Ramblings from my dad


Dad is home now but has spent the last 20 years in embassies and on station around the world. Follows are some of his musings

This story has no theme, it is just a memory of some great men and women that I had the pleasure of knowing for just a short while. They had famlies and friends that miss them, just as we miss our friends in our daily lives. Iraq had the stigma of bringing people from across america together to try and do what they could for our country." A memory, and thank you" to those that never went back home alive. It was a 130 degree day that Ed walked into my life. ED like hundreds of other special mission people would go out and sleep in the city, or desert at night to try and get information that would in turn save American lives. I would pack him a nap sack full of everything I liked, and hoped he would like it to. He would thank me, hug my neck and head out. His words would be the same" Bobby if I see you in the nex two mornings I have made some money, if I dont see you, you take care. Ed came back about 3 times and then he never came back again. Men from the elite branches of service was hired by our government to help in special operation to keep all of us safe. Dr. Bombay a quiet quick super Doc was there to band aid hurt places and to keep the prayer meeting going in his clinic. He said now remember if we have to bring patience in during the prayer meeting I will need all of you guys to help me. I really didn’t do very well with blood, but I said yep no problem. You don’t find many docs that has a schapel in one hand and a bible in the other…well Dr. Bombay did. One day there was a going away party, and just then Bombay was called away to a mass shooting, he came back with blood on his coat and rejoined the party. Bless his heart. One day at a camp in afghan, my friend look around the outdoor fire pit and saw some familiar faces that were with us in Iraq. We inquired where is so and so, maybe I was to nieve, A friend came by and said these were the people killed in the suicide bomb. I started to cry, these were the ladies and men that were meet everyday in Iraq. They had played horse shoe with us. You never know when you will leave. But while I am alive I want to say THANKS TO THE FAMILIES OF THESE BY NOW FORGOTTEN FRIENDS. THEY ARE AS IMPORTANT AS ANY PERSON IN WASHINGTON AND DESERVE THE RESPECT OF THE IDIOT FLAG BURNERS, AND WAR PROTESTERS. Thanks to donna, jimmymary, and a host of people that were there, and we all became friends for a little while…

Meat, mary Jane's and musings

The trip back to yesterday. This pastThursday my cousin Linda and I crawled into a time machine and traveled back in time to 1956. The machine worked like it had just rolled off the assembly line. The first stop was the Hardy Autry Cementary. The indented areas on the ground revealed the grave site of our kin the American Indian all the way up to our ancestors who encountered General Sherman as he ravaged his way across our territory. If you closed your eyes you could see the horses and wagons making their way across the very plot where Linda and I stood. The yesterday of their fighting and survival was our Today of providience. It took a few turns of the time wheel, but we were off in no time flat to the Baines Pint to the very farmland where Linda and I suckered tobaccow and mashed tobaccow worms. The new barns of yesterday had now become the old rust colored and vine covered relics of the past. We could feel the good times we had back then dripping over our now older bodies, but still playful minds. Old Black river, which was young black river back then seemed to be inviting us to jump in for a swim. I would have, but Linda is kind of scared of snakes, and since I always try to obey her…we didn’t go swimming. Finally the time machine sputtered and stopped at an old oak tree which 68 years ago gave shade to our farm house with a tin roof which made the rain sound like music as it danced and dripped off the edge. The yard that now has weeds was once the playground for My cousin Mickey, Linda, my mom and myself to play ball. That little red rubber ball with a chunk bitten out by our dog Jimmy is no where to be found. I guess if you were to rate our fun that day it would be a ten. I wish my friend Terry Smith could have been with us. You better crank up your Time Machine and go back and visit the past with your cousins while you are alive, because one day the morning glory vines want drip their glory any more. Enjoy your family and never be silent in telling them how much you love them.
To all my cousins…I love you.

Should I buy this plumbing kit?

Enjoy life before liife becomes no more. There was a time when corn cobs and rubber balls excited us. Hitting rocks with a tobaccow stick, and ridding tobaccow stick horses. We left the worry to our mom s and dads. There was a time when we walked in mud puddles and squashed mud between our toes, and we didn’t die. Good times were expected back then. As we grow up it seems to be expected of us to become more mature, but you can mature your self to death. Enjoy somethings the establishment says you can’t enjoy. Tell a clean joke and laugh, take the aggravations of life and stick a piece of bubble gum over them. Pull yoiur shoes off and go barefooted, and laugh at anyone that thinks you are crazy. God even called Herod a silly fox. Don’t let you life be legistated by those who appear more spiritual. God made stars to be gazed upon while you hold you girlfriend or your wife’s hand. Flowers and chocolate are for precious times with your loved one. Be a child and be happy for the things God has given you. And kep a merry heart, because God said a merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Stop complaning about the election, God will take care of that . Go have some fun before the elements begin to melt.


You probably don’t know Jennie Sue, you should, so I will tell you a small legend of her. Jennie is a real figment of my wife’s imagination. Figments that she would tell our children as we travelled to keep them from jumping out of the car. Jennie Sue was born Juvimber 18th sometime between Monday morning and Wednesday night in a cabbage patch somewhere close to the Baines Pint. Jennie’s mom was probably one of the most famous women that had children; her name was Miss. Bonnie and her husband was called Mr. Clyde. As soon as Jennie found out her mom and day were wanted by the police, and just about all the bank owners, Jennie decided to run away before she got wanted.
And boy, did she run away…she ran through the bushes and she ran through the brambles, she ran through the places even rabbits couldn’t run through. She ran from New Orleans to the gulf of Mexico without taking a rest. Jennie was only 8 years old at the time, but she was strong. She could pick up 9 buckets of freshly laid eggs, and 9 setting hens at the same time. Jennie was also sorta big for her age. She wore a size 12 shoe and a size 67 dress.
Right before Jennie ran away, her mom and dad took her to school. Her mom was afraid to leave her by herself, but her dad told her mom not to worry about Jennie, cause Jennie could whoop all 17 youngens in her class while drinking her milk. Well it’s Jennies
bedtime. Tomorrow she srarts digging fishing worms.


That is one of the only positive things that I have seen happen to Washington DC…in a LONG time.

SO, I ain’t complaining at all.


My dad used some foreign laptop with speech to text features if you wonder about the weird spellings. I’ll continue if any find this worth reading.




These are amazing thanks for sharing.


A stashed memory.
In memory of a special young lady, Jeannie Robinette. Meet Jeannie in Hopewell Va. Jeannie had a rare heart disorder that had served her with 12-14 heart surgeries. However, the surgeries and her haunting health condition did not stop her from attending church, she was always faithful. She sat on the 5 pew from the front, and was always so complimentary, and considerant. Finally her struggle for life ended, God closed down her heart and opened up a door in heaven, and Jeannie entered through the door. She is there now, but she left behind some words that paint a picture of the normal undescribable Christian life. She said, “If the road is long and cold and it makes you feel better, I will give you my shoes, and lend you my sweater.” Jeannie was selfless and hospitable, and aware of what others felt. She meant it, she would give you her shoes, and her sweater. She also said, “If you are insecure and fearful, and it will make you jolly, then laught at my failures, and gloat at my follies.” and finally she said, “help yourself the treats on me, if you don’t pay nothing, then it must be free.” Jeannie left these painted words behind in a little poem booklett. If people on earth could only become infected the the virus of selfness, it would bring about a normal and ordinary lifestlye here on planet earth. Deep respect for Jeannie Robinette. I have been blessed through her honeysuckle sayings.


Dont read this unless you are over 55. The information has been down graded from Top Secret to classified, still you must be brave and strong to read it.This story is true, the names have not been changed to protect anybody. The year 2013, My friend Phyllis Clark and myself were riding home to Bishkek, Kyrgzstan. We had been working at Manass Air Base just South of Bishkek. My friend Andy Partin had been stoped several time by the local police. The police in Bishkek were poorly paid, and they had to make up there wages by their own means, so they stoped Americans and charged them money to let them go. My friend Andy had a bate of paying so he just started out runnig them. As Phyllis and I entered the edge of the city there was the normal traffic bazzar, people driving in and out of lanes, so I pulled around these people and though I was good for the home stretch. However, the unthinkable happened, the worset of the worse. A red and blue light started swirlling behind me and all kinds of sounds whaled out; I thought of Andy and I made a run for it, “hold on Phyllis we have got to get out of dodge,” I could tell Phyllis was scared, then another police car cut me off at the pass, and we were surrounded. Phyllis reminded me that she was told there were big Russian women in the ladies jail, and that they would squeeze you to death. A little tear brought the masceria from Phylli’s eye. I didn’t were masceria, so the tear just ran quick down my eye. I open my window and smiled and talked a lot of spanish talk to the police, but that didn’ t help. Then our car was surrounded. One officer stuck his head in on Phylli’s side and looked at her cigarette. Then the un-out of the ordinary happened. I remembered I was given a duck at work , and I had it in my back pack in the back seat. So, operation trade started. I told Phyllis to give that police man her cigarette, the one that had toothpaste on the filter that she had been chewing on, she handed it and the officer started chewing on it also, and he started making wierd faces, but he was smiling. Then I held my hands up and pointed to the back seat, I eased out slowly opened the back door and grabed my back pack. I opened it and took out the duck, which was wrapped in newspaper. I opened the paper and there was a naked dead duck, ugly, and it stank. Then the miracle took place, the officer smiled real real real big, so I said 'duck for you my friend."
The officer took that naked ugly smelling duck and put it in his car. He then handed me my walled, shook my had, and called his possee off, and waved we on. Phyllis left her toothpast cigarette with the grinning officer and we got out of dodge. This may sound hard to believe but it is true, I was there. The moral of this event is this: If anyone gives you something you dont want keep it, because one day you will want it as a get you out of jail free duck…


Please go on…


I’m dying to read these, but I’ve been busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest… Really looking forward to it though.


Holding the old days in fond memory. My Moms life, along with her brothers and sisters was adventerous and scarry. There were 13 in her family, and many times food got real scarce. My mom told me that one night for supper her mom fixed shadow gravey. I had never heard of it, so I asked what it was. Mom replied, "shadow gravey is when you take a biscuit and sop the shadow in the plate. They were really sorta poor, but the good thing is they didn’t know it. Moms brothers TG and Thurman had a quarrel. Thurman said that TG would always steal his milk bottle, and that was why he had skinney legs. If you had any chewing gum you better not stick it on the bedpost at night, because the next morning it would be found in a mouth that was not the owner of the gum. At least once a month everyone washed even if they didn’t need a bath. My uncle Thurman would be the last one to wash. He was dirtier after he washed than before he washed. He used the water where about 11 other people had already washed in. I can remember playing on the porch that led into the kitchen. Grandama would always say,“look out you are gonna fall headfoamast off the porch.” I didn/t know what a headfoamast was for a long time, but then I found out, it means you are going to fall head forward off the porch, and probably break your neck. I guess those were the good old days.


Just had to share this treasure. Lisa this is about two men and a women you know. The first 5 people I can remember knowing was my mom, my dad, my grandpa, Mr. Lonee Tew and his wife Mrs. May Tew. I always enjoyed when we would go visit them. Mr. Lonee had a corn sheller that could shell a cob of corn before a pig could squell. And of course those cobs where the weapons for the famous corn cob wars that Bunky, my cousin and I would engage in. Mrs. May had a singer sewing machine, and she made handkerchiefs for Mr. Lonee. I reckon my first new english word I can remember came from Mr. Lonnee, it was the word twixt, which was the distance in the middle between here and there. Don’t know if noah Webster borrowed that word from Mr. Lonee or not. Mr. Lonee son, Bunkey could fix anything that needed fixin. He came to the rescue of my dad’s tractor, car, and anything that had a motor. Bunkey was self taught, I have never known one person that could fix so many different things. Finally, my most vivid memory of Mr. Lonnee is as follows: And this is especially accurate. I remember it was a really hot day, so Mr. Lonee and I rode in the back of my dad’s 48 chevy pick up. My mom and dad were in the front. My dad stoped at a stop light which was located on a small hill in the city of Dunn N.C. When the light turned green my dad gased the truck and it sort of lurched forward, and Mr. Lonee fell out of the back of the truck and rolled over against the sidewalk, I yelled, my dad stoped and we picked Mr. Lonee up and put him back in the truck real quick, caused my dad was afraid the police would get him for hurting Mr. Lonee. I was afraid Mr. Lonee was dead. I was so glad he was alive. My dad gave the chevy the gun and he got out of Dunn. I will always remember Mr. Lonnee, Mrs. May and Bunkey, they are special people that come along in your life once in a great while.


One more story. Bob Barefoot grew up poor. He was tall and thin and did not wear shoes much of the time. People did not think Bob would amount to a whole lot, but were they wrong. I dont know if Bob ever finished school at Clement, but really he didn’t need to finish, because he became so busy in his new business he didn’t have time for school. Bob saw some carpenters building a house, and back in those day there was no indoor plumbing, no bathrooms.
So Bob being a quick thinker made a wood toilet and sold it to the house builders, and all of a sudden everyone wanted a toilet. Well, you are right, Bob barefoot started the Porta Let business. He could now wear any shoe he wanted and buy as many hot dogs as he could eat. Bob moved to Greensboro and expanded his business. He secured contracts with Uncle Sam to remove and haul hazard waste material. Then Bob went out to Las Vegas and bought a house. Probably the greatest contribution Bob Barefoot made was to my mom. Bob came to visit my mom and day one day; actually Bob only lived about a mile from our house when he was growing up. He thrilled my mom when he told her he could be in his house in Las Vegas and could press a button and it would turn his stove on or off back in Greensboro…my mom was blown away when he told her that, he made her day. The last time I saw Bob was at my Mom’s funeral. Bob and two of his kids came to pay their respects.
Bob became a millionaire many times over, but he never lost his thankfulness, because he knew what it was like to be poor.


A famous man. You know the name of David Crockett, Alexander Bell,and John Kennedy; but I bet you have never heard of Leonard Emanuel, or to his close friends like me, his name was Mr. Linnen. Mr.Linnen was a good man, yea even a famous man. Now, he did not have hardly any money, and he didn’ travel very much, but he could holler. Back in his day the phone had not made it down to where he lived. When farm animals broke out of the pin the farmers would holler a unique holler to let the neighbor know his hog, cows, goats, or chickens were out. Those hollering echoes would bounce off the Juniper trees, glide over the river like a rock skipping across the water all the way to the neighbors ear. One day Mr. Linnen was invited to participate in the world national hollering contest at Spiveys Corner North Catolina. People from across the ocean came to be in that contest. And lo and behold Mr. Linnen won the contest hands down, the best holllillillerr in the whole world, Mr. Linnel could holler faster than Forest could run. Mr. Linnen traveled to New York and was invited on the Johnny Carson show. The world heard Mr. Linnen holler his winning note. Mr. Linnen never allowed his fame to go to his head, he traveled with overalls, wide brim hat, brownish coat and his spit can. What makes this special to me, is the fact Mr. Linnen and his family lived about a mile from our house, they were our friends, special people in our book, fame even made Mr.Linnen more ordinary. God bless his family.


The visit to Mr. Lum Tyndalls house. One day my dad said “Arch lets go over and see Mr. Lum.” I believe Mr. lum’s wife had passed away and he and his son lived together. Back in those day you did not find warm and cool air moving through the house. Central heating and air was not on Mr. lum Tyndalls mind. I was wondering why Mr. Lum’s feet were all wrapped up when we went in his house. Well ,come to find out, this is what had happened: One night the temp dropped way down, and Mr. Lum was about to freeze to death. I think his son had made a pretty good fire in their wood stove, and it seems as if Mr. Lum may have been drinking some very very powerful kool aid. Well as Mr. Lum leaned back in his chair, wrapped up, and then propped his feet up on the heater a bad bad thing happened, he went to sleep. It was either the smell of burning feet, or the pain of burning feet that woke up Mr. Lum. Mr. Lum did not go back to sleep with his feet on the stove. I bet he would have liked it if Mrs. Farrell had come by with some RV Turner salve.


Memories of some neat people: Ted Dudley was a very active man. On any given day you could find Ted walking from uncle Capps slaughter house up highway 13 towards Mr. Sandy Godwins old store. There you could get one big scoop of ice cream for a nickle. Ted loved that store. Ten wore grey streaked overalls, a cap and browinsh rim glasses and walked like he was reaching out for ice cream. What made Ted so neat was his {well maybe his unique intitutation, no one really knows} ability to say no. One day a neighbor saw Ted walking and stop and asked Ted if he would like a ride, Ted responded “no sir I am in a hurry.” What I think caused Ted to always refuse rides was this: Maybe Ted thought if he got in the car a tire may go flat, then it would take the time he save by riding to change the tire, then he would be back at the same location as when he got in the car. Ted may have been the smartest person living in Cumberland at that time.


The memory of the Watkins Lady. There was a time when you could buy medicine, candy, tubrose snuff, and about 40 other hard to find good things from Miss. Farrell the Watkins Lady. She came to our house once a month. I would look for her car coming down the rut dirt road to our house, and run out to meet her. I kindly borrowed the change my grandpa had left on the bed beside his overalls, he didn’t need it, cause he drew social security.My mom would always buy RV Turner salva, snuff, cough syrup, vanila flavoring, and grape cool aid in the little tabasco sauce looking bottle. I would buy all the candy grandpa’s change would buy. I remember one visit above all others. One day Miss. Farrell drove up, opened the door and got out kindly quick and said “son can I use your bathroom” and I said yes mam, and as Miss. Farrell started to the house I said, Miss. Farrell the bathroom is over yonder beside the barn next to that big oak tree. I smiled real big like Forest Gump would do, because I was always ready to help any person in need. Miss. Farrell kindly hesitated, and then I pointed like a irish setter pointing to the irish potato field. Miss. Farrell was really nice, and I am almost 90 percent sure she said thank you sonny, as she gave me an extra piece of mary jane candy.


The hidden treasure. The cotton patch and the stoney hill lodge in my mind, but the greatest memory has become unlodged and is scattered all through out my memory. This is it. I was not blessed with brothers and sisters, just me. I had a pet rooster,cat and a dog, and sometimes a rabbit, but they couldn’t play ball. The little red rubber ball, the one with the little chunkes missing because of the dog, was my brother and sister. I remember after my mom had cooked breakfast, lunch and supper, not to mention she had also worked in the field all day and did the washing; she found time to pitch that little rubber ball to me. I would swing that Mickel Mantle tobaccow stick and knock that ball over the hedge bush, and my mom would run after it. I would lay the stick down and she would roll the little ball at the stick, if the ball hit the stick it was her turn to bat. I bet my mom and I were the ones that inspired the New York Yankees to win the world series. I bet Mickey and Yogi Bear even tried to find where we stayed, but they probably got lost when they turned down beside the collard patch. My Mom took time she really didn’t have, to play ball with me. Not only did she play with me, but she also cared for me. Every afternoon when I came home from school there would be a pair of streaked overalls, a true aid orange and a nab cracker, and a note telling me which field she and my day were in. I would change, grab my drink and cracker, and head toward that field barefooted, and I loved it, wish I could find it again.
My mom would be there waiting for me…