Friday, December 23, 2016

College Town At Christmas, 2016: Dreams, Technology and The Christmas Spirit

     BOWLING GREEN, KY. _ Today is Friday, Dec. 23, and I am off work for the Christmas holiday until Tuesday morning.
I had a horrible dream last night. So I woke up early telling my wife, Patty, about it while she was still asleep.  She barely listened I suppose.  I don't think there's anything to dreams. And I never do.  I think dreams are merely a way to work out all of the clutter and crap in your subconscious mind.  I know some people call them stress dreams. But I haven't had a whole lot of stress in my life lately. It's almost like your conscious mind shuts down when you go to sleep and your subconscious mind wakes up and drinks his coffee and goes to work as a superhero.  Or so he thinks he's one. Except, this guy is crazy!   He will always take you places far and wide and makes unimaginable things happen.  He's a nut! I don't pay any attention to him or my dreams.  They mean nothing! Absolutely nothing, okay! Lol.
     Anyway, I have to admit that I have been struggling this year to find some inspiration to write my annual Christmas blog called, "College Town At Christmas" which usually centers around our fair city of Bowling Green, Ky., with a population of about 65,00-70,000 citizens now.  Yes, our town is booming!  Our local college of Western Kentucky University is booming too! Our WKU football team just beat Memphis in the Boca Raton Bowl in Florida, 51-31.  Another great victory for WKU and Bowling Green!
    But I will say that this holiday season has been an interesting one for Patty and I.  Mainly, I would say it's about new technology for all of us living in today's modern society.  As we all know, things are not the same and never will be. (Of course, being Republicans, we have been elated that President-Elect Donald Trump won the presidential election recently! I lost 12 Facebook friends on social media because of my beliefs or because of way my way of thinking.  I guess I was an asshole to some of my friends on FB or they were an asshole to me.  I do give them my apologies though-boo hoo!)  But back to technology.  I think the biggest thing I have been thinking about this year is how we as a society are adapting and using all of the technologies available to us in general way.  For instance, Patty and I did all of our Christmas shopping on-line this year mainly with Amazon.  It appears that UPS, FedEx and the USPS are booming these days too!  Our world has become what people have been predicting for years-a virtual high tech society with people communicating in incredible ways and sending each others packages at lightning speed without even having to leave your home or office. And lately, we have been ordering our groceries from Kroger on-line and picking them up too. And Patty and I just received an Amazon Fire table as a Christmas gift from her daughter in North Carolina yesterday.  So we already have WiFi high speed-internet, a desk top computer, iPhone's and now we have the tablets!  It appears that everyone in society is connected to each other in more ways than one these days. Also, I got a new work truck a couple months ago and it came with six months worth of  free Sirius satellite radio.  I have been really in tune with politics lately listening to POTUS and Fox Headline News.  And Patty and I have not even tapped into the new television technologies yet such as Hulu or Amazon.  We're still on Time-Warner/Spectrum but they are coming along with great, new technologies also.
    But the bottom line as far as I can tell,  is that somehow, somewhere we are still able to find a lot of Christmas spirit in our college town as we muddle through our high tech society which is connected to the world in a much greater way.  People still listen to Christmas music, decorate (probably not as much as they did back in the 60's, 70's and 80's), shop at the mall, wrap presents, give gifts, bake cookies, family members traveling in from out of town, mail Christmas cards, have family Christmas dinners and parties and attend church together.  And the best thing about this year, President-Elect Donald Trump says he going to bring back saying "Merry
Christmas!"  So Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday spending time with your loved ones.  And please don't forget to give your pets some love and Christmas gifts too!  Remember they are you fur babies and are a part of your family also!  God Bless!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A&E's 'Live PD" Lands In Bowling Green, Ky., Featuring The Warren County Sheriff's Office

   Warren County Sheriff Jerry "Peanuts" Gaines posted a comment on his Facebook page this past Friday night that he was proud of his deputies being featured on Live PD on the A&E network for the first time.
    "Proud of my deputies being featured on Live PD on the A&E station tonight for the first time.  The production crew will be with us through March.  If you haven't tuned in, check it out,"  Gaines posted.
(This was the first time I'd heard about it. I only take Wednesday's and Sunday's Bowling Green Daily News these days.  And I tend to listen to a lot of Sirius Satellite radio and Spotify in my work truck.  And it seems the rest of the time, I am either on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter or channel surfing.  So I get most of my local news from either Facebook or Twitter.)  Then cracker jack, crime beat reporter for the Bowling Green Daily News, Debi Highland, also tweeted, "You can see some familiar sheriff's deputies right now on A&E network's Live PD. Warren Co. SO is being featured through March."
   
I had written a blog this past April about a possible police reality show should come to Bowling Green to film because we've have had so much usual criminal activity this past year and local police have done incredible job fighting crime while making headlines in our local newspaper.  Also in that blog, I wrote about a car chase with police that had been reported by Debi Highland in the BGDN where a young guy was chased from Portland., Tenn., all the way to downtown Bowling Green where he was finally stopped by Kentucky State Police and local authorities. I made the suggestion that it would have a made an awesome segment for "America's Dumbest Criminals" and I wondered if their had been cameras recording the chase.http://acriticfromthesouth.blogspot.com/2016/04/recent-bowling-green-ky-police-chase.html
 
Highland also recently wrote a story for the BGDN that was published in yesterday's newspaper. "A film crew began riding along with Warren County sheriff's deputies earlier this week and will continue filming through March."  And then she quotes Warren County Sheriff "Jerry" "Peanuts" Gaines, "It just shows what we do and what different departments do."  Highland wrote that Gaines informed her that the series includes both live and previously filmed segments, along with commentary about what is being shown.  The show follows several departments in each episode. Highland also quoted Deputy Chris Shelton, one of the deputies to be featured on the show and he said he is "looking forward to giving the public real life, front-seat access to police work."
   "From a lot of folks, especially here lately, law enforcement has been painted in a negative light, and this will show that the Warren County Sheriff's Office is very transparent in everything we do, and it gives everybody a chance to see it, not only here but across the country."
    I think it's a great idea to have a national show from a major cable network of this caliber such as A&E to come to our town to set up production and film.  Just think about all of the national and international exposure that Bowling Green and Warren County will receive.  Like Shelton said, the Warren County Sheriff's Department will not be shown in a negative light, but in a transparent way where the world will see where our boys have been doing a damn good job in law enforcement by fighting crime and keeping our county safe here in Southcentral Kentucky!  They already have been making the headlines in our newspaper to prove it thanks to Debi Highland's excellent reporting for the Bowling Green Daily News.  Mainly though, I can't wait to see my first episode of "Live PD" featuring the Warren County Sheriff's Department next Friday night on A&E!
    

Monday, December 5, 2016

Jude, The Australian Shepherd From Bowling Green, Ky.

     He's wild, energetic, spunky and crazy!
He's Jude, the Australian Shepherd from Bowling Green, Ky!  He even has his own Facebook page. Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/judetheaussie/  Patty and I took Jude, an American Kennel Club Australian Shepherd dog into our pack in May of this year. Currently, he is eight months-old and he is a beautiful Red Merle Aussie with awesome markings.  This is our third Aussie to own.  The first two were Foster, a male, a National Stock Dog Registry Aussie, and Katie Red-Dog, also from the National Stock Dog Registry, who was Foster's mate.  They had two litter of puppies together and gave us many years of pleasure and happiness until they both passed away of health complications at 12 and 13 years-old, about the average life span of Australian Shepherds. Besides Jude's wild side, he has a sweet, calm side. He loves to have his belly scratched and songs sang to him in his ear while holding him on your lap and on his back.  He loves to play with his toys in the backyard especially any kind of game of fetch with a ball or frisbee and he loves to go for long walks while he is on the lease in our neighborhood and on the Greenway which is a wide, concrete bike/walkway path located down the street from our house next to the CSX railroad tracks.  But mainly Jude is a great  friend and protector and gives us lots of love and affection. He is very loyal and protects our home letting us know when strangers come onto the property or ring the doorbell, day or night.  
   
 Most of all, Jude loves going to the "Bark Park," located in our City of Bowling Green on old Cave Mill Road next to Lost River Cave.  There, Jude gets to socialize with other dogs and Patty and I have learned that dog people are crazy just like us!  Many people in our city, regardless of skin color, political background, sexual orientation or social or income status love dogs!  We are very fortunate to have a "Bark Park" in Bowling Green a.k.a. a "dog park" where dogs can socialize and mingle with other dogs in a fenced in area while the dog owners talk amongst themselves about their favorite pet or pets. It's amazing how a dog can neutralize any political affiliation or social status amongst humans where nothing negative in conversation hardly ever comes up because everybody in Bowling Green loves dogs it seems!

Friday, November 11, 2016

As We Honor Our Veterans Today We Still Have Every Right To Be Cautious And Concerned

"When I think of Veterans Day, I think of my late father, Army Major Vester Brooks Smith, and his service in World War II and the Korean War. He made sacrifices to leave his family putting his life at risk. By the grace of God, he made it home alive. If he hadn't, me and my two other brothers wouldn't have been born because we were born after his time in Korean. Also, I think of his time and service he gave to our country while he was enlisted in the Army and the local National Guard in Memphis where I grew up. Although he was not killed in war, he paid the ultimate price by obtaining the dreaded Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (PTSD). However, he was a high functioning member of society and went on to get his college degree from Memphis State University and had a very successful career in
accounting and bookkeeping. And as I think of us as American citizens, we pay the ultimate sacrifice too by honoring our veterans and America everyday, working hard and paying our taxes. We were born here legally and because of our heritage of our family member's sacrifice in the military, we have the right to be proud and to be concerned for our country, our homes, our jobs, our community and our families. We have right to be concerned for our way of life, our peace and our freedom from threats and of acts of violence against our citizens and our nation from terrorists such as Muslims extremists and other such terrorists. We have a right to be cautious and leery of these Syrians Muslim refugees that Obama and his administration are bringing into Bowling Green and other small towns across the nation. We work hard, pay our taxes and are law abiding citizens and we have every right to be concerned and on guard. And we do not seek handouts. We pay our own way and apparently the way for others who are not even citizens who have not even made any sacrifices nor have their family members. Nevertheless Happy Veterans Day!"-Galen A. Smith Sr.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Fall In Bowling Green, Ky., Is A Time For Memories

"Fall reminds me of many things living in Bowling Green, Ky. It is a time of reflection into one's own memory-childhood, school, marriage and the raising of children. I notice how the leaves on trees are changing color and falling. I feel the cold temps on my face in the morning while I sip on a cup of coffee. I think of my late parents and friends of the past. This season offers me something much more than the others."-Galen A. Smith Sr., Nov. 5, 2010.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Trains, Lawyers, CSX And The Fight For Bowling Green's Robinson Avenue Crossing

     I have lived in Bowling Green, Ky, (Pop. 65,000) for almost 30 years now.
And 18 of those years, I have lived six houses down from some train tracks owned by CSX Transportation of Jacksonville, Fla. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARC4D1dKkD4  CSX operates its many trains that travel up and down the railroads pulling railcars filled with tons and tons of cargo. Who knows what's passing by our neighborhood in the middle of the night?  It's could be railroad cars full of nuclear waste or parts of a nuclear warhead for all I know. lol. But I am used to hearing the trains passing through our neighborhood at night or during the daytime and I hardly even notice them blowing their loud horns anymore. It has become something in the back of my subconscious mind and part of  my dream's landscape when I am sound asleep. My wife, Patty and I, use the Greenway (a wide public sidewalk) that runs along the CSX tracks and Creason Avenue just about everyday.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMs5LD0Wq3c  We walk our Australian Shepherd, "Jude" on it and I ride my bicycle up and down the Greenway, riding all the way down and back from Western Kentucky University which is about a mile from my house.  Usually, a train or two passes by when I am on the Greenway which is a very usual and normal occurrence to say the least.  To me, the CSX train tracks and trains are synonymous with the City of Bowling Green and its citizens.  The trains here have a long history and have been traveling through our city for many, many years. Bowling Green even has a restored L&N Depot now called "The Historic Railpark and Museum" https://historicrailpark.com/ where you can pay to take tours of the building and go aboard some parked rail cars next to the depot. We have lots of train lovers in this part of Southern Kentucky.
 However, some trouble started arising during the last year or two, when the citizens of Bowling Green noticed that CSX was beginning to block some busy road crossings more often than usual such as Emmett Avenue and Robinson Avenue that lead to Russellville Road just off Creason Avenue.  CSX always blocked them some but not as often it seems lately.  I began posting pics of the Emmett Avenue road crossing being blocked CSX on Twitter and tagged local newspaper journalist and photographer, Joe Imel {@joeimel} who now has 37,000 followers.  I was doing it as a PSA (public service announcement) to let people know that the road is blocked and that they should make a detour.
 I think some followers appreciated it but I know a lot of followers would get angry when they found out that CSX was blocking the crossroads again.  It seems like the Robinson Avenue crossing was always being blocked.  It's about a mile down the street from the Emmett Road crossing close to my house.  However, in May of this year, the City of Bowling Green had made a deal with CSX to sell them a portion of land for $50,000 at the Robinson Avenue at-grade crossing and to allow them to closed it off this summer without the citizens knowing about it until our local newspaper, the Bowling Green Daily News published a story regarding the closure. The reason for the closing of Robinson Avenue is that CSX claims that they are running some longer trains now and they need to more trains that run from Indianapolis to Nashville. So the need for "passing" or "side" tracks has also increased to allow the trains to pass each other as they travel in opposite directions.  Apparently, the City of Bowling Green had tried get CSX back away from closing the crossing at Robinson Avenue after they realized it had caused an uproar with a lot of its citizens.
     Naturally, a lot of citizens especially those who lived in a neighborhood known as "Cedar Ridge" and in the WKU general area which is basically next to the tracks separated by Creason Avenue and a Greenway  where people walk and ride bicycles between Western Kentucky University and WKU's South Campus were upset.  Mainly, the residents became upset with the city over this because they felt that they were not informed first before the deal was made with CSX.  Also, Kelly Thompson who also lives in the neighborhood, is a local lawyer and a judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, where he represents the 2nd Appellate District, Division 2, filed a lawsuit against CSX and the City of Bowling Green.
     Then it was announced in September that several businesses on the Russellville Road which just across the tracks had join the lawsuit.  But for now though, I understand, CSX has decided not to close the crossing. Bottom line is that CSX had originally said it would close the crossing at Robinson Avenue although the city sought a temporary injunction to prohibit the railroad from closing the street.  I made a video of the Robinson Avenue crossing this past summer on my blog's Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/acriticfromthesouth/
     In a motion filed in Warren Circuit Court recently, CSX said it would refrain from closing the crossing until the court had ruled on the railroad's motion. So Robinson Avenue will stay open at least until the next court date which is set for November 7.  Yay or nay, I will make the proper adjustments and take the necessary short cuts on certain streets to get where I am going if Robinson Avenue is closed.  And course, I will obey the speed limit and watch out for pedestrians, dogs, cats, children playing and squirrels while driving through our beautiful neighborhoods. But I am like most citizens who live in our neighborhood, I do hope that CSX and the City of Bowling Green as well as our area residents, can come to agreement to keep the Robinson Avenue crossing open. Because it's a very important function to our network of city streets, neighborhoods and business districts which are close by.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

NBC's Lester Holt Was Possibly Under Pressure From Comcast After Last Night's Presidential Debate

"You know, I personally like Lester Holt as an anchor of NBC, one of the largest networks in television history and his evening news is the one I watch most often. Because my wife, Patty, is a big Jeopardy fan and it comes on between the two game shows each weekday night. But let's see, NBC is owned by Comcast https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comcast and Comcast is one of Obama's biggest contributors as well as the Democratic party. Makes sense to me after last night's debate, right?"-Galen A. Smith Sr.
"Comcast was among the top backers of Barack Obama's presidential runs, with Comcast vice president David Cohen raising over $2.2 million from 2007 to 2012.[47][48] Cohen has been described by many sources as influential in the US government,[49] though he is no longer a registered lobbyist, as the time he spends lobbying falls short of the 20% which requires official registration.[50] Comcast's PAC, the Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal Political Action Committee, is the among the largest PACs in the US, raising about $3.7 million from 2011-2012 for the campaigns of various candidates for office in the United States Federal Government."-Wikipedia

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Big Government Spending: The High Cost Of Settling Refugees In America

"I was appalled when I heard on the radio the other day that it costs us taxpayers $67,000 per individual to settle a refugee in America. I would rather continue to spend money to build our military and quit bringing over these un-vetted dangerous and harmful refugees who could turn out to be deadly extremist Muslims like the ones in California and Orlando. Obama and the Democrats have weakened America in the last eight years by their bad decisions. Plus Hillary's "Pay-to-Play with state" accepting millions of dollars from the Middle East to influence American policy. She's such a sell out and liar. She's very deceptive all in the name of her own benefit financially by using her political power to make money for her and Bill."-Galen A. Smith Sr
.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Trump VS. Clinton: The Tangible Vs. The Non-Tangible (Pay-To-Play With State)

"I like this point. What product or service has Bill and Hillary sold to make millions for their so called foundation? What have they built or created that is legal or legitimate? Nothing! It's all scams and lies accepting donations from foreign countries in order to buy their (the Clintons) governmental power and influence to create policy change in America for the worst. (Pay-to-Play with state).http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/clinton-foundation-ceo-admits-pay-play-state/ On the other hand, Trump has created and built things and his brands legally for years to make his money. He is a successful businessman and only wants what's best for America and its citizens."- Galen A. Smith Sr.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hillary Is Too Sick To Be Our President

"Obviously, Hillary is a very sick woman and too unhealthy to be our

president. I think all that lying that she is doing and her deception to the American people is breaking her mind and body down."-Galen A. Smith Sr.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

My Old Kentucky Home-Bowling Green, Ky.

"I will have lived in Kentucky 30 years next summer, more than half my life. But Memphis and North Mississippi still holds a special place in my heart."-Galen A. Smith Sr.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Your Life On Earth: The "Water Planet"

"I saw a sign yesterday on my way home from lunch that said, 'Water is the driving force of all nature.' - Leonardo da Vinci. How true that is since earth is known as the 'water planet' in the universe. Our bodies are 70 percent water and every single living creature depends on water. Water can be one of the most deadly and destructive forces on earth and one of the most refreshing and life giving-physically and spiritually. There's nothing better than a tall, ice cold glass of water on a hot, muggy summer day. Or if you're a Christian, we think about our baptisms. Most importantly we are spirits and souls in these physical bodies mostly made up of water making our way in the universe who depend on H2o in every aspects of our lives. Even every little microscopic cells of bodies are made up of water. Think about it. Now that's a metaphysical thought for your day."-Galen A. Smith Sr.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

We, The Working Class People Of America, Should Vote Trump!


"I'm come to this conclusion. Even though we the working class people of this country people work ourselves to the bone, dedicated to our employers and our customers with our feet hurting and swelling when we get home, sweltering in the 100 degree and humid temperatures, we keep pressing on. We've given up about worrying about high grocery prices and noticing more taxes being deducted out of our paychecks. Our main goal is to work hard and provide for our families. And because we may
not be super wealthy, we know the truth that we don't have to lie and cheat the American people to obtain what we have like some people (Hillary) running for a high political office. It's doesn't matter how much education you have, how many sheepskins are on your wall or who you know, at least we can go to bed at night with a clear conscience and wake up in the morning with integrity and pride in our hearts, knowing that we carry the weight of the country on our shoulders all in a day's work. Vote Republican and Trump!"-Galen A. Smith Sr., Bowling Green, Ky.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In Spite Of His Injuries From World War II, The Late Willie Brown Of Rockfield, Ky., Let Nothing Get In His Way

(Note: I had the opportunity to speak at a local, Bowling Green, Ky., Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in February of 2004 about Willie Brown, a veteran of World War II who was still alive at the time.  I read the following story that I have posted below to all the veterans in the room that night.  This story originally appeared in the Spring issue (2004) of a short-lived newsletter that I was publishing at the time called, "The Southcentral Kentuckian." Willie Brown was an amazing man and I got to know him as one of my best customers where I worked.  I went to his house on a monthly basis and got to know him pretty well. He eventually allowed me to interview him and take a couple of pictures regarding his life as a Disabled American Veteran.  Sadly, Willie died several years ago in Bowling Green at the age of 89 in 2008.  There's not many like him around anymore.)

     ROCKFIELD, Ky. _ Willie Brown of Rockfield has been injured ever since 1944 when he was in the Army infantry during World War II but has managed to make a life for himself as Disabled American Veteran while living in Southcentral Kentucky.
     Brown was shot in his left leg during combat in France near the Rhine River when the German troops occupied Paris and other parts of Europe.
     "I was on top of a hill when I was shot in my left leg and when I got shot, I rolled down the hill and that's when a mortal shell, "German 88" went threw my legs and exploded into the ground," Brown said. "I would say that mortal shell went two or three feet into the ground before it exploded.  And when it exploded a few seconds later everything just went white.  My legs were then blown to pieces."
     Brown was born in 1918 in Columbia, Ky., in Adair County and later moved to Burkesville, Ky., in Cumberland County when he was a young boy with his mother, father, brothers and sisters.  His father was a farmer, a bootlegger or "moonshiner" and made some of the "best dog-gone whisky" in the state of Kentucky at that time according to Brown.
    "My daddy made some of the best moonshine around and people would come from miles away to come get it," Brown said.  "Oh God...boy, was that some good stuff that man made," as he said wiping a tear from his starry eyes.
     Brown said when he was a boy growing up on a farm in Cumberland County he said he had to milk cows, feed chickens and cut firewood like a lot of youngsters had to do back in the 1920's and 1930's in rural Southcentral Kentucky in order to survive.
    "Let me tell you, we were poor when I was growing up.  We didn't have a whole lot of money back then.  We just had to work, plain and simple," he said with a smile on his face.
     When Brown turned 16 years-old, he moved to the great northwest to go to work for a work project in Idaho to help protect forest from fires.  Because there was hardly any money in the family back on the farm, Brown sent money back home to his family while he worked in the work project.  He said all the boys at the camp were from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio that they all got along pretty good.
     After the work project was over, Brown went back to Cumberland County for a while before he left for Louisville and went to work the former Colgate Co. across the Ohio River in Jeffersonville, Ind.
   "I can remember many times, I walked back and fourth across that bridge to get to Jeffersonville from Louisville," he said.
    Brown said he left his home in Cumberland County because there was not a whole lot around there for young people to get a decent job.  Brown said he worked a at Colgate for two years before he was drafted in the Army during World War II.  After that day he was injured in combat in France, Brown said he was transferred to several mobile hospitals before was shipped to Colorado in the United States where he recovered for two years with his severe leg injuries and after 19 surgeries.  He said while he was in a hospital in Denver, he received some the best medical care in the world at the time.
     "They were good to me.  I had some of best nurses and one of them I have kept up with through the years," he said.  He said while was in the hospital recovering, several movie stars and famous people came to visit him such as Jimmy Durant, James Cagney, Richard Loo and Gary Moore just name a few.  He also received the Purple Heart Medal Citation and some other ribbons and medals for his bravery.  The walls of his home are also dotted with autograph pictures with the likes of President George W. Bush and former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush.  Brown says he has been somewhat "political" through the years and has written or called many of his congressmen and representatives in the past in order to keep up the current Disabled Veterans Affairs on a local and national level.
     After his recovery, Brown wore braces on his legs for years while living off his government pension for being a disabled veteran.  He decided to settle in Bowling Green because he said that he would drive downtown to visit one of his favorite houses in the city at the time.  And that, little ole house just happened to be one of the most famous or "infamous" houses in the area at the time.  It was known as "The House On Clay Street," or simply known as "Pauline's."  Pauline's was a cat house or brothel, where a man could find himself some self-indulgence and fun according to Brown.
      "I just loved those girls. And they loved me," he said.  "But I never did meet Pauline herself though," he said.  The late Pauline Tabor was the madam of the house.  Back then according to Brown, Bowling Green was the about the only place you could get a drink at a bar and have that type of pleasure all in one place in this part of the state he said winking his eye.
     "Bowling Green was a lot different then, let me tell you," Brown said.
    However, wearing braces on his legs never did stop Brown from going anywhere or doing anything in those days.  As a matter of fact, Brown said he has owned two travel trailers and travelled all over the country including out west and back and fourth to Crystal River, Fla., through the years.  He has been married three times and had two children.  Now at 85, Brown does not do much traveling anymore because he has to spend most of his time in a wheelchair and has had to hire help around his house so that he can manage to get things done. And through the years, he also had several hobbies such as collecting rocks, arrowheads, driftwood, grapevine sticks and has even done some brick and stone masonry work on his own in his front of his home.
    "I built that waterfall out there in the front yard all by myself.  I even collected the rocks for it out here in Rockfield," he said.
    When asked how has managed to survive all these years since World War II with those leg injuries and has been able to achieve all the things that he has done in his lifetime, all Brown could say was, "I just hung in there, that's all," he said.  "I guess you could say that I'm just one tough ole bird!" he laughed.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Most Incredible Summer of 1981



Me in my 1970 Pontiac LeMans Sport Car

I've been thinking about summertime lately especially since it's the middle of June and it's starting to get really hot outside.





Gordon, Dicky Dees and Me at the beach

I am 54 years-old now and mind always goes back 35 years ago to the summer of 1981 when I was 19 years-old. I had the most incredible carefree summer that I ever experienced in my lifetime when I look back. I suppose that we have all had one of those summer in our lives I suspect when we reflect on our lives. It was the summer before my senior year of high school at Hernando High School in Hernando, Miss. I am going to give you rundown on what I did that summer by bullet points. At the time, I was living at my father's lake house in Eudora, Miss., 15 miles west of Hernando. My older brother, Gordon, who was an electrical contractor who lived in Memphis. However, we were best friends then and we did a lot of things together in those days. He had money and I didn't have much. He was really good to me. So here it is:

*Drove to Jacksonville Beach, Fla., and Myrtle Beach, S.C., with Gordon and two of our friends. We stayed in the Beachcomber Motel in Jacksonville Beach and the Betty Boop Inn in Myrtle Beach. I'm sure neither motel exist anymore. We swam in the pools, the ocean and hung out at the beach bars for about a week.





Me, Dicky and Gordon at the beach


*Rode to Knoxville, Tenn., with Gordon and two other friends . We stayed at their apartment and went to the Smokey Mountains and climbed the Chimney Tops, swam in spring water holes and walked the mountain trails. It was the first time that Gordon and I had ever been to Smokey Mountains or Knoxville. We were gone for about a week. Then Gordon and I flew back to Memphis via Delta airlines and we had a layover in Atlanta. I was the first time that we had ever flown too.





The Beachcomber Motel

*Gordon and I went to Paris, Tenn., with a friend from Horn Lake, Miss., and stayed at his dad's cabin by the Tennessee River where his dad grew up in the old family home. We stayed there for about a week. We grilled out, fished and drank a lot of beer.




"Leroy," my car at the beach


*Gordon and I went to Greer's Ferry Lake in Arkansas with two other friends from Memphis and stayed at one of the friend's lake house for a weekend. We went water skiing, fishing and grilled out steaks and drank lots of beer.





Me and "Dutchenss" at the lake house


*Gordon and I went to Heber Springs, Ark., with two friends from Memphis, stayed in a cabin, rode mopeds and jumped off the rock cliffs at Greer's Ferry Lake. We also went to Blanchard Springs Caverns on the way home.


*During the second half of the summer, I went to Shreveport, La., to stay with my sister and brother-in-law where I worked at a Burger King for about month or so for some extra money.









The lake house in Eudora, Miss.

*In addition to traveling and going places, I went to concerts, movies, grilled out, smoked BBQ, swam and fished at my dad's lake house and played with my brother's German Shepherd dogs whenever I had a chance.





Graduating Class of 1982 at HHS

So when August of 1981 arrived, I was ready for the new school year. I was fit, tan and I had new school clothes. I was very well relaxed and focused. With the help of a lot of friends at school, I was elected Senior Class-Co President that fall and had one of the greatest school year's of my life before heading off to college at Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., in the fall.. How could I ever forget all those once in a lifetime experiences thanks to my brother, Gordon, and good friends at Hernando High School? I still thank my brother and all in my high school friends in my heart when I look back on that time in 1981, the most incredible summer of my whole life!


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Recent Bowling Green, Ky., Police Chase May Qualified For America'sDumbest Criminals Reality Show (If There Were Cameras Involved)

     Lately, it seems, we have been getting our fair share of crime spree headlines in our local newspaper and television stations here in Bowling Green. Besides two shootings this past week, where one person was killed and another one was flown via helicopter to a Nashville hospital and is in critical condition, I'd say the headline that grabbed my attention the most was a two-state police car chase involving multiple police forces that ended in downtown Bowling Green when Kentucky State Police used their cruisers to stop the fleeing car. It began Wednesday night around 9:30 p.m.. as a domestic violence call when Bret Chadick, 26, of Portland, Tenn., left the scene before police arrived. Apparently, one of the officers saw him en route and tried conduct a traffic stop on him but he ran.
Bret Chadick, Warren County Regional Jail

     Chadick, the dumbass criminal is facing numerous felony charges in Kentucky and domestic assault offenses in Tennessee. According to police reports this jerk has been in trouble a lot down in Tennessee where he has been involved in domestic disputes and public drunkenness. One officer was even quoted in the Bowling Green Daily News as saying, "I know our officers have dealt with him quite a bit. He considered a frequent flyers for us."

     According to a Bowling Green Daily News story written by crime beat reporter, Deborah Highland, Chadick was driving a BMW and the chase was picked up by city police in White House, Tenn. Kentucky State Police said he "was covered in blood" when Portland Police started the chase.

Also in the story it says, Kentucky found the vehicle traveling north on Interstate 65 near mile marker 5. when Kentucky State Police attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver continued to run and led officers through Simpson and Warren counties before the chase ended in downtown Bowling Green. Chadick struck multiple police cruisers during the chase and driving at a high speed in an attempt to get away, according to a Kentucky State Police release. Tire deflation devices were used in Bowling Green in order to stop him, but the chase ended when a trooper conducted a pit maneuver to cause the car to spin and another trooper used his cruiser to block Chadick from being able to run any further.
Bowling Green Daily News Photo

      Now I am curious to know if there were cameras in involved. I'm sure there are cameras on all of the police cruisers these days and if so, surely the footage will be used against Chadick as evidence in court. Who knows? This car chase may even show may qualify for America's Dumbest Criminals reality show one day. I'm just glad to know that no one was seriously injured or hurt.  Thank God for our awesome police forces in the region! We appreciate the wonderful work that they do protecting and serving our communities. Obviously, Chadick is a one dumbass criminal because everyone knows you can't outrun the law!







Saturday, March 19, 2016

A Comment About "Spotlight," The Academy Awards Best Picture For 2015

"Patty (my wife) and I watched "Spotlight," the Academy Awards Best Picture for 2015 on Time Warner's "On Demand." I liked it and I thought it's a good movie. It's about the Catholic Church priests sex abuse scandals in Boston where the Boston Globe published over 600 investigative reporting stories on the subject in the early 2000's and they won a Pulitzer Prize. I agree these acts of sex abuse were deplorable by these now defrocked priests. However, it was only four percent of all priests committing these acts from 1950-2002. There's always a few bad apples in every bunch. Also, the Catholic Church is not the only church where sex abuse among its clergy has occurred. It has occurred in all of the other faiths and religions also according to statistics."-Galen A. Smith Sr.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

About The New Willie Morris Biography: "Willie: The Life of Willie Morris By Teresa Nicholas"

"I received from Amazon, the new biography of Willie Morris, the late Mississippi author and our former writer-in-residence at Ole Miss while I was in college there from 82-87. I am looking forward to reading it and I'll probably write a review for my blog regarding the book. I realize after being away from Ole Miss (even though I have returned many times for visits) and Oxford, Miss., for almost 30 years now that I was just simply a fan like a lot of admirers were back then. And sometimes fans go out of their way to do unusual things to try to obtain the admiration of their favorite celebrity, author, sports figure or musicians. Some are not so gracious but Willie was gracious and personable. He remembered your name and treated you like a friend."-Galen A. Smith Sr.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Nashville Hot Chicken Explodes Across The Nation

     If you haven't tried "Nashville Hot Chicken" yet, get prepared and molt some feathers because it's coming your way soon.
    The first time I had eaten the ever-so popular "Nashville Hot Chicken" was in, well, in Nashville, of course!  In the late Fall of 2014, our son, Tony, had just moved to East Nashville to further his music career about a month earlier and we drove down from Bowling Green to check out his new apartment as well as to take him out to lunch.  He suggested this trendy, little hipster bar and grill called "Tenn16" in the Five Points area of East Nashville. He also suggested that I try Nashville's most popular menu item that I had never heard of until that day called, "Nashville Hot Chicken."  It was really good and I loved it! However, I haven't had a chance to try it again but I've heard a lot about it in the media since then.  Apparently, tons of millennials are moving to Nashville, a boom town in the American South, in droves now and "Nashville Hot Chicken" is a new phenomenon that's sweeping across the country.
      Recently, I read that O'Charley's, a Nashville based national chain restaurant, has introduced "Hot Chicken" as one of its new menu items.  But the biggest bomb shell is that one of the most popular fast food restaurants in the world owned by Louisville, Ky., based YUM Brands-"Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)" will also be rolling out its new menu item too.  You guessed it, "Nashville Hot Chicken"!  To learn more about this menu item that's taking America by storm, read more about it below.

From Wikipedia:

"Hot chicken or Nashville hot chicken is a type of fried chicken that is a local specialty of Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States. In its typical preparation, it is a portion of breast, thigh, or wing that has been marinated in a water-based blend of seasoning, floured, fried, and finally sauced using a paste that has been spiced with cayenne pepper. It is served atop slices of white bread with pickle chips. It is both the application of a spicy paste and the presentation that differentiates it from similar dishes, such as Buffalo wings. It can be viewed in similar context to other foods that have been tweaked to be unique in a regional way, such as the slugburger or the Mississippi Delta tamale.

There are many restaurants in Nashville that serve a variant of the dish, and there is a city-wide festival and competition commemorating it.[1] The popularity of hot chicken has spread beyond the Southern United States due to the influence of Nashville's music industry.[2]
Although the components of the dish largely remain the same, the preparation of the dish can differ greatly. A pressure fryer or deep fryer can be used, although most restaurants serve a pan-fried product. Nearly all hot chicken is marinated in buttermilk to impart flavor and to retain the meat's juices upon frying. Some preparations of hot chicken are breaded and fried after application of the spice paste; the more traditional method has the paste applied immediately after the chicken is removed from the fryer.

A typical Nashville-style hot chicken spice paste has two key ingredients: lard and cayenne pepper. The two are mixed together, three parts pepper to one part lard, and heated until they form a thick sauce. Some restaurants vary the composition of the paste, adding sugar, garlic, or additional hot sauce. The paste is applied to the fried chicken by the server using a spoon and latex gloves; it is lightly squeezed into the finished chicken by hand. The heat level of the chicken can be varied by the preparer by reducing or increasing the amount of paste applied.
Variations[edit]

Nashville-style hot fish

Hot chicken strip on a stick

The main variation to traditional hot chicken is in the application of the spice paste: before breading or after breading, and whether or not additional spices are applied. Recipes, cooking methods, and preparation steps for hot chicken are often closely guarded secrets, proprietary to the specific restaurant, so the look of the chicken may vary widely.
Hot fish[edit]

A variation of the hot chicken theme is hot fish, typically a breaded and fried whiting or catfish filet prepared using a similar cayenne paste as hot chicken, or using a cayenne powder blend sprinkled liberally over the filet. Some hot chicken restaurants also serve hot fish, but recently some have begun to specialize in hot fish only.[3][4]
History[edit]

Anecdotal evidence suggests that spicy fried chicken has been served in Nashville for generations. The current dish may have been introduced as early as the 1930s, however, the current style of spice paste may only date back to the mid-1970s. It is generally accepted that the originator of hot chicken is the family of Andre Prince Jeffries, owner of Prince's Hot Chicken Shack. She has operated the restaurant since 1980; before that time, it was owned by her great-uncle, Thornton Prince. Although impossible to verify, Jeffries says the development of hot chicken was an accident. Her great-uncle Thornton was purportedly a womanizer, and after a particularly late night out his girlfriend at the time cooked him a fried chicken breakfast with extra pepper as revenge. Instead, Thornton decided he liked it so much that, by the mid-1930s, he and his brothers had created their own recipe and opened the BBQ Chicken Shack café.[5][6][7]

Ironically, what began as breakfast revenge is now considered to be a staple food for late-night diners. On weekends, most restaurants dedicated to hot chicken are open very late (some past 4 am). As of 2013, fourteen Nashville restaurants serve hot chicken, either as the focus or as part of a larger menu.[5] For a time,country music stars Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw owned and operated a now-defunct hot chicken restaurant called "hotchickens.com".[8] The former mayor of Nashville Bill Purcell is a devoted fan, sponsoring the Music City Hot Chicken Festival and giving numerous interviews touting the dish. While in office, he frequently referred to his table at Prince's Hot Chicken as his "second office".[9][10]

Reflecting the spread of the dish's popularity, at least one restaurant in Michigan, Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, now serves the dish.[11]"