Back Porch News

BPN History

The Back Porch New began as a family newsletter about 30 years ago. In the beginning it was a printed pamphlet mailed to family members. Its publication was sporatic and had several editor /writer/publishers including Alice O'Shields Williams, Connie Williams Bublitz, and Margie O'Shields Watson. It has been published on a weekly basis on-line for the last 15 years by C. Allen O'Shields. As there is rarely much news it often consists of ramblings. Input and news is always welcome. Add it to the comments below, or email it to me at the address on the home page.

Christmas Carols - Posted 12/24/18

I was watching the first episode of the Dailey and Vincent Christmas Special when suddenly I realized that every song they sang had nothing to do with Christmas. They have a good show and are good entertainers, but not a single song was about Christmas. For example the song Jingle Bells even says in the lyrics that it is a sleighing song. It has nothing to do with Christmas even when played as a rock song.

There are some great Christmas songs but in the two episodes only one might have been about Christmas, but it sounded like a song they made up as they went along. To give them credit one of them did read the Christmas story… at least part of it but what he read didn’t match what they were singing at all!

I tried to recall the Christmas story as portrayed by what I heard in the music. See if this is the story as you know it.

Joseph was told by the government that he had to go to his hometown be counted in the census so they could be sure to collect the taxes he owed and they didn't want to discriminate against anyone by leaving them out. He requested a deferment since his wife, Mary, was pregnant and there was a storm coming. They said that she would have the baby no matter where she was when the time came so he had to pack up and go to his hometown of Bethlehem.

Off they went toward Bethlehem when the blizzard hit. Joseph put Mary on a jackass and led them toward Bethlehem. They were trudging through the snow when they heard the jingling of bells and suddenly out of the blizzard came a one horse open sleigh blasting by them nearly running them off into a ditch with people laughing and someone shouting, "Git out of the way you Sunday driver!"

Soon, half frozen they made their way through the snow to the downtown area where most everyone was staying inside to keep warm. Joseph wandered around for a while looking for a hotel and then Mary made him stop and ask directions. There was no one around except the local drug dealer, Frosty the snow man. He told them that because of the storm and the influx of people all hotels were full. Joseph said that he had to find a place quick as his wife was about to have a baby and Frosty laughed and danced and said not to worry that she will have it where she's standing if it's time. He told Joseph that if it was him he would try to find some space in a barn someplace to get in out of the snow.

Off they went trudging though the snow to find a barn. Mary said that the baby was coming so Joseph asked someone who could make the delivery and they said they knew someone who makes deliveries. Off they went to get help from the local toy maker who offered free deliveries. Well, by the time he showed up she had a baby boy without him just as Frosty had said. He was an obese guy in a red and white suit and said that he was late because of the snow and it took him forever to hitch his reindeer to his sled. He asked what they needed delivered. Just then some of the local shepherd boys came in to get out of the weather and learned of the baby.

It was a magical night when three magi from Persia came blasting in on flying carpets. They were standing around talking to the shepherds and with the guy in the red suit and was telling them how all the air traffic was grounded because of the snow storm, but they had taken off anyway because where they were they could see the stars but by the time they crossed the border they ran into one heck of a snow storm. Everything was white.

One of the magi saw a man sitting over in the corner and asked what was the matter with him. He said he was blue because the snow had made it impossible to get home that day. Somebody said what is special about getting home today and he said that it was Christmas, but nobody had ever heard of that before and figured he must be another foreigner. The magi asked the toy maker why he didn't get there in time to make the delivery and he blamed it on the storm and that his reindeer had a rough time trudging through the snow. The magi said, "Foot, that's nothing" and went outside and sprinkled flying carpet dust on the reindeer and the guy in the red suit thanked them and said he had more deliveries to make. As the reindeer took to the air you could hear him exclaim, "On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixen, on Comet…" and so on, and away they flew except one named Rudolph who was so drunk his nose was glowing red!

Meanwhile the guy in the corner who was sad and having a blue Christmas kept singing over and over, "O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum …” when someone ask what the heck is a Tannenbaum? He explained that Christmas had to have a tree or it wasn't Christmas. “What’s a Christmas?” they asked. It’s all about snow and sleds and bells and toys and presents and the birth of a king, a snowman, reindeer, a man in a red suit, Black Friday sales, and trees and stars and decorations and staying out of work for a few days. They asked if he would be happy if they brought in a tree. He said it would help.

Off the shepherds went and cut down a nearby cedar tree and dragged it into the barn. The guy in the corner said it had to have lights and he needed candles as electricity hadn’t been invented yet. A magi refused to have candles on the tree and said it would burn down the barn. One of the shepherds pulled out a BB gun and Mary shouted at him, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” Joseph spoke up and asked the shepherds who was watching the sheep and they said almost in unison, “Angels!” They had happened by and asked the shepherds where the bee hole was and the shepherds said they didn’t know but would go find one if they would watch the sheep, all the while planning to get in out of the snow. The angels said they had to deliver a message to a bee hole. If they found one they were to say, “Bee hole, I bring you glad tidings of great joy...", and on and on. One of the magi spoke up and said that he doubted that angels were watching the sheep because all flights had been cancelled due to the snow storm and they had best go see about the sheep! Mary had just gotten the baby to sleep when some little drummer boy showed up to play the baby a drum solo to Mary’s dismay!

Off in a seedy part of town Frosty saw a glow in the sky and asked a customer what that glow was on the horizon. He told Frosty that some German had just set a tannenbaum afire and burned down Zepodiah’s barn.

Isn’t this how the story goes? Today we sing songs to honor all the characters in the story...even Frosty the “snow” man. Can you imagine two episodes of a musical Christmas special without one Christmas song... well... maybe one... sort of.


Jane - Posted 12/22/18

What would you name a young woman who is brave, fought off a vicious attacker, suffered and survived bad wounds, protects her territory, swings from trees, and lives in a tree house? Dianne said that I should name the squirrel. I thought about it and there is only one name that comes to mind, Jane. Jane is of course the famous supporting actress of fictional publications and the silver screen featuring her shacked up boyfriend who is famous for being friends of animals and yodeling. Jane it is.

I thought by now I might see her young ones, but haven't so far. It will be interesting to see if she welcomes them to accompany her to the pecan bowl or runs them off as she does other squirrels.

She comes by everyday and is more tame than ever. As she left after lunch a couple of days ago I thought I heard her again at the door but a quick glance at the mirror showed it to be a male bluebird! I've never seen a bluebird in December that I recall. It hung around for a while. I had run some errands so my car was parked outside and it spent about 15 minutes fighting itself in my side view mirror. There has been a pair nesting in the side yard of the pool hall for a few years but disappeared this year after hatching out one batch of youngsters and was incubating five eggs when suddenly they abandoned the nest. I assumed that the hawk that hangs around got one, or both. I will be curious to see if a pair shows up again next spring.

We go into this Christmas season with my brother, Ken, facing some tough decisions. He has cancer and any of you who have been through it or lived with someone who has know the hell they live through from the disease and from the treatment. He is on Facebook and keeps those who follow his posts up-to-date. For any who wish to reach out to him his email address is


Fat Little Rascal - Posted 11/30/18

"... but she is a fat little rascal..." is a quote from the last line of my previous squirrel story below. I suspected a certain scenario, but wasn't sure. I knew that if I was right she would lose all that extra weight overnight soon. Yesterday she was still a fat little squirrel. Today she is her normal size! I was right. Now it will be interesting to see if she brings her new family by to see me.

It could happen that she fought off the preditor to survive then fought to recover from her wounds and may have to fight it again to protect her little ones. Could be an owl, hawk, or a coyote, I don't know. I may have to enroll her in a karate course or buy her a gun. Actually I think she can be a pretty mean rascal when you get her pissed. I haven't seen what she did to whatever got hold of her, but I did see buzzards in the area about that time.

The saga continues. Sorry about that. It's just a facinating story to me.

I Lied About No More Squirrel Stories -Posted 11/26/18

I recently claimed that you would hear no more squirrel stories. I lied. A squirrel that I had tamed had been severely wounded in a predator attack had visited a few times after being hurt then disappeared. It had ugly wounds and seemed feeble. It hadn't been around for weeks, probably closer to two months ago. I pronounced it dead.

A couple of days ago I noticed more squirrels than I had ever seen busy working and playing in the backyard at the house. Then I noticed that a number of them were very young and the size of a chipmunk. It reminded me that I had pecans left over from when my tame squirrel quit coming by and was pronounced dead. When I went to the pool hall that morning I put out the little paper bowl with a few pecans in it to see if the ones in that area would be brave enough to eat them. The first day they did not, but the second day the pecans were gone. That was all of the whole pecans, but I still had a half bag of halves and pieces so I put out a few of them to use up. I would see them around but when I would open the door they would take off running.

I had no inclination to try taming another but kept putting the bowl out to use up the pecans. A day or two later I saw one hopping up the driveway so it reminded me to put the bowl out. As I opened the door to set it down the squirrel hopping up the driveway stopped, sat up on it's hind legs and looked at me. I thought, that's odd. Usually they would run away if I opened the door. It had a nut in it's mouth. I sat the bowl down and it hopped on up the driveway. Shortly I noticed the few pecan pieces were gone. I took the bowl inside and went back to work and wondered if any of them would be brave enough to jump up on the storm door so I set a mirror up on my desk to see the door without having to turn around if I heard a noise.

A squirrel jumped up on the door! I walked up to the door, put some pecan halves in the bowl and figured it would run away as soon as I touched the door. It was a fat little squirrel. It jumped on the ground just as the other squirrel would and came to the bowl and started eating. It had to be the original squirrel!

I watched the squirrel until it turned where I could see its left side where the wound would be and sure enough there was evidence of a wound. It had to be the original squirrel. Today I put out the bowl with just a couple of pieces. Shortly the squirrel was back on the door looking for more! I got a better look at the wound and the two knots the size of the end of your thumb were gone but there was evidence where they had been. The bare skin where the fur had been torn off had fur growing back but it was clear it was the original squirrel and the disgusting looking wounds had nearly healed. Like the squirrel usually did it came back in the afternoon and was eating from the bowl before my hand turned it loose! My squirrel is back! Amazing!

I can't imagine where it has been for nearly two months, but it's as tame as ever. There's clear evidence of the wounds but are clearly healing, but she's a fat little rascal so has been doing well wherever she has been.

A Squirrelly Story -Posted 10/28/18

Good morning… at least it is a good morning right now where I am. Up at 5:30, bright eyed and ready to get going. One of the great things about being retired is getting up when I please. Some days it is 5 and some days it is nine.

Well, it appears that my little squirrel succumbed to it's wounds. Those of you who have followed the saga on the Forum for a while know the story. I began a few years ago to tame a squirrel that hung around the pool hall. It took a solid year to figure out how to get a wild, skittish, country squirrel to come close. After watching them it became clear that my method had to change.

Like training most animals you have to understand them and they have to understand you and then it moves along quickly. Some of you know our dog, Skipper. He was the family pet primarily during my teenage - young adult years and was the smartest dog that I've ever seen. The Skipper stories are amazing. Anyway, once he learned to learn he could pick up a "trick" by showing him once. Actually he got to the point where you could tell him to do something that he had never done and he would do it. There are witnesses to that.

Squirrel - Version 2

Anyway, on with my squirrel story. When it learned to eat pecans from a bowl outside it fairly quickly learned to eat from a bowl inside. Then it didn't take long to train it to take a pecan from my hand. For the last 2 or 3 years it would come by usually in the morning and again in the early afternoon. It would jump up on the screen door and if the main door was closed, go on its way. If it was open it would rattle the door until it saw me coming to let it in. I often would run out of whole pecans and would buy raw shelled pecans at the grocery store. Lately, I would open the door and feed it a whole pecan from my hand and it would take off and either find a high spot, usually on my utility trailer, and eat it, or would go and bury it. In a few minutes it would be back where it would find the door open and a small bowl of shelled pecans just inside. It would sometimes sit and eat from the bowl and at other times get one and take it outside to eat it. It rarely ate all of them, usually leaving at least one piece in the bowl. Don't know why. When I fed it the whole pecan it would lick it all over before fitting it in it's mouth and taking it wherever it was going. Don't know why, but now I've noticed other squirrels in the wild doing the same thing.

It was also very territorial, running other squirrels away. One day I saw it chasing a chipmunk round and round the utility trailer tire. They circled the tire for at least 45 seconds when the little chipmunk broke and ran for the woods. One day it was calmly eating when it bolted and ran as fast as it could go. I was puzzled until a few seconds later a red fox that hangs around trotted across the driveway and into the woods. How the squirrel knew it was coming I'll never know.

A few weeks ago it didn't come by for a week. When it did, it had two bad puncture wounds in its side and a scratch on it's other side. It had tangled with a coyote, a big hawk, or a big owl, all of which hang around the place. Its visits were sporadic after that sometimes missing for a few days. When it would show up its puncture wounds had swelled into knots. The little squirrel hasn't shown up now in 2 or 3 weeks so I assume that it died of its wounds. Sad. Truly sad.

I doubt I will bother to train another for as it is said, "Been there, done that." I do miss it and turn to look when the storm door rattles. But unless it miraculously shows up again, this is the last episode of the saga of the squirrel.


The Eye of the Storm -Posted 10/14/18

Matt and I just returned from Marianna Florida to take a few supplies to the Harris family. Marianna was in the eye of the storm. Some have asked about traveling that way so here's a quick recap for those who are considering going for whatever reason.

We traveled south from Columbus on 431 to Dothan, then 231 south beyond Campbellton. No problems at all. Very little storm damage evident. Dothan seemed pretty much business as usual. When we turned east from 231 heading toward Marianna we began to see damage and the further east we went the worse the damage. Lots of tree damage, and lots of damage to houses from falling trees. Lots of roof damage. Like any storm there are houses and buildings destroyed while others seem fine. The overall issue was that in the Marianna area there seemed to be no power. When we passed the Harris's office supply company it was a mess and had much damage. That is going to be a real issue for them to deal with for many reasons. The town was shutdown.

When we reached Olene and Larry's home they had much tree damage and some house damage, but was in good shape except for being without power. They do have a generator that keeps their food from spoiling, but little else is working. They seemed tired, but okay. There was a metal shed beside their house that had blown there by the storm from the backyard of the neighbor's house across the street. Debris was stacked up all around.

To my knowledge all our friends and relatives are okay. Still, life as they knew it will not likely return for a month or two at least. My understanding is Gene Horne and family can't get out and had damage, but if they can't get out you can't get in. I'm sure that other family members have heard from them and are keeping in touch.

You hear rumors about all sorts of things. One that we heard was that to get into Bay County (Panama City area) required proof that you lived there or you were turned back at the roadblock.

The folks affected had a full life before and now they have more to do than they can get done. It can be overwhelming, particularly when it drags on for weeks.

If you are going into the area for whatever reason it is wise to take cash. The ATMs, credit card readers, banks, and such won't work without power. Someone said there's no point to having cash because there's nothing to buy. If you don't have cash you surely won't buy anything and there are things to buy. You might not find what you need. Besides, if the cash isn't used it doesn't have an expiration date. It won't ruin. Just a tip for what it's worth.

This is truly a life changer for those who were in the path of the storm.


Happy Autumn! - Posted 10/04/18

Iwent out to check mail and on the way back saw this colorful scene and thought you might enjoy it. It is amazing some of the shapes and colors mushrooms take on. What beautiful scenes there are in nature if you take the time to stop and look.

Mushroom With ColorToday is scheduled to be a good day. I will make a sausage run to Trey Capps place near Crawford, Alabama then join cousin, Barbara Howell, at T-Bone's in Ladonia for lunch where there are old photos of Phenix City on display in hopes that there are some related to our family history. I know that there is one. Hoping I can get decent photos of any that are of interest. Then it is back home to do some cleaning in the pool hall and off to enjoy dinner with Dianne and her brother, Donald. Haven't seen him in a long time and looking forward to catching up.

Coming in to autumn I'm feeling good about the year since I've completed 19 of the 20 projects scheduled for the year. My technique of getting things done is working! My favorite football team is winning. The weather is beginning to cool. My firewood is ordered. Looking forward to Thanksgiving.

A few days ago about 12 of our family met at an auditorium to watch a video that I recorded in 1995 of Dad telling stories from his youth. It was about an hour and a half long and the auditorium was very nice. Ken arranged for us to use the mini-theater at his church which was very comfortable. It is a most enjoyable video that provides a glimpse into life in the 1930s and '40s.

One of the stories he tells I title The Death of Harvey Phillips. It is an interesting, but sad tale of the tragic death of one of his friends around the age of 14 to 15 years old. It occurred to me when working with the video to recover and restore it from deterioration that it would be great to share the story with the Phillips family if I could find them. After a few days of research I located a member of Harvey's family in the Carolinas. I segregated that story and created a DVD for his family to see. Turns out the family was gathering in Columbus for a big wedding anniversary and invited me to join them to view the video. It was an interesting visit with some nice people who shared a common history and who enjoyed hearing Dad's story about Harvey that they had never heard, or in as much detail. Two of Harvey's younger brothers are still living and was able to attend. I had found a small photo of Harvey while scanning one of Aunt Alice's old albums and shared it with the family, some of which had never seen a photo of Harvey.

Life is good. Hope yours is as well.


Officially Autumn! Yea! - Posted 9/21/18

I woke up before daylight this morning and decided to post a blurb on the Forum just to say hello. Life is good on the hill and my summer hibernation is coming to an end if the weather prognosticators are right. Cooler days headed this way next week. Cooler weather is Canada's greatest export to us and there is no tariff.

Of course my favorite time each week is game day on Saturdays and watching SEC football. Dianne is always busy with some kind of volunteer work. Our family is doing well and life is good.

Some of you occasionally ask about how my squirrel is doing and there is a bit of news there. You might recall that for several years I've had a squirrel that comes by the pool hall each day and rattles the storm door for me to feed her. She disappeared about a week or so ago and I figured that the hawk that has been hanging around got her. She showed up for the first time in days yesterday and had two bad puncture wounds that looks like a coyote caught her. She seemed a bit feeble but was back on the routine. When she shows up, usually once in the morning and once in the afternoon, I hand feed her a whole pecan and she runs off to eat, or bury, it. When she comes back I open the door so she can come and go and eat shelled pecans from a bowl on the floor. She eats what she wants and disappears. It occurred to me as I fed her yesterday that if it was a coyote or something similar that she tangled with that rabies is a concern. I will continue to feed her when she comes by, but for a while she will have to eat from the bowl outside. Sad.

My main project recently has been the conversion of all my media to digital. I have old reel to reel recordings, slides, photos, old 8mm movies, Hi 8 video tapes, etc. that are continuing to deteriorate and I've been working to get them digitized for a few years now. I have a video tape recorded in 1995 of Dad telling stories from his youth for about an hour and a half. Interesting. The tape is deteriorating and it has taken me forever and processing at two different labs then buying my own software to put it all back together again. It was far more difficult than it should have been, but believe I have one clean copy now. This past week I finally had 2 old reel-to-reel tapes converted to digital. One is various recordings that include Grandmother Williams, Lincoln, and Grand Uncle Lonnie talking. As I wrote that I remembered another tape of stories that I have somewhere. I will have to look for it today. The other tape converted to digital is music where I recorded me playing lead on the guitar then going back and recording me backing me up. There is also recordings of me playing the banjo and backing it up on the guitar and on some songs, David Williams backing me up. Fun stuff.

Got to go. Breakfast is getting cold.

Hope life is going well for you!


Wild Cherry Tree Burl - Posted 7/11/18

Burl 2

For years there has been a burl growing on a wild cherry tree. At a crafts show I met Bill Pope, a wood turner. Bill makes beautiful wood products turned on a lathe similar to what Grand Uncle Johnny Womble use to do. I have a few items of Uncle Johnny's given to me some years back. I had heard that some burls are valuable since they can make beautiful wood products due to the distorted grain pattern. I told Bill about the burl and asked if he wanted to cut it and make something from it. He was interested. After months of processing, turning, finishing he came by this week to show me the two beautiful bowls he made from the burl. He offered me one of the two. I chose the smaller bowl with the most defects still showing from the burl. The larger one was smoother with a more perfect finish. To me the bowl that I chose had great character and beautiful woodgrain. It is displayed in the pool hall today.

cherry burl bowl topcherry burl bowl bottom

Here are photos of the burl and bowl from the top and bottom views. Love the bowl and much appreciate Bill creating them and sharing one with me.

If interested in contacting Bill Pope about some of his products I will be glad to share his contact info with you!


Patty Williams Obituary -Posted 7/01/18

January 30, 1947 ~ June 29, 2018 (age 71)

Patty Williams

MaryPatricia Louise Williams, 71, of Chattanooga, went to be with her Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, Friday, June 29. She was a loving wife, mother & grandmother.

She was predeceased by her parents, Robert Thompson & Louise Smedley.

She is survived by her husband, Joe Williams; daughter, Suzanne Poland; grandsons Justin & Jared Poland.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, July 3 at Bayside Baptist Church from noon-2 p.m. Pastor Grady Cooper will conduct the service in the church at 2 p.m.

Joe's address is 224 Rolling Ridge Drive, Chattanooga, TN 37421 - 423.356.2709 (Phone)

Patty Williams Died Today -Posted 6/29/18

Mary Jones shared with me a few minutes ago that Patty Williams, wife of cousin Joe Williams, died today. She has been sick for years and today her heart just gave out. The EMT was called around noon and she was pronounced dead around 3 PM. Their family is gathering in Chattanooga, TN. More will be posted as it is available.


Update on Jimmy - Posted 5/10/18

Jimmy’s memorial will be at 2pm eastern on Saturday, May 26th at McMullen Mortuary, Gentian Blvd., Columbus. Visitation to follow at the funeral home. Twila said the service itself will be brief, but they will hope to visit with everyone afterwards.


Jimmy Horne Died This Morning - Posted 5/10/18

Jimmy Horne died earlier this morning. He had been sick for a long time. Details to follow as I get them.


Jimmy Horne Update -Posted 4/26/18

The following message is sent by Ken O'Shields to the family. Photo of Jerry and Jimmy a couple of years ago.

Jerry Jimmy

Jimmy is very sick. Cancer went into remission, but other issues with blood pressure got him down. He got so bad, he went in hospital and hasn’t walked in weeks. They couldn’t find the cause and tried to treat the symptoms with not much success. They couldn’t do much more, so they sent him to rehab. At rehab, he got to where he was unable to keep anything on his stomach. Not even water. He was sent back to the hospital. His cancer had returned and they have not been able to do much to help him. He has not kept anything down in three weeks or more.

Today, they moved him to a Hospice facility. Jimmy is in relatively good spirits and actually sounded pretty good today considering everything.

Jimmy’s Cell No. is 404.388.5691. The Hospice facility is Wellstar Community Hospice, Tranquility at Kennesaw Mountain 475 DicksonAve NW Marietta, GA. 30064. 470.245.9930

The Guitar - Posted 2/18/18

Musical talent runs in my extended family. Various family members play an instrument, or sing while others can't sing or play an instrument at all. My hypothesis is that people are hardwired that way. While some can take music lessons for years and can barely play a chord others take no lessons and teach themselves to play well enough to make a living at it. Of course most of us are scattered up and down the scale in between. This isn't good, or bad. It just "is". With musical talent in the family I've wondered which of my grandchildren have that gene. This story is about my musical history. It is written to try answering the question about my grandchildren. Are there reliable signs?

I am a self taught, play by ear, guitar player. I can play a recognizable tune from beginning to end and have made up a few of my own. That said, people don't clamor to hear my music and I figured out early on that it will never be a career unless I want to give up buying groceries! In other words, I'm hardwired somewhere along the middle of the music scale. As to singing it might be said that I can carry a tune, but nobody wants to hear it.

When I was very young I lived with my mother in a small apartment as my dad was away fighting the Germans in World War II. I didn't see him but once until I was 3 years old and the war had ended. My mother spent her days teaching me nursery rhymes and children's songs. I enjoyed the music but never was eager to perform for others.

When I was about 6 years old I have memories of visiting with a cousin who had a "play house broom", a child's straw broom about 3 feet long. However, I didn't sweep the floor, I used it as a make-believe guitar! As songs played in my head I would strum along on the broom while sitting quietly in the corner. I do remember having the fingering backwards. As the song would move toward the bass notes my fingers would slide up the handle toward the straw and when moving toward the treble they would move toward the end of the stick. Maybe that was a sign that I wasn't going to be a child music prodigy.

My pretend guitars continued until my 7th grade year. I played brooms, shovels, badminton racquets and other such items to accompany songs playing in my head. I could play some hot licks on those pretend guitars. In the 6th grade we had a big box of Crayola crayons about 8 inches long and I used the top of the box for a sound box with a rubber band stretched over it and played songs by stretching the rubber band to play different notes until the teacher would catch me, usually when the rubber band broke and went sailing across the room. It was about then that I began to save my nickels and pennies to buy a guitar. Coins were hard to come by. I received no allowance, had no job, and rarely came in contact with a coin.

A year later when I was in the 7th grade I had been given a few coins by a generous aunt and my mother happened to see me put some of them in my little bank. She asked what I was saving for and I told her a guitar. Amazed, she asked how much I had saved and how long had I been saving my money. I told her I had been saving for about a year and had about $5.00! She knew that I had no source of income other that a few coins from odd jobs, a generous aunt, or birthdays and was amazed I had $5! She told my dad and he asked how much I needed. I didn't know, but knew $5 wouldn't buy one. I had planned to continue saving until I thought it would be enough. I knew that an uncle had bought one years before out of a Sears and Roebuck Catalog for $11.

Stella Guitar 2

After some questioning about why I wanted a guitar my dad said that he would take me to town and see what we could find. He had a friend who worked at Jack's Pawn Shop downtown so off we went to Jack's. Dad introduced me to his friend in this fascinating store and he asked me how much I had. I told him that I had about $5. He said he didn't have one he could sell that cheap, but would see what he could find. He came back and told my dad that the best he could do was a small Stella for $15. The small guitar fit my size and I quickly calculated that I could own that guitar in two more years. Dad asked if I liked it. I held it, strummed across the out of tune strings and told him that I loved it! It had more sound than a broom and a higher quality tone than a Crayola box. It was then that Dad said he would make up the difference. I was thrilled! I had no idea that I would be taking a guitar home that day.

Now keep in mind that at this time my dad would give all his weekly pay to my mother who ran the household and paid all the bills. He would keep out $2 each week "to run on" so this was 5 weeks of his "run on" money. Now "run on" money was used to buy cigarettes, an occasional Coke, a cup of coffee, or other such expenses. He said he and Mom had saved some money and he would cover the difference.

Was I thrilled? You bet. But it didn't last long. I suddenly realized that unlike a broom where I could imagine perfect notes I actually had to learn from scratch. I had a guitar, but couldn't play it. I couldn't even tune it. Fortunately I had 4 uncles who could play some so my task was to persuade them to teach me. It wasn't long when one of the uncles and his family visited. He was glad to show me how to tune it and how to hold 3 chords. I was appreciative, but then he wanted to take it home and "work" on it. It was too hard to play a note because the strings were too high he told me. It was certainly harder than a broom, that was for sure, but to part with it, even temporarily wasn't an easy decision. He said he would build a new nut out of a toothbrush handle and add a "sound post". He was the authority as he could tune one and knew some chords so I reluctantly let him have it.

He returned with it a week or two later and I had to admit that it was easier to hold down the strings, but he had decided against the "sound post" to improve the sound. It would have to do as is. I didn't care I just wanted to learn to play the thing. He also said that I had to buy a set of Black Diamond strings. That would likely take another year. So much for buy a guitar and play it.

Over time, between my 4 uncles showing me a chord or two and a "how to play the guitar book" that I saved up and bought, my playing finally became recognizable as music. In time I taught myself to play tunes. Eventually I learned to play tunes that people could actually recognize! I guess, like many guitar players, one of my first tunes was Wildwood Flower. Over the years after I went to work I began upgrading my guitars until I ended up with a nice one.

So what about the question in the beginning? How can you tell if a young child is musical? Do they play the broom or a Crayola box lid might be a clue. Do they play the horn through a toilet paper tube? Do they play a drum solo with their spoon and fork on the kitchen table? Have you checked their piggy bank? Though my son is quite a musician I have noticed that none of my grandchildren quietly sit in the corner strumming a broom. Delightful little human beings, but none play the toilet tissue tube. I can quit dreaming of a family band.

Two Thousand and Eighteen - Posted 1/21/18

It has been awhile since posting so I thought that today being a slow Sunday afternoon might be a good time. Here in Harris County we spend our Sunday's enjoying the sounds of constant gunfire. There are a number of people within hearing distance who enjoy spreading lead around on their property and fire hundreds of rounds over the course of an afternoon.

I celebrated the new year with a medicine reaction that wore me out for a couple of days. It was time release medicine so was the gift that kept on giving. If you've read things I've written in the past you probably read my thoughts of doctor's "waiting" rooms. It's as I've written before, "Beware of the large waiting room!" They have them because they are in the habit of running way behind schedule and need space to warehouse all the sick people. I sat in one large waiting room so weak I could hardly sit up. Finally… finally I saw the nearly doctor… you don't see doctors much anymore, but people who are "nearly" doctors. This one told me that I had to take the medicine and that the bad reaction would get better with time. She could "treat" the symptoms. If you've read the reaction warning on drugs they are awful and I had them all. I left there with this nearly a doctor's instructions. I called the nearly a doctor who prescribed the medicine in the first place and she said to STOP taking it NOW that I wouldn't get use to it. What does that teach you? Of course she could see me if I could wait a few weeks or I could get in to see the real doctor sometime later this year.

Another thing happens in the packed large waiting rooms. They spread the creeping grunge. I got over the medicine reaction just in time to enjoy the creeping grunge. I'm still dealing with that though it is better. Aside from that it has been a good 2018 so far.

New technology is fascinating to me so I read some of the tech articles. I've just read about a new clothes dryer that dries clothes in half the time without heat and using much less power. Yeah, right. Actually that was my first reaction until I recalled many years ago Dad telling me about a new oven that will let you cook food on a paper plate. Can't happen. Well, it did and we and everybody else owns one or two of those ovens. There are some interesting things in the works. Dianne's friend bought a new car that parallel parks itself! Problem is she can't ever find a parallel parking space to try it out on. All of those are on TV commercials. They should have built it to find a parking place instead.

The government shutdown! That's what the news said. Fake news. We should be so lucky. If the government shutdown I wouldn't have to be working on filing my taxes because there would be no one to send it to. Anyway… they say it's a CRISIS! Yeah… right. My electric toothbrush quit and I had to re-learn how to use it manually! Now THAT is a crisis! Thanks to Amazon I didn't even have time to get proficient with manual brushing again before they had one delivered to my door! Leave it to private industry to solve a crisis.

Some of you keep up with my squirrel story. Here's an update. First for those who don't know the story, one of the local squirrels has trained me to feed it. It has been going on a couple of years now. It jumps up on the screen door getting my attention and I let it come just inside where it eats pecans from a bowl on the floor. This year I decided as a project I would get it to take one from my hand. Now it will do that! Interesting little creatures to watch from up close.

Speaking of critters, there has been a drop-off over recent years in the variety and numbers of critters that come around. I've seen two or three deer in recent days, but that is about it. I suppose the coyotes ate them all. All the other creatures that is. I don't even see the coyotes anymore. Just a few squirrels. Ahh… speaking of squirrels I saw a grey squirrel and a chipmunk, or as my friend Jim Bill calls them, ground squirrels chasing each other round and round a utility trailer tire. They went round and round for a couple of minutes and I was watching for them to turn to butter as the tiger did in the childhood story, Little Black Sambo. I'm sure you are familiar with that story.

Some of the O'Brittons got together last night to eat seafood and celebrate Dianne and Ken's birthdays recently. Don't know the O'Brittons? Should have gotten a copy of Old Folks - Our O'Shields and Knowles Families. The story is there. The name was coined by cousin Barbara Howell. Always good to see everyone. I wonder what old Tut would have thought about all that.

As an ongoing project I've been cleaning out closets. Actually I'm still in the middle of the first one. I've thrown out 2 bags of trash, had 3 boxes of documents shredded, and sent out a number of scanned clippings and photos to a few of you. I hope to finish before the year is over. Dianne hopes I finish before the month is over. What a pile of stuff! Some of it is really interesting!

The Year of Our Lord Two-Thousand and Eighteen will surely be interesting if nothing else.


Update on Jimmy Horne - Posted 11/17/17

Jerry asked that I post an update about Jimmy. He is back in the hospital. He went in Wednesday night with a very low white blood count along with low blood pressure all probably due to his chemo treatment. Jimmy has had a really tough time.


Update on Jimmy Horne - Posted 10/31/17

Jimmy Horne was released from the hospital on Monday. The doctors have prescribed some things to help keep his blood pressure at appropriate levels when he stands. Jimmy was robust and seemed to be feeling well when I spoke with him last night by Phone. -- Jerry

Update on Jimmy Horne -Posted 10/27/17

Jimmy is doing pretty good today, but he will be in the hospital at least until tomorrow. They are going to give him a blood transfusion. They are not too concerned at this time that he needs a transfusion, because they think the need is the result of the chemo. Jimmy will not be able to go to the funeral.

Please keep him in you prayers. The hospital phone number is 770.793.5000. He is in Room Green-735.


James D. Horne Obituary - Posted 10/27/17

James Dozier Horne, 92, of Graceville passed away Wednesday, October 25, 2017, at his son’s home in Prattville, Alabama, following years of declining health.

Funeral services will be held at noon, Saturday, October 28, 2017, at New Home Baptist Church with Reverends Chester Padgett and Johnny Jones officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with James & Lipford Funeral Home of Graceville directing.

Family will receive friends at the church on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until time of the service. Flowers will be accepted, or in lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the New Home Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 494 New Home Circle, Graceville, Florida, 32440.

Mr. Horne was born on February 19, 1925, in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, to the late James Arch Horne and Louila Hornsby. He was a 1944 graduate of Jordan High School in Columbus, Georgia, and a veteran of World War II, having fought in the Pacific in the Navy. He worked in federal civil service with assignments in Georgia (Columbus, Savannah, and Lagrange) and Mississippi (Columbus and Fulton). He retired to Graceville in 1980. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Lottie Williams Horne, sisters Peggy McHargue (Doug), Nell Smith (Robert Lewis), Margaret Jones (R.G.), Frances Cooper (“Bill”) and Martha “Ginger” McManus (Fred), and brothers, Ray Horne (Betty) and Charlie Horne.

He is survived by three sons, James R. Horne, Kennesaw, GA, Gene Horne (Karen), Panama City, FL, and Jerry Horne (Twila) Prattville, AL; wife of late brother Charlie, Sheri Horne, Winder, GA; four grandchildren, Brittany Burch (Elliot) Lucedale, MS, Bryant Horne (Lori), Tupelo, MS, Lauren Horne Franks (Patrick) Clarksville, TN, and Leah Horne, Prattville, AL; five great grandchildren Brooklyn Burch, Kate Burch, Elliot Burch, Ford Franks, and Isla Horne; and numerous dear friends and other relatives.

Update on Jimmy Horne - Posted 10/26/17

Jerry called this evening and said that his brother, Jimmy, had been very sick. They gave him some fluids and he felt better and thought he might make it to his Dad's funeral on Saturday. He had some heart issues and they sent him to the ER and from there they admitted him to the hospital. He continues to have heart issues.

Jerry didn't know more than that and said he isn't sure if Jimmy will still be in the hospital on Saturday. He will share more when he learns more tomorrow.

It doesn't sound good to me, but Jimmy has pulled through some rough times in the past. Hope he does in time to attend.


Uncle James D. Horne Died - Posted 10/25/17

Jerry Horne called and ask that I send out the word that Uncle James Horne died. He was 92. The funeral will be Saturday at New Home Church south of Graceville, Florida. Visitation will be from 10:30 to noon central time Saturday. The funeral will be immediately following at noon. There will be a graveside service weather permitting. Flowers or donations to the New Home Cemetery Fund will be appreciated. The address is:

New Home Cemetery Fund

New Home Baptist Church

494 New Home Circle

Graceville, Florida 32440

The obituary will be added when it is available. Jerry said that the church would be serving food after the service.

On another subject, Jimmy Horne has been fighting cancer for years and is not doing well at all. He has spent much time in the hospital recently. He may not be well enough to attend his dad's funeral. They are working on a solution now.


I'm Still Here!! - Posted 8/9/17

I don't know quite where to start. It has been a while since posting anything and at my age people can begin to suspect all kinds of bad thing when you don't show up for a while.

I was sound asleep a few nights ago when a beep indicated something had just "trespassed" on our property. I started moving to get up before I was full awake and didn't know I was so close to the edge of the bed and WHAM!! My head hit the night stand and my tail hit the floor! I believe that I hollered out an ugly string of words something like "Oh toot waddle." Dianne came running around to see about me and ran over me in the dark and nearly broke her broken wrist. I was knocked back into the night stand KAPOW!!! knocking a knot on the back of my head. Out came another string of words like "God save us all!" She got the light on finally and we started searching for blood! My right ear and the side of my head looks like I've been in a fight and the back of my head is still sore. The inside of my ear is bruised black and blue and looks like I haven't washed it since when. It is embarrassing.

Life is never boring.

Isn't it funny how it rains in the summertime? Rains in the front yard and dry in the back. Today I walked out of the pool hall and up to the road to check mail. It was dry and sun shining, but when I got to the road it was sprinkling rain. When I got back it was still bone dry and sun shining. At least this summer we've had rain. Not like last summer when we went months without rain. I've got pine trees that just fell over on the ground from that drought.

My little squirrel still comes buy in the morning and rattles the storm door for me to open it and feed her. She will eat what she wants and leave the rest for the afternoon visit. Dove are showing up. The hummingbirds are fighting and feeding like crazy. Must be putting on weight to fly to South America for the winter. Saw a red fox today. She hangs around but seems okay. I'm always concerned with fox about rabies. Hope I never have to implant a lead nugget in her brain. There is a grey fox that hangs around that I'm really not sure about. Weird looking.

I still enjoy old movies and TV programs for one thing they fit my old square TV screen. Been watching The Lone Ranger. He's the guy in the skin tight outfit that wore a mask. He travels around the far west with a native American that talks like Lincoln!

Oh, well. I'm still here! Banged up, but kicking.


A Request from Martha Ward - 7/16/17

Jim Ward

As you know the past year has been very difficult for me and the boys. Jim was the strong solider in our family! He was always there to provide words of encouragement, give sound logical advise, light hearted humor and his kindness and love to me and the boys! He dearly loved all my family and his family! He shared stories of his life that we all can recall-some very funny and some extremely serious. I am so very thankful for these memories. Gods gives us the ability to tuck these memories away in our heart forever. God also gives us the assurance that if we know and accept him as our Lord and Saviour, we will spend eternal life in heaven with God and with our loved ones that have been saved! I am so grateful for that promise and the many blessings in my life.

I've spent a lot of times collecting pictures and making photo albums this past year! Recently I though about compiling a book of stories about Jim. I am writing this to ask a favor of you. If you have a favorite story and a memory about Jim that you would like to share with me, I would sincerely appreciate you doing so.

I know how busy you are so if you don't have time or don't have a story I understand. If you do please send me a note and be sure to sign your name.

My email address is:

My mailing address: 4751 Hwy 99A, Walnut Hill, Fl 32568

Several years ago Allen told me that I should record Jim as he told all of his humorous stories about his life in the cattle business. They were very funny and they were all true! Jim just had the ability to tell a story or a joke which I believe was a talent! Oh how I wished I had listened to Allen!

Martha Sizemore Ward

Down the River Without a Paddle - 5/29/17

You've heard of "Up the creek without a paddle". This guy was down the river without a paddle.

Dianne and I had decided to have lunch downtown today at Steamy's, a new grill in the area. Dianne wanted a Scrambled Dog and I wanted a Scrambled Burger. If you don't know what a Scrambled Dog is you must not be from Columbus. It is basically an open bun with two weiners smothered in chilli and an assortment of other things depending on preference such as oyster crackers, cheese, onions, slaw, mustard, etc. that is eaten with a fork. A Scrambled Burger is basically the same idea, but with a burger pattie instead of weiners. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

As we left Steamy's we met Gil and Brenda on the sidewalk headed there for lunch. We talked for a bit and then Dianne and I decided to walk across the old 14th street bridge that is now a pedestrian bridge. It a good place to get a view of the rapids on the river. Columbus was built on the fall line where the river drops significantly over about 3 miles creating rapids. It is the longest rapids through a city in the nation.

rafters 1

We walked across to the Alabama side and as we were returning we saw three rafts approaching. It was obvious the passengers were fortunate to have a guide in each boat as they had no idea what they were doing. We decided to watch them run the last leg of the rapids at the old Eagle & Phenix Mill. When the lead raft approched the first drop the lead guide fell out of his boat with the passengers all dumbfounded unsure of what to do as the current continued to take them down river.

If you look closely at the second photo you will see the guide's head bobbing along between the two rafts.

rafters 2

You will also notice that the passengers all have their paddles pointed straight up in the air. They had no idea what to do. The second raft picked up the guide and finally got him back in his boat and all ended well.


Daniel Covington Graduates - 5/15/17

Mary Jones asked that I post this announcement about Daniel's high school graduation! Congratulations, Daniel!


71st Annual WilliamsBirthday Dinner

fromDanielle Register Wilkerson - Posted 5/13/17

Once again this year Danielle has volunteered to coordinate the upcoming Williams family reunion. It is a challenging task! Please support Danielle by contacting her with your plans to attend so she can have a reliable count for the food preparation. - cao

Hello Family,

The 71st Birthday Dinner is one month away. It will be held June 10th at New Home in Graceville. Dinner will be served at 12 pm Florida time (Central). Please let me know how many people in your family will be attending. If there are those in your family that will be eating chicken please let me know also.

I need volunteers to bring side dishes, desserts, drinks and clean up help. If you have any family news from this past year please let Judy know so she can add it to her announcements. Also if you would like a copy of the family fingerprint tree from last year let me know if you haven't already. I look forward to seeing each and everyone of you in June. or call/text 404-304-7918 or on Facebook



A Brief Follow-up to May 5th Post

If you read the "No News.." post below I mentioned the bird attacking its image in our window in the past and finally ran it away by putting out rubber snakes nearby. Now there is a male blue bird attacking itself in my car side mirrors when I park it at the pool hall. The problem is that it messes up the car with "bird do"! I have to wash it off each day to keep it from ruining the paint!

To stop it I put a rubber snake on each mirror. I went inside for a moment and when I looked out the front a few minutes later the dang bird was perched on the snake! I laughed out loud.

No News Makes a Boring Read - 5/5/17

Well, it has been awhile since I've updated the Forum. Not much going on that I'm aware of that needed to be published. This will not be a newsy update and the Boring Flag is flying a warning.

Hooded Warbler

As regular readers know when things get slack I fill up the page with the flora and fauna of Moss Hill. Today will be no different. There is a new bird to add to my list. I don't recall ever seeing this one before though it is said to be common. Dianne says it is a Hooded Warbler. Pretty bird! I've had to tear up two or three nests again this year as some of the birds build them in the oddest places! One pair built on a motion sensitive flood light and it stayed on all the time. Another pair built on the front porch with mud! Made a hell of a mess. Tore it down and now they've built back. A few years back I mentioned a pair of Summer Tanagers that the male was fighting his image in the window. It took rubber snakes to get rid of them. I saw a pair of them recently, but so far they haven't attacked my windows. One of our Blue Bird houses had 5 eggs and I think they all hatched and flew away. I hope the hawks and owls didn't get them.


Someone asked recently about my friendly chameleon. It is still around, but I don't sit outside much as it seems to irritate my spring allergies. Can you see him? Almost the center of the photo. He hides well!

Squirrel Eating

Now my squirrel is now a daily thing. It visits me each morning and afternoon that I'm working in the pool hall. It comes by and rattles the storm door until I let it in. I open the door and it comes and goes eating pecans out of a bowl until there is only one piece left. He always leaves one piece. Don't know why. Then he goes off into the woods and goes about his business. If I'm there all day he visits once in the morning and again in the afternoon. Today he came and there was a younger squirrel with him. I let him in and he would pick up a piece of pecan and go back outside to eat it. He either sits on a big flower pot out front or sits on the spare tire on my utility trailer. Sometimes he will just sit at the bowl and eat until there is one piece left. Today I wondered what the younger squirrel would do. Would the older one share with the little guy? Nope! He wouldn't even share his perch. He ran him off. The little one was persistent, but so was the older one. I did notice that the young one didn't come back with him in the afternoon.


I've said that I thought squirrels don't see well as they will walk right past a nut and never see it. What I think is happening is that they go by smell to a great extent. As to their eyes, they are so far apart that I think they see like moose. The wide set eyes of moose give them a wide view of the world, but creates a blind spot directly in front of them. If a moose wants to look at you they will turn their head sideways and look at you with one eye. You might think it is ignoring you but it isn't. It is looking you over closely. I think squirrels might have the same eyesight issue. This is one checking me out as I photographed him recently when Dianne and I toured Alaska. This one was at Elmendorf AFB across the road from the compound where I use to work in the old days.

My outdoor cameras still pick up the usual assortment of animals. Coyotes, fox, cats, dogs, coons, armadillos, deer, and all sorts of common creatures and occasionally a not so common creature like a wolf or a BIG cat.

All is well on the home front. My hand surgery went well. It was frustrating doing without a right hand, but I figured out how to make it work. It is about 90% recovered. Dianne is doing well as are the children and grandchildren. Life is good.

The last couple of days have been cool and rainy. Both are good. I hate hot weather and like rainy days. Right now it is about 50 degrees. We had to turn the heat on again to drive away the chill.

Well… enough is enough. Need to get on to something else.


Mary Jones Update

It has been an exciting week for the Jones Grandparents, Johnny and Mary.

Our Grandson, Daniel Covington is a graduating Senior this year and a member of The Chipley High School Vocal Choir. This amazing choir left for NYC on Wednesday morning, March 31st and returning on Monday April 3rd unless weather interferes. They toured many places of interest and were honored to be able to sing in Carnage Hall on Sunday. A memorable occurrence and very worthy of that honor from the music they have shared. They are an awesome choir with an awesome director!! Daniel is amazingly talented in music, singing, piano and acting skills. He was winner earlier in the year of the Reading Choir for the State of Florida which I’m told is a huge honor!! He went to Tampa to sing with all the top Reading Choir students in the state of Florida.

Director for the Chipley Choir is Kristi Whitcomb Hinson who is a relative by marriage on the Hinson side of our family. She is daughter in law of Randall and Martha Hinson. Randall’s dad was first cousin of Grandmother Williams! Can’t think of his name at the moment.

We attended our granddaughter, Bailey Yongue’s cheer competition this past weekend in Ft. Walton Beach. If you have never been to a cheer competition, that is an awesome experience!! Her team won first place in the competition. Yay for Bailey’s team! We are so proud of her and enjoyed our time with her and the family for the weekend.

Bailey began her training in Houston, Texas cheering and competing with the Elite Woodlands team. A team that is a top in the nation and was featured in a movie. Watching that team in competition was breathtaking. She was sad to leave them and now lives near Panama City. The team in Panama City is not as advanced as the team she left in Houston. Even tho she is a level 5, the PC team is only a level 3 and competed as a level 3. Next year she is hoping they will have a level 5 team.

She is attending Arnold High School where she is a Varsity Cheerleader for the school even tho she is in 10th grade. She is the youngest on the varsity team but that’s where the coaches wanted her because of her advancement and skills!


Siera Jones.jpgAn event we have waited for now for almost 4 years has at last come to pass. We are so thrilled to welcome into our family our grandchildren Kaylen Rae Jones, who will be 4 years of age in May, and Anna Grace Jones, who will be 3 years of age in September. Their adoption was finalized on March 31, 2017. The entire Greg, Cheryl, Rachel, Adam Jones family and Siera attended court for their adoption with special shirts that read “Best Day Ever” lots of happiness and great big smiles!!! Cheryl sent us pictures of them holding a black board that read Kaylen…”For 1,319 days I shared their love and home” and Anna…”for 913 days I shared their love and home”. Another picture with both the girls holding a board that read “Today March 31st, we also share their last name.” How blessed we are and wanted to share our good news with the family!! Sometime in May Siera will also be adopted into our family. She will be 16 years of age! We are excited to welcome another granddaughter into our family then.

Mary Jones

The Old House Was...


As some of you are aware I've been slowed down recently with surgery on my right hand. Something called Vikings Disease among other things. Since my research has shown my male line traces back through Britain to Norway I guess that makes sense as it is known to be an inherited problem. It causes fingers to draw toward the center of the hand and will not straighten. Anyway, all went well, but it has slowed my typing from about 40 or 50 words a minute to about 10. I might be back up to 15 by now.

Wms Log House 2

Mary Jones sent me a photo of our grandparents old house which has been torn down now. She says it looks MUCH better with it gone from the yard. It had really become rundown. I didn't see anything in the log skeleton that changed my mind about any descriptions I've written about it in the past. It was a log house that was modified numerous times. What you see in this photo is from the back corner of the house on the fireplace side. The metal roofing is where the fireplace was. The near window is where grandmother sat in the front room. The window on the far right just beyond the fireplace area is where granddaddy sat. It is the one that had the firewood scaffold attached years ago.

Danielle has put everyone on notice about the Birthday Dinner plans coming up in June. She said there is more to come. Connie Bublitz and daughter, Abbey, are planning to attend. It will be at New Home Baptist again this year according to Danielle.

Hope to be running at full speed soon. Until then I wish you all a wonderful spring... which began here in February!!


Danielle's Birthday Dinner Message

June is fast approaching again. The Birthday Dinner will be June 10th at New Home Church in Graceville, Fl. We will eat at 12:00 Florida time. In the coming months I will ask for volunteers to bring drink, sides, condiments and helps with clean up.

Danielle Note

The fingerprint tree we did last year is available for anyone that would like a copy. If you would like an 8x10 they are $3.00 on card stock. If you would like a larger size let me know and I will get a price for it.

I look forward to seeing you all.


Danielle Register Wilkerson

Jesse Harris Earns Honors -Posted 1/21/17

Jesse is a grandson of Larry and Olene Barfield Harris.

Malone is blessed with some awesome students, and none more so than Cassie Brown and Jesse Wayne Harris. They were recently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for their hours and hours of volunteer work. Brown and Harris were awarded in the teen division for their efforts during their sophomore year where they met the criteria with a minimum of 100 hours.

Brown completed 129 hours while Harris had 104 hours. The award this year was in the Teen Division for hours worked during their sophomore year last school year.

Their junior year has been even busier with both students excelling at volunteer hours. Brown has logged in over 400 hours with Harris over 300 hours. Those hours have come from work with senior citizens in the area, including helping with their yardwork and gardens, work at Merryanna Mistletoe, tutoring, Northeast Jackson County Optimist Club, picking tomatoes to donate to a local food bank, wrapping presents for needy children, Santa Store helper, helping assemble and deliver furniture, working at the book fair, and serving at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Garden Gala.

Both students are now working towards their President’s Volunteer Service Award in the Young Adult division.

Criteria for receiving these awards is no easy task. Awards are issued by an approved Certifying Organization. Recipients of the award must be a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States. Awards are issued for service hours served within a 12-month time period (bronze, silver, or gold) or over the course of a lifetime (Lifetime Achievement).

Cassie and Jesse’s achievements do not stop with their volunteer hours. Cassie has a weighted GPA of 4.16, is an active member of BETA, FFA, a varsity cheerleader, and first baseman on the Malone varsity softball team.

Jesse has a cumulative weighted GPA of 4.25, is actively involved with BETA, FFA, and has double duty as a pitcher and catcher on the Malone varsity baseball team.

Awards are issued for volunteer service only. The Award may not be used to recognize other contributors. Court-ordered community service does not qualify for the Award.

Cassie is the daughter of Jonny and Amy Brown. Jesse is the son of Larry Joe and Linda Harris.

Cassie Brown and Jesse Wayne Harris are to be commended for their excellence in the area of volunteer services while both are active in sports and cheer, as well as excelling in the classroom.

Congratulations to these fine students and their parents.

Article and photo by Shelia Mader

Arthur L. Williams Dies at Age 97

Today I attended the funeral of a friend and cousin, Arthur, Jr. He was 97. He and his late wife, Tootsie Williams were one of the finest couples that I've know. Mr. Arthur was sharp as a tack and told great stories about life in the Graceville area many years ago. He was a voracious reader on many subjects and could discuss historical events or current events. He was a WWII Navy veteran who served with distinction in some of the worst battles of the Pacific and was awarded many metals.

Though Mr. Arthur outlived most of his friends, there was a good crowd to honor his passing. It was one of the nicest funerals I've attended. He was buried with military honors.

I was able to meet his close family, relativesincluding our own Mary and Johnny Jones, along withmany of his younger friends.

Below is his obituary that appeared in the Chipley Bugle.


Chipley Bugle

Williams Obit

Posted on January 16, 2017

Arthur Lee Williams, Jr., 97, of Graceville, passed away Saturday, January 14, 2017, at the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital.

Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. (CST), Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at the First United Methodist Church in Graceville with Rev. Sean Rezek, Rev. Chester Padgett and Mr. Allen O’Shields officiating. Burial will follow in Marvin Chapel Cemetery with James & Lipford Funeral Home in Graceville directing.

Family will receive friends at the church Wednesday, 1 p.m. until time of service.

Mr. Arthur was born in Americus, Georgia on February 26, 1919, to the late Arthur Lee Williams, Sr. and Irma Belyeu Williams. The family later moved to Graceville and Arthur was always proud to be a resident of this community. He was a veteran of World War II, serving honorably in the United States Navy, and became a lifetime member of the American Legion.

Arthur and Tootsie owned Williams IGA in Graceville and, in 1962, opened the Piggly Wiggly, at its present location. After leaving the grocery business, he was employed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, retiring in 1993.

Preceded in death by his beloved wife of 71 years, Tootsie Williams, brother Gerald Williams and son-in-law Larry Ross.

Survived by his devoted children: Arthur Lee “Art” Williams, III and wife B.T., Monticello, FL; daughter Louise Ross, Lake Panasoffkee, FL; sisters-in-law: Nick Williams, Graceville, FL; Betsy Williams, Norfolk, VA; three grandchildren: Tim (Nicky) McGinnis, Jason (Alisha) Williams, Alicia (Wil) Brininger; eight great grandchildren: Brian, Ashlyn, Hudson, Makenzie, Blaine, Skylar, Autumn and Amber.

2017, Squirrels, & Football -1/01/17


Some time ago I wrote about how it is only New Year's Day by some calendars, but not by all. By one calendar, the Gregorian, today is New Year's Day. I mentioned in the same article that of all the calendars that I've read about, the Igbo is probably my preference. One of the waitresses at my favorite Chinese restaurant always reminds me that "It isn't New Year's Day in China!"

If I was king of the world and designed a calendar, New Year's Day would be on December 23rd, the day after the shortest day of the year. Each day after that begins to get longer until around June 21st when they begin to get shorter. This of course only works where I live. It does depend on where you live as to what makes sense. Consider that when it is winter to me that isn't true for Australians who would be experiencing summer. Try explaining seasons to a native tribesman living on the equator. Or what sense would daylight savings time mean to an eskimo in the most northern parts of the globe where it is daylight all day everyday in the summer. Actually daylight savings time makes no sense at all as it doesn't "save" anything. It is simply a way for control freaks to make you get up earlier in the morning under the guise of an irrational claim. To all you Gregorians out there, Happy New Year! To the rest of you, Good Morning!

red tail halk

The regular readers of the BPN know that I enjoy the creatures that I see around Moss Hill. This morning, for example, I saw the first returning bluebird! That seems early, but there he was. A day or two ago I saw my first Red Tail Hawk! Well… the first one I was sure was a Red Tail. The way I know is that he had a red tail! Imagine that. He swooped down from a distant tree gliding just off the ground under my window and up into another tree. The tail was bright red. I see hawks occasionally, but this was the first red tail that I could clearly see. I also saw a young buck gently teaching a younger buck how to butt heads. The older one had small antlers, but the younger one didn't. They were playing very carefully and having fun butting heads.

squirrel door

I've occasionally talked about the squirrels around here. We have country squirrels. They differ from city squirrels as city squirrels are less skittish around people and cars. That being the case I spent the last year trying to "tame" the ones around the pool hall. Using pecans for bait I tried to entice them closer for months with no success. Then I hit on the idea of trying to teach them to take pecans from a bowl. Voila! Success! Once one of them stumbled on the pecans in the bowl the others fell in line. Now one of the brave souls that lives to the north will actually jump on the screen door of the pool hall to get my attention and with the bowl setting just inside the door I will open it and the squirrel will come inside and get the pecan, even with me standing 5 feet away! The one that lives to the west and one that lives to the south will eat out of the bowl outside, but won't come inside. I don't know if that means they are dumber, or smarter. I could argue both sides.

Squirrel - Version 2

They are interesting creatures and it would be great to understand why they do what they do. I've decided that they are near-sighted with a decent sense of smell. I've seen them walk right by a nut and continue to hunt until they run smack dab into one. Then they will take the one they found and run off and bury it. Not just anywhere, but seem to look for the right place whatever the right place is. They will dig a hole deep enough to contain the entire nut then carefully cover it up completely, smoothing it over and then put a leaf over it to hide it. I wonder how they find it again. Of course finding it might be dumb luck as they sniff along the ground. They will stop and eat one occasionally and then continue their harvesting.

2017 promises to be an interesting year if for no other reason the Trump administration will have the chair. The wacko left will fight what promises to be a losing battle, the media will find themselves less and less relevant, and many of the "elite" will find themselves out of a job. It will all be entertaining if nothing else. What I would do if I was king would be to make DC a museum and entertainment park, move the capitol to the middle of the country, link the House and Senate members together with Skype and make them work from their districts where lobbying would be next to impossible and their constituents could walk in on them anytime.

One other rule that I would make if I was king of the world is that it would be illegal to own a gun if you were a leftist. Have you ever noticed that the Presidential assassins were all leftists? Ever notice that rioters and looters are leftist? Not that all leftist are rioters and looters. Some of them just pay those who do.

Ever notice that "bipartisanship", "civility", and "sharing" are all words use by the losers, whichever side they are on? Have you considered that if you have 2 parties with one wanting bigger government and the other wanting smaller government ANY compromise will be bigger government. It is either getting bigger, or smaller. There is no in between.

Did you know that actors are not "real people"? I'm not sure what they are but there are commercials on TV that proclaim that the people that you see in their commercials are "real people, not actors". That means that actors are not real people. They don't say what they really are. Your guess is as good as mine.

Speaking of actors, have you noticed that on many of the shows today the "hosts" look and sound alike? It is uncanny. It can't be coincidence. Shows named things like "real history" or "facts and fiction", or "mysteries of museums", etc. Maybe they are not real people, but are all the same robot with a different paint job.

It was interesting watching the decisions being made about the college football playoffs being political. The darling of many of the talking heads is the Big Ten conference and their darling, Ohio State. They were selected to represent their conference even though they didn't win their conference or even come in second. The pundits were falling over themselves trying to convince us that even though they didn't win they deserved to be in the playoffs because they were a powerhouse! They ended up in a game with those farm boys over on the lake, Clemson, and got their clocks cleaned. It was Ohio State's coach's first shutout in his career, but you know… they are a powerhouse! Thirty-one to a great big zero says different. How often are "experts" wrong and are still considered "experts". Life is strange.

Dianne always prepares our traditional meal on New Year's Day for our family. It follows the old superstition that what you eat on that day determines how your year will go. The quantity of black-eyed peas determines the number of friends you will have. The quantity of greens determine how much folding money you will have (we had collards). Then there is pork which represents a good harvest. Corn bread represents gold. If it does nothing else it represents a very good meal!

Reminds me of a meal I had recently at my old friend Jim Bill Vaughan's house. He owns a farm in northeast Georgia and had invited me up to visit and he shared some firewood with me. He prepared a lunch of bacon, streak-o-lean, beans, fresh turnips from the garden, corn bread, and apple turnovers! The trip was most enjoyable and I'm still enjoying the fires from his firewood in the evening!

This time of the year I prepare a list of projects that I want to complete in the coming months. I'm always surprised at how many I get done. It can be as complex as creating a financial system or as mundane as training squirrels. As I finish one I cross it off, but leave it on the list so I can see progress. It is easy to forget all you have accomplished. Progress is one of the best motivators. There is no plan, sequence, or specific date or time other than the broad time of this year. The list helps remind me of things important to me at the beginning of the year. Things are added as life happens, but unless something is simply no longer relevant nothing is removed from the list. A detailed plan sets up failure. Your first missed deadline is a failure. I figure that when I look at the list my brain knows what is most important and timely at any given moment. Why waste the time making a plan that will simply prove you a failure?

2016 was a very difficult year for a number of our friends and family. If you are one I hope 2017 proves to be a much better year. If you, like Dianne and I, had a good 2016 I wish us all an even better 2017. It sure looks like it will be from where I sit at the moment.

From the pages of the Forum and from Charley's Pool Hall I wish everyone a Gregorian Happy New Year!


Bob Wilkerson - 11/06/16

A few days ago Dianne and I went to see Bob Wilkerson. We found him in the living room sound asleep in his space age cradle. It was slowly swaying back and forth and was the coolest thing I've ever seen for babies. It has numerous settings and will sway in different ways and at different speeds even replicating a car ride. It does all this and includes sounds. It is easily adjustable and Bob loves it!

Bob Wilkerson

We were able to visit with Danielle and Connie, but Jody was working. They are doing fine and enjoying their new family member.

You may recall that a few years back Danielle and Jody bought a historic old home on a corner near downtown Molina, GA. It had been owned by a doctor and recently renovated. Next door is a small house that was the doctor's office. Connie lives in that house so she is close by to help Danielle with Bob.

Molina is a small town typical of many that consists of a row of buildings on both sides of the main street about a block long. It is a quiet little town that has found a way to survive in a time where most such towns are slowly dying.

Bob is a fine looking lad with a big appetite and didn't cry once while we were there. Danielle is a great mom and life in the Wilkerson household is good.


Squirrels and Self Driving Cars - 11/02/16


There is much going on with family and friends. Some good. Some not so good. There was an old phrase something about, "… never let it rest 'til the good gets better and the better gets best." I wish you progress, wherever you are on the scale.

For those of you who follow this site you know the back story on my squirrels. The short of it is that when a tree crew came in and wiped out a few trees I didn't see them again for a long time. When they did come back they were real skittish.

About a year ago I began to try to semi-tame them with no luck. Finally there were two that began to hang around the pool hall. One lives to the north and one to the south. They are young ones that haven't developed their fear of all things strange.


Squirrels are dumb and very habitual. They seem to get in a groove and follow it daily. Drop a nut near them and they will ignore it unless they run straight into it. I decided to train them to eat from a bowl. After working on it for quite a while they were sneaking up very carefully and taking a pecan from the bowl. Then I tried to see what they would do if the bowl was empty. Now if the bowl is empty they come knock on the door. Actually they jump up on the screen and look in as if to figure out why I'm falling down on the job. If I take the bowl away they come by and keep on going.

One of the most interesting things that I've read lately was an article about the future of automobiles. It was a financial article that made a case where self driving cars will take over. It may seem dangerous now, but airplanes are already self flying to a great extent. They will perfect self driving cars. They will be battery operated. They will be sold much different than today and there will not be dealers. For the most part there will be no parking lots, or much smaller parking lots because most people will not own cars. It will work much as Uber does today. When you want to go somewhere you schedule a car on your phone and it shows up and takes you where you want to go and charges it to your account. When you get through it returns and takes you back home. You won't need garages. Think about how great that will be for old folks who are unable to drive! Most cars will not have steering wheels for driving. No car, no garage, no big parking lot, no dealerships, no car insurance, text while you ride! If you are interested in the article let me know and I will email it to you.

Dilbert is one of my favorite comics just behind Far Side. Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, has written another book that I'm enjoying. It is one of those that is slow getting through because I'm busy painting it yellow with a highlighter. The title is How to Fail at Almost Everything and Win Big! Of all the books I've read on the subject of business, or life in general this one goes on my Favorites Shelf. He basically tells his life story and lessons learned along the way. It is entertaining and educational at the same time. I highly recommend it for anyone as there are lessons for everyone. Besides, it is… as you would expect from Scott, humorous.

That's life from the pool hall these days. Hope your life is going better than you planned.


Robert "Bob" Dalton River Wilkerson - 10/24/16

Robert Dalton River Wilkerson

Today we heard about the arrival of Robert "Bob" Dalton River Wilkerson, son of Jody and Danielle Register Wilkerson.

Bob is 8 pounds 8 ounces and 21 inches long. Bob and Danielle are doing well.


Update from Mary Jones - 10/04/16

I want to update everyone about two of our grandchildren, Daniel Covington and Bailey Yongue.

The High School Chorus Directors in our county that I have talked with are just blown away with Daniels abilities in music and this accomplishment is a big deal….much bigger than just All-State Choir which he was in last year. He will be going to Tampa in January again to compete and sing in/with the big Florida All-State Choir. These kids are the best in the state. We are so proud of Daniel. He has settled down and is such a sweet, kind and compassionate young man and easy to get along with. He sings and plays here at home and some at our church. His music is wonderful and easy listening. He has also written lyrics for couple of songs. What a gifted young man he is! We do enjoy listening to his music.


At this competition Daniel was given 10 seconds to look over 40 measures of music and then sing it. He got 35 measures without flaw out of the 40. That is amazing!!

He was encouraged by a school Counselor who (about 2 years ago) got him a place in the summer camp called STEM. His talent was accidentally discovered during camp (when he was NOT where he was supposed to be, but was playing the piano on their big Grand Steinway piano) and because of his talent they renamed the program STEAM…adding Art for Daniel. They called and got heads of the Music and Art Program at FSU to come to PC specifically to hear him. They came and being impressed offered him a scholarship. So we will see where all this leads him. As Susan told him…there is more to college than just MUSIC…you have Math, Science, English, etc. and he’s not interested in that but that’s part of it.

Bailey Yongue

I will send you a picture of our Bailey..Staci’s daughter. She was selected as Miss Congeniality in this year’s contest at Arnold High School in Panama City. Bailey does not like New Orleans and is living with Randy at Crystal Lake. (The Yongues are in the process of moving from New Orleans to Panama City) She is in 9th grade and because of her previous training with the Woodlands Elite Cheer Team she was placed on the Senior Varsity Cheer team at Arnold High School. When she originally told them that she was a cheerleader they told her that they were full up and not taking any more cheerleaders until they found where she came from, then they all wanted her and fought to have her on their team. Senior Varsity won out.

We are proud of these kids and wanted to share with you.

Chipley Bugle

CHS student seated in FVA All-State Reading Chorus

Posted on October 1, 2016

The Florida Vocal Association just announced seating for the All-State Reading Chorus, which is the top All-State Choir. This choir is comprised of 100 students in the state with the highest scores on the sight reading portion of the audition process. These students fall in the top .05% of high school students who began the process. Students must first pass the musicianship (music theory) test before moving forward to the sight reading test.

Congratulations to Daniel Covington of Chipley High School for being seated in the FVA All-State Reading Chorus.

In addition, Chipley High School has four students who have passed the first two all-state tests and will proceed to the vocal quality audition on October 13th. These students are Kloe Brewer, Danielle Henry, Lauryl Grace Hinson, and Haylee Patton.

Over 3,000 high school and middle school choral students in the state of Florida began the audition process this school year.

Autumn - 10/02/16

Now that may favorite season is here Mother Nature is showing me that I can't have everything by creating a drought to go along with it. We've had one decent rain here on the hill in the last 3 months. Though places nearby have had some scattered showers we have been lacking. Instead of beautiful colors our green scenery is turning brown and falling to the ground.

The hummingbird feeder has been taken inside though there was one cautious bird left. It is one who always would look at us through the window then go to the opposite side of the feeder, take a swig, then dart out and look at us to make sure we weren't sneaking up on it. The Canadian geese are flying over honking like New York cab drivers. Wonder why they honk so much when flying. Maybe they are honking at each other saying, "Watch out! You are flying too close to me!" Or they could be saying, "How much longer?" They do tend to remind me of kids in the back seat.

I saw a snake! I hate snakes. It is only the 6th one I've seen in the 19 years we've been here, but that is 6 too many. I profile snakes and discriminate against them. People claim they are man's best friend by keeping down the rodent population. Problem is some will kill you in the process without warning. They are the terrorist and gangsters of the reptile world. I try to recognize the bad ones but they all look alike to me. Take this one for example. I got close to it and tried to identify it. I looked at its head and tail and length and color, but nothing was clear. I wasn't going to get close enough to see its eyes. I hit it with a stick and its head puffed up like a cobra! Now I know cobra's don't live in the USA but neither do boa constrictors, but tell that to Floridians. That's what you get when you have open borders where they can crawl across, or have someone bring them across and turn them loose. I pulled out my gun and introduced this one to heavy metal but it was able to slither away in a position where another shot might ricochet into my neighbors house. I changed positions getting as close as possible to where it disappeared where I could shoot again, but it had totally disappeared. I think it will die, but wish I was sure.

We have good things and bad things happening in our family circle, but I'm never sure what to print unless specifically asked as some don't like to tell anything while others wonder why I don't print everything. I will make a quick mention of a few things. Leigh and Thad Watters are grandparents. Walker Watters Boston and mom, Mary Kate, are doing well. I've not had an update on Jimmy Horne lately. He was not doing well last I heard. Connie Bublitz is VERY sick. David and Dominique Williams are still dealing with all involved when a parent dies and as you already know, her mother died recently. Dianne's broken ankle is healing well we think and she should be able to put weight on it again in 4 days. It has been a 6 week ordeal, but she is a good patient and does what she can. Cooking a turkey and dressing dinner last Sunday while standing on one leg is what I'm talking about. I'm sure I've left some out, but not intentionally. Let me know if I did.

Here is my stupid story for the week. Dianne received a text message that her package had been delivered by the Post Office. Then I received a text message that my package had been delivered by the Post Office. I went up to the road and check the mailbox. Nothing. I went to the PACKAGE BOX in the driveway. Nothing. I looked around the cottage door. Nothing. I looked on the front porch. Nothing. She called the postmaster to report the missing packages and was told they were put under the trash can at the road. Looked under the can. Nothing. She called back and said they must have been delivered to the wrong address. They checked with the carrier and she said that she had been told to put our packages under the trash can, but put them in the trash can. Sure enough, our packages were in the trash can. Who in the world would ever tell someone to deliver their packages and put them in the trashcan? Trash cans are NASTY! Stupidity abounds.

Football season is here so I'm enjoying the games. Well… some I don't and I yell and scream at the TV but they continue doing stupid stuff as if I was telling them it was okay. Many though are good exciting games! Some are won after the game is over and then reversed. Some are won in the last 4 seconds. Some teams only play one half. Some are amazing finishes. Ahh… college football.

Must go. Things to do.


Womble Land - 8/31/16

While cleaning out the Williams/Horne home to sell Jerry Horne found and shared with me the Warranty Deed showing the transaction where Grandmother Williams first came into possession of the land and old house. For those who have a copy of the first Old Folks book, Our Womble Family, there is a chapter about the land and how it changed hands over time. The following corrects some speculation and adds to the story for those interested.

The new document that Jerry has clears up a minor mystery for me. I won’t retell the whole story here, but will back up and bring the story forward to show how the new information fits. Rather than go back and research the data the following will be from memory so keep in mind that any sloppiness is due to my memory and if you find errors you are probably right.

The mystery to me was why all of the Womble children inherited 40 acres except Ella. My belief at the time of the book publishing was that based on documents that I have and I believed that Ella originally inherited 20 acres. Don’t get ahead of me here. I know she inherited more later. Why 20 acres while others received 40? Was it because she was unmarried still living at home?

The 80 acres which was the original homestead of my great great grandfather, Randall A. Elmore, 3rd husband of my great great grandmother, Mary Ann Martha Brewer Shipes Williams Elmore, is the 40 acres in front of and 40 acres behind what we know as Uncle Jack and Aunt Agnes Barfield’s home. This land was inherited by Randall and Mary Ann’s only child together (both had children by other marriages), Martha Ann Gracie Elmore Womble. I have a copy of that homestead document signed by President Benjamin Harrison hanging behind me on the pool hall wall and it is dated July 3, 1889.

Great Grandmother Gracie Elmore married Henry Franklin Womble and they expanded their farm by purchasing 80 acres of James Hicks' homestead located north of their home and 120 acres of the 160 acre homestead of Loranza Jefferson Collins located south and east of their home. I have one of the Warranty Deeds of the Collins/Womble transaction hanging in the pool hall and it is dated December 23, 1905.

In their later years Henry and Gracie gave 2 acres of the Hicks land to the building of New Home Baptist Church, the other 38 acres to daughter Emma Womble Gilley, and the other 40 acres of the Hicks land to Grandmother, Estelle Womble Williams. Uncle Willie Womble was given 40 acres where Mary and Johnny Jones now live which was Collins land and the 40 acres east of that was given to Grand Aunt Ella Esther Womble who was unmarried at the time. That is the new information provided from the Warranty Deed from Jerry. She did get 40 acres.

Grand Aunt Emma Womble Gilley died following childbirth and her 38 acres ended up back in the hands of Grandpa Henry Womble. Bud and Estelle bought 15 of those acres and all of that land (40 + 15 acres) ended up back in the hands of Henry when Bud, Estelle, and William Henry moved to Holmes County, FL. As their inheritance Grand Uncle Johnny Womble was given the 38 acres next to the church and Grand Uncle Lonnie Womble was given the 40 acres most of which is on the west side of the road. Lonnie later sold to Johnny. Johnny planted his in pines. These 78 acres were later purchased by Jack and Agnes Williams Barfield.

Grand Uncle Willie Womble lost his land when he couldn’t pay the taxes. He moved away. The Crutchfield family bought that land probably from the county for taxes. Ella’s 40 acres east of Willie was split with Ella selling 20 acres and the Collins house to Grandmother Estelle when she and Bud moved the family back from Holmes County. Bud then bought the 40 acres behind the house now belonging to Estelle’s dad, Henry, and Bud later lost it due to unpaid taxes. Ella later sold her last 20 acres to the Shiver family.

When Henry and Gracie died, in a strange turn of events, Ella was to inherit the original 80 acres and the house of the original Elmore homestead. She was an old maid still living at home. Estelle protested and ended up with 25 of that 80 acres leaving 55 acres and a house for Ella. That 55 acres and house was purchased by Jack and Agnes Williams Barfield when they married.

Legend is that Bud and Estelle traded Jack and Agnes that 25 acres when their well went dry and they had to have a deeper well bored.

All that to say what Jerry’s Warranty Deed shows is that Grandmother Estelle bought her 20 acres and the house from Ella, not Henry. Now we know. (-:


This Old House - 8/31/16

Dear Williams Family,

I wanted to share some things with all of you concerning the Old Home Place near Graceville.

Many of you graciously offered to donate to the project to move the Old House to Heritage Village, which is located at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville. Unfortunately, I ran into issues with the project that I could not adequately address given my current station in life. That, along with the ongoing cost and headache of owning a vacant property, plus some potential additional costs that were identified as the project unfolded, led me to forgo the project and list the entire property for sale.

I want to heartily thank everyone who considered contributing to the project, and especially those who committed to give. True to the form of the Williams Family (or the "Williams Clan"), I believe we probably would have reached the original funding goal.

I especially want to thank Betty Ann for putting lots and lots (and lots) of time and work into the effort.

I have a buyer for the property, and closing is set to occur in mid-September, assuming there are no problems with him securing financing or with required home inspections.

Ironically, the buyer's name is Ralph, and he is confined to a wheel chair. Of course, for us older cousins, this reminds us of our own Uncle Ralph who had the brick home on the property built to unique specifications due to his confinement in a wheelchair (which came about following a terrible auto accident).

The buyer's full name is Ralph Fowler. He is originally from the Graceville area, and he still has family there.

There are no special plans for the Old House of which I am a part. I have not yet asked Mr. Fowler what his plans are for the Old House, but I do plan to give him information about parties that might be interested in tearing down the Old House in exchange for the fine timbers (from the original "log cabin") that can be salvaged. It would be a shame for them to go to waste.

I am saddened that the home will not become a part of Heritage Village, but I will simply have to move forward.

Lately, Twila and I have been cleaning out the home. I know many of you have had the displeasure of cleaning out your parent's home following their passing. You know the emotion that comes with that chore.

Though we are blessed that my Dad is still with us, and we occasionally have glimpses of the old James, praise God, the clean out of the home and the process of selling the property has been emotionally taxing for the usual reasons, but yet moreso, given the history of the property and all of the glorious Birthday Dinners and other memories that occurred there.

But we are the Williams Clan, and we will carry on. The memories we have will always be with us, and no property sale can rob us of those treasures. Moreover, we LOOK FORWARD to creating many new family memories, irrespective of where they occur.

We gotta keep getting together, yall are too much fun. (:>)

Special love to each and every one of you.

Jerry Horne

Dominique's Mother Died - 8/28/16

Andree Alice Tomita

1931 - 2016 Obituary Condolences

Andree Alice Tomita Obituary

July 24, 1931-August 25, 2016

Relatives - 0452

Columbus, GA- Andree Alice Tomita, 85, of Columbus, GA, died Thursday, August 25, 2016 at Columbus Hospice House.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 1:00 PM, Monday, August 29, 2016 at St. Anne Catholic Church with Father Brian O'Shaughnessy officiating. Interment will be held in Parkhill Cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday from 4:00-6:00 PM at McMullen Funeral Home and Crematory, 3874 Gentian Blvd. Columbus, GA 31907.

Mrs. Tomita was born July 24, 1931 in La Rochelle, France, daughter of the late Andre Chataigner and Alice Ernestine Guillon Chataigner. She worked as a computer operator with the Civil Service in Ft. Benning. Mrs. Tomita loved cooking, reading and knitting and was a member of St. Anne Catholic Church.

Other than her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Mikio Tomita and her brother, Claude Chataigner.

Survivors include her daughter, Dominique T. Williams (David) of Columbus, GA; brothers, Pierre Chataigner (Lucette) and Jacques Chataigner (Colette) both of France; sister-in-law, Nicole Chataigner of France; two grandchildren, Christine Hull (Thad) and Michael Williams (Hanna) both of Columbus, GA; and 3 great-grandchildren, Addesyn, Charlotte and Jacob.

Flowers will be accepted but those who wish may send donations to Columbus Hospice House,7020 Moon Road Columbus, GA 31909 or

Those who wish may sign the online guest registry at

Published in Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on Aug. 28, 2016

A New Update on Jimmy Horne - 8/24/16

The doctors believe Jimmy's most recent problems are due to anemia. They have put him on a regimen of iron and other medicines/ vitamins/ minerals to treat the issue. If he does not respond in three weeks or so, they will give him a blood transfusion.

He is currently not in the hospital, but his chemotherapy treatments continue.

Continue to keep Jimmy in your prayers.

Love to all,


Jimmy's Update from Jerry - 8/14/16

Jimmy is still very sick. ThebiggestissuefacingJimmy right now is that he cannot walk more than a few feet without being very short of breath andwithouthis heart racingto 150 BPM.

Despite yet another hospital stay with numerous tests, the doctors do not know what is wrong. Thankfully, he does feel "fair" when he is sitting or laying down (lying down?).

Here's what we know, and what we don't know:

Jimmy has prostate cancer, which he has been fighting for several years. Over the years, he has taken several medicines to fight the cancer. This effort has put the cancer in remission at times, but it would always come back.

The cancer medicines stopped working, and the doctor decided to use chemotherapy to fight the cancer. He had his first treatment several weeks ago.

Shortly after his first (and only) treatment, he began to develop otherissues. The first issue was that a blood clot formed in hislung. This was treated with blood thinners, but the thinnerscaused aggravation of a prostate problem with him passingblood in his urine.

The blood clot is nearly gone, but now,anytimehe walks any distance, he has the shortness of breath and his heart rate jumps. The hospitalsent himhomeas they havenoother tests to run todiagnosehe problem. He hasseveral doctor appointments scheduled for this week.

If you would like to contact Jimmy, call or text him at404-388-5691. You can send him postal service mail at PO Box 440532, Kennesaw, GA 30160. I do notbelievehe has e mail access athome, so please try to contact him via one of the other methods. He likes to hear from thefamily.

Love to all,


Jimmy Horne Update - Posted July 28, 2016


Jimmy Horne

Thought you would want to know how Jimmy is doing if you haven't heard recently. I got a text from Jerry yesterday in response to one that I had sent him. He said that Jimmy is not doing well. He has been in the hospital twice in July and started chemotherapy on July 15.

I was worried about Jimmy after seeing him at the BDD. I think the family would want to know how Jimmy is doing and let him know that we are concerned about him. He needs our prayers. He is continuing to go through a long and very difficult illness.

Do you have contact info that you can give the family for Jimmy? ( You may want to talk to Jerry.

Hope you had a very Happy Birthday yesterday! They seem to come fast!



Hillary's America- Posted 7/26/16

Last evening Dianne and I went to the movies to see Hillary's America. I recommend that everyone see it. It is a journey through time of the beginnings of the Democrat and Republican parties. It is crammed with facts, fast paced, and less than two hours long. It is a Dinesh D'Souza movie and like most of his work it will make you see the world in a very different light.

It was the first time I had gone to a theater in a long time. We went to one that had luxury seats that recline and it was a different experience. I don't go to theaters as the experience is comparable to trying to watch a movie from the cheap seats of a crammed airplane for 2 or 3 hours. About 30 minutes before it ended the movie stopped and the lights came on with an announcement that there was a fire in the building and that everyone had to get outside. Turns out the only heat was outside as we endured standing in the heat on the pavement that teetered on the 100 degree mark.

Dianne blamed the alarm on me as there have been several occasions of fire alarm related instances when we have been together over the years. She regularly takes the grandkids to movies and the one rare event that I went with her there was a fire alarm. We’ve experienced them in hotels in the middle of the night and alarms in the hotel room chirping in the middle of the night as the battery is going out. I tell her that I’m the good luck charm as in all those cases there has never been a fire. I don’t think I was convincing.

The movie is really worth the extra effort to go and see. Aside from being political the historical context alone makes it worth the price.

Danielle Register Wilkerson is going to share the Birthday Dinner photo files with me. I want one of the big group in particular, but from the posting I can’t tell which photo is the sharpest focus and would blow up to a larger size without being grainy. I may convert my choice to a black and white, or sepia tone to match the other photos in the pool hall and have Bob Hancock at Southern Exposure print it for me. If you are interested in what I find send me an email to

There are a number of you who have said that you wanted to participate in Mary Jones and Judy Thomas’s cemetery project. I mention it here because I know that you intended to help with the cost of the project but just forgot. Please do it now before you forget again. After all, we are getting old and the memory fades! (-:

They did a great job making improvements to the gravesites of several of our ancestors that should last for many years. They look better today than I’ve ever seen them. I’ve gone back to look at some old photos of the graves that I took decades ago and they back-up that claim. Send any donations to Judy and to get her mailing address contact her at


I like to share photos of creatures that I see on Moss Hill. Here’s a grasshopper that was bigger than a hummingbird! I had never seen big black grasshoppers until we moved here. Some years they are more abundant than other years. This was the only one I’ve seen this year.

Here’s a photo of a turtle that I saw crossing the driveway a couple of days ago. I watched it for a bit and took a picture of it to add to my collection. I mention it mainly because of a thought that occurred to me. After I watched it for a bit I walked on to the mailbox and back and it had moved about 5 feet in the woods. I estimated its speed at 5 feet / 2.5 minutes = 2 feet/minute. This meant that for it to travel the length of a football field, goal to goal would take 300 feet / 2 feet/minute = 150 minutes, or 2.5 hours!


Now what occurred to me was where it was going and why? It woke up that morning at its home (it is always at home because it travels in its own RV) and decided that it was going… where? That’s a big decision for a turtle since traveling anywhere is a long journey. I had decided to walk from the house to the mailbox and back and if the turtle was going to check mail it would take him about 10 hours to make the round trip! Of course it wasn’t going to check mail as it was headed directly east and to reach a mailbox headed east would likely take it a lifetime before it even reached one mailbox. It had to have another purpose. What was it? Traveling for 2.5 hours from where it was on the property it would still be on the property when it arrived and where it left would look exactly like where it was going! What’s the point of that? Turtles are a mystery.


This morning we got a signal that something or someone was in the front yard. Dianne went to see and said it was a fawn! I went to look and we agreed it was the smallest we had seen. It couldn’t have been more than a day or two old. I tried to be quiet and get a photo but it hopped off into the shrubbery and what appeared to be a sibling took off with it. Bummer. No clear photo.

This was a surprise last night! A frog on the front door glass. Look at its suction feet.

Well, that's about it for now. Family members please do consider contributing to the cemetery project as it was an expensive undertaking.


Birthday Dinner Photos Ready

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for all the sweet comments about the Bday Dinner. It does take some planning to put the Bday dinner on each year but I do have a lot of help from family members. I am thankful for those members that give financially, volunteer, bring food and desserts, and help with the cooking. It would not be possible to make the Bday dinner a success year after year without each one of you!

My friend, Shana, took photos at the reunion this year. She didn't charge us for her time or for the USB with the photos. I have made a SnapFish account online so that everyone can view and order the photos that you wish to have.

Here are the instructions:

1. Go to

2. On the right hand side go to sign in/join and click to open.

3. In the box YOUR EMAIL type :

4. in the box PASSWORD type: Danielle1, then click on blue sign in button

5. On the top left hand side click on MY PHOTOS.

6. The only album available is the Birthday Dinner. Click on the album to open it and from here you can order the photos.

I have not done this before so please let me know if you have any issues. For anyone that would like to share your photos you took at the reunion you can upload the photos to this album also.

I am currently working on a hard back photo book made in MixBook that will be available next week for purchase online. It will include all of the reunion photos.

I hope you enjoy the 4th of July weekend and please be safe.



Life on Moss Hill - Posted 6/25/16

It is hot! GLOBAL WARMING!! GLOBAL WARMING!! I hate summers in Georgia. I don't function well in the heat and humidity. If there was no air-conditioning I would have to move to Iceland.

Just as my squirrels were getting over the tree crew coming in and grinding up their houses I had to call the crew back for a dead limb hanging over the house. I called my tree guy and ten minutes after I hung up I saw a big sweet gum fall over in the side yard. It was slow motion and not nearly as loud as I imagined it should be. There was no wind, no rain, no nothing except heat. Maybe it melted. Just fell. It broke off about 10 feet above the ground. Turns out it was totally hollow inside with no evidence outside. It rotted from the roots up. The wood holding it up was about 1 inch thick around the outer edge. The tree was as green as a healthy tree. It was hollow down into the ground and 12 to 15 feet into the trunk. You can see a photo where they cut the trunk off at the base on the right of this page.


Climbers fascinate me. I enjoy watching them work. They make it all look easy. Working high in the tree he quickly finished cutting the dead limb without coming close to the house though it was hanging well over the roof. He finished, made a few adjustments, and rapelled down. Zip… and he was on the ground. Interesting breed of cat.

Though they did run the chipper and grind it all into sawdust which was very noisy it appears that it didn't go on long enough to freak out my squirrels again.


I was looking out the front window of the cottage when a hawk swooped down and caught something on the ground. I thought it was a squirrel he caught, but a closer look show it to be something smaller. He has been hanging around for days. I was afraid that he was after the bluebirds nesting nearby as he seemed to be watching them.

Today I reviewed my cameras to see what they might have captured. There were the usual deer, dogs, coons, coyotes, and other stuff, but the surprise was a BIG cat. It was the size of a large dog. It was a night photo and not clear enough to see details, but it was clear enough to tell it was a big cat.


The big news of the week was Britain voting to leave the European Union! Yea! Score one for the good guys. The globalist are freaking out. They are losing control. There are 40,000 bureaucrats in Brussels writing laws and regulations of which the individual countries have no say. Like all bureaucrats they are infested with morons. These morons have implemented regulations on the curvature of bananas! It now takes a Brit 6 months to open a checking account. Well… it did. They took back their country, rescuing it just in time from the stupidity of the globalist and will begin to get it back into some shape that resembles sanity.

There are those wailing about the stock market crash due to the vote. That is BS. There was a 3% correction, but it is no crash. It may crash and there might be a recession but it will be due to other financial reasons as it was on the path to happen before the Brits voted to retake their country from the morons.

Don't you love the mushroom!

Hang in there folks! Life is good. Great to see many of you at the reunion. Thanks to all who made it happen.


Message from Connie Bublitz - Posted 6/24/16

Hi Allen!

I thought I’d send these pictures with a little information.

We had a great time down South. As Emilie said, “The best part was seeing family.” It was. There isn’t ever enough time, nor could there be. So grateful to Judy, Danielle and the Register clan. And to Mary for her care to seek out help with the cemetery. Thanks to Ken for the hard work he did with the Power Point. Also, ending the day in the Sanctuary with Joe was amazing! So incredibly special. What an awesome family! So very glad Kyle got to meet everyone! We SURE do want to do it again!

abbie and kyle

I thought I’d share that while we were sitting on the beach, Abbey was offered and accepted a Branch Manager position of PNC Bank! How about that! You go on vacation, they call you and promote you! Nice!

So, when we got home, Abbey replaced her very old car with a brand new one!


These kids got it goin’ on!

It was a wonderful time!



(Don't forget! If you want to share in the refurbishment of our ancestors graves please send Judy a check. It was a sizable cost. Whatever you can share will be appreciated! cao

70th Birthday Dinner -Posted June 13, 2016

For 70 years in a row our Williams family has gathered in Jackson County, Florida, just south of Graceville to celebrate our grandparent's, Bud and Estelle Womble Williams, birthdays. It began in June, 1947, and has continued each year since. Attendance has ranged in the 70 to 125 range over the years.

This year efforts were made by several to insure it was one of our best ever. In the beginning it was held on Bud and Estelle's home place and in later years moved to New Home Baptist Church. New Home is a nice, small country church near Graceville. Estelle's parents were instrumental in the founding of the church and was attended by the family for years. Some of the family have pastored there over the years. Several family members are buried in the church cemetery. It is a great facility for the Birthday Dinner.

Like any reunion the feature event is food! For the last several years the Register clan has prepared an "all you can eat" seafood buffet featuring fish, shrimp, and chicken. They work very hard to make it all happen. Danielle Register Wilkerson has coordinated the event for the last two or three years and has always done a great job making it all come together. It is good to see a member of the younger generation take the reins to make sure that it all comes together.


This year Danielle arranged for a professional photographer to take photos. These should be available for viewing and purchase soon.

Ken O'Shields prepared a PowerPoint presentation with photos from the first Birthday Dinner to the present. It is full of great photos, many of which I had never seen. It is set up to watch as a slide presentation on a computer using PowerPoint and can easily be added to over coming years. He provided copies on a memory stick. It is a great presentation and was viewed in comfort in the church sanctuary during the reunion. Copies can be purchased from Ken at cost. He can be reached at


Mary Barfield Jones made the group aware of the need for work to be done on family graves in the church cemetery. There are a number of relatives buried there and some of the older graves were in very bad shape. Working with Judy Williams Thomas she arranged for the work to be done prior to the reunion. Judy financed the project and will appreciate any donations that you wish to give. The construction crew did a great job with some of the graves looking better than I've ever seen them. The work done should last a decade or more. Family members, please consider sharing a donation as it was a much needed family project. Judy can be reached at

Another project that Judy has been in charge of for years is a family cookbook. It is a great source for secret family recipes, old and new. This is the third edition that contains all the recipes from the first two editions plus new ones. It is very reasonably priced at $10 each, with shipping costs added if shipping is necessary. It will be best to contact Judy at the email address listed above. It is a very nice book that is well done!


It might sound as though the reunion was basically a fund raiser. Not so. These are projects that were taken on as a labor of love by family members at cost. They are worth much more than any expense fees charged as it takes many days, weeks, and months putting each of them together plus the material such as printing costs.

The reunion ended with Joe Williams leading the group accompanied by Mary Jones on the piano on a couple of gospel songs in the church sanctuary. Singing is a tradition that has been off and on over the years, but always enjoyed by the attendees.

The best part of the Birthday Dinner is seeing family that we rarely have the chance to visit with between funerals. Over the years we have lost many. The only surviving member of the Williams children's generation is James D. Horne, husband of Lottie Estelle Williams Horne. Uncle James is about 91 and lives with his son, Jerry, and his family in Prattville, Alabama. He was not able to attend this year.

When traveling home some of the family witnessed heavy rain and winds, possibly a small tornado. We had to go around a large limb in the road. Fortunately all made it home safely

The highlight of the reunion is visiting and renewing old friendships and memories. These days the family is scattered and we rarely see each other except at funerals. It is good to get together at a more pleasant time. It was an enjoyable day and to those who made it special they are much appreciated.

Jimmy Horne Not Well - Posted May 23, 2016

Jimmy Horne

Jimmy is not doing well. His cancer is back, and he has not worked in weeks. He is going on short term disability from work for the second time. Though he is not feeling well, he is able to see about himself, and he is planning to be at the BDD.

The doctors are going to put him on a medicine that worked well before. They took him off of this medicine when he had pneumonia. Keep Jimmy in your prayers. He lives by himself in Kennesaw, and he might appreciate hearing from some of yall by call or text. His number 404.388.5691.

Jerry Horne

Odds and Ends - Posted May 10, 2016

Greetings, folks!

It has been a while since I launched into a yarn about life at Moss Hill. Some of you have commented about my stories about the friendly chameleon that hangs out with me on the deck of the pool hall. He's still there. He will show up when I go out on the deck to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. He comes up in the corner and will usually hang out there until I leave. He is still a bit skittish and will ease up within about 5 feet but no closer and hang out with me. He's tiny, but you might be able to make him out in this photo.


We feed humming birds. We've learned some new things about them lately that if not done right can harm or kill them. One thing I learned recently is that they eat small insects about the size of gnats. They eat nectar for energy and bugs for protein.

Today out of the corner of my eye I saw something flitting around. At first it appeared that something was caught in the azaleas, possibly in a spider web. As I looked closer I realized that it was a hummingbird. It appeared to be having a spasm on the leaves of the bush. As I started to go outside to see if I could help it I realized that it was taking a bath! The sprinklers had been on and the leaves were wet and it would splash around on the wet leaves and then move to other wet leaves. I have seen birds in a bird bath or puddle do the same thing, but have never seen a hummingbird bathe in water trapped on leaves before. What an interesting sight it was!

bee holeBEE damagebee trap

Everyday I take a few minutes and go hunting. I hunt carpenter bees. I've killed or captured about 20 or more this year so far. My goal is to wipe them from the face of the earth. I hunt them with carpenter bee spray and a racquetball racquet. The ones I can't whack I spray. For those who aren't familiar with them they are the size of a bumble bee and look like a bumble bee. They burrow into wood where they make their home, or nest. From the outside it looks like a 1/4 inch hole as shown at the bottom of the board shown above. What you don't see is the tunnels it has made through the wood weakening it. The clincher is when the woodpeckers discover them they peck into the tunnels to feed on the larvae. Yea for feeding on the larvae. Boo for cutting gashes in the boards. You see that above as well. The foot tall woodpeckers that live around here can cut a board in half. They've cut down a few trees on our property. A strange thing is that you can hang the bee traps 10 feet apart and one trap in one location captures them 20 to 1 over the other locations. Some locations capture none at all. Odd. Just 10 feet apart!

I've told you about the squirrels. They use to be plentiful and would ignore me as I walked up and down the driveway. Now there are days when I don't see any at all along the driveway. I do see some deeper in the woods, but if I do see one along the driveway they are so skittish that they will run as soon as they see me.

It all came about when I hired a tree company to come in and take out some problem trees (dead, hanging over the house, etc). They brought in their big loud equipment and 1 minute there was a tree and 5 minutes later the tree was sawdust in a dump truck. The squirrels haven't been the same since. That happened months ago. It's really weird.

Okay, one last animal story. Actually it's a bird story. In one birdhouse a pair of birds built a next and soon there were eggs in the nest. I had seen them flitting around and then suddenly didn't see them anymore. I looked and the eggs were still in the nest. Still no parents. Then I saw a male bluebird perched on the house. I watched it for a few days and continued to see the bluebirds. I looked inside and they are building a nest on top of the other nest, eggs and all. I've never seen that before.

You may remember me writing about a pair of Summer Tanager's showing up about 3 years ago and the male driving us crazy fighting his reflection in our windows. I finally drove him away with fake snakes. They are back. Fortunately he isn't fighting with our windows. They have built a nest in a shrub about 2 feet outside our breakfast room window. We can sit at the table and watch the female sit on the nest. It will be fun to watch the little ones grow when they hatch.

Now to change gears. I've always wondered about actors. They go through life acting like they are someone else, usually someone who doesn't exist. Now I've learned from several commercials that they are not even real people! Wow! Fake people who act like fake people! The commercials clearly advertise, "The people in the commercial are not actors, but are real people!" Who knew! Actors are not real people!

Last Saturday Dianne and I went to Norcross, GA to meet a couple and buy strawberries. He is an old Air Force buddy that I've kept up with over the years. If you bought a copy of my book, One Way Through Life, in the section titled War Stories, he is "Jim" in the story. He has a farm near the South Carolina line where he grows sod, strawberries, black berries, blueberries, trees and other things. Norcross was about half way for both of us. We met for lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Norcross and visited and swapped lies about old times. Dianne and I bought 10 gallons of strawberries to put up and brought back another 5 gallons for others who ordered them. They are the best I've ever had. Jim and his wife, Peggy, are fine folks and we always enjoy visiting.

I know that most of you keep up with family news on Facebook so I won't repeat any of that news. I'm not on Facebook as I don't like Zukerberg and believe that FB is his creation but backed by NSA to screen the activities of citizens. After all, it isn't a privacy issue as people tell all kinds of stuff about themselves and others for the world to see. They can run all that stuff through their supercomputers and using key words pluck out interesting things they want to read. Can I prove it? No. I said I believed it, not that it was fact. That Zukerberg is a jerk is a fact.

That said, I will put in a plug for the 70th Birthday Dinner (family reunion) coming up in early June. Danielle Register Wilkerson is coordinating the effort again this year and she has plans that will likely make it one of the best reunions ever. Make sure that you let her know if you are attending so she can plan for enough food. If you get my email about posting this page you are invited. It would be criminal if she planned for 180 and 50 showed up. She needs to know NOW, not the day before. See the details and how to contact her here on the BPN page below.


Hope to see you in June, if not before.


PS - Two beautiful butterflies!

70th Birthday Dinner News

Posted by Danielle - 5/01/16

Hello Family

The 70th Birthday Dinner is nearly a month away. I am very excited to join in the celebration with each one of you. The menu this year will consist of the usual fried fish, chicken, french fries, side dishes and dessert. This year we are adding delicious fresh from PCB shrimp that will be fried. The shrimp will accompany the fish or chicken. I am making final preparations and need the following information from you:

1. Please let me know if you are attending.

2. If you are allergic to shellfish.

3. If someone in your family will be eating chicken instead of fish.

4. If you would like to bring a side dish, dessert, drinks (tea, water, or soft drinks)

5. I need a few volunteers to help clean up.

I am so excited that Judy is completing our newest edition to the family cookbook and Ken is putting the finishing touches on our family video. A professional photographer will be there to take family photos and candids so that everyone will be in the photos. We will be taking up donations for the food expense as usual. We have a few more surprises you will have to attend to find out about! I look forward to seeing everyone and encourage you to come early and visit. The doors will open around 10 am (Florida time) and eat around 12 pm.

Please contact me via email, phone 404-304-7918, or Facebook for above information or any other questions.


Danielle Wilkerson

Andrew Winford "Ford" Franks

Andrew Winford "Ford" Franks was born to Lauren and Patrick Franks on March 23, 2016, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. At birth, Ford was 8 lbs., 10 ounces, and 22 inches long. Mom and son are doing fine, and all of us are excited!

Ford Franks

Jerry Horne

Ford's mother, Lauren, is a daughter of Jerry & Twila Horne. Jerry is a son of Lottie Williams Horne who was a daughter of Bud & Estelle Williams.

Message From Martha Ward

What a wonderful blessing it is to have a loving family. I sincerely appreciate the beautiful flowers that you sent in honor and memory of Jim. He was my heart and I am so thankful to God for the years we had together. He was a precious and loving husband and wonderful father to my children. I am humbled by the outpouring of love and many acts of kindness with the cards, the calls and those of you that were able to attend the service. Your kindness and love mean a lot to me. Please continue to pray for me and our family.



Healthcare in Retirement

Most of the readers of the Forum are around the age to plan for, or currently dealing with Medicare. It can be a confusing maze of information. In this edition there will be some insights and suggestions for those who might find it helpful. Along with a few comments from me there will be a recommended article by Kim Lankford with Kiplinger, a premier publisher of business and financial newsletters. There will also be information on how to make the best decisions and pick the best companies from Weiss Research.

Healthcare is a major consideration when you are planning to retire. It requires good research and resources to do it well. For those who aren’t interested in investing the time to do it right I can only assume that you plan on dying on the job. Whatever healthcare is costing you today it will only increase.

I couldn’t get my head around it all until I bought the Medicare packet from Weiss Research ($99/$49 member discount). It contains a clearly written explanation about all the plans and provides an up-to-date comparison of the plans along with a list of insurance companies offering supplements that includes an up-to-date cost comparison. To those who might think $99 is expensive know that a wrong decision could cost you more than that in one month!

The situation is that several plans have been written and companies set their prices on what they will charge. The plans, for example Plan F, is the same exact plan offered by each company, but their prices differ as much as double, lowest cost to the highest! Weiss Research also has a strength rating for insurance companies (and banks) to help select a strong company who is not on the brink of bankruptcy. A low cost doesn't help if they are not around to deliver.

Being a skeptic I selected the plan and a few companies that I thought would be my best choice and went to see a long time independent insurance agent in the area, Thomas Owen, who is licensed to represent any company offering supplemental plans and asked his advice. He listened to my situation, did some research and recommended the same plan that I had picked! Then he looked at the companies offering the best deal and picked one of the companies on my short list! Expecting a difference in cost than listed by the Weiss material I was surprised that he quoted the same cost to the penny of what Weiss had said it would be and then pointed out a discount on top of that since Dianne and I were both getting the same plan from the same company! Here we had two experts in total agreement.

Recently I was contacted by Kim Lankford, a writer with Kiplinger, who was looking for input for her up-coming article about health care cost in retirement. Kim’s article was recently published in Kiplinger’s Retirement Report and titled 5 Ways to Ease the Pain of Health Care Cost in Retirement. Some of the subjects covered are as follows:

Making Sense of Medicare

Set Up a Special Fund

Avoid the Surcharge

Save on Drugs

Shop Around

Save on Medigap

Create Income Streams

Kim quoted me in the section Save on Medigap allowing me my 15 seconds of fame (See second page)! It is a very good article and well worth reading for anyone who is now, or soon to be involved in decisions about Medicare. It is worth reading for younger readers to get a head-start on planning for future retirement as Kim provides key data on financial costs we are all facing such as this quote at the beginning of her article: The average 65-year old couple will pay $240,000 in out-of-pocket costs for health care during retirement, according to Fidelity Investments. And that does not include potential long-term-care costs.

You might respond that you will qualify for Medicare and will not face such expenses. Not so! Do yourself a favor and get more familiar with the subject. It may sound like a bewildering, hopeless situation, but with good research, wise decisions, and good retirement planning it is still a challenge, but not hopeless.

Here’s to your health!


Allen O'Shields 2012