Tuesday, April 30, 2013


flora bldg 01

We are now officially in the real estate investment business, doing business as Bucksnort Properties LLC.

We closed this afternoon on this 7,000-square-foot office building in downtown Jonesboro. We’re calling it the Flora Building, mostly out of a sense of whimsy.

We drove by the building after dinner this evening and were pleased to see the seller’s Realtor has updated the For Sale signs from “Pending” to “Sold.”

flora bldg 02

Our friend Susan, who has been pretty successful in commercial real estate deals, found this property and decided it was perfect for us.

We checked it out, crunched the numbers, and decided she was probably right.

We have tenants with long-term leases, so the financing went through without The Charles M. Flora Insurance Agency, 111 W. Franklin Street, Delphi, circa 1974. Charles bought the building on the north side of the courthouse square in 1955 and used the first floor for an office until his retirement in the 1970s. The car is John's first car, a Fontana gray 1965 Volkswagen beetle.a hitch.

I still have the white enamel-clad letters that adorned the front of my father’s insurance agency in Delphi until he retired and sold the business in the mid-1970s.

It’s kinda tempting to use five of them to put “FLORA” on the front of the building, but maybe that would be a bit much.

Either way, I think he would have been proud.

The Flora Building

We closed today on the Flora Building in downtown Jonesboro.

More later.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Glorious spring morning

After a gray rainy weekend it was a pleasure to get out on the K75S and run errands this morning.
You can smell so much more on a bike - honeysuckle, skunk, wild onion, and something that smells like a freshly sharpened Ticonderoga No. 2 pencil.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I can see clearly now

The rain has gone and it left .6 of an inch of water in the rain gauge.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

In today’s mail

hoppy plate

I was a Hopalong Cassidy fan when I was a little kid, so I couldn’t resist throwing an opening bid of $4.99 at this 9½” Hopalong Cassidy plate the other day on Ebay. Nobody else wanted it, so I got it and it arrived in this morning’s mail.

Behind me is a framed piece of 1950s Hopalong Cassidy wallpaper, exactly like the wallpaper my parents used to decorate my room where we lived until the spring of my third grade year. I wonder if the paper is still there, under a few subsequent layers, or if it got scraped off.

Another Oracle gone

Mike Packard, or “Mick” as his high school friends knew him, was a year older than I but we were in high school musical groups together and were friends.

When I was writing a weekly column on motorcycling for The Indianapolis News and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles was about to institute motorcycle skills testing, I called Mick to ask if I would watch examiners being trained. He did me one better and invited me to be a member of the first class of examiners.

I accepted and eventually helped train new examiners until Evan Bayh became governor in 1989 and put skills testing in the hands of fulltime BMV employees.

Here’s his obit from The Indianapolis Star:


Michael M. Packard of Indianapolis, IN, passed away on April 25, 2013, following a battle with mpackard042613_20130426cancer. Michael was born on January 16, 1944 to Marvin and Alta Packard in Delphi, IN. He married Lorrie (McMinn) Packard in June of 1990. They have two children, Kameron and Keenan.

Michael graduated from Delphi High School in 1962 and graduated from Indiana State University with a B.S. degree in Psychology in 1966.

He worked for PSI Electric and then was Comptroller at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. There he was appointed Commissioner of the BMV by Governor Otis Bowen. He received the Sagamore of the Wabash from Governor Bowen. He was also appointed as acting State Auditor, acting Secretary of State, and acting State Treasurer during his political career. Michael also was Deputy Constable for Decatur Township for 18 years.

Michael loved horseback riding and was a member of the "Wild Bunch." He was also active in Boy Scouts of America for several years. Michael was also Assistant Golf Coach at Decatur Middle School for five years.

Michael is survived by his wife and children. He also leaves behind three brothers, Dave (Pennie), Rick (Ellen) and Bob.

Family and friends may attend calling from 2 P.M. to 6 P.M. on Sunday, April 28, 2013 and from 9 A.M. to 10 A.M., Monday, April 29, 2013 in Jones Family Mortuary in Mooresville, IN. Charles Paxton will officiate the 10 A.M. celebration of life funeral on Monday, April 29, 2013 in Jones Family Mortuary. Michael will be laid to rest in West Newton Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to Camby Community Church, 8604 Camby Road, Camby, IN 46113. Website and online condolences: http://www.jonesfamilymortuary.com

Friday, April 26, 2013

Adios, LaDora

LaDora’s mother was my cousin, so I guess that made her a second cousin, or something like that. I was startled to learn that she died yesterday morning in a nursing home.

M. LaDora Hamilton
LaDora Hamilton, 67, of Carroll County passed away on April 25, 2013, at 6:23 a.m. at Milner Community Health Care in Rossville.
ladoraLaDora was born on April 9, 1946, in Lafayette to the late William J. and Barbara E. (Rodenbarger) Dickinson.
She was a 1964 graduate of Delphi High School and a graduate of Wright Beauty College in Kokomo.
LaDora retired as a gear lab technician for Fairfield Manufacturing in Lafayette after 17 years. She had also been owner and operator of Styles by LaDora.
She enjoyed crafts, singing, reading, watching movies, mushroom hunting, and riding her golf cart along the Wildcat Creek.
She is survived by her daughter, AunDrea (Bieghler) Schock (husb: Rod) of Delphi; her sister, Belinda Weatherwax (husb: Deet) of Delphi; grandchildren: Jake Bieghler (companion: Stefanie Dobson) of Cutler and Ali Bieghler (companion: Mikie Dubes) of Camden and Caleb Biegler of Delphi; and great grandchildren: Kaylyn and Ty Michael; niece: Elizabeth Hofmann and nephew: William Weatherwax.
She was preceded by her parents and one brother: Ronald I. Dickinson.
Viewing will be at Davidson Funeral Home from 10:00 a.m. to the 11:00 a.m. service on Saturday, April 27, 2013. Rev. Bill Glenn will officiate. Burial in Ball Hill Cemetery, Cutler.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Milner Activity Fund.
Online Condolences: www.davidsonfh.com.

Her older brother, Ronnie, used to bully me and throw rocks at me. He died a few years ago in Florida. I forgive him for being a mean-spirited beefwit.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dog TV

Jack likes to watch herding dog videos on YouTube.

Your healthcare dollars at work


I went to the doctor this afternoon to see if my self-diagnosis of a gallbladder problem was plausible.

Obamacare hasn’t compelled him to ask me about guns in my house yet, but it does require him to hand out “educational” material to each patient. I received this handout on best techniques to sleep – on my back or on my side – for back health. Homo sapiens has been around for about 200,000 years, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – run by the Satanic Catherine Sibelius – thinks we need instructions on how to sleep. And you know who ends up paying for this crap. I told him to put my copy in the trash.

He agreed that the two episodes I’ve had, both of which followed a meal of fatty, greasy food, sound like a gallbladder problem, so he scheduled me for a gallbladder ultrasound a week from tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m definitely off of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Outback Steakhouse’s breaded, fried crawfish.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Another reason to love Arkansas!

carryart The Arkansas Legislature and Gov. Bebee this month gave Arkansans what has come to be known as “Constitutional Carry,” the right to carry a handgun openly or concealed without the need to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit.

It has long been legal to carry a handgun while “on a journey’” but the language was vague as to what constitutes a journey. Act. 746 clarifies the law and calls a journey any travel outside the gun owner’s county of residence. But the second section of the law goes even further, making carrying a handgun unlawful only if the prosecutor can establish intent to commit a crime with it or prove the actual commission of a crime with the gun.

Here’s the link to Act. 746.

The revisions take effect sometime in July.

Chicken head revisited

I blogged this in November, 2004, and I expect few – if any – of my readers have been with me long enough or have delved deep enough in the archives to have read it:


Another blogger recently used the expression "chicken with its head cut off" to describe a state of extreme excitement and it triggered a nostalgic flashback headless-chickensabout my mother.
My mom was raised on a farm and had a farmer's sensibility about animal rights - essentially, "We own the animals and can do whatever the hell we want with them." Sort of a Book of Genesis "dominion over the animals" perspective that still makes sense to me. Except for dogs, of course. Dogs are simple little people trapped in hairy bodies who just want to make us happy.
There's an old American Indian legend that tells of a time when the Great Spirit split the human and animal worlds apart and, at the last moment, only the dog leaped across the expanding chasm to be with man.
But I digress.
When I was young - in the single-digit age range - my mother occasionally bought a live chicken as part of her grocery shopping. I don't know where she got it. I don't remember ever seeing live chickens in the little IGA grocery store where we shopped.
At any rate, she would take the hapless hen out into our back yard and, with one deft and practiced two-handed twist, rip its head off.
I watched in amazement as the headless chicken dashed blindly around the yard, its wings beating wildly and a fountain of crimson spouting from its neck, until it flopped over in the grass.
That was the first time I witnessed death - not counting insects and other lower life forms - but it wasn't until much later that I grasped the irony that it was being dealt by the same person who gave me life.
You still hear and read the headless chicken metaphor these days, but it's an abstraction to most people born since 1950 - certainly to anyone not raised on a farm.
I have no idea why my mother chose to kill and dress her own chicken rather than just buy it ready to cook from the grocery. I don't know if fresh-killed chicken is supposed to taste better or if it was just cheaper or if she just did it out of nostalgia for how she was raised. And she's not around anymore to ask.
She's gone to the land of the headless chickens. Let's hope they don't hold a grudge.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tire math

tire math

There it is, plain as day, worked out on a napkin at Panera Bread Co. the other day – the math leading up to today’s purchase of a set of Michelin Pilot Road 3 tires for my 2003 BMW K1200GT.

The tires on the bike now were installed in August, 2010 by the BMW dealer in Champaign, Ill. and have 8,520 miles on them. They are Michelin Pilot Road 2 tires which are a dual-compound – harder in the center and softer on the sides for long wear and good traction in the turns.

They replaced another set of Pilot Road 2s that still had a few miles left in them after 9,607 miles. So, given those numbers, I’ve got at least another 1,000 miles of riding left on my present set and probably a lot more.

The most miles I’ve ever gotten out of a set of tires on this bike was 11,650 on a pair of Metzelers.

The tread depth is still good – about double what it takes to pass the “penny test” where you insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head first. If there is enough tread depth to reach the top of the Great Emancipator’s head, you’re good to go. If not, time for new tires.

So I figure I have more than enough tread left for the European Riders Rally next month in Burkesville, Ky. (800 miles round trip) and almost certainly for the BMW RA Rally in North Carolina in June (1,108 miles round trip). But there is no way they will last to the BMW MOA Rally in Salem, Ore., with a side trip to Portland and down to Big Sur (<> 5,900 miles) in July.

If I wanted to get the most possible miles out of my current tires, I’d plan to replace them after the RA rally. But if I want to get it done well below dealer cost, I need to order them from Motorcycle Superstore and mount them myself, which means with the assistance of BMW friend Charlie and his No-Mar tire changing equipment.

(The Champaign dealer charged me $508.62 – $144 of it labor – for my current tires. The Pilot Road 3s I ordered today came to $347.98 with free shipping. That’s a saving of more than $160 over what I figure I’d have to pay at a dealer, especially since the Pilot Road 3 is a more expensive, improved version of the Pilot Road 2.)

The tricky part here is that Charlie and his wife Deb won’t be around between the RA and MOA rallies because they’ll be on the road from North Carolina to Oregon. So if I want Charlie’s help and equipment, I’ll have to re-tire before the RA rally.

That’s why I pulled the trigger on new tires today.

It’s all right there on the napkin.

Dozing with Jack in my ear

dozing with Jack

It’s been a mildly productive day so far.

I picked up the mail and then took the Lexus to Gateway Tire for an oil change and lube while I walked across the street for breakfast at IHOP.

I had just settled into a comfortable chair in the Gateway waiting area after breakfast when they announced my car was ready – a mere $34 and change.

Back at home, it seemed like a good morning to relax on the chaise lounge on the patio, so Jack and I hung out for about an hour.

Now to decide what to do with the rest of the day…

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day is nothing to celebrate

Earth Day, which coincidentally is also the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, is at best the result of a misguided impulse to “do the right thing” and at worst, the high holy day on the calendar of the Cult of Gaia which holds that man must be subservient to Nature.

I consider it a silly exercise in delusional mood making wherein middle class white Americans pretend to be saving the Earth through recycling and self-denial.

My hackles go up every time I hear some moron chirping about “Green” jobs and “Green” industry and “Green” living.

This is the kind of idiocy that gave us the EPA, better thought of as the Employment Prevention Agency, that is strangling our economy with crazy pointless regulations.

And, no, I’m not OK with pollution, but things have gone way beyond that.

Here’s an interesting piece about the alarmist environmental loons and their predictions that I found today at The American Interest blog.



Congratulations on making it to Earth Day 2013! This is quite an achievement, given that the greens of the 1970s predicted we would all be living in a post-apocalyptic world of environmental despoliation, à la Soylent Green—that is, if we were living at all.

Washington Policy Center once collected some of the choicest predictions from the decade in which Earth Day was first inaugurated:

“…civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind,” biologist George Wald, Harvard University, April 19, 1970.

By 1995, “…somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” Sen. Gaylord Nelson, quoting Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, Look magazine, April 1970.

Because of increased dust, cloud cover and water vapor “…the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born,” Newsweek magazine, January 26, 1970.

The world will be “…eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age,” Kenneth Watt, speaking at Swarthmore University, April 19, 1970 [...]

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” Earth Day organizer Denis Hayes, The Living Wilderness, Spring 1970.

“By the year 2000…the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America and Australia, will be in famine,” Peter Gunter, North Texas State University, The Living Wilderness, Spring 1970.

Surely the failure of these early predictions has inspired today’s greens to take a more humble approach to environmental futurology. Surely it tempered their enthusiasm for doom and gloom, and taught them that climate is a complex phenomenon that is hard to understand and harder to predict:

“We didn’t know how fast or how hard this would pinch,” McKibben said of what was predicted for climate change 23 years ago. “The story of the past 20 years and even the last three or four years is that it is pinching much harder and faster than even the most dire predictions” would have indicated.

Okay, maybe not.

Of course, today’s green Nostradamuses will argue that, this time is different. Their predecessors may have gotten it wrong, but now we really are headed for diaster. It reminds us of the ploy some millenarian sects use to cope with the world’s stubborn refusal to end on schedule: the last prediction was wrong, but we’ve got it right this time.

Forgive us if we’re skeptical.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Charlie’s ultra cool ‘57 Chevy pickup

charlie truck 2

BMW friend Charlie Parsons and his wife Deb dropped by this evening to show me Charlie’s newly restored 1957 Chevrolet pickup truck that began its service life 56 years ago on Charlie’s dad’s farm near Texarkana, Ark.

It’s an incredibly good job of restoration and the truck looks like it just drove off of the showroom floor.

charlie truck

Two guys on their John Deeres

john deere guysI mowed our lawn yesterday afternoon and, as usual, our neighbor boy Jackson was watching. Closely.

He has his own little John Deere and seemed to be mimicking my steering movements as I navigated around the yard. His dad, Shannon, noticed and shot this photo with his smartphone.

Jackson has a fascination for thing mechanical, my things mechanical in particular.

His favorite video to watch when he comes to our house is Mowercam – a GoPro video shot from my lawn tractor as I did laps of our 1.23 acres.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

At the post office

Even everyday errands can be little adventures.

Friday, April 19, 2013



Our three older Kwanzan cherry trees didn’t bloom last spring and are showing no signs of blooming again this year, even though the one we planted last spring is in full bloom.

Last year was hot and dry, but I think the real problem may be a lack of nutrients in the soil here on Crowley’s Ridge.

It occurred to me earlier this week – probably about six weeks too late – to see if I could perk them up with fertilizer spikes. I had Miracle Grow in mind, but when I got down to Gazaway Ace Hardware, the only spikes they had were Jobe’s. I asked the hardware guy if they were as good as Miracle Grow. He shrugged and offered, “Well, we sell the hell out of them.”

Knowing we had a good soaking rain on the way, I waited until this morning to hammer them into the ground: two each for all four Kwanzan cherry trees, two for last year’s dogwood, and one each for the two lilac bushes.

I bought the spikes for fruit and citrus trees, but I figured the lilacs and dogwood would like them too.

Lisa and Frida

frida combo

Granddaughter Lisa did this crayon version of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s 1941 self-portrait titled “Me and My Parrots.”

I think she captured the essence of it, don’t you?

Yes, we got some rain

We had 2.6" of water in the rain gauge from about six hours of rain yesterday.
Other than heavy rain, we dodged the bullet on severe weather.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

She oughta know

great smile

We were driving from Craighead Forest Park to the ASU farm petting zoo last Saturday afternoon when we stopped at a traffic light near this billboard.

Maggie, the adopted daughter of our friend Susan, who had been in 19 foster homes during the first eight of her nine years on the planet, read the billboard message aloud: “Growing up is tough. A great smile makes it easier.”

“No it doesn’t,” she said.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fun for Jack

And only $4.99 at Academy Sports.

My boyhood crush turns 70

doreen mmc

I failed to blog about an important milestone last Saturday – the 70th birthday of my friend Doreen Tracey.

For those of us lucky enough to have memories of the 1950s, the name “Doreen” has a special significance. Doreen Tracey was an original cast member of the Mickey Mouse Club.

Doreen has spent her entire life in the entertainment industry.

She was born April 13, 1943 to Sid and Bessie Tracey. The Traceys were vaudevillians entertaining the troops in England and Doreen was born in London.

The family returned to the States when she was four and moved to Hollywood, where Sid and vaudeville friend Ben Blue opened a place called Slappy Maxie on Wilshire Boulevard.

In a move that would shape his young daughter's life, Sid also opened the Rainbow Dance Studio.

Growing up as a normal American little girl, Doreen had the advantage of an extended show business “family.” Her “Uncle Ben” Blue was a prominent fixture in her life and she lived with him for a time when her mother was hospitalized with tuberculosis and her father struggled to keep his business afloat. Jimmy Durante seized upon her childhood name of “Do-Do” and delighted in embarrassing her by announcing, “Look who's here – it's Sid's little DoDo bird!”

Growing up as an only child, her best buddy was her cat, Sylvester.

Doreen was answering the phone at the Rainbow Studios that fateful day when the call came from Lee Travers at Walt Disney Studios in early 1955 announcing the search for talented kids for the pilot of the Mickey Mouse Club.
She sang “Cross Over the Bridge” in a Little Bo-Peep costume for the initial audition in March.

As one of the original Mouseketeers, Doreen remained with the show through its entire run.

After the Mickey Mouse Club ended, Doreen went to John Burroughs High School in Burbank where she fell in love with Robert Washburn. The two eloped to Tijuana and, a short time later, Doreen found herself pregnant with a son, Bradley Allen Washburn. The marriage was short-lived and Doreen soon became a single mother.

During the 1960s, she performed with the Andressi Brothers in Las Vegas and elsewhere and appeared on episodes of My Three Sons, Donna Reed and Day in Court.

She also toured Alaska and Vietnam with the USO. Her recollections of Vietnam landed her a job as a consultant on the film "Apocalypse Now!" where she contributed elements of the surfing-under-fire sequence.

Doreen fell out of grace with Walt Disney Studios in the mid-1970s when she did two nude photo layouts for Gallery magazine.

That's when I first made her acquaintance. About the same time as the first Gallery layout, writer Jerry Bowles published a where-are-they-now book about the Mouseketeers called Forever Hold Your Banner High. A press kit turned up on my desk at The Indianapolis News one day with a mail-back postcard to request phone interviews with Doreen and/or Jerry Bowles. I checked both boxes and, about a week later, found myself chatting with Doreen. We hit it off and have kept in touch ever since.

Since the Gallery flap, Doreen and the studios have been reconciled.

Doreen now lives in Simi Valley with her son.

We exchanged emails over the weekend and she related that this has been a particularly stressful period with the passing of fellow Mouseketeer Annette Funicello, friend Jonathan Winters and ballerina Maria Tallchief.

“She practiced with the Ballet Russ de Monte Carlo company, as Mr. Balanchine gave instructions to his troupe. He never spoken above a whisper to his beautiful swans. The rehearsals were at Sid's dance studio. I watched in wonder at her dedication. Although, I never achieved the perfection of Ms. Tallchief, she did inspire this lonely little girl to become a good enough dancer to get by.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


The Kwanzan cherry tree we planted last spring is blooming, as is the dogwood we nursed through last summer's heat and drought.
No blooms yet in the three Kwanzans we planted a few years ago.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Perfect afternoon for a little ride

k75s panera

It’s a sunny 77 degrees and my to-do list is relatively clear, so I fired up the K75S and rode in to Jonesboro for coffee and Wifi at Panera.

Gazing out the front window, I can see work continuing on Panera’s next competition – this city’s first free-standing Starbucks. (There are two Starbucks locations at the Mall of Turtle Creek – in Target and in Barnes & Noble.) I’ll check them out when they open in a few weeks, but I expect Panera will remain my go-to place for coffee and Wifi.

And, yes, I’m aware of the Boston bombings and the report that a Saudi national is in custody. Like everyone else, I’m waiting to hear more.

In today’s mail

rodeo platter

Today’s mail brought the Rodeo pattern chop plate I bought on Ebay last week.

It’s a repro, sans the Till Goodan signature, made by True West China Co. True West sells them online for $118, but I scored it for $39.99, so I’m a happy camper.

I’d be happier if it were an original Wallace China Rodeo, Boots & Saddle, or Pioneer Trails chop plate, but those come up for auction less frequently and command very high prices. This will do nicely as a place filler in the interim.

At 14”, it’s the largest piece of cowboy china in my collection and is too big to fit in the bottom shelf of the dishwasher without getting in the way of the overhead spray device, meaning it will be washed by hand.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Quilt show weekend!

maria quiltshow 2013

The St. Bernards Hospital Foundation’s Threads of Life Quilt Show is this weekend and Maria is volunteering at the show this afternoon.

Here she is with one of the three quilts she entered in the show.

morgan maria quiltshow Morgan joined her for the last couple of hours of the show.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Found fish

We're having a picnic at Craighead Forest Park.
This kid found a dead fish on the shore of the lake and has been terrorizing other kids with it.
He wanted me to pay him $9 to photograph him. I refused and he relented.

Friday, April 12, 2013

19 years ago this summer

korean hair

I’ve had gray hair since my late 30s, but a month or so before my 49th birthday, my Korean hairdresser talked me into changing my hair color to something closer to hers.

It was somewhere between an interesting experiment and a dumb idea, but I stuck with it through the summer, including my motorcycle trip to Portland, Ore. to visit my son, Sean.

Unbeknownst to me, Sean had bleached his hair blonde, so we both had a good laugh when I pulled off my helmet in his driveway.

O frabjous day! Calloo! Callay! Qdoba is coming to town!



Jonesboro, AR | April 5, 2013 - Haag Brown Commercial has closed on a deal to bring Qdoba Mexican Grill  eatery and The Everyday Chef to Jonesboro. They will both be located at a new 8,100 SF building planned to be constructed on the Fairgrounds Re-Development. 

The Everyday Chef will offer kitchen and dining products for the bride-to-be as well as the seasoned chef. It is owned by Ms. Linda Wofford and will be located next door to Qdoba Mexican Grill, which offers a festive high-end fast food environment serving burritos, nachos and grilled quesadillas. Qdoba local owners and operators are Andy Patel, Junior Das and Rick Patel. 

Nix Construction has already started site work and completion is expected late summer. This three tenant brick and mortar building will be located on Parkwood Drive and will face Sissy's Log Cabin and Panera Bread. The development will have access to Stadium Boulevard, which has daily traffic counts of over 32,000 cars per day. Parkwood Center will also be located behind the new Starbucks and Men's Wearhouse center, which is nearing completion. 

Haag Brown Commercial represented the Craighead County Fair Association in the sale of 1.30 acres of land and is handling the leasing for Nix Development. The modern architecture was designed by Cahoon Steiling Architectural Studio. Qdoba Mexican Grill plans to lease 2,500 SF and The Everyday Chef plans to lease 2,700 SF. We will announce the third tenant in the coming weeks.

"Anything Mrs. Linda does is going to be an asset to our community and I love the food and environment of Qdoba! Both of these names are new, exciting, and fun, which fits in well with what we are trying to accomplish with the overall development of the former fairgrounds," said Haag Brown Commercial Co-Owner and Principal Joshua Brown. 

"The fact that this building was pre-leased prior to construction with three quality tenants shows the demand for nice retail space in our market, and particularly in the area of the fairgrounds re-development, " said Haag Brown Commercial Co-Owner and Principal Greg Haag. 

Qdoba Mexican Grill and The Everyday Chef will join recent Haag Brown projects on and around Stadium Boulevard such as Academy Sports, Kirkland's, Mattress Firm, Five Guys Burgers, Cheddar's, Panera Bread, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, Sissy's Log Cabin and soon to come Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy John's, Starbucks and Men's Wearhouse. 


Qdoba Mexican Grill is a Mexican kitchen where anyone can go to enjoy a fresh, handcrafted meal prepared right in front of them. Each Qdoba restaurant showcases food that celebrates Qdoba's passion for ingredients, a menu full of innovative flavors, handcrafted preparation and inviting service. Founded in Denver in 1995, Qdoba is among the nation's largest Mexican fast-casual chains with more than 600 restaurants in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Qdoba is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) 

For more information about Qdoba Mexican Grill:




Thursday, April 11, 2013

At the doctor's office

Self-proclaimed idiot!

Jack snack

What happens when a bird gets trapped on the screened back porch after flying through the dog door.

In today’s mail


I snagged this Tepco Western Traveler divided dinner plate for an opening bid of $10.50 on Ebay, fully expecting someone to outbid me. Imagine tepcoplate02 my surprise when I won the auction.

Tepco was based in the San Francisco Bay area and made a variety of Western themed dinnerware and restaurantware. The Western Traveler pattern is characterized by the stagecoach and Pony Express rider parade around the rim. This piece shows one of 120 Pony Express riders charging off on a fresh horse at one of the 180 Pony Express stations established along the route from St. Joseph, Mo. to San Francisco.

Tepco also made an Early California series commemorating significant events in California history. I have an example of the supreme Early California piece – an oval platter depicting a wagon train of pioneers in mountainous terrain with inscription “Donner Party 1846.”

The Italian immigrant who owned Tepco apparently didn’t realize the Donner Party, stranded in snow at what is now the Donner Pass in the Sierras, descended into cannibalism when his art department offered the design as a joke.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

In the mail today

b&s bowlThis morning’s trip to the post office netted me an original 13” Wallace Westward Ho Boots & Saddle pattern serving bowl.

It was, of course, an Ebay purchase. I say it’s an original because (1) is has the Till Goodan signature at the back of the saddle and (2) it’s not a reproduction made by True West China, which has the license to make items from the now-defunct Wallace Westward Ho patterns.

I have a similar bowl in the Rodeo pattern made by True West that I picked up in a package deal for a bunch of True West stuff.

I’m still waiting for a 13” True West Rodeo platter that I sniped earlier this week for $39.99, compared with the True West catalogue price of $118. I ordinarily avoid buying True West stuff, but original Wallace Westward Ho platters fetch crazy high prices and don’t turn up on Ebay very often.

“The Devils Ride”–as real as professional wrestling


I find myself up late on Monday nights watching stupid stuff on TV. The Discovery Channel’s “The Devils Ride” is about the stupidest stuff out there.

I’ve watched several episodes of this show, which supposedly chronicles the to-ings and fro-ings of the Laffing (sic) Devils and the Sinister Mob Syndicate – two probably fictitious motorcycle clubs warring with each other in and around San Diego.

The casis belli is rather murky. As best as I can determine, a leader of the Laffing Devils (I can’t type that name without laffing), left or was expelled from the club and went off to form the oddly named Sinister Mob Syndicate, or Sin Mob for short. This was apparently an unpardonable affront to his former brothers and a reason for these guys who have more in common with each other than with anyone else in the world to hate each other.

Unlike “Sons of Anarchy,” TDR constantly hints at violence, but never delivers. The supposed blood feud never escalates beyond shoving matches between fat guys.

Monday night, we were expected to believe that some of the Sin Mob were using a mobile home somewhere out in the country to move big bundles of unspecified contraband which presumably generated lots of money for the club.

So when the Sin Mob “prez”  gave the Devils’ “prez” 24 hours for the Devils to surrender their “cuts” (leather vests with club insignia), a Devil who had joined the Sin Mob to spy on them, led the Devils to the mobile home which they torched, proclaiming they had put the Sin Mob out of business.

Huh? It’s never made clear how that is supposed to work, but then this show requires lots of suspension of disbelief.

Never mind that the camera crew has been following the spy back and forth for weeks, making it obvious to everyone (except the Sin Mob) what he was doing.

Considering that neither club seems able to field more than a dozen members at any one time, you would think there would be plenty of room in San Diego for them to coexist without ever running into each other.

And the insults, real and imagined, that fly back and forth call to mind a pack of bitchy seventh-grade girls.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out what there is about these clubs that makes these guys think they have something to fight over.

It’s as ludicrous as a rumble between chapters of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America and the Gold Wing Road Riders Association.

Mortal combat among fat old men is more likely to result in strokes and heart attacks than heroic victory.

To anyone who rides a motorcycle, “The Laffing Devils” is unintentionally hysterically funny.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Balloon flower & dog

The balloon man made them for Morgan.

Balloon art for Annette

A balloon guy entertains diners every Tuesday evening at a popular Jonesboro Mexican restaurant.
I noticed this tribute to Mouseketeer Annette Funicello near the cashier station tonight.

I emailed the photo to my friend Doreen Tracey, who was also one of the original Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeers. Her response:
Life should be lived with laughter, joy, and good friends. Those balloons say it all! Life's a pair of ears.
Love yah doreen

Sonny Landreth is a National Treasure

These other guys are pretty good too.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Godspeed, Annette

teers[3]Annette Funicello, one of the original Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeers, died this morning of complications of multiple sclerosis. She was 70.

Here she is with fellow Mouseketeers Cheryl Holdridge (center) and Doreen Tracey. Cheryl died in January, 2009 but Doreen is healthy and happy and living in Simi Valley, Calif. with her son. Doreen will be 70 on Saturday.

Doreen tells me that the last several years of Annette’s life were miserable because of the ravages of M.S.

Multiple sclerosis is a horrible and cruel disease. It claimed my Aunt Ruth in November, 1967 after more than 20 years of suffering.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Guten Morgen

It's a pleasant 61 degrees on the back porch and a fine morning for coffee in the fresh air.
I bought the cup several years ago at a militaria show. It was made by a veteran of the U-505 submarine that was captured in WW II and is now on display at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Attention: BMW MOA members

moa ballot

If you haven't already cast your ballot for the BMW MOA Board of Directors, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand you don't know any of the candidates personally, please consider voting for my good friend Charlie (they misspelled it as Charley on the ballot) Parsons. His bio is in the current issue of the Owners News.

I'm voting for Charlie only, so as to maximize the effect of my ballot.

Charlie has been in charge of the coffee at every BMW MOA International Rally since Johnson City, Tenn. in 2009 and is getting ready to do it again at Salem, Ore. in July.

Thanks, in advance, for any votes you can throw his way. I promise he'll represent us well.

Friday, April 05, 2013

One less card in my wallet

signature mcAs luck would have it, the day I mailed my $29 payment to the American Motorcyclist Association for my AMA Life Membership Plus, which includes road service, I got a letter from Signature’s Nationwide Auto Club telling me they plan to bill my VISA card for $99 on April 28 to renew my membership for another year.

I’ve been with Nationwide ever since I got a free introductory membership in its previous incarnation as BMW/Cross Country Motor Club with my ‘91 BMW K100RS in June, 1991. That’s 22 years ago.

In all that time, I’ve used their road service once – July 24, 2008, when I had a flat rear tire on my 2003 K1200GT just west of Kit Carson, Colo. They picked up the tab on a $404 recovery vehicle bill for hauling my bike 115 miles back to the BMW dealership in Colorado Springs. Considering that I’ve been paying for a membership all these years, they’re still ahead of the game with my account.

I discovered the AMA deal last year when I was up for Nationwide renewal, but I didn’t act quickly enough to avoid being charged for another year. So I rode last year with multiple road service plans.

I phoned Nationwide’s customer service number this afternoon and found myself talking with a black woman whose reading skills were sorely taxed as she worked her way through the script she was obliged to read to me to try to talk me into re-upping. I finally told her to stop reading to me because I was making an informed decision to not renew. Period.

So far as I can tell, these guys no longer have a relationship with BMW Motorrad, so there’s nothing special about their service as far as bike brands go.

And removing their card reduces the lump in my back pocket by about a millimeter.


After several months of Craigslist ads, we finally found a buyer for the 20 amp freezer that was just taking up garage space.
These guys picked it up a little before noon.

Thursday, April 04, 2013



Commercial real estate? Us?

I can say no more.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

This is why the Founders gave us the Second Amendment

athens From: "Don Hamrick" <ki5ss@yahoo.com>


I have done my own research into the Battle of Athens, Tennessee, 1946, and even traveled to Athens, Tennessee, for that research. The following are the pristine examples of a fight for freedom that I uncovered from my research:


SOURCE: The Daily Post-Athenian, Athens, Tenn., August 7, 1946; pages 1, 6.

Mrs. Roosevelt Grasps Local Facts Better Than Most

Editor's Note — Our attention has been called to Mrs. Roosevelt's column upon McMinn. She seems to have grasped the facts and significance better than any other outside writer:

McMinn A Warning — By Eleanor Roosevelt

New York, Monday — After any war, the use of force throughout the world is almost taken for granted. Men involved in the war have been trained to use force, and they have discovered that, when you want something, you can take it. The return to peacetime methods governed by law and persuasion is usually difficult.

We in the U.S.A., who have long boasted that, in our political life, freedom in the use of the secret ballot made it possible for us to register the will of the people without the use of force, have had a rude awakening as we read of conditions in McMinn County, Tennessee, which brought about the use of force in the recent primary. If a political machine does not allow the people free expression, then freedom-loving people lose their faith in the machinery under which their government functions.

In this particular case, a group of young veterans organized to oust the local machine and elect their own slate in the primary. We may deplore the use of force but we must also recognize the lesson which this incident points for us all. When the majority of the people know what they want, they will obtain it.

Any local, state or national government, or any political machine, in order to live, must give the people assurance that they can express their will freely and that their votes will be counted. The most powerful machine cannot exist without the support of the people. Political bosses and political machinery can be good, but the minute they cease to express the will of the people, their days are numbered.

This is a lesson which wise political leaders learn young, and you can be pretty sure that, when a boss stays in power, he gives the majority of the people what they think they want. If he is bad and indulges in practices which are dishonest, or if he acts for his own interests alone, the people are unwilling to condone these practices.

When the people decide that conditions in their town, county, state or country must change, they will change them. If the leadership has been wise, they will be able to do it peacefully through a secret ballot which is honestly counted, but if the leader has become inflated and too sure of his own importance, he may bring about the kind of action which was taken in Tennessee.

If we want to continue to be a mature people who, at home and abroad, settle our difficulties peacefully and not through the use of force, then we will take to heart this lesson and we will jealously guard our rights. What goes on before an election, the threats or persuasion by political leaders, may be bad but it cannot prevent the people from really registering their will if they wish to.

The decisive action which has just occurred in our midst is a warning, and one which we cannot afford to overlook.


SOURCE: The Daily Post-Athenian, Athens, Tenn., August 21, 1946; Page 1,6.

Lincoln Said It And It Applies Now As Then


"The government, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." Abraham Lincoln

We have seen the latter part of the above quotation exercised here in McMinn County. We now have the opportunity to see the first part of it carried out.

What Lincoln meant was just this: The government of any group of people is in the hands of the people and they must carry on an active part in maintaining their government unless they want to abide by the rule of a few unscrupulous persons who find ways and means of getting the reins of power in governmental offices. If the people as a whole do not maintain a vigilant watch over matters of government a few people, grasping for power and domination find it easy to undermine all the principles of democracy.

It has been said that the situation now prevailing in McMinn County puts its citizens in the best position of any county in the state and possibly in the nation as to the control and manipulation of its government.

We are in just that position if the people as a whole will attend the county-wide mass meetings tomorrow night and participate in the election of the representatives of their respective communities who will serve on the Board of Directors of the Good government League of McMinn County.

The people who are elected must have the knowledge that they have the backing of all the people in their community when they go to the various meetings of the Board of Directors and vote on the matters of government that come before that body.

The choice is in your hands; 1. Take an active part in your government, as is your duty and privilege as a citizen, or 2. The next time you find that your government has fallen into the hands of unscrupulous politicians just say, "It's my own fault, I had a chance to do something about it but slept through it."


SOURCE: The Knoxville Journal, August 10, 1946; Page 1, 2.

Arkansas GIs Threat New Riots

Say Athens, Tenn., Outbreak May Be Mild In Comparison

Little Rock, Ark., Aug. 9 (UP) — Determined veterans' opposition to entrenched local political machines flared heatedly in several Arkansas counties today, and one GI candidate said the Athens, Tenn., rioting would be "mild in comparison if there are any irregularities" at the polls.

At Malvern, William Weaver, veteran and candidate for sheriff in Hot Springs County, charged his opponent, Ed Deere, was "custodian" of the ballot boxes and warned that "what will happen here" would eclipse the Tennessee GI political revolt.

In Yell County, near the Oklahoma border, a crowd of 1500 veterans prepared for a mass meeting tonight to draft an independent ticket to oppose the machine slate of Chancellor John E. Chambers in general elections in the "free state of Yell."

In Hot Spring County, Weaver and Coyle Collie, veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, are trying to overthrow the long-entrenched machine of Sheriff Jack Knight.

GIs at Malvern planned a meeting tomorrow night. Weaver said "we just want to get a foot in the door of Knight's 'little Tammany' machine."

Meanwhile, a five-man committee of veterans found an 87-vote discrepancy in votes cast for county treasurer, thus placing Norman Gray, veterans' candidate, in a runoff with incumbent Treasurer Ernest Stroud. The first official count declared Stroud the winner with a majority, but disgruntled GI forces appointed the committee last night to examine the ballots.

In Ouachita a hot election loomed in which veterans are opposing veterans.

Despite a no-political clause in its constitution, the Arkansas Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars entered the picture with a statement by State Commander Bob Ed. Loftin, who charged politicians were trying to "use" the VFW vote to influence undecided voters.

In Hot Springs (Garland County), a final move to defeat the only successful GI candidate against Mayor Leo McLaughlin's potent local machine, failed today.

Prosecuting Atty. Curtis Ridgeway, defeated by ex-Marine Col. Signey McMath, demanded a recount, but the new totals changed only two votes.

McMath was the only veteran-supported candidate to win the recent primary.


SOURCE: The Chattanooga Daily Times, Thursday, August 8, 1946

Repeat on Athens Narrowly Avoided

Crockett County Just Misses Election Day Violence

Alamo, Tenn., Aug 7 (AP) — a Crockett County political leader revealed today that violence similar to that which marked the Tennessee election at Athens last week was narrowly avoided here.

J. T. Green, post commander of the American Legion, disclosed that two mass meetings of veterans were held to dissipate tension among the supporters of an air force veteran, John Paul Butler, 26, who ran for state representative.

"Our boys were ready to go," said Green, "but we didn't want an Athens job here. We want to see what can be done legally in the matter."

Butler, whose campaign was managed by Green, was defeated by former State Sen. W. H. Stallings of near-by Friendship by 14 votes. Green said the result would be contested before the state primary board. "It would have been the same as Athens here," said Butler, "except that we quieted our boys down. We talked them out of using violence."

Butler said his opponent was supported by "a machine."


The Chronology of The Battle of Athens

Election Day, August 1, 1946

9:00 am

Voting poles opened. Voter turn out was heavy.

The First Flare Up — Precinct 1 (Courthouse)

The Jailing of Walter Ellis

Shortly after 10:00 am

Conflicting reports as to when Walter Ellis, GI election judge was arrested, one account says 9:30, another says shortly after 10:00 am, but the overall details are consistent. Ellis was summarily arrested and hauled off to the county jail. He was replaced by Fred West. Dispute over who exactly Fred West was immediately erupted. The sheriff's office described West as another GI; Jim Buttram, the GI ticket manager described him as a deputy sheriff and local bartender.

Ellis was held incommunicado at the county jail, and Sheriff Mansfield's men flatly declined to permit either reporters or Buttram to see him. Magistrate Herman Moses, when asked what charges had been placed declared Ellis had "attempted to perpetrate a fraud" by marking ballots in Precinct 1, at the courthouse. Buttram admitted frankly he did not know what had happened in the voting precinct prior to Ellis' arrest but said Sheriff Mansfield's men refused to permit him to make bond for Ellis or to tell him what charges had been placed against the ex-GI.

The Courthouse (Precinct 1)

11:00 am-2:00 pm

The corridor of the courthouse was crowded with voters, both men and women. Ellis already had been removed, but evidently in fear of some disorder, about 20 deputies, hands on pistols, and blackjacks ready, pushed through the crowd to the voting precinct.

This overgrown combat squad was reinforced by several uniformed and armed city policemen and a state highway patrolman with his hand fingering a heavy revolver.

The deputies ranged themselves around the voting precinct and several, including one dressed like a character from a western movie, placed themselves on the steps where they could watch the entire corridor. Ex-servicemen regard the day's proceedings with varying attitudes but most of them displayed a bitterness seldom seen in the fighting lines. One ex-soldier watching the guarded vote counting before it was moved to the county jail said: "Over there we had something to fight back with." Another remarked, "We just aren't well enough organized and we haven't got guns. We haven't got a chance with this gestapo."

"This is causing a lot of bitterness, and a lot of it will come later today," a man remarked.

The Shooting of Tom Gillespie

Precinct 11, Athens Water Company Building

2:45 pm

Tom Gillespie, a [black] farmer came into the Athens Water Company building, which was serving as the 11th Precinct, to vote. It is not clear which of Cantrell's men positioned himself behind Gillespie to observe his vote but when he was observed to be preparing to vote "the wrong way" the Cantrell man told Gillespie, "You'll have to get out of here. You're voting in the wrong precinct."

3:00 pm

Gillespie protested to Deputy Windy Wise, "I've always voted here before."

For this monumental impertinence, Wise slugged Gillespie with brass knuckles and shot him with what was said to be a U.S. Army .45 as he stumbled out the door. Gillespie suffered a flesh wound in the small of the back and was taken off by deputy sheriffs for what they said would be treatment.

Just to show that the racial question didn't enter into this travesty-on-an-election, the gold starred deputies directed their attention to the GI election clerks and women who were witnessing the count.

Apparently, their presence was embarrassing to the professional election thieves. Election Judge (and deputy sheriff) Karl Neil, pistol on hip, ordered Mrs H. A. Vestal and five other women to leave the polls. "Get out!" said Neil.

The women stood their ground. "We have a right to watch you count the ballots," one said.

Go on, get out of here!" shouted Neil, and the women filed out, protesting.

This wasn't enough. Four GI's remained to keep the ballot thieves in line. They were James Edward Vestal (Mrs. Vestal's son), Charles Scott, Jr., Charley Hyde, and J. P. Cartwright.

The [Cantrell] machine had six of its bigger bicep boys there, three wearing sidearms. Deputy Neil then ordered Cartwright and Hyde to "go up in the front and sit down." They said they couldn't see the count from there. "Go on up front and sit down, you don't have to see us count 'em." snarled a muscular thug.

Cartwright said he wouldn't stay if he couldn't witness the count, so he and Hyde left. This left Vestal and Scott as the only GI watchers for Precinct 11.

When Cartwright and Hyde emerged, a roar of anger went up from the hundreds of citizens across the street. The eight or nine deputies in front of the waterworks office fingered their weapons. Charles Scott, Sr. sent word in to his son and Vestal to "come on out. We don't want you boys alone in there with those gangsters."

GI Judge Bob Hairrell Beaten 3:15 pm

Bob Hairrell, GI judge, beaten by Minis Wilburn, officer of the election, 12 precinct, North White Street, Athens.

The First Poll Closing (Illegally)

12th Precinct, Dixie Café

3:55 pm

The first closing come at the 12th Precinct, back of the Dixie Café and next to the county jail. The legal closing time was 4 pm. The door was locked and Sheriff Mansfield's men lifted an automobile to the sidewalk, placed it directly in front of the precinct door. Two other cars were placed across the narrow alley to block access to the area of the voting place, and sheriff's deputies, hands on their pistols, guard against entry into the area.

4:15 pm?

While GIs watched with a scowl Sheriff Mansfield and a dozen of his deputies piled into two cars and drove off to the 11th Precinct at the Water Commission office. There, deputies, with guns ready, kept all observers away from the sidewalk in front of the office, and a throng of several hundred watched silently from across the street.

Vote Counting

11th Precinct, Water Commission Office

4:20 pm?

Inside, according to stories the GIs told later, Charles Scott, Jr., and James Howard Vestal, watchers for the GI ticket, were ordered to take seats in front of the room, while the vote counting, by Cantrell men, went on at the rear. Vestal and Scott demanded that they either be permitted to see the ballots or be allowed to leave the area. The sheriff's men refused and ordered them to, "Sit down, you're staying right here." They sat down. A few minutes later, Scott told the machine politicians again that they were leaving. At this, the machine men barricaded the ex-GIs behind a counter and locked the door.

4:45 pm.

"We jumped on the counter, climbed over it and tried to get out. The door was locked," Vestal said "and Charlie hit it with his shoulder. They were right at us and trying to slug us with knuckles and their guns. He broke the glass and we stumbled through. Charlie was cut around the shoulders. I got cut a little too, and fell down coming through the door." The door was a plate glass set in a wood frame.

A Sickening Sight

Then over a thousand people witnessed a sickening sight. Vestal who was until January of this year a first lieutenant in the army engineers corps and twice wounded in the Pacific, scrambled to his feet, blood dripping from a gash in his left hand. Scott too, picked himself up. Through the broken glass, immediately on their heels squirmed Deputy Sheriff Wendy Wise, a shiny .38 revolver poked out in front of his nose. He shouted something which was lost in the moan which went through the crowd. Women screamed; one shouted, "Oh, god, here it comes." From a long line of ex-soldiers on the sidewalk across the street came gasp's, then cries "let's go get 'em!"; "No, we got no guns, stay away from them .45s." Vestal and Scott, whether heeding Wise's orders or through quick instinct, threw their hands high above their heads and walked slowly and alone across the empty street to the refuge of the crowd. Wise leveled his revolver at their backs, then whirled with the instinct of the gunman to one side and then the other to insure against a potshot at himself from the crowd — then aimed again at the backs of the veterans. George Spurling, another deputy, popped up at Wise's side and slowly brought his pistol down in the direction of the retreating boys, aiming either at them or some of the jeering GIs on the sidewalk to which they were going. He and Wise for a few seconds gave every appearance of being trigger happy. It seemed to us, standing just across the street, that Spurling was in the act of pressing his trigger when another deputy half grabbed his arm, gave him a half-dozen swift slaps in the ribs as a signal not to fire. As Vestal and Scott completed their long, measured march, their GI comrades, boiling mad by now, cried to Wise and other deputies, "Throw down your guns and come out in the street and we'll fight you man for man.

4:50 pm

Wise ducked back into the Water Commission Office.

4:55 pm

But further activity was forestalled when Chief Deputy Boe Dunn drove up in a blue sedan, with two ex-soldiers, Felix Harrod, election clerk, and Tom Dooley, election judge, for the all GI ticket were, being forcibly held and transported by Dunn's group, as six men piled out. The deputies formed a cordon from the precinct to the car and Dunn himself went in and stole the ballot box. At least 15 pistols were trained on the citizens of Athens as the deputies rolled away with the ballot box. They went straight to the county jail. Several citizens broke from the crowd, shouting, "Get your guns, boys, get your guns!"

Vestal and Scott Taken To The Hospital

Vestal's wounds were treated by Dr. C.O. Foree in the physician's clinic. Two stitches were required to close the slash on his ankle. He also suffered a cut hand. Vestal was a first lieutenant in the 3rd Combat Engineers, 24th Division. He was overseas 30 months, was hit by a Jap hand grenade once and wounded by artillery fire once. "How did today compare to fighting overseas?" he was asked. He was quiet for a moment. "Well, today it made you madder than it did over there. And it was closer range."

First Violent Incident in McMinn County

Kennedy's Essankay Tire Company

5:10 pm

W. O. Kennedy, Republican election commissioner and crowd of veterans walked to Kennedy's garage and tire shop near the center of town. Two deputies, with badges and sidearms walked toward the crowd. This was a mistake as this was most assuredly seen in the abstract a representation of a decade of tyranny and oppression of a despotic government, the Cantrell political machine. The crowd was quickly inflamed at the arrogance of the two deputies and suddenly there were yells of "Kill them, kill them" sounded in the streets. The deputies drew their guns and prepared to shoot down anyone who came near.

It is the trained and instinctive nature of veterans of war to react offensively at such an oppressive act committed by the deputies. Otto Kennedy and his civilian task force accepted the challenge. They rushed across the street and overwhelmed the two deputies before the pair could choose a target for their fire.

W. O. Kennedy, his two brothers and several other furious vets attacked the deputies with a proper assault and battery upon their faces and ripping their clothes.

The crowds packing the main square heard of an impending attack by the sheriff's force and rushed to the scene.

First False Alarm

Cries of "here they come" sent the onlookers scattering wildly for shelter but the garage garrison stood firm and waited for the assault. When no more gunmen appeared alter five minutes the crowd came out from the hedges, homes and parked cars.

By now there were literally thousands of people — mostly men — strung along a three-block area. They were frightened people, and people who were ashamed of their town's politics, but something in the attitude of these embattled veterans held them.

Second Alarm Netted Two More Deputies

The veterans waited. The mob huddled back against the store as soon as the shot came. Another thunderous warning, "Here they come," emptied the streets. It was an anti-climax. There were no onrush carloads of deputies. Only two deputies appeared.

They had guns of course. But the group at the garage had two guns now. Kennedy's rangers made short work of them as they had the first two. The second pair were marched into the garage to join the first pair. Chattanooga Times reporter Richard Rogers attempted to mingle among the crowd when he was spotted as an unrecognizable intruder by a veteran and that veteran challenged him for his business being there. The reporter identified himself and was promptly escorted into the garage were the captured deputies were. In any act of revolt there is the human nature to extract the same king of punishment upon the tyrannical proponents that they had inflicted upon the citizenry. The veteran guards over the four deputies, in using intimidation and humiliation tactics common in any war goaded any one or all the deputies to attempt anything to give justification in the veteran's desire to shoot them, saying "Go ahead, you sons of --------. I'd love to kill every --------- one of you. The reporter's escort pushed him closer to the deputies quite possibly to provide the reporter the opportunity to interview the prisoners, saying to the deputies, "Here's a reporter."

Third Alarm Nets Three More Deputies

This interview arrangement was interrupted with another alarm warning from outside. "Here they come!" The reporter's escort spun around, and ran outside again. One guard ran after him. This left the four deputies with one veteran guard and the reporter. The lone guard threatened the prisoners saying, "If those guys get in here and get me, I'll kill you first." Another yell bellowed from the street. A veteran stuck his head through the door and shouted "Watch out! They're going to rush us." The reporter ducked behind a stack of tires.

Just then there came the loudest most frightening, skin crawling roar of voices those people could emit. The reporter saw the lone guard waving one gun in his direction and upon seeing its muzzle, comparing it to the size of Chattanooga's Braided Tunnel, he jumped through the window which was behind him and the stack of tires.

Now out on the street the reporter had seen that the crowd had grown and saw one carrying a 12-gauge shotgun and another had a repeating rifle. Unexpectedly, three deputies appeared on the street. Two were overcome immediately. The third was overpowered by Otto Kennedy, throwing himself upon the larger man, shoved his own .45 against the fellow's face and the fight went out of the deputy. That was the last capture of the engagement.

Transport Seven Captured Deputies Out of Town

5:30 p.m.

The crowd remained in the streets. The veterans pleaded for volunteers to haul the deputies out of town, and one by one, citizens came forward with automobiles.

One of these was an aged gentleman who operates a hardware store near the Essankay garage. He introduced himself as Emmett Johnson. "Do you live in Athens, sir?"

"I do. And today I'm ashamed of my home. These gangsters have disgraced us. If the boys want my car they can have it. They can have anything. They should have started cleaning up on those crooks a long time ago." As the deputies lives were in grave danger they were put into cars and driven out of town. Then the crowd was told to scatter. The crowd reluctantly dispersed.

W. O. Kennedy Interviewed By Five Chattanooga Times Staff Reporters Kennedy agreed to an interview with the Chattanooga Times. Five of the Times staff drove a mile into the country to Kennedy's home. At the Kennedy home were Otto Kennedy introducing his brothers J.P. and C.O.; J.B. Adams, his son-in-law, and Frank McCracken.

Otto Kennedy revealed the deputies were out-of-towners. And one claimed he got arrested this morning on a traffic charge and instead of paying the fine they made him a deputy and gave him a gun.

Second Ballot Box Taken To Jail

6:35 pm

The sheriff's men, assisted by state highway patrolmen and city policemen removed the automobile from in front of Precinct 12 (Dixie Café) and carried the ballot box into the McMinn County bastille, where presumably, Ellis and several other GIs still were being held incommunicado. As the sheriff's men carried the box across the jailhouse lawn, they were preceded by two men armed with shotguns and followed by four more equipped with heavy-gauge shotguns and high-powered rifles. Apparently pistols, of which several hundred were on display, were not longer considered to handle the occasion.

GI's Gather At GI Headquarters

7:30 p.m.

GI's Converge On The Jail

8:45 p.m.

A crowd of about 500 armed with pistols and light rifles moved on the jail.

Battle Begins

9:00 pm

Ralph Duggan, a former Navy lieutenant commander and a leader of the ex-GI's said the crowd was "met by gun fire" and because they had "promised that the ballots would be counted as cast," they had "no choice but to meet fire with fire." Violence flared anew with GIs reported firing on the county jail. Shooting began around 9:00 pm for the first time. Sheriff Pat Mansfield Interviewed By Chattanooga Daily Times Via Telephone

10:00 pm

Sheriff Pat Mansfield breaks off telephone conversations to Chattanooga Daily Times, stating "I can't talk anymore — there's mob violence at the County Jail right now. Things are too hot here now. I haven't got time to talk to you — I'm standing in front of the door." he said hurriedly as he hung up the telephone.

Sheriff Pat Mansfield and Deputies Threaten Hostages

11:00 pm

Sheriff Pan Mansfield and deputies threatened to kill three GI hostages held within the jailhouse. The three GI hostages are Felix Harrod, Tom Dooley and Walter Ellis.

Thousands of Rounds Exchanged

11:35 pm-12:40 am

Thousands of rounds of shots were exchanged between ex-GIs and an estimated 75 deputies barricaded in the McMinn County jail. No state guardsman had arrived at 12:40. Former soldiers were pouring lead into every opening in the brick jail. The officers' returning fire was weakening. Some GIs were firing from ground level across White Street. Others were on roofs on the Power Company Building and other near-by structures.

Tennessee State Guard Mobilized?

12:00 am (midnight)

State Adj.-Gen. Hilton Butler announced that he was mobilizing the Sixth Regiment of the State Guard in connection with election violence in McMinn County. This report was later proven untrue.

GIs Cut Telephone Lines To The Jail

1:00 am

GIs cut telephone lines to the jail. The officers, inside the jail, were out of ammunition or running extremely low. Firing of the GIs included rapid bursts of 10 or more shots. Apparently they were using some automatic rifles.

Last Warning! Deputies Threaten Hostages' Lives

2:00 am

Deputies sent out last warning that they would kill three GI hostages within the jail immediately if the firing did not end.

GIs Replied With Ultimatum Of Their Own

2:20 am

GIs issued an ultimatum to the deputies to come out with hands upraised or the crowd would rush the jail.

GIs Escalate The Fight With Use of Dynamite

2:59 am

The ex-GIs went into action with demolition charges — home made, but effective. After a fourth blast had rocked the jail one of the deputies leaned from the building and shouted "Stop that blasting. We'll give up — we're dying in here. Firing continued a few moments then stopped.

The Deputies Surrendered

3:02-3:30 a.m.

The officers began filing out of the battered building. They were searched, and roughly, by the attackers and marched back into the building to be locked in cells under guard of the ex-GIs. When Wyse came out, several in the crowd surged forward and mauled him with fists and elbows before he could be returned to comparative safety of the bullet scarred jail.

Riots & Destruction Begin

3:45 a.m.

Automobiles belonging to deputy sheriffs overturned in streets, smashed and burned.

4:00 a.m. Sunrise.

Battle over. The veterans armed with rifles were patrolling the streets to maintain order by sunrise.

George Woods Concedes

5:00 a.m.

By telephone George Woods concedes GI victory.

Paul Cantrell Concedes Defeat

7:05 am

Frank Cantrell, Mayor of Etowah issued the following statement: "In behalf of my brother Paul Cantrell, I wish to concede the election to the G.I. candidates in order to prevent further shooting. (Signed) Frank Cantrell.

Deputies Released From Jail 9:00 a.m.

GIs Disperse 10:00 a.m.

Three-man Commission Elected

4:00 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 3

Three man commission chosen as governing body by mass meeting at Court House. Volunteers by hundreds offer assistance in setting up government framework.

Cleansing & Restoration

4:00 p.m. Friday to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3

Curious crowds mill streets as the new government cleans up "hot-spots." Beer sales banned. Town is orderly.

Rumored Biggs-Mansfield Invasion Sets GIs On Alert

9:00 p.m. Saturday

Rumor and newspaper story from Knoxville sets off high strung nerves with the report that Biggs and Mansfield will attempt to storm Athens.

1,500 Citizens Converge On Athens

9:00 pm

Fifteen hundred citizens pour into Athens with firearms to back the new government. Telephone calls from neighboring cities pledge aid if needed in defense of the town.

GIs on Patrol

7:00 p.m. Saturday Aug. 3 to Sunrise Sunday, Aug. 4

Athens is patrolled by GIs and citizens.

George Woods Returns to McMinn County Under GI Escort

4:00 p.m. Sunday, August 4


This special announcement was hand to the Daily Post-Athenian and Radio Station WLAR at 3:02 A.M. by the Non-Partisan Candidates for immediate release shortly before the exodus of imprisoned officials in the county jail:

"The G-I election officials went to the polls unarmed to have a fair election, as Pat Mansfield promised. They were met with black-jacks and pistols.

"Several G-I officials were beaten and the ballot boxes were moved to the jail. The G-I supporters went to the jail to get these ballot boxes and were met by gunfire.

"The G-I candidates had promised that the votes would be counted as cast. They had no choice but to meet fire with fire.

"In the precincts where the G-I candidates were allowed watchers they led by three to one majorities.


The G-I Candidates, thus claiming election to officer are:
Knox Henry — Sheriff
Frank Carmichael — Trustee
Bill Hamby — Circuit Court Clerk
Charlie Pickle — Register of Deeds
Campaign Mgr for the G-Is was Jim Buttram.

George Woods returns to McMinn County under protection by the GI-Citizens Government.

Sheriff Mansfield Resigned

5:00 p.m. Sunday

Word is received from Nashville that Mansfield had resigned as sheriff.

George Woods Declares GI's Elected

10:00 a.m. Monday, August 5

George Woods signs election certificate declaring GIs officially McMinn County Officers.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Taxes done and filed

I started working on our income tax returns about three weeks ago, then got distracted by other stuff.

I finally came back to the project this evening and plowed through it using H&R Block tax software – the same company I’ve used for several years.

I just finished the federal and state returns and e-filed both, so I can now move on to other matters.

AP drops “illegal immigrant” from the stylebook – more evidence of a world gone mad

‘Illegal immigrant’ no more

Posted the AP Blog on 04/02/2013 by Paul Colford

The AP Stylebook today is making some changes in how we describe people living in a country illegally.

Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll explains the thinking behind the decision:

The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term “illegal immigrant” or the use of “illegal” to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that “illegal” should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.

Why did we make the change?

The discussions on this topic have been wide-ranging and include many people from many walks of life. (Earlier, they led us to reject descriptions such as “undocumented,” despite ardent support from some quarters, because it is not precise. A person may have plenty of documents, just not the ones required for legal residence.)

Those discussions continued even after AP affirmed “illegal immigrant” as the best use, for two reasons.

A number of people felt that “illegal immigrant” was the best choice at the time. They also believed the always-evolving English language might soon yield a different choice and we should stay in the conversation.

Also, we had in other areas been ridding the Stylebook of labels. The new section on mental health issues argues for using credibly sourced diagnoses instead of labels. Saying someone was “diagnosed with schizophrenia” instead of schizophrenic, for example.

And that discussion about labeling people, instead of behavior, led us back to “illegal immigrant” again.

We concluded that to be consistent, we needed to change our guidance.

So we have.

Is this the best way to describe someone in a country without permission? We believe that it is for now. We also believe more evolution is likely down the road.

Will the new guidance make it harder for writers? Perhaps just a bit at first. But while labels may be more facile, they are not accurate.

I suspect now we will hear from some language lovers who will find other labels in the AP Stylebook. We welcome that engagement. Get in touch at stylebook@ap.org  or, if you are an AP Stylebook Online subscriber, through the “Ask the Editor” page.

Change is a part of AP Style because the English language is constantly evolving, enriched by new words, phrases and uses. Our goal always is to use the most precise and accurate words so that the meaning is clear to any reader anywhere.

The updated entry is being added immediately to the AP Stylebook Online and Manual de Estilo Online de la AP, the new Spanish-language Stylebook. It also will appear in the new print edition and Stylebook Mobile, coming out later in the spring. It reads as follows:

illegal immigration Entering or residing in a country in violation of civil or criminal law. Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.

Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegalsor undocumented.

Do not describe people as violating immigration laws without attribution.

Specify wherever possible how someone entered the country illegally and from where. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?

People who were brought into the country as children should not be described as having immigrated illegally. For people granted a temporary right to remain in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, use temporary resident status, with details on the program lower in the story.