Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's Not All Pumpkin Spice Lattes


Leslie Van Houten...stabbed Rosemary LaBianca 12 times...at least.

"..might be one of the ladies I laid to make a communist." Jim Jones. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Squeaky. That's What They Called Her.

This girl has just tried to assassinate the president of the United States...Gerald Ford. Of course, you might know her from her time with the Manson Family.

Squeaky was not directly involved in the infamous murders carried out by The Family. She never did any time for those but she doesn't seem to have regretted the association.

She was a piece of work in her own right. After the Manson murders and before her attempt on Ford, she was dragged in for the murder of a couple in Stockton, CA. Turned out everybody there was involved except the victims and Squeaky. A couple of years later she tried to kill Gerald.*

The story doesn't end there. In 1987, Squeaky got wind that Charles Manson had cancer in the balls. So she escaped from prison to be with him. This baffles me...more than the gruesome murders which, despite their grotesque nature, seem to have been about dope...bad dope deals.  What I don't get is the devotion of these girls.

 (Nancy Pittman, Sandra Good, Kitty Lutesinger, Catherine Gillies of the Manson Family) 
Them girls are outside the courthouse in a show of support for Manson and the others on trial for the brutal slaying of seven people. Squeaky's somewhere around there. She and others camped out on the grounds during the trial. Soon they'd all be bald with X's carved in their foreheads.

WTF? They are Baby Boomers...and that might be all the explanation we need but, still...
Just up the road Jim Jones' People's Temple is rockin', Ted Bundy is about to commit his first murder, John Wayne Gacey has just been granted parole for sexually assaulting a minor. There they sit...ice wouldn't melt in their mouths...in devotion to Charles Manson.

Despite the attempt on Ford and her escape, to help Charlie with his balls, Squeaky was eventually paroled y'all...God only knows what she's up to.

*Thirteen days later another woman tried to kill Ford...the most innocuous figure in the history of U.S. politics. For her part, Squeaky seems to have been chapped about the Red Woods...yes she was a confidante of Charles Manson, yes she was involved with dope dealing Aryan Nationers but, she loved the planet.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

There is Another Side

Just to reiterate the ultimate point of my last post...

"Y'all sent me on this terrible bachelorette party and all I got was a snakebite."

I rest my case...you want surnames?

We know one of these fellas...in fact, the Boy has spent the night at the family's house.

DISCLAIMER: as I know it will be of great interest to many of our readers, not only were no snakes harmed during the filming but they're probably saving many non-poisonous snakes from being killed in the drive way. They deal directly, and question, the normal reaction that any sane person would have to seeing a snake...which is to kill it without a second thought...and suggest that it's an irrational response.

Sorry I'm just gonna confess here...I will kill them if I see them. I guess I'm a horrible person but I have been chased, have looked into the beady abyss and seen what a snake bite does to a human leg. The only way I'll grab a snake is with a shotgun.

I love the rowdiness and the decay that can be found from one end of Dixie to the other. It's not only beautiful but it makes an important statement about the impermanence of material and the foolishness of putting any faith in it. There is another side though.

There is a grandeur to The South that I am often guilty of ignoring here. There is the beauty of the dogwoods and azaleas, the magnolias and loblollies...and the live oaks. The unassailable taste and quaint manners...the old money beauty of it.

Nowhere is this side more gorgeously realized than during the Master's Tournament at Augusta National in Georgia.

Martha is, at this very moment, balling as Justin Spieth, this year's winner, hugs his Momma.
It is a cathedral...glorifying the natural beauty of The South and it is a celebration of it's gentile mores. Five dollars will still get you a pimento cheese sandwich...yelling "YOU DA MAN" or "IN DA HOLE" will still you get you an escort off the grounds. Mind you're manners...this is Georgia not the U.S. Open. This morning, Nick Faldo...that's Sir Nick Faldo to you, said that, off the course, it's the greatest sporting event in the world. "On the course," it's the greatest "by a mile."

There's a Thursday afternoon every year in the Spring when I have to fight back the tears. It's not just the overwhelming Southern Beauty of the place, though that does crush, but the memories I have with my Daddy and now with my son...being crouched around the TV (this hasn't changed despite the size of the TV and crispness of the picture) anxiously watching a putt hug the meticulous contours of a green, past the pink azaleas...through the shadow of a dogwood in bloom...watching, covering our faces, peaking....

EDIT...The Boy climbed up in my lap this morning while waiting for his momma to finish getting dressed. He wanted to see the Snakegrabber videos...he's pretty pumped about Mr. Brent...then he wanted see the video of Augusta. He said something about playin there....I would walk buck naked from here to Augusta if it meant getting to play just one hole. I asked him so..."you gonna play there one day."
He turned his head and looked at me, with the most serious expression he could muster..."I am going to win a green jacket." At this point I have no reason to doubt him.

Friday, April 10, 2015

If The River Was Whiskey

Grand Gulf isn't just a military park. They have lots of interesting local artifacts there.

Do we need any further proof that there was serious money in bootleggin'?

Prohibition didn't end in Mississippi until the 60's. That don't mean there weren't a thriving, and well regulated, brown liquor market in the state. Far from it... Black Market Tax . In fact, it was a raid on a Junior League Ball, attended by the Governor, that finally forced the state's hand. There was no rush to legalize akahol. The bootleggers were getting rich, the state and state officials were getting their cut, and the Baptists were happy (the last thing they wanted was to have to buy theirs in a public establishment...hahaha. Do you know why you always take more than one Baptist fishing at a time...because if you take just one he'll drink all your booze. :oohyeahthat'sagoodone:).

A family friend, who died recently, used to get paid 50 bucks to run a trunkload of whiskey from Vicksburg to Jackson when he was a teenager in the 50's. You can still get moonshine here without much trouble.

I think it's also important to mention that we have a short but significant history with submarines. The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley was the first submarine to ever sink a ship. It took down the USS Housatonic....known up until that point for seizing a British blockade runner that was trying to deliver two ship engines for Confederate Inronclads. It was a serious blow. Take note Scots...it was one of your ships the bastards stole. Sadly, neither the crew or the submarine survived the exchange but they sank that b**CH!

While we're briefly on the subject, today in 1865, William Catledge of the 5th Florida Infantry, CSA, was paroled at Appomattox (one of 53 men that were left of the 5th). He was my Grandmother's maternal Grandfather. He wasn't the only Catledge that fought and her paternal side was also well represented but, it's William's name that appears, after about 6 pages of Campbells, among the list of those that were present at what amounted to the bitter, bitter end.

 You would be forgiven for thinking that this was a portable torture device carried by the U.S. army used to extract intelligence from the locals but...NO! This torture device was willingly worn by our Belles. That's what was under the hood of those old gorgeous hooped dresses.

Residents of the area remain on guard from attacks to this day. There's a nuclear power plant just a few miles from the park. She is ready for shenanigans...in fact, she kinda looks like she wakes up every morning hoping somebody will try her.

There's Yankees to worry about, terror attacks...it's like the Devil's petting zoo around there...

...it is going to Flood!

Then there's us....a danger that, while it may be unintentional, can never be dismissed.

We are them. Those of us who weren't kidnapped from West Africa are anglo-celts who were too poor and rowdy to live in Scotland, Ireland and t'North of England...who have spent the last 200 years procreating in swamps. We have moonshine, guns, submarines and a nuclear power plant! What could possibly go wrong. HA!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Not Too Pretty to Burn

On Good Friday, me and The Boy took a trip to Grand Gulf State Park. Grad Gulf is right on the river...maybe 20 miles south of Vicksburg. When I say on the river...I mean nervously close to the River. The water on Friday was up to the little two lane road opposite the park.

It won't surprise you to hear that my arch enemy took his most gruesome form on this lane a few years ago. I was in the car when Satan's House Pet crossed my path...the blackest, fattest, most ghoulish, ugggh...and it still gives me shivers.

There's not really a town here anymore. The first one was burned down by David Farrugut...Furragut, whatever, David Yankee, as part of the U.S. invasion of Mississippi during Lincoln's war.
It was burned in 1862...cause that's what they did. Then in May of 1863, they came back to seize the charred remains in order to use the gulf as a supply point for the invading army. Unfortunately for him and his...Georgia born, Gen John S. Bowen

had prepared the hills around what was left of the town. There Hoskins' Light Artillery, from Brookhaven, MS were splint between two small "forts."  Hoskins' gunners with 13 light pieces fought off seven US gunships, firing some 2,500 rounds into the Confederate positions...they even disabled one of the ships.

Sadly, it was barely a setback for grant. They just moved down river and landed unopposed and marched on Port Gibson ("Too Beautiful To Burn" - U.S. Grant. How cute.) where Bowen, severely outnumbered, was forced to retreat after a day's fighting.  Grand Gulf was evacuated.

I have to tell you...reading Bowen's CV is an exercise in excruciation for an unreconstructed Southron. He had predicted where the Yankees would attack and had repeatedly requested reinforcements from Pemberton in Vicksburg...DENIED. They weren't run out of Port Gibson...they were in an untenable position because of sheer numbers and had to withdraw. At the Battle of Corinth, MS...he had overrun a significant US position. Instead of exploiting the advantage...his commander Van &*&^&ing Dorn called a halt. At Champions Hill...Bowen led an attack that was on the verge of breaking the Yankee center but, AGAIN, he was not supported!

Taken prisoner after the fall of Vicksburg, Bowen died of dysentery after being paroled...32 years old. Did I mention that this Jedi was a Georgian?  Damn right I did...you want me to tell you again? :)

While we're here...let's hear from Robbie Robertson. A Canadian who has gifted The South with genuine treasure. About the song...he said he wanted to express the dignified sadness he often encountered in Southerners. He had Levon there for guidance I'm sure but, it's Robertson's song and it is cherished.*

Up on the hill behind the "forts" is an old cemetery.

It's my favorite place on the park.

As an aside for C...we saw the most outrageously yellow little bird I've ever seen in my life there.

Not far from Grand Gulf...just off the Natchez Trace is the site of Rocky Springs. At one time there were 1,500 souls there...between the war and disease the town was abandoned by 1930. There is a church there...built in the 1830's. That's a rare specimen in these parts. It has a fabulous old cemetery. There are a couple of Confederate Veterans buried there but they very recent additions compared to the others. It's in the same style but possessed of a more grand decay. I was gonna take the Boy by there on the way home but he was passed out by then.

There's an old Dog Trot or Cracker House on the property. We have fantasies of building one of these on a sandy piece of property, shaded by Live Oaks, somewhere along the gulf coast one day.

This picture has global significance. Those are azaleas....they are swarming with Bumble Bees. I've read that bumble bees are disappearing around the world. Well, it turns out, they are disappearing to Grand Gulf, MS. There must have been 100 of these fat stingers buzzing around the various buildings. The Boy finally couldn't take it anymore despite my insistence that they weren't going to sting him. I think he was just sleepy.

Halfway there he had generously offered to let me listen to my "disc." Big Star Third.

"Does he sing like this for every song?"
"This the worst singing ever."
By the time we got to Jesus Christ he had settled in to it. Ha.

See Charity Chic  for an interesting post on that other Canadian. :)

More on Grand Gulf to come....

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Low Living, Sight Walking.

I've been out and about.

In front of a house on Plank Rd in Baton Rouge. It ends with an incomplete word...a syllable.

Broadmoor Theatre on Airline Highway...Baton Rouge.

A constant and faithful companion.

Pentecostal Church in Biloxi.


Raleigh MS...Rogers's Grocery.


Somewhere around Prentiss.

Between Rocky Mount Church and Winona.

Little Sammy Davis of Winona on Harmonica...not in the Delta but that don't sound much like the Delta anyway.