Archive for the ‘North Georgia’ Category
I first wrote this back in 2007 at Techography. With Calimus’ help I dug it from the archives and republished it here, in 2010. As with all things Irish Heritage, I’ve brought it back once again. Enjoy. -BloodSpite
Now that I’ve learned a great deal about Northern Ireland, there are things I can say about it: that it’s an unhealthy and morbid place, where people learn to die from the time that they”re children; where we’ve never been able to forget our history and our culture-which are only other forms of violence; where it’s so easy to deride things and people; where people are capable of much love, affection, human warmth and generosity. But, my God! How much we know how to hate!Every two or three hours, we resurrect the past, dust it off and throw it in someone”s face.
-Betty WilliamsNorthern Irish Peace activist, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
It”s almost time ye see.
Time to dust off the green carnations, the Erin Go Bragh pins.
Time to remember, and time to celebrate.
It has been said, albeit sometimes bitterly, that Ireland’s best exports were her son’s and daughters. But they have kept the faith, however Americanized. Little Ireland, poor and underpopulated, with it’s humble patron Saint unknown in the rest of the Christian world causing all the fuss one day a year on a day in March.
Saint Patrick’s Day in New York is the most fantastic affair, and in past years on Fifth Avenue, from Forty-fourth Street to Ninety-Sixth Street, the white traffic lines were painted green for the occasion. All the would-be Irish, has-been Irish, and never-been Irish seem to appear true-blue Irish overnight. Everyone is in on the act, but it is a very jolly occasion and I have never experienced anything like it anywhere else in the world
Brendan BenhanBrendan Benhan”s New York
My grandfather used to joke.
“Do ye know what St Patrick’s Day is in New York?”
My family moved south to Georgia, the mountains of the time in the North of the state wild, to escape the lack of jobs and the No Irish Need Applysigns that plagued them upon their arrival to the land of milk and honey.
“No Grandpa.” said I, the youth and unknowing. A babe in the woods. ” What is St Patrick’s Day in New York?”
“St Patrick’s Day In New York is the day all the factory owners on Fifth Avenue watch their employee’s parade in the streets.” he roared, laughing at his joke that took me years to understand.
Englishmen, Scotchmen, Jews, do well in Ireland- Irishman, never; even the patriot has to leave Ireland to get a hearing.
Each day of the Weekend, for the rest of March I will supply some tidbits on life in Ireland, stories my family has past to me, both of their time in Armagh, and upon their arrival here in the US.
I hope that you will See St Patrick’s Day to be more than just a time for green carnations, green beer and music. I hope you will see just what it means for those of us who are Irish, in America.
Thus when you raise your green glass, to your mates and your friends, and you hear the words of every lasses lover in the lyrics of Danny Boy, you”ll have a tear in your eye and your heart, for a people who at once are ready for anything, and prepared for nothing, and proud just the same.
So its finally March. Usually my favorite time of the year.
As you can see I managed to ensure that the website changed to its typical green hue for the occasion, forests of Ireland a backdrop for something I have done on this website for several years: that of sharing some Irish history, Mythology, lore and my own families history with you.
This year has been crazy, and the last several weeks hectic. Last year our March celebration was marred by the loss of longtime friend and fellow MilBlogger Lex.
I can’t promise you this month will be better. There are things moving in m own life that have me as worried as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but I digress.
It’s March. There is still snow on the ground. Spring is coming soon as the last vestiges of winter make their way from our lives for this year.
I have written before about strings. We see them yet we don’t. They intersect each of us to others, crisscrossing the land.
I am sitting at MSP. Minneapolis Airport in Minnesota. Another day, another state and another city for the op log book.
But my heart is heavy. In Georgia my first cousin lies in ICU. Fighting the odds and the numbers. The doctors tell us its only a matter of time. More hours than days I’m told.
If it happens as they say this will be four people close to me that have gone to Fiddlers Green in a single month. The ties that bind are heartwrenching, and my soul is weary of this.
Im sitting on V00d3ws porch with a cigar and a glass of wine. Im typing this on my phone so please forgive the lack of punctuation and eloquence.
Was just struck by a thought as I listen to the soft patter of rain on the tin roof while the cigar smoke curls in the humid evening.
He’s watching us. Its his way of saying he sees we are gathering around him again like we used too. His way of saying he’s still among us.
The truth is, no matter how it occurred or what bad blood there may have resided amongst any of us, in the end we still loved him like a brother.
For that’s what we were you see. Brothers all of us.
The rain is falling a little harder as I type this.
And that’s okay.
I’m home sick today.
Stomach and fever. Combined with a slow anger mingled with sadness. It makes for quite a miserable experience.
I have mentioned in the past, of my merry band of friends, the very small circle of us who survived the 90′s in Georgia. We were thicker than blood. Brothers from different mothers.
We fought. Often each other. We laughed. We cried. We mended broken hearts and saluted beginning and ending relationships.We drank, we sang. We played. We stared death in the face on mote than one occasion with our antics, and walked away feeling invincible.
In many ways we were a family unto ourselves. We were a peer group, but all in all I think a positive peer group. We never let others in our group drive drunk, we wanted us to be old and gray laughing at our antic together.
We were less responsible in other aspects, namely driving for which we took to the Georgia back roads like moonshiners from revenuers.
The epitome of wild eyed southern boys.
Now that circle grows smaller. This is my tribute, what little it is can not truly express the depth of our sorrow.
This isn’t really a Fathers day post. But in many ways it is. I wrote it originally in October of 2010. The more I go over it and see the relationship between my own father, and his father to me I am forced to think that despite the undertone…maybe it is about Fathers Day after all.
When your coming home Dad, I don’t know when
But we’ll get together then yea
You know we’ll have a good time then…
My Dad and I hold this song between us. Its a bit of a testament to when he was in the Navy and gone for months at a time. Before Facebook. Before Skype. Before E-mail. Before cellphones. Deployments on a Aircraft Carrier could keep him gone most of a year with little to no communication save letters via the ever so slow US postal service.
I got a lot of E-mails and Facebook comments with my rendition of Glory to Georgia. Couple of folks didn’t know I played.
I don’t…play well that is. I have a bad habit of repeating rifts over and over especially if I am singing.
But music has always been our bond.
Read the rest of this entry »
As a boy things were pretty rough at times. Before we moved down to Taylorsville, GA our family home was a 2 room cabin in the hills of Big Creek. Our running water was a spring out front, our heat was a pot bellied wood stove, our bath a 50 gallon washtub and a bathroom that was as big as all out doors.
The military was a slice of heaven to me.
You learn to adapt. I don’t begrudge those things above, in fact in someways I miss them. I miss the cold mornings warmed by a cup of coffee listening to nothing but the trees and naught but Charles Dickens to keep me company. I miss the simplicity, and the quiet. I miss the peace. We were “off the grid” before there came to be such a concept. In those days “off the grid” just meant “poor”, but you couldn’t tell us that.
I spent the evenings after home work lost in Robinson Crusoe, As I Lay Dying, and Go Down, Moses. You didn’t need electricity for books.
In many ways I have often considered that song to be a story of me. The cabin is gone now, my father has built his own house on the property. It’s been a long hard road for us. Trials and tribulations. I have a education I thought I would never get, and I am still traveling that road. My daughter does not lack for things to have, and truth be told is probably spoiled.
I have a few regrets, who doesn’t? Some dreams lost to the wayside. I have made many mistakes in my youth, as we all do.
So it goes c’sera sera, or as my grandfather would say: De reir a cheile a thogtar na caisleain. It takes time to build castles.
The year is almost over and the new year solstice will be celebrated, as it should be with friends. Consider me with you in spirit. Try to think of the good things that have came your way, find grace in the things you could not change. Most of all have a Happy New Year, from all of us at Registered Evil. We are thankful to have you, dear readers, among our friends.
Last night possibly the worst storm in 29 years rolled through the south east.
More than 200 people are dead across five southern states following what the National Weather Service is calling the deadliest wave of tornadoes since 1974.
Five southern states — Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia — are reporting fatalities, with officials reporting at least 141 dead in Alabama and eight in Virginia.
This storm barely missed my town of Smyrna, and we were lucky. Too many people lost their lives, and I struggle to find a reason for it.
Last night around 8:00, I started getting ready for the worst. Mind you, I am rarely uneasy about storms, but this one seemed different. It was just so hot and humid outside, and with a violent thunderstorm on its way, I knew this is what breeds tornado’s. Unfortunately little else is known about why tornado’s strike with very little warning.
Fear sunk in as I watched the radar and the swirling red and yellow approaching, it was very sobering as I looked around our humble home and chose which of my valuables to save. I packed a couple bags, of course the diaper bag for the baby with diapers and a change of clothes, milk, and juice. Then I looked to our personal valuables. I packed our firebox with priceless jewelry, some files, birth certs and marriage licenses, social security cards. We took our baby’s book which had all the first memories, first hair clippings, and my computers and backup hard drive.
While looking at our bags, and got ready to start taking them down to the neighbors basement, I wondered how many by daybreak won’t even have these few things left.
Every time I hear of a storm, virtualy just wind and rain, 2 of the things that supply life, that is taking lives I have to wonder….
Why does this happen? How is it that 2 of the most important things that sustain human life kill so many people?
Bloodspite said it best when we talk of tornado’s, “They are the literal Finger of God”
I pray for the families that lost loved ones and of the families that lost their houses and businesses, nothing left to do now but to pick up the pieces and move on….
That’s right my friends, I have not only found my daily cigar, but the perfect combo. Here it is:
CAO Brazilia Gol and a brand of Birch Beer only available up north: Weis.
How I came up with this killer combo? When I enjoy a nice cigar, I like to have a beverage with me to keep my mouth moistened, and my palate clean. This past weekend, I was headed out to the porch to savor my newly found favorite moderately priced stogie, when I went to the fridge, I noticed I had nothing worth drinking, then I spotted my wife’s stash of Weis Birch Beer, and figured “what the hell, I’m, an adventurer” and out I went.
I fired up my cigar, and took a few puffs, then opened the can, and what ensued was a barage of flavor, and distinct enjoyment. The flavors of both the soda, and the smoke combined in what I can only describe as an erotic dance.
Now if you will excuse me, I am off to find a distributor of the Birch Beer, as I live in Georgia, and not up north.
Till next time, Happy Smoking.
Hello, this is the long lost soul. I have been a stranger here, but I finally have a chance to breathe.
A lot has happened in my absence, and here is a brief update.
First and foremost, my son started walking, and forced me to lock all the cabinets in the house, as he appears to be a little terror already. Another thing he has started doing is shaking his head no…I wonder where he got that one from.
Another new event is the introduction of yard work to my weekends. For the first year of our marriage, we lived in an apartment, and there was no outdoor maintenance there. Now that we are in a house, and the landlord said to me “Do whatever you want to with it, make it your own, paint walls, take down doors, and rip up shrubs if you want, we dont care…” Yea, I have done all of that, even remodeled the kitchen a bit
With that said, I have taken out all of the shrubs, and tiny trees that were making the front yard look like a bit of a jungle, and constructed 14′ flower beds on both sides of the porch, and the wife and I have planted about 40 flowers in there.
One of the most noteworthy ventures of late, is that I have quit smoking cigarettes yet again, and have repleced them with fine cigars. The little one is starting to mimic everything I do, and I dont want that to be one of the things that he starts because he saw me doing it.
Aside from all that, I have been extremely busy at work, as I have made the move to an IT position in my growing company, it keeps me very busy.
Well, thats all the updates for now, stay tuned…
Hello, sorry I haven’t been posting in quite a while, work has me slammed. I just wanted to post some pictures of my new antique dresser, I have found that I like new clothes, and old furniture. After all, I am living in a house that was built in the 20′s.
Let me start by saying, I love my dad, but he drinks coffee like it is the only thing keeping him alive. My wife and I received a coffee pot for our wedding shower, that was just over a year and a half ago. My dad recently came up with mom and stayed at our house for a few days.
The coffee pot did not survive.
A few for my many friends in Georgia, currently snowed in. Here’s hoping they visit the site more often and this brings them some smiles while they mop the floor repeatedly as their children tromp in and out of the house.
The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.
Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
Skiing consists of wearing $3,000 worth of clothes and equipment and driving 200 miles in the snow in order to stand around at a bar and drink.
P. J. O’Rourke
We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand… and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late.
Marie Beyon Ray
I wanted to post something for Christmas, as that is my holiday of choice for this time of year. I could find nothing cooler to post than the first pictures my son (11 months old) had made with Santa! So without further ado, here they are, Enjoy!
More after the jump….
(I wrote a similar story at Techography a number of years ago. Unfortunately the database back up does not have it so we presume it must have been lost when our then hosts Database crashed back in 2003. I have done my best to recreate the story here. Sadly memories fade over time, even a memory as strong as I feel mine is. I hope I did the original story justice as it was well received at the time.- BS)When I was a boy, my great grandfather took me to get a Christmas tree.
My mothers grandfather was a big man, even by todays standards. Standing over 6ft 8 inches tall, the former bulldozer driver was a product of the North Georgia Mountains and the Depression. He once frightened one of my mothers suiters so badly by merely shaking his hand the boy would not speak to her until after they graduated and she had moved out. That was almost 4 years later. I recall his hands being the size of a dinner plate nearly, and though I was very small at the time, compared to even most adults, including my own father he was a mountain of a man.
He lived in Blue Ridge Georgia, until that faithful day in 1988 when he left this world, at the age of 97. It took 8 men to carry his coffin. He was a lean, strong, sturdy rock of a man. I miss him dearly. He was my mothers hero, and mine as well at a young age.
Today when a person speaks of hunting a Christmas tree they go to a farm, where numerous trees are gathered and bound, cut and leaned against a fence.
At home we went walking in the woods, looking for a suitable evergreen, be it pine, cedar or even hemlock.
And so it was on this particular day, the season of the last Christmas I would spend with my great grandfather of whose name I bear as my own middle, he summoned me to his side for us to capture a tree for the family.
More after the jump
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The Armorer was kind enough to do a post on my Uncle. Which in turn led me to thinking about stories involving him, which are numerous.
One of the better ones, at my expense, I posted there. Because I’m lacking in creativity currently and still tired quite frankly I figured I’d repost it here.
My Father and uncle spotted a hornets nest on a tree limb that looked abandoned while we were riding on the back of the Stover Mtn.
My Uncle thwapped it solidly with a stick and pronounced it empty. He cut down the hornets nest, and promptly chucked it in to the backseat with me.
I must now deviate and explain a few things. First it’s February, and we are in a 1968 Volkswagen cut down for off-roading. Being the youngest I was assigned to the backseat.
So here I sit, with my feet practically in my pockets, and with a hornets nest in my lap.
Off we go back down the mountain when it starts: The buzzing.
I am convinced the damn thing is full of hornets. The buzzing continues. I casually mention the fact that I have no desire to be eaten alive by a horde of angry hornets. My father tells me he has little doubt in my ability to escape them should their be any inside.
The buzzing continues.
My Uncle Charlie mentions that maybe the heat in the Volkswagen might be stirring them up. I stare at him in what I presume to be horror. He shrugs and nonchalantly says “They hibernate in winter and I may not have thwacked them good enough with the stick. Could be full of them.”
I am near panic.
I stare at the nest on my lap, as the buzzing continues.
Then out of nowhere a single hornet lands on my jacket arm that is outstretched to hold the “oh-shit!” handles in the back.
I screamed like a 12 year old girl and proceeded to climb over my Uncle and practically out the window of the moving car.
If you have ever ridden in the backseat of a 60′s model VW you know what this had to entail
My father screeches it to a halt, by which point I complete my Dukes of Hazard-esque escape and land on the grounding rolling in the late snow and mud while smacking at myself for all I was worth with my hat as if I were on fire when I hear something else.
I look up to see both my father and my Uncle laughing absolutely hysterically.
An expert game caller, Charlie had been making the buzzing sound. And he had picked up the hornet, along with several others, off the ground when he cut down the nest. He threw the batch at me and the one had landed on my arm while I was staring at the nest in rapt attention thinking I was going to be eaten alive.
He’d sprayed the nest with Raid 2 days earlier, which is how they knew where it was and felt certain it was empty.
I had been, most effectively, had.