Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Grand" Summer Memories

Facebook is a wondrous thing. Sometime it's a really frustrating and habit-forming thing, but it's wondrous nonetheless.

On Monday I experienced one of those wondrous moments.

A friend posted a private message with a link to an article in The Nashville Leader (Nashville, Arkansas, not that other place in Tennessee), asking if my grandfather wasn't a barber in Nashville.

The article is one of a series building up to the 2015 football season. This entry traces the history between the owner of the White Way Barber Shop on Main Street, Mr. Reeder McCullough, and Nashville High's football team, the Scrappers. Mr. McCullough recalls how he came to be the Main Street barber:
The year was 1963 and Reeder was working in Bossier City, La. when he and his wife Emma, were at home for a weekend. Visiting friends in the White Way Building on Main Street, he mentioned ambitions to own a barbershop when the owner offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse. Now, 52 years later, Reeder still talks Scrapper football as he cuts and styles hair for hundreds of Nashville folks.
That "owner" was my grandfather, "Daddy Gus" Foshee!! (His clients called him "Mr. Gus," but he was my Daddy Gus!)

Talk about a flood of memories. Searching some of those closed drawers in my head, I remembered that Daddy Gus sold the barber shop when I was about 8 or 9 years old, and that would've been in 1963. He planned to "retire" so he could stay off his feet but wound up taking a night watchman's part-time job at the Case-Nashville knife plant. He even took me with him a couple of times when I would go for a long summer visit and we would play dominoes until the wee hours of the morning, but I digress.

It's the barber shop memories that brought a pleasant smile to my face. 

The White Way had a real barber pole -- the kind that spun and spun like a huge candy cane. I could watch it forever, certain that the end of that red stripe would turn up eventually. There was a bench outside beneath the picture window where you could sit on hot days to catch a breeze or to enjoy the sunshine on a cool afternoon. No one worried about bolting it down, because nothing was ever stolen from the sidewalk on Main Street -- that would have been unthinkable!! Shoot -- no one ever locked the doors to their houses in those days.

The barber shop smelled so . . . cleanWhich, of course, is probably because it was clean. Immaculate. Scrubbed from top to bottom so frequently that you could eat off of the floors. And, I probably did eat off of them from time to time as young children are prone to dropping snacks on a regular basis and are not shy about picking them up and popping them into their mouths. I have recently re-discovered this characteristic of all children as I babysit with one toddler or another. Here I go, digressing again.

My grandparents had their big meal of the day, "dinner," at lunchtime ("supper" was the small evening meal, usually leftovers, or cornbread crumbled into a glass of buttermilk with salt and pepper, and maybe a slice of yellow-meat melon.) I remember him smelling like the barber shop -- and that antiseptic stuff in which he soaked the clean combs --  as he waked through the front door. 

I can see his blue eyes twinkling, maybe giving me a wink, as he dug into the fresh vegetables from his garden, and maybe fried catfish or crappie caught by my grandparents, thawed that morning from the freezer, and lovingly prepared by my grandmother, Bee Mama. She always wore one of those full, frilly flowered cotton aprons in the kitchen with her hair pulled back into a chignon positioned just above her neck. 

(My grandparents would often bring us fish or vegetables, "put up" in wax-coated freezer cartons. Mama couldn't bring herself to cook a certain carton of crappie because it reminded her so of her sweet, innocent mother who had no idea that the masking tape label she had placed on the carton could have any connotation other than the fish it purported to identify. It read "big crap." Heh.)  

Daddy Gus would "rest his eyes for a spell" on the couch in the living room before returning to the barber shop for the afternoon, taking care not to muss his thick mane of hair. He often snored while he was resting his eyes. But, then again, don't we all? ;-)

I'm grateful to Facebook and my observant friend for giving me the gift of these summer memories. I wish I could find my photo albums in the storage unit so I could scan a photo of Daddy Gus with Elder Daughter. (And if wishes were horses, we all would ride.) Oh well, the memories are vivid in my head today and that's a good thing.

Stolen from

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Family Kind of Weekend

The weekend was a lake-focused one.

On Saturday, Pepper took Bouie and Mysti (much to Yappy's chagrin) with him and SiL#2 to fetch the boat from the repair shop on Lake Ouachita where it had been since shortly before the Fourth. The dogs had a lot of fun swimming and spending time with their dad and friend. Pepper enjoyed swimming with the dogs; he did not enjoy spending mega-bucks on the boat.

Then dawned Sunday and we headed out for the lake again (and to pick up the boat from the repair shop. Again. But that's another story.), eager for a day with family and summer Arkansas sunshine.

We got the sunshine, in spades. Dang!! It was hot!!

"We" was constituted of Pepper and Moogie, The Son and his three kids (Grandkids ##1, 2,& 3), Younger Daughter and SiL#2 with #5 (yep, SiL#2 had a Pepper-centric weekend.), and three Yellow Sisters from last year's litter. 

Yep, three 11 month-old Labs. On a lake.  And on an isolated island with lots of sticks. And old campfires to rummage through.  And Pepper casting fishing lines to chase.  And people sitting on funny styrofoam things in the water to try to capsize.  Successfully.

We were privileged to be spectators at a private performance of the Labrador Olympics of 2015!

It was a fun day of family time, even if I did get a little fricasseed in the sun. There are sections of Moogie's skin that haven't seen direct sunlight in ages. We were all pretty worn out by the end of the day. At least #5 got in a little nap. That would've been a good idea.

Here are some pics. My phone storage was acting up so I didn't get a shot of Younger Daughter and #5, or of #3. Or, I guess, of The Son. Oops. Elder Daughter and family were in Dallas, visiting SiL#1's folks.

Here's #2 riding the knee board.

#1 on the Boogie Board.

Pepper, #1, and some dogs scaring some fish.

Three Yellow Sisters, enjoying the water.

A little male bonding time.

Two sisters -- the largest (Persi) and the middle-sized one (Yap).  Petite little Chelsea was farther out.

Poor #2 was the target of Chelsea on more than one occasion --  she wanted a cuddle from her boy (or, to try to drown him).

Yep, they're sisters, all right. Playing and tussling all the time, even in the water.

Yappy was one tuckered out puppy (which is not totally a bad thing!). She's still kind of subdued, even today!

What a fun time!  Now, if I can just shake off my too-much-sunshine-exposure hangover.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Keep an Eye to the Sky

Do you remember way back in 2013, when Pepper and I had first relocated to Moogie's Manor? I reported that we had been invaded by swarms of houseflies. I mean swarms! They all seemed to find their way to the master bath, probably because there's a skylight in there and they just followed the natural sunlight.

Well, they're baaaaack. Only this time there are multitudes more! We've been swatting and cussing and sweeping up fly carcasses all over the bathroom (and some in the kitchen!).

Up until this afternoon, I believed  they're government drones intent on discovering Pepper's and my (alleged) scheme to take over save the world. But something new is happening today.

Instead of me having to swat (or squish -- ewwwww!) them, they're just falling out of the air. Kind of like the alien machines did in War of the Worlds.

So now I think they might be from Pluto. The Plutonians are miffed at being  de-(and, potentially, re-)planetized, and don't like that nosy New Horizons spacecraft snapping all those pictures of them before they've had their coffee, so they're seeking revenge on Queen Moogie and her Consort.

Or maybe they're just drones. Or houseflies.

Either way, I'm content as long as they keep falling from the sky.

When is housefly season over anyway?

Perhaps Moogie should have skipped that second cup of coffee today.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chalk One Up for the Good Guys

Early Wednesday morning in New Orleans East an armed man entered a gas station and demanded money from the clerk and a customer. That was his first mistake.

The customer, not taking kindly to being strong-armed, followed the thug out of the store. Thug fired at customer (his second mistake); customer fired back, hitting thug in the hip!

Thug remains hospitalized and will be charged upon his release.

Sometimes we all need a little good news.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Senseless Slaughter

Four dead Marines. An injured police officer. Two others injured. Two shot-up military facilities and another dead terrorist hooking up with his virgins in paradise. Why do I suggest that the shooter might have been an adherent of Islam? His name, just released, is Muhammed Yussef Abdulazeez, age 24, born in Kuwait.

Yes, the U.S. Attorney in Chattanooga has announced that investigators are treating the attacks as "domestic terrorism." I have heard it reported that the FBI will now treat the attacks as domestic terrorism until they know it isn't international. How very decisive of them. I wonder if they had to clear that position with the White House?

As with the slaughter at Ft. Hood, these shootings took place at a "gun free zone."

This absolutely ignorant, patently absurd policy of making military facilities "gun free" must be repealed.

Our military members are trained and trained and trained in the use of firearms! If anyone can safely carry, and take out a rampaging shooter, our military can. Tragically, they now clearly appear to be unarmed sitting ducks for anyone that has access to an App that will locate the 20 nearest "gun-free" commercial zones. Yep, there's an App for that.

Just Google "ISIS tweets warning" and you won't believe the number of links that come up relating to Twitter-delivered threats to the military and American cities. With information like that on hand, there is no question that our military members with the bullseyes painted on their chests need to be armed with sidearms, at the very least.

Rest in peace, brave Marines.

And burn eternally in hellfire, Abdulazeez.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Roll the Dice and "Deal" the Cards

It will be interesting to watch how many Democrats work up enough gumption to oppose the Iran "Deal."  Wouldn't you love to have been a fly on the wall while Joe Biden was schooling the Congressional Democrats about it? And pitiful "Spineless" John Boehner "promised a fight." Yeah, I'm sure the White House is shaking in its collective boots.

One of our Arkansas Senators, Tom Cotton, told reporters today that, after reviewing the specifics of The Deal, he felt it wasn't as bad as he had feared; "it was worse."

Rush Limbaugh referred to the President's press conference today (the first in eons) as a "victory lap." Yep. That about sums it up. Even though he runs like a girl.

I'm afraid we've grown accustomed to failing to stop Obama's fundamental transformation of this country. I'm feeling a little jaded, and a whole lot hopeless, today. Do you suppose that's what the whole "hope and change" was about from the get-go?

Nothing would surprise me today.

It'll be interesting to see whether Obama's "legacy" survives a nuclear conflagration.  It probably will-- no one seems to recall Bill Clinton's assurances back in 1994 that his administration had reached a "good deal" with North Korea in which the Norks would "freeze and dismantle [their] nuclear program." Said the former prez:

"Before I take your questions, I'd like to say just a word about the framework with North Korea that Ambassador Gallucci signed this morning. This is a good deal for the United States," Clinton said at the press conference."North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons."South Korea, with support from Japan and other nations, will bear most of the cost of providing North Korea with fuel to make up for the nuclear energy it is losing, and they will pay for an alternative power system for North Korea that will allow them to produce electricity while making it much harder for them to produce nuclear weapons."The United States and international inspectors will carefully monitor North Korea to make sure it keeps its commitments. Only as it does so will North Korea fully join the community of nations."

That worked out pretty well, huh?

Maybe we should dust off the Bomb Shelters.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cause and Effect

Stolen from Purple Clover

So, we've now identified the source of the problem. What are we gonna do about finding a solution?