Archive for July 2012
For the third time in less than a year this morning I found myself sprawled in all my glory on the floor of our apartment, a fallen blob who’s missed one of the strict rules I use to transfer from chair to chair. From bed to bed. Kerplunk. Can’t do it. Can’t get up. If I could just get on my knee and use the bed for leverage….. can’t do it. If I could just sit on my little stool and raise myself in stages as I’ve done so often in the past…. can’t do it. Soooo, CB calls 911 and gets the in-shape guys out. “Scooch up on the sheet, Frank,” they urge. “Now everybody left at once.
The sheet tore. I tumbled to the floor.
“Only my sacroiliac and all the little nerve fiber in that and neighboring communities.”
They call the state for reinforcements. For a reallllly strong sheet,
It worked, I scooched. They lifted, I am back in my chair.
Oh, no, thanks. I no longer have a need nor a desire to visit the throne room which, as I recall, is where I was heading when the butt hit the rug.
Thanks, Cincinnati firemen.
It suddenly occurred to me that with as many families as I come from down there – Moody, Smith, Mc Swain, Sutton, Hopkins, Culpepper, Hastings, and about a zillion more – we got our fingers stuck in every pie from mud pie to apple pie. And so, dear friends, I confess the battle is not to them. But to US
But even more I’m surprised how agonizingly long it takes me to figure stuff out, like Pogo (is that the correct character) told us decades ago: We have met the enemy and it is us! When I was a kid I was scared toooo death of the police, for example. My daddy sicced a beat cop on my but in front of Paxton’s Grocery in Porter Court one time because I had swiped a little bag of candy from the candy shelf. Big cop comes up and scowls and frowns and assures me in the meanest voice he could conjure that if ever he heard of my doing something like that again, my ass was grass and behind bars.
Don’t think I got to eat even one piece of that candy.
There’s another bunch of us that owns the businesses by the score, i.e., that’s is taking control of the economy around Paris. Poor Parisians. Mebbe we can get em back on the frm after they’re been in Paree?
Had I stayed in Paris instead of falling in love and running away to bigger pastures, who knows what a big guy I’d be in town. Mebbe in charge of propaganda, controlling information we give to the public to make sure those bullets they shoot at us are blanks?
Today, I could go through the roster of the Paris Police Department and the Henry County Sheriff’s office and find a gang of closer and farther cousins and such working there. Rod and Ron Frey, (Henry County Judge) Carter’s grandsons, although no kin that I can find, were practically next door neighbors and kid-buddies. I remember well the old chemistry set they gave me for Larry Grainger and me to play with and attempt to blow ourself out of Granddaddy’s “shop” – half shop and half chicken coop. Seems like lots of the Smith boys are among the constabulary around Paris, mostly from my brother-in-law Joe Frankie’s line – his mother Corene was a Hastings cousin. Etc. Etc. I’ll have to pause for more than five minutes some day and figure out just how many of us are controlling the governments and police of Henry County, TN. Have you looked back over your own shoulder? To me it’s kinda like running away from yourself every time you screw up. How the hell can you escape your own self? Even if you try real hard?
Hell, I’m even descended from the McSwains, according to cousin Johnny. Including the husband of the Librarian. What kinda pull is that? Controlling in-coming and out-going information, just sitting there with a big stampee thingee : WHAM! This one won’t do at all. BAM! Don’t know how this one made it through the postal system, but git it back out anyway you can ‘s long as it’s a fast way.
And the blood drips slowly but surely on my poncho, my once free thinking poncho.
Sez I better come outa retirement and set thangs right down there…. ‘Suppose I could get a medivac ‘copter to pick me up here in Cincinnati and set me down there right in front of where WTPR used to be, right above the Davis (women’s wear) Store and set up a purification station at the top of the states where the boys and girls and playboys and playgirls and horny toads used to have deep and serious conversations by the minute. A dollar a minute, or it might been fifty cents back in ’60. And cleanse this town of all of its MOODYs; you know you can’t trust a one of us, not yet, anyhow
First he sobered up, then Sam Garrett, got up, dusted himself off and walked away from my mother’s blood which he had spilled. July 14, 2012
March 29, 1947 my mom dressed me in a playsuit – I remember it was pink but since I was 4 at the time, I’m almost certain it was not – made sure my sister Peggy and my brother Jacky were presentable for a Saturday night in Puryear (TN), picked up 3-month-old Ronald and herded us to our pickup truck where my dad was waiting. The chauffeur. On the way to a simple farmer’s family evening out at a small town – Puryear had a popularly of fewer than 400 – Sam Garrett smashed his car into the rear of our truck, killing my mother, seriously burning my dad, injuring my sister, and breaking my little brother Ronald’s wrist. Drunk as a lord. Had been stopped and let go by sheriff’s officers, then let go on his promise to drive directly to Murray. We were a barrier to his promise. Manslaughter, they said, until the grand jury refused to indict Garrett charges. Absolved him of all charges. As if my mom had never died.
Dad sued for $75,000. A Henry County jury awarded Dad, Peggy and Ronald $9,000! In damages.
I don’t think my dad ever had a peaceful night between mom’s death and his own and that includes his two intervening marriages.
Sam Garrett was a native of Hazel, KY. He was on his way from Paris to pick up his wife in Hazel when he drove through my mom.
Furniture power. He owned several furniture strews in Memphis.
My dad was a sharecropper. Did not own his own farm. A family is what he had. Back from WWII. Until the furniture man came roaring down U.S. 641, filled to the gills with …. with …
It is said he was later hospitalized with his own injuries from the accident. Don’t know how serious. Probably shouldn’t comment on that, eh?
He died at the age of 62 in 1954, so he must have been 55 when he became a murderer. 55 is an interesting number in my family. Both my dad and my brother Jacky died at 55. I had thought for many years that would be my fate, but here I am.
And I didn’t know what happened to him until today. Today I’m 69 years old and change.
Like they were squashing a bug.
I can’t begin to boil down this anger of mine. Although I mustn’t forget to thank some people for helping me find out before I died. My brother Ronald, always a helping hand – thank you. Doy Webb, husband of my cousin Barbara, daughter of my mom’s brother J. W. Sutton, and, Henry County’s most spectacular genealogical spelunker Stephanie Routon. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
July 8, 2012. Gramma Martha Hopkins Annual Birthday Party Reunion. For me from afar for all my tomorrows. (Hopkins Reunion)
What if you had a party and nobody came?
Or. What if THEY gave a party and YOU couldn’t come?
The Hopkins Reunion last Sunday in Paris, Tennessee, home of my heart and many who reside in my heart. I didn’t go. I could ‘t. I blame my COPD. Too many hoses, too many machines, too many visiting hospice norses assuring me I’d be in deep doo-doo if I left town and got into trouble out of town because they don’t cover that ground?
Thank goodness, brothr Ronald and niece Sandra took a lot of pictures.
Thank goodness Wanda gathered signatues from everyone which she included in that beautiful card I received in the mail yesterday along with the card and note from Vita.
Sad as I am about losing such a chunk of my life, I am so lucky to have so many friends, so many family members who are also friends.
No cornbread. No black-eyed peas. No blackberry cobbler.
The face of our reunion is changing dramatically. Aunt Maxine died short weeks ago, the oldest of Grandmother’s children,, leaving only Aunt Margaret.
Uncle Willie’s kids seem to have stopped coming after the deaths of their spouses and/or siblings.
Forty showed up Sunday. It looks like there’s a brand new field of beginning seniors who will take up the staff of memory keeping for the Hopkins family.
Hot as hell. Usual for this the hottest year…so far…in the history of weather record keeping in the state of Ohio! Perhaps in the entire state of the bemused.
But we fought the desert winds and we won – actually we simply refused to wear out, for once.
There were five of us. Willie and Bobby and CB and Jude and me the fle!
Tromping into the Panera shop just outside the Dayton Mall this morning.
I lost two Scrabble games to Willie and Bob. Willie won at least one and Bob won at least one. Jude played and played and played. But not Scrabble (copyright til you die).
With Wee-Willie, it’s always christmas. Yesterday, too. Jolapena chorizo fresh from Vermont to go with those maple filled cookies. Yep, back from another jaunt to her second home in East Enosburg. Spousal unit John and she are slowly (over time, not speed) dragging their teepee to her old someplace across the street from the church up there, where her throne sits woodenly between two narrow walls, waiting. Mostly. For its prophecy also to be fulfilled.
(July 4, 2013) Blast! Zowie! Pow! Krak! Kaboooom! Batman and Robin clash over Paris Landing (TN) on July 4th; some of you mistook their aggression for celebratory pops of pure patriotism
One thing that hasn’t changed since I was a child. Fireworkds. First, sparklers which would do no more harm that burn your fingers, or eyes or arms or your house. Couple years older and we were eligible for cherry bombs which were a real man’s firework: blow open mailboxes, scare the hell outa chickens, other domestic animals and young children who had sense enough to know those things were dangerous. All the way up to the atomic and hydrogen bobs and rocket boosters and such which make the exciting shows of our youth so insignificant. The same people who passed laws forbidding the use of celebratory firecrackers that might injure our young boys and girls, are today themselves playing with the fireworks which, once touched by a flaming match, would destroy civilization, leastwise what we often miscall civilization. Happy Birthday, Uncle Sam, our Frankenstein, but he’s ours, by dabbit!