Friday, May 30, 2008

Paging Dan Parrish

My eleven year old daughter, Katie, is officially out of school. She is with us down at the clinic. Katie asked me this morning if I would make the time to run by the library so she could pick up J.R.R. Tolkien's THE TWO TOWERS. After locating the copy, she asked to go see if there was a DVD she could check out in the children's section. I told her she could. I wandered over to the genealogy section, it looks a lot bigger. I'm going to find time sometime to dig up some old bones. While nosing around, I saw shelves of Etowah County City Directories. Bingo! I immediately spotted the 1969 city directory and started hunting for P for Parrish.

I've mentioned somewhere in a past post about a childhood friend Dan Parrish. He lived on up Scenic Hwy - on Hilltop Circle. I never could recall his parents names. To a ten year old all grown ups were called Mr. or Mrs. or Sir or Ma'am. Dan and I were very close and we spent much of our free time riding bikes, playing army, playing with G.I. Joes, or knocking balls at the golf course. Tuckahoe Golf Course was directly across the street from his house. How cool was that?

There came a day when I would go to visit Dan, that we would have to play outside. His dad had cancer and things were very quite and somber around the house. Then one day back in 1969, I walked to Dan's house and a moving van was parked out front. He was playing with his G.I. Joes and we sat there played and talked while the movers finished up. Dan told me that he was moving away because his Dad had died. There finally came a time when he had to go and so I walked back home in a daze. As soon as I returned home, family members were in the kitchen talking. I learned that the very day that I lost my playmate - I lost my grandmother as well. Strange hard day.

I saw Dan one other time after that. I was sitting in Mrs. Graves 6th grade class (R.A. Mitchell Elementary School) when Dan entered the room. When I looked up, he was looking straight wearing an ear to ear grin. Apparently his mother had to come back to town to take care of some left over business. Dan sat in the desk behind me. We smiled and made eye contact but couldn't talk. I had to turn around and keep my attention on the teacher. I was hoping that Dan would be able to play during recess which was coming up the next bell. That didn't happen. His mother appeared in the doorway and motioned for him to come. Dan left and I never saw him again.

I just don't have much of a memory for the details. I just knew where Dan lived, his street address and that his mother moved somewhere to North or South Carolina. I also remembered that his mother worked somewhere at the Court House. Today while at the library, I quickly and easily thumbed to the names behind the Sir and Ma'am. Dan's father was David L. Parrish (spelled Parris in the 1968 CD) and his mother's name was Kay (or Kaye). I remember his last name being spelt Parrish, not Parris. David was listed as being a Manufacturing Engineer at General Times (a clock manufacturer at the foot of the mountain). Dan's mother Kay was an office secretary at the Etowah County Probate office. The Parrish Family lived on 2725 Hilltop Circle until 1969.

This gives me something to look for. I don't know where Mrs. Kay Parrish and Dan moved to. For some reason Greenville, SC comes to mind. My memory is uncertain. I am publishing this post not necessarily for my friends that read my blog but for an old friend that I would like to one day touch base with. I have been rewarded in the past doing genealogy quests, finding distant cousins online. Perchance by posting the above information, Dan might stumble across it. Whether or not, Dan if you're out there, I pray you are doing well and having a good life.

I remember Dan having one of these.
The G.I. Sentry post wasn't made by Hasbro but made as an accessory for Joes.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Christian Brother's Band

Jose' asked in the Comment section of the previous post, who all was in the band. I couldn't remember everyone,
so I emailed Brooky. Here's his reply.

The original lineup was Jennie, Don, Chris, Irene, and myself (Brook). I have only vague memories of Irene playing bass.  I really don't remember how long she was in the band.

Best I recall, we had a group of sorts when Emory was alive, and that group evolved. I remember I was dating Susan Jackson around that time so that would put it around 1973-74. We had names we tried--I remember "Home Folk" or something like that--but nothing really stuck. We made the New Orleans trip somewhere in that early-seventies period. The band had developed out of Don and me playing together and then growing through our weekly prayer group meetings.

Although we had been playing for two or three years in a sort of loose configuration, we actually formed the Christian Brothers Band around 1976. I had already taken the "daring" step of playing an electric guitar at a Christian gathering. We were on a flatbed truck in the Walnut Park Baptist Church parking lot and I was playing a Gibson 335 through a Fender Bassman amp. After that day I decided I needed a smaller amp. Anyway, CBB was an "electric" band. Chris M. played a Wurlitzer electric piano, Irene (I think you're right here) played electric bass, I played an electric guitar. I'm not positive about Irene. She may already have been at Asbury (College). But it was summer, so she would have been at home.

(Irene played bass for a brief period after Emory's death. Irene used Emory's bass. -df)
The No Jive Jesus Is Alive was actually a summer festival in 1976. There were--I think--three dates, all at the ampitheater. Like one a month or something. The last one was recorded and the tape was in circulation for several years. CBB, Psalm, the Waddels, whatever Chip (Lasseter), Dan (Noojin), and Dan (Maddox) called their group. There was some really good music that day.

Among CBB's repertoire were Sweet Sweet Song of Salvation (with my first-ever soaring Strat solo), Unidentified Flying Object (I played a Small Stone phaser on that to give it a spacey sound.), Prince Song (a 2nd Chapter of Acts song). We at one time did When I Die (with Jennie singing I'll Fly Away as a chorus--her idea and a good one), but I don't remember doing that at the ampitheater.

At one point I remember having Quantrilla Edwards in the band. She and Jennie were quite a combination. Q came from a black gospel background and had an amazing voice. I used to go pick her up for practice at her home off of Tuscaloosa Avenue. She had to quit after now very long. I think she was getting hassled from family or neighbors because it looked like she was dating a white guy. Somebody told me that.

Finally, CBB was Jennie, Don, and Chris. Irene had left to go to Asbury. I was putting together Precious Little with Nori. I'n not sure CBB existed when the first Fall Festival (1977) came around. -Brook

Monday, May 26, 2008

john michael talbot on youtube

I was shocked to see this on YouTube today. For any of you old Christian Brother's out there, does anything seem familiar with the first frame of this video?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Raiders of the Lost Serials

Long before Henry Jones II, AKA: Indian Jones, there were Saturday morning serials. Fantastic black and white episodes that kept kids going back to the theater each week to find out what happens to their hero - heros like Buster Crabb. When our parents were kids, they'd venture to their local theater and watch cartoons, cliff-hanger serials and feature films all day. It was George Lucas and Steven Spielberg who dug back into yesterday's Saturday morning serials and made off with the chills and spills that lured our parents and grandparents. George and Steven dusted off the genre and brought us exciting movies like the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. It's the reason I went to see them when they first came out. I liked the old serials and l loved what George and Steven recreated them. The effects were much better but most of the scenes and stunts were stolen from those old cliff-hangers of yesterday.

Gina and I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. You all know that it's the long awaited fourth in the Indiana Jones franchise. Don't worry -I won't spoil any thing for you. I will say that I am not disappointed. There were familiar elements in this movie from the previous Jones movies. I thought Spielberg did a wonderful job with this installment. I don't really think anyone could be disappointed with the characters and storyline. Spielberg gave us another winner. The movie did make me feel kind of old because our hero has gotten a bit crusty. I was a young man when Raiders first hit the big screen and now I am pushing fifty. Harrison Ford, I guess is well into his sixties (and looks it). Nevertheless, Indie took on the Soviets as he did the Nazi's years before. The effects are great and the story is great. Spielberg took the old Saturday Matinee Serials and did them better. He still can!
Gina's mom was kind enough to take care of the children Saturday so we could have a long date. It's been difficult as of late to find time to just hang out together. The business takes so much of our time. We ate at Pasghetti's in Rainbow City and then drove over to catch the next Narnian chronicle - Caspian. Though this movie didn't stick too close to the origian story, I will still give it five stars. I appreciated the underlying moral of the story and appreciated the darker feel to the overall movie. Since grandmother had the girls, Gina called her mother and asked if we could go ahead and see the Indiana Jones movie. Gina felt like a kid, she had never seen two movies in a row. Both movies were very entertaining and not a let down.

We got to slip away a few weeks ago to see Iron Man. Both Gina and I were very entertained by that movie as well. There are a lot of blockbusters out this Summer. I hope you take the time to see them while on the big screen. I caught the preview of Hellboy II. It looks like it might be just as good as the first one.
By the way, The Sandmountain Twin Drive-In has Indian Jones & Iron Man together this week. I use the homepage to check area movie times.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

grace is free

I led worship at Grace tonight (Vineyard Gadsden). Richard Moon heads up the recovery meeting there on Thursday nights. It was a good night to be down there. I don't know if I really lead worship, rather sing to God and sing material that I feel led to sing. Tonight was a very free night. Usually when I go, the crowd is very quiet and distant. Most of them go because they need or in most cases have to go. I hope that tonight, those that had to go, will be more inclined to return. Tonight seemed warmer. I don't know why, but I was kind of not wanting to go to Grace through out the day. I told Gina earlier in the afternoon that I knew I would enjoy going afterwards - but I felt reluctant. Once there, my energy and focus went full tilt. Strange how these things unfold. I know God uses our small offerings in deeper ways. I know that something eternal happened tonight. All we can do is deliver the package, cast the seed and leave the rest to God.

I've been at the office a good bit. Most of my days are at the office. It is 9:33 pm and I am back at the office. Not working mind you, but rather stealing a little time for myself. Gina took the girls home and I headed to Grace around 6:30. We spend so much time at the office that I haven't been that fair to Kelsey (5). I decided to start taking her for walks when my mother comes in to work. Kelsey held my hand as we walked around Downtown Gadsden. We talked and talked and she asked dozens of questions. She's a smart and sweet little girl and I have enjoyed this time. She starts kindergarten in the Fall, a new phase in her life and mine. I enjoyed the walk yesterday and enjoyed our time at the playground together. She isn't idle. She loves to move around, do things, create things and laugh.

I need to go home now, maybe pick up some dinner for myself on the way. I will arrive to a sleeping household, peer in on sleeping angelic faces, go to bed to wake to Friday. I look forward to it. I look forward to another walk with Kelsey, feel her small hand in mine, maybe answer some more small questions. I am a giant in her little world. She talks about me to people, as if I am some epic figure who walks this earth - someone whom she is very proud of. I know that that won't last forever, but I bask in both of my daughter's adoration. I adore them as well. I am so blessed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

beware of Defender Pro 15-in-1

I was really in need of a good virus protection tool. I was at Walmart a few days ago and decided to check and see what they had. I was going to buy the Norton but then I saw a program that was cheaper and seemed to offer more in utilities. I held the Norton Internet Security 2008 box next to the Defender Pro 15-In-1 box. Yep, Defender seemed to have it all together and had all these Kudos from various tech publications and the like. I unfortunately, decided to give this product a try.

It was trouble from the get go. Anything that could go wrong (short of the hard drive crashing) did go wrong. The computer locked up several times after installing it. Desktop applications wouldn't open upoon clicking. The virus program would freeze up after hours of attempted scans. I had to power up and power down I don't know how many times. I had to slowly advance forward in safe mode, write in (E-mail) for tech support (during the install process for goodness sakes). The program is full of bugs. It was a nightmare. I was instructed to uninstall the program and then reinstall online. More of the same malfunctions. It was as if I had paid for and installed a virus program rather than an anti-virus program. AHHHHH!

Finally I had decided to uninstall the program for good and get it the hell off my hard drive. Guess what, it refused to do so the second time. It refused to do so the third and fourth time. Fortunately, Defender Pro had a website where I could read a fix to get me out of the Code #1921. I also got some nice long tech instructions telling me what I should do to fix the install. I did everything I was told to a T on the first tech support letter. The second long tech support letter, I didn't read. I told them to save their breath - that I was packing it up and taking their wonderful program back to Wally World!

Today I went back to Walmart with the evil program and the receipt. The lady in Customer Service asked if the program had been opened and that they didn't give refunds. I told her that I wanted to TRADE UP to something that would work. She said I could do that. This fat boy ran back to the software section and picked up NORTON!!!! Yes, I had to pay more but it was worth every penny. It loaded quickly and scanned in minutes...minutes I say! It took over twelve hours for Defender Pro to scan my system...and failed at that. So let this be a lesson to you. Just go for the tried and true when it comes to your security and well being of your computer...the tried and true. Defender Pro could have very well messed me up big time. After I had pulled the program from my computer I decided to go to a few consumer review sites. Guess what, other people, the same program, the same problems. NORTON FOLKS! NORTON!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

crazy fast week in review

1. Received a washer and dryer for the clinic from my niece Foster on Sunday. We've needed a washer and dryer for all the linen we have to wash each day. We had no outlet to install it - Jose said he'd come by later in the week and set us up.
2. I registered for two on-line courses at GSCC (Therapeutic Massage) on Thursday.

3. Lost medical documentation that I got from Dr. Rowe. Still can't find it. Have to get GSCC to send me another form - get Clay to fill it out again. Darn it!

4. The Mazda MPV conked out on Meighan Blvd around noon on Thursday. Had it towed to my beloved mechanic. It's still in the shop. I don't know what's wrong - it was running fine.

5. Gina and I are running on one vehicle again - major hassle for a family that has to be at different places at different times.

6. Got DSL for home :) , Now people can call while I am online. Needed something better than dial-up for the GSCC courses.

7. Jose' came over to the office Friday and worked on hooking up the washer and dryer. The office did'nt have service for the units. He spent most of the day in that corner and should be back to finish things up Monday. It will be nice to not have to take all those sheets and towels home every night. A real time saver.

8. Jerry came by the office for a few hours on Friday. It was a busy office but it was nice to see him.

9. Friday night we went to Aroma where my brother Brooky, friends Michael Bynum, Debbie Handy, and Wayne Wimpee led worship for Aroma (th3rd friday's at The Coffee Vine Cafe'). They did a great job. Got to sit down and have a conversation with old friends Richard Moon and David Creel. It was a pleasant evening.

10. I played and taught at Children's Chapel at Westbrook Christian Friday morning. I have never-ever-never received such a wonderful response from a crowd. I took Katie with me. She got to see some of her old classmates from her K3-K5 days. Irene also gave her the wireless mic and let her introduce me before the multitude. Katie was bubbling with excitement and proud of her daddy. She is not half as proud as I am of her. I met one of my old Emma Sansom School teachers at Westbrook that morning, Ms. Hawk - now Mrs. Christopher. All those years and she had changed so little. Irene said that she had been with Westbrook for two years.
11. Emma Sansom Reunion (30+1) was on Saturday 17th but I had decided not to go weeks prior. A little curious and regretted it a little but would not have missed the Foster Graduation Party for the world. Besides, I got to sleep real late Saturday.

12. Saturday was the most relaxing day I've had in a long time. We went to Brooky & Jennifer's house to meet up with the Finlayson Clan. (Elrods, Woods, Noojins too!) . Emily Foster Rakestraw (one of Don & Jennie's kids) achieved a Masters a few weeks ago. Don and Jennie are in China and could not attend her graduation. The family state-side decided to have a celebration for Foster. We all enjoyed the pool and hot tub. The pool area is a work of art, cascading waterfall and landscaping around the area. Beautiful. Chris Wood grilled the burgers and dogs and we all brought something to the table. It was ALL GOOD! I wish everyday were like this Saturday. After we ate, I fired up some wood in the fire-pit and played guitar while watching everyone enjoying themselves in the pool area. Robby came and sat next to me and he sang along as I played some standards. It was all so pleasant - so relaxing. Again, I wish everyday were like this Saturday. Foster looked over to me after we ate and said several times how much she loved her family - I do too - I am so very blessed. I love you all so very much!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Murdoch and a car?

Anyone who knows Murdoch knows that he doesn't drive a car. I once heard tell that he owned a car once, but told he never drove it, just put it up on blocks. Is this the car that Murdoch once owned? This picture gives me the idea that Uncle Murdoch might have been pushing the car instead of getting in it. That would have made getting around with a car kind of difficult - especially in mountainous regions of the United States.
Murdoch traveled by buses and trains - his two legs took him the rest of the way. I remember several shopping adventures in and around Columbia, SC with my uncle in my youth. We walked to town and all around it. Columbia is a pretty big place. Murdoch wore me out! He'd venture out and about on foot for his basic needs - decade after decade. I have always been quite impressed with this man.

You've got to admit - He takes a fine picture in uniform. God bless you Murdoch!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Finlayson kids in Cheraw

Here's a picture that I have'nt seen before. The oldest to youngest - tallest to smallest - left to right. Patillo Ainsworth Finlayson has yet to be born.

Rutha Wait Finlayson
Florence Foster Finlayson
Burruss Wofford Finlayson
James Murdoch Finlayson
Jennie Llewellyn Finlayson
Henry Westbrook Finlayson

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

First Methodist Church

First Methodist Church (built 1832) on 113 3rd Street in Cheraw, SC. This is the church I mentioned in an earlier blog. The Burruss Finlayson family went here, and perhaps my great grandfather Murdoch Uriah & Lucinda Pate Finlayson.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The house on Arcade

The family moved to 2624 Scenic Highway while Mom was expecting me. Before that, the Finlayson's lived in a little house on Arcade Street from 1953 until 1958. Arcade Street is over in East Gadsden, just a few blocks beyond Gadsden State Community College, off of George Wallace Drive. In the above photo, Jennie is sitting on the floor while Aunt Florence Finlayson, Dad (showing Jennie the magazine), Jennie Wait Foster Finlayson and Uncle Pat Finlayson sit around the coffee table. I happen to still have that old coffee table at my house. It's a pretty beat up old table these days - lots of little scratches and dents. It didn't have a chance with all those kids growing up around it.

This photo was taken at the house on Arcade Steet too. Jennie is just a baby in this picture. Brook is the toddler with his head in between Aunt Florence and Jennie. Come to think of it...add a beard and Brooky still pretty much looks the same. I miss Florence. She passed away not long after Gina and I got married (1990). The last time I talked to Florence was on the way to my wedding. I know that out of all the Finlayson children, Florence loved Brooky the most.

It's nice looking through these old photographs. As time goes by, there are more absentees among the Finlayson clan. I vaguely remember my Grandmother Finlayson, who passed away in 1969. I do remember her sweet smile. I remember Christmas' in Columbia. Florence, Rutha and Wofford have been gone for a long time now. I look forward to that day when we'll see them all again.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

cheraw finlaysons

I posted not too long ago about my grandfather Burruss Finlayson. He was a dry goods merchant in Cheraw, South Carolina (Chesterfield County). Click on the photo to get a nice gander at it. Burruss Finlayson is the elderly gentleman in the dark suit and hat. My aunt Rutha Finlayson Dyal is standing next to him. Mr. Burruss Finlayson died before I was born. I had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Rutha.

There's a Finlayson family plot in the corner of the historic St. David's Episcopal Church in Cheraw (c1770) where both Burruss and Rutha are buried. My great grandfather and grandmother Murdoch Uriah & Lucinda Pate Finlayson are buried at St. David's but in a different location. Burruss Finlayson and his family were members of the First Methodist Church of Cheraw. Last time I was there (a decade ago) he still had a pew with his name on it...information for what it's worth.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

times are a chang'n

I graduated from Emma Sansom in 1977. Gina asked me if I wanted to go to my 30 plus 1 reunion later this month. For the price of the reunion - I could put some pull-offs on my old van. Wow -1977 - that was a long time ago. I've seen a handful of old classmates down through the years. I went to the 20th reunion. It was nice. It doesn't seem that long ago.

I see Tommy Puckett every Sunday. We graduated together but where not close back then. Keith Buchanan works with Puckett. I see him from time to time. People that I'd like to bump into? 1977 was the last time I saw Greg Ford. He was a buddy, and so was Mitchell Gregory. Mitchell and I go back to elementary school together (R.A. Mitchell). I've seen Mark Condra off and on down through the years. We go back to childhood together. I bump into Joey Pullen from time to time - we rode together when we were young - tricycles. I saw Rosh Harris this morning at the Post Office. She is as beautiful and as sweet as ever. I shared a lot of art classes with Pam LeCroy. We were buddies, I would not have made it through French Class l & II without her tutoring. Pam was also involved with Christian Brothers Association (F.R.E.E. House) back in the day.

Isn't school funny? You go to class day in and day out with a bunch of people and then don't see them again after graduation. I looked over the list of names at the reunion site and know that I wouldn't be able to place many names to faces.

Speaking of school -believe it or not - I am going back. I've recently been accepted in the Gadsden State Community College's (AKA: RedneckTech, Cambridge on the Coosa, University of Iran Extension) Therapeutic Massage Program. It will take me a year to go through but it will enhance what we do here at OT of Gadsden. I've ordered all my books from Ebay and I'll be heading over to enroll tomorrow morning.

This is a big step for me...because school has always given me the heebee-geebees. I am committed to do this thing because it will be good for me, good for my family and good for business. Everything so far has fallen into place. Gina said that she will be teaching me lymphatic massage techniques after I achieve my massage certification. This service will benefit Gina's past patients, as well as give us another source of revenue. We've got the room here to expand and it's a good time to take this leap. Kelsey is going into kindergarten in the Fall and I will start taking a couple of classes starting this Summer. The Mr. Mom roll is fading and I'll be taking on a new roll. Keep us in your prayers as our family enters yet another phase.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

i miss this place

Gina and I were married in September of 1990. We immediately moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky and lived there until 1996. We refer to that blissful period in our lives as the honeymoon years. We lived in several different apartments within Warren County but finally found a beautiful little place on Robinhood Trail. At the time, there was a big field filled with horses out front and deer showed up in our backyard all the time. It was just a great time in our lives. The house itself had the feel of a chalet - not a lot of room but what the house offered was quaint and inviting. I had a loft studio and we had a whirlpool bath in the master bedroom.
We had the best neighbors, the family of Donnie & Cheri Obermiller (just a few houses down). We also attended the same church with them, Fountain Square First Methodist. Donnie, Cheri, Gina and I spent a great deal of time together - and we had great times. We still miss them and think of them often.
Gina and I were in good shape back then. We put good use to our mountain bikes that have now hung unused in the garage for the past decade. Covington Park was our favorite spot for picnics and tennis. I'd never seen a white squirrel before Covington. I wonder if they still dash from tree to tree there. There were lots of parks in and around that town. I'd never heard of Frisbee golf until living in Bowling Green. I also enjoyed the annual hot-air balloon shows. Unlike Etowah County, there were so many things to see and do.

I ran across the above photograph and a flood of memories rushed back. Life has changed a lot since we moved back to Gadsden. We have only passed through Bowling Green once in the past eleven years. I miss that town, I think of it in the Fall. We made a lot of friends that we will probably never see again. I will though, always have the memories.

Monday, May 5, 2008

ye olde cheraw baseball ticket

B. Finlayson is my grandfather Burruss Finlayson. I need to ask Jennie Llew if she can identify the H.A. Finlayson listed here on this ticket. I posted an old article from the Cheraw paper back in January. Dad loved to watch baseball, his favorite team was the Atlanta Braves. You have to really love that team to be willing to brave Atlanta traffic to see a game...what a hassle.

I remember when I was but a wee tater-tot, Dad getting all his kids outside for Sunday games. He liked to bat and would get a young one to run for him. I don't think he would've gotten that far on crutches. I guess dad got his love for baseball from his dad. I didn't. I liked playing as a kid - but have never enjoyed sitting down and watching sports on the television.I never watch sports of any kind. I've got all these ESPN channels that I don't know what to do with.

Friday, May 2, 2008

crippled leader

I ran across this article amid a huge box of family photos that mother brought by the office earlier this week.  I read the word "crippled" and remembered how much my Dad disliked that word.

Life for my dad might have been more of a challenge than it was for those with two good legs, but dad never let an obstacle stop him. A lot of people today try to find any way to get on disability and let their handicap be an excuse not to pursue their dreams - but dad just plowed on through life. He wasn't just following, I watched him orchestrate his life, and be a leader. He went from orchestra to law school - law school to career. He had a very full and eventful life - in spite of the braces and crutches. No, he might have had a handicap - but he wasn't crippled by it.

I remember as a kid, his starting the Gadsden Table Tennis Association (GTTA). We even had national table tennis competitions in town. Here's a link to the History of U.S.Table Tennis IV (you'll have to do a name search for Finlayson or Gadsden...scroll down a little). People remember the man in the wheelchair that could play table tennis. My mom could play a mean game - won tournaments - can you imagine that? Dad also started up the Extended Ministries Association (EMA) in the early to mid-seventies. He loved camp-meeting so much that he wanted to bring a taste of it to Etowah County one weekend out of the year. Dad's profession was an attorney - but I guess - if he had life to do over again - he'd be a pastor. He even pursued his doctorate (of divinity) back in the seventies. I can't tell you how many Sundays dad would ask me to help him get to and fro, in and out of all the little churches in and around Etowah County and beyond. He loved to preach and would fill in for sick or vacationing preachers - and yes - he would often sing a song or two to boot.

On a political note - We live in such an ass-backwards culture where our government has encouraged dependency rather than independency. Rush is right - "we punish achievers" in this not-so-Great Society of ours - and reward those that prefer not to seize the day. They'd much rather seize the check. Instead of teaching a man to fish these days, we are just doling out fish to those who don't even care to put forth the effort. Growing up, I witnessed a man with two bad legs (and one bad arm) move forward and up in life without government handouts. I saw a man with braces take on life, and provide for his family of eight. Pretty darn impressive by today's standard. Now I realize it is a common tendency for kinfolk to glorify those that are dead and gone, but this was a good character of my father that I do not have to exaggerate. Thanks Dad.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

my blue heaven

Yesterday, Jose' brought me a CD he burned of dad's orchestra. Mother brought me an old cassette tape made from the only recording of dad's music (circa 1939). There were only three songs on the tape and Jose' said he had to play with it a bunch of times to kill as much of the crackle and pop from the music. I didn't play the cassette prior to giving it to Jose' because I was concerned that the tape might be brittle. The music on the CD is pretty scratched up but it's great hearing my dad sing. He really had the chops back then and his band sounds pretty darn good. Thanks Jose' -This is a real treat! Two of the songs were instrumental and only one, My Blue Heaven, has dad's singing. Dad could always sing but it was the older voice that I always heard. This recording is the first time I've ever heard my father's orchestra or his younger voice. I'll share the other two at a later date. I've always enjoyed the music of Glenn Miller, and though dad knew Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey - the H. Westbrook & His Orchestra had some Miller influences. I'll post the other songs in good time.