Rose Hancock Kemp’s Ghost Story – Chills at Pryor Station Farm.

Spirit 2spirit on stairway cemetery




This is a true story. It is Rose Hancock Kemp’s story and I am only retelling it here. The words below are hers and any first person references in the story refer to Rose as the story teller.


Rose’s Story:

My sister Joyce and her husband Bill bought a dairy farm in Cedartown, Georgia in the late sixties. It was a beautiful place and my sister loved entertaining me and my girls whenever we visited.

She had a dancing goose named Heathcliff that would dance atop a stone wall as the girls clapped their hands and there were no “bahs” from Ophelia the lamb when Joyce went out to see her. Ophelia would greet her with “Joooyyyice.” Joyce could even drive the girls from Georgia to Alabama in less than two minutes by taking them straight across a big pasture in her little open topped sports car.

The farmhouse was once a train depot during the civil war with one area serving as sleeping quarters for overnight passengers. There was a dark, damp cellar and there was also a second floor that consisted of two unfurnished bedrooms.

Strange happenings occurred in the house from time to time. Joyce was frightened by the slamming of one of the heavy wooden doors once when she was vacuuming upstairs. Bill convinced her that drafts in older buildings can sometimes cause heavy doors to slam.

One thing Bill could not explain away was Joyce’s ashtray sliding across a coffee table of its own volition. Bill asked her if she saw the ashtray moving across the table. She replied, ‘Yes I did,’ then she returned the ashtray to its original place whereupon it again slid back across the table by itself. He wanted her to try it again but Joyce was totally spooked and refused to touch the ashtray again.

Even more bizarre was a wooden statue of a warrior holding a long spear on the living room mantle. The spear was firmly attached to the statue but one day while Joyce was vacuuming the living room, the spear dislodged itself and flew across the room. She replaced the spear and began dusting when the spear once again flew across the room. On telling the story later to her sister-in-law while sitting in the same room, the spear repeated the performance once more. Apparently the telling of the story or the sound of the vacuum cleaner were not occurrences the ghost welcomed.

Once while visiting Joyce and Bill, I personally felt the presence of somebody or something in my bedroom.Whatever it was woke me and as I eventually drifted back to sleep I was awakened again by the crash of balls downstairs on the pool table. On investigating the sound of the balls striking together we found they were still moving back and forth across the table with no visible signs of how they had been set into motion. Joyce shared with me that she had experienced the same weird phenomena several times.

Once when we were visiting, the children played with empty storage boxes in the two unfurnished upstairs rooms. They had built their own little town with the empty boxes and upon being told it was time for bed, they asked if they could leave the boxes untouched so they could resume their play the next day. The next morning they returned from upstairs very agitated and upset because the boxes were no longer in the bedrooms but neatly stacked in the upstairs hallway.

One evening Joyce and Bill retired early. Joyce awoke to see the figure of a woman from the waist up. She was wearing a dark veil and motioning for Joyce to follow her. Joyce woke Bill but he convinced her she was having a bad dream. Later she woke again to the sound of music playing, people talking, dancing, laughing and the unmistakable clinking of glasses. She woke Bill again but he told her she probably was hearing squirrels in the attic. She reminded Bill there was no attic over that part of the house.

Joyce left Bill alone when she visited Albany. Being alone made a true believer of him. Bill was by himself in bed one night when he had the frightening experience of seeing the bed sheet over his legs begin to swirl violently as if a tiny tornado were circling him under the sheet. Bill’s feelings about the house being haunted changed drastically after this whirlwind experience occurred.

I asked a friend if she would help me pose questions to a Oujia board about the frantic goings on around Pryor Station Farm. My friend reluctantly agreed to help me and although we were kind of shaky when we began, we did manage to learn from the board that the ghost was a woman who was killed during a forcible rape in the cellar of the old farmhouse. When we asked for the woman’s name, the answer came back, “Dora.”

There was an old family cemetery on the property with an iron fence around it. One of the tombstones was missing. Bill was cleaning an outbuilding on the property one day when Joyce decided to visit him. As she stepped up into the outbuilding she realized she was standing on the missing tombstone ans using it as a stepping stone. She asked Bill to return the tombstone to its rightful place in the cemetery. When Bill took the stone and cleaned it up to return it to the grave site in the cemetery he saw, for the first time, that the name on the stone was, “Dora.”

Returning the tombstone back to its rightful place did not bring the strange happenings to a halt as you might think. Different odd events continued to happen until one day when Joyce had firmly decided she could take no more ghostly interference in her life she screamed out, “Go, get out of here and leave me the hell alone.”

That’s when it all stopped. We never could decide if we liked it more with the ghosts or without them. To tell the truth, it was never quite as exciting at Pryor Station Farm after that.

Please direct comments to Rose Hancock Kemp on Facebook or on the FaceBook Group, “Vintage Albany.”

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The 1956 Pontiac SkiWagon – Albany, Georgia – My Hometown

For Johann Bleicher and Vic Miller.

56 Pontiac 3

The magnificent 1956 Pontiac Star Chief that pulled our feckless friends on skis through water filled ditches in Dougherty County, Georgia after heavy rains.


This looks much like the same station wagon we used. Friends who skied had lost at least three of their five senses. That would be touch, hearing and sight.

Ever aware of the old axiom ”Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, Vic Miller, Johann Bleicher and I constantly struggled with our collective conscience to come up with different ideas and new efforts to entertain ourselves and to stay as far away from the devil’s workshop as possible.

Johann lived with his family adjacent to the Merck Chemical Plant south of Albany. There were great expanses of constantly trimmed and mowed acres all around and we sometimes flew kites there. Kite flying was getting pretty close to the devil’s workshop because it was so boring. We didn’t know how to fight with the air born kites so tiring of constantly looking up at them I got my old 410 Savage shotgun out of the car and blew Vic’s kite out of the air.

The most fun we had out there was the day we got some wine, cheese and crackers and invited a high school counselor to go to Johann’s with us. He was a fanciful lad and giggled nervously a lot. Did I mention the bows and arrows? Well, we also had three bows and a box full of arrows.

We got out in the middle of one of those large grassy areas and we began to fire the arrows heavenward. We pretty much knew the wind would take the arrows from directly over us and drop them a few feet downwind. we didn’t know beans about downdrafts and wind shear but the Lord was with us that particular day.

The counselor knew less about the wind than we knew. He would stand as straight up as possible to make himself a smaller target after we shot the arrows straight up. At that point all three of us would start to yell, “Do you hear that, do you hear that? It’s coming, Do you hear it? It’s coming.” Then we would make whooooshing noises and thooomping noises. This guy was a city boy and he didn’t realize we were making all that noise with our mouths. He thought the arrows were swooshing all about us and thudding deeply into the ground.

He got pretty shaky and I wish I could reproduce his giggle for you. That nervous giggle was a thing of beauty to us. We needed fearful reactions from him to keep our adrenaline pumping at high levels. A few weeks later I heard he had quit his job and was doing a stint in a North Georgia nursing home.

And so that’s partly how we passed a couple of the summer months and then it began to rain. It rained and it rained and I thought it would never stop. The ditches around Albany were filling and overflowing and I think it was Vic Miller I caught staring at the trailer hitch on my mother’s station wagon and when he said, “You know I have an old slalom ski and we can tie a ski rope to the trailer hitch on your Mother’s station wagon and we can pull a skier down those water filled ditches with her car pulling the skier from the road side.

When Miller had a brilliant idea (to him) Johann and I would say even more brilliant things to dissuade him from following through with it. We would say things like, “Duh, snarfle, snarfle, snarfle, duh, duh.” That was our way of buying time in an attempt to tell him that his idea was the craziest, stupidest, lamest thought he had ever had. We never won because to win would make you chicken and nobody was going to be called a chicken.

So we did it. I did not tempt fate. I knew I could refuse to let anybody else drive Mother’s car so that automatically made me a non-skier and it proved to me at an early age that I was not suicidal. Vic and Johann were the main skiers. There were others who skied but I only recall Vic and Johann because they became major players in the game.

At first we tried the ditches along the route that is now known as GA300. We were at the interchange on the Moultrie Road and GA300 right by Procter and Gamble. The road back then was still under construction and the ditches were wide and fairly safe because the water was also deep. If a skier fell the deep mud would soften the fall. Fortunately there was no paving at the time. Paving would have been destroyed by an impact from Vic or Johann’s head and we would have been liable for damaging the roadway.

The Eastside ditches turned out to be too easy. Now Victor had to ski the ditches of the Gillionville Road just a few miles out of town. These ditches were not only extremely narrow but there were high patches a few inches to a few feet long where there was no water at all.

The first time we hit a dry patch old Vic skied through the mud. The next little dry spot he came through equally well but the third was a little too much for him and I saw him in the rear view mirror when he tossed the ski rope up in the air and then he almost planted a full lip lock on a road sign.

Vic was through for the day but he coerced Johann into giving it a try. Johann made it through the first two spots okay but that third stretch of dry dirt threw him like he had been on the back of a wild horse. That wouldn’t have been too bad for Johann but he didn’t turn loose of the ski rope. We dragged him for a couple of hundred yards on his belly before I wisely hit the brake pedal and stopped the car.

Even all these years later I can still see deep scars from the unforgiving briars and brambles that raked his shirt off and tore his chest up like he had been whipped unmercifully with a cat-of-nine-tails.

Most people might not see it but now, almost 55 years later, I can still clearly make out the scars on his stomach that read, “AHS 1961.” The loop at the top of the number nine perfectly encircles his belly button.

It was a great summer.

water skiing in ditch

Water skiing in a ditch.

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water skiing in ditch 2

Uncle Ben’s, Athens Dubious Health Aids Memo #1 – A Hairy Situation.








Sharing health tips with old friends is fun. Some of my old friends no longer have that golden opportunity to continue aging but there are a few still stumbling around in geriatric fogs who might be able to avail themselves of this priceless, (or practically useless) information.

My latest health information came from reading an article I found in the neighbor’s trash can. She has a large parrot named Alfie and I can hear Alfie calling my name all hours of the night because Alfie hates me and he is a real pain in the ass most evenings.

Anyhow I have been studying the purest of Alfie’s castings (parrot gradoo) from the trashed newspapers Mrs. Fluxley uses on the bottom of Alfies cage. I am hoping to discover and prepare a diet for Alfie that will render him permanently speechless. Mrs. Fluxley is a sweet woman and does not realize that Alfie and I hate each other.

In perusing Alfie’s droppings from the newspaper that came from his cage I happened to notice an article on your health and your hair (and other health tidbits) I think you’ll appreciate. There were a number of health tips but I think I discovered one that is surely the holy grail of tips and it will help you in a myriad of ways.

The first tip I saw told me to beware of your hairline receding: Now this may seem the tip is just for women but don’t forget how many old dudes you see prancing around with a ponytail these days? Well, to tell the truth, they aren’t really prancing. That ponytail gives off a prancing effect because the guy who has it stuck on his head is old and feeble. His head is rocking up and down like a bobble doll head. He is so past his prime he can’t even hold his head up. If you were to lift his cap to look at the top of his head you’d have to have sunglasses to keep the glare from that chrome dome from blinding you. That’s right the ponytail man never has hair on the top of his head.

Anyhow the article says “If your hairline is receding you may be suffering female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). This can be serious in up to 40% of women but you also should never rule out “traction alopecia.” Traction alopecia occurs when you have your ponytail too tight which tears out your precious hairline by the roots.

Now this is where the holy grail of health tips hit me like a ton of bricks. After reading that one health tip about your hair and traction alopecia I have come to believe this disorder is responsible for many ailments we find occurring in and on our persons every day.

For example:

-The whites of your eyes are gray. Your ponytail is too tight. You’ve squeezed all the blood out of your head (and eyeballs).

– Losing sleep? Your ponytail is too tight. You can’t get the proper rest with that thing twisting around your neck like a hangman’s noose.

Craving salt? Your ponytail is too tight. You have wrung all the salt out of your head.

– Gums bleed? Your ponytail is too tight. Too tight ponytails can cause teeth to loosen and fall out at the most embarrassing times (like an important business luncheon).

– Black and swollen tongue? Your ponytail is too tight. This should be obvious to you. If you have lost the ability to speak because you’re tongue is too large call 911 and gurgle HELP!!

– Skin dry, itchy? Your ponytail is too tight. Brain signals to your skin cells are interrupted. The skin cells, feeling neglected, just dry up and fall off your body.

– Urine dark yellow? Your ponytail is too tight. You are forgetting to drink water. Also, once again you have restricted your blood flow. Your urethra is being strangled.

– Arches too high? Your ponytail is too tight. It is so tight you have snatched your arches up to your knees and if you are a woman you probably have pulled your bosoms up next to your ears.

So there you have it and I think I have just touched on a few of the ailments you can suffer from having your ponytail too tight. Who would have thought it? If it had not been for my strong dislike of Alfie the parrot we might have never discovered many of our current day health problems.

You owe me nothing. I cannot charge for my advice because my ex-wife used my medical diploma to cover the bottom of a parrot cage. If you feel inclined to make a small donation please send it to “Pony Rides for Old People.” Don’t worry they don’t really let old people ride ponies. The ponies are old too. They’re too old to stand. Old people just sit on the ponies’ bellies as the ponies sleep on their sides. The ponytails on these little horses are natural. They are not natural on people. Loosen the ties that bind you. Listen to your scalp go, ‘Ahhhhhhh.’

I’ll bet sitting on a sleeping pony’s belly is a lot more fun than reading articles from newspapers that have been used to line the floor of a parrot’s cage.


Why do pictures of ponytails on gals look fetchingly lovely and seeing a ponytail on a guy makes you want to look or run the other way?

Ponytail man

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Athens, Georgia – About Crazy and Cross-Eyed Crooks.

cross-eyed criminal 2cross-eyed criminal 4

cross-eyed criminal                                                                                      

I often see articles in the Athens Banner-Herald newspaper that I find potentially funny but my concern is: Will others find the police blotter reports as funny as I seem to find them and is it worthwhile to share my weird observations about some of the reports with others on

I think it might make the day go better for some people if they get a giggle, chuckle or guffaw out of these stories. I know it helps me every morning of my life if I can lighten up on the seriousness for a little while and laugh a little.

Anyhow here I go with my thoughts and comments on the latest Athens Banner-Herald police blotter reports that I found amusing:

This morning I read that a woman has been banned for two years from a local convenience store/service station because she had her seven year old son asking people who were gassing-up their cars for money. I would love to see the people the little pan-handler approached turn the tables on his ‘not-the-world’s greatest’ mom and line up outside her car window with outstretched empty hands begging and pleading for money. I think a little embarrassment goes a long way with pan-handlers.

Another shameless pan-handler written up in today’s paper was a 22 year old guy at an Alps Road supermarket asking the store’s customers if they could help him by purchasing baby diapers for his child. Once he hooked somebody, they would buy the diapers and give them to him. He would then return them to the store and get a cash refund for the diapers. Police ran him off (for two years) and found he had no baby….period. I like using the word ‘period’ since a US President of mine has used this word so effectively.

I think the guy with no baby should be made to work under close supervision for two years changing dirty baby diapers in a large nursery.

Sometimes the two year ban does not work on brain-dead pan-handlers. They keep returning to the same stores. They might not know they’ve even been there before.

Yesterday the Oconee County (Watkinsville) Sheriff’s Office had to cease the pursuit of dangerous criminals to negotiate an argument between a mother and her daughter over 87¢. That’s right, eighty-seven cents. The police should have the right to get a large switch from a peach tree and stripe the legs of the daughter for being so disrespectful to her mother and then they should have been able to legally whack mama on the butt with the heavier end of the stick for being such a dummy and calling the police. I’ll bet you she called 911 and some poor soul out there almost died from heart trouble while emergency responders tried to decide the importance of the distraught mother’s call.

My favorite is last. Yesterday it was reported a ‘cross-eyed’ peeping Tom was spying on a woman in the women’s rest room at Athens Technical College. This cross-eyed imbecile actually sat on a bench inside the library of the tech school until a woman came in and went straight to the restroom. A witness reported he bounced off a wall four times before he found the door. He followed her inside the restroom.

She told police that after she had gone into a stall she heard someone come in, enter the next stall and step on top of the commode seat.

Looking up she saw this guy staring at her from over the partition.

She screamed, ‘What are you doing?” and he fled. He obviously had a problem seeing  exactly from where oncoming objects were appearing because a car almost ran over him as he was running away.

The victim reported the guy was cross-eyed. Now I don’t doubt her story for one minute but I am curious to know how she knew he was actually looking at her. I can see her in court with his defense lawyer protesting that his client was merely checking the recessed lighting in the ceiling and then he will ask her to, ‘Show us how he looked when he spied on you.’ That’ll be a tough one to answer unless she is good at crossing her eyes.

For the cross-eyed peeping Tom, the police need to be able to take him out into thick woods and fire a few rounds in the air from their pistols as he races a zigzag course of his own making (that no one else can see) as he runs for his life. I can see him bouncing off pines and oaks that are never exactly where he thinks he sees them.

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G-Day at UGA – We Watch The Red Play the Black.


G Day 4

Notice this picture was taken from the shade. The end zone is in the sun.

Ben and Sister

My Sister. We refer to her as Sister. Her given name is Sandra Lee but we have been calling her Sister for about 75 years and it seems to be sticking.

Katie Mae had this fantastic idea a few weeks ago. She thought it would be a wonderful thing to invite my Sister and her family to our house for this past weekend and we could all dine splendidly because when you eat at Katie Mae’s place you always dine splendidly and after we had stuffed ourselves for a couple of meals we could go watch UGA’s G-Day game on Saturday. And that’s what we did. Also we were all excited about seeing Britt’s boy Thomas play some Georgia football. It all went well and, as I said before, splendidly.

Katie Mae can load you down with more food and hors d’ oeuvres and then more food than it’s socially acceptable to stuff in your fat self but then who was trying to be socially acceptable?

We got to the game. My nephew Watkins Cannon was pilot of one vehicle and my son Paul drove the other. We had about a dozen people in the two cars and the plan was for the drivers to drop us all off and go find a place to park and then return to the game to join us but as my luck usually has it, a nice lady guard at the back of the Tate Student Center let us drop off all the passengers and then said (very quietly), Tell your two drivers to make a turn around the guard shack and we will get you parking spots in the parking garage behind you. This saved Ben and Sister from having to worry about long waits and long walks. The game was fun and as Louise Whiting used to say on the Society Page of The Albany Herald, “Games were played and fun was had by all.”

G Day 2

A common scene at a Sanford Stadium football game. The backs of the spectators standing in front of you.

G Day - More Family

The Swilley, Cannon, Lauterback gang…..with Harrison Fowler.


More of the spectators. This time, thankfully, they’re in their seats.


Kelly, Thomas, Rebecca

Kelly Cannon, Thomas Swilley and Rebecca Holland gracing the bar.                                                                                            Kelly Cannon (in blue) is married to my Sister’s youngest son, Watkins. Rebecca Holland is Paul’s special friend.

Sandra Swilley Cannon (below) with her eldest son, Harrison Lee Fowler.Sister and Harrison

Watkins, Paul, Mary Dale

Watkins Cannon and Mary Dale Cannon Lauterbach are my Sisters children. The rascal in the middle is young Paul who is claimed by Kay and me.

G Day 5

Thomas Swilley is our UGA player and he has a very good appetite as you might imagine. It is wonderful to watch him eat. I remember being able to consume food like that when I was a young man. John is his brother. Britt is Father to both and Kay and I count Paul as our own. Thomas is standing. At the bar from the left is Paul, Britt, John, and the oldest but best looking Swilley boy.

The Whole Family

The whole gang Friday night before Saturday’s game. The person in charge is that short woman out front and to the right who has on a striped shirt.


The crafty Cannon brothers. They don’t realize we are real old and we know all the looks of someone up to nefarious endeavors. Where is Batman when you really need him?

Kay and Paul

My own Katie Mae. She who organizes, cleans and cooks and spends too much time trying to make me behave with our handsome lad Paul; grill aficionado extraordinaire. And oh how the boy can cook on outdoor BBQ equipment.

And so we are alone once again but guess who gets to pig out for the last three days on the cheese grits and sausage and egg casserole every morning and guess who has been diving into the leftover ham like it was his last meal. Today I lunched on the chicken salad that’s so happily (for me) made with grapes and apples. Now I get to eat some of the world’s best vegetable soup made with leftover vegetables and a huge much appreciated hambone.

Soon it will all be gone. I ate the last of the Plantation Crunch and Pecan Graham Crispies ( also known as Bulldog Divinity) yesterday.

There are a few scraps of sliced sausage left. I have hidden them deep in the darkened recesses of our refrigerator. It started out as links of chicken sausage stuffed with spinach and Asiago cheese, warmed to perfection on the grill and sliced into bite sized morsels that several of us got in the floor and fought over. Unfortunately somebody licked the bottom of the mustard dip bowl but maybe I can beg Katie Mae to make me a thimbleful more so I can enjoy the few bites left over. She makes it with dijon mustard with chardonnay and mayonnaise and honey.

Nothing goes wasted. No food is lost when you live with Benjamin the human garbage disposal. I would invite neighbors over but I don’t want to.

Such is the extent of my greed. If I have shared the food once and broken bread over the same foodstuffs with others, then my rule is I must eat all the leftovers myself.

I would share with Paul but he won’t come over. He remembers me sharing food with him once before when I bit him on the hand because I thought his eating was getting out of hand. That means he was trying to eat my food out of my hand.

I believe I have found all the food that was stashed out of my sight except for the delicious sausage balls that were made by my talented niece Mary Dale Cannon Lauterbach.

Katy Mae does not realize that I know she froze them. Unlike most goofy older guys, I actually know how to thaw food and devour it in mere minutes.

When she checks the freezer for those meatballs in a week or two they will not be there. The geezergrit gut has struck again. By then she will think she just imagined putting them in there. Her memory is not much better than mine and she is almost twelve years younger.

So the big day came and went but I can tell you there is nothing like fun shared with family. I was never more aware of that than when I had a four-way bypass back in 2001. The family support was amazing and I truly believe that support worked a quick recovery on me. I was back at work in less than a month.

Take care of your family. You’ll have a great time with them and you never know when you will need them and how much their support will mean to you. G Day 6

Rebecca Holland, Paul Swilley, Eva Lauterbach my grand niece and her mother Mary Dale Cannon Lauterbach.
G Day 7

My grand niece Alexandra Lauterbach in the black top, Her brother Sam in the green tee shirt, and her uncle, Harrison Lee Fowler in the yellow shirt.

Good-bye to Uncle Billy Loveless.

Uncle Billy, Sara and Grace

Uncle Billy – Thanksgiving at the lodge.

Uncle Billy and Family

Uncle Billy and Family – Thanksgiving at the lodge.

The phrase ‘Best Man’ has stuck in my mind for days now and I can’t seem to shake it. ‘Best Man’ is reserved as a title for the principal groomsman at a wedding but the reason the phrase won’t leave me is I have known who the best man was for many years.

In our extended family, Uncle Billy Loveless was always the best man. All of us knew it and none doubted it. The males in our extended family were always sure we would not go wrong if we followed Uncle Billy’s example.

One week ago today on a beautiful first Wednesday in April, William David Loveless was laid to rest in our old home town of Albany, Georgia. It seems a paradox of nature itself for such a good man to pass away and be buried just when azaleas in a multitude of gorgeous, rich colors adorn every Southern lawn with wisteria and dogwood trees flashing and blooming their beauty from wooded areas along the roadways.

Billy was a young man in Macon, Georgia before he came to Albany. He moved to Albany in 1952 and retired from the Albany Fire Department as a Captain after 35 years. This proven stability in his life’s work followed him as a true and telling benchmark of his life for well over sixty years and he never wavered in following the path he marked for himself as a young man so many years ago.

Billy was only about ten years older than me but by virtue of his long marriage to Kay’s Aunt Sara (Sister to Kay’s Mother Grace) he was Kay’s Uncle Billy and certainly, by default, he was my Uncle Billy. When you get right down to it Billy Loveless was ‘Uncle’ to a host of people.

He and his lovely wife Sara were married for 63 years. Sara and Billy were blessed with three pretty daughters. Judy Loveless married Fred Burt. Delores Loveless is married to Ken Phillips. Lisa, Billy and Sara’s youngest Daughter tragically passed away when she was only sixteen. Delores and Judy are sweet mothers to four children of their own and at Billy’s passing he and Sara had been blessed with six great-grandchildren as well and what a fantastic brood of children they are.

He loved them dearly and each of them is a living testament to the caliber of man he was. He was kind, generous to a fault, warm and tenderhearted, loving and caring and those fine qualities of an honorable man are reflected in the personalities of his progeny. They are all loving and happy children.They have inherited from Billy and Sara the capacity to face adversity with brave and joyous laughter.

Billy managed to do things I have never been able to do. He volunteered freely of his time and life for causes he believed in. He served in the Navy during the Korean War. He was a member of Sherwood Baptist Church and The Encouragers Sunday School Class. He was a member of Triangle Lodge #708 F&AM. He was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of Hasan Shrine Temple, The Red Devil Clown Unit and a member of Royal Order of the Jesters, Court #159.

Billy Loveless was a noble and godly man. He believed in God with all his heart. He was honorable, faithful and caring. He adored his wife Sara and a number of his final days were spent in worry about her future existence if he would not be there to care for her.

And now you may think I have run out of good adjectives in describing Uncle Billy Loveless but I knew I had the right adjective from the very start. Uncle Billy was ‘The Best Man.’ He was the Best Man I have ever known. I will miss him.

Uncle Billy and Hudson

Uncle Billy and Hudson Vallandingham at the Lodge, Thanksgiving

Billy, Sara with Cake

Uncle Billy, Aunt Sara and Aunt Sara’s Birthday Cake.





Billy's Birthday

Uncle Billy’s Clan in it’s entirety.

Sara, Judy and Delores

The Lovely Loveless Ladies – Judy,  Aunt Sara and Delores.


Tripping the Light Fantastic or…..Flipping Out On the Filipino Tinikling.

Filipino Dancing

These gals look pretty good doing the Filipino Tinikling. They are not as nimble as I proved to be when I got my ankle caught between those bamboo sticks.

Filipino tinikling02

I tried dancing outside the sticks because I thought they were trying to hurt me.

Athens, Georgia, the town where you would naturally  expect the assimilation of all things cultural and if you did, you would be right on. The Culture Clubs recently strutted their stuff in Downtown Athens during the International Street Festival.

I had to be there. I am an expert at the Filipino Tinikling. I’m sure you’ve seen film clips of folks in the Philippines doing the Tinikling.

It’s relatively simple. You get two brain dead bozos to hold two bamboo poles parallel to each other and as these clowns clap the sticks together you have to dance, quickly I might add, between and in and out of the sticks without getting tender ankle flesh entrapped between the poles thereby suffering an injury that can lead you to becoming non-ambulatory. That would result in a serious need for crutches or a wheelchair.

I tell you I had to go. I just knew the Tiniklingers would welcome me with open arms once they saw my skill and grace as I performed this daring dance of the Philippines.

There was just one thing I did not take into consideration. I had forgotten Americans are not welcomed with open arms (by just about anybody) in the world anymore and the Filipino men who were in control of the ankle bashers did not seem to appreciate the fact that a tall, dark, and fairly ugly Americano could do their dance so well.

I was really getting into it (this would have been in the first three seconds or so) when things began to fall apart. They started banging those sticks together so fast that even Fred Astaire would have grabbed his top hat and run like hell.

I was at their mercy. I made my slickest move but it didn’t work. They had my right foot in a vise. I wear a size twelve shoe but by the time those guys got through with me just my left foot was a size twelve.

My right foot was only two inches wide at the widest part and it was almost seventeen inches long. I rolled around on the floor a while and cried a little bit and then crawled over and leaned on a wall while angrily protesting they had changed the tempo on me and fouled me all up and ruined my favorite foot.

They answered my accusations with what seemed to me to be quite a bit of joy and one of them said. ‘Oh no, meester, the Filipino Tinikling is in three quarters rhythm and you were trying to dance in four-four time.’

I called Katie Mae to come get me but she told me I should have known better than to go down there and act like an old fool. She sent me a cab about an hour later.

My foot will never be the same. I think it is gradually reshaping itself but it’s kind of scary because the new shape resembles the long face of a nine year old mule my Daddy used to own.

Filipino tinikling01

I think these clowns have hit this poor girl on the right foot too. It looks like she is about to wear them out with her shoe when she finally gets it off her foot.

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