Posted in Friends and Kin

A salute to Chief Smith of Hartford, Alabama

ChiefSmithThis is something my cousin in Alabama posted about my uncle, who died 25 years ago. I wish I had been able to get to know him. My dad says he was “quite a character” so there is that too, and I’m sure he had a lot of police stories to tell.

Today would have been my daddy, Junior Smith’s 89th birthday. He died 25 years ago at the age of 64, just a year older than I am now.

Most everyone knew him as Hartford’s police chief. He was a simple, humble man who was kind to everyone. Whether you were family, friends, or a stranger. At one time he owned a service station in Hartford. A family, traveling through, came in with a flat tire. He noticed what bad shape all their tires were in, and gave them a set of tires. If anyone charged anything, he would never send them a bill. He would always say, they know that they owe money, so if they’re not paying that must mean that they need it more than me. Needless to say he was not a great businessman.

One cold December day, several people in town called him to say that there were two strangers, knocking on doors, and asking for work. Daddy rode around and found two young boys about 18 years old. They explained that they were hitchhiking home for Christmas, and were just trying to earn some money. He gave them a ride out highway 167. On the way home he started thinking, those are someone’s children. So he went home, made some sandwiches, got a couple of warm coats, then cashed a check for $20. (he only had $40 in the bank). He drove back and found them, and gave them all he had.

Once on Christmas eve, a man showed up at the police station. He had no gifts for his children, and they were in need of food. The stores are all closed. He came to my house, and we went through the children’s toy boxes and gathered stuffed animals, dolls and other toys. After we wrapped everything, he went home and gathered groceries for the family.

He would take older ladies in town to see Dr. Strickland, pick up their prescriptions, or take them food. If your car broke down, just call him, day or night. He was Hartford’s Andy Taylor.

At his funeral the preacher told of the first time that he met chief Smith. When he first moved to town, he lived in an old house that was built off the ground. Every night this big red dog would get under the house, and howl all night long. He called the Chief, to see if he could help. Daddy came right away and picked up the dog. The preacher wasn’t sure what happened to the dog. Since it was a stray, he thought that dad might have had to shoot it. A few days later he was driving through town. He saw a little redheaded boy, with a big old grin, and with that big old red dog. Junior had found the perfect match for each of them.

My dad never had much as far as money or material things,
but he had such a huge heart, and he gave all he had to everyone.
I am so blessed that God chose him to be my daddy!
Sure do miss you, daddy.

Posted in Friends and Kin, Grey Gardens West

A cautionary tale about shelves over toilets

 We make mistakes, we are human. For example, the mustard colored paint in the tiny upstairs bathroom.

That’s nothing. See that shelf behind Teresa’s head?

All of that, ALL of that, got knocked into the commode a few months after this picture was taken. There was no flush- however SOMEthing must have made it partially into the toilet, because although I took the toilet up from the floor and snaked it in both directions, and tested the drainpipe, There’s a problem.

It still flushes, but there’s just no enthusiasm about it. My theory is that there is something narrow wedged sideways, somewhere in the toilet’s trap. Next time I upgrade my cellphone, maybe I will send the old one on a reconnaissance mission. Stay tuned!

    2016 Update

: I guess it finally processed whatever the problem was, probably when the septic tank people came out here with their earthquake machine last summer.

Posted in Friends and Kin

R.I.P. Carol

CarolWeddingDressVig-283x300Teresa’s mom passed away a few days ago, she will be greatly missed. I wish I had started this site a few years ago, I showed it to her just a few weeks ago, and she encouraged us to put up more of their old family pictures. She joins her husband of many years, Paul.
Carol was always kind to me and encouraging to our children. All of her daughters have her cheerful and friendly attitude. I don’t really know what else to write here, only that she will be missed.

Posted in Grey Gardens West

Suddenly I’m Bob Villa?

paintadowel I wanted to stain this vital component of our home security system (A stick that goes in the window frame) but it’s a dowel. So I cut up a a scrap of 1×2 into two pieces, notched them, then put screws in the ends of the dowel.

BOOM – I was able to turn it like a pig on a spit, as I applied the stain like it was BBQ sauce. This home repair stuff makes me hungry.

Probably everyone that has to stain or paint a dowel does this, but my wife was impressed and brought me ice cream.

Posted in Flotsam, Grey Gardens West

This right here, is spring fever.

Mclendons-springs-August-2013v3 I was at McLendon’s Hardware in Renton a few weeks ago, and I was impressed with their assortment of springs. Sadly, I could not think of a single current project that is held up for want of “A helical metal coil that can be pressed or pulled but returns to its former shape when released, used chiefly to exert constant tension or absorb movement.” But I know where to go when it happens. (And it will happen)