Day Two – Camp Kay – Ken Ken and Mary John – Athens 2015

Aunt Kay took us in a neat little shop called Entourage. We decided to buy just earrings while we were there. Uncle Ben said the loop earrings were so big they looked like the kind monkeys used to swing on at the circus.

IMG_2764Then we went into town and we parked behind the Tate Center at UGA so we could visit the book store. We were surprised and delighted to see a large football type person we thought we knew from South Georgia. He came out of the Student Center and got in a van. We backtracked a few steps so we could catch up with him and say hello and tell him we were from Albany. By the time we got to the van he was already entering the side door and he spun around in surprise and gave us a totally blank look before we could even speak. Then the door took one of those embarrassing, unceremonious slides and clicked shut before we ever got a chance to say a word. The van drove off while we were still standing on our tongues. I was in a state of shock but once we got in the book store we realized how goofy we must have looked and we laughed and laughed and laughed.

IMG_2768Once we got used to the book store we tried as many ways as possible to find expensive things that had Bulldogs and UGA emblazoned all over them. We had a great time looking at all the good stuff you can spend a fortune on to prove you are a die hard Bulldawg lover. Then Aunt Kay made us put it all back on the shelf because, as she             IMG_2771

said, “We cannot give your fathers ulcerative colitis because you want to buy all the red and black paraphernalia in Athens, Georgia.

We went to The Off Broadway Show Warehouse. We tried onIMG_2773   over 200 pairs of shoes in 45 minutes. A nice young guy waited on us there. I was a little bit confused by him because when we first went in the store he looked like he had a head full of light brown hair but when we left I noticed there seemed to be places on his head that were bald. Maybe I missed something that happened while we were trying on shoes.

Last night we went out the Atlanta Highway to The Olive Garden. Mary John’s sister Marli met us there and so did Paul Swilley. Paul has a full beard that is three or four colors. He looks like he’s a lot older with that beard. We had a pretty good time. We had a waiter who speaks   IMG_2784IMG_2782English with a heavy Italian accent. Uncle Ben speaks English in three or four pidgin dialects that sound like a shepherd’s frantic plea when a wolf is attacking the sheep and the cattle are all dying….all at the same time. It was a Mexican standoff….I think. Uncle Ben says he won. Paul tried to referee but Uncle Ben sometimes gets excited and he wouldn’t let anybody else talk…including the waiter.

The waiter was a good salesman and he was trying to add side order after side order to Ben’s Seafood Alfredo. The waiter was going, “Dada,dada,dada,dada,” and Uncle Ben was going, “Nada,nada,nada,nada,nada.” Anyhow Uncle Ben says he won because he only had a few mushrooms added to his dish when he finally got it.

At last we got back to the house and Uncle Ben found peace in an easy chair where we probably should have filmed a historical first….a man who can snore from his mouth, nose and ears…..all at the same time.                                                        IMG_2776

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Probably, maybe, and quite possibly if you click on the picture above it will automatically shoot you straight to Amazon.com and they can tell you how you can purchase this fine little, clean little, amusing little book for a mere pittance. That would be the picture of the lovely older woman in the beautiful blue shawl and you will magically find a way to buy this book so I will have more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches next year. If I don’t live that long I will get my wife to mail the peanut butter and jelly directly to you.

 

The Kensley Report #2 – 2013, Our Lazy Day in Athens.

We didn’t do anything constructive on Thursday after our wild plane ride with Uncle Mel the night before. Actually we had it pretty easy flying up there but we flew on the spur of the moment. That’s why we got there so late and the airport was locked down tight for the night.

We first decided we couldn’t fly because of the bad weather and then the weather cleared and we took off for the Dawson airport. We called Aunt Kay and said we would be there in one hour.

Aunt Kay and Paul and Uncle Ben had just sat down to eat in the Outback restaurant across Athens from the airport. They had to tell the waiter they couldn’t order because they had to leave and meet us at the airport.

After all that hustling around, we did not get to the Athens Airport and unload our baggage until 10:30 PM. It was too late to order from a restaurant so we grabbed a bag of Wendy’s burgers and took them back to the house.

We had no trouble getting back to the house. It was Uncle Mel, Momma and Cason who had all the problems because once they left the Athens Airport to fly back to Dawson the weather got worse. That’s why they had to spend the night in Dothan, Alabama and land in a cow pasture the next morning near Leesburg, Georgia because, once again, they were denied access to the Dawson airport.

It was such a severe strain on me and Uncle Ben for each of us to have to eat three hamburgers and three orders of fries so late at night that it took us all a long time to get to bed. The next morning Paul got up to go to work and Aunt Kay and Uncle Ben got up to drink coffee with him and see him off. I chose to sleep another seven hours because I was still tired and I didn’t want to spoil my first day in Athens. It would have been a disaster if I had exhausted myself two days in a row.

Aunt Kay finally woke me to see if I wanted to ride over to the campus area with Uncle Ben. Miss Anna had called and asked if Uncle Ben could meet a furniture delivery truck and sign for bedding being delivered to a student’s apartment for a friend.

Uncle Ben says it is much easier to find an address you are unfamiliar with if there is another person in the car helping you spot the address. He says you have to drive without running over brand-new UGA students who are all totally lost and, at the same time, you must avoid auto collisions with the rest of them who have been here a while. According to him, the ones who have been here a few months don’t know how to drive without tail-gating your car and having a cell phone permanently stuck in their stone-deaf ears.

He says I wasn’t much help because every time we passed a Volkswagen Beetle I would hit him in the arm and yell, “Punch Buggy!” It took us a while to find the place because he kept hitting me in the arm and yelling, “What’s the address on that house?” I kept punching him in the arm and yelling, “Punch Buggy.”

He said the last time he punched a girl in the nose he was five years old but I came as close to “Punch Nosy” as you can get on that trip.

Luckily I got back into his good graces by reminding him (about the time we got back to the house) that he was supposed to pick up Arnett’s meal and tomatoes and cucumbers for Aunt Kay. We had to turn around and go to a flea market for tomatoes and we could only find Arnett’s Meal at Piggly Wiggly.

The fancy, hoity-toity grocery stores do not carry Arnett’s meal because only old country people , the ones who really know how to fry fish, understand you have to have Arnett’s meal for frying fish. Anyhow that’s what Uncle Ben declares.

Uncle Ben told the ladies at the flea market that I loved tomatoes more than any youngster he had ever met and he wanted to know if they could bring in about two forty pound boxes of tomatoes the next day for me so we could be sure I didn’t feel deprived of one of my favorite foods during my Athens stay. He said their tomatoes came from Thomasville, Georgia and while they were really good tomatoes, the very best tomatoes came from Albany, Georgia. They frowned at him a little but they couldn’t say anything to such a good tomato customer.

Aunt Kay had made one of my favorite soups from Lima beans, sausage, corn and whatever else she puts in it. My Daddy loves it as much as I do. She also made, “to kill for,” lacy edged cornbread and we all ate enough soup and cornbread to kill half a dozen number one pigs. I don’t know what that means. Uncle Ben said that.

Unfortunately, my Daddy was not here to share in the soup and cornbread so, feeling sorry for him, I occasionally snapped a picture of the soup and the cornbread and e-mailed them to him.

After a while he sent me a message back that said, “That’s not funny. Cut it out!” I guess some people just don’t appreciate it when you you make a small thoughtful gesture of kindness to them.

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The Kensley Report – 2013- How not to Fly to Athens

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Getting to Athens was a little more than strange. Uncle Mel has an airplane and he can actually fly it. It has a real engine so you feel better about the trip when you hear the thing start up and you see the propeller start to turn.

Cason and Mom flew with us. Ten year old Cason was not his normal ebullient self and I think it was because he has always flown commercial in large planes. It was really unusual not having constant commentary from Cason who was relegated to the cheap seats and given a set of earphones that were purposely inoperable. He could hear us but we could not hear him. Some things work out perfectly.

The weather was good and the flight perfect. The big problem that we did not foresee was the thriving airport at the bustling college town of Athens, Georgia was shut down tight. There was just the flicker from an old Fourth of July sparkler to guide us. Paul had to chase down the runway waving the sparkler so we could see to land. We did catch the glint of Uncle Ben’s bald head in a helpful flash of light.

Paul and Aunt Kay had hailed a man on a small motorcycle who opened a gate for them so they could meet us on the runway. Uncle Ben kept sweating the TSA showing up and undressing them all. Uncle Ben is a very nervous person and highly resents being groped. If Aunt Kay and Paul had not caught the guy on the Moped we would have had a terrible time hoisting our fat fannies over the high fences around the airfield.

The big challenge occurred on the return flight to Dawson. We had no problem flying from Dawson but when Uncle Mel, Mom and Cason flew back toward Dawson they were not allowed to land in Dawson, Americus, Albany or Eufaula, Alabama because of heavy fog. I understand Cason grew quieter and quieter.

They finally were diverted to Dothan, Alabama to land and they had to get a hotel and spend the night in Dothan. The next morning they barely managed to fly out in front of a storm. There was a huge black storm cloud only moments behind them as they lifted off. Unfortunately they were once again refused landing privileges at Albany and Dawson.

Finally, Uncle Mel, who remained cool as the proverbial cucumber managed to set the plane down in a sharecropper’s back yard right near Leesburg ,Georgia and they called my Maw Maw (Barbara Cooper) so she could do what every lucky woman in the world would love to do on her birthday. She rode out to Leesburg into a cow paddy filled pasture to pick up her eldest daughter, her only son and her youngest grandson to taxi them back home.

It was a fantastic birthday present for Maw Maw because Mel got’em all back safely on the ground.

They actually set down on a crop duster’s landing strip on New York Road in Lee County. I thought saying they landed in a sharecropper’s backyard was a tad more romantic.

I understand Cason has once again found his voluminous cache of wild thoughts, words and crazy ideas and is now talking non-stop.

How Not to Fly to Athens?…………Drive your car!

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