Happy Birthday….

Gregg Allman has a birthday today. Never met the man and most likely never will. His music, and the music of his “Brothers & Sisters’ are a large part in the fabric of my life.

A tribute by Pat Monahan performing one of his compositions this past year. Fox Theatre, Atlanta Georgia.

Queen of Hearts.



More Blog a bit less FB?

Last month of the year has arrived, it is December 2014 and oh how the time has passed.

Retired from Federal Government somewhat expected but never expected to occur as it did so quickly. Twenty five years with them seems like the cross between a lifetime and a bad dream that’s over and gone.

Since August, my official retirement-out date and receipt of my first pension check the days have been filled with ‘catching-up’ on the details, minor at first but over the years the details became an agenda in need of fulfillment. Deferred health care was a major concern and problematic that the time was never available. So I suffered consequences unavoidably. Obviously the top of me list is/was get your body fixed or repaired as well as my home. So much deferred for so long.

After years of painful and life altering spinal injury, no not disc, chord injury my surgeon ‘did it’. He repaired the damage I’d carried for years, but what I thought would take a day or two and a few weeks of healing, well I underestimated the process (laugh here).  I am now humble and grateful to him (my surgeon) and Emory-midtown in Atlanta GA, for what I simply call medicine. The process that combines the facility, the Doctors, nurses, tech and their philosophy. Medicine, the combination of physical, emotional and atmosphere to heal the sick. I thank you all. And the check is in the mail, its not free but worthy. Again thank you.

The few months before my surgery was spent on those items time never allowed working 10-12-14 hour days 6 days a week. Painting the house and windows, installing workable vents from laundry to exterior, repairing interior cracks in sheetrock. My home has been bounced around like a bouncing ball from a ‘massive construction’ project next door, but that is another story. And it is not pleasant at all.

Anyhow, from a year ago to this day the quote or saying…….” It was the best of times & It was the worst of times’ has never been more true nor real. While preparing physically for my surgery, like riding my bicycle every trip around town not driving. Me decided me need something for the long haul after surgery. I’d played guitar most of my life, despite my tin-ear. Work had so over taken my life the past 10-15 years I’d stopped playing and fairly well stopped listening to music. I purchased a nice guitar and told myself I learn to play again.

A  few days out of the hospital and still drugged/medicated to a very high degree I picked up that guitar and found a chord or two, still looking for that ‘note’, but she, the guitar sure sounds sweet.

God Bless those who have helped me recover to where I am now and it is good. Until then, when my strength returns me days are up and  me days are down.

Is there nothing I can do . . . . . .

First 5 bars

 We are always meditating on something, but we get to choose what.

When the subject or the personal or professionally interaction occurs where there is myself and a woman involved is there nothing I can do to better or more thoroughly understand the female’s mindset?  Nearly six decades into this life and the ever changing ever evolving opposite sex still remains to this individual the enigma dwarfing the construction of the pyramids of Egypt much less the concept of the Pythagorean Theorem.  I not sure but the feeling is this blog is about women simply because you remain to this day the mysterious one of all to me it seems you the female are never alone no matter where you are and seemingly never lost or at a loss.

Just this past week I head up to Dockerys’ here in-town for the weekly treat of eating a meal out of the house and in a café. The lunch menu as well as the breakfast has always been simple and good. Omelets, eggs, grits, biscuits for breakfast or the meat and two with tea and cornbread for lunch and maybe a desert. In the past few months since receiving a free iPhone I’ve developed the habit of copying articles and book chapters to notepad and forwarding them to my hot-mail account. Wherever I am I can open up a e-mail and read too my hearts content with out surfing the net. Two different letters I’d sent to my hot-mail account have kept me busy for a while. The first is EXPOSED By Emily Gould 05/08 where a argument with Jimmy Kimmel on CNN produced something of a life changing publication and provocative insight for Emily. The other and most exciting e-mail read is with Cheryl Strayed the writer whose career is looking like a NASA mission to the ISS.

At age 22 Cheryl having lost her mother age 45 to cancer having a marriage in taters and unable to find the correct energy to keep her family together bailed out into California to hike the PCT all 1100 miles from the desert to the mountains. Having never camped in the out of doors much less backpacked she did it. She did it thru every season available and the trials and pain, mental and physical. Admittedly and rightfully Cheryl realized the journey was not the answer to her troubling life but a benchmark to follow thru to where she is today. The adventure entitled * “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” immediately was optioned by Reese Witherspoon and Director Lisa Cholodenko will be at the helm with Cheryl on as associate producer.

Having walked up to Dockerys seating myself as the custom without looking up I muttered ‘unsweet tea’ to the waitress while scrolling up a read on the iPhone.  Better yet below the pictures is what I wrote down when I got back to the house after lunch…..


Chicken Lady of Alpharetta

Chicken Lady of Alpharetta

Beets..Okra..Chicken dumplings..cornbread

Lunch today the waitress brought me a tall glass of tea and a very short straw. When I mentioned to the waitress the fact my straw was a full couple of inches beneath the lip of the tea glass the waitress instructed me thus..

‘On the wall in the men’s-room is a roll of paper on the wall, write your complaint on the roll and we will see to it”!! The mood in the dining area changed to much better when the waitress returned with a short glass of tea and …a long straw asking me if I am happy now.  Got around to asking her name something I find difficult to do unless the ‘timing is correct’. With orders and conversations abounding during the lunch hour I waited until the cube-rats had thinned a bit.

15 minutes later she sat down at a side table rolling flatware into paper napkins with the pause in the air I simply asked ‘what’s your name?’.  Replying she said ‘just call me the Chicken Lady of Alpharetta’. I laughed or more so the chuckle mentioning if indeed I could use the name in this blog. ‘Make me famous and put in there I’m from ‘Mobile, Alabama’. Scooting back it my plate while sitting two tables apart we discussed the differences of Birmingham, Alabama from middle of the state to differences of lower and gulf coast Alabama.

Chicken Lady of Alpharetta said her grandmother’s side of the family was mostly from Louisiana and it was there she had spent half of her life.  Interestingly enough I felt she had a closer affection  ofLouisiana than Mobile. In fact she told me her grandmothers’ home on Dauphin Island, Alabama had been lost to a hurricane in the 60’s. Blown clean off the low lying island the structure floated on the ocean for three days becoming a hazard to navigation until it sank to the bottom. Her grandmother’s home was rebuilt on the tiny island. The latest word from the island Chicken Lady of Alpharetta told me of State Farm insurance company celebrating the last remaining tree on Dauphin Island being lost to a hurricane. Apparently the regular weather devastation of the homes on the island cause by falling trees had dug a hole in the company’s profit margin!!!

Found a e-mail from a special interest group I’d signed up with a few months ago over internet usage, freedom of speech, intellectual property, bandwidth, twitter and well just about all things internet. The subject at hand was the ongoing problems with Pinterest over property rights. Locally a woman with a Boudoir Photography company and Portrait Studio of the highest caliber had second thoughts from blog input. Too make a long story short after gnashing of teeth and fretting Kirsten Kowalski in her blog ‘ ddk’s blog ‘  deleted her work in Pinterest and it hurt her to do so. The viral input landed on the desk of Ben Silbermann owner and founder of Pinterest. For business purposes his site is the godsend for companies like K’s photography but and the but is large as always attorneys has spelled out the most ambiguous terms of usage and Kirsten spent a lot of time reading the ‘terms’ in order to be a good steward in using the site and had to delete her works. In the end Ben Silbermann firstly e-mailed to arrange a ‘call’ to see what the two of them could brainstorm in order to get K’s business back and to expand the business while protecting the artist work and his ‘terms of usage’.  There are some links if you care to look a bit deeper and check out ddk’s studio and blog.

With one foot in the door and one foot out something I though I’d never see and something I’d never considered. Singer, songwriter and artist Gregg Allman’s biography debuted at #2 on the New York Times best seller list.

My Cross to Bear #2

My hats off Mr. Allman and good health to you too. From the excerpts I seen of the book the cloak is removed allowing the life and times of him, his family and music to be laid out and available for viewing. I’ve not a clue as to the highs and lows but in the life of mine the highs will never equal the lows just maybe that’s what makes my life  so very real.

give a listen……..McTell




Short Walk on the long Beach….

A most impressive acoustic song. Written by John D. Loudermilk and performed with soul by Chet Atkins. Released in 1969 .

by Christina G. Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d;
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should forget and smile

Couple of regular guys……

Daryle Hall host a show of music and friends…Besides the ‘Blue Eyed Soul and Todds Way’, these guys are having some fun. Needless to say, sometimes you just gotta wait till the end.

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. — W. Somerset Maugham

‘Nichts zu machen’ Teil zwei

Vladimir speaks with speech………”They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.”

Cathedral of Saint-Nazaire Languedoc-Roussillon

The lands of Godot

“to hold the terrible silence at bay”

Waiting for Godot

Samuel Beckett


Vladimir speaks with speech………”They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.” In the play, Vladimir is simply implying how short the time we have, from birth to grave and in-between we are, or we exist in knowledge.


“Waiting for Godot”, has been so completely analyzed from historical point of view, to Freud, to political views it would be absurd for myself to attempt any sort of structured diagramming. The plot centers entirely on two men.  Beckett was defensive the play had to be cast of men only. Waiting for someone, “Godot”. Having  never met Godot and for a reason neither Vladimir and Estragon can recall. In three acts the tragicomedy contains on revolving and repetitive themes and action. The most obvious is referenced……..Vladimir and Estragon alone with themselves, the two friends are visited by a master with a slave and the two friends find themselves alone and Godot is a no show.


Set in what is now a southern part of France, the countryside was originally named Roussillon. The arid climate today produces wine grapes, peaches, apricots and such. Until the 1930’s the region of Luberon was mined for ocher quarries to provide coloration for cloth. The area of Russillon Luberon is also know for its vast cedars and pines. Their greenery contrasting the red, orange and yellow ocher mines and crystal  skies. It was here in 1942 the playwright Beckett fled from the invading and occupying Nazis, joining the French Resistance along with his girlfriend Suzanne. His identity as a Resistance fighter  compromised, Samuel hid in a friend’s attic along with his friends’ father for nearly a year. The year prior Beckett had evaded capture by the Nazis, traveling the countryside of Luberon, wandering its fields, sleeping in barns accompanied by Suzanne, his companion in the Resistance. Both returned to Paris together when the Nazis were driven from France near the war’s end. Beckett’s’ writing career was soon to follow.


“Waiting for Godot” tends to follow a pattern most  stark. Actor-to-actor, actor to audience (be spare here), lighting, which is mostly although shaded of sunlight or moonlight. The pattern is and I’ve tried to find a singular word to no avail is of ‘engage and disengage’ repetitively. The best instance is of two friends Vladimir and Estragon eating. A radish is produced, eaten. Nothing more. The beauty of the writing is not the characters in my opinion, nor the plot and  stage movements, it is simply the beauty of its demand on actors to ‘act’. Critics and audience have rushed the aisles to leave a production of Godot, only to return  ‘the next nights production’, heaving praise on the actors and Beckett, yet bewildering as it was the same performance, the same cast, the same production from the nights before.


Beckett once directed a production of Godot, lamenting he was a writer with no stage experience. He would imagine a scene for blocking in his mind, repeatedly tossing each one. By 1975 when he did direct Godot, his directing credits had provided him with hard earned experience. In his directing of Godot the major change or changes to the production mostly  the elimination of lines, something of a ‘conservation of character’, a more austere production. Yet again and again, no matter the director or actors, the focus for me is the craft of acting. Frankly Godot as indicated by Beckett himself, I think not, but from his notes such as this……..’tragicomedy contains twenty-one requests for help: ’14 ignored, 4 answered, 1 attempted, 1 not known, 1 on condition et j’en passé’. It is the play taken in its entirety as a ‘cloud of acting’, where the production in whole is the end. Akin to musical notes progressing not as a scale, rather into melody. Reasoning for me the love of one nights performance and the battering of a next nights’ production.


And in the end, we wait and nothing happens, and we wait. Beckett was asked many a time who Godot was, obviously we need some insight as he is why we are here. Was Godot represented on stage?  Colin Duckworth asked Beckett point-blank whether Pozzo was Godot, the author replied: ‘No. It is just implied in the text, but it’s not true’. Pozzo is the owner of Lucky the slave. Lucky as a character has a most difficult challenge, a six-minute monologue and here in the play it is either a rousing success or fop. Elements of rhythm rule the play, the characters and apparently the audiences’ approval or not!

My introduction to “Waiting for Godot began when I took a English course in college. Simply read and write something in a couple of hundred words about the play.  I did read it, hit the libary to inquire about it, wrote something about it and forgot about it. And then one day it happened. A student trying to enter the fraternity Alpha Psi Omega, a theatre fraternity was performing on a school cafeteria table during the lunch hour. Bold and brave the newbie actor, playing two parts from a scene in Godot while juggling three balls. All I could remember thinking is ‘damn interesting’. But take the thought and expand by a factor of a hundred. No, not an epiphany, but the spark that remains. And too the young actor I am thankful, in hindsight he was pretty good on his deliverance. The years have passed and my appreciation of the play remains as strong now as then.

 And in the end, we just wait. Quiet and then sound, the stage is light then dark. Hunger replaced by food as thoughts become speech…. Nothing happens. We wait………

Waiting on Godot


Streets of London

This according to Ralph is for anyone feeling lonesome, left out, getting along in age and feeling as a bit of a castoff. May you, as I do, feel a bit more compelled to lend a hand in any fashion as the holidays are with us as well as them.

Artist: McTell Ralph
Song: Streets of London  1969
Album: Spiral Staircase

Have you seen the old man
In the closed-down market
Kicking up the paper,
with his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride
Hand held loosely at his side
Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news

So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine?
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind

Have you seen the old girl
Who walks the streets of London
Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?
She’s no time for talking,
She just keeps right on walking
Carrying her home in two carrier bags.


In the all night cafe
At a quarter past eleven,
Same old man is sitting there on his own
Looking at the world
Over the rim of his tea-cup,
Each tea last an hour
Then he wanders home alone


And have you seen the old man
Outside the seaman’s mission
Memory fading with
The medal ribbons that he wears.
In our winter city,
The rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero
And a world that doesn’t care