Monday, March 15, 2010

Memories of A Man Unknown ~ 1967

Several nights ago while I was trying to go to sleep I was struck with a very vivid memory. One that was so sharp that it seemed as though it was a flash of something that happened just last week. However, this was an event that happened many, many years ago.

I was just six years old when my mom and I were visiting my grandmother, my dad’s mom. We must have gone over there that day when I got out of kindergarten. I had morning kindergarten. I hated it! I was always one who needed a little extra sleep in the mornings and I really didn’t like having to get up so early to be at school. This was a feeling that would never pass. I will admit I still have it, although in the last few years I have found it is getting ever easier for me to get up earlier in the morning. I attribute this to the fact that my night mate – my sister – is no longer here to keep me company at night. We did that as children as well as adults. We kept each other company while the rest of the world slept. No matter what the time 2 a.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m., it really didn’t matter, I always knew I could call her and she would be up too. We just loved the night. We loved the night creatures, the sounds, the moon, the stars and everything about it. After a time, when she was no longer here for me to talk to at night it was so lonely I learned to sleep at night and be awake in the day like most so called normal people do. But I digress.

My mom had a 1961 Ford Fairlane 500. It was white.

I used to stand up by the post between the front seat and the back seat.

There were no seat belts back then.
Of course, there were no real safety standards.

I just love standing there. I was always so short that I fit perfectly in that spot and my head did not touch the ceiling of that car. The windows were usually rolled down – no air conditioning – and I loved to feel the wind in my face and hair. (shades of the Harley rider of the future!) Also, I had a much better view of everything. Again, I was short. With that big huge car I could hardly see out of the windows when I was sitting down.

After visiting my grandmother that day we were headed home. We were coming through the underpass at Little York Road and Highway 59. For some reason my mom made me sit down in the seat.

A man ran the red light on the feeder road and hit our car. The impact was in the exact spot where the post was in the car where I usually stood. I don’t remember much about the incident at that moment. The next memory I have is of a man. We were going down a hall, I was looking up and he was carrying me. There was a lot of blood. The man had dark hair and a moustache. My next memory is of laying on a table and several faces looking down at me. There was something in a plastic type bottle being sprayed on my forehead. I must have asked them or either they just told me that I was getting stitches. For many years I thought that stitches were a liquid matter that was spread out of a plastic bottle. I don’t remember how old I was when I finally realized the difference. I do know that my dad showed up to the hospital at some time during all of this, I remember seeing him. They had put around 60 stitches in my forehead above my left eye by the time we left for home that night. Over the years my forehead would be tender in that spot.

There was something nagging on my little mind after leaving the hospital. Earlier that day we must have stopped somewhere and I had gotten a toy from the gum machine. Those of you who are younger may not know that in the old days you could get some really cool toys from the gum machine. One of those things was an uber cool plastic pocket knife. Well, folks, that day I had scored one. But on the way home I discovered that I no longer had it. I was obsessed. My head hurt, but I wanted my knife, my prize. You see, my dad was my hero and he had a pocket knife and now I had one - so I needed that knife. After getting settled at home I must have looked a bit down in the dumps. Other than just the usual ‘you’ve just gotten 60 something stitches and been in a wreck’ down in the dumps. So my dad being the ever observant person that he is asked me what was wrong. I told him of my troubles. The pocket knife from the gum machine, he said? Yes, that one, it’s gone. *sniffing* - then and now – Oh, it wasn’t gone he told me. The man that had carried me into the hospital had given it to him! He had told him that I was holding it even after the wreck. He had thought I may be looking for it later so he gave it to my dad. It was on the dresser in my mom and dad’s room. I went and retrieved my bubble gum pocket knife. I was so happy!

I don’t remember how many days I missed from school because of the wreck but I know that I did missed some days. My forehead healed up just fine and now you can just barely see a very fine line there as a reminder of the event.

The Soap Opera “The Young And The Restless” went on the air in 1973. In 1974 the character of Phillip Chancellor, II changed to Donnelly Rhodes.

When I saw Donnelly Rhodes on that show I thought that he was an exact replica of the man who had carried me into the hospital the day of the wreck. That is just what he looked like. This was about 7 years after the wreck and that actor reminded me of him. I wonder what my rescuers name was? To my knowledge we never heard from him again and we didn’t know his name. I think in my mind since I never knew his name I thought of him as a Philip.

I think that was my first lesson in how a simple kindness can mean so much to someone else. I mean, the man really didn’t have to worry about saving my pocket knife for me. He really didn’t have to carry me into the hospital either I guess. I’m sure there would have been emergency workers there sooner or later. I do not know the circumstances of why he took me. I’m sure he had things to do that day. This really must have been an interruption in his day. But he took the time anyway. What I do know is that over the years I have thought of the wreck and I have remembered the knife, obviously I have had a passing thought to the man who carried me into the hospital but I have never had such a vivid memory like I had a few nights ago. I wonder if he ever thought of me?
Sometimes strangers pass through our lives and leave an impression. The reason may not be known, but I’m sure deep in the scheme of things there is one.

If you wonder how much of an impact this unknown stranger had on my life, perhaps you could ask my son – Philip.

105 Grocery & Deli Ride & A Milestone!

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Those words were again proven true when we started out riding on such a beautiful day Saturday. The sun was shining so bright and the temp was about 70. So great to see and feel after so many dreary days over last few weeks. Our goal was to go and check out the Best Rated Hamburger of The Houston Press. They rated the best hamburger to be at 105 Grocery & Deli in Washington. Of course, there was a lot of beautiful riding on the way, and a lot on the way home - never take the short route...

Along the way we saw some cool old cars. There must have been a rally in the area as there were quite a few along the way.

There were so many Apple Blossom Trees! So beautiful. I think Spring is trying to Spring right along. A welcome sight for me as this winter has been a very depressing one. No sun = vitaman D deprivation = depression

Right around the Brazos County Line Big Daddy got behind a horse. I love to see the horses in the trailers. But what I really love are dogs. The dogs always seem to bark at those hogs. I'd love to know what the horses think.

This tank is at the Grimes County VFW Post in Navasota. I looked up their website and found this interesting story.

NY Man Attempting 4,500 Mile "Patriot Walk" for Veterans

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- Mark Klodzinski, a Western New York native, will embark on a cross-country walk to raise money and awareness for American Veterans.

Mark will begin his 4,500 mile journey on March 16th, and hopes to raise over $1 million for the cause.

Mark hopes to travel 25 miles a day, meaning his entire trip will take him about 8 months, stopping at local American Legion and VFW Posts across the country.

Check it out Mark Klodzinski's story. What an interesting young man! Wow! What a committment. Follow his journey on Facebook at:!/Standup4EVL?ref=search&sid=584050597.1586346211..1

This is the organization he is helping, Warriors Wish:

Do you know what I love about riding?

It. Opens. Your. Eyes.

Navasoto has some beautiful churches and really beautiful old houses. I think we are going back one day when we have some time to stop and look around.

Home of the 2nd Best Hamburger I've had. The best being at The Hamlet in L. A. This one is very close.

The building is not much. But you know what they say - Don't judge a book by it's cover. So true in this case. It's just a gas station and store. But they have a grill. And what a grill it is! Wonderful food.

The Houston Press says:

The 105 Grocery & Deli is located about eight miles southwest of Navasota on Highway 105. Former names include DK Gen Store, Cafe' Meat Market Feed Store and B&J. Whatever it was called, the convenience store has been making burgers for decades. The grill is closed on Monday and Tuesday and when the grill cook doesn't show up. So call before you make the treck (about an hour from Houston). The burgers are mountainous - each patty appears to be around two-thirds of a pound. (You'll want a double-meat, double-cheese.) A crunchy wedge of iceberg and two tomato slices come under the burger in the 'upside down' configuration with a modest sprinkling of chopped onions and a couple of pickle slices. The white-bread bun is toasted and spread with yellow mustard and Miracle Whip salad dressing. Some burger lovers I know bring their own Hellman's mayonnaise to replace the offending MW. But it's a tiny blemish in the otherwish perfect burger.

Whatever the Houston Press says, I say the burger is perfect. No need to bring your own mayonnaise. And I don't like Miracle Whip - at all. It was just divine. I got the fried okra instead of fries. Jer got the fries. I tasted a couple and I didn't think they were all that good. But, for a fry to be really good to me it needs to be a fresh real potato. I'm picky that way. We talked to a couple there who said they came there a couple of times a month and got various other items and it was all good. They do have chicken fingers, deli sandwiches and things. I have a feeling the menu is limited to the day you go. We did call first to make sure they were making the burgers as that was our goal for the day. Okay, I want to go now and get another burger.....yummy!

I couldn't eat all of my burger as it was so big. Big Daddy ate the whole damn thing! I remarked to him that I could believe he ate that whole burger. He said
"I did not, I left part of it!"
See photo below to see the *part* he

We left 105 Grocery to head toward Independence. We love the ride down FM 390. It's a beautiful ride and in Spring the flowers are really in bloom. There are also some lovely home sites along the way, curvy roads and just interesting things in general.

The Old Baylor Park is along this route. We like to stop there and look around the old ruins. When Spring really hits this place will be filled with wild flowers and butterflies.

Dr. Horace Clark

On June 18, 1851, Dr. Horace Clark accepted the position of principal at Baylor Female Department in Independence.

The Davis Family

Renowned educators; family of The Rev. Abner Davis, founder (1827) of Shurtleff College, Alton, Ill.

A daughter, Martha (d. 1896), joined the Baylor Female College staff with her husband, Horace Clark, in 1851. Baylor in a few years drew rest of family here: Marcia (Mrs. Abner) Davis (1794-1882); George B. Davis (1828-1906) and wife, Fannie Breedlove (1833-1915); Harriett L. Davis (1832-1917) and husband, B.S. Fitzgerald (1827-1904); and Mary Russell Davis, "Little Mary" (d. 1865), who taught Indians briefly after the father died (1852), then like the others devoted her talents to Baylor. (1973)

While we were there visiting an older man came driving by in this cool old car. It was in great shape. Of course, he caught me taking the pic and waved really big!

These are the rebuilt columns of the female Department of the University. They are quite beautiful sitting among the large trees there.

In just a few weeks this part will be covered in these beautiful flowers along with many other varities. I can't wait to go back.

What Bad Ass Bikers Do When Faced With Blue Bonnets!

Of course, I had to check out the swing!!!

This tree must have a few tales to tell after all the years it's been there. I'd love to hear them.

We went back through Navasota and stopped at a place called Blues Alley. It was a very interesting Blues Museum and antique store.

Asleep At The Wheel Autographed Guitar

On the way home Big Daddy and Skydawg achieved a momentous event.

50,000 miles!

That's a lot of miles.
Skydawg will not be two years old until the 27th of March so in less than two years they've been a mile or two.....

On they way home we followed some fellow travelers.

It was a wonderful feeling to drive into Home Sweet Misty Breeze having had a safe ride. After a wonderfully relaxing jacuzzi I was checking my e-mail and had an e-mail from a Findagrave member. She was inquiring about the Jackson family in Willow Hole Cemetery in North Zulch, Texas. We had been there before to photograph the headstone of a Line Of Duty Death Fireman from the Houston Fire Department, Claude Hopkins. I remember the trip there well, as I do all of the Firemen I have researched and photographed. For some reason they do leave an impression on me. I looked up the cemetery and it had 13 photo requests. Oh, wow! As Big Daddy was relaxing in his chair in the living room I'm sure his heart sank when I went in a said "What do you have planned for tomorrow?" Yeah, right. He almost jumped at the chance for another ride north. A Harley mans dream - a wife who doesn't want to keep her ass off the seat of her bike! So Sunday morning off we headed to North Zulch.

Visit Fireman Claude Jackson Hopkins at Findagrave here:

Ole' Sam Houston was on the way up. Jer has always liked him for some reason.

No trip through Madisonville would be complete without a stop at the world famous Buc-ees. You know what they say - Buc-ees - the best place to pee while on the road! And they ain't lying! You would think they were giving shit away in there as many people as there were. There were several buses and it was hard to find a paking space in that big lot.

They always have something to look at in the store. Tasty treats and good drinks there too.

Willowhole Cemetery

Bikers Paraise!

I've never seen this name before.

An unexpected visitor came trotting along while I was walking around looking for my names. She was such a sweet girl. I loved her company. She stayed with me for a long time and let me pet her.

Angels walk among us......

We stopped at Genghis Grill for dinner before heading home. I love the stir fry there. Big Daddy is always amazed at the amount of food I can stuff in that little metal bowl they give you to put your pre-cooked food in. I have very good skill.

I have a deep appreciation for food!

After two beautiful days of riding I think my spirit has been restored and hope is alive that Spring is just around the corner.

Is it Friday yet????

I love traveling along life's highway!!!!