Today's thoughts return me to my friends Ron and Sandra Byrd's grandparents' house just outside of Erwin, Tennessee. I was about 14 years old and rode up from Florida with their father John Byrd. Mr Byrd was up for the long weekend and to pick up Ronnie and Sandy to return to Hialeah (Miami).
We got in late Friday night and first thing Saturday morning, we set off exploring the area. One of the neat things was that there was an apple orchard behind the barn. Since I had never seen an apple tree or an apple growing on a tree, I was in seventh heaven.
Behind the orchard was railroad tracks with all kinds of neat polished stones. Then there was the mountain.
|Grandma Byrd's home is middle right. The apple orchard is no longer there but it was behind the building with the brown roof.|
As with all curious kids, we just started climbing. No plans, no food (although we were stuffed with apples) and no water. The climb was steep and tough and the annoying variety of berry vines (which were tasty) caused us to fall quite a bit. Somewhere near the top, we saw the ruins of an old wooden cabin.
A bit farther up the trail, we discovered a large hole in the ground. Further inspection revealed a series of caverns below the hole and an ice cold stream of delicious water flowing from the mountain.
After quenching our thirst, we began to explore the caves and soon realized that we were not prepared to go any deeper into the caves without candles, flashlights, ropes and any equipment we could use to assure our safety.
|The road running left to right points the the part of the mountain we explored. The interstate highway was not built at the time.|
We hurried back down the mountain to the barn and, on the sly, gathered enough supplies to head back up to the cave. I say on the sly because if the adults had known our mission, they would have nipped it in the bud. It was a two hour trek each time we went up the mountain, so it was no piece of cake. Thank the lord for the strength in youth.
No one wanted to go into the cave first as the opening was rather small and descending. So, I went first and the first thing I did was to support myself on the side of the entrance....and it moved. I shined my light to see a red spotted newt who seemed annoyed that I touched him.
The cave had three levels, each blocked by a large rock, so that one had to squirm to pass through. The third and last level was the telling level. There were many empty bean cans, old remnants of a camp fire, a 55 gallon steel drum and, you guessed it, copper tubing. It was an old abandoned moonshine still.
I'll have part two of my adventure on Monday and relate the story of the beautiful rock quarry that we swam in.
The News As I See It: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will begin fundraising for a potential 2016 presidential campaign by the end of January. No word on what his platform will be, but if I know Christie it'll be really strong, maybe double reinforced steel.
A congressman sent a tweet that compared Obama to Adolf Hitler. He has since apologized to Hitler. Obama is now focusing on cyber security. He's pushing for new laws to protect companies from hackers. And who better to do that than the people who brought us the Obamacare website? Not only couldn't hackers get in, no one could penetrate it.
A dog in Seattle is making news after commuters noticed it had been riding the bus to a local park all by itself. Everyone says the dog is amazing, while the dog said, panicking, “I gotta find that blind guy. I’m in a lot of trouble if I don’t find him.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the best job in America is being a dentist. Which is interesting because a dentist’s office is the only place where people still read U.S. News and World Report.
The FDA has approved a new device to treat obesity. The amazing breakthrough is called a vegetable.
This Date In History: 1547; Ivan the Terrible was crowned the first czar of Russia. 1883; The U.S. Civil Service Commission established. 1920; A year after it was ratified, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages, went into effect.
1942; Actress Carole Lombard, the wife of actor Clark Gable, died in a plane crash. 1991; Operation Desert Storm was announced by the White House. 1992; The El Salvador government signed a peace treaty with guerrilla forces, formally ending 12 years of civil war.
2001; Laurent Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was assassinated. 2003; Space shuttle Columbia blasted off on what would be its final mission. The craft broke up on its descent on Feb. 1, killing all on board,
Picture Of The Day: Although it's difficult to see the clarity of the water in the rock quarry featured in today's post, The water was as clear as the water in this picture. It was so clear, that you could not tell the difference between the water line and the reflection.
This illusion sometimes occurs in high diving and a hose is used to splash the water near the target to determine the entry point.
Printable Things I Never Told You: 1) It may have looked like I was doing crunches but I was just trying to get up. 2) Women who draw in their eyebrows are making a serious decision about what mood they're in for the rest of that day. 3) When my girlfriend wants my opinion, she'll give it to me. 4) I imagine the discovery of fruit went like this: "Ok, so far you've named the red one apple and the yellow one banana. What about the orange one?......Really? (sigh). 5) If you decapitate a vegan, they can continue to talk about being a vegan for another 6 minutes.....and that's five !
Today's Horoscope: Capricorn - January 16th: Romance is in the air today, just over the north of France. If you don't happen to be near the north of France, then chances are you're going to strike out again this week. However, wind directions can vary as much as the accuracy of these horoscopes, so don't panic yet! I would estimate that at least fifty percent of your efforts today will go, not only unrewarded, but also unnoticed.
Birthdays: Robert W. Service, writer 1874, Fulgencio Batista, Cuban President 1901, Ethel Merman, entertainer 1909, Dizzy Dean, baseball player 1911, William Kennedy, novelist 1928, Susan Sontag, writer and critic 1933, Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano 1934 A.J. Foyt, auto racer 1935, Aaliyah singer, actress 1979.
The AREA 51 Retirement Home Bar And Grill: A woman had been away for two days visiting a sick friend in another city. When she returned, her little boy greeted her by saying, "Mommy, guess what! Yesterday I was playing in the closet in your bedroom and daddy came into the room with the lady next door. Then, they got undressed and got into your bed and then daddy got on top of her..."
Sonny's mother held up her hand and said, "Not another word. Wait till your father comes home and then I want you to tell him exactly what you've just told me."
The father came home. As he walked into the house, his wife said, "I'm leaving you. I'm packing now and I'm leaving you." The startled father said, But, why?" The wife said, "Go ahead, Sonny. Tell daddy just what you told me."
Sonny said, "Well. I was playing in your bedroom closet and daddy came upstairs with the lady next door. Then, they got undressed and got into bed and daddy got on top of her and then they did just what you did with Uncle John when daddy was away last summer."
Two guys were discussing popular family trends on sex, marriage, and values. Stuart said, "I didn't sleep with my wife before we got married, did you?" Leroy replied, "I'm not sure, what was her maiden name?"
The Hits Just Keep On Coming: A woman wanted a pet so she went to the local pet shop. She looked at the dogs and the cats but finally settled on a parrot that was perched in the back of the store for $50.
She asked the shopkeeper why the parrot was so cheap. The shopkeeper said, "Well, to be honest, the bird's last owner was a madam at a whorehouse. He occasionally makes off color remarks that may offend some people."
Thinking that the price was right and she could handle anything he might say, she took him. When she got home she set the bird down on the table. He looked around and said, "New house, new madam." The woman thought, "That's not so bad."
A little while later, her daughters got home from school and the parrot spoke again, "New house, new madam, new whores." Even though she felt a little insulted, she thought that wasn't so bad either.
Later that evening, her husband Robert came home. The parrot said, "Hi Bobby!"
A large woman wearing a sleeveless sun dress walked into a pub in England. She raised her right arm revealing a huge, hairy armpit as she pointed to all the people sitting at the bar and asked, "What man here will buy a lady a drink?
The bar went silent as the patrons tried to ignore her. But down at the end of the bar, a bleary-eyed drunk slammed his hand down on the counter and bellowed, "Give the ballerina a drink! The bartender poured the drink and the woman chugged it down.
She turned to the patrons and again pointed around at all of them revealing the same hairy armpit and asked, "What man here will buy a lady a drink? Once again, the same little drunk slapped his money down on the bar and said, "Give the ballerina another drink!"
The bartender approached the little drunk and said, "I say, old chap, it's none of my business if you want to buy the lady a drink, but why do you keep calling her 'the ballerina' ?" The drunk replied, "Any woman who can lift her leg that high has got to be a ballerina."
That's it for today, my little ponies. Remember, Adulthood is like a dog going to the Vet. We're like all the dogs that are excited for the car ride until we realized where we're going. The weekly trek to AREA 51 is still on hold. I'm better, but it's still too early to test the waters.
Have a great weekend and more on Monday.
Stay Tuned !