Thursday, May 31, 2007
We are expecting not one, but two grandbabies this fall!!!!!
We couldn't tell anyone until Eileen was in her second trimester because of her previous problems.
Fertility drugs were involved, and she got a real scare this morning when the doctor told her he heard the heartbeats!!
Then he clarified that one heartbeat was hers, just one baby!
Eileen’s baby is due December 5, and Rad's wife Adrienne is due to deliver November 11.
We are over the moon!!!!!
Editor: E-mail edited for posting to this site.
mmmmmm..... Do you think Betty is excited?
Email Betty at :
(Editors note: Not many Americans know that this humbling event is taking place every Friday in The Pentagon, I didn't... Click on the heading to go to the site; read the post and the subseqent comments... my computer screen was a bit fuzzy, but I managed to read the entire postings.... My thanks to George O'Kelley for sending this to me.)
10:30 hours (local EST), Friday, 11 May 2007: Third Corridor, Second Floor, The Pentagon:
It is 110 yards from the “E” ring to the “A” ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here. This hallway, more than any other, is the “Army” hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew. Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area. The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares.
10:36 hours (local EST):
The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building. This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is an applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway. A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence. He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating.
By his age I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class. Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier. Three years ago when I described one of these events on Altercation, those lining the hallways were somewhat different. The applause a little wilder, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden … yet. Now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment. We have all been there now. The soldier’s chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel. Behind him, and stretching the length from E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.
10:50 hours (local EST):
Twenty-four minutes of steady applause. My hands hurt, and I laugh to myself at how stupid that sounds in my own head. “My hands hurt.” Christ. Shut up and clap.
For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway — 20, 25, 30. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall came 30 solid hearts. They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals.
Some are wheeled along. Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience. Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade. More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly. There are families with them as well: the 18-year-old war-bride pushing her 19-year-old husband’s wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid-20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son’s behalf. No man in that hallway, walking or clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks. An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see. A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past. These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home.
This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for more than four years.
My apologies if you served in any branch of the armed forces other than the Marines, or if your political persuasion is anything other than Republican.
However, for those of you who delight in receiving tons of Marine and/or Republican related material from lawyer O’Kelley, here is his latest e-mail announcing the change in his e-mail address. Please make note of it in your address book.
mmmmmmm......I wonder why he never sends me any Lawyer jokes????
My email address is changing. My new address is:
Please change your address book to reflect the new me.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Go to this site for the latest:
Editors note: Purse snatching is a serious problem and incidents are increasing. So please, please be aware of your surroundings. This is proof it can happen to you if you drop your guard!!!
Harriette is okay, but she is bruised. Now she and her husband will have a lot of work ahead of them as a result of this incident. Let's pray they catch this guy!
Harriette "Stokes" Yarbrough writes:
I am sending this to everyone that I have email addresses - - please read and forward to all your friends because this is true.
Today I went to TJ Maxx's and as I was looking for my car in the parking lot, a car drove up and the driver's hand grabbed by purse and jerked it off my shoulder - the car was still moving and he dragged me until my purse fell off. Thank goodness, I did not fall but I have bruises on my arm where the purse was jerked off. It happened so fast, I first thought that he was so close to me that my purse had gotten caught on his mirror - then I saw my purse in his hand. I screamed and a young girl in the parking lot heard me and came over and I used her cell phone to call police. I heard that it also happened at Walmart today, too. Then when I called the driver's license place to make an appointment, the lady said about 10 ladies had called today to say their purses were stolen today.
So, please be careful - there may be a gang that has come into town and are targeting the shopping areas. Of course, they have everything - my SS card, charge cards, check book, and deposit slips to 2 other accounts, an extra house and car key and some meds that were in the purse. I am a nervous wreck. The News Journal has interviewed me, and I know I will sound like an idiot. But please get the word out to be careful in the parking lot. I think he must have been parked, and then saw me and I looked like an easy target and drove up beside me, jerked the purse and then drove off like a race car driver. Please forward so maybe this won't happen to anyone else.
Harriette "Stokes" Yarbrough (email@example.com)
Friday night June 1st, the night before the Gathering in Sumter, I have been invited to do a concert at the Bishopville Opry House (Upstairs of Hancock Furniture Store when we were growing up) on main St there in B'ville. I did this a few years ago and it was a lot of fun and I saw a lot of old friends. I'm proud that Bishopville was my first home town for the first 15 years and I'm honored that they have ask me to do this again. Seating for the performance will be at 7:30 and it will start at 8:00. My Mom will sing a few with me as will Sister Anne. Linda will be there and I'm going to get her to sing one with me also.
Would you guys consider getting this message out to all your email contacts. It will be a lot of fun and it will be another opportunity for our old friends to be together, at least the ones who are close by and can come. It's a benefit for the Bishopville Arts Counsel. Admission is only $10.
Grady Brown is doing an interview on the phone with me this Sunday night about it on his radio show.
Thanks for considering if you think it would be appropriate,
Also, Billy wanted me to get you to also mention the following Saturday, June2nd, is the Gathering we have at his barn in Sumter. Billy Lane owns Pizza Lane in Sumter and we've been doing this every year now for a while and again, it's a lot of fun and it's all about friends getting together. It will start at 6:00 eating boiled peanuts and visiting, then we'll have casual dinner (everything is very casual), probably Chicken, P salad, bean, etc. or BBQ....it's always good. Then about 7:30 our old band starts playing music and we'll go till the last one leaves, usually around midnight. It's $15 a person, but that includes plenty of good food, ice and set ups, a keg for those who like beer....and of course the music. We play all the oldies from the 50's and 60's. Anything else, folks bring.
Directions: If you're in Sumter, take highway 15 toward B'ville. When you come to the Sunset Motel (blue sign) on right, take your next possible left turn into driveway with mailboxes and metal gate entrance. Wind around to the end to the Barn. Can't miss it. Coming from B'ville, be looking carefully up the road, about 3 miles before getting to Sumter and spot the Sunset Motel on left. Billy's turn will then be on the right, about 500 yards before you get the motel. If you get to or pass the motel, go back and make that left turn by the mailboxes and entrance.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
1102 Michelle Court
Nolensville, TN 37135
615-261-4782 Fax 615-468-0850 Cell 615-504-2830
Hank Martin grew up in Bishopville and Sumter South Carolina. He attended Mississippi College in Clinton, MS, Mississippi Delta Junior College in Moorhead, MS and later graduated from Delta State University in Cleveland, MS with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. His singing career started in high school where he played and sang in bands. His first band was when he was 14 and was called The Jaybirds in Bishopville. They actually performed on the teen TV show on WIS-TV in Columbia. Later moving to Sumter he was in the DuPrees. Later in Mississippi, he was the lead vocalist, with his friend Buzz Arledge, for four years with the band “Tim Whitsett and The Imperial Showband” from Jackson. They had recording contracts with several national companies including Epic and Lowery Records. He also was the lead vocalist for a year with the Cleveland, MS band “The Reets”. He married the former Linda Munday of Cleveland, MS.
When he finished college Hank and Linda moved to Columbia, South Carolina. For 8 years Hank was a pharmaceutical representative and one of the original members and lead vocalist of the popular South Carolina band "Second Nature". They had a recording contract with Bang Records, the former New York label that relocated to Atlanta, which had launched the careers of Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, The McCoys, Peabo Bryson and Paul Davis.
In 1978, Hank and Linda and their three children moved to Nashville, Tennessee to further his career in the music business. He started writing songs for Tom Collins at PiGem Chess Music, singing on record sessions as a background singer and writing, producing and singing radio and TV commercials. He co-wrote a song with John Schweers, “You’re The Part Of Me”, that was recorded by Jim Ed Brown in 1979 and was an ASCAP award winning song. B.J. Thomas recorded a Gospel song that Hank co-wrote with Archie Jordan, “He’s Walkin’ In My Shoes” in 1980.
Hank was asked to write a song about South Carolina, his home state, for a music project in Nashville. Unrelated to the project, the song started getting attention in South Carolina. In 1984, the South Carolina State Legislature passed a resolution that was signed by Governor Richard Riley and the song became the new South Carolina State song. The title is "South Carolina On My Mind".
In 1981, Hank was asked to be one of Dolly Parton's singers in her live shows in Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. During the performances with Dolly, Hank got a call from a music production company in New York to come to New York and sing the solo for the new TV Guide Magazine national campaign for radio and TV. The commercial was a success, and he started singing national commercials in New York as a result. Later that year, he moved his family to Stamford, CT and sang commercials in New York City until moving back to Nashville in 1990. Some of the familiar commercials he sang were "Reach Out and Touch Someone" (AT&T), GE "We Bring Good Things To Life", McDonalds, Burger King, Hardees, Pepsi, Diet Coke, Pillsbury, Pontiac, Ford, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Midas Muffler, Duncan Hines, 3 Musketeer, Kelloggs, Avis, Hertz, Nationwide Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Diet Coke, 7 UP, Kodak, Red Lobster, and many, more.
While living in Connecticut, Hank started a music publishing company in Nashville with his lifelong singing partner Buzz Arledge, who was also from Sumter and sang with Hank in the DuPrees. (Hank went to Mississippi with Buzz to college and they sang in Tim Whitsett and the Imperial Showband.) Marledge Music had good success with songs recorded by Alan Jackson, Lee Greenwood, Lori Morgan, Conway Twitty, and Ricky Scaggs. Marledge Production Company was executive producer of the Mercury Label recording group, “Chance”, produced by Buzz Arledge.
Hank was a partner with Bobby Vincent in acquiring and restoring the historic recording facility, Quad Studio, in Nashville in 1987, later merging with Ron Kerr and Bob McKenzie’s Centerstage group in that studio.
Hank was also a partner in Moore Music Group, a jingle production company in Chicago with his long time friend Alan Moore. The Company did scores of national commercials. Alan is a gifted keyboardist and arranger. He was the arranger on numerous hits of Country Artists and Christian Artists like Amy Grant, Larnell Harris, Michael Card, Steve Green and Sandy Patti. He also did the arrangements for many of the Kenneth Copeland albums.
In 1985, while working in New York, Hank had a life changing experience, by the Grace of God, and produced and sang a Gospel album called "Thank You Israel", writing the title song Thank You Israel and 2 others on the album, Kidnapped Kid and He’s Walkin’ In My Shoes. In 1987, shortly after the album was completed, he and his wife Linda appeared on CBN Network’s 700 Club with a reenactment of their personal testimony.
The highlight of Hank's singing career came in 1991 when he was invited to sing at the Billy Graham Crusade at the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey.
Recently Hank was invited to have a special song written for James Brown and perform it for him at a “James Brown Celebration Day” in his hometown of Barnwell, SC. Hank called on Archie Jordan to write it and they performed it for James Brown with the house band that day. Mr. Brown and his manager commissioned Hank to produce the song. It’s called “Doin’ The James Brown”. Hank also wrote and produced a song for his hometown of Sumter, SC about the same time.
In 2003, Hank was honored by his home town of Bishopville and the Lee County Arts Council by being inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Lee County Distinguished Artist, recognizing his achievements and success in the music industry.
Hank continues his love for music in Nashville…singing, writing and producing and being an encouragement to others by using all the years of experience in this wonderful music business.
Hank and Linda have been married 41 years and have 3 children, 7 grandchildren and a grandcat. Linda is currently writing a book about her Father, Riley Munday. He was a Southern Baptist Preacher, poet, humorist and philosopher. The book is entitled “Cobbler of Souls..Journey of an Unknown Poet”, which incorporates his life experiences, poetry with humor and is an encouragement for people going through the breaking or “cobbling” process. Book theme: “To be a Cobbler you must have been cobbled”.
Hank has recently been enjoying catching up with old friends in Bishopville and Sumter at the reunions that are happening and look forward to many more. Hank and Linda share their testimony through relating their personal life experiences. They also share their songs, poetry and humor. Their testimony and ministry in life is one of encouragement and focuses on brokenness, restoration and God’s awesome Love.
Jess, I too almost ended up in California. Spent some time out there and loved it. (However, I) had to go on to other things though. How you been? It took me about 40 years to run up on the BHS crowd and now I'm glad I have. (I’ve had) lots of laughs even though I haven't made any events. Let me know what's up and update me. Thanks Mike Mercer. 843-425-2430 you have my e-mail above.
Editor’s note: with Mike’s permission I added some verbiage knowing how long winded he can be.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
OK, you friends and classmates of Jess McCutchen! Let's see if you are up to this challenge. Who can get Jess to reply to them first. I don't have a prize or anything like that, but it sure would be wonderful if one of us could get him to either call or email. Here is some more information that I got from Miss Mary Hipp today.
He went to the Citadel for a couple of years, and decided, like so many other young men, this was not for him. By this time, Mr. McCutchen had sold his farm and they moved to Boone. So, Jess enrolled at Appalachian State University and graduated Magnum Cum Laude. He wanted to go to med school and even though he was qualified, he could not get admittance. He was so disappointed to the point of devastation, so he decided to head west 'cause he heard "there was gold in them thar hills". He is retired now from driving a truck and is big into computers. Miss Mary Hipp says he is taking several courses and loves it.
Now, it is my hope, no my prayer, that he will get in touch with one of us, because Jess was a great friend. We need to let him know how much he meant to us and that we want very much to be able to correspond with him. Those of you on the west coast, (Allen, Cleve, & Lon) please see if you can reach him, and the rest of us just from time to time, email him and let him know that he will always be our friend and is in our thoughts. We all have fond memories of Jess, some of you more than others, and we need to share those memories with him. Hearing or reading some of the tales you remember about Jess might be just the thing it takes for him to get in touch with us. I told Miss Mary Hipp that I plan on pestering him until he has to respond just to get me off his back.
Didn't mean to go on like this, but it just flowed after the wonderful conversation with Miss Mary Hipp. So, get to the computer or write him. Make it your mission to get in touch with him!!!
Your friend forever,
PO Box 625
Lake Forest, California 92630
Richard is out of surgery (around 10:30 this morning) and is recovering after having had surgery at Providence Hospital in Columbia to remove a cancer from his right lung.
The surgeons found that they only had to remove the top portion as opposed to 2/3rds of the lung as previously thought, because the tumor was not attached to the lung.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
BISHOPVILLE — Marjorie Mozingo Smith, 100, of 625 Bethany Road, Albemarle, formerly of Bishopville, SC, died Saturday, May, 16, 2007 at Stanly Manor. She was born June 2, 1906 in Stokes Bridge, SC, to the late Blanche McKenzie and Adolphus Pierre Mozingo.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2007 at Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Bishopville, SC. The Rev. Gordon Timmons will officiate and interment will follow at Bethlehem Cemetery.
The family will receive friends in the S.M. Atkinson Center at the church prior to the service from 12:30 -2:00 p.m. and at other times at the home of her son, Richard D. Smith, Jr, 1207 Pineview St. Albemarle, NC.
Marjorie attended Hartsville High School in Hartsville, SC and graduated from Winthrop College in 1926 with a degree in Education. She was employed as a math teacher by the Lee County and Bishopville City Schools and retired after 35 years of service. She was very active in Bethlehem United Methodist Church where she served on and chaired numerous committees. She was a longtime member of the United Methodist Women.
In addition to her parents, Marjorie was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Richard D. Smith, Sr., her stepmother Permelia Folsom Mozingo and a sister Mary Mozingo Phillips.
She is survived by her son Richard D. Smith Jr. and his wife, Veralyn of Albemarle, NC; her sister Mildred Mozingo Smith of Bishopville, SC; her granddaughters, Marcille Smith Nance and husband Jonathan of Matthews, NC; and Laura Smith Armistead and husband Kerry of Atlanta, GA. great-grandchildren, Cameron and Richard and stepgreat-grandson, Ben Armistead.
Memorials may be made to Bethlehem United Methodist Church, O Box 167, Church Street, Bishopville, SC 29010 or Central United Methodist Church 172 N. Second St. Albemarle, NC 28001.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Please change my email address on your list to firstname.lastname@example.org. Iam converting over from a dialup (slowski) to a high speed connection.Thanks for keeping this blog up - yeh, I know your sister would give youdown the road if you didn't! - its great to hear from and about our LeeCounty natives and friends. Also, please send this new address out to thoseon your list so they'll all know the change. That will save me a lot ofemail sending.
Great to see you at Harry's the other night. Sorry I didn't get around totalk to you. I had a pretty stiff headache and didn't get to visit as muchas I wanted. Hope to see you again soon.
Glad to do it Charles. Watch the mail for the bill.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
All of you remember Carol Ann Rogers, well she is living in Spruce Pines, North Carolina with her dog Tucker. She moved there over 10 years ago, after her husband died and up until lately has loved living there. The winter weather is about to get her down and she is thinking about moving to a warmer climate. Has not completely made up her mind though. Loves her house, but it is high maintenance for her, and she has to hire help to keep the yard up.
She is a wonderful artist, but has had some health problems that has kept her from painting lately, but maybe someday she will pick up her artist brush and get back to painting. Also, she is a great interior designer, and has done a beautiful job with her own house. For instance, she may take a notion to do something to her walls, and the next thing you know, she has put beautiful fabric on all of them. That is one talented lady.
Some of you have some vivid memories of Carol Ann, and I hope that you either call or email her and share those memories. She and I lived one house apart and we got into to some mischief together. Next door to her, toward the Dari-O, lived Mr. & Mrs. Smith (no kin to Paul) and they had a big green apple tree. Well, it was there next to Carol Ann's mama's garage, just waiting for us to partake of the forbidden fruit. You can imagine what happen when we climbed up on the garage over to the tree limbs. Just as we were about to reach for our first delicious apple, out the back door comes Mr. Smith and yells at us to get out of his apple tree. Not only did we get out of his tree, we fell out. Sometimes, we got a little banged up, but what made us so mad, he knew just when to come out. We never got the apples!!!!
Next, was the time we had a spend the night party at Carol Ann's and Caroline Beattie had her little car with her. Well, we decided we would go for a little ride in the middle of the night, so we sneaked out the back door, pushed Caroline's car out to the road before cranking it up so it wouldn't make any noise. Pushing the car on the gravel that was in the drive way woke Miss Gladys up and she was watching the whole thing out her window, and laughing I might add. She never let on until years later.
One more thing and I will stop with the long stories. Remember the house across from me (it is the post office now)? Well Charlotte Holder lived there at one time and her father had a garden out back toward Charlie King's house. They had one of the biggest watermelon patches I have ever seen, and don't you just know what we had to do. Right, we went out after dark to get us a nice juicy big one, and about the time we were bending over to pick it up, the sprinklers came on and completely soaked us. My memory fails me as to what happened next. Maybe I just don't want to remember. Boy, did I get punished a lot in my youth, and it wasn't my fault!!!!!!!!!!!!
I didn't mean to go on, but I did want to tell you about Carol Ann. We all need to contact her and persuade her to come to our 50th reunion. She should know what all she has missed over the years and that we really want to see her. So, when you have a moment, please get in touch with her.
Carol Ann Wilson
Spruce Pines, North Carolina, 28777
I love you all big!!!
Your friend forever,
Portions of the above have been edited for privacy concerns.
Let me begin by thanking a friend who sent me the following web address.
I found it to be a good read and it brought to mind two personal instances of strange phenomenon in
But before I take you there; many of you may remember this from a 17 year old that having had his tire go flat had stopped to change it around 2 am one dark and lonely night several years back:
“I looked back and saw something running across the field towards me. It was about 25 yards away and I saw red eyes glowing. I ran into the car and as I locked it, the thing grabbed the door handle. I could see him from the neck down – the three big fingers, long black nails and green rough skin. It was strong and angry. I looked in my mirror and saw a blur of green running. I could see his toes and then he jumped on the roof of my car. I thought I heard a grunt and then I could see his fingers through the front windshield, where they curled around on the roof. I sped up and swerved to shake the creature off.”
That was young Christopher Davis on June 29, 1988 recounting for the Associated Press the events as they occurred upon meeting the Lizard Man in the first known or reported encounter.
Say what you will; although you will do so knowing that these next two experiences are not the result of my mind's eye alone; I have eyewitnesses to collaborate these experiences.
Now that I have set the stage I must warn you that if you are easily frightened you may want to lock all your doors, bolt your windows, check to see if your phone wire is not cut and have plenty of candles on hand in case the electricity goes out!!!!
As I recall, the first unexplained event took place back in the early 1960’s. It was the weekend; time to party and get rid of all the weeks built up stresses.
As previously planned I drove out to meet with a good friend at his country home on
Sitting in the living room talking with his sister and mother while he was getting dressed, I happened to glance down the hall. My attention being drawn in that direction by a red illumination that could be seen in the distance through the bedroom window located at the other end of the house.
Passing it off as the tail lights of some car in the distance I returned to the conversation. However, I could sense that something wasn’t as it was should be, so turning to the window once again I noticed the intensity of the illumination had increased dramatically and it wasn’t tail lights from a car!
Thinking that it was possible what I was seeing was something burning in the distance I mentioned it to the others in the room. As they moved to the end of the hall they could see the source of illumination. Incredibly, it began moving towards the house.
As the object gained velocity, matched only by the animation and emotions in the room, my friend, hearing the commotion stepped into the hall. His attention was directed toward us at first until the entire inside of the house took on a reddish pulsating glow. He jerked around to see the apparition as it swiftly bore down on us.
Astounded and without a sound we watched as it gathered speed, literally flying through the air at a tremendous speed in our direction!
It was suddenly apparent to all of us that this thing was huge and that the whole house was about to be consumed by whatever the object was!
In total terror we ran outside expecting the worse!
Whatever it was that caused us to panic wasn’t outside the house!
We discovered the night to be normal and there was no trace of anything burning and the only sound to be heard save our heavy breathing was the chipping of crickets. Nothing appeared to be out of place. The house was intact! The experience was a real bummer!
We all had seen the object whatever it was. We all attempted for hours to make sense out of our experience and to a great extent to give different possibilities as to the source of the illumination; however they were all vain because, absent evidence to the contrary, who among us could prove that anything had been there?
Were we simply the targets of some genus of apparitional that restricted its observation to only those in that county home that night?
Personally, I can’t answer that; I can only say I saw what I saw and so did my friends!
Most of you reading this are familiar with Lee State Park located near Bishopville, South Carolina and may remember the location of the Superintendent’s residence. For those who don’t remember it was just inside the entrance to the park.
Along with a few high school buddies I worked the summers of 1959 and 1960 as a lifeguard at the park’s pool area. It was during this time that we all were told tales of some strange occurrences that had taken place through the years inside the park.
The teller of these stories was our boss who happened to be the park Superintendent at the time and it was because of his ability to colorfully recount these tales of lore that I fleetingly put a bit of credence to them.
I knew better; really I did. Tales like that are designed to excite ones imagination.
However, they have an objectionable tendency to linger in your mind even if you consciously dismiss it; unconsciously it remains embedded in the deep recesses of your mind until something occurs to bring it to life again.
It wasn’t until a year or two later that one particular account took on an entirely different meaning for me.
The event I’m about to relate also made a believer out of my first cousin who had the unpleasant experience of visiting with me overnight inside the Superintendent’s house. I truly believe that the experience has had an equally adverse influence on my cousin’s inner psyche (the part that is operating unconsciously) for ever since that fateful night he has been displaying an unusual propensity for anything mystical.
As my other lifeguard buddies trickled off after high school to join the military or to go to college or something as humdrum and commonplace as that, I remained employed at the park and I actually looked forward to more of the sun and fun.
Sadly my sun and fun days ended when I was offered and accepted the position of park Ranger. Understandably, my responsibilities changed.
In view of the fact that the park was open to the public someone had to be available at the park at all times and it was a normal part of my duty to stay at the park when the Superintendent and his wife were away.
It was on one of these occasions during the early fall, that my cousin from the city came to visit and stayed the night.
On this particular night we had just finished supper and moved into the living room that doubled as the Superintendents office. I noticed that a drawer on the old wooden oak desk was opened and walked over to close it.
As I pushed the drawer back into the closed position of the desk I said, “Okay mister ghost. I’m not putting up with your shenanigans tonight; so stop with the drawers!”
This unconscious and innocent statement on my part apparently registered with my cousin for he immediately asked about the ghost. Moving to the fireplace I picked up the metal fire poker and started stoking the logs as I recounted the legend.
“One of the first of the park’s Superintendents had an untimely and unsolved death while he was making his rounds of the park late one night. Seems that his wife had missed his return that evening but wasn’t too overly concerned because the eccentric Superintendent was known to hunt coons late at night and she just passed his absence that night to one of hunting.
It wasn’t until he didn’t show up for breakfast, something that he never missed, that she became concerned. Waiting until the Ranger came in at his normal time that morning, she explained her concern for her husband.
Thinking to himself that the “Super’s” old truck had broken down the Ranger headed out in search of his boss.
It wasn’t long before he came across the truck on the loop road. It was sitting in the middle of the road with the driver’s door open.
Getting out of his truck the Ranger walked over to examine the truck and noticed bare foot prints in the soft sandy roadbed leading from the door, around back of the truck to the edge of the road where they disappeared into the woods.
The Ranger knew of the “Super’s” habit of shedding his shoes when he was sneaking up on a deer or some other park creature and was not surprised about the prints. He walked all around the truck looking for other clues such as returning footprints or footprints around the front of the truck which would indicate that the “Super” had checked the engine.
Finding nothing that would indicate trouble the Ranger walked a short distance into the woods, shouting the “Super’s” name. After a few minutes of doing this the Ranger realized that he needed to get help.
To make a long story short, it was several days later that they found the “Super’s” body a great distance from the location of the truck. No one could explain his death and to this day it remains a mystery.
However, it wasn’t long after the “Super’s” death and apparently it was only after a new Superintendent had moved into the residence that unexplained things began to happen.
Things like doors being discovered opened after they were secured. Furniture moved about the residence without explanation. Floor boards in the old house creaking late at night as if someone was walking. Window shades suddenly flying up at anytime and the alarming spectacle one would observe as the flames in the fireplace suddenly leaped to life as if being stoked by an invisible poker.
Perhaps the most disturbing and strangest of all the unexplained happenings was the condition one would find the old desk and matching chair nearly every morning.
Every drawer would be opened and the contents would be scattered about the desk top. The old wooden chair would be found pushed over to the fireplace, positioned as if someone had moved it there to warm by the fire. A coffee cup would be sitting on the hearth; a few drops of black coffee still present in the cup.
There were the usual attempts to catch the ghost through the years. Attempts such as:
Taping or tying the drawers shut
Driving wooden wedges in the space between the desk and drawers preventing them from being easily opened
Tying the chair to the desk
Sprinkling flour lightly over the floor in the area of the desk and even on the desk
Staying up all night watching the desk
Apparently none of the above resulted in revealing a ghostly or even an earthly culprit and through the years no one could explain any of this away.
Most of the Superintendent’s and their families were hardy enough to stay in the house over the years and just came to accept the Old Super’s company.”
Finishing the tale I glance at my cousin and noticed that he was absolutely spellbound. I told him that it was just an old legend and that it wasn’t anything to be concerned about, but he wasn’t to be put off that easily.
Excited, he immediately started to plan how we could catch this ghost. Making a long story short I decided to go along with him and we hatched our plan.
Before turning in for the night we did the first four items I told of earlier. Then we turned in, but I had a problem getting my cousin to shut up so I could get some sleep.
The next morning I was jolted from my slumber by my cousin who was shouting and violently shaking me. Trying to gather my senses I could see that he was looking and pointing in the direction of the bedroom doorway.
There to my alarm in the dim light of morning was a fuzzy dark shadowlike apparition resembling a slightly overweight man and it was moving!
About that same time the room took on a chilling effect and a bright orange glow suddenly appeared through the window shade.
The figure in the doorway disappeared. Both of us bolted for the living room and stood there open-mouthed.
I telling this to you so that you know that the unexplained remains unexplained. Except for the orange glow which I discovered to be from the rising sun none of the other things can be explained.
People speak of goose bumps and the hair standing up on the back of their necks! They are excellent descriptions of fear or shock! I was exhibiting both of those chilling conditions and if they weren’t enough, my weak knees, the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, my stammering speech and my strong urge to get the hell out of there convinced me! Glancing at my cousin I was assured that what I was seeing; he was too!
The drawers were all opened and their contents were spread across the old desk; the wooden wedges we had made and painstaking wedged into place were now stacked neatly on one corner of the desk. The tape we used to secure the drawers was later found wadded up in the waste basket. Looking at the flour we had spread all over revealed footprints! And there were handprints in the flour on the desk as well. Even the back and arms of the chair had prints on them. Speaking of the chair, it had been moved to a position in front of the fireplace; the rope we used to tie it to the desk coiled in the seat.
Worse, a still warm old battered tin cup with the remnants of black coffee sat on the hearth.
I immediately suspected my cousin and he me but we soon knew that we weren’t the cause. The footprints were too large and there was no coffee in the house.
The only thing we didn’t do was to stay up all night in observation!
In fact I never spent another night there… When I had to stay overnight at the park after that experience you could find me sitting up in the little lifeguard shack located about 200 yards from the “Super’s” quarters!!!
To those poor souls who had to endure being scoffed at by the non-believers when the “Lizard Man” sloshed his way out of the deep, dark, rank recesses of the swamps of Lee County and into their lives I can say that I have experienced on a personal level unexplained occurrences that would be similar in some respects.
For the jokesters out there, wacky weed wasn’t fashionable in Lee County until much later. By the time it was I was serving in Uncle Sam’s Navy.