Memories Of Long Ago

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I drove through the old section of Dora, Alabama. Lots of old buildings and brick shells from a fire years ago. Fascinating for sure. I can imagine my maternal grandfather and his dad walking on the streets or sidewalks. A few pictures below. The ones in color I took on the drive. The black and white are from Pinterest. Several sites showed the same B/W pictures without copyright marks.

Speaking of my grandfather, I’ve been talking with my uncle about him a lot lately. He’s the youngest of my mom’s siblings at the age of 83. I’ve always thought of him being so cool. He is. It’s funny how we see the same man in two different lights. My uncle thinks of his dad as a stern SOB. While I grew up with my granddad as being a sweet, loving old man. My uncle finds it almost unbelievable that the man he knew being that way. My uncle left home at 18. He packed his bags one day, left with some friends for Indiana, and didn’t come back for a long time.

Anyway, here are some of my memories of Granddad.

First, not exactly my memory, but I remember my mother telling me when I was around 18 months old, I was feeling sickly and Granddad was the only one who could comfort me. Every time he tried to sit me down or hand me off to another person, I would cry and hold tight to his neck. Maybe that was why he liked me in particular. I do understand how a child can touch your heart by their unknowing preference.

When I was probably around seven (1963), we were walking to the store to get a dope. (Up to 1929, cocaine was used in Coca-Cola’s formula and since people would act dopey after drinking one, they would call it a Dope. And yes, I thought he mispronounced Coke. HA!) Along the trip, I dropped my dime onto the dirt road. He and I searched for several minutes without luck. He told me to not to worry that he had another dime for me to use. I was so relieved. And I do remember walking into the musty smelling store with him. Several old men were sitting in the back, around an old cast iron stove, and teased him–as they were laughing–but I didn’t understand what they said. The next time I came to visit, my grandfather told me he found the dime and handed it over to me. I remember being amazed. Later, my grandmother said he’d searched for days on that dirt road for the dime. What a sweet guy!

Granddad had two mules: a black one and a white one. My sister and I loved to pet them, whenever they would let us get near. One time, several of us grandkids were visiting, and Granddad decided to hitch up the mules to his wagon and drive us down to the store and back. Considering it was no more than a half of a mile to the store, it was a short trip, but we were all excited about it (some of us were city kids).

Then one time Granddad came to stay with us for a few days. I was in fifth or six grade and he gave me $20. For what reason, I have no idea at the time. You have to realize that amount of money in 1966-67 was equal to $170 today. A whole lot of money for 11-12 year old girl. Thinking about it now, that must have been about the time he was told he had black lung. He’d worked as coal miner possibly from 12 years old (the 1910 census showed at 16 he worked in the mines with two of his brothers, ages 14 and 12). He died in 1971.

In early 1971, he came to stay with us for several weeks. During that time, I would get ready for school in the mornings and would go into Granddad’s room (formerly mine), and grab my clothes for the day out of the closet. He often could be found sitting in the chair between the closet and a window that looked out over the pasture behind our house. One morning, he stopped me and said that he wanted to make sure I finished my schooling. As that he’d been the same man who told his five daughters that girls didn’t need to finish school (none graduated), my mom thought that was strange when I repeated it to her. But he also said he loved me and started to cry. I hugged him and promised to finish school, and that I loved him too and started to cry along with him. A few days later, he was placed in the hospital and then moved to a nursing home (probably hospice care). I visited once and he called me by another person’s name. The drugs they were giving him for the pain caused him to be confused. My mom said it was his sister’s name. That I may have looked a little like her. At the time, I had no idea he had a sister, no less any siblings.

I have several more memories of my granddad, but the ones above are the more personal ones. Though my uncle and his siblings have/had memories far different from mine–he’s amazed by mine–it goes to show how time can change a person. Sure, some people never change, good or bad., but I think many people do. And as I my uncle has said, his dad loved his grandchildren. To me, all of this history I’ve been discovering about my family has enriched me personally, and pushed me to reconnect with my relatives.

As a kid, we don’t understand all of the things happening around us. As writers, delving into the reasons of why people do the things they do, helps our stories. A side benefit is understanding events that happened to us or others prior or currently. Not that writers know everything, but with knowledge comes understanding.

From my research, my granddad’s dad wasn’t a nice man and had deserted his wife and kids when they were needing him the most. And my grandmother never knew her father, as he left when she was little and her step-father didn’t want her or her brother. So when my grandparents married at 17 and 20, they were two souls who never had a regular, loving family. Then they had children and it wasn’t like they could get on the internet or read a book about childcare and raising children in a more understanding, kind way. They only did what was done to them. Sadly.

It appears times changed them, and I like to think their children grew up and worked at being better parents than their own. I would say most didn’t do so bad, and besides, people agree having grandchildren is so much easier.

Granddad around 20 years old.

Love you, Granddad. Miss you.

Real Men Play Hockey

I had to use that title on my Pinterest page too. You need to check it out. You won’t regret it. Hand to heart. Anyway, last weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing the Nashville Predators play against the LA Kings. Sadly, my team lost but it was so much fun. My daughters along with my best bud, Meda White, went with me.  We enjoyed a little sightseeing. The sun came out just for us. It’s our sunny personalities. HA!

By the time we left Nashville, the girls were fans. (Especially watching hockey players exercise. LOL!)

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My buddy, Meda White. Be sure to check out her books.

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Nashville

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Getting a little better with a selfie.

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My youngest.

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Nashville — old and new buildings

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So many cute bars and shops to check out!

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Crowded, but not horribly so. Music spilled out onto the streets everywhere.

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The whole crowd. (Yes, I’m terrible at selfies. I’ve been behind the camera for many years for a reason.)

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My eldest.

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I just thought it was cool. Yes. I’m a newbie.

Exercise that!
Exercise that!

Predators
Predators

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Pekka
Pekka

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View from our room

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More Pictures From NYC Trip

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Shelf in wall at Madame X’s going up steps to Lady Jane’s Salon

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Picture at Madame X’s going up steps to Lady Jane’s Salon

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Crowd at Lady Jane’s Salon

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One of several seating areas for Lady Jane’s Salon

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Lady Jane’s Salon

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Lady Jane’s Salon

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Lady Jane’s Salon – The MC

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Another picture from the hotel. I couldn’t get over the crowds and the number of taxis.

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Stage set up with big pool for dogs to jump in. Might have been something to do with Good Morning America (building on left)

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Betty, me and Victoria – I look like I’m up to no good. Well, yeah.

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If my feet wasn’t hurting, I would’ve walked across the street and gotten a better picture. Love horses. And cops.

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Beautiful at night, heh?

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So many lights on.

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My buddy, Heather, giving a workshop. She actually made law interesting.

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Me with my 2015 RWA PRO Mentor award. So awesome!

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Almost looks like a painting.

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The ball at top is the one they drop on New Years.

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Yes. Another picture of Times Square. It was amazingly crowded.

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Times Square – buses, taxis and so many tourists!

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See!

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Random House’s cocktail party – view from window.

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Random House’s cocktail party – Some famous names on those books.

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Random House – more books on shelves both sides. I didn’t stop to look.

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Purse I bought in NYC. Love it!

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Loved the little Minion show/ad in Times Square.

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There were a few naked women hanging around (pun intended). The men would pay to get their picture taken with them. One way to make a living.

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The lights fascinated me.

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And the crowds drove me nuts.

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See the M&M character? He was HUGE!

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Don’t know what the ad was, but it was so romantic, I had to take a picture.

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Yes. More of the same, sorta.

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Look close and you can see more naked girls. They had barely there bottoms and no tops. They have red, white and blue feathers on their heads. Just painted breasts.

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My chocolate RITA (Everyone got one at the award ceremony. It tasted like Easter Bunny.)

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I couldn’t resist and got Meda to take this picture while in our cab. HELLO KITTY! GIANT HELLO KITTY that is.

Party NYC

I had a blast in New York City. Here are some pictures to enjoy.

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Sightseeing cruise with buddy, Heather Leonard.

Bar with NASCAR on one of the TVs
Bar with NASCAR on one of the TVs

 

Intrepid Navy Ship in background with planes.
Intrepid Navy Ship in background with planes.

Times Square
Times Square ahead (Heather Leonard and Meda White in front of me)

Times Square
Near Times Square

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Statue of Liberty

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Abandoned building on island

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Yankee Stadium in background with cool speed boat

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Unusual Building near water

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Ellis Island and city in background.

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Heather and my other buddy, Meda. Had so much fun with these ladies.

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Went to see Wicked. Pretty good.

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One of the well dressed men I saw in NYC. SO MANY GOOD LOOKING MEN! My neck hurt from looking.

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They did a presentation and opened this wall. Then you saw NYC from way above.

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Food! This was one of the good restaurants. Sadly, I forgot the name but it was near the theater.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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Inside One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center (this was a floor – really an outside camera projecting beneath the glass)

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View from One World Trade Center. (Amazing, isn’t it?)

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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Inside One World Trade Center.

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Inside One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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View from One World Trade Center.

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