Saturday, September 22, 2018

"Chas" from Chas & Dave Has Died...Charles Hodges

Chas and might have noticed their names on my blog before. How much I love them and their musical talents!  Today, Charles "Chas" Hodges has died.  He had been going through cancer treatments for some time now.  When our son was a baby, my English in-laws sent us " Chas & Dave's Jamboree Bag #3". It  had so many songs on it!  They included old songs from the music halls in England but with Chas & Dave's own kind of style.  There was a Knees Up Side, a Rock and Roll side, Waltz side, and an Old Time Boogie side.  I wonder how much this influenced our youngster in his love of music.    How much we enjoyed this in the car as we traveled! It was almost always what our C. would ask for.  We would all sing along joyfully with them.

Of course, Chas and Dave were also songwriters! You all must know by now how much I admire songwriters. Some of their biggest hits: "Ain't No Pleasing You", "Rabbit", "Snooker Loopy" and do you remember the song that was used for London Heathrow Airport "Coming Home"- that was written by Chas & Dave.

One of the songs that they wrote,  "Mustn't Grumble" is one of my favorites.  Listen to the words!   Once again, the combination of music and words combined perfectly together is simply a marvel to me.  Bloomin' marvelous, Chas! Thank you. 

Hey!  Why not give you more of that album?  Okay then,  here is the Old Time Boogie Side.  We need to hear more music like this. Sing along if you like, I am sure that would be a nice way to honor Chas. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What Signal Would You Send? / London Pubs!

Hey! Remember me telling you that our son writes for  the Beer Connoisseur Magazine?  On their Instagram recently, they had something that made me laugh.  It said, " If you ever see me drinking a Bud Lite Lime, I have been kidnapped and am trying to signal you."  That made me think...  what would you say?

If you ever see me ___________________,   I have been kidnapped and am trying to signal you. 

As for myself, it could be a number of things.  Perhaps, I could say if you see me even HOLDING a cigarette that could be a huge clue that something is clearly wrong with the universe.  (Never smoked and have been anti-smoking since I was a kid.  Ask my aunts and uncles!)

The Fall issue of the Beer Connoisseur is out now.  Christopher wrote an article about the pubs that he visited when he was in London this summer.  You may read a part of that article just here. (You can't read all of it unless you are a paid subscriber to the magazine.)  Still, it will be worth your while to read his writing,  even if you can't read all of it!

Now, don't forget to tell could you signal family and friends if you were in danger.  What would you do that would be so out of character that your loved ones would instantly know that you were sending a clear sign that you were in distress? Of course, hoping that you are never in distress, my friends! It is just something that I thought might be amusing for you to think about. We all need a laugh these days, right? 

It's Yellow Daisy time!  This is the time of year when the beautiful yellow daisies are blooming at Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain and Panola Mountain. They seemed to bloom earlier this year, so get out there quickly to see them if you are in the Atlanta area!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter was our 39th President of the United States of America.  He was from Georgia, which I hope you know!  You might not know Dad met him on a plane years ago, and Jimmy Carter made a point to walk down the aisles of the plane and to shake hands with all those aboard. Since then, I have heard that others have witnessed this. So, does that mean that he does this on every single flight he has flown? That's Jimmy for you!

  What has he been doing these past years?  Why, still teaching Sunday school at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, GA.   Oh, and even though he went through treatment for brain cancer last year, he and his wife, Rosalyn, still work very hard building houses for Habitat for Humanity.  You might not agree with his politics, you must agree that he has to be one of the busiest ex-presidents that we have ever had.  You may read more about Jimmy Carter just 

Remember on my last post about the Rockdale Art Farm?  The Special Issue Permit was approved!  It will still have to be approved by the Board of Commissioners but I hope that that will be just a formality and that I will be able to tell you more in the weeks to come.  Thanks for all your well wishes.
Thinking of all those on the North Carolina coast tonight.  The pictures from there look scary. (This is a photo from the pier in Eastbourne, England.)  They don't think we will get much rain here in Georgia. It was hot today, my car said 100 degrees when I left work at the end of the day. HOT. Ready for autumn and cooler temperatures. 
Take care.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

RAF- Rockdale Art Farm!

When someone says the letters R-A F, I hope that reminds you of the Royal Air Force in Britain. Being married to a Brit you might think that is why I always think of things from England but no, it is because I have read so much about World War II that I know about the RAF and have such a high regard for them.  If you don't know about the RAF and the Battle of Britain, please look it up and you will understand my meaning. The Battle of Britain Memorial Society is a good place to start, you may find it just here.  It is an amazing site to visit, please look at it!  After reading this, I hope you will also want to bow your head in remembrance at the sound of the letters...R.A.F! They quite simply saved the world. 

Mike at his blog "A Bit About Britain" had an amazing write up about the Battle of may find it just  here.
(Go and read this.  You will be glad you did.)

Rockdale Art Farm here in Rockdale County can also be shortened to RAF.  Isn't it an exciting thing! A while back on one of our walks at Panola Mountain State Park, Richard and I spoke to one of the fellow walkers on the trail...he stopped and told us that he had plans to open a community arts center, but since it would be adjacent to the park, it would be connected with the natural world.  Would we be interested in getting involved with this arts center?  Would we!  Where do we sign up?
Not that we are important or anything, not wealthy or have great prestige...we are just people who love the outdoors and are  quite happy to share that love with others! I know that they plan to have a pollinator garden there and oh my goodness...that would be perfect for my husband! Why he is just the best gardener around, you should see all the bees and butterflies out my window as I type this! (Not to mention all the great photos that he can take.) Okay then, Kay, you are thinking...what can you do? Well, I can talk!  Oh my yes, I can tell others about this place and hopefully, the word will spread!

One thing though, the Rockdale Art Farm must have approval from Rockdale County first!
  Tomorrow evening, there will be a Rockdale Art Farm Rally at a local coffee shop which is just across the street from the Planning Commission meeting.   Then, we will walk across the street and hopefully will receive the support needed to convince the Board of Commissioners to issue the Special Use Permit so that the Rockdale Art Farm will get the go-ahead.  If so, then it should open in the spring of 2019.   (This will be voted upon on October 9th...which is just around the corner now!) 

(Note: Awake Coffee Co.  at 862 North Main Street on Sept. 13th,  from 5:30PM to 6:45PM.
The Planning Commission Public Hearing is at 7:00PM and is  across the street, on the corner of Main St. and Milstead Ave. at the Assembly Hall at 901 Main Street-this used to be the location of the Baptist church many years ago!)

Richard and I were able to go on a tour with Joe Eifrid (the nice man that I told you about earlier, the one that we met on our walk at Panola Moutain State Park.) and it is a lovely site. Thanks, Joe!  We met artists who had painted just a few pictures and they were truly amazing.  One had painted a view of an old house that was across the street and another had painted some scenes of a few old trucks that had been at the back of the property. My, that doesn't sound very exciting does it? But that is just the fault of my writing, those TRUCKS were jaw dropping, the colors that the artist could see in them!  And the old white house with the bushes curling around it, shaded in the old oak trees pretty.  Why, you could just hear the bees buzzing!

                                Part of the Trail at Panola Moutain, near the RAF (we could see those old trucks through the trees that are on the property...never dreamed I would recognize them in a painting!)

Now, no one will ever ask me to do reviews of paintings, I am sure! Still, I hope that you can see a bit of what I am trying to tell you here.  I am sure that you will wish Joe the best of luck in trying to get this done.  We all have high hopes!  

UPDATE:  The Board approved the Special Use Permit!  It passed 4-1.  Now, it goes to the Board of Commissioners.  There really should be no reason that they will turn it down so... I hope to be able to tell you more about the RAF, the Rockdale Art Farm in future weeks!  Look out for my news! Thanks for all your well wishes, fellow art and nature lovers.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

I Want To Break Free!

The baggage handlers at London Heathrow did a tribute to Freddie Mercury yesterday on what would have been his 72nd birthday. (He once worked as a baggage handler at Heathrow.)

Now I know why it takes so long for me to get my bags! Just kidding...I hope. 

They can't get their hands on this one of mine! I have shown you this before, it is my carry-on which was a high school graduation gift from 1975.  Hope you all have a golden day!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Christopher- "The Babe" and A Great Writer

Hey!  Remember me telling y'all that our one and only son writes for a living? Don't you want to read something by him? (Please say yes!)
Christopher just wrote a piece about the manager of the Yankees being suspended from this past Friday night's baseball game.  You may read all about it!

C. has been writing about basketball for some time now, on not one but two websites!  They are: Soaring Down South and also, 94 Feet Report.   You may find them here  and also here!  The website that I told you about in that first paragraph is about professional baseball. Have I mentioned my fondness for that game before? Might have, just a time or two!  (I "watch" the Braves with my Dad as I speak with him on the phone, we turn the sound down and discuss it as we watch it together.)

Now even if you don't care for sports and even if you don't know one thing about it, I wish you would read his writing.  I think he is very good! Of course, I am his Mom and you might naturally think I would think so, but I truly believe that he has a way with words.

By the way, you have to be quick to read these on-line pieces! I just clicked on the first link that I gave you (which is the and he has written another piece about the LA Clippers!

  Years ago, when C. was about 11, he played a basketball game and was fouled in the last minute.  The game was tied and if he made the two foul points, his team would win the game.  Did he make those shots?  Of course he did!  Afterwards, his coach came up to him, spoke a few words and then, walked away.  Later, I asked him what the coach had said to him.   His reply? "You're the Babe". 
For anyone who does not know, Babe Ruth was just a fantastic baseball player, you can look him up. He held the record for most home runs until it was broken by the great Hank Aaron (pictured to the left of C. above.).  When someone calls you "the Babe", that is a high compliment in any sport!

Christopher, this is especially meaningful to me.  You will always be "the Babe" to me, in more ways than one!

P.S.  I don't want anyone reading this to get the wrong idea about our son.  C. is not just interested in sports, he is very interested in a great number of things.  When he visits England, he tries his best to get to London and visit the fantastic art museums and galleries there.  He is also a great guitarist and songwriter and is very knowledgeable about music. So, if any of you know of anyone who has a website about art or music that needs a writer...
  Not forgetting that he majored in FILM at Georgia State University, so he can also be a film critic! Just saying!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

John McCain

If you would like to read an excellently written obituary about John McCain, I have the link from the BBC for you.  You may read it just here.  

If you want to read a really good book, I would suggest this one:
"Faith of My Fathers" written by John McCain and Mark Salter.
There is a newer book by them that just came out this year: "The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights and Other Appreciations".   

Appreciations...I appreciate those in politics who work very hard and who do not always follow in the mainstream thinking of their own political party.  As an American, I mourn his loss to this country and to the world.

"Eternal Father, Strong To Save" is a hymn that I have chosen here in his honor.  Of course, it will be sung at his funeral, it has been associated with the U. S. Navy since the 19th century.  (The lyrics were written by an Englishman, William Whiting in 1860.)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

I Am Going To Read You The Riot Act!

From my title, you all are thinking that I am going to give you a real dressing down, don't you?  No! It is just my way to tell you of something that I just learned.  I have heard the expression "reading the riot act" for years and knew the meaning of it (easy enough) but why do we say that?

Doing some research on my family tree recently, I discovered an ancestor born in 1714 in London.  There was a link that said that there were riots in London during that year, so I typed this into a search engine:   "London riots in 1714". 

If you want to read about the Coronation riots, you may do so just here.   Pretty fascinating  eye-blinking history, if you ask me. 
As a result of these riots, Parliament passed  the Riot Act 1714.  Whenever a group of 12 or more were unlawfully assembled, they had to disperse or face punitive action.  This was the wording that had to be read out to those that were gathered:

Our sovereign lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies.
God save the King.

If those who were assembled did not disperse within one hour, then the authorities could use force to make them leave.  If there was serious damage to places of worship, houses barns or stables, the punishment was death.

The ancestor I was researching? He worked in Smithfield Market in London, and his father worked there also.  The photo above is the clock in Smithfield Market, which I am sure must have built in the Victorian era but the market itself has been there since the 10th century.  I wonder how far back my ancestors have been in London?  Interesting, isn't it?  I keep telling y'all I have that English heart!

And Hey!  Behave yourself or I will read you the RIOT ACT!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

I'm For The Birds-I HOPE You Are Too!

Want to see some fantastic photos of birds? You should see the pictures that were entered into the Audubon Photography Contest for 2018.  You may see them just  here!  (Let me know if you have the time to look at the photos and what you think. I love the one with the bird in the stream holding that leaf...for some reason, that one really stood out for me.)

Will you see any of MY photos there?  Not hardly! Although, I must tell you that I took a photo one year of two baby blue-grey gnatcatchers in my backyard and that photo is proudly displayed at the home of my in-laws in England.  Hey, I should have sent it off to Audubon that year! (And if you are thinking that Richard must have taken that picture, he was at work, so I promise that one is mine. Honest!)

 I am glad that we were able to take my English in-laws, Joan and Peter to Florida when our son, Christopher was just a wee lad.  We went to the Gulf Coast side of Florida and we all enjoyed a bird sanctuary there at Indian Rocks Beach.   Joan and I both got t-shirts that said "I'm For The Birds". Recently, our son went back to the same area and I am happy when he told me that the bird sanctuary is still there.  It is called the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary and it is FREE! (Of course, you will want to support it if you visit, either by donations or by purchases.) I have a link for you just here.
Christopher visited the sanctuary in honor of his Nana, who died in March of this year.

It is not easy to get a good photo of a bird.  They FLY, for Pete's sake, and they move very quickly when they are on the ground or on a limb of a tree or bush but here's the thing, they are beautiful!
So, it is well worth your time to notice them and to observe them. Not sure what bird you are seeing?  It is quite easy to identify them now with the aid of the computer and digital cameras. Back in the day, one could only identify them from bird book guides with photos and that, my friends, was not an easy thing to do!
 We very much miss the lakes that were drained at Panola Mountain State Park.  We miss them very much.  The work is still being done there, so we are in hope that we will have the lakes back again in the spring of 2019.  Here's hoping!  Hope...

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

This poem is by Emily Dickinson. I am sure you know it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Going Up The Country Song

It amused me to see this ad on TV and recognize the song.  Well, really, I only knew the music...I never could understand the words!  I just looked it up and apparently "Going Up The Country" has been called the unofficial anthem of Woodstock, the big music festival in 1969.   I just happened to have the closed captions on when the commercial came on, so now I know the lyrics!   The lyrics were written by Alan Wilson, the lead singer of Canned Heat, an American blues band. (Sadly, Alan Wilson died just one year after Woodstock at the age of 27.)  The music was adapted from a blues song written by Henry Thomas.  (I just researched Mr. Thomas and now, I want to make a film on HIS life! Okay now, I see that I will have to do another post JUST about the blues...look out for it!)

Is anyone else just now finding out about song lyrics that everyone else knows?  Anybody?  Or is it just me?  Let me know!

"I'm going up the country, baby don't you want to go?"

(This looks like a wide open road but it is really a bike/walk trail at Panola Mountain!  That is the most going up the country that I am doing!


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Corporal Terrell J. Fuller-Hometown Hero, Home At Last

Corporal Terrell J. Fuller     

  Between 1990 and 1994, Korea returned 208 boxes of human remains which were later determined to contain the remains of  400 U.S. Servicemen.  Through sophisticated DNA testing many of them have been identified.  One of them, Corporal Terrell J. Fuller was from my hometown of Toccoa, Georgia.  I am proud to say that yesterday he was given a burial in Toccoa with full military honors.  His body was flown from Honolulu to Atlanta and from Atlanta to Toccoa by car, he had a military escort.  If you click on his name at the first of this post, you may read more about him from an excellent written obituary.  
It appears that he had been a prisoner of war.  In 1954, Fuller's name had appeared on a list of soldiers who had died in custody. Another soldier has come forward and stated that he remembered him as a fellow POW. 

Corporal Terrell J. Fuller was laid to rest on Aug. 11, 2018, on what would have been his 88th birthday.   He is buried in Stephens County Memorial Cemetery.  It is same place where my grandparents are buried, my father's parents and it is serenely beautiful.  Corporal Terrell J. Fuller, may you rest in peace, surrounded by those from your hometown. 

On a personal note, I wonder how many have Terrell as a name in this area.  One of my cousins had that name as a middle name on my mother's side and on my Dad's side, his brother has Terrell as a middle name.  There was a well known doctor by that name (Dr. Terrell, it was his surname) and he must have been very well loved.
My cousin died at a young age but my Uncle John is in his 90's.

I must also mention to you that my mother's first husband died in Korea.  I will never forget seeing the American flag so carefully folded and his Purple Heart in our cedar chest.  Roy Hollifield was killed July 7, 1952.  He was only 24.  

From the Korean War,  7691 Americans still remain unaccounted for. May all those who have died in service be honored and remembered.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

New Film About Laurel and Hardy! "Stan and Ollie"

Have you heard?  There will be a new film about Laurel and Hardy!  Why goodness me, the universe is paying attention to what I would like to see on the screen! The actors who have been chosen to play them... John C. Riley as Oliver Hardy (the chubby American one) and Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel (the thin English one).  Please forgive me for using those physical descriptions! 

You MUST see how closely the actors resemble the men that they have been cast to portray.    You may see them just   here!

There, isn't that amazing!  What perfect casting, don't you think so too?

Now, the film is centered on the very last part of their careers, when they both toured the U. K and Ireland in 1953.  Their love of performing and their genuine fondness for each other was evident on this tour and their audiences were greatly supportive.  

On a personal note, since I call myself Georgia Girl With An English Heart, you must know that I would be a fan of Laurel and Hardy!  Stan Laurel being English and Oliver Hardy as a native of Georgia, so you know I love them!  Why, I think I even have a photo of them at the bottom of my blog, if you care to look.  Also, I have had a video on here of them dancing.  I know you want to see it again!  (That is Chill Wills and The Avalon Boys who are doing the singing...I love the song! You might recognize the one seated, the one who is doing the yodeling...that is Chill Wills! He was in a lot of Westerns during the 1960's.  His voice was even used for Francis, the talking mule!)

 Folks in England must really like Laurel & Hardy a lot.  I photographed this at a garden near Eastbourne!  Can't wait to see this film! I read that the director feels that Laurel and Hardy are his "heroes", so I am sure that he will do a good job by them.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

11 Alive

One of our local TV stations here in the Atlanta area is called "11 Alive".  It is on Channel 11, of course.  I wonder if anyone that hears that is reminded of John F. Kennedy.  "11 Alive".. I saw that today because it was on Aug 2, 1943 that a Japanese destroyer rammed an American patrol torpedo boat (called a PT boat.)  It was PT 109 and two crewmen were killed.  Eleven survived and one of them was Lt. John F. Kennedy.  First, they stayed in the water for five hours clinging to the debris.  Then, they swam to a small coral island. (With Lt. Kennedy towing a badly wounded man as he swam.) Kennedy went back out to sea, hoping to flag down a ship...he didn't see one, so he swam back to the island but with the strong currents and his bad back, he became ill.  After he recovered enough, the PT 109 crew then swam to another island (which he thought was Nauru Island but in fact was Cross Island.) It was there that they met up with two natives and Kennedy carved a message onto a coconut shell.  

 The message was : "Nauru Is. Native knows posit. He can pilot. 11 alive need small boat".

The men were rescued.  John F. Kennedy had the coconut shell preserved in wood and plastic and he kept it as a paperweight on his desk in the Oval Office.

It has always been a source of amazement to me to read of those who survive when others might just give up.  Can you imagine what it must have been like to have been in the open ocean like that, not knowing if you can make it to an island, and even if you reach shore if you might encounter the enemy? Kennedy always tried to downplay the experience but he never, ever forgot the men he served with nor the men who rescued them. 

"Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye" by Kenneth  O'Donnell and David Powers is a book about John F. Kennedy  that I can recommend to you. Written by two of his closest friends and advisors, it is a book to read and remember.  

Also, you might have seen the film "PT 109" starring Cliff Robertson as John F. Kennedy.  I knew that it was from the 1960's but I was curious, so I just looked it up.  It was released in June of 1963 and President Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, just five months later. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Pops Staples, Carlene Anderson)

American/English.  I know I drive you all crazy but I promise that these kind of connections just fall into my lap.  My aunt in North Carolina likes to have videos on her Facebook page.  Recently, she had a song on there which was from a music show from England hosted by Jools Holland.   If you watch the video, you should know that Johnny Cash, June Carter and Pops Staples are no longer with us, but we can still enjoy their music!  (The show was from 1994.)

So...the show was from England and the song was "Will The Circle Be Unbroken".  Did you know that the lyrics to this song was written by a woman from England? Ada R. Habershon was born in Marylebone, England in 1861 and spent her childhood in Chelsea in London.  Her first hymns were written in German.  I just looked it up! Not that I know much German but I think I recognize it when I see it! "Vorbilder: Christus im alten Testament, 1899." (Just looked THIS up and it means, "Role Model: Christ In the Old Testament.)  

Now, the song "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" was re written by  A. P. Carter for a funeral and released in 1935 by the Carter Family. (June Carter Cash, a part of the famous Carter Family, of course.)  I wonder if the version by the Carter Family is the one that you are hearing in this video!   

I love the video so very much!  Each and every one of the singers here- just amazing! Johnny Cash, what a voice!  June Carter Cash, her voice is very good in this, and it makes it special to me to know that this song must have been a treasured family memory for her.
Pops Staples! His voice on this song is incredible!  Why, when I listened to this the first time, I had to keep re-winding it and keep listening to him. What joy!  "Clap ya hands, you'll feel better!"  
Love that! 
My friends, if you don't know Pops Staples- please read about him just here!

Carleen Anderson...goodness me, here comes that English connection again for me! She is American and is the step daughter of Bobby Byrd (who was born in my place of birth, Toccoa, Georgia.) but she now lives in England! She is very successful there but I just bet that if you are reading this in the USA, you might never have heard of her.  That is often the case, many of our artists are much more appreciated on the other side of the pond!

Okay now, at the very beginning of the video...the man on the piano is Jools Holland, who was also the host of this TV show.  Jools Holland was in the band "Squeeze". I hope you know that music from the 1980's!  (Cool For Cats, Up The Junction, Another Nail In My Heart.)

Hey  Y'all!  You know OWL always love you!  High in a pine tree, this is not the best photo but I almost fell over backwards taking it!  That is one big owl, isn't it?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Personal Memories-American Troops in Britain In WW 2

Recently, I told you about my visit with my Dad and sisters to the Currahee Military Museum. Remember I told you the paratroopers were sent to England to await the news for D-Day? Of course, there were many other troops that were stationed there. (My Uncle George, my Dad's brother, was one of them.  He was an MP and he spent two years in England.  How I wish he were still around so I could talk to him about this!)  I was most pleased to hear from a friend in England who told me that his father had good memories of the American troops that he knew as a youngster in Herefordshire.   I was delighted to learn that he had even met JOE LOUIS!  And if you do not know who he is, then I strongly suggest you learn about him!  I have a link for you just here!  

What an amazing and interesting man, see if you don't agree! (And that is something that Joe Louis, the American boxer known as the "Brown Bomber" has in common with the Englishman, Henry!)

 The thousands of Americans that were stationed in Great Britain - I have heard the phrase about them, "Oversexed, overpaid and over here"...yes, I know that but I have to tell you that from anyone that I have ever met the only thing that I have felt is a great relief and gratitude that the "Yanks" as they call us, came into the war. They were very thankful that they did so. The Brits had been at war since 1939... okay, now for those personal memories from Henry who was from Herefordshire!
(My thanks to Henry for speaking with his Dad and getting this information to me and thanks to Henry Sr. for the memories! Cheers from this very grateful YANK!  xx)

Note- "Fags" means cigarettes in Britain!

           Henry on the right, with his wife, Joy and son, Henry.

- The code name for the conveyor belt of American battalions that would pass through Herefordshire on the way to the Continent was Operation Bolero. The main site for the encampment of troops was Berrington Hall, home to the Cawley family, which stood in hundreds of acres just outside Leominster (pronounced Lemster). 

- Henry remembers thousands of troops, drawn from all over the States, being there at any one time. The earliest troops to arrive were black - the first 'negroes' that the locals had seen - and their role was to build the camp. Lady Cawley deliberately  had crops planted at the front of the hall so that the troops would have to live at the back and not be so visible. She was, though, agreeable to the hall being used as a hospital.

- H met Joe Louis briefly. Louis was there more as a morale booster than a regular soldier and it was noticeable that he was treated with more respect than the average black. H recalls going in US Army vehicles over the local hills. And plenty of fags and gum.

- Most of the early units arrived 18 months later in early '44. General Patton, dressed in an Eisenhower jacket and  riding breeches, and bearing a crop and ivory-handled pistols, addressed the troops in June and used the F word liberally

- Other units were stationed around the county. A hospital was set up at the bottom of Hergest Ridge near Kington. Hergest would come to prominence 3 decades later as the brief home of Mike Oldfield and title of his second album

- The main hospital was located just to the north of Leominster at Barons Cross. Its dual functions were the welfare of troops in the vicinity and as a general hospital for those injured in Europe after 6 June and its capacity was 1,000 beds. The water supply came from nearby wells.

- The hospital was put to use just a few days after D-Day when the first trainload of combat casualties arrived at Leominster station. The trains kept coming. 70% of the injuries would be orthopaedic in nature and death was rare. Elective surgery was not carried out on those not expected to return to duty within 90 days

- The heaviest pressure on the hospital was after the Battle of the Bulge. It was not unusual for soldiers to be readmitted to hospital 2 or 3 times after further spells of active duty. The last hospital train arrived on 9 May 1945 and 2 months later the hospital ceased functioning.

- The hospital had its own dance band 'The 135th Woodchoppers'. Christmas 1944 was observed in much the same way as it would be in hospital today.    

-  Many of the menial tasks at the hospital were done by German and Italian POWs who became occupants of the tents and the nissen huts when the Americans left Berrington Hall in early August 45.


Friday, July 20, 2018

First Man (Neil Armstrong) Movie Trailer

Ryan Gosling will portray Neil Armstrong ,the first man to step foot on the moon, in the film "First Man".  Based on the book "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong" by James Hansen, the film will be released in October.  I very much enjoy books and films about real people so you all know I had to tell you about this one! "Apollo 13" is one of my favorite movies. Even though that was more of a "rescue" kind of film, it showed how dangerous it really was trying to get those astronauts back to Earth, and then, the joy at doing so!  The book "Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13" by Jim Lovell is one I highly recommend! (Remember when Neil Armstrong came by to comfort Jim Lovell's family? I know they take liberties during films but I can just bet that he did this!)

 When he first stepped on the moon, Neil Armstrong was supposed to say " That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind"... but he left out the "a" or it wasn't picked up or something and somehow, just leaving that out, it gave it more, I am not sure, more feeling somehow. Not just one man, but all of mankind being with him. I will never forget the thrill of hearing these words from him on that hot night on July 20, 1969...

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Imagine what it must have been like for the astronauts to see the Earth from the moon.  If you look at the NASA photos now, you will see their marvelous photos from the Space Station.  I highly recommend that you do so! Would you like a link to the best photos from space from 2017?  Sure you would!  Here it astronaut photos from 2017.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Who's Looking At You?/ "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Bethlehemian Rhapsody"

Hey! Y'all remember when I asked you what you thought this structure might be on the seafront in Eastbourne in England?  Who thought it looked like binoculars? You were right! It is a beachside hut and those windows are meant to look like BINOCS (as they say across the pond!) I have a link to the article in the newspaper just here.   The paper is The Sun...I am so old I remember when it was famous for their topless Page 3 girls! (Just looked it up and this was only eliminated in 2017.)  I also remember the Eastbourne seafront in the 1980's with many of the women not wearing their bathing suit tops. (Never bothered me any and honestly, it didn't seem to be that big of a deal!)  If this was still allowed, then it would make this new beachside hut a bit creepy, don't you think? Of course, that is not the way it is now, so you will just have to forgive me for thinking that way!  Apparently, the structure does move, if you are wondering, it certainly makes more sense for the windows to be facing towards the can't see the back of it but it is a curved window, you will see it if you go to that link I gave you!

It sure is hot here in Georgia just now and the mercury is rising! Which reminds me, did anyone see that there will be a new movie out about Queen (Freddie Mercury, see how I did that?) and you know I have the trailer of the movie for you here. The film's title will be "Bohemian Rhapsody".  (Come on, you know you have sung that song before!)

That reminds me...Richard and I were in England during the "Live Aid" concert.  Have you ever seen it?  When Queen was performing and Freddie Mercury came out in his white tank top?  He had that crowd in the palm of his hand, I am telling you, it was an incredible performance! 

I really like the actor who will portray Freddie Mercury- his name is Rami Malek.  Most people know him from Mr. Robot but I know him from the Night At The Museum films (he was in both of them).  I hope he wins an Oscar for this! 

Okay then, I hope you are all doing well!  I always have so much to write about and so little time to collect my thoughts and post them.  Ah heck, Kay, you are saying to yourself, when has that ever stopped you before?  Just jot any old thing down and we will read it.  You are right, you are all so kind and I appreciate you!  I feel like a crazy old Aunt in an attic typing away sometimes...

I have given you the above video is the same tune as Bohemian Rhapsody but these lyrics really go very well with the music. If you have not seen it before, please view it and enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Arabia Mountain History (It Involves Football)

The Brits play football everywhere they go! (I say "football" but for Americans, it is always referred to as "soccer".)  Of course, it is not just the Brits, it is played all around the world. However, it is a story of the BRITS in this area that I want to tell you about!  If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know my love for Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain and Panola Mountain...I have been telling you about them for years! Arabia Mountain...I have always thought it had to be called that by the men from Scotland and Wales who worked in the quarries there! "Hotter than Arabia", I can just imagine them saying this.  Okay then, what is it that I just found out about them? Why, it is just amazing to learn this... they had arrived from Scotland and Wales and were playing football in Dekalb County (which is where the aforementioned mountains are located) in the 1880's!  This is just astounding to me!  I found this out on the Arabia Mountain website and I have the link for you just here.

By the way, I cannot imagine the men working on quarrying the stone from these "mountains" in such extreme heat and then, playing their football after they finished in the evenings!  But that is the love of the game for you! 

There is more that I want to tell you about Arabia Mountain's history but that will have to wait for another post! 

If you are ever at Stone Mountain, please visit the Quarry Exhibit that they have there.  I have a video for you above!

This is me on top of Arabia Mountain.  One of my favorite places!  On top of the world!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Three Lions-It's Coming Home

Hello, my friends!  I love England and I love sports, so do y'all think I am enjoying this World Cup?  You bet, I am!  Tomorrow, England will be playing Croatia!  I will be working but...if I work through my lunch and get off an hour earlier, I will just be able to get home in time to watch the last few minutes of it!  Don't worry, I won't drive TOO fast...wink, wink!

You would not believe the excitement in England while the World Cup is going on! I have been there in years past while they have been playing. (Photo above is our son in 2010.) Lots of people will put their English flags on their front doors or else hang them out their windows. Please note that the English flag does NOT have the word "Gillette" plastered over it but that just proves my point, that companies will give those away (with a purchase) and football fever is everywhere!  I wouldn't say that the streets in England are completely deserted while England plays in the World Cup, but they looked pretty empty to me!

Anyway, if you have seen England playing in the World Cup, you might have heard them singing several songs, like "God Save The Queen" and "Rule Britannia".  There was one song that I didn't know and just couldn't quite make it out but with a little research, I found out that it was "Three Lions".   This song was written in 1996 but you know that it has now been re-done for 2018! Guess what, I just saw on the BBC that is number one on the charts! Of course, it would be!  "It happened once before, it can happen once again".  If you see guys wearing football shirts in England and you wonder why they have the year "1966" upon them, that is because that is the only year that they won the World Cup!  (And you can't say, "better luck next year" the way we Americans are taught to say, the World Cup is only every four years!)

Three lions, they are on the uniforms for the England team.  Why is this so?  Look up the Royal Arms of England and you will know why!  You may read all about it here.  

Here, just had to give you a few seconds of the fans singing "Rule Britannia"!  

Come on England!   It's Coming Home!  (I hope!)
UPDATE: England lost to Croatia, 2-1.  Oh well, there's always next year! WAIT, there's always four years from now! LOL!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy 4th! Walk On!

Happy 4th of July!  Hey, it is almost over now but hearing loud fireworks as I type this.  BANG!  BOOM!

Did anyone else see on the news that they found a copy of the Declaration of Independence... in England?  They are calling it the "Sussex Declaration" since it was found in Chichester in West Sussex!  It is kind of a big deal since there are other copies but this one is from the same time frame as the one that is in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.! Interesting to me, the names on this document are not lumped together by states but the signatures are not in any particular order.  Suggesting perhaps that they wanted the country to be one and that the states should not feel separate from each other?  UNITED States of America! 

Okay, listening to the concert from Washington, D.C. on TV, it is called the Capitol Fourth.  (It is broadcast live from the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.)  They just had a tribute to military families and Renee Fleming sang "You'll Never Walk Alone".   I was so happy to hear it!  (It was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for the musical "Carousel" but the Brits might be more familiar with it than most Americans!)  Now, Renee Fleming is a great operatic singer but for me...well, I have a video for you!

Hope you take the time to listen and watch the video above.  You will thank me!  And I thank the great Richard Rodgers for this music and Oscar Hammerstein II for the words.  Americans!

Walk on!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

You Can Invent A New Cadbury's Dairy Milk! (Sorry, Only For Those In The UK)

Oh, to be in England just now!  England beat Columbia today in penalty kicks in the World Cup!  How exciting!  I was able to get home  just in the nick of time to see the end of this was nail biting but England won!  I know that there are lots of women who don't care one jot about sports...I am NOT one of them! HA!
(The Atlanta Braves beat the New York Yankees in the 11th inning last night! They are playing them again tonight and even though they are behind just now, is it possible they can come back and win it?...we will see!)

Now, what was it I was going to tell you about? Oh yes...chocolate!  Cadbury's is developing a new chocolate bar and they are asking for your help! Isn't that the neatest thing?  Only, it looks as if you must be in Britain to do so.  As I said, "Oh, to be in England just now!"    So, if any of my British followers are reading this post, please go to this site...
and create your own Cadbury Dairy Milk!  (Note to my American friends...we say "candy bar" in America but I have never heard it called that in England, it is always called a "chocolate bar"!) be clear, this is only open to residents of the United Kingdom- England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,  aged 16 and older. 

Sorry about my lopsided photo of Cadbury's Roses up there, it was the only one that I had that showed the lovely name of Cadbury!

Oh and Happy Independence Day to me and to my fellow Americans...happy 4th of July tomorrow for everyone else!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Currahee Military Museum in Toccoa, Georgia (With Appreciation To England )

Georgia Girl With An English Heart!  Read the following and you can see that the Currahee Military Museum is right up my alley! (You will also understand about the nod to England in my title.)

Look on the side of my blog.  Do you see that  Toccoa, Georgia is my place of birth?  My father was also born there AND his father before him! Since my Dad is now 91 years old, we have a long history of living in that area.  Growing up, my mother's father had land on that same road as Camp Toccoa. In the early 1960's, all that was left of the camp were the abandoned white buildings that I would ask about when we would go past them in the car.  In hushed tones I was told about the paratroopers who trained there in World War II.  The stories about them were always conveyed with the deepest respect.  There were a few books written about them but it was not until Stephen Ambrose wrote his best selling book "Band of Brothers" that most people first heard of the camp.  This put Toccoa "on the map" so to speak.  (And really, it was the mini-series film adaption produced by Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg that did so.  I will ask folks if they have read the book and hardly anyone has but "they have seen the movie".  The mini-series is excellent, I agree but if you get the chance...please read the book, it is very good.)  

Currahee Mountain is about five miles from the train depot in Toccoa, Georgia.  When the soldiers arrived there, they walked to the camp which at the beginning was called "Camp Toombs".  This was named after a Confederate general but when the commanding officer, Col. Sink, heard the name and also noticed that the men were walking past a casket company that was in Toccoa, he petitioned to change the name and therefore the Army agreed to the change and it became Camp Toccoa.

Currahee Military Museum and Stephens County History Museum are in the same place- the old train depot in Toccoa, Georgia.  Now, both of these are fascinating to me and I hope that if you visit you will spend time in both.  

  CURRAHEE.  The paratroopers used this as their motto since "Currahee" is a Native American word that means "we stand alone".    The paratroopers were the first to be dropped into Europe just before D-Day.  If you have read "Band of Brothers" you will know this already!  But you WILL read it, won't you?  Please do!

Time it just right and you will hear/see a train going past!

What about the English part? Okay, here it is...

After training, the men from Camp Toccoa were sent to Aldbourne, England.  They were housed in stables from mid 1943 until 1944 in preparation for D-Day. (I hope you all know the date of June 6, 1944 for the beach landings in Normandy, France.  Remembering, of course, that the paratroopers were flown in just before the landings.)
If you can read the sign above, one of the stables is now proudly inside the museum and it is one of the original stables from England! What a wonderful story, I think.  If you notice, the four Englishmen even came to Georgia and re-assembled the building! I love that they did that.    

I have mentioned Camp Toccoa before in my posts, you may read one of them just here.    

There are nice benches in the museum and not only that but they also have very nice wheelchairs for those who might need them.  My Dad used one of them and at the end of the tour, we asked if we should take it back to the front of the museum but were kindly told that they would take care of it.  It was most pleasant to speak with them, makes me proud to be from Toccoa, Georgia!

 I am thankful that the Currahee Military Museum exists to celebrate the "Toccoa men" and to honor all veterans and active duty military.  There are plans to even further honor them with a museum at Currahee Mountain itself.. You may see that website just here.   (Camp Toccoa at Currahee Project.)

My heart is full after writing this post. So difficult to explain my own admiration for these men who trained at Camp Toccoa! I have read every book about them that I could find, including the memoirs that many of them wrote.  Most of them have passed away now, so it is more important than ever, I believe, that we remember them and honor them.  (I worked as a travel agent for almost 20 years during the 1980's and 1990's and talked with many vets going to their World War II reunions.  I see now how lucky I was to personally speak with them.  What a great bunch of guys! I salute them all.)