonderful day. There was much more to the day, maybe I can get back to that tomorrow.
Thanks for coming by the log. HAPPY EASTER
Nite Shipslog,
My hat is off to a real American. One who is not polluting, one who is conserving and one who is contributing. Just blow out the lamp and rest well tonight, Jack.
A short interviews with Jack!!!


Paula said...

Awww this is just the most interesting story. I'm so glad you got to meet your namesake or is it the other way round?

Shirl 72 said...

That is wonderful that you met Jack Darnell.
I Cannot believe a Darnell in Tenn. I thought
most were from Ga. Love the way he lives. Maybe I can get a copy of his book. That is
the oddest thing I have heard of in a long time
Jack Darnell and Jack Darnell and both writers.
That is one for the books.


That corgi :) said...

what a fantastic experience to meet that Jack Darnell! and he looks like a wonderful kind man! neat that you both are writers and were in the service. He lives a simple life it does seem, but it looks like a good life! I do remember correction tape, LOL

glad you had a chance to spend some time with him :)

I hope you and Sherry have a very Blessed Easter!


Anonymous said...

Hey Jack...and Sherry too...what a wonderful time you guys have and are having!!!! another Jack Darnell...oh the pain of it all LOLOL...I loved all the pictures too...and when I was growing up we had a outside was called the White House...cause it was whitewashed white every spring LOL...and it had three holes...I never could figure out who the other two holes were for...cause I was usually the only one in their....LOL..and yup...sears was good reading...and ???? LOLOL...and your nice to take you to the cabin...we usually stop around Cleveland on our way back from Florida...I love Tennessee...except when we play them in football and basketball LOLOL...Happy Easter you and hugs from Ora and the Worker!!! hahahahaha

jean said...

Happy Easter to you and Sherry, I've enjoyed the trip with you love the pictures and glad you got to meet the other Jack Darnell sound like he lives a wonderful life. Take care, jean

Glenda said...

That trip up the hillside to Jack's house looks very much like the Ozarks of Missouri; the photos brought back memories of growing up on the Conrad farm. Mr. Jack Darnell's home is a wonderfully quaint old place and you captured it's essence in print and color...WOW!
Happy Easter, Glenda
p.s. we also had a Singer treadle machine and some wallpaper kinda like in his home

Anonymous said...


Rain said...

Oh what a happy post!!! With your beard and his head of hair, look out ladies, here comes JACKS! LOL...I'm so glad to read about his lifestyle, very cool! Happy Easter Sherry and Jack!!!
Take care!!!

Woody said...

WOW! 2 Jack Darnells, and both good men!!! Loved the pictures, the kerosene lamps are familiar as we have several here in the living room, the memory of the little house out back is also familiar and ours was a 3 holer, as is the memory of a Sears Catalog hanging on a spike nailed to the wall.
Hope you 2 are doing well, IT IS FINALLY WARMING UP!!!!

Sheila said...

You get to see and do such amazing things in your travels. I enjoyed meeting the other Jack, through your story and pictures. You and Sherry have a Happy Easter! Sheila

Melanie said...

Hope you and Sherry have (had) a great Easter!


Dar said...

LOVED this entry Jack, oh dear, two of ya, and both with so much in common, that's a good thing! No electricity or water at our cabin either, but no manual typewriter. I think I have to rescue the one I put in the neighbors barn for their next yard sale. The alladins lamp is familiar, I have one and Jack was right, the mantels break easily. I love his barn and simpler way of life. Who says going green was Clinton's idea. Folks been doing it forever., but today, you'd think conservation was a new thing to do.
Our outhouse is named after our township of Eisenstein...we call it The Eisenstein Dump. It even has a light, when the generator is running, single whole with real a..-wipe.
Tomorrow, I'm making a birdhouse out of an old mailbox. Love the one that Jack built.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful day you had with Jack. I wonder if there's another Darla Gruber in the world? Hmmm...I'd love to meet her if there is.
BlessYa Jack and Sherry
from WI's Dar and Bill

Fred Alton said...

I'll make it a point to meet this man soon. Loved your post about this meeting.

Y said...

What a wonderful blog you write. It's like reading a picture book. You could probably turn them into picture books without much trouble. (Sorry, I'm always looking for the business angle.)

Your write-up makes me wish we could do it all over again. Thanks for the nice plugs for Jack's book.

You and your Lady are delightful. I feel greatly blessed to have met you.

Anonymous said...

Cant get over all of the uncanny likenesses with you two!! Uncanny & wonderful!! (Candy)