Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oh My GAWD! The World Is Really Ending...Here's what's happenning in Charleston, WV

All of a sudden a strong wind started to blow

It got so strong and so hot that I thought the heat was going to set me on fire!

I looked around and the tops of the mountains are in flames!

The flames are getting bigger and bigger

The ground is shaking

The flames are coming clos

Friday, May 20, 2011

How to Get a "Bad Test" in the Greyhound Business

When I say "bad test" I mean exactly that. A test for a dog testing positive for drugs is referred to as a "bad test. They test the winner of every race immediately following the race and one other dog at random. Of course to test the dog, it has to pee. That means that while you are walking your dog after the race then there is a "pee catcher" walking behind your dog with a cup stuck on the end of a long stick. When the dog squats to do it's business they slip the cup in and take a sample.

They test for performance enhancing drugs. They also test for antibiotics or any other drug that would indicate a dog is sick and should not be running. The official position is that if a dog is sick enough to require medication then it is too sick to run. To bad the same position isn't taken with children in minor league sports or even in high school and college!

Anyway, here's the story. I heard from the start that the quickest way to get a bad test was to piss off the judges. It only took me about a year and a half to find out that the trainers were right! I was having a disagreement with track officials because they wouldn't let my husband and I work in separate kennels. They called it a conflict of interest. However, it wasn't a conflict for boyfriend/girlfriend (even if they were living together), father/son, brothers or any other close personal relationships to work in separate kennels. They were not banned, only husband and wife.

One day I decided to call up one of the members of the West Virginia Racing Commission. He was a lawyer named Gaudio in Wheeling. I called his office and asked to speak to him and the secretary put me straight through. I didn't get a whole sentence out before the man uncerimoniously hung up on me. Boy, was I surprised. I had never experienced such treatment in my life! Most people would at least find out why you were calling before they expressed their displeasure and told you not to bother them. Not in this case. He didn't say a word, he just hung up. period. end of conversation.

That evening at weigh in. I took my dogs in and taggged them. As soon as I was finished, Judge Thaw called me into the veterinarian's office with the veterinarian. He absolutely reamed me a new asshole. He was more pissed that I had the audacity to call a member of the racing commission than he was that I was challenging the rule about husbands and wives working in separate kennels. He informed me that I didn't have a snowballs chance in hell of making any changes in the rule. I was in tears by the time he was finished with his tirade.

That wasn't the end of it.

The next day at weigh in Judge Thaw was not there. That was the first time in a year and a half that I had not seen him, personally, at weigh in. (State law requires 2 judges be present at weigh in - there are 3 of them) I have forgotten the judges name who called me into the vet's office that day. He was a nice man. Here is what he told me.

He told me I had a bad test for trimethoprim. He was also nice enough to explain to me what it was because I had never heard of the stuff. Trimethoprim is a common kidney medicine that farmer's give to cows if they are sick and they are trying to get them across the scale alive instead of dead because the meat is worth more that way. If the cow has trimethoprim in it's system, then it comes through in the meat. (including meat for human consumption)

He also told me that all I was going to have to do was to pay a fine of $100.00. The fine would go on my permanent record. If I chose to fight the fine then they would take my license and I would never be allowed to race again.

That is how you get a bad test in the greyhound business.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Have you ever waxed anything?

I waxed one strip on one of my legs one time back in the 80's.


She's a Lady

One time I had a job at a pharmacy. The owners were a husband and wife. The husband was a true blue dickhead and the wife was a wonderful lady. I really didn't mind the husband's terrible behaviour because I had run into worse at the track and I could deal with it. It didn't hurt that a couple of times when I had enough of his crap that his wife would step in and give me a nice raise to stay. The money really added up over the year I had the job.

I truely loved Betty. She did anything she could to help her employees while running the business as a truely savvy business woman should. It was a rare combination that I have seldom seen in my life. I had to declare bankruptcy after my divorce and she actually loaned me the money to pay the lawyer and I was paying it back with an automatic deduction from my paycheck.

One day Walter went too far. The only reason I didn't walk out was because I knew I was borderline of having enough money in my paycheck to pay back the whole loan and not leave them owing them any money. I finished the day to ensure that Betty would get all the money and Walter would not be able to say that I had reneged on my deal.

The last thing I did as I was leaving at the end of the day was to tell the assistant manager that I would not be back. I made it plain to her to let Betty know that she was to take ALL the money I owed them out of my final check. I took the next day to relax and I had another job within a week.

I went back a week later to settle things with Betty for my last check. I knew I had several prescriptions in the drawer that I had taken but not paid for yet (with permission). I drove up to the drive through window and when Betty saw me she came out to my car. She let me know how sorry she was that I was gone and she told me she would have "fixed" what Walter had done. I told her, "I was in a cycle that needed to be broken and I broke it. I have never let anyone treat me the way he did and I never will!" I saw something in her eyes when I said that to her. Respect maybe?

I asked her if I owed her any money and I told her that was the only reason I finished the day. She was aware of that already and she was aware of the prescriptions in the drawer. I told her I would pay for them as soon as possible. She told me she wouldn't accept any money from me for the medicine. In addition she handed me an envelope with a hundred dollar bill in it. When I protested, she said she knew I would need it to tide me over until I got another job.

I was grateful.

A few months later I learned that Betty left Walter. I had seen signs of abuse toward her from him and he had actually lost customers because of some of his treatment of her. They had been college sweethearts and I know she loved him. Sometimes I wonder if the look she gave me when I said, "I was in a cycle that needed to be broken," made something click inside her.

I believe it did.

Since Oprah is is my favorite episode

It was back in the early 90's. She had just done a show that was common back then where they surprised a woman with the fact that her husband and best friend had an affair. It was obvious that the woman was in shock when she heard the news and she was basically so torn up that she was unable to function.

Oprah looked at the woman and she apologized. She told her she would pay for therapy. Most importantly she told her that she would never do one of those kinds of shows again. To the best of my knowledge, she didn't.

That was the beginning of a change in theme of her show. She went from doing the rip somebody apart for ratings thing to actually helping people. It has brought her even more success than anyone could have imagined.

It will be interesting to see if she goes on to rule the world. She has the potential.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We WERE the Bad News Bears

Remember the movie, "The Bad News Bears"? It came out when I was in highschool. Either intentionally or unintentionally we modeled our softball team after them. We lost every game but one in the regular season. It was a good thing the tournament was double elimination because we lost the first game of the playoffs as well. We weren't bad players. We had been together for 3 or 4 years and our goal was to have fun much to our coaches chagrin.

He rode us constantly about how we had the ability to win, we just had to use it... and "Quit clowning around for God's Sake!" After that loss it was time for us to kick it in gear and we won the whole durn shootin' match as they say. We had everybody in the league shaking their heads and asking, "Why didn't you guys play like that all year?" We just laughed and went on our merry ways.

Here is how the greatest loss we ever played went:

We were in the bottom of the 7th. (we played 7 innings) We were behind 10 runs and we won the arguement over whether or not they should use the 10 run rule or not. (We voted "not and they didn't) There were 2 outs and I was up. I always batted 5th. because I was our most reliable hitter. Sue Lee batted clean-up because she was the only one who could hit an actual homer over the fence.

Anyway, the bases were loaded. I smacked a line drive to center field and got a triple out of it. Three runs blasted in by me! It started a rally. Everybody hit at least a single! Even the 2 girls at the bottom of our line up got on base. I actually got to bat another time!

We got 9 more runs before somebody (I don't remember who) got that last out. We ended up losing by one point. It was the MOST EXCITING GAME I EVER PLAYED IN!

I wasn't in Miami 2 hours and I was robbed

We went to Miami to get work at the greyhound track there. We had friends in the business and once we located the track we had to kill a couple of hours before it was time for them to show up. We parked at an Ames store across the street from the track. We went inside just to kill some time.

When we came out of the store the hatchback on the car had been popped! The car was full of stuff because we had been driving back and forth from WV for the previous month. My heart fell to my stomach. The first thing I thought of was my dog, Chuckles. The second thing was the $1500 we had left in the glove compartment.

We ran to the car. Of course no one was anywhere in sight. There was hardly anything missing. Only one suitcase and a couple of bags of souveniers. Boy were we lucky. I credit Chuckles with saving our stuff. I am sure that she probably went ape shit nuts when strangers tried to get into the car!

There was nothing of value in the suitcase because we had been using another one to live out of. The souveniers were meaningless as well. I got some sense of satisfaction that the thieves risked getting caught for less than $100 worth of junk.

I also appreciated my dog so much more. She saved the day - and our $1500! We should have left Miami then and there. Things only went downhill from their. The people were rude and mean. Everywhere you went there were armed guards - even the local Winn Dixie had a security guard at every register.

I went into a Kentucky Fried Chicken one day the the woman was so obnoxious that I would have been happy to just leave with no chicken. After a huge wait we did get our bird though. We rented a studio apartment (complete with murphy bed - which I thought was pretty cool) for $750 + utilities. An unheard of amount for rent for a girl from West Virginia. We left 2 weeks later after I had a miscarriage and couldn't get medical help. It was just too traumatic and I couldn't deal with Miami anymore.

I remember the world was cheering because Nelson Mandela was making his first appearance in America after being released from prison but I couldn't get a doctor to take care of me. So we left. We started over in West Palm Beach. Life was good and nothing like Miami had been.

He was a World Champion Hitchhiker

Back in the 50's all the guys hitchhiked. At least that is what my parents told me. When my dad joined the Navy at 17 (he lied about his age) they sent him to Brunswick, Ga. He hitchhiked home EVERY weekend to see my mom. That is at least a 400 mile trip on the old roads to West Virginia from Georgia. They didn't have I-95 back then. He said he was only in danger of being considered AWOL one time, but even then he pulled up to the base at the last second so he wasn't in any trouble.

My dad never passed up a hitchhiker. I can't tell you the times we would have to squeeze together in the back seat (there were 3 kids) to make room for a hitchhiker. If there were more than one then my mom was forced to do a little scootin' herself. Daddy would ask where they were going and regale them with tales of his hitchhiking days. Many times if they were down on their luck they would leave with my dad's pack of cigs and a few dollars in their pocket that they didn't have when they got into the car.

One time when I was working at P.R.I.D.E. one of the welfare workers came into my office to see me. He said, "I saw your dad this weekend," with a big smile on his face.

"Oh, you did, where at?" I thought maybe daddy had hired him to drive a car to an auction for him or something.

"We went to Vegas," he laughed when he said it.

"Vegas!" I didn't know he was going to Vegas this weekend.

"He didn't either," Bob said. He picked me up hitchhicking and we were talking. When he asked me where I was going I told him, "I don't care, I just want to get the hell out of this place!" So, your dad said, "Would ya like to go to Vegas with me?"

"That sounds like daddy," I said. "Did you have a good time in Vegas?"

"Well, I didn't actually make it to Vegas. I got out somewhere in Kansas. I told your dad I changed my mind so he stopped at a truckstop and bought me dinner and gave me $20 bucks and he took off for Vegas and I came home. You know, your dad's a nice man."

"Yeah, I've heard that." I said.

Monday, May 16, 2011

If We Did Not Die Then It Was Fine

One time I was riding a pony down the side of the mountain between my Granny Brennan's house and Meade's house next door. (Junior Meade was my Granny Brennan's sister's, Erma Lee, husband). Between the two houses was a fairly large strawberry patch. I was riding bareback with no saddle or bridle.

The pony decided that it wanted to eat some strawberries. When it put it's head down to eat the strawberries I slid right down it's neck and over it's head and uncerimoniously flopped on down the mountain. It put a great dent in my delusions of equine horsemanship.

Another time we were playing on the giant log up on the flat. The log was a wonderful place to play. We played school and used it for a balance beam and many a game of King of the Mountain. If I remember correctly (and I think I do) the boys would pee off one end of the log and the girls would pee off the other.

One time I decided to climb a little tree next to the giant log. When I say little tree I should probably say sapling. I shimmied up the tree probably about 6 or 8 feet from the big log which meant I was probably about 15 feet in the air - when the sapling broke! Of course it fell down hill and the mountain was very steep which probably doubled the height of my fall.

My aunts and uncles dusted me off and quieted my tears. Not out of concern but because they knew they would get into trouble if I went back home crying. That night I can remember having one of the worst MIGRAINES of my life. I cried myself to sleep in my mommy's arms holding my "Pokey". (remember Gumby and Pokey)

The greatest fall I ever had was at the park. We used to swing on grapevines. We weren't allowed to do this until my uncles had tested them for strength. We found a cable somebody had strung off of a tree about 40 foot up the side of the mountain. (Keep in mind these mountains are almost straight up and down) There was a creek underneath and then nothing but hard ground. We had a ball on that cable and we sought it out everytime we went to the park.

One day I was swinging on it for the umpteenth time. I fell. I don't know how or why but I fell and I dropped all the way to the DRY creekbed beneath me. I landed on my chin. To this day I can feel the bulb of cartilage that balled up in my chin that day. It was a cheap but very dangerous way to get a chin implant! I did not die so everything was fine.

That is how we gaged danger when I was a kid. If we did not die then it was fine.

Devil Anse Hatfield and His Bears

"We Had to Shave Our Heads to Get Rid of Our Lice!"

When I was first married we lived around the corner from a house full of welfare people. There was a mother and a few teenage daughters and each of them had 3 or 4 kids each. There were around 15 or 20 kids running around that place all the time. The house was barely a shell of a house. The doors were falling off and most of the windows were broken and to say the yard was in a state of disrepair would be to put it mildly, an understatement.

I was driving past the house one day and ALL the little boys were bald and ALL the little girls had very short hair. I stopped and hollered at one of the boys, "Hey, why'd y'all all shave your heads?"

The little boy laughed and said, "to get rid of our lice!!!!"

VROOOOM! I was out of there!

My nail clippers are my teeth!

How does this woman wipe her ass?

Newspaper Pictures from Devil Anse Hatfield Funeral

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My 1978

Saturday Night Fever - this is what people really looked like doing that famous pose!

See the guy to the right with white hair...that was Willie Whitt. I was in love with him. He didn't know I existed. I was a sophomore and he was a senior. OOOHHH THAT HAIR!


We had a substitute homeroom teacher for the last month of the year. Mr. Kessel was pretty cool. One day he was trying to make a point about something when the daily prayer came over the intercom and interrupted him. This was several years AFTER the supreme court ruled that prayer in school was illegal. This did not seem to matter in Logan, WV. We continued to have public prayer everyday anyway.

He was so incensed by the interruption that he angrily wrote on the chalkboard while the prayer was still going on, "THE SUPREME COURT HAS RULED THAT PRAYER IN SCHOOLS IS ILLEGAL". We were in shock that he had the courage to write such a thing - even if it were true. I thought it was one of the coolest things I ever saw a teacher do!

We Were The Champions...Of The World! (in basketball anyway - don't ask about the football team)

Typical autograph page from a high school yearbook.

Robin Grade 12

This is my famous Aunt Robin. She is one year older than I. Her favorite story about us when we were kids is the time she told me I was adopted and I cried and cried and cried. She did this after her brothers and sister told her the same thing. Since she was the youngest I was always the one to be the next in line for whatever they did to her.

Of course I couldn't pass it along to my brother or sister because then "I" would be the one to get into trouble.