Archive for May, 2012

The POW-MIA Bracelet

May 31, 2012

All dressed up and no place to go.

I found this photo of myself taken in 1974.  I noticed that I was wearing my senior class ring and my POW-MIA bracelet.

I don’t remember what happened to my bracelet.  I suppose after I graduated from high school, I took it off and put it away.  I might have even thrown it away, because I certainly don’t have it now.  

That started me wondering more about the man’s name on my bracelet, and what happened to him.  I remembered his name was made of names I’d never heard before.  Berman Ganoe, Jr.  I didn’t know how to pronounce his last name.  Did it rhyme with canoe?  Or was it Guh-NO?  How was I to know? So I, making sure to cover all bases, said his name in my head “Guh-NU Guh-NO.” 

I was looking at this photo this morning, and I felt a bit guilty that I hadn’t thought of Berman Guh-NU Guh-NO in years.  So I went to see my friend Mr. Computer, and I checked  There was a boatload of stuff about Berman.  Then I checked and there were actual photos of him along with what happened to him. One of the commenters provided a link to this site.

I’m glad to know the final disposition, although I’m sad for this man and his family.

Rest well, Berman Ganoe, Jr.


Here A Pup, There A Pup, Everywhere a Pup Pup

May 26, 2012

Yes, it is.

It’s springtime, alright.

And all the shelters are bursting with baby animals.  I heard through the grapevine that a neighboring county shelter took in over 90 cats and kittens from area residents *in ONE day*.  Those numbers are simply staggering. 

This past Wednesday afternoon, right about closing time where I work, Sugar called me on my cell phone.  It seems that there were two puppies in the woods just across from the grooming salon.  He and his BabyDaughter were sitting in the woods feeding them. 

By the time I got there, the pups had eaten all the food and were milling about, enjoying the day with their new best friends.

These ladies are clean-platers.


I gave the little blonde a chewy toy that I just happened to have in my pocket, and she headed away from us to enjoy her treat in private.


We were all of the same opinion that they could not stay at the grooming and boarding salon.  They were very thin, and most probably had parasites, like roundworms, and who know what other problems might pop up.  There’s always the danger of parvovirus and coccidia, and it would be irresponsible to expose paying guests to those issues.  We (I) *DID* decide that they had to go inside the building for a bath. 

First, a CapStar for a quick flea-kill, then a flea and tick bath. 

 You know where this is going, don’t you?  Yes, they are destined for the turtle yard at the Swamped! Plantation and Puppy-Pooping Facility.  


Sugar lends a hand.

 When we got home, I gave them a Comfortis for 30-day flea prevention, and a Heartgard for 30-day heartworm, roundworm, and hookworm prevention, and they settled into the turtle yard which has no turtles this year, strangely enough. 

 We’re trying something different with these girls.  I took them to the local shelter, relinquished them, and applied to be an official foster home.  They received their first booster, and I took them home.  There’s a chance that they could get chosen to go to a private no-kill shelter about an hour from here.  I’ve already spoken to that shelter, who is also (SURPRISE) full, but could have a possible opening as early as next week. 

 Until then, cross your fingers.  They are lovely girls, and no, I don’t want to keep them.  Puppies are adoptable!

Mother’s Day and Raymond

May 15, 2012

Last Friday before Mother’s Day, a delivery lady walked into my place of work with a HUGE bouquet.

Surprise! Happy early Mother’s Day!

This from the BabyGirl and BabyBoy, although the BabyGirl didn’t know that the BabyBoy had engineered the whole thing from start to finish.  Pretty impressive.  BabyBoy scored big points. 

Then on actual Mother’s Day, Sugar and I made our usual shopping trip to nearby B-ton.  We stopped in one of the landscaped parking lots to admire one of the crape myrtles.  

Sugar points out the tiny ants on the trunk.

 After shopping came my favorite part.  Lunch!  Sugar wanted to take me to a new restaurant.  I argued that it would be full, and he hates full, because he thinks people are looking at him.  I always reassure him by saying that no one is looking at him, which strangely does not reassure him but rather hurts his feelings.  He argued that it was only 11:45 AM and the restaurant would not be full.  I argued that the church crowd would be filing in soon, and they will be looking at him. 

He won anyway.

We were escorted to a tiny table for two in a corner, where we were soon joined by…  

Raymond the Roach.

 It then became a game to see if we could hide our tabletop roach from the waitstaff.  We knew if they saw him, they would kill him, right there in front of God and everybody, even though the restaurant was starting to fill up.  Just imagining the scene that would be caused with all the happy celebraters screaming and panicking was almost enough to expose Raymond, but I just couldn’t do it.  Raymond (or was she Raymonda?) could have a few more minutes of life.  He wasn’t bothering us, and we knew when we left the restaurant that he would be discovered and squished.  Every time a waitstaff approached, I’d shield Raymond with my hand, or my napkin, or Sugar’s cap.  It was bizarre how that little roach just sat right on the table, vaguely waving his little feelers around.  When we got ready to leave, I shooed Raymond to the wall where he slowly crawled between the table and the wall, out of sight.  

Sugar made me promise not to blog about this.  I couldn’t promise that, but I did promise to not name the restaurant.  I couldn’t kill little Raymonda because she could have been somebody’s mother, and to kill a mother on Mother’s Day is just wrong, somehow. 

 Even if that mother is a roach.


Peachy the Cat, Part Three

May 14, 2012

Peachy the Cat, who lives behind the grooming business, has become so comfortable with his situation that he comes inside the fenced play yard, even when there are dogs in the yard.  He’s a typical clever outdoor cat, and he knows who is hostile and who isn’t. 

Peachy is *inside* the yard playing with a Wubba toy. Apparently, he thinks he is a dog because a Wubba is a dog toy.

When I step through the gate…

The feeding station is on the other side of the fence.

And he’s up on the rail, over the fence, and waiting on room service.


The Safety Patrol in Lenoir City, Tennessee, in 1936

May 13, 2012

As I’ve mentioned before, my mother was on the high school newspaper staff, and in her stash were some newspapers.  Here’s one of the highlights in 1936.

From the Lenoir City High School newspaper, the “Orange and Black”, in 1936: 

These boys are giving of their time to help prevent accidents and save lives.  They are the new Safety Patrol and are shown here with some of the helpers in the movement.

Front row (left to right):  State Patrolman Holden, Gene Lynch, Ray Harold Anderson, Charles Munsey, Gene McCarroll, W. F. Johnson, James Price and Sgt. Pace.

Middle row:  Elden Robinson, Elwood Robinson, Melvin Freedman, Jason Baker, B. F. Llewellan, Walker Barnett and James Soward.

Top row:  Capt. Mitchell of the Knoxville Safety Patrol, Ralph Blackburn, Clellan Perryman, Capt. James Hartsook,Glenn James, Fred Weaver, Jr., Burk Peterson, Supt. C. M. Mitchell and Harry M. Calloway, commander of the Legion who are giving the boys their equipment, belts, flags and raincoats.


Henry Jackson of Savannah, Georgia

May 10, 2012

A few weeks back, some of Sugar’s family came to town, and we headed over to Savannah for a little strolling.  We met up at the Sentient Bean for coffee, then made our way over to The Distillery for lunch.  This path meant we walked through Forsyth Park.

The historical marker for Forsyth Park.

In the 1840s, William Brown Hodgson (1801-1871) conceived the

idea of setting aside ten acres of wooded land at this site for

development of Savannah’s first recreational park.  It was named for

former Georgia Governor John Forsyth (1780-1841).  William

Bischoff created the original landscape design.  In the early 1850s

improvements to the park included removal of some pines for

walkways and ornamental plantings, benches, and iron fencing

around the perimeter.  In 1854 the fountain and radiating walks

were added.  Originally created as a military parade ground, the

twenty-one-acre Park Extension was added in 1867.  The dummy

forts were built in c. 1909 and used for training during World War I.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and

Trustees’ Garden Club, Inc.


Here’s the magnificent fountain in the heart of Forsyth.

Along the way…

As we made our way out of the park, still headed northwards, Sugar pointed to a building across the street.  He said that it was the law office of his great-grandfather Basinger’s partner. You see how it is, don’t you?  You can’t even stroll  down the street in Savannah without Sugar pointing out some landmark relating to his family.


This building, now the quarters of a private Club, was erected in

1857 for Edmund Molyneux, British consul at Savannah, and served

as his residence and as the Consulate until Molyneux’s return to

England in 1863.  In 1865 the Molyneux house was appropriated by

the Union army as headquarters for General O. O. Howard and his

successor, Gen. Wm. F.Barry.  Representatives of the family claimed

that furnishings valued at more than $10,000.00, including part of the

famous Molyneaux wine cellar, were damaged or removed during the

Federal occupation.

The mansion was purchased from the Molyneux family in 1885 by Gen.

Henry R. Jackson and was the home of the illustrious Georgian

until his death in 1898.

Jackson equally distinguished himself as lawyer, soldier, diplomat

and poet.  He was Judge of the Eastern Circuit of Georgia (1849-’53)

and in 1859 was special prosecutor for the United States in the

celebrated case of the slave ship “Wanderer”.  He fought in the Mexican

War and won distinction in the Confederate army as a brigadier

general.  He was ambassador to Austria (1854-’58) and minister to

Mexico (1883-’86).  A gifted poet, the best known of Jackson’s poems is

“The Red Old Hills of Georgia”.

After a yummy lunch, we headed back south, passing through several more of Savannah’s famous squares.

The great Polish patriot to whose memory this monument is

erected was mortally wounded approximately one-half mile north-

west of this spot during the assault by the French and American

forces on the British lines around Savannah.  October 9, 1779,

General Pulaski was struck by a grapeshot as he rode forward

with customary ardor,  from where his cavalry was stationed to

rally the disorganized Allied columns.  The fatal ball which was

removed from his thigh by Dr. James Lynah of South Carolina is

in possession of the Georgia Historical Society at Savannah.

Doubt and uncertainty exists as to where Pulaski died and as

to his burial – place.  A contemporary Charlestown, S. C. newspaper

item and other sources indicate that he died aboard a ship bound

for that port.  It was generally believed that he was buried at sea.

A tradition persisted, however, that General Pulaski died at

Greenwich plantation near Savannah and that he was buried there.

When the monument here was under erection the grave at Greenwich

was opened. The remains found there conformed, in the opinion

of physicians, is a man of Pulaski’s age and stature and were

re-interred beneath this memorial in a metallic case in 1854.


The other side of the marker shows the monument beyond.

And yet another aspect of the monument…

And one final shot. Pardon the pun.


Jumping the Pond

May 5, 2012

I returned to college in 2008.  In 2009, one of my classes was information technology.  One week’s assignment was to create a website and to create a blog.  One assignment = two different aspects.

My website was a shopping site for my knitted products.  Some of the photos included propped-up knitted-and-felted handbags in beach chairs for a backdrop, and other photos were my hand modeling fingerless gloves.  It’s hard to take a decent photo of your own hand, and don’t let anyone else tell you it’s not. 

For my blogsite, I chose after consulting with my computer guru, also known as my nephew Keith.  Writing the blog was so much fun, I just kept doing it, and here we are, almost three years later. 

WordPress has a dashboard page where you, among other things, control the look of the blog.  Y’all just go to WordPress right now and make a blog – it’s free – and you’ll see what I mean.  Another aspect of the dashboard is the stats graph.  You can see how many hits you get per day.  I usually get at least 5 hits, which doesn’t sound like very much, but sometimes my stats shoot through the roof to maybe 16.  Sometimes I see a trend of a lot of hits, usually because someone is searching for something specific, perhaps through google or bing, like “Corinne Elliott Lawton” or “seed ticks”.  (I know.  Seed ticks, right?  Who’s not searching for seed ticks.)

So my goal is to get ten hits a day.  That’s not too much, and I suppose one is supposed to have some sort of goal, but really?  I write the blog for me.  The blog turned into a way for me to unload some of those old photos and letters that I have been carting around through various lives and lifestyles.  The blog has been such an unburdening of the responsibilities of me being the only one who has these bits of the past.  When I started collecting genealogy stuff, I would think, “If I only had a picture.”  I met some really nice folks who send photos of gravestones, and photos of people, and snippets of stories, and some wonderful old letters, and I know how wonderful it felt to have the kindness of strangers bestowed upon you, if for no other reason except that they could.  One woman did a headstone rubbing of my 3rd great-grandfather Theophilas Rawls.  One volunteer copied the entire family Bible ancestry of Josias and Anne Gamble, because she could, but she also copied a lot of pages of her family group sheets and some photos of some of my great-grandmother’s sisters, who she knew *in person*, and she told me that she thought when she was a child that she was related to these people because the families were so close.  Touches my heart.

So I’ve uploaded my own fair share of some of my family stuff because you just don’t know when and how you can touch someone else’s heart.  And therein lies a tale.

If y’all will just go back in time and click on this link to my daughter’s 6th birthday, and re-read it, or read it for the first time, and don’t fail to read the comments, because we’re about to jump the pond.


When I met my now-ex-husband back in 1976, he spoke lovingly of his family.  He had spent a lot of his growing-up years with his mother’s parents.  He said that his grandmother Aina was from Sweden, that she was the oldest child in the family, that she and her mother and 3 younger siblings came over “on the boat” in 1909, and that she was one year younger than the year and that was how he remembered how old she was.  If it was ’77, she was 76.  It was sweet to see how much he loved his family.  Later when I met his family, they all seemed to enjoy each other’s company, and they planned trips and outings together, and they were very serious about being a family.

A few years before she died, his grandmother told me about her younger brother Bertil, also known as Bert.  He was the only boy with four sisters Aina, Estrid, Brita, and Gertrude, and if they all went out to a community dance when they were young, Bert danced with all the sisters so that they got at least one dance.  My mother-in-law told me that Bert had a full scholarship to UCONN, and I thought it odd that they would consider sending him off to the Yukon, but I didn’t say anything – fortunately – and I listened and learned that Yukon was not UCONN.    (I’m from the South.  I don’t know such YankeeTalk like UCONN.)  But Bertil contracted a disease, and he died. 


One of the comments was from a gentleman in Sweden.  I could only read the first few words of his comment, because I was confused by it and I was trying to process it.  He said that he saw the picture of this grandfather’s sister Aina, and I stopped reading, trying quickly to figure it out, because there was only one brother, and that was Bertil, and he died before he married or had children.  I read it again, and this time I kept reading and saw that his grandfather knew the family names, like Aina, and Bertil, and Gertrude, and then I realized, scratching my head, that there was a brother out there that no one knew about.  Or worse, that they did know about his existence, but, for whatever reason, chose not to talk about him.


Another feature of the blog is that the blog-holder – the dashboard-reader-type-person – can view the email address of a commenter.  I emailed the gentlemen, and told him that I didn’t know his grandfather’s name.  He replied, and told me that his grandfather was the oldest in the family, and was left behind in Sweden to stay with the grandparents to help them, because the grandfather was blind. 

Even though I’m not related to these folks, not even by marriage any more, my children are related, and it feels like my responsibility to tell this story.  But right now, mostly I’m so sad for this little boy who was left behind.  I have a theory about this, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to purchase the international version of 

And now, a “new” letter that you have not seen before. 

Page one.

And also… 



Sat. Nov. 8, 1986

Dear Ruth,

I am sending your birthday card very early Ruth because I want you both to know about the Campbell Soup Christmas ornament and calendar that I have ordered for the children and am having them mailed to your home in time for Christmas I hope.  They are to be mailed separately so look for them one at a time.

About two years ago we gave Jennifer a tree ornament and the calendar to Andrew; this time the ornament goes to Michael and the calendar to Jennifer so they will both have a Christmas ornament for their Christmas tree.

This morning we received an invitation to a Thanksgiving dinner at Suzanne and George Morris’ home in Oxford.  This is our third dinner there.  They have also invited my sister Brita.  It is so thoughtful of them to have us share the dinner with them.

Grandpa and I spent yesterday with Aunt Brita; took her out for dinner to celebrate her 81st birthday, a month late, as I wasn’t feeling well enough to go down before.  Gladys Benson stopped in afterwards and we all had supper together.  We are looking forward to seeing all of you at Christmas.

Love from Grandpa and myself,



Sleep well, Oskar.  We’re just about full circle.


It Was the Best of Fams, It Was the Worst of Fams

May 2, 2012

About a month ago, the vet’s office where I work received a fax from the regional animal emergency clinic about one of our patients.  It seems that our patient, a young cat about one year old, had been attacked by a dog and had ended up in the emergency clinic.  In the morning when I get to work, there might be paperwork on the fax machine from the emergency clinic regarding a patient that had a visit there.  Most times, the emergency clinic opens at 6PM, and closes the following morning at 8, unless it’s a weekend, and then it’s open just about all weekend.

This particular morning, there was a fax regarding the extensive injuries to this nice cat.  By the time we opened, the owners were there with the cat for a follow-up exam.  The owners ended up leaving her with us for observation for the rest of the day.  When the woman came in to pick up, she commented that her partner had told her the evening before that the cat had been attacked, but that it wasn’t very bad, and he thought the cat would be fine.  She had been driving home from her job as a nurse, and when she arrived home, and saw the cat, she knew that the cat needed immediate attention.  There were large tears and puncture wounds on the body of the near-lifeless cat, and she couldn’t believe that her partner thought the cat would be okay without treatment.  I asked her, “Did something bad happen to him when he was young?”  She replied that his father had died of cancer when her partner was in early elementary school, and that he himself had been in an accident that led to a coma, and then she stopped herself, and looked me in the eye and said, “Why would you ask me that?”  And I told her about something that happened to me when I was young, and how it shaped my life, and how I’m good in a crisis, and how I tend to gloss over stuff and say, well, that’s not so bad.


You know what I’m talking about.


And into every fam, some rain must fall.  I thought that my family had a little bit of bad luck, but I didn’t know until I was an adult, like last year or so, that my family had issues.  When I was about eight years old, my mother broke her hip.  She was at the beauty shop on a Saturday when my dad took the phone call that she had been hurt. 

My mother was thirty-eight when I was born, and I wasn’t even the youngest child.  Almost, but not quite, the youngest.  My dad was almost forty-three when I was born four days before his birthday.  My mom was a stay-at-home mother who felt sorry for herself.  She had a wicked good sense of humor, but most of the time she was depressed.  When she broke her hip and spent a lot of time in the hospital, she was put on prescription pain-relievers, like Darvon.  I spent my childhood being quiet because mom was resting, not talking back because mom got upset, and just generally being good so that I wouldn’t be a disappointment. 

I thought that her bad times began when she broke her hip, and things didn’t heal right.  I said that to my BigBroBob once, and he said that she had problems years before when it was her back.  Apparently she was needier than I knew, but my vision of my family was from inside my bubble, not outside.

My mother was gloom-and-doom, and I knew I didn’t want to be that way.  I also knew that I didn’t want to take medicine.  Even today I don’t take any meds.  I’m a great believer in mind over matter, but then I don’t have anything seriously wrong with me, certainly nothing that a big dose of Ex-lax won’t cure. 


The cat had to have several Penrose drains inserted when she was stitched up, and there was a worry that one of the puncture wounds had nicked her intestines, and that her intestines might start to spill out contamination into the body cavity.  Fortunately, for the cat and the owners’s pocketbook, the intestines were fine, she began to heal, and she recuperated. 

So, if you’ve had a life-altering experience and it has warped your perspective, don’t fail to get a second opinion.  Hey, leave a comment, even if it’s late at night.  I’ll probably be up, spilling my guts on the internet.