Friday, June 10, 2011

Blair Mountain March Continues/Historic Picture from Battle of Blair Mountain

There used to be a spring at the foot of Blair Mountain. The local people used it for years before I was born and continued to use it until about 2 years ago. It was the only source of clean water for many of the people in the area. The spring is gone now because of mountaintop mining. People's water wells have been ruptured by the blasting and city water can't be run to the area because the blasting from the mine would destroy the lines.

None of this would have happenned with traditional mining techniques. That is why people are against mountaintop mining. Traditional mining also creates more jobs than mountaintop removal.

This march is being conducted to save a historic landmark. No one has a problem with mining the coal out of the mountain. They just want the mountain to be left when the mine is gone.

bonk, bonk on the head...

...where did I ever learn that phrase from?

It HAS to be from a 70's cartoon or something. I can remember we went around bonking each other all over the place.

That lead to the famous helping hand song.

When we were kids we used to drill each other in the back with the helping hand. Basically we would walk around with our fist smashing unmercifully into the middle of each other's back while singing the helping hand song until somebody cried uncle!

There were no rules, just a pain inflicting fist rammed into your back (usually between your shoulder blades). The fist would follow you everywhere you went. It would start out easy and gradually become unbearable.

Here is the Helping Hand song (that was the only rule, you had to sing the song over and over as long as your fist was in the other person's back)

"The helping hand,

The helping hand,

Helps you anyway it can,

The helping hand,

The helping hand,

Helps you anyway it can"

(keep repeating over and over and over)

You guys can't imagine how hard I am laughing to myself right now.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Boy am I glad that I quit blogging at yahoo

When they did away with 360 I switched to multiply. I still go to yahoo occasionally and retrieve blogs that I managed to save before the big switch. I just went to yahoo to look for a blog and saw that they are in the process of shutting down the current blogs as well.

So if you have anything left at yahoo, you better go save it because it is going to disappear. At least that is what I managed to read because the site is blocked on this particular computer for some reason.


Apparently this stuff is a cure for poison ivy. You would think that since I grew up around her I would know this but I have never heard of it. I have seen it lots of times, I just didn't know what it was. I'll be getting some of this the next time I go into the woods and I'll try it out.

You learn something new everyday.

I Grew Up with the World's Strongest Boy

Growing up there were 5 of us. There was me and Billy and Rhonda, who are my actual brother and sister. Then there was Rusty and Sissy, who grew up in the house next door. We were inseparable and biology is the only thing that actually separated our families. When we moved in I was 10, Billy was 9, Rhonda was 8, Rusty was 7 and Sissy was 5. There was nothing we didn't do together.

Rusty at 7 was bigger than most 12 year old boys. At 10 years of age he was 6 feet tall and weighed 300 lbs. easily. One day we were all playing hide and seek, I was racing around the front of the house to hide when I took a flying leap down the stairs and broke my ankle. I knew it was broken immediately. Thankfully the pain was so severe that my ankle went numb, but I also couldn't breathe it hurt so bad. That means that I couldn't holler for help.

I was standing there leaning on the wall, holding my foot up, when Rusty came around the corner of the house (he was it). He was unable to believe his luck because there I was just standing there and he finds me first. (I was almost always the last one to be found) So he took off running to base which was at the back of the house. Rusty was the slowest of the slow because of his size and normally I would have run him down.
The only thing I could do when I saw that he left me was to stand there and scream! "Rusty! Rusteeeee! Rusteeeee!"

After what seemed like forever because of course he had to touch base before he came back to see what was wrong. He came back. He was still hollering, "one, two, three, on Pam, " because he had to make sure that I knew that I had been caught. I had tell him to go get Mommy and he did. But he didn't just go get her like he normally would, he stood there and rang the doorbell and waited on her to answer the door! In the meantime I am truely suffering.

Mommy came out and took one look at my ankle. It was huge and she said we have to go to the hospital. She was trying to figure out how to get me to the car when Rusty walked over and picked me up under my arms and carried me to the car with his arms fully extended like Frankenstein. I was 16 and he was 12. He gently placed me in the front seat of the car.
We were all amazed by his strength because I probably weighed 150 lbs. or so at the time. We always knew Rusty was the strongest because he always won our weight lifting competitions, but we didn't have enough weights to go anywhere near that high. So we didn't realize until that day just how strong he was.

Rusty was the hero that day. From then on he was the king of weightlifting. We didn't even make him compete. He was just 1st. and then there was everybody else competing for 2nd. place.

"Then you're part of the problem"

I mentioned to someone once that I used to be a greyhound trainer. She started to tell me how badly the dogs were abused and when I tried to assure her that was not the case she tole me she knew from personal experience. I asked her how she knew.

She told me she had worked security at the local track. The same track I had worked for years. She told me she had witnessed on camera the dogs being abused several times. I asked her why she didn't report it. She just looked at me.

I told her that on the few occasions that I had witnessed abuse (and had proof - a videotape would have been perfect proof) I had reported the abuse. Each time the parties involved were disciplined. Not always to my satisfaction but they were disciplined and there was a mark on their record in case it happened again.

I told her if she saw abuse and it was on tape and she didn't report it - "then you're part of the problem."

She shut up and she left.

I am not saying abuse never happens. It does. But if it is reported to the track they take immediate action. Even better when an owner finds out (the best way to report it) then the person involved is usually fired. When other dog people working see abuse then jobs seem to disappear when the abuser is in need of one.

Dogs don't run well when mistreated. A happy dog does it's job better just as a happy person performs better.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Drowning is a Quiet Affair

People think that when someone is drowning there is a lot of splashing and screaming. This is not usually the case. I've been present when a couple of lives were saved and each time there was very little if any noise or action of note.

Once I was laying in the sun when I lived in Florida. We lived at one of those apt. complexes with a pool and people were always sending their kids down to swim unsupervised. There was a little girl playing alone and one other lady lying in the sun as well. I was half asleep when I heard a noise.

I was drowsing back off when I heard a distinct "gurgle" again. Since I was half asleep I just wondered to myself what that sound could be. Then I heard the "gurgle" again. I realized that it was the little girl and I jumped up. I guess the other woman realized what was happening at the same time I did because she was already diving in the water as I stood up. She had to go down to the bottom of the pool to get the little girl. It was a good thing we were there. The girl would have been dead otherwise.

Another time my husband and I were swimming in the same pool. It was very crowded that day. We decided to leave. As I started to climb the stairs out of the pool I looked down to see a toddler laying face up about 2 inches under the surface of the water. She wasn't struggling. She was just laying quietly.

I grabbed her and stood her by the pool and she started to cough and sputter. She was gasping for air and her stupid mother just stood there screaming for her daughter to get back over here instead of trying to find out why my husband and I were trying to help her breathe. She had no idea that her child was close to drowning and even when we told her how we found her baby all she said was that she had just seen her playing on the steps only seconds before that.

In neither case did the child splash and scream or any of the other stuff you would think people do when they are drowning.

I can remember almost drowing when I was 5. I remember being under water and looking at the crawdads that were floating out of the bowl that I had been carrying them in before I stepped into a deep hole. I didn't struggle. I wasn't even scared. My dad didn't see me go under but fortunately my mom did and when she screamed at him he turned around and reached under water and pulled me out by my foot.

I started to cry after he pulled me out but not because I had almost drowned. I was afraid I was in trouble because my mom had told me not to get my pj's wet before I left. I didn't struggle when I went under the water either.

I tried on a bright orange bathing suit and...

...My first thought was , "oh my gawd, it's the great pumpkin!" I raced out of the dressing room laughing and crying at the same time.

Then I tried on another swimsuit and I thought, "why would I pay perfectly good money to look like this." I am going to wear my old, reliable swimsuit.

The Worst Kennel I Ever Worked In

I was watching The Animal Planet Channel last night and was reminded of the reason I wanted to start a blog. I have spent my life changing the lives of animals and bringing various abuses to to attention of others.

I was working at the Palm Beach Kennel Club for one of the top kennels. Both the trainer and helper at one of the bottom kennels quit at the same time. This is not an uncommon occurrance. Whenever this happens the other trainers and helpers pitch in until new help is brought in. However in this circumstance it became obvious that no one was coming to help at this kennel. So I quit my job and went to work at this kennel. The conditions at this kennel were the most deplorable of any kennel that I ever worked for either before or since.

It was not that the dogs were malnourished or that they had been mistreated, this was not the case. The problem was a tick infestation that was far beyond anything that I have ever encountered. This includes any strays that I have saved along the way. There were thousands of ticks on every dog. There were ticks crawling on the floor and up the walls and in the dogs beds. There were so many of them that I cried tears of frustration and anger for about 2 months while I was clearing up the problem. It reminded me of cockroaches in a tenement they were so bad.

First I started to work on the racers. They had so many ticks that their toes were spread apart. It was easy to see why this was a bottom kennel. No dog would be able to race like that much less win a race. I would scrape the ticks from between their toes and make an attempt to clean them from their ears. There were hundreds in each ear. Just eliminating them from these parts of their bodies took weeks, because while I was cleaning them out the ticks were also breeding. I had nothing to kill them with but alcohol. I would carry feedpans full of ticks to the dumpster. In the beginning there was one feedpan per dog. Other trainers would comment on the ticks and were amazed that so many were coming from one dog.

I condemn the previous trainer for the condition of the dogs, he worked there for years so he was entirely responsible for their condition. I commend the helper who worked there because he did the best he could under absolutely horrid conditions. Perhaps the person who should be condemned the most is the track vet. The track vet is supposed to be there to prevent such situations from happening. I am not exaggerating about the dogs toes being spread apart. This was obvious with only a cursory examination of the animal. Also every time a dog races the track personnel read the tattoos in the ears of each greyhound to prevent one greyhound from being substituted for another. This is done by a lower level employee but if even one greyhound would have been reported then the trainer of the kennel would have been forced to clean things up.

Anyway there is a happy ending to the story. I eventually got the tick problem cleared up and I worked for this kennel until they went out of business a few months later.

A trip to the zoo ( circa 1965)

That is me and my brother and my mom in the picture. My sister wasn't born yet but I just noticed that my mom's pregnant in the picture.

When I was a kid I could remember that trip to the zoo. I don't really remember it now.
I know there is a picture somewhere of me feeding a giraffe and one of me and Billy riding in the little rowboats that go round and round too.

One time I asked my mom why she had kids 3 times in a row and then quit all of a sudden. She said, "because they came out with the pill and I refused to go home with your sister until they gave it to me."

Monday, June 6, 2011


When we were in grade school the kids on the school bus substituted a whole box of "feen-a-mints" (laxitive product for those of you too young to know) for a whole box of "Chicklets" (gum - again for those of you too young to know). They gave the whole box to my little brother. He promptly gobbled the whole box down.


We were all rolling deliriously in the aisles. My poor brother (and the bus seat unfortunately) were an awful mess.

Of course I have the good sense now to feel guilty about it. I didn't know then that we could have killed him doing such a thing. In my defense the idea was not mine although by the time the "Chicklet" box made it to him, I did know about it.


One day out of the goodness of his heart or so I thought anyway. He brought me some scrambled eggs. Such kindness should have immediately been suspect but I graciously accepted the eggs and ate them.

WHAT A MISTAKE! Within 5 minutes I was running to the bathroom. I didn't quite make it.

He never would tell me what he put in those eggs!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 3 begins for deer trapped in downtown Charleston

I have already watched her try to cross this street 3 times this morning. Traffic keeps scaring her back.

Now you can see exactly where she is trapped in Charleston (day 2)

Picture of Deer Trapped in Downtown Charleston WV (day 2)

She is a beautiful animal. I just checked her water and she has been drinking it. All 4 sides of this vacant lot are surrounded by busy streets in the middle of downtown Charleston behind the Rite Aid. To get to the mountains in the background she has to cross 4 or 5 blocks of traffic and a busy interstate with 3 or 4 8 foot fences along the way. In the other direction is 4 or 5 blocks and then the river which she would have to swim to get to the mountains on the other side of the valley.

I am trying to get a picture of the whole area now.