NOTE: Click on each photo to enlarge.
I have heard it said several times in the last two weeks, “it sure is bad getting old.” Getting old is not the only part that is getting bad. Mrs. Crumly always wrote about her fond memories of growing up and getting old. I remember her saying in a very loving way just before her surgery, “I don’t ever want to go to a nursing home to live with all those old folks”. Even though Mr. John and Mrs Billie did not have much growing up, they seemed to be very happy and enjoyed what they did have.
CD still on sale. Just send me your information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh how times how changed. Just think in all the years Mrs. Crumly wrote for the newspaper business and her many books, her CD recording (that is still on sale for $15.00 plus shipping) all about life growing up with her 85 years on earth. Now think of what all stories would be in another 85 years of a child born this year, 5 years ago, 10 years ago. WOW! What a different story that would be, right?
I grew up in Geraldine, Alabama, a nice little town of 1,000 or so growing up to now down to around 700, in the northeast corner of North Alabama. We are less than 10 minutes from the interstate that would take us anywhere we would need to go now and at any speed we would like to go, all on nice flat paved roads.
Flags over our City Hall in Geraldine, Alabama.
It is said of people living here on Sand Mountain that when we go to other parts of the State, they know we are from Sand Mountain. I have a little story to follow that I was reminded of this week. Sand Mountain has/had some of the hardest working farmers in the State.
Many books and many songs have been written about Sand Mountain and I am sure many others will be in the future. Geraldine is also the home of Mr. Pat Upton. You may not know his name but I am sure a lot of readers here will know his song, “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday”, real title is, More Today Than Yesterday. At top selling song in 1969 and continued to be played very often through the years and even today. Many others from Geraldine and Sand Mountain also have a name in the public world.
I apologize if I have shared some of these photos before but I would like to share some of what I hope are new photos for you that I still enjoy making. The winter birds are just starting to get to our feeders so I hope to also be able to fill the pages with many new portraits of our birds this year. Life is so busy. Many different things happen to us that knock us down, unable to get out, unable to visit with others like we would like or just unable to have the energy to help our self like we use to. But one thing that can and never will be taken away from us is, the joy in knowing that with whatever life we may live here on earth is nothing like the life we can live for eternity if we have God in our heart and life. I know Mrs. Crumly did not say much about her personal Christian life but I can tell you she was a Christian and I know that one day I will see her again and get to share in the joy of knowing that her little web blog that she so loved to do everyday is still going strong and getting well over 3,000 hits a day and has had has many as five, six and seven thousand hits in one day. And also hitting the one million mark in only 1 and a half years.
So now here is my little story I told you about above……
I graduated from Geraldine High School in 1982 and then went to Snead State College in Boaz, Alabama, now known as Snead State Community College right out of high school. Then after one year I moved to Tupelo, Mississippi for a job and continued my Jr. College at Ittawamba Junior College just outside of Tupelo and started hanging out in some really nice homes and great people and I started to “try” to take the Sand Mountain out of my language.
Bo Jackson was a friend and classmate at Auburn.
After a year in Tupelo I then move on to Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama for 3 years and graduate in 1987 in public relations and journalism ( yes I have lost my spelling and how to write). I had a professor ask me one time, “are you from Sand Mountain?” Of course I ask why he thought so. He said from the words I would use. Then I move to Cincinnati, Ohio and stayed there for over two years. OH ME! I did not realize just how my Sand Mountain talk was going to be so different. I had a PR job working all over the city, with the Reds players, Bengal players and some of the richest people in the country.
Mr. Don Knotts. I had the honor of hanging out with him while at Auburn.
I HAD to change and learn a whole new language and tone. Then to make matters even worse I enrolled in a Radio and TV course at Connecticut School of Broadcasting-Cincinnati Ohio Campus. The very first day we had to record and 20 minute radio program (only using the open and close of a song). Then 3 months later we did the same recording at graduation and the professor played them both at the same time. Needless to say, I did get the BEST IMPROVEMENT award.
Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama.
I was always the talk of the town where I went and for sure in my class. I would come home to Geraldine, Sand Mountain and be made fun of many times. I also thought when I came home I could just slip right back into “Sand Mountain talk” and be ok. DID NOT happen. Oh well, I made myself better. I was writing for MAJOR publications and had received A’s in my college writings on most things. I felt really good about myself. Moved home from Cincinnati, Ohio and traveled the South making pictures or pitchers here on the mountain, for a company in Enterprise, Alabama and loved it. So the “Cincinnati, Ohio talk” still worked for me. Especially in Miami, Florida. Then close to a year of that and that company was lost because of a divorce. Then back home to start my photography studio. Then I felt just as much pressure to change my tone, talk, EVERYTHING just as I did when I moved to Cincinnati. That was in 1990 when I moved back and still to this day when I hear myself say something wrong I just tighten up just a bit. Like, “I’m fixen to go do….” Or hear someone day, “I seen…”. I try my best to write correctly now but I know I don’t. I have forgotten how to use a lot of words and how to use a coma and so on.
Auburn University mascots.
Now one more funny story. My first few days in Cincinnati, Ohio I went to eat and ordered a cheeseburger. The lady ask me if I would like ketchup on that. I said “please”. She said, “would you like ketchup on that?” I said “please”. She said again, “would you like ketchup on that”? I finally said YES. Told that story at the office and the place went nuts laughing. Then I find out Cincinnati, Ohio is a German town and “please” means the same ‘thang’ we say on Sand Mountain that is, “do what”, “say again” do witch”…you get the point. Fun memories of course. Oh yes, Mr. Ken Griffey Jr. was one of my biggest fans at that time. Always asking me to talk so he could hear my “southern talk”.
So please whatever you do in life, job or home, please stop and take the time to tell someone you love them, appreciate them or just show them a big smile. Or, just go to the mirror and look at yourself and just smile as big as you can and say out loud, I AM SOMEBODY. I AM WORTH THIS SMILE.
I like to think of this as saying, “stop and enjoy the beauty around you everyday. Life is worth living all you can.”
God Bless each and every one of you reading this today and every day.