Saturday, December 15, 2018

College Town At Christmas, 2018: Looking Back At My 30 Years Of Living In Bowling Green, Ky.

    I remember years ago when I first moved to Kentucky in 1987, I used to get homesick for down South.  I missed my native city of Memphis, Tenn., and North Mississippi, the place where I spent my teenage years.  I used to miss my friends and family also.
    It's also where graduated from high school and went to college.  I was a Southern Boy and I am still am.  But things have changed tremendously back home.  To be honest, I can't keep up with it hardly anymore.  It's all becoming a blur now it seems.  Our memories do seem to slip as we get older they say.
   
Patty and I before a Christmas party in 1992
However, by fate, I met a lady through the Roman Catholic Church in Oxford, Miss., while I was college student at the time at the University of Mississippi, (Ole Miss) in the 80's. And then after we where married and our son was born, we eventually ended up in Bowling Green, Ky., home of Western Kentucky University.  WKU is where my wife went to college back in the 70's when she lived in her hometown of Russellville, Ky., which is 30 miles west of Bowling Green.  She said she had always loved Bowling Green and thought it would be a nice to live one day and to raise a family.  And indeed, Bowling Green or "BG" as it is affectionally known to us and its loyal citizens, has a been a great place for us to live, work and raise our son for these last 30 years.  Our son, Galen Jr. or "Tony" as he affectionally known to us and all of his family and friends, is a graduate of WKU and now lives and works in Nashville, which is 60 miles south of Bowling Green.
Our little family, 1988. Patty, Tony, Santa and me.
During this Christmas season, I have been reflecting a lot on my life and my life of living in Bowling Green all these years.  No, I have not made a big impact on the city by running for political office and serving as a leader making important decisions that ultimately effect its citizens or businesses in one form or fashion.  Nor have I been a major player in the Bowling Green business community making tons of money by managing a factory, a store or being a private business owner along with being a member of the local chamber of commerce.  Nor I have I been a professional such as a doctor, lawyer, a counselor and priest or a pastor by having a direct impact on its citizens and families on a personal level.  However, I have been a productive citizen, a homeowner and a taxpayer and staying out of trouble for the most part all these last 30 years of living here.  Yeah, I have ruffled a few feathers here and there regarding some of my strong letters to the editor in our local newspaper or stating my assertive opinions on the local morning AM talk radio program in the past.  But for the most part, I've had a good run in Bowling Green and I hope to have another 30 years! Being a writer, an observer of life and a sales and service professional all these years, I have met many fine people in this city and from the surrounding towns and counties alike.  Like everywhere else in the world, there's a story on every corner in Bowling Green and Southcentral Kentucky. I have found this to be extremely true.  And I don't have to look very far either.  There's a lot of interesting people who live here. I have always been like a sponge through the years, absorbing everything I can about its people, its places and its culture.  It's only natural for me to be curious and to ask questions regarding people and their lives. And it's also the way that I was trained in journalism school while I was at Ole Miss.  Basically,  to ask questions and write stories along with taking pictures. ( I like making short videos these days too).
Me, Jude, our Australian Shepherd, and Patty with Santa in 2016
    So as I reflect back on my past Christmases of living here, BG has been very good to me and my little family.  For the most part, it is a safe place to live because we have an excellent police force as well as a great county sheriff's department and a wonderful Kentucky State Police force.  Also, the WKU police force is great too. Although, we are not natives to this town, BG has been accepting of us and thousands of others who come from all over the United States and from around the world.  We have a large Bosnian community and a growing Burmese and Congo African community too.  And like most places in the South, we have a large Hispanic community too.  WKU brings in students from all over Kentucky, the South, and other parts of the US.  And the university has its fair share of international students too.  So I feel very fortunate and blessed to live in Bowling Green.  God has been good to me all these years and I have received many special blessings by living here.  We have a wonderful church which is Holy Spirit Catholic Church and I have fairly good health, a good job, a good home, a good neighborhood and most importantly, a wonderful wife and son.  So if you live in Bowling Green, be thankful this Christmas season and for what this city does for us, its citizens.  We have good streets and roads and excellent schools.  We also have a good medical community too. 
      Mainly, we are a very blessed community especially during Christmastime.  Go outside and feel the Christmas spirit in the air.  And drive downtown, and see the Christmas lights on the square or eat at one our many fine restaurants.  Eat, drink and be merry! Be cheerful and jolly also! (But don't drink and drive. Get a Uber. Or the BGPD will get you!)  Yes, we are very blessed this Christmas season in Bowling Green and I thank God for that.  Merry Christmas and God Bless!
  

Saturday, November 17, 2018

"Beautiful Boy" Is A Story About "Everything"



"Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster's gone
He's on the run and your daddy's here

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy"


"Double Fantasy" John Lennon, 1980


By Patty Smith
Bowling Green, Ky.
A book and movie review

About three years ago I read David Sheff's book, "Beautiful Boy" about his son, Nic, and his addiction to drugs and alcohol.   The book was so intense and amazing, I read it three more times.

On Facebook one day, I met David and we chatted.  His Facebook page is awesome, too, with stories about many, many parents who have been through similar episodes of alcohol and drugs with their children, though not always ending as happily as Nic's story.  (Nic is now "clean and sober" for ten years.) 

As we chatted one day, I asked David if he would please autograph my book if I sent it to him.  Instead, he sent me a signed copy of "Clean," his latest book that deals with ways and means for children and adults alike to overcome addiction.

As soon as I heard about the movie coming out, I anxiously awaited it to come to Bowling Green, Ky., my hometown.  It hit our theaters last weekend and my husband and I viewed the movie at The Great Escape 12 on Saturday afternoon.

The movie followed along much as the book, and the characters that were chosen to play David and Nic (Steve Carrell and  Timothee Chalamel ) really fit right into the bill.

Although I don't have any addicts in my immediate family, I do have some friends who are.  However, in 1989 after a very messy divorce from my first husband, three years earlier,  I turned to alcohol when the pain of losing my two daughters was too hard to bear.  Alcohol did the ease the pain WHILE I was drinking, but harsh reality finally would set in, along with guilt and shame and other negative emotions alcohol does cause afterward.

Nic Sheff was also from a divorced family, and hated when he had to travel to and from his home outside Los Angeles. (Inverness) to New York, to see his mother,  to fulfill conditions of the shared custody arrangement.  When he was growing up he and his father really had quite the bond.  When no more words would come when David would be trying to express how deep his love was, he resorted to one word "everything." So when the father and son would often say "everything" they both knew that their love was so deep and so beyond words that "everything" would let each know that depth.

Many people found this movie very hard to watch as Nic's disease progressed from marijuana to alcohol to other more serious drugs like heroin and meth.  It is hard to see him and his girlfriend in her living room with spoon filled with crystal meth and shooting it into each other veins after it was "cooked" in the spoon.  The most terrifying intense scene was when his girlfriend overdosed and he was desperately trying to bring her back to life, as he did, just as the emergency ambulance arrived.  She recovered and was taken to the a hospital for treatment.

David had remarried and his family consisted also of his wife Karen, and his son and Jasper and Daisy his daughter.  The brotherly love these children had for their older brother was evident from the start, even before his addiction began.  Wife Karen supported David throughout their marriage when David lay awake many nights wondering where Nic was and if he was alive or dead, calling hospitals to see if he had been admitted.  David often drove around looking for Nic and would sometimes find him hanging out with other addicts.  Many many attempts at rehabilitation had failed and Nic would again attempt to get clean and sober.

Finally alone in a bathroom in New York visiting his mom, in his aloneness and despair, Nic shot up one more time.  He is seen kicking out what could have been his final life on that cold bathroom floor.  But he was found in time and David was called to come to New York.  The doctor said he didn't know how Nic had survived with the amount of drugs in his body, but thankfully he did. in the final scene father and son, arms around each other, holding each other up, leave the hospital temporarily to sit outside in the sunshine and just "be together".

I had pondered over this movie and book many times. Was "Beautiful Boy" about David struggle to help his son or was it more about the addict Nic who struggled so long to get clean?  The movie is also about always having hope, never giving up on your child or your addict or alcoholic. It's about hanging in there.

In conclusion, I quote David from his latest book, "Clean," when he says,  "... most drug use is not really about the drugs...it's about LIFE."  So when my husband said after watching the movie that the movie was really not about the drugs but about the non-dying, non-failing love between a father and son.  Through this unfailing love, David didn't give up and saw his son through his final recovery.  So what is "Beautiful Boy" really about?  The love beyond compare that no one can describe....it's just "Everything."

Patty Smith and her "Beautiful Boy" and son, "Tony"
Patty Smith is retired and is a former correspondent for Western Kentucky Catholic.  She is also an avid reader, movie fan, crossword puzzle champion and Jeopardy fan.  She lives in Bowling Green with her husband, Galen, and their Australian Shepherd named "Jude."  Patty and Galen's son, "Tony" is a graphic artist, a musician, a songwriter, producer and studio sound reccording engineer who lives in Nashville.









Sunday, November 4, 2018

"Bohemian Rhapsody" Rekindles A Fire In The Hearts And Souls Of Queen Fans In Theaters Across America

    I was never a major, big, superfan of the rock band, "Queen," while growing up down in the American South in the 70's and 80's.




   But, I liked Queen and I liked a lot of their songs that were played on the rock radio stations back in those days.  I think everybody from the American rock scene, concert goers, party scene people, rock fans, radio listeners and album buyers liked Queen back then. And I think just about everybody knew who Freddie Mercury was too.  He was the lead singer from Queen who had the funny looking teeth but had a voice that could beat any opera singer's range of sounds, tones or harmonies.  And the band was kick ass too with Brian May on lead guitar, Roger Taylor on drums and John Deacon of bass.




 


     The first time I ever heard of Queen was when I was about 13 years-old in 1975 while living in East Memphis.  I was spending the night at friend's house and we watched the official "Bohemian Rhapsody" video on The Midnight Special television show which showcased popular rock musical acts on late Saturday nights in the 1970's during its heyday.   We were blown away by the video and the band.  We were like, "Wow, who are these guys?  They are so unique and different!"  And of course, we continued to hear hit after hit on the rock radio stations during those years of our youth on up through the late 80's.  Someone also bought me their "News Of The World" rock album for my 16th Birthday in 1978 and I absolutely loved it!  I listened to it over and over. I loved the artwork on the album cover and some of the big hit songs like, "We Are The Champions" and "We Will Rock You." Then MTV, the mega, super music video cable channel appeared in our homes across America and the world in the early 80's and the rest is rock history.   

   When Queen played Live in 1985, the band became a rock legend with their music and albums, concert performances and music videos.  Also, I remember one time in 1978, when Queen came to Memphis to play the Mid-South coliseum, the show sold out immediately.  They had a solid base of fans in Memphis.  One of my friends who lived in North Mississippi, who was originally from Memphis like me, had a brother who was a gigantic Queen fan. He bought front row tickets and presented the band during the concert a bouquet of roses and a plaque honoring their visit to Memphis.  I was also friends with the guy who drove the limousine that took them from the Hyatt Regency Hotel in East Memphis to the Mid-South Coliseum before and after the show.  My friend said that the band was really nice and cordial too. That was about my total knowledge of Queen at the time.

      Later on, I think most people in the world had heard rumors that Mercury was gay and had aids. And of course, a lot of people put two and two together and probably assumed he died from the consequences of his lifestyle.  I really didn't think much about it or could care less.  I figured that was his business and I still enjoyed his music and the fact that he was great performer.  That's what I remembered Mercury for.  And for a lot of Americans, I think life just went on and we didn't think a whole lot about it anymore.  We put it in the back of our minds and we just lived life, working and paying the bills.  However, we still loved Queen and their music regardless.

     Then we start seeing this movie trailer for the new Queen biopic called "Bohemian Rhapsody" on social media and especially on Facebook during the last several months.  I know I posted the trailer several times on my Facebook.  I was excited to go see the movie and my wife and I watched it at The Great Escape 12 theater in here Bowling Green, Ky.  We loved it! I thought it was a wonderful movie and I think the producers and director did a great job with it.  The actors were wonderful too!  And the music was incredible!

    The movie starts out in 1970 when Queen was basically a college band in a London club.  Their lead singer and guitar player quits after the gig. Mercury had already been a fan of the band.  Later on he approaches Brian May and Roger Taylor and makes a proposal to join the band.  Eventually he joins and so does John Deacon on bass.  The movie shows a lot behind the scenes about the band that their fans will find interesting like how they created certain hits songs in the studio like "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Will Rock You," and "Another Bites The Dust" Also, the movie revolves around Mercury's relationship with his girlfriend, Mary.  He had proposed to her but later on they drift apart when Mercury admits to her that he is bi-sexual. But they still remain close. We also find out that Mercury loves cats too which is adorable!

     The movie depicts times of turmoil in the life of the band but ends on a note of triumph with the scene where band plays Live Aid and it leaves you with a feeling exhilaration.  What I liked best about the movie that it has a strong element of forgiveness.  The band forgives Mercury after he had left the band to record two solo albums for four million dollars without telling them first. And also, there had always been tension between Mercury and his father because his father thought that Mercury had not turned out like he should have.  But you see a strong level of forgiveness when Mercury and his lover stop by his parents apartment in London and his father hugs him before he heads off to play the Live Aid concert. After I got home after watching the movie, I loaded up my Amazon Prime app on my iPhone with Queen hits songs, put my ear plugs in and went out into the backyard to listen to their music while I played with my dog.  The movie rekindled a fire in my heart and soul and it had even inspired me to create a playlist for Queen's hit songs. I will start listening to them on a regular basis again especially while driving down the road in my work truck.
  
    If you're are a big Queen fan still to this day, you should definitely go see this movie.  If you were somewhat of Queen fan like me, you should still should go see this movie like I did.  And you were never a Queen fan and if you decide to go see the movie, you will become a Queen fan after seeing this movie!


Thursday, October 11, 2018

The "Facebook War Of Words": 10 Things You Can Do To Avoid From Getting Into One

     In December of this year, I will be on Facebook for 10 years now.  Yes, I know, Facebook is a love hate/thing in most everybody's lives these days.
     Let's admit it, Facebook is an addiction.  It has become a part of our daily lives.  When we wake up in the morning and drink our coffee, we are looking at it.  When we take our lunch break, we are looking at it.  And when we get off work, we are looking at it.  And when we are off work on the weekends, we are looking at it.  This is how we keep up with our current friends, former classmates, acquaintances in the community and our friends from the past that we no longer see.  And course, there are the family members too.  And most of us are even getting the latest news and what's happening in the world too from Facebook.
   But nowadays, because the world has become so divided on issues in politics, religion and lifestyles that a lot people have grown to argue on Facebook and have become very good at it.  I have to admit that I have fallen for it a couple of times through the years especially during the 2016 Presidential Election and regarding a recent incident at my Alma Mater at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).  Yes, I got into a "Facebook War of Words" argument. 
    It's been proven by scientists, psychiatrists and psychologists because our brains are wired genetically that goes back in our ancestry to the mainstream instinct of a survival mode.  It is known as one of the basic operations or primal instincts of our minds.  We are always on constant alert for danger in our lives and these are the two main mechanism in our brain that us navigate in this area of our lives.  It's called the "flight or fight" mode.
 
With Facebook, while sitting behind a desktop computer or iPhone in the comfort of our own home or car, we can easily jump into a "Facebook War of Words" without feeling physically threatened or being physically attacked by not having the "flight" mode of our brains kick in.  Only the "fight" mode of our brains are in the works to where we just dig a hole deeper and deeper and it snowballs to a point that you start to feel sick and nauseated from the arguing with total strangers on Facebook. Usually, I end up being personally attacked with words, called names and labelled something by total strangers that I never even met before.  And vice versa. I'm guilty of it too. So, I hope to never to get involved into another war of words on Facebook again.  It's senseless and stupid! Just stop it!  You're not doing yourself or anyone else any favors by it and you are just wasting your time and energy.  Use Facebook to keep up with friends and family. Just try to keep your time spent on Facebook light and if possible.  It's a social network, remember? With that being said, here's 10 things can do to avoid jumping into a "Facebook War of Words." Good luck my friends!


1.)  Just scroll past controversial subjects on your newsfeed and don't post a comment.  Or just ignore it completely by not even reading the post.

2.) If the controversial subjects persists, "unfollow" the poster.  Or you can at least "Hide" the poster for 30 days.

3.)  If the poster, keeps on posting these controversial subjects, just completely "block" him or her.

4.) If someone attacks you for posting a comment on a subject, you can "unfollow" them.

5.) If someone attacks keeps attacking you even after you "unfollow" them or if it's a total stranger from out of the blue, then just "block" them.

6.) Post lots of pictures of trips and vacations.  Everybody likes looking at those!

7.) Post lots pictures and videos of puppies and doggies (Everybody loves puppies and doggies these days too!)

8.) Take off the news outlets or sources on your Facebook page so that you won't be tempted to post a controversial subject.  However, you will still get the local and national news because your friends will still post these things.

9.) Post funny videos. (Everybody loves a good laugh!)

10.)  Just observe and don't comment.  If you're gut instinct, tells you that f you post something negative or controversial it will start a Facebook War of Words, then just don't do it.  Save yourself a lot of time and energy but not being negative.  Try to be positive at all times while on Facebook.  Let it been something of value in your life rather than being a detriment in your life.


Monday, August 20, 2018

Tompkinsville, Kentucky's World Famous Dovie Burgers

     TOMPKINSVILLE, KY.  _ As I slid out of my vehicle in the parking lot, I pulled out my iPhone out of my front left pant pocket and began snapping a couple pics of the outside of "Dovie's," home of the world famous "Dovie Burger" in Tompkinsville, Ky., which is about hour and twenty minute drive away from Bowling Green.
 

Once inside, I felt like I had stepped into a time machine, taking me back to the 1940's when the restaurant was first established with the same interior inside that absolutely fits an institution of hamburger royalty in rural Southcentral Kentucky and small town America.
    I came to pay my respects to the burger with a reputation that goes way beyond its restaurant's wood panelling walls and hardwood floors with a Coca Cola sign above a local bulletin board.  The Dovie burger reputation not only spreads throughout Kentucky but way beyond its borders perhaps even worldwide I would dare say.
 
There's also a square formica counter with stools on all sides on the inside. This is where I took my seat to honor and devour the almighty Dovie burger.  The crown jewel centerpiece and focal point of the restaurant is the large and secured gas frying pans with soybean oil in them that sits in the middle of the square counter where the guests sit to eat.  There were a couple of ladies wearing Dovie T-shirts and skirts frying the burgers while a couple of others ladies served the guests and worked the cash registers.  I noticed also that there was a lady in the kitchen in the rear of the building where the hamburgers are most likely being prepared along with the secret special sauce and trimmings that they put on the burgers.  I didn't have a chance to ask any questions about the special sauce.  I will next time.




   A nice, friendly young lady approached me and asked me what I would like to have.  And I asked, "Will one burger fill me up?" "No, you need two," she said. So I order two fully dressed Dovie burgers with the special sauce and a pickle and onion on top.  I also order a bottle of Coca Cola and a bag of Lay's original classic potato chips.
 


 Believe me, the Dovie burger lived up to its reputation!  It was love at first bite! This was the first time I had ever eaten a Dovie burger after hearing about them forever. And I have lived in Bowling Green for over 30 years now.  It's definitely worth the drive over to Tompkinsville if you ever get a chance to experience a Dovie Burger.  And don't wait 30 years like I did.  It will be an experience that you'll never forget because Dovie's is the one and only true burger royalty from Kentucky that dwells in a simple, downhome and humble restaurant with a very unique recipe and formula that has not changed for decades. Enjoy my friends!

Dovie's is located at 107 W 4th St, Tompkinsville, KY 42167

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Top Five Meats That I Like To Cook On The Grill Or Inside A BBQ Water Smoker

      Summertime is finally here!

      It's really hot outside in Bowling Green right now.  I love the smell of fresh cut, green grass, the flowers blooming and there's lots of birds, squirrels and wild life in the City of Bowling Green.  Believe it or not we even have rabbits, raccoons, foxes, opossums, garter snakes and turkey buzzards roaming around in our neighbor at different times of the day and night!

     With that being said, here are the top five types of meat that I like to cook outdoors on my backyard deck or patio during this time of year especially with the Fourth of July just around the corner.  Grilling and smoking meat is fun and relaxing.  Usually, it means a good time with family members and friends.  Grilled or smoked meat is also healthier with less fat or grease. (However, if you Google this subject you'll will find out what the critics say about the flip side of grilled and smoked meats. But I am not going there today on this blog) Whether you have a gas grill or a grill that uses charcoal, it's all good and fun!

1.) Hamburgers:  There's nothing better than good ole fashion grilled hamburgers.  They go perfect with buns, mustard, ketchup, onion, pickles, cheese or just a plain hamburger with some steak sauce on top of it.

2.) Boneless pork chops:  Grilled boneless pork chops go good with corn on the cob, brussel sprouts, bake potatoes, mashed potatoes or whatever usual menu dinner item you can prefer at dinner time.  You can put a little of garlic powder and pepper them before you put them on the grill or baste them with BBQ sauce.

3.) Boston Butt:  I love to smoke at eight to ten pound Boston Pork Butt in my BBQ water smoker with charcoal and hickory chips on the patio.  Usually, it takes about 10-12 hours.  It goes great with Southern mustard style cole slaw, BBQ beans, mustard potato salad or a baked potato. 

4.) BBQ Baby Ribs:  Oh Lord, you can't go wrong with BBQ Baby Back Ribs!  There's there's three ways that I like to cook them.  The first way is for me to boil them in water and then put them on the gas grill and baste them off and on with BBQ sauce.  And the second way is that I grill them direct on the charcoal grill while basting them with BBQ and the third way is smoke them on the water smoker for five or six hours after I apply BBQ seasoning rub.

5.) Grilled Lemon Chicken Breasts:  This is really a healthy favorite of mine.  I love the taste of grilled lemon pepper seasoning sprinkled on them and baste them with a lemon pepper liquid sauce on the grilled chicken.  Grilled chicken goes good with a healthy choice of grilled vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, asparagus and summer squash.  (You can make your on lemon pepper liquid basting sauce with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, pepper and a little of bit of garlic salt or garlic powder.



          Happy Fourth of July and Happy Grilling!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

CFS Satire: Top Ten Ways To Get Across The Blocked CSX Railroad Crossing At Emmett Avenue And Creason Street in Bowling Green, Ky.

(Disclaimer: These ways are for satirical purposes only.  Please not attempt any of these ideas.)

10.) Call 911 and have The Medical Center AirEvac Lifeteam Air Ambulance pick you up and fly you across. Worry about paying the astronomical high cost bill later on.  But don't wait too long, you might get sued.

9.) Pole vault across. You can borrow a pole vault stick from WKU's track team down the street on campus.

8.) Become a human cannon ball and have someone shoot you out of cannon across the tracks.

7.) Dig a tunnel underneath like the illegal Mexicans do at the boarder.

6.) Contract a crane from Western Kentucky Crane to lift you up and carry you across.

5.) Have someone with a large drone that is able to lift over 200 lbs pick you up and fly you across.

4.) Stand at the tracks naked and have the Bowling Green Police Department pick you up and somehow get you to the other side in order to drive you to Western State Hospital in Hopkinsville or the Sixth Floor at The Medical Center at Bowling Green for a 48 hour observation.

3.) Stand outside at night waving your hands, hoping that an alien space craft will pick you up and take you to the other side.  Just watch out for that anal probe though.

2.)  Hold up sign like a homeless person.  Instead of asking for money, beg the engineer to back the train up and let you across.

1.) Build a ramp and jump across on your motorcycle, bicycle or car, Evil Knievel style!




Sunday, April 15, 2018

I Remember Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Well While At Ole Miss In The Early 80's

    I recently read a wire article by The Washington Post that was published last month in our local newspaper (Bowling Green Daily, Ky., News). The article was about Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, 54, and his long career in television although he is openly gay on a network that espouses Christian conservative values.  After all these years, I'm still intrigued that I know Shep personally and about his humongous success at a major television network that is watched throughout the world.  Although, I am not a fan of Shep's, nonetheless I am happy for him and his success in broadcast journalism.

A frat pic of Shep in the 1983 Ole Miss annual
     I think most of us who he knew Shep while attending the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in Oxford, Miss., in the early 80's are proud of his major success in the big city of New York along with his incredible world-wide fame and his long career in broadcast journalism with a reported net worth of $20 million and making a $10 million a year.  I sent him a long e-mail once probably in the late 90's congratulated him on his new position and some other things and all he was wrote back was two words-"Hotty Toddy!" Lol.

     Smith joined the network in 1996 when it was founded and just came out of the closet of being gay several years ago.  I think a lot of people suspected it a long time ago. I had no idea he was gay while in college.  I figure it's his life, let him do what he wants to do.  It's his choice of lifestyle. Also, he was even married a while to a woman after he left Ole Miss when he began working in his broadcast career in Florida and California and then eventually landed at Fox in NYC.  He has no children though. I remember Shep who was from Holly Springs, Miss., as always friendly and smiled. He always spoke to me when we crossed each other's paths on campus or while we were in journalism classes together at Farley Hall.  He always wore an Izod golf shirt with the alligator emblem on it, blue jeans and Nike tennis shoes.  He was a tall, skinny young fellow then with dark brown hair and thick eyebrows.  We went through orientation together and went to some of those initial frat parties geared towards the incoming freshmen during those three hot and muggy days in the Summer of 1982 in the "Mississippi Deep South."  I was amazed how Shep knew my name even before I officially introduced myself to him.  He acted like he had known me my whole life.

Our freshmen pics in the 1983 Ole Miss annual (Shep on far left and me on far right)

Sigma Pi Frat at Ole Miss, Homecoming, Fall of 1982 (me holding the beer can)
     I also took a broadcast journalism class under his late mentor and professor at Ole Miss, Dr. Jim Pratt.  And I was Dr. Pratt's work-study student in the Summer of 1983. Dr. Pratt didn't feel he needed a work-study student
and I don't think he was too happy with me that summer either. Regardless, I made it through that rough period with him and I was given a certificated for being a "Tel-Ole-Miss Pioneer" when the summer terms were over with.  I helped out and worked at Ole Miss' first journalism television studio which was brand new then.  I saw Shep in action one time after anchored the college news program.  He had blue jeans on with a shirt, tie and a blue blazer coat on. He was upset about something because the broadcast did not go quite the way he wanted it to and he slung his tie and coat off after it was over with.  Apparently, he took his broadcast journalism very seriously even back then and had a bit of a temper too.
My freshman year frat pic, Fall 1982, Sigma Pi

      We had both joined fraternities (we were not in the same fraternity) and even dated the same sorority girl once momentarily also.  I was jealous of him and I couldn't believe she had a date with him earlier in the evening prior to her date with me later on during Homecoming night. However, nothing came of it and it wouldn't have mattered anyway as we all know now.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Wild Bucks, Honky Tonks And Other Crazy Stories From The American South: Kentucky Fire & Ice And Deadly I-65

An On-Going Short-Story Fictional Series

By Galen A. Smith Sr.


     Joe began to slow down as he approached the blue flashing lights that shot out blinding beams of brightness from atop of the Kentucky State Police cars past just north of Elizabethtown, Ky., heading towards Louisville. As he approached the three car pile-up in the left lane, all he could see were three KSP officers walking around in the cold dark, morning and as smoke still rose from the from the engines underneath the hoods, holding flashlights looking into the severely smashed up and banged up cars to see if anyone was still alive in the vehicles.

     No emergency medical service vehicles, fire trucks and firemen nor tow motor trucks had arrived yet to clear the victim's out of the vehicles or removed the wrecked vehicles. It was an eerie feeling that Joe Rogan felt in the pit of his stomach as he was driving towards a seminar in Indianapolis. He had left Bowling Green, Ky., at 3 a.m. CST since he had to be at there in Indianapolis at 9 a.m. EST. Luckily, for Joe, he had arrived just in time before the traffic heading north would be backed up for miles and miles and hours. Because he knew that KSP and local authorities would have to "work the scene." In other words, they would have to recreate the accident and try to figure out what happened and they would to take all sorts of measurements for official statistics, legal reports, documents and records that would be available for Kentucky local and state courts, attorneys, insurance companies and the Department of Transportation (DOT) in Washington, D.C.

      Even though Joe was now retired and in his mid-70's but he still liked to keep up on the latest news in his field of study and his career by attending seminars and giving talks to keep up with the current technology and findings in his field of archaeology. Today, he would be giving a talk to a group of other archaeologists from across the country and university professors on this particular day about Kentucky being known for its historic Indian hunting grounds. Finally, after passing the accident scene, he was shaken up a little bit because he still did not know yet if anyone had been killed. He began to more slower than usual and more careful because he knew that speed and driver inattention such as cell phones and texting were the major factors causing vehicles crashes and deaths on roads and interstates these days. Also, he knew weather factors can play a major role in accidents and deaths too such as rain, snow and ice. But instead of turning the radio back on, Joe's mind drifted back into the past.

     He saw himself as new graduate with an archaeology degree from the University of Kentucky in Lexington in 1965. He saw himself sitting behind a desk in a small basement room at one of the Kentucky State Capitol buildings in Frankfort smoking a cigarette. He was propped back in his chair with his feet on the desk thinking he had made it to the big time. He was already freshly out of college with a state job working as the newly appointed state archaeologist. The previous state archaeologist had suddenly died of heart attack in his mid-40's because he was overweight and a heavy smoker and drinker. Apparently, the previous state archaeologist had allowed let the stress of the job get to him.

     It was in the mid-1960's and the DOT in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Kentucky were in the process of building Interstate 65 from the Kentucky state line at the border of Tennessee all the way to the Ohio River bridge that crossed over to the State of Indiana in downtown Louisville. Joe had inherited a monster of a job and did not know what he had taken on or got himself into. No wonder the other Kentucky state archaeologist had died early with a heart attack and stress, Joe had quickly realized. Joe would be called out several times at week to Indian burial sites and encampments along the pathway of I-65 during its construction.

     One of the largest burial sites that the backhoes and bulldozers dug into was the north bank of the Green River in Hart County. Joe was called down to that site where he spent several days documenting and pulling out skeletons remains and bones as well all sorts of indian artifacts. He and his small staff of interns from the UK had to work fast because the state and the U.S. government could not afford to hold up construction and work on the interstate since it was on a timeline and deadline. He had strict order to "document it and seal it," so construction could start up ASAP. Especially, because of the crazy Kentucky weather, construction crews had to work extremely fast during the good weather conditions during the spring, summer and fall so they could get much as done as possible.

     Even though Joe considered himself to be a strictly a scientist and non-believer at the time, he later converted to Catholicism. Now, in his retirement years, Joe attends mass every week in Bowling Green where he and his wife decided to retired a few years ago, joined the Knights of Columbus and serves as a usher. He has had his house blessed by two priests from the Fathers of Mercy out at South Union, Ky., and goes to confession at least twice a year. Also, he prays the Rosary every so often also and says a "Our Father" prayer everyday driving down the road. However, he still feels some guilt and he is sometimes superstitious about the Indian burial sites because of his role in dealing with the sites that were covered up along the way of the building of I-65. He still hears rumors and tales that Indian spirits are roaming the woods surrounding I-65 and that many spirits are angry about what's happened to their burial grounds. The spirits being are blamed by some people for the hundreds of vehicle accidents and deaths on I-65 a.k.a. "Deadly I-65" every year. Joe says you can still hear talk about superstitious tales and rumors throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Some people claimed that the Commonwealth of Kentucky tried to cover up these Indian burial sites by hiding it from the press because they didn't want to the public find out about them. Because it could cause outrage with the public especially among the Indian reservations out West and it would slow down or put a halt on the construction of I-65. But Joe will often dispel these rumors as "hogwash" when people ask him about it.

     When Joe gives his talks at seminars and local churches and community organizations around the Commonwealth of Kentucky and other states, he will educate the groups about Kentucky being known as Indian hunting ground with many shell mound sites found along the Green River and where they also buried their dogs. At Kentucky's Indian Knoll site, he says that 67,000 artifacts were uncovered, including 4,000 projectile points, and twenty three dog burials, seventeen of which were well preserved. Some dogs were buried alone, others with their masters; some with adults, male and female, and others with children. He also says that Archaic dogs were medium-sized and stood about 14–18 inches tall at the shoulder, and are very likely to have been related to the wolf. Dogs had a special place in the lives of Archaic people. And he says that the Cherokee believed that dogs are spiritual, moral, and sacred and the Yuchi are another specific tribe known to have lived around the Green River.  Joe says that The Indian Knoll site is older than 5,000 years, and it is located along the Green River. He also tells them while there's evidence of earlier settlement, this area was most heavily occupied from approximately 3000–2000 BC, when the climate and vegetation were nearing modern conditions. The Green River floodplain provided a stable environment, which eventually led to agricultural development. The abundant food resources and nearby mussel bed made it ideal for Kentucky natives to permanently settle.

     After Joe gave his talk at this particular scholarly seminar at the Hyatt Regency Airport in Indianapolis, he went over to the bar afterwards and ordered a "Kentucky Fire & Ice." The bartender asked,  "What's that?" Joe said, "It's three shots of Kentucky Makers Mark bourbon and three cubes of ice." And the bartender looked at him funny and said, "We usually just call that a triple shot Makers on the rocks." And then the bartender asked Joe, "Where did you come up with that name?" Joe said, "You don't want to know."


“This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.”

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wild Bucks, Honky Tonks And Other Crazy Stories From The American South: The Strange Woman On Indianola Street In Bowling Green, Ky.

An On-Going Short-Story Fictional Series
By Galen A. Smith Sr.

    It was February 22, 1988, exactly 30 years-ago today.

    Bob Richards had just moved to Bowling Green about a month before and landed his first job as a life insurance salesman right out of college for a small company from Louisville.  It wasn't exactly his dream job but it was all he could find at the time since the economy wasn't humming liked it used to be in Southcentral Kentucky.  Several factories in the area had closed down during the downturn of the economy in the 80's and had laid off a bunch of employees.  Spring would be arriving soon, so Bob would be stepping up his door to door sales pitches and tactics  But on this particular day, he decided go ahead and go door knocking anyway since the sun was shining and the temperature was unseasonably warm.  He walked down Indianola Street knocking on doors and having them slammed on his face.  However, he approached one house that seemed very strange.  When he walked on the front porch, he could see a large picture of Jesus hanging on the wall through the window. He also saw a sign attached to the wall that said, "No Smoking or Cursing Allowed!"

    Bob decided to go ahead and knock on the door.  When he did, a tall, thin, middle-age woman came to the door with heavy makeup on and dyed red hair.  Her face was not very attractive but Bob could tell that she seemed she have lived a hard life.  Bob introduced himself and asked her if she was interested if any life insurance.  She told him that she was uninsurable because she has had two open heart surgeries.  She invited Bob to come in and he accepted the offer. After a few minutes of discussion at the kitchen table, Bob looked up and pointed to the wall and said, "Are you Catholic?"

   "No son, I'm Pentecostal," she said.

"Oh," Bob said, "I just thought maybe you were Catholic since you had a lot of pictures of Jesus hanging on the wall."

    "No honey, he's just my best friend and he loves me very much," she said.  "I've actually met Jesus before."

   "Really? You mean, you've actually met Jesus? You're kidding, right?" Bob asked.
   "No, I mean it," the woman said.

   "Well, can you tell me where you met him at?" Bob asked curiously.

   The woman told Bob it happened when she was having her first heart attack.  She had told her son to help her get to the bed.  When he did, she passed out and he called 911. She said she felt as if she was out for a long time.  She said that she also felt her spirit leave her body.

  "When my spirit left my body, I went straight to my mansion.  It was a beautiful mansion and I was standing in the middle of it.  It had no furniture.  I was saying, 'It's so beautiful and another a man was there.  But I could not see the man's face. I was telling him, 'This is mine.'  And man kept saying, 'I don't think you are one of us.' And I said, 'I am too and I have lived here before.'"  She said that some other people were in the mansion too and they had black hair, curly hair and blonde hair.  She she their feet were not touching the floor and neither were hers.  She said heard a voice called out to her and said, "There is 'The One' who will know if you're one of us or not."  She said there was a crystal clear walkway circling around the mansion with pink bricks on top of it.  The voice then said that they would check the bricks first. One of the persons inside walks outside of the mansion goes over and picks up a pink brick off the walkway to examine it.  And then the voice says, "This is not enough.  I will take you back to 'The One' who will know if you are one of us or not."

   The woman goes on to tell the story to Bob. "So they walked us behind the mansion together to a little wood shed.  We went inside the shed and on a bale of hay laid Baby Jesus.  The voice then spoke in many languages and in other tongues."  The woman said she was awe of Baby Jesus and that she could see no ends to him.  All sort of sparkles of magnificent, bright colors were dancing around his head and body.  She said all she could see when Baby Jesus rose from the bale of hay was his robe, sandals and long hair.

   "His hair hung over his face and it was white as snow," she said.  The baby laid his hand on her shoulder and said, "Yes, she has lived here before but I will send you back because it is not finished," Baby Jesus said.

  "But I do not want to go back! Please do not send me back!"  she said. "All of sudden, I woke up in a hospital room and I had open heart surgery with a lot stitches in my chest. And I kept telling everyone, I had an out of body experience."

  After a while, Bob thank the woman for sharing her story with him.  He told her it was time for him to leave.  He walked out the front door and walked down Indianola Street to Broadway Avenue where his car was parked.  After he got into car, he decided to drive over the Little Brown Jug and have some beers with cheese and crackers.  He also decided that he would not tell his wife that evening when got home about the crazy story he had heard.  He drank his beer, put a quarter in the jukebox and put on some Hank Williams Jr. and lit a cigarette. For a brief moment, he tried to forget about his encounter with the strange woman on Indianola Street.

“This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.”

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lent 2018: Fish On Fridays



      I have been a Catholic convert since 1990. So basically for 28 years now.
      It was not an easy process. I began the process of becoming a Roman Catholic in 1986 after my wife and I married in a civil ceremony outside the church. Because she was married before, she had to get an annulment. Once her annulment was granted, I still had to go through the RCIA classes (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). I attended for four years in a row. I was getting doubtful and losing hope. However, we had to work on some things in our marriage. So we did.

     Finally, the day arrived and I became a full-fledge, confirmed Catholic! We were married in a sacramental marriage ceremony and I received my sacraments being confirmed. Through the years, I have had a great appreciation for my Catholic faith and Church. Of course, I have not always been perfect and I have failed at times as a Catholic. Even during some past Lenten seasons, I have not done some things right.

   Sometimes when you’re working in rural Southcentral Kentucky, it’s hard to find a place that serves fish. (Catholics can eat fish on Fridays during Lent but not meat) One time I stopped at a little country store when I was in a hurry and went inside and I asked the lady behind the counter, if they had any fish to serve for lunch. She laughed at me and said, “Honey, we only serve sliced baloney and liver cheese sandwiches.” I said, “Okay, then. I will just get a bag of chips and a soft drink.” Then she asked me why I wanted fish when I was checking out. I told her that I was Catholic and that we could only eat fish on Fridays during Lent. I don’t know if she understood what I meant or not and I went about my business.

   So, every time I would stop at that particular country store later on through the course of the years even when was not during Lent, she would laugh and say, “Here comes ole “Fish On Fridays’” when I came through the front door. And we would both get a big laugh out of it! Happy Lent everyone and God Bless! Remember, “Fish On Fridays!” Galen A Smith Sr

Sunday, January 28, 2018

"I, Tonya" Beautifully Done And Takes Ice Skating Movie Scenes To A Monumental Level

By PATTY SMITH*
CFS Guest Writer

The Regal Theater 12 in Bowling Green, Ky., was the scene of the recently released movie, "I, Tonya" about the life and almost career of Tonya Harding.
The ladies in the audience, along with myself, held their hands to their mouths and gasped as they watched Tonya's mother, played by Allison Janney, slap Tonya upside the head and throw things at her and slam her against the wall. As the movie progressed, nothing was ever good enough for the mother of the brilliant young skater, who began her career at age four. The trainer at first (played by Julianna Nicholson) did not want to take Tonya on as a student at such a young age, but watching her skate, she instantly changed her mind. Tonya worked hard even as a toddler and progressed through the months. Her mother supported her financially, but she never let her daughter forget the sacrifices that she made so she could skate.
Early on Tonya's dream was just to be in the Ice Escapade's (and she did win a title in her teen years, along with several more important titles).
Tonya's problems intensified when she met Jeff Gilloly when she was 15. She was love struck like a bolt from the blue and against her Mom's wishes the couple moved in together and later married. Having lived with her Mom's abuse, nothing changed for Tonya, however. As she and Jeff's marriage declined she would show up with bruises on her face. The police came to their small house many times, and as the film progressed, the abuse her mother handed her was nothing compared to what Jeff could do. Although he supported her career, Jeff continued to abuse Tonya.

Later in the film, despite all the abuse, Tonya's skills became more and more discernible. She was the first American skater who could do the "triple axle" and very hard move which included starting on the left foot, spinning three times in the air and landing on the right foot. It was amazing to watch.
Tonya's nemesis of the film was the wealthy number one skater whom she befriended and really set out to beat, skater Nancy Kerrigan. Tonya could have done this alone, but her husband Jeff and his friend (supposedly Tonya's "body guard", a fat and stupid man, played by Paul Walter Hauser devised a plan to get Nancy out of the run for the Olympics to ensure that Tonya would get a first place in the event. Originally the plan was just to send threatening letters to Nancy. But Hauser decided to hire a man from Detroit who for $1,000 would go into the arena where Nancy was practicing and "hobble" her legs. This he did, but was eventually caught.
The movie centered around who had done this deed, and did Tonya have anything to do with it. The final trial is in the final minutes of the movie as Tonya is tried and found guilty. Her sentence, to me, was overwhelmingly over the top. But I won't spoil the ending for you.
The movie was so beautifully done and the skate scenes were monumental. I wondered to myself if Margot Robbie who portrayed Tonya had done all the scenes herself, as you will wonder also.
I, Tonya, is a movie about a poor little girl who had the top talent as an ice skater and could have had an amazing career that ended when she was only 23. Did she get to participate in the winter Olympics in 1994, despite all that was going on? If you don't remember, or if you are too young to remember, go see "I, Tonya". Decide for yourself if Nancy Kerrigan was the victim, or Tonya Harding? I decided... you will too. "I, Tonya" is playing at the Regal 12 in Bowling Green this week. Go see it.

(*This is the first time in the history of CFS, that a guest writer has appeared in this blog since it began in 2010-Galen A. Smith Sr.)

"I, Tonya" Is A Very Good Movie And It Is Worth Every Penny To Pay To Go See

     I saw the new movie “I, Tonya” yesterday at the theater and I really liked it. It is a very good movie and it is worth every penny to pay to go see. Even if it costs us $22 for on-line tickets and $5 for a box of Junior Mints for my wife and me, was still worth it.  I learned a few new things about Tonya Harding and her ice skating career saga as well as her personal life while being entertained at the same time.
There was a sparse crowd in the theater. But for me, that makes the movie even more enjoyable. Because I tend to have anxiety in crowded movie theaters, I like the end seat of a row and I prefer small crowds. A less crowded theater always makes the movie more enjoyable and comfortable for me. But the only problem here in Bowling Green, I heard if a certain movie is not drawing many movie goers in attendance, most likely the movie will not hang around very long. (But hey, I got to see it first before it moves on away from Bowling Green and Southcentral Kentucky!)
I thought the movie was well done. My favorite scene was at the beginning when Tonya Harding arrives on the ice at the rink as a little girl and she was all dressed up in a little blue coat with a hood over her head. She had her ice skates on. She was a very cute little girl and was all smiles and happy. Her crass mom was smoking a cigarette while standing on the ice while trying to convince the skating instructor to take little Tonya on as one of her students. The instructor kept insisting that Tonya was too young. After a while and without much success, her mom tells Tonya to go ahead and start skating. Once she does, the instructor takes quick notice of little Tonya and her ability to skate at such as young age. And the rest is history.
For me, I loved the movie and I found it very entertaining. It was also somewhat funny but sad too at at the same time.  There's some cussing and domestic violence in some of the scenes. I kept trying to think in my head while watching the movie what I was doing when all of this was going on in 1994. I know where I was living and I know where I was working too. And I remember it being a major, worldwide news story in the beginning of 1994 prior to the dawn of the internet age and the Winter Olympics Games and prior to the O.J. Simpson drama being played out on TV in the Spring of 1994. This was in the days when television were first starting to get into all of the major worldwide media frenzy stories with all of their new computer and global satellite equipment and technology. I remember I had recorded some video footage of the newscasts on VHS. I still have the tapes somewhere in my house here but I'm not sure where they're at and if they even still work.  (Wow, it's been 24 years now since all of this happened! I can't believe it! Time sure does fly!) Anyway, I'll have to dig them out someday and see if they work. Because now my interest is peaked about the Tonya Harding ice skating saga again. I've never known much about Tonya Harding except what I saw her on the news and all of this being played back then. I know she did stop over in Bowling Green once around 2008 or so and played pool at one of our local pool halls.  I saw it on the news here on or Facebook or something like that.  I think she was playing in some kind of pool tournament publicity circuit tour that was touring all around the country.  That was about 10 years ago or so I suppose.  I didn't really pay much attention to it or what she said when she was in Bowling Green. I do remember that I was somewhat intrigued about her visit here though. However, I've always felt sorry for Tonya Harding and I remember did not really think much of the other skater, Nancy Kerrigan. who was the one who got her knee bashed in prior to the 1994 Winter Olympic Games by some stupid boob supposedly paid off by Jeff Gillooly (Tonya's husband at the time) and his fat friend, Shawn Eckhardt.
However, I'm going to cut to to the chase here and make it short and simple. The bottom line is, I don’t think Tonya Harding was involved in the planning of the bashing of Nancy’s Kerrigan’s knee prior to the Winter Olympics Games in 1994. I think it was strictly planned by those idiots-her former husband, Jeff Gillooly and his fat friend, Shawn Eckhardt, who was supposedly her bodyguard.  (Yeah, right! What a joke! Lol.) Anyway, they are the ones who hired those two stupid boobs to do the dirty work and botched up job of bashing Nancy's Kerrigan's knee.  Again, what idiots and how stupid can stupid get, right?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Story Behind The Story, Part 2: The Invention Of The Former "Folk Tales" Series At The Bowling Green (KY) Daily News

      In May of 1990, I was hired on in the newsroom at the BG Daily News or more commonly know back then as just "The Daily News."  It was one Bowling Green's and Southcentral Kentucky's premier news outlets at the time besides the local television station WBKO.  Of course, we also had and still do, our fair share of radio stations in the area.  The early 90's, were long before the days of the "Super Information Highway" or just the "Internet" as we know it today.  Nowadays, as we all know there's a lot of competition where people get their news even for local news.
     
I always had a strong desire to write every since my English classes in high school where we learned to journal and developed the"first person voice" in our writing style.  I suppose the writing bug stuck with me even into college. But at first, I was a little confused and wasn't quite sure what areas of study I wanted to go into.  But eventually I found my way into print journalism and developed a keen sense and interest in the "human interest" story. 
     After a year or so of working in the newsroom, I brought the idea of a human interest story series for the newspaper to Don Stringer, the former longtime managing editor of The Daily News.  He loved the idea and decided to call it "Folk Tales."  He gave me a $25 gift certificate to O'Charley's restaurant for giving him and the newspaper the idea.  It was one of my proudest accomplishments while working at the newspaper.  The series featured in depth news articles about local and common people in Bowling Green and Southcentral Kentucky community or just plainly spoken, "the folks of Bowling Green and Southcentral Kentucky."  I had the honor of writing several of these stories and they were always published as front page stories with big and bold headlines.  One of the stories that I wrote and was published, I was the one I wrote about J. Frank Gerard, a local and retired dairy farmer who was 81 years-old and blind at the time.  Of course,  J. Frank has been passed away for many years now.
     J. Frank had lived in Bowling Green and Warren County his whole life and had a dairy farm on Cemetery Road on the outskirts of town where the gated Rivergreen community is located now and where Sen. Rand Paul lives among other prominent and wealthy citizens of Bowling Green and Warren County.  I had met J. Frank originally through our one of elderly next door neighbors on a street where we used to live.  Patty and I used to drive our neighbor and J. Frank and take them out to eat.  But J. Frank always on insisted on paying for our dinner.  He loved to tell us stories about growing up in Bowling Green and what the town was like back in the "good ol' days" and what it was like being a dairy farmer back in then too. 
    Eventually, I asked him if I could write a story about him and he said, "Sure, I would love it! It turned a out to be a fantastic story for the newspaper with great reception from everyone I knew and who had read it.  I received lots of compliments from readers in the community.  Eventually, the Folk Tales series had run its course and was disbanded. But the one quote I remember most that J. Frank said about his dairy farming days in the story, he said he remembers when the milk was "sweet as ice cream!" Now, that's one quote for the history books, folks!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Spirit, The Soul And The Sparkle Of An Eye

"Patty and I attended a funeral today of one her classmates from high school. Yet we are reminded again that life is fleeting and that death is eminent for all of us. This old body is just a shell. The life of a being is the spirit, the soul and the sparkle of an eye."-Galen A. Smith Sr.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Goodbye 2017

"Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite, never brought a man to the goal of any of his best wishes."-Miguel de Cervantes

2017 was a good year for me. The biggest thing I have learned is that I don’t have to be in control because I am the master of my own destiny. I also learned to put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door in my mind and not get caught up in other people’s drama and gossip. I have learned to not react to those figurative “snakes” in life. I learned that’s okay to be me and accept who I am. I am assertive, confident and I am an observant participant in our community and society. I cannot change the fact who I am. The money will always come because I am a professional at what I do for a living. I love God, my church, my wife, son and dog. Also, I love all my family members, friends and coworkers. But some of them are challenging and they are the ones who give me a gift. Their gift to me is that teach me things about myself that I didn’t even know about and they help me to grow as a person. They help me to change for the better. Thanks to all of you that I know and love and have a chance to interact with many times throughout the year whether in person or on social media. Happy New Year to you and your families and God Bless! I look forward to seeing you in 2018!