Archive for April, 2011

A reader wants to see

April 30, 2011

how much Marlee has grown.   Below is a picture of our 9-year-old Misty and our then 6-week-young Marlee less than two weeks after we brought her home.    We adopted her from the Cobb County Animal Shelter.

Misty Marlee

At ten pounds, Misty is no heavyweight, but she seems like a giant standing next to the wee Marlee.  After just one day with the furry ball of energy, Misty began displaying her maternal instincts.

My oh my, look at Marlee at the age of 9-months.   She’s now almost as big as Misty.   It was difficult to get this picture because when she’s awake, Marlee is usually moving very fast from one place in the house to another.  She certainly gets her speed work despite not having outdoor privileges.  We love her.  We love Misty for so many reasons….especially for accepting this young stranger into our household as a baby and now almost all grownup.                                                   

Marlee-Age 9-months

Family Trees-Friends Trees

April 29, 2011

Researching one’s family trees has long been a popular activity.  I’ve never done it, but have the software program should I ever feel inspired.  Somewhere in my home is a hard copy of the McClellan family.  My Uncle Rufus McClellan compiled it long before the days of computers.  He was a judge in southwest Virginia.    I was reminded of this today during a conversation with my dear friend Ray Moore.

Ray Moore

Ray has been tracing both his paternal and maternal ancestry.  Ray remembers this his Uncle Charlie Bell planted the seed for his research.    Uncle Charlie was a Lt. Colonel in charge of the 8th Air Force’s mail division during World War II.  Ray was a journalist in the military.   Ray and his Uncle Charlie came across each other as his Uncle was headed for Paris and  Ray London.  Using Uncle Charlie’s original research, Ray has now traced the Bell and Moore families back to around 16-hundred.   Ray says some of his ancestors migrated to this country from Switzerland.   Ray and his wife Sara have visited the land where his family once lived.   They loved it.    The Bell family came from England.  I’m wondering if they were bell ringers.  I’m also wondering if centuries from now that our descendants will be doing searches and perhaps coming across our names.   Will they ever know that Ray and I were close friends?   Perhaps we could start a new thing which we would call, “Friends Tree”?  Researching “Face Book” and “Twitter” files could be a beginning…but only a beginning because Ray and I use neither.

.

Tornadoes

April 28, 2011

Throughout the day, we’ve been hearing about the possibility of tornadoes  coming through metro Atlanta.   During my more than half a century witht WSB-Television, I’ve lived through two tornadoes, chased several others, and covered the aftermath of an uncounted number of funnel clouds.   My most memorable tornado was March 24, 1975.  It became known as the “Governor’s Tornado” because of the damage it did to the Governor’s mansion in the Buckhead section of Atlanta.  I lived about 3 miles away.  It was a little after 7 a.m. when I heard a tornado had been sighted moving in my general direction.   I grabbed my Bolex movie camera.   It was daylight as I stepped out the door.   The winds were blowing.   Suddenly it went from daylight to dark.  I trained my camera on the darkness, but through the lens finder I could see nothing.   There was an eerie silence, then a roar as the winds increased and began bearing down on me.   I started the silent camera, but all it recorded was black film.   I retreated back inside and headed for my prayer closet.   I prayed.    In less than a minute, the tornado was gone.   It left huge trees uprooted, homes destroyed and frightened neighbors on the street surveying what the tornado had done.  My home escaped with only minor damage.  It was time for me to become a reporter telling my personal experience and covering the aftermath for the next several months.

Nickels in the mail

April 27, 2011

For the past several months, we’ve been receiving free nickels.  They come from charities which apparently believe that sending you a small amount of money will cause you to send them a larger sum in return.  It doesn’t work with us.  In fact, it turns us off.  We must be in the minority because marketing companies representing charities keep using this gimmick.   In addition to the nickels,  I wonder how much money they spend on these mail-outs.    They must convince enough people  to send money because the stuff keeps arriving in our mailbox.   While we may empathize with the cause these people say they represent, we suggest they keep the nickels they’re sending us.  They’d come out at least a nickel ahead.

Just before leaving St. Simons Island

April 26, 2011

Everyone has a story to tell.  This is high school senior Whitney Dickson.  We met her just before leaving St. Simons Monday morning.  We were on a pier soaking in the view one more time before heading home.  Whitney is a student at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian in Atlanta.  Her parents have a vacation home at St. Simons   She’ll be going to Auburn University next fall.    She’s not decided on her major, but is leaning toward  becoming a Physical Therapist.  She says her leaning has been greatly affected by the Physical Therapists she’s met while rehabbing from surgeries.  Whitney is a swimmer and cheerleader at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian.  She’s also a pretty good photographer as she demonstrated when we asked her to take this picture of my wife Gisela and me.  It’s a moment we’ll always treasure!

Gisela Don

Horseshoe crabs, sun worshipers, Oran, Liz + me

April 25, 2011

This was my 6th consecutive day to walk and run shirtless on St. Simons beach.   Despite my fair complexion, so far no sunburn.   I attribute tanning instead of burning to the same plan that works for running.    It’s a gradual approach starting with 30 minutes and building to 90 minutes over the six-day period.   An SPF 15 lotion also helps.  A visitor from Metro Atlanta took my picture.   Oran Eichner, his daughter Liz Strickland, and their dog are from the Lawrenceville-Duluth commnunities.  Liz is a uniformed Duluth Police Officer.    Oran is in medical sales.   His family has a vacation home near the beach.  One of them mentioned that their dog is getting a little age on him and likes to be carried.  I know the feeling.

I’ve seen several jelly fish on the beach this week, but this is my first sighting of horseshoe crabs.   Two of them snuggled together as they lay dying in the sand.  It would be a stretch to write that two crabs dying side by side calls up memories of Shakesspeare”s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.  Nor would I compare them to the lovers from the Hatfield and McCoy clans.  As I wound up my week at the beach, there were two women (perhaps a mother and daughter) who are combining their worship of the sun with their love of the ocean.  They’re half in and half out of the salt water and full faced into the sun.  So long St. Simons until next time!

The Resurrection

April 24, 2011

Whether you believe the Biblical account of  The Resurrection or not, its telling has a message for many of us.    I’m reminded of the stories of recovering alcoholics, members of  Alcoholics Anonymous.    Short of death, many alcoholics hit bottom before coming to AA.  With the support of AA, they and others have experienced their own resurrections.  Easter is a celebration of  THE Resurrection, but can also remind many of what already has happened in their mortal lives.

Sun Dial and Sand Castle

April 23, 2011

Ricky Blanton and his wife are from Savannah.    They’re sitting in front of a clock they built in the sand at St. Simons beach.   The clock is a sundial.   Historians trace the use of a sundial back to about 5000  BC.   Mechanical clocks did  not replace them until the middle ages.   This sundial did just what Ricky was expecting.  My watch read 11:30 a.m..  So did Ricky’s sundial.

Theere was another mouument to the past on the beach.    Whoever built this sandcastle was not nearby when I came upon it.  It’s very detailed.  There’s a moat and scores of turrets surrounding the castle.   Both it and the sundial by tomorrow will be gone with the tide.

Whales on the beach

April 22, 2011

In the shadow of the St. Simon’s lighthouse is a replica of a North Atlantic Right Whale and its calf.    It’s been there for about a quarter of a century.   This type of whale can weigh 70 tons and are up to 55 feet in length.   They are an endangered species protected by federal law. It’s estimated that only about 4-hundred North American Right Whales still exist.

On the other hand, there are sea gulls aplenty at St. Simons and elsewhere around the world.  These two were resting atop poles near the St. Simons pier.  Some sea gulls weigh almost 4 pounds, but those like you see here are light weights at a little more than 4 ounces.   

I really miss my chinning bar at home.   It feels great to stsretch the back muscles and feel the body’s extension.  This was at a children’s playground near the replica of the whale.    I promise you that no children were harmed in this hanging.

Beach scenes

April 21, 2011

The sounds and the sights from the beach at St. Simons Island, Georgia.

I love the sound of the waves.  There are some sightings that have scenes that blend together.  You can see the sailboat on the sea, a woman walking her canines and a youngster in the water to her right.   Calling all painters!

It’s a place for people of all ages.  As much as we enjoy the beach and the ocean, I don’t think I’d want to live here.  But God willing, we’ll keep on visiting.