When Dutro hit the horse

I was watching the beginning of the  final day at Mardi Gras in New Orleans this morning. And what a flood of memories.

First let me say it’s a long way up that river from the gulf when you’re traveling in a United States Submarine…And it’s cold too…I was maneuvering watch helmsman, with the hatch to the bridge open, going up river on a twelve hour maneuvering watch. we finally made it, and a good time was had by all.

We had tours of the Boat for several days, and were packed everyday. A few months after leaving, we received word that the City asked for us to return the next year…which we did. We first went to Galveston and trained reserves for a week..all I can say about Galveston was they told me I had a great time…but that’s another story.

I had learned enough on our first trip to save as much money as I could. We were here for ten days before Ash Wednesday started..What a party !!!…some of our guys brought some young ladies aboard looking for a place to sleep..some were stashed safely in Hogan’s Alley, and a couple were in the rag locker under the deck plates in the forward torpedo room. They would knock if they needed to come up, and use the Officers head ( toilet) located in the forward room. I had a mid watch, and one of the ladies came out of the head at the same time the OD stepped in to the room to use it. She turned and said hello, then back under the deck plates she went…He looked at me, and just shook his head. I started to say something, but he raised his hand and said, “I don’t want to hear it.” Submarine Officers were cool like that.

Later we backed out in the Mississippi and submerged the ship, it’s a whole new game in fresh water, and there was a Japanese freighter coming down river. We were told the Captain had been sunk in WW11 by a Submarine, and when he saw the periscope he panicked and almost ran a ground. But it ended well.

Several members of the crew found this club with some of the most beautiful women ever, that would dance all night, but they weren’t women, they were guys, and you couldn’t tell it. It seemed you had to watch this town.

We drank our Hurricanes at Pat O’brien’s…took a cab to the cemetery to visit Marie Laveau..went to the “Bucket of Blood” to see if it was that tuff a place…and we’re watching a fight on Bourbon Street, when this mounted police officer, got his horse right in the middle of the combatants and went round and round…but the horse bumped Dutro (first name is long been forgotten). he was a little inebriated and drew back and hit that horse in the nose as hard as he could. Police came from everywhere, and a van already full of drunks appeared as if by magic. They carried most of us back to the ship, except Dutro, which they kept.

As soon as the police van left, the OD let us go back downtown with a warning. He was hanging around the Sonar shack under the After Battery…I found out later the best looking of our visitors was safely stashed in Sonar.

We shut Fat Tuesday down at midnight, and staggered back to the Ship.


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What’s going on in my Life….

after I retired back in 2007, I felt that I needed a hobby of some sort to keep me busy..I’d heard to many stories of retired folks sitting around a few years then kicked the bucket…with a disabled wife..that thing about retire and travel was not in my playbook…so what to do..the last ten years at the Police Department I wrote grants along with my other chores. I love history, and genealogy, so I started digging into those with a vengeance, and at the same time began sending in columns to Rome News Paper.

Then I thought I’d write a book…I had a lot of information on the Weaver-Johnson feud in Chattooga, Floyd, and Cherokee County Alabama…have even more now ( still want to write that story). But I ran into Bertha Gossett Hill, and fell in love with her…she became my first Book (and I must say, she’s treated me right..Id marry her if I could, but wouldn’t eat her cooking)

She was the first of five books…I have parts of three different ones in the computer now. One is an untitled piece I simply call “Marseilles” for lack of a better title. Plus Marseilles has a place in my heart. I spent a year there one week. Then there is the sequel to “A Time to Gather Stones”…but presently I’m working on my answer to Hallmark stories…watching them before Christmas I felt like I could add a twist, and make a better story…looking back, I can see a common thread running thru all three…there are witches in all of them…different varieties, but they’re there…I call the last one “The Crabapple Tree”….finally research continues on “Holy Ghost Murders”…a true crime story from the 1920’s…in the meantime my Arts and Craft Fair season is about to get underway…stop by and say Howdy

and…we still got another “Lucy” book to go…not really retired I don’t feel like

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Just an Orange and a few English Walnutsi

I write a lot of columns, but have avoided the Depression of the thirties..although I didn’t live through it (thankfully), my parents, and family did. I heard a lot of the stories, and most were depressing. If I do ever start, it would have to be how it affected my corner of the world, I doubt my grandparents ever heard of a stock market. If they did I’m sure they thought of a holding pen for cows.

But there are triggers that bring back memories. The other day while strolling through the fruits and vegetables of a large super market, I noticed the mountain of Oranges for sale. There were Navel and regular juice oranges, and I mean lots of them.

My mother had two sisters and two brothers. She was born in 1919 and was second oldest, so she was a young teenager early ito the depression. She often mentioned how scarce things were, especially at Christmas time. It seems their prize gift would be a Florida Orange, with a few EnglishWalnuts. They treasured their oranges, and wouldn’t dare eat them for a few days.

I can visualize those three happy girls giggling over an Orange, and how happy my grandparents were for being able to provide them.

I walked by my mountain of oranges, then turned back and bought five. There you go, one for each of you…

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Welsh Fest 2019

The City of Rockmart, Georgia was founded by Welshmen…and they have the only celebration in the State dedicated to the Welsh..there are numerous Scott, Irish, and even October Fest in the State….but only one Welsh Fest…this year its on March 16th in Downtown Rockmart ..a great street party..wear your kilt if you wish..yeah, Welshmen wore them too…since Ragland is Welsh..and my Ancestor Evan Ragland was shanghaied of the streets of a port city..brought to Virginia and sold into indentured servitude for seven years…I feel obligated to go…I’ll be set up to sell and sign books in the South Marble Street Coffee Shop……Remember….Welsh Fest and Heritage Days on the 16th….

CYMRU AM BYTH…..or …”Wales forever”

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A Time to Gather Stones…my third book..

I ran into a term, and a group of people that lived way up in the Appalachian mountains…and still do..a lot of Wise County, Virginia and Hancock County Tennessee are still regarded as #Melungeon country…a dark complected people that are not African American..Tennessee enacted a law called FPC (Free persons of color) to prevent these folks from Voting or owning property..the law was in effect until the 1980’s…I would encourage you to read about the Melungeon people…

When older members were asked where they came from, there answer was ‘Portaghee’…(Portuguese)…and DNA shows a lot of Eastern Europe, and around the Mediterranean blood lines..coupled with Sephardic Jews…which were Spanish Jews fleeing the Inquisition from Ferdinand and Isabella…many fled to the new world…and from Florida colonies, they disappeared into the mountains…

Our history teaches, black, white, and Indian…there is so much more..even the name of our mountains..Appalachian..is French..there were Jewish Colonies in Northeast Georgia, and in the Nantaheyla..(sp)..then came the Scots-Irish down the Shenandoah and intermingled with the Melungeon….many folks say..my great grandma was a Cherokee….maybe…and maybe she was a Melungeon…both are acceptable now..in fact once taboo for either..it’s downright upright..

I use the Melungeon race extensively in “A Time to Gather Stones”…a fictional story…with a lot, a lot of history…don’t be afraid to learn something…

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Profile picture got changed..

It appears that the ugly old profile from nine years ago has gone away..and my answer to Selleck and Elliott has been posted..eat your heart out Tom..You too Sam..

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The Crab Apple Tree Introduction

I’ve got several WIP’s ( Works in Progress)..right now I’m engrossed in this one…Before Christmas I watched every Hallmark show that came on..some several times…and if you’ve watched them..then you know they’re just alike…so I thought I could write one with a different twist, minus the love interest, and it still be a Hallmark type Story…so I’m working on it…my main Character (Amelia McCafferty) was left at a Catholic School in a basket one cold night in Baltimore..she was an incorrigible child transferred from foster home to foster home…she is very smart..gets a scholarship to Univ. Of Maryland..graduates,and goes thru OCS an gets a commission in the Army..on her 2nd tour her vehicle hits an IED…left foot and right leg below the knee are blown away…right arm is shredded, but still works some…after several years in military Hospitals she leaves with nowhere to go, no family, and only a couple friends…she has read everything she can about the Appalachian Trail…she takes a bus to Harpers Ferry and heads south on the trail…she is Suicidal…but things happen……..

I’ll give you another installment later…..

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