The Alabama Trip

I recently made a trip to Southwest Alabama. It was good to get out of the city for a few days. I left Atlanta around 12 noon and arrived at my destination around 6 pm CST. I must tell you from the beginning that I am more of a Central Standard Time guy then an Eastern Time guy. Why would you say that, you ask. While growing up, there was a time that was understood as bedtime. This time was 10 pm because that was when the state news came on ABC, CBS, and NBC (WEAR 3, WKRG 5, and WALA 10 respectively). Your life was almost scheduled by the network schedules. For instance…the Nightly News (national) came on at 5:30. You knew that was supper time. The state news came on at 6. There was some kind of syndicated show (M.A.S.H., Andy Griffith, or Wheel of Fortune) that came on at 6:30, only to fill in the time till the evening entertainment started at 7. By 10 pm, you were expected, in my parents’ house, to turn off the TV and get into bed. While I was down there, this took my body back in time and I felt whole! I know, stupid, but useful. I could sleep!

I spent some time with my parents on Saturday evening, listening to my dad bitch about things not going right with the country. This, however, only proves my point when I say that people in rural areas are shoved so far up Republican ass that they can’t see daylight. I know we are going through some tough times, but they weren’t started during a Democratic presidential term. But putting that aside, I sat in that living room and listened to my dad say one thing and then my mom, in rebuttal, grumble under her breath. She asked me if I was ready to eat, and I said I could stomach something. Supper consisted of baked pork chops, peas, and potato salad. My mom’s cooking has so gone downhill from when I lived there. Half that shit would have been fried! Oh, I forgot. There were some fried green tomatoes. That saved everything! There was no fried okra. There was no big honking piece of meat thrown into the peas along with half a salt block! LOL! Since my dad has been diagnosed with high blood pressure (read Satan), he has been told to not eat fried foods and lots of salt. Such a hindrance to my mom’s fantastically wonderful southern cooking. I digress. I ate, I listened to more talking, and then I went to my sister’s house so that I could get some quiet sleep!

Labrinas great house in Alabama

Labrina's great house in Alabama

I am so excited for my sister. She found her house for around $40,000. I almost shat myself when I heard this. You would never find this kind of deal in the Atlanta area. It is a three bedroom, one bath, with a large living room and a combination kitchen/dining room that is amazingly large. The dining room has a fireplace, but she is in the process of getting rid of it. The hardwood paneling in the house is very special. It is made of planks produced by the mill at Scotch Lumber Company in Fulton, AL. Those are not made anymore. Once those planks are varnished, they shine like diamonds. You have to keep them polished, but that’s a little work for something great. I know of at least 4 houses that have these installed. I only wish they were still processed at that mill. I know they can be purchased elsewhere, but they truly aren’t the same. Even the name of the mill is burned into the end of the board. But enough about the boards. As you can tell by the picture, the yard needs some work. The grass will start growing and spread where there is none. She is in the process of renovating some of the house…some things that are necessary these days are missing. For instance, there is no central heating/cooling. There are window units in the bedrooms, but in that area of south Alabama, it’s crazy to have small AC units. It’s a waste of energy. She will soon be installing a unit and will have to install the vent system as well. Nothing was ever made ready for a cooling unit.

I went to the high school I graduated from and visited a teacher that is like my second mother. She was my Spanish teacher and taught me more than just Spanish while in her class. She was one of the better teachers of our day. Mrs. Davis actually cared about the personal well-being of her students. Of course, she probably had her favorites, but that comes with any teacher. If you showed interest in improving yourself, she would stand beside you and help you make that happen. Not so much for the class clowns who didn’t give a rat’s ass about education. She saw the need in my brother as well and became as close to him as she was to me. She came to church one Sunday and heard me sing “Beulah Land” for Baptist Mens’ Day. I didn’t mean to make most of the women cry that day, but it happened. I had a knot in my throat the whole time as well. But onto my visit, the school is the same name, totally different building. The old one was getting too run down and something modern was needed. Oh well, my fond memories will always be in the old buildings. At least two or three of the outlying buildings are there.

I didn’t get to go fishing like I had wanted. That was a downside of the trip. I forgot my rod and reel over here in GA. Could have used my dad’s, but that was OK. I made it through the trip without going. I did make a trip to Meridian, MS. I spent a bunch of time there while attending West Alabama. Probably more than I should have. I could have been studying…..or drinking with friends…..or studying! Went to Bonita Lakes Mall with my brother and then went back to AL.

That’s sadly the extent of my trip. From Saturday to Wednesday evening, my life was just filled with excitement. Extended talks with my brother and some time visiting friends made up the most enjoyable parts. When I get tired of the life in the city again, I’ll find my way down there for a few days.

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