Saturday, December 31, 2016

LOCAL CRIME REPORTS

Again, we have crazy criminals, dumb criminals, and unlucky criminals listed in the local paper!

Besides the usual arrests from traffic stops that turned up people with outstanding warrants, we also have a couple of offbeat items. Like a woman arrested for fighting with a man in a Waffle House. A Waffle House? Couldn't she wait till she got him home?

And then the two women who persuaded a man to take them home. But when he put them out, they decided they wanted to go somewhere else. He protested because he didn't want to be late for work. So one woman started hitting him and the other vandalized his car. The police, of course, took them away. But that didn't stop him being late for work, did it? 

The strangest one wasn't in the local crime blotter. It had its own front-page story in the newspaper. Seems this man saw a suspicious car in his neighborhood. He decided its driver was casing his house to rob it (!!!) so he got his gun, jumped into his car, and chased it down. After repeatedly motioning for the other driver to pull over, the second driver did. The armed man got out, waving his gun and terrifying the other driver. Luckily, several people had called the police and a level-headed cop talked him into putting down his gun.

Oh, did I mention the other driver was eighty-one years old and simply driving through the crazy nut's neighborhood on his way home? Yes, old people do drive slowly, but really!!!

Love the local paper!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS OR HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

My Christmas tree is not a pretty tree. In fact, I call it my artificial Charlie Brown tree because iff you look at it from a certain angle, you can see right through it. I prefer thick and bushy pines or cedars. But it's the idea of a yule tree that's important, right?



Another tradition is Opus. I've had him for years now, and he always drags out his antlers and ornaments to make me feel good.



Also, my Christmas clock! How I enjoy it as it chimes our a carol on the hour! (I do have to cut off the sound at night; my guy objects.)



These are some of my favorite things to look at as I listen to Christmas music. And in this season, I'm not particular what people say to me in passing. I may be used to "Merry Christmas" but I'm always glad to get a "Happy Hanukkah!" or "Happy Holidays!" as well. As long as the wisher is pleasant and smiling, I'm okay with whatever greeting I get. It's the thought that counts.

So here's wishing you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa, Happy Winter Solstice, and the ever-appropriate, Happy Holidays! May you all have an enjoyable respite from the daily grind and use the joy of the season to carry you through to the spring.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

LEMON TREE, VERY PRETTY, AND THE LEMON FLOWER IS SWEET

You probably remember this picture from a few weeks back. Our Meyer lemon tree we planted two years ago is about five feet tall now and looking good. We had lots of blooms but Hurricane Matthew blew through and we ended up with only a few as shown.




So we went to get one and suddenly we only had four lemons! Don't know if the squirrels have been making off with them or what but...


Anyway, I picked one and made a lemon icebox pie.


Fattening but ummmm good!



Saturday, December 10, 2016

THE LOCAL CRIME REPORT

Our local paper listed a few interesting crimes the past week besides the usual DUIs and rowdy behavior.

Police stopped a car suspected of containing drugs. Sounds like they weren't sure, but a K9 police dog took the initiative, searched the car, and did indeed find drugs. Give that dog a promotion! Maybe even put him in charge!

Police also saw a truck parked illegally outside a business. Inside, two men were up to something. Like ingesting drugs. So they got arrested, and police called the owner of the business.  I bet they told him to keep his doors locked!

A man lurking outside a residence prompted a call to police that he was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant. When police arrived, that man was gone. But seems Alabama wanted another man at the residence so police took him in along with another guy trying to stop them (obstruction of officers). Guess the residents never heard the old saying about people in glass houses throwing stones!

Then we have a guy who'd been shot, showing up at the emergency room. Police questioned him but the article didn't say whether they found out how or why he got shot. Hmm. May have been embarrassed to confess the truth, that he was practicing quick draws and the gun went off. Or it fell out of his pocket and went off. Or he was putting it into his pocket and it went off. Or his dog stepped on the trigger and it went off. Or... I hate news that leaves you hanging!

Another item told about a couple in a car at the back of a park "making whoopee" -- wonder what that means! -- and police discovered the woman driver's license had been suspended. They gave the couple a warning citation and sent them home in a taxi. Maybe they should have sprung for a motel room.

And an item that wasn't in the local crime blotter because it happened just outside Atlanta: Attorneys for a psychiatrist accused of causing several patients to die from overdoses, petitioned the courts to relax his bond restrictions. Seems the psychiatrist wants to work while awaiting trial. ??? I don't think I'd want to go lie on his couch!


Saturday, December 3, 2016

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE MIGHTY EIGhTH AIR FORCE

We had a guest this past week and one day we went up to the Mighty Eighth Air Museum in Pooler, Georgia. I had no idea what the Mighty Eighth was, but discovered it comprised our European bombers in World War II. The force was activated at Savannah, Georgia, in January 1942 after Pearl Harbor. Within a few months, troops and bombers set up in English bases and began flying against the Germans. While bombers seem to have made up its main force in the beginning, fighters and support aircraft also came under its command before the war was over.

I knew there was an actual airplane on exhibit there--when we drove up we could see it-- but I had expected a little building with musty artifacts and pictures.

Was I surprised!

The building was huge. They must have worked hard to gather the donations to make such a museum possible. In this photo, you can see the back doors of the museum that let you out into a memorial garden with a reflection pond at its center.


The garden itself is quite large. There are walkways to the left and right, twining through the different markers and benches and statues carved with names of bomber planes and their crews. And over on one side is a replica of an English chapel.


Inside, many of its beautiful stained glass windows feature airmen. Like this one:



And not only were there airplanes outside on the grounds. Inside were more! These are an actual fighter and a training aircraft, restored and hanging in lofty splendor from the ceiling:



This B-17 "Flying Fortress" in the process of renovation, is named to honor the "City of Savannah" which was the name of the 5000th airplane processed through Hunter Air Field in Savannah during WWII.



Whew! And that isn't nearly all to be enjoyed in the museum. For instance, there are films.

One allows you to pretend you're inside a bomber going on a bombing run (the guide said bomber crew members tell him it's so lifelike as to be scary; only the sound of the bombs going off isn't authentic because the planes were too high to hear the blast).

Other sections are devoted to POWs, and the women pilots who ferried planes across the seas, and the Tuskegee airmen, and even the foreigners who risked execution to hide airmen shot down. My favorite part was a reproduction of the inside of a French farmhouse (including wooden floors) that might have harbored a downed airman.

There is also a diorama showing the layout of one of the many English bases where the bombers stayed. Oh, and did I mention the gun turret used in the filming of "Memphis Belle" is there? Great story as to how it got to the museum!

If you're around Pooler, Georgia--just off I-95 at Savannah--make time to see this wonderful place. It will remind you how proud we ought to be of our veterans and how our country once came together in almost perfect unity to battle evil.

Finally, one of the plaques inside held this quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, outlining his belief in a basic four freedoms:

"The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world."

His speech is still valid today, isn't it?

Great museum.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

ISLAND SCENES

I hope everyone had as nice a Thanksgiving Day as we did. Tourists were out in force because the day was gorgeous. Not too hot, not too cold. We met several interesting people. One couple had traveled from Colorado to spend the holiday on their sailboat. Once in Charleston SC  where it was docked, they sailed down to our little island and were having turkey and dressing next to us at Barbara Jean's. After overeating, we waddled--er, walked around the island.

A few interesting sights:

This is the highest point on the island. The airport was built on the highest place, but this mountain of ground-up debris from the hurricane aftermath must be a height record. You can tell it's almost as tall as the airplane hangar beside it.



Mounds of the ground-up tree branches, trunks, roots, and other leftover debris are constantly being piled up and moved around by the tiny scraper you see at the bottom right. I'm not sure what the white thing next to it is. It may have something to do with the loading. But even though truckloads of the stuff are constantly being taken away, the pile doesn't seem to get any smaller. And we still have debris to be picked up. The worst part is that the lack of rain dries it up and the winds send the dust swirling through the air. Some people are finding it hard to breathe.

Further on our walk, we came across a tree blown down in the storm and recycled by the imaginative homeowner. For Halloween, a ghost hung from the top branch. This week, it's decorated for Christmas. See the Santa cap on the top ball?


Someone must be an artist to see such potential in felled timber!

And finally, here is our own lovely lemon tree. The lemons look like Christmas ornaments, don't they?


Now if I had an artistic streak in me, I could make this into an outside Christmas tree! Except that we're probably going to pick the lemons and have a pie before Christmas! Yum!



Saturday, November 19, 2016

GALLERY SHOW

The Goodyear Cottage on Jekyll Island, one of the historic summer cottages belonging to millionnaires around the end of the nineteenth century, is used as an art gallery. My guy's photograph was chosen for inclusion in a painting, photograph, and weaving exhibit running this month through the first part of December. It's a lovely old house:


Here is my guy's photograph of sunset on the Jekyll River:


And here is a lady taking a picture with one of the weavers by her fabric:


And here is a-- Hmmm. A yarn tree, maybe? Whatever it was, it was colorful!


Finally, we have the volunteers who are helping with the exhibit opening. Look at all those bottles of wine! Oh. Wait. Looks like she's pointing out something. Maybe trying to divert my attention towards the food tables? Oh, come on!  I really don't drink that much!


If you're down at Jekyll this month or early next month, be sure and visit the Goodyear Cottage . Lots of lovely things there!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

VETERANS DAY PARADE

St. Simons Island celebrated veterans yesterday by a parade and other activities. We went down to the Village for the parade. It wasn't a long parade, but we had several veterans from different wars in it. One was in this car with what looks like his wife and grandkids:



Besides the veterans, we had what I believe is the local high school's military program--is it called Jr. ROTC? Anyway, they made a nice impression:



And one of the county high school's bands came out in full force:



And the whole point was to thank our veterans for their service to our country. This poem sums up what an immense debt we owe them, why we should be thankful to them every day--not just one day a year!


IT IS THE SOLDIER

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.


It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.


It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.


It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.


It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.


It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.


It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.


©Copyright 1970, 2005 by Charles M. Province


Saturday, November 5, 2016

TRAVELS

We've been traveling forever, it seems. We went to north Georgia and Atlanta four times in the past six weeks.

Right before Hurricane Matthew came by, we rushed home from the state capital (where my guy took his photo to be hung), gathered up important papers, washed clothes and packed them up, and went back up to Atlanta to escape the storm (and for an eye doctor appointment). Before those two trips, we had gone up south of Atlanta to housesit/catsit for relatives. And our last trip was up to the foothills north of Atlanta for a family dinner/reunion.

Coming home from the dinner, we stopped at the Taliaferro (pronounced Tolliver) County courthouse so that I could get a copy of my grandfather's death certificate. It is a beautiful old building, with hardwood floors and a minimum of staff. Going inside is like stepping back fifty years into small town Georgia. The people are helpful and so pleasant!


And I can't forget Putnam County, home to authors Alice Walker and Joel Chandler Harris. The courthouse in Eatonton is lovely.


And the people there are just as nice as the ones in Taliaferro County. One of them suggested a cafe across the street for lunch and what did we find on the wall inside?


Yep, a Jack Daniels guitar. And on the corner of the courthouse lawn, we found this statue, a tribute to Br'er Rabbit and the Briarpatch.


What fun we had taking more pictures to add to my courthouse collection!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

SEEN AT THE BEACH

On one of our walks after the hurricane, we found the beach changed but still a repository for the most interesting items. Of course, we always find individual shells. But now we have colonies of them washed up together:


This day, there was also a horseshoe crab shell that its owner had abandoned to grow a better one:


We thought at first this was some kind of sea animal but now we're pretty sure it's a part of a plant or tree or bush. It looks like a woody root. There were several of them, some smaller and some larger:


And though these yucca plants were in the dunes rather than on the beach, they were happily blooming despite the storm recently weathered.


Beautiful day and lovely walk!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

BEACH CHANGES AFTER THE STORM

Once again, our beach has undergone a total repositioning of its sand. As we come out past the dunes, we look southward and see a tidal pool. The ocean is on the left.


When we go north, there is stretches more of sand. There used to be a long and then a short sandbar out in the water not far from shore. The shore has now effectively sucked up the sandbar, making the beach twice as wide or more. Then we get to the amazing part.

Once a wide river flowed between the sandbar and upper beach. Now, as we stand on the new part of the beach, we can see it has become more of a narrow creek, flowing down to what has turned into a tidal pool. You can still see the rip rap (big rocks) on the edge that kept the sea from washing the sands away.



And this pier once jutted out into the river. A river that was way too broad to cross except by swimming and currents made that dangerous.


The houses seen behind the pier are glad of the beach changes, I suppose. For years, they were in danger of being washed away by the ocean. Now it's way out in front of them!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

HOME AGAIN

As I told last week, we had to evacuate for Hurricane Matthew. We were extremely fortunate in that he passed about fifty miles offshore from us and that his storm surge happened at low tide. We could have had a disastrous hit and all our belongings would be gone. I can't get over how lucky we were. We came home to debris all over the yard and a tree on the house (a skinny tree with the top resting on our roof so no damage we can see) but nothing worse.

I promised to tell more about our visit to Atlanta that took place just before the hurricane.

One of my guy's pix was chosen to hang in the State Capital's rotunda (along with about thirty other paintings and photographs). He was invited to bring it in person and meet the Governor but at first demurred. Then a relative offered to drive him into Atlanta, and I persuaded him to go.

Here's a shot of the people milling around in the anteroom before the presentation:



And here is my guy's photograph. Jekyll Island Sunset:


So he got to shake hands with the Governor and First Lady, and the photograph will hang in the Capital until April for anyone visiting Atlanta to enjoy. I am quite proud of him!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

HURRICANE WARNING!

Wednesday

Yes, we just received our voluntary evacuation notice today! Hurricane Matthew is heading our way!

South Carolina's coastal area were already under an evacuation order, which had concerned us. So when this one came, we were kind of prepared. As luck would have it, we were on the road, coming back from Atlanta where my guy took his photograph that had been chosen to hang in the State Capital (more on this next week), when the news came.

As we hit I-16, going from Macon to Savannah, we started running into traffic. I-16 is usually an uncrowded, easygoing road. Not today. I think most of the cars were coming from Hilton Head and Savannah. Luckily, we were going toward Savannah rather than away from it!



As we came over the causeway to our island, the tide was up in the marshes. And I mean up. Usually, the marshes look like a green field. Not today.

We're packing up tonight, putting our legal papers and a few other precious items into the car. Tomorrow morning --Thursday-- we'll be heading back to Atlanta to stay with relatives. Right now, it's projected that Matthew is due to call Thursday night or Friday.

When this blog publishes Saturday morning, we should know if our house has been blown away or not. We're keeping our fingers crossed! This is the first time we've had to go through this!


Saturday

The mandatory evacuation notice came Thursday morning as we were heading out. We got to Atlanta and watched news and Internet reports on the hurricane progress.  Matthew meandered around and passed our island Friday night, This morning we got word that our  neighborhood houses suffered little structural damage, probably because the eye was about 45 miles offshore.

A lot of trees and power lines are down but hopefully that will be cleared away within a few days and we can go home. We are very thankful!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

SHRIMP BOAT WRECK

Our pier does not allow docking for any boats other than authorized ones (Coast Guard, DNR, pilot boats, etc.) So the shrimp boat that tied up last Saturday was not supposed to be there. Evidently, the owner was trying to sell some fresh caught shrimp to bystanders.

I don't know if he sold any shrimp or not, but he did have a problem with his boat. The High Tide hit the pier, knocked over a couple of lamp posts and destroyed part of the railing. The pier has been roped off to foot traffic. Here's the view as we walk out on the pier.


And here's the view when you get out to the end. There were two more lampposts between the one you can see and the end on the left; both now gone, alas! You can also see my shadow as I take a photo over the yellow tape barring us from going any farther.


The owner was taken to the detention center. I feel kind of sorry for him -- all he tried to do was sell some shrimp before hitting the pier with his boom -- but on the other hand, we'll be the ones footing the bill for repairs.

Too much excitement, I say! Hope there won't be any more unauthorized boats trying to dock there!


Saturday, September 24, 2016

LOCAL NEWSPAPER

Our local newspaper has gone over to the dark side: it is now published in tabloid form and size. AND, it no longer skips Sunday publication. Yes, we now have a Sunday paper delivered to our door!

Unfortunately, the Monday paper has been taken away. Yep. Vanished. Whisked away. Kaput.

"They" say it was because more customers wanted a Sunday paper than a Monday paper. I say, who did they ask?

But I won't complain. At least we still get a paper six days a week. With pretty entertaining stuff in it, too. Can't beat that!

A quick rundown on our local crime scene:

Police had to use tear gas to flush out a man screaming he wasn't going back to prison. Now he's in the local jail. But not in prison! Yet.

A woman involved in a bar fight hit the investigating policeman and got arrested. I would hope so!

A dog running loose threatened neighbors so police cited the owner. Should have sicced his dog on him!

A domestic dispute ended with the man running off but police located him, surrounded the residence he was hiding in, and arrested him for outstanding warrants. So he's done it before, eh?

And finally a man hit another man in the head with a stick. Unhappy with the outcome, he then grabbed a chair and hit the man again. Good thing there wasn't a sofa handy! The victim went to the emergency room and police tracked down the perpetrator and arrested him.

Ah, just another day in the lives of our underpaid law enforcement people.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

FORT KING GEORGE

Fort King George, Georgia's oldest English fort, had some of its reenactors, or living history performers, last weekend. I love going to these exhibitions! Not only do we learn about how our ancestors lived, but we can watch displays of things like musket drills and spinning.

Here's a photo of the officers quarters from the open area inside the fort:


This is a spinner, showing how they spun wool back then. Those settlers must have been miserable, wearing wool in our tropical heat!


Here are the cannon lined up waiting for the Spanish to come. They overlook what in 1721 was the main branch of the river:


Here are some soldiers showing off their musketry skills. I can't believe they wore those hot uniforms all the time! Surely they stripped down in the summer!


And here, like the soldier, we're all covering our ears as the cannon fires!


Adding to the activities, the weather was not too hot and we had a most enjoyable day!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

HERMINE

Hurricane Hermine, or the remains of it, came through a week or so ago. We were lucky. First, it came ashore as only a category 1 storm. Then, by the time it got to us, it was mostly high winds and rain. Not too bad. Our power went out but only for about four hours, though some houses were out longer. And we only had small debris in our yard while others had trees down. Some pix:

The beach access at the park near the lighthouse:



Fence and telephone wires down

:

The awning on a convenience store was blown down. This is right next to our favorite Southern Soul barbecue which wasn't harmed, thank goodness! We can still eat!



So now that Hermine is gone, a lot of people are deciding to take care of trees that might fall and do some damage.

Threatening pine being taken down:



The only tree we had that might have hurt the house, partly fell a couple of years ago and we had it taken out then. So we feel pretty safe. I'm just hoping any other hurricanes are as mild!







Saturday, September 3, 2016

TREE SPIRITS

While enjoying the island, many tourists run across our Tree Spirits carved into the great oaks.  No, the trees aren't harmed. He carves on places where the bark has already come off, either struck by lightning or dangerous/diseased  limbs chopped off. The sculptor, Keith Jennings, is from North Carolina and has a FaceBook page:

https://www.facebook.com/St.SimonsTreeSpirits/

While walking the other morning, my guy came upon him carving a new Spirit at Mallery Park.




It took several days to finish but it looks neat!



And here is a mermaid near the visitors' center. I bet this one took several weeks to finish!



The Tree Spirits are pleasant surprises for walkers and bicyclists. We haven't seen all of them but there are more to be found!