Tuesday, January 29, 2008


CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?! The New Kids On The Block are reuniting? After 14 years? Will the young girls still squeal and buy NKOTB lunch boxes? Will the grown women who were young girls back in the day? Can they still be called "New Kids"? All of this remains to be seen. One thing for sure, I bet this little girl will be excited;

Don't you think so, Lindsay?

A guy walks into a bank....

This is not the beginning of a joke, however, it is the beginning of a bizarre story. On Monday, 1/28/08, at 9 a.m. the employees of RBC Centura bank, located at 743 Main St. in Wetumpka opened the doors for business. The first customer had been waiting in his truck for several minutes for the bank to open. When he walked to the teller he told her to give him all the money. He needed it because his family was being held hostage. Apparently, the cheaper grades of "crack" inhibit your creative forces. The man left in his white Chevy truck with an "undisclosed amount of cash". That short story has some drawing power because of the "my family is being held hostage" element. But what gives the story enough punch to land on my blog is the timing. At 8:54 a.m. on Monday, 1/28/08, I parked my mail truck right next to this nutcase and walked to the door, knocked, and waited to hand the mail to the employee with mahogany-colored hair. I walked back by his truck and gave a wave as he seemed to be reading something and went on my merry way. That is why, when Lee, the UPS guy asked me about 30 minutes later if I had robbed that bank, I did not know what he was talking about. I just admitted that I did because the USPS does not pay nearly as well as UPS and kept trucking. Only this morning when I heard the description of the vehicle did I realize that I had parked next to the dude. You would think that would be enough "it's a small world after all" element to this story. But nooooo, there is more. The photos of the guy that were shown on the evening news last night (I missed it because I was up a tree next to Chubbahatche Creek) were so clear that the man was instantly identified and turned in via the Secret Witness hotline. He was arrested this morning in Eclectic, according to Chief Ledbetter of the Eclectic Police. It is hard for me to say "Chief Ledbetter" because, to me, he still seems like Mal, the softball player.

So here is the really short version; I drove from my Montgomery home to work in Wetumpka. At my first stop on the mail route, I parked next to a guy who (6 minutes later) robbed the bank. Less than 24 hours later the thief was arrested by a man I have known for 35 years.

It is a small world.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tresspassing 101

I admit it. I am a tresspasser. No harm is intended and no harm is done. I leave no trace and take only pictures. But I will walk across property lines and climb over fences to capture a picture that is calling to me. Here are some I took on private property today;

But I didn't tresspass here;

No, there REALLY is not a $5 bill! There was one there last week. I DID NOT take the $5.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Thank You, Cornbread

How do you pay tribute to a little boy you have never met? Young Bronner Burgess, 2 1/2 year-old son of Rick and Sherri Burgess drowned Saturday evening in the family pool. What does that have to do with me? Why would I write about it? Bronner (nicknamed Cornbread) is the son of Rick of the Rick and Bubba radio show. It affects me because I am one of countless thousands that enjoy listening to the show for several reasons. One reason is that the guys are just plain, simple, southern, uneducated fun. But not ignorant fun. Their humor is always with a perspective of living in God's sight and attempting to glorify Him. Those two ingredients, genuine humor and a Christian perspective on life make listening to the show enjoyable and allows me to proclaim myself a fan without embarrassment. I do not have any inside connection but rather am just like the many thousands who have come to feel like family to Rick, Bubba, Speedy, and Don Juan, as well as their families.
On Sunday evening I received a cell phone call from my daughter, Laura, just after our small group finished our Bible study. This is unusual for several reasons. I do not carry my cell phone to the Bible study most days and often forget to turn it back on when I do carry it. When she told me that Rick's son had drowned, it felt like a member of my family had suffered a great loss. That is difficult to explain if you are not part of the Rick and Bubba army. Rick was in Tennessee speaking as an ambassador for Jesus when the accident occurred. Bronner slipped out of the house while mom (Sherri) took a shower and somehow fell into the pool. This morning I listened as Bubba and Speedy soldiered on with the show. Their message was right on target and powerful; 1] Don't let the evil one have a foothold with doubt, guilt, and accusations and 2]
Use this terrible time to communicate faith and the need to "set your house in order". Rick is scheduled to speak at his son's memorial service tomorrow at 2 p.m. The testimony of this group of Godly men is powerful. You don't ever wish for a tragedy such as this and the pain will be present for a long time. But still, the tragedy offers the opportunity to demonstrate faith in a way that good times could never provide. The short life, sudden death, and the response to it by the family have served as inspiration to me, as it has to thousands more and will continue to for years. These sudden events will make Rick a more powerful ambassador for Christ the rest of his life. Thank you, Cornbread. You can run and jump without restrictions in your new home. Swing your light saber with reckless abandon. Mom and Dad will be there soon. And I look forward to meeting you in person.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rain, Sleet, and Snow!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

The Bibb Graves bridge and Coosa River in the snow.

Sure, you can drive in the snow--sure, you could deliver mail in the snow--but could you take your own picture at the same time?

"Goodness sakes, Miss Scarlet, it's SNOWING outside!"

Black and white of Bibb Graves bridge and the Presbyterian Church in the snow.

You might be an Elmoron if........you wear a short-sleeve t-shirt to build your snowman!

Very cool little guy!

And finally this one from the afternoon......

I was drawn to this picture by the melting snow sliding down the tin roof and hanging over the edge like taffy. The irony is that the small business is closed for the bad weather--its a SnoBiz!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Excuse me, sir...

That is how it usually begins. "Excuse me, can you tell me where the Tobacco Chewers Anonymous meeting is?" "Excuse me, sir, can you tell me where that sign-up-thingy-for-the- obese-kids is?" People who are lost or clueless often spot a mailman and assume he knows where everything is. I have learned over the years that if you say you don't know, they think you are lying and give you some more information as if that will jog your memory. It is fun to help when you can. But it can be frustrating when a person persists after you admit ignorance. Since I am working in a town where I do not live and only cover a small part of the county, I often do not know the answer to "no not the BIG concrete company, the one close to a retirement home or something". So I give them an answer. "Down that-a-way about 2--no almost 3 miles and take a right. At the next stop sign take a left and keep going until you see an old school bus parked up on a hill. Bear right just past that." Depending on how obstinate they are, I may send them 10 or 12 miles. The secret is to say it with confidence and send them far enough away that they can never find you again. Thankfully, I was able to help this friendly driver today. He was looking for the Taco Bell.



And just like that, he was gone!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


While watching "news" coverage of entrance polls before Tuesday night's vote, I realized that there were many voters still undecided even as they were entering to vote. That led me to ponder two things; 1) Is it important to make our opinion known if we do not have an opinion? 2) Are people really that indecisive?

Well, today I came to a conclusion on the second question.......
I mean, if you can't decide whether you are open or closed, how do you choose the next president of the USA?
By the way, they are closed on Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

If you asked me.....

One advantage to having a blog is that you can write about any topic you choose, another is that you can express your personal opinion--politically correct or not. I would like for most of my posts to be positive with enough humor that people will come back occaionally. This is not one of those posts. This one is filled with anger.

My anger is mostly over the actions of one warped individual but the flames are being by good-hearted, well-meaning individuals. This is about the hiker that disappeared New Year's day in the north Georgia mountains. Specifically, she was last seen on the Appalachian Trail on Blood Mountain near Vogel State Park. Many of the readers of this blog are family and know very well that these are OUR mountains! Vogel has been a vacation retreat for Wishums for 4 decades. My brother, Keith, and I splashed in the freezing Wolf Creek as kids. We camped with cousins in the camping area and my parents began a new era by taking our kids with them to stay in a cabin when they were very young. Our extended family has rented a cabin there every year for most of the lives of my children. Mark proposed to Lindsay next to Wolf Creek not 25 yards from the spot of numerous TV news releases concerning the missing hiker. She was 24 year old Meredith Emerson and she had been hiking alone with only her dog as company. She was kidnapped, murdered, and her body dumped in another wooded area by Gary Michael Hilton, 61.

Why does this anger me so? First, the idea of a man in his 60's killing a woman to attempt to steal money via her credit card speaks volumes about how depraved he is. Second, I selfishly resent that he chose such a beautiful part of God's creation to choose his victim. Vogel is probably the most kid-friendly park anywhere. People there act like they have known each other for years just because you know the character of folks that choose a quiet, non-flashy environment for family vacations. Third, it appears that this nut has killed a couple in their 80's in North Carolina and possibly a woman in Florida. My suggestion is to release him at the base of blood mountain. But before releasing him, issue a press release to Ms. Emerson's family, all hikers who enjoy the Appalachian Trail and have worked to keep it clean and safe, and to all the volunteers who scoured the woods in hopes of finding her alive. Alert all these good people of the date and point of release and invite them to bring their hickory hiking sticks. I suggest this because, fourth, our "justice system" is seriously flawed. I do not know anything about this man's past, but I dare say that when the complete story develops we will find that he has been incarcerated before--probably many times.

One more thing. These feelings of anger are fanned in me by those who say "That attractive, young woman should have known better than to be out there by herself." WHAT?!! She has as much right to hike by herself as you do to drive down the interstate or go to the mall or to church. My guess is that he offered to give her a ride to wherever her car was parked. Who knows? The point is this; we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes good judgement. And having made that decision, a female has the RIGHT to hike by herself. PLEASE do not criticize this woman for getting exercise and taking time to reflect in the woods of a beautiful mountain at the beginning of a new year. Let's focus all our disappointment where it blongs--on a man who likely had 6 decades of opportunites to become a better person but chose to spend them looking for ways to take the short cut and benefit from someone else's effort.

I feel better now with that off my chest.

National Champion

Here is my quick (and very early) prediction for next year's BCS National Championship game;

Georgia 44
Ohio State 16

Nothing prepares teams for tough competition like tough competition.

Of course I am just kidding about Ohio State. No way they come to the SEC three years in a row for a trip to the woodshed. More likely to be USC.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Here's the church, here's the steeple....

During a brief discussion about photography with a co-worker this morning, she mentioned a vantage point that has opened since most of the leaves have fallen (thanks Cindy). I took several pictures of the Presbyterian church from high on a hill across the river and across town from the building. In several photos you can also see the Bibb Graves bridge which is a common icon for Wetumpka. This church building was built in 1856 which should give you some perspective on the rich history represented in these photos. The first picture gives you an accurate sense of the distance and the next few were taken with a zoom. The last two were obviously taken next to, and on, the bridge. If you have a minute, click on the photo to enlarge it and enjoy the details.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Q: Should Undefeated Hawaii Play for the National Championship?

A: Georgia 41
Hawaii 10

Here is my simple analysis of the Sugar Bowl and its application to real life;
The University of Hawaii should be very proud of what has been accomplished by the football program there. They have a good team in spite of a recruiting budget that is 10 % of most major schools. They play on an island that is almost like another country. They went undefeated during the regular season, which is a great accomplishment in any conference. Here is a quote from their heisman-candidate quarterback about the lack of respect they have received;

"But not this game, not this time. Everybody's going to be watching. We're going to come out, show up and showcase what kind of team we really have."

Well, yes. That is what happened. The highest scoring, most potent offense in college football scored only 10 points. The score could have been worse. Why? As a Georgia fan, I would love to proclaim their supremecy. But the fact is that half the teams in the SEC could have beaten Hawaii. Again, why? The answer is the regular diet of competition at a high level. It makes you better. Even when loosing. Georgia lost two games this year. At the end of the season, though, they are a MUCH better team than Hawaii because of the adversity of facing such a daunting challenge week after week. If Hawaii played in the SEC every week, the injuries would mount and they would loose some games during the season. But at the end of the season, the linemen would have been able to play much better than they are capable of now.

So what? So, you and I will not play college football in 2008. But we can invite challenges that make us stronger--even if it means an occasional loss. Daring to attempt the difficult and falling short is much more character building than attempting mediocrity and boasting that we are "undefeated". Something to think about as you put the finishing touches on your New Years Resolution.