Tag Archives: Life

Get Away From Magazines

14 Jul

I have to stop going to the grocery store because I always buy some “Special Edition” magazine. “Special Edition” is the code for something that costs more than a regular magazine. Yesterday, I got one called Great American Getaways that was put out by LIFE.Getaway

I read it and decided that the money spent meant that I should do more than that. Therefore, we have a post.

This is going to be simple. List the getaways. Write if I have ever been to them. Yes or no answers will suffice.

Mount Desert, Maine – No

The Freedom Trail, Boston, Massachusetts – Yes

Franconia, New Hampshire – No

Block Island, Rhode Island – No

Mystic, Connecticut – No

Sag Harbor, New York – No

Tanglewood and Williamstown, Massachusetts – No

Stowe, Vermont- No

New York City, New York – Yes

Cape May, New Jersey – No

Cooperstown, New York – No

Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, No

The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. – Yes

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – Yes

Niagara Falls, New York – Yes

Sea Island, Georgia – No

Walt Disney World, Florida – Yes

The Florida Keys – No

Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia and North Carolina – Yes

Horse Country, Kentucky – Yes

Columbus, Indiana – No

Mackinac Island, Michigan – No

Nashville, Tennessee – Yes

Chicago, Illinois – Yes

New Orleans, Louisiana – Yes

Ozarks, Arkansas – Yes

Sand Hills, Nebraska – No

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota – Yes

Santa Fe, New Mexico – Yes

Land of the Anasazi, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico – Yes

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – Yes

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Yes

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona – No

Alta, Utah – No

Glacier National Park, Montana – Yes

Las Vegas, Nevada – Yes

Death Valley, California – Yes

San Diego, California – Yes

Yosemite National Park, California – Yes

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada – Yes

Oregon Wine Country – No

Mount Rainier, Washington – Yes

Big Sur, California – Yes

San Francisco, California – Yes

San Juan Islands, Washington – No

Redwood National Park, California – Yes

Volcano National Park, Hawaii – Yes

Lanai, Hawaii – No

Glacier Cruise, Alaska – Yes

The Brooks Range, Alaska – No

That is 29 visits out of 50 places.

Now, I promise myself that I will not buy more “Special Edition” magazines…until I go back to the grocery store.

 

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Haunted Houses

29 Jun

When the weather is nice, we like to walk through the neighborhood. It is a good way to get outside and to exercise. As we walk, I find myself looking at the houses and wondering about the people who live in them.

Are they happy?

What television shows do they watch?

Did life turn out like they expected?

What are their hobbies?

Are they from here, or did they move in from somewhere else?

After many walks and many questions, I have come to a conclusion.

All houses are haunted.Haunted House

They are not haunted by ghosts but by the memories of the people who have lived in them. They are haunted by the lives those people lived and the events that happened within them.

They are haunted by the love; by the sorrow; by the happiness; by the sadness.

As those people move on, their accomplishments and failures linger in the air. The people who take their place may not feel them, but they are there. In the kitchens where meals were cooked. In the bedrooms where love was made. In the living rooms where arguments were had.

All houses are haunted.

Finding Out About the Ade Family Mystery

19 Mar

I was hanging out by the magazine stand in Walgreen’s when a title caught my eye. The Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of All Time: 50 Baffling Cases from the Files. It struck me that this would fit nicely as the latest edition to the “Listeria” series. It was a grand plan. I would see how many of these mysteries have taken place in my lifetime. Of course, a synopsis of each one would be included.

Then, everything changed. I was glancing through the mysteries when the pages turned to a segment called “Who Wiped Out the Ade Family?” That was new. I had never heard of the Ade family. However, the first sentence got my attention because it said the crime was committed in Nashville. One of the great unsolved mysteries of all time happened a few miles down the road, and I had never heard of it.

Honestly, I thought I knew about most of the infamous crimes that took place around here. I have read as much as possible about the murder of Stringbean, a performer on the Grand Ole Opry, and his wife. For years, people around here wanted to know who killed Marcia Trimble, who was killed while delivering Girl Scout cookies. I even know a little about the Harpe brothers, who some think were a couple of the earliest serial killers in America.

However, I had never heard of the Ade family. I read the article and immediately went to Google to find out more. There was not much. The article had as much information as the other sources. In fact, some of it used the same language. I guess when you cannot find much, then you go with what you can.

The murders took place in Joelton, a community in Davidson County. A neighborhood saw fire in the distance and made his way to the Ade residence. The entire family and a guest were inside and consumed by the fire. When authorities investigated, they realized that the family had been killed, and the fire was set to cover it up.

The mystery of who did it has continues until now. Considering that it took place in 1897, the cold case will remain that way.

There is nothing for me to add to the mystery. I am writing about it because, as far as I know, the family has been forgotten. I understand that the crime will never be solved, but more people who live in this area should know that the crime took place. They should know that one of the great mysteries of the world took place in Nashville, and no one has delved into it enough to fill up a decent Wikipedia page.

The victims were:

Jacob Ade, 60

Pauline Ade, 50

Lizze Ade, 20

Henry Ade, 13

Rosa Moirer, 10

Listeria – In Memoriam

31 Jan

This is the season of awards shows, and people tune in for all kinds of reasons. To see who is going to win what. To see who is going to wear what. To see who is going to say what. I watch the shows like everyone else does, but I am looking for something else. I am fascinated by the “In Memoriam” part. It is interesting to see how they are going to pay tribute to the people who have passed away in the past year. Who will get the most applause? Who will be shown in a film clip rather than in a photograph? Who passed away that I did not know about? Who will be left out?

That last question is always the most controversial. It would be impossible to show everyone, and difficult decisions have to be made. Inevitably, people are going to get mad. I even wrote a post about people who I thought were mistakenly left out of an Academy Awards presentation.

With all of that being said, I have decided to provide my own “In Memoriam” for the people who passed away in 2013. To accomplish this, I bought a copy of Farewell, a LIFE publication honoring the deceased. It is filled with people who I know a lot about and people who I have never heard of. As the great decision maker of who should be honored in the SBI World, there will some left out just like on the awards show. However, these are the ones who I want to remember.Candle

You will have to imagine the music in the background.

In no particular order:

Margaret Thatcher – The Iron Lady. I read somewhere that the Steely Dan song “Peg” was about her. I wonder if that is true.

Helen Thomas – the White House reporter who covered every president from Kennedy to Obama.

David Frost – the interviewer who gained widespread fame for his sessions with Richard Nixon.

Dr. Joyce Brothers – the television counselor who paved the way for all of the others. She got her start on television by winning The $64,000 Question.Joyce Brothers

Roger Ebert – the movie critic who gave us “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”.

Annette Funicello – the original sweetheart of the Mouseketeers. She also became the sweetheart of beach movies. My dad and I saw her perform at the Super Bowl.

Esther Williams – the champion swimmer who became the queen of water-based movie extravaganzas. She was one of my mom’s favorites.

Jean Stapleton – the actress who served as the foil for Archie Bunker.Jean Stapleton

Bonnie Franklin – the mother on One Day at a Time, one of the many socially conscious sitcoms of the 1970s.

Karen Black – the actress who was in one of my favorite movies, Nashville.

Jonathan Winters – the genius comedian who is a hoot in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Harry Reems – the porn star who became a household name after appearing in Deep Throat, one of the most famous porn movies ever made.Harry Reems

Bobby “Blue” Bland – the blues singer who recorded, in my mind, the definitive version of “Stormy Monday”.

Patty Andrews – the last surviving member of The Andrews Sisters. If you have ever heard “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, then you have heard them at their best.

Patti Page – the singer of “The Tennessee Waltz”, one of my state’s official songs.

George Jones – the Possum. In my opinion, he is the greatest country singer to ever live. Unfortunately, his life was not as smooth as his voice.George Jones 2

J.J. Cale – the writer of “After Midnight”, “Cocaine” and a bunch of other great songs.

Lou Reed – the iconic singer who led The Velvet Underground and invited everyone to walk on the wild side.

Stan Musial – the Man. He was one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

Earl Weaver – the baseball manager best known for being thrown out of games. He was also a lover of the Earl Weaver Special, the three run home run.Earl Weaver

Art Donovan – the Baltimore Colt who gained more fame from his appearances of NFL Films.

Pat Summerall – the voice of the NFL who was also a fair placekicker.

Elmore Leonard – the writer who could create great characters and put great words in their mouths. His work was the inspiration for Justified, currently my favorite television show.Elmore Leonard

That is the completion of this blog’s “In Memoriam tribute”. Who would you put on the list?

Listeria – Wonders of the World

25 Jul

Before this post officially begins, there is something that needs to be cleared up. I started the “Listeria” series a long time ago as a way to explore our fascination with lists. Since that original post, I have covered the best places in New Mexico; the greatest guitarists of all time; some of the best places to travel; the greatest cowboy stars; the fastest gunfighters; Nashville’s best restaurants; and the best movies of all time. At no point during that time did I know that Listeria is a serious disease. I think I first heard about it on CNN.

Now, I am stuck. Do I change the name because it brings to mind something terrible? Or, do I keep the name that has become a well-known brand? You know, Coca-Cola didn’t change their name because they took cocaine out of their product. It seems to have worked for them, so I’ll stick with it.

This edition of “Listeria” comes to us from the people at LIFE, which only puts out these special publications because their magazine didn’t make it. This one is called Wonders of the World: 50 Must-See Natural and Man-Made Marvels. However, there is a problem, only 41 of them can be seen because the other 9 either don’t exist anymore, are in space or are in the unreachable depths of the ocean.

Out of the 41 that are obtainable by ordinary humans, I have visited the following.

The Colosseum – It was cool because it was just like a modern stadium. Entrance gates. Concourse. Seats. There was even a roof over part of the audience. They had club level, too. It was truly a technological marvel. However, I remember two things about it more than anything else. It was surrounded by traffic. Now that I think about it, that’s just like a modern stadium, too. It also had a bunch of cats living in it.

The Vatican – Obviously, it’s in the same city as the Colosseum and is a testament to the power of religion. The art was amazing, and, to me, the Sistine Chapel stood out. However, I mostly remember a statue that everyone rubbed for good luck. I don’t know who the statue portrayed, but I know that the feet had nearly disappeared. That’s a lot of rubbing.

The Empire State Building – I have seen this building, but I don’t remember much about it. I was in high school when my parents decided to take a road trip through the northeast, and my dad decided it would be a good idea to drive through New York City. As navigator, I was busy looking at the map and trying to get us out of the quagmire. We succeeded but only by going through Harlem and the Bronx, and that really wasn’t the plan.

The Golden Gate Bridge – We just drove over it on our honeymoon. You can read about that here.

Mount Rushmore – Now, we are talking. This is one of my favorite places and is a monument to some of the men who built America. Unfortunately, these men helped build America on land that was owned by Native Americans. There is something ironic about this being carved in the Black Hills, land that is sacred to the Sioux and land that they have refused to take payment for.

The Grand Canyon – One of nature’s most awesome accomplishments, the canyon is almost too big to comprehend from the rim. It needs to be hiked or flown into to understand how grand it is. My nephew was lucky enough to camp inside of the Grand Canyon, and it’s something he will always remember. Most don’t know that a Native American community lives on its floor.West 2010 309

Yellowstone – I have been to Yellowstone numerous times, and there are almost too many things to see. Natural wonders are everywhere. Last year, the guys in my family took a trip to Montana and dipped into the northern edge of the park. We didn’t see geysers on this trip, but we did see buffalo.Montana 2012 and Other Stuff 302

I’ve been lucky to make it to those, and, hopefully, I’ll make it to a few more, some day.

Only the Rocks Live Forever

3 Jul

My dad and I just finished our multi-week project of watching Centennial, the 1970s miniseries covering the history of a fictional Colorado town. Lasting over 26 hours, the movie follows the lives of people who influenced the area and help found the town. Native Americans. Trappers. Mountain men. Pioneers. Farmers. Cowboys. The list goes on and on. All of the people you can think of from the history of the West are represented.

As we watched Centennial, several ideas swept through my mind. First was the fact that this was a well-made movie, and, although it was based on a work of fiction, accurately portrayed the history of the West better than just about any movie I have seen. It showed the lives of ordinary people and the complexities they faced. After all, they were living in a hard land that was taken from someone else.

Once my mind wrapped itself around the quality of the movie, the storyline began to remind me why I chose history as a profession. In the final episode, a historian shows up to research the town for an article. When he arrives in the village of 2,000 people, he wonders why he has been given the assignment of writing about a town he had never heard of with founders who only the locals remembered. Then, he began to hear the stories of the characters that we had been watching.

I suppose that I am not making sense, but the historian discovered that the little town of Centennial had an interesting history of regular people living regular lives. That’s what history is really about. Sometimes, we get caught up in the deeds of famous people and forget that history is made by everyone.

My next thought – actually, feeling – was a sense of sadness that hit me on several levels. Centennial takes the viewer through several generations of families, which means we are watching their lives and their deaths. We see them starting life with youthful exuberance and ending it after triumphs and tragedies. History isn’t just about the lives of people but also about their deaths.

As I watched the lives of these characters pass before my eyes, I also realized that my dad, like the older men in the movie, has already lived the majority of his life. He is the rock of our family and has accomplished more than I could ever imagine. Yet, he is getting more feeble as time passes, and there will be a time when he will pass away. Then, it will truly be up to my brother and me to carry on the beliefs and ideals of our family.

My dad and I have done a lot of things together. He took me to my first University of Tennessee football game when I was 6, and we have been going ever since. It’s just that he doesn’t make it to as many games as he used to. Together, we have traveled through all 50 states because he wanted me to see historic sites and natural wonders. I saw that watching this movie is another thing that we could do together. As we watched, he would have me pause it to tell him the real history of what the movie was portraying.

As the last episode ended, I was sad because a movie that I enjoyed and invested in had come to an end. I was sad because this experience with my dad had come to an end, and I fear the time when I will not be able to have more experiences with him. I was sad because the movie reminded me something that I had forgotten as I teach about people in the pages of history books. As a line in Centennial says, “Only the rocks live forever.”