BIG NEWS!!! THE BOOK IS HERE.

LOST RIVER is finally done. I don't know about other writers, but the most exciting part for me is getting the first copy hot off the press. That's when it becomes real, not just an idea or characters or words, but an actual BOOK. Something I can hold in my hands.


They say it takes a village to raise a child, well I'm here to tell you it takes a neighborhood to launch a book. Instead of the normal indoor book launch, we are having...

 A front-yard, tent-shaded, afternoon, y'all-come book signing, Saturday, June 26. You can read the flyer here on our website.  Books are on order and neighbors are pitching in to help. 

I've had so much fun writing the Do-you-remember? and Did-you-know? posts, I plan to
keep doing that for a while. Stay tuned and if you're in the neighborhood, drop by Saturday the 26th.

THE PRESSURE IS ON

Presure washer, that is. Getting ready for our front-yard book-signing event which will be coming up soon.


In the meantime, here we go.

DO YOU REMEMBER when gas cost 18 cents a gallon? Probably not because that was back in 1940. But what about something a little closer to the present, 1970 for instance?  Back then gas was 36 cents a gallon, an average house cost $27,000 and yearly tuition for college was $3800. You could buy an 8-track tape player (remember those?) for $40 and a pair of Wrangler jeans for $10. These prices are making me cry, so I’ll stop now.



DID YOU KNOW that by 1860 cotton accounted for almost 60 percent of American exports, with a value of nearly $200 million a year? The Spanish brought cotton seed to Florida where it was first cultivated in the US. Eventually cotton was grown from California to South Carolina and in every southern state. Believe it or not, Texas was the number one cotton producer. 

Big news

Things are moving faster now.  I have finished reading page proofs and returned them with corrections to the publisher.


A neighborhood friend is working with us to plan a FRONT-YARD, TENT-SHADED, Y'ALL COME BOOK SIGNING here at our house sometime in early June. The idea came fron another friend as an alternative to having an indoor book launch party.

The next step is the cover and Jim will be working with the designer on that.  Jim has  created a great graphic for the front cover. Can't wait for you to see it.

One more thing, the publisher is creating a book trailer. Very exciting.  More later.

Now for the fun stuff.

DO YOU REMEMBER the TV series “The Naked City?” In the 1958-59 it was a half-hour show which only ran one season. In 1960 it came back as an hour show which aired on ABC at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday night. It was a crime drama filmed in NYC which introduced newcomers such as Alan Alda, Ed Asner, Robert Duvall, Diahann Carroll, Dustin Hoffman, Sandy Dennis and Suzanne Pleschette.

DID YOU KNOW the idea dor a crime drama based in New York city originated with Alfred Hitchcock? He never followed through and eventually Producer Mark Hellinger hired Jules Dassin towork on the filme.  They released "Naked City" in 1948. It stqared Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart and Dan Taylor. Ten years later, it was the inspiration for the TV series called "The Naked City."



#11 Baseball season

# 11  DO YOU REMEMBER in 1982, when the Braves opened the season with 13 wins and owner Ted Turner took down Chief Noc-A-Homa’s teepee to add more center field seats? The Braves lost 19 of their next 21 games. Turner told team management to put the tepee back up and the Braves went on to win the National League West. Great story and it’s all true.


DID YOU KNOW when the Braves were still in Milwaukee, a high school student set up a tepee in the centerfield bleachers? He danced and set off smoke bombs when the Braves scored. In the 1966 season, after the Braves moved to Atlanta, they held a contest and Chief Noc-A-Homa was created. In 1968, Levi Walker, a member of the Odawa Tribe took over and served as mascot for the next 17 years.

BIG NEWS!!!

Just an announcement for today.  

The manuscript went to the publisher on Firday and we spend this morning uploaded the cover art and back cover text.  

Assuming all goes well, we should have books in hand around the first of June.

Stay tuned.

Grace


Incomre Tax Get Us All

#10 DID YOU KNOW Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion, but it was air conditioning that finally got John Dillinger? The Chicago police could never catch Dillinger because they never knew where he was. But when the temperature topped 100 degrees, he went to the Biograph Theatre because it was “cooled by refrigeration.” Some one ratted him out and when he left the theatre, the cops were waiting and he died in a hail of bullets.



# 10 DO YOU REMEMBER when any farmer with an open field and a bulldozer could (and did) carve out a dirt track for stockcar racing. Back then it was just noise and dust, no safety equipment, no special uniforms and not very much money. Lakewood Speedway was constructed in 1916 during World War I. It was a one-mile dirt horse track built around a lake at the Lakewood Fairgrounds. It was eventually used for stockcar racing, but the track was never banked. Fine for horses, not so good for car races.






Vote Early and Vote Often

 

#9 DO YOU REMEMBER when Georgia operated under the County Unit System? On March 8, 1963, the Supreme Court declared the county unit system unconstitutional. The gubernatorial primary that year was the first to be decided by popular vote since 1908. Later that year, the legislature chose, to continue electing statewide offices by popular vote like we do today.


#9 DID YOU KNOW when many men were riding the rails, they had a distinct social order?  “Hobos like us are looking or work. Mostly we follow the crops. We go wherever we can find work for a couple of days or weeks. Now tramps ride the rails too, but generally they’re just traveling, not looking for work. A bum don’t do nothing. Don’t travel, don’t work. Nobody wants to be called a bum.”

Harlem in the 1860s

 

# 8 DID YOU KNOW that Italy invaded Sicily in 1860? Lots of citizens fled to the US and settled in Harlem. At one time it had the largest Italian population in the US? After the Civil War, which all but wiped out an entire generation of young men in the South, recruiters combed the streets of Harlen looking for workers and offering jobs to anyone willing to move south.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Newnon

#8 DO YOU REMEMBER the “Governor’s Tornado” in Atlanta in 1975? Reporters named it that because it tore the roof off the Governor’s Mansion on West Paces Ferry Road. It started in West Atlanta, moved to the northeast at approximately 50 miles an hour and ended in the Brookhaven Area. It hit an industrial area, two large apartment complexes, several businesses, and hundreds of fine homes. 550 families were reported homeless.  Damage was estimated at $56.5 million.

Let the good times roll!!!

# 7  DID YOU KNOW in the 19th century, New Orleans was the largest port in the South, exporting most of the nation's cotton output and other products to Western Europe and New England. It was the largest and most important city in the South, which made it an early target for capture by the Union during the Civil War. (The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton). Part of the city is below sea level and it has been hit by more hurricanes than you can count. But it always comes back. When Covid caused Mardi Gras parades to be canceled, people decorated their houses to look like floats. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Can I get an amen here?

 

#7 DO YOU REMEMBER when churches were a vital part of the social life in small towns? Each church had a women’s’ group like the Baptist Women’s Missionary Union, the Episcopal Church Women, the Catholic Women’s Group and the United Methodist Women. Revivals were a big deal and sometimes the best entertainment in town.Blog here.

Detroit City

 

#6 DO YOU REMEMBER when Detroit was synonymous with the American car industry and companies came out with new designs every year? Fins, chrome, rear-hinged back doors, pastel paint jobs in blue, pink and green and two-tone versions of a hard-top convertible. How about these car makers which have disappeared: Nash, Tucker, DeSoto, Hudson, Packard, Studebaker?


#6 DID YOU KNOW a four-door, 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, came with four-speed Hydromantic and white walls, a deluxe trim package with lots of chrome and a clock? If you wanted a radio, you had to pay extra for that, but how else could you listen to Peggy Lee sing the jingle, “It’s time to take the wheel, of a Rocket Oldsmobile…”?

Between the Sheets

#5 DO YOU REMEMBER table juke boxes at your favorite hang-out? Back then your could get  a hamburger (fully loaded) for 15 cents and a Coke for a nickel. Did you ever play "between the sheets" with popular song titles like "I'll be Seeing You...between the sheets" or "A Kiss to Build a Dream On...between the sheets"  We played it in church with hymn titles. Our elders were not impressed. 

A litle bit of Women's History

# 5 DID YOU KNOW we have Al Capp and Li’l Abner to thank for Sadie Hawkins Day? On that day women ruled.  They asked the men for a date or a dance. The idea quickly spread to college campuses and real-world Sadie Hawkins events. The idea was introduced in the comic strip in 1937 and by 1939 Life magazine reported that 201 colleges in 188 cities held a Sadie Hawkins Day.



woops. Forgot to add this to the previous entry.

#4 DO YOU REMEMBER Joe Btfsplk, a character in Li’l Abner by Al Capp? Joe wore black, had holes in his shoes and a drippy rain cloud hovered over his head. He caused bad luck wherever he went. And speaking of bad luck, in the summer of 1945, newspaper deliverymen in NYC went on strike and some 13 million customers didn’t get the paper. As long as the strike lasted, Mayor LaGuardia read the funnies on the radio.Blog here.

The daffodils are back!

No doube Covid is making our lives harder, but when I look at our front yard which is full of daffodils, I know that things will get better.  We've had dark days before, but we always bounce back. 


 #4 DID YOU KNOW the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 killed at least 50 million people worldwide, one-third of the world’s population at that time? In the United States, 675,000 died, 30,000 in Georgia, 829 in Atlanta and 2 in Lost River. It only lasted 15 months, but it killed more people than World War I killed in four years.

 

 

EXTRA!!!

#3  DO YOU REMEMBER when everyone got their news from the daily newspaper? How about late-breaking news that required an “Extra!” edition that paperboys sold on street corners? And how about paperboys themselves who picked up their papers literally hot off the presses, rolled them, tied them and then jumped on their bikes and threw papers in the general direction of your front door?

To leave a comment, click on “No Comment” at the top of the page next to the title. Makes no sense, but that’s how it works.Blog here.

EXTRA!!!

#3  DO YOU REMEMBER when everyone got their news from the daily newspaper? How about late-breaking news that required an “Extra!” edition that paperboys sold on street corners? And how about paperboys themselves who picked up their papers literally hot off the presses, rolled them, tied them and then jumped on their bikes and threw papers in the general direction of your front door?

To leave a comment, click on “No Comment” at the top of the page next to the title. Makes no sense, but that’s how it works.Blog here.

Hornwsoggled

# 3 DID YOU KNOW that WalthourvilleGeorgia, was incorporated in 1974, with a government entirely composed of women? I thought that was a neat fact and decided to use if as part of the Lost River story. Not only that, it gave me a chance to use the word “hornswoggled” not once, but twice! Let me tell you that opportunity doesn’t come around very often.

To leave a comment, click on “No Comment” at the top of the page next to the title. Makes no sense, but that’s how it works.Blog here.

Black Rotary Phones

#2  DO YOU REMEMBER phones? I mean black Southern Bell phones with rotary dials? How about phone books, Yellow Pages and party lines? Remember when you dialed “Operator” to make a long-distance call, which was cheaper after 6:00 p.m.? How about phone numbers with names? Pennsylvania 6 5000? In the 40s, houses had one phone wired in place. If it rang and you were not there to answer it, too bad. There were no answering services (remember those?) no voice mail, no call waiting.

To leave a comment, click on “No Comment” at the top of the page next to the title. Makes no sense, but that’s how it works.Blog here.

Speed Traps

# 2  DID YOU KNOW the idea for the speed trap in Lost River came from a real city? Poulan, Georgia’s police department had a speed trap along six miles of GA HWY 82. In 2009 Poulan's tiny police force generated nearly $900,000 in fines and fees, a number comparable to a city 30 times its size. I thought that information was just too good to pass up, so I used it.

To leave a comment, click on “No Comment” at the top of the page next to the title. Makes no sense, but that’s how it works.Blog here.

DO YOU REMEMBER

#1  DO YOU REMEMBER when products were identified by their manufacturers? You took pictures with a Kodak, you blew your nose on a Kleenex, you cleaned the house with a Hoover and kept food cold in the Frigidaire. ---which you had to defrost from time to time. In the South, a soft drink was always a Coke---even when it was a Dr. Pepper. If you wanted a copy of something you asked for a Xerox.  You made cakes with a Mixmaster and used a Band-Aid for cuts and scrapes.

 

To leave a comment, click on “No Comment” at the top of the page next to the title. Makes no sense, but that’s how it works.

POW camps

#1  DID YOU KNOW there were POW camps in Georgia after WW II? Camp Wheeler near Macon held nearly 2,00 captives. By the end of the war, there were five other camps in Georgia where 4,700 POWs were held. Prisoners were given food, housing, uniforms, classes and even paid a small wage. A friend told me he remembered his father hiring POWs to work on their farm. 


To leave a comment, click on “No Comment” at the top of the page next to the title. Makes no sense, but that’s how it works.