Highway 431 Blog

Friday, December 30, 2011

Artur Davis Running As A Republican? ::

I came across this on Talking Points Memo's twitter feed a few minutes ago:


After coming out in support of voter ID laws and donating to Republicans, former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis is continuing his march to the other side of the aisle, telling the Washington Post he could run for office as an independent or even a GOP candidate.

I don't think that there are many progressives in Alabama who will be surprised by Davis' possibly switching parties, and I truthfully don't think that there are many who will care!

It will be interesting to see just what sort of political future Davis may have.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Tragic Hunting Accident ::

The local news is reporting this story this evening:

A man has been shot to death and now investigators are trying to find the person responsible...
His wife found him lying next to his 4-wheeler and thought he'd had a heart attack. Doctors found he'd been shot once Hart got to the hospital.

"We're trying to find out who was maybe hunting in this area. At this point, we're investigating it as a hunting accident," said Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips.

I haven't hunted in years and I've never owned a high-powered rifle as all of my hunting was for small game and ducks and I always made it a point to hunt with others who were safe. Unfortunately there are many who are very careless when it comes to the direction that their weapons are being fired. I remember fishing once with my wife in a small farm pond in the Hurricane Creek community of Madison County, Alabama when someone across the valley began target firing a high powered rifle with the result that we could hear the bullets whizzing over our heads. Believe me, a bullet traveling through the air makes a very distinctive noise. These bullets were well over our heads, but we decided that the better part of valor was to leave the pond.

I was also duck hunting one morning after Christmas with 2 friends and someone up in the woods was shooting a 22 rifle. I don't know what he was shooting at, but at one point a bullet went right through the reeds that camouflaged our blind just inches in front of us. We each fired off a round from our shotguns in order to alert this person that we were down in the bay. It was time to leave anyway so we gathered up our decoys and headed home.

It's hard to find real country these days and I live in a rural area where guns are often fired and it always makes me nervous! There are just far too many hunters out there who I don't trust to be responsible with a firearm!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas ::

Here's wishing each and everyone a very Merry Christmas. Shortly I'll be off to the Guntersville Dam in hopes of finding some Eagle photographs.

Everybody stay safe today!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Benefit ::

Late last Friday afternoon there was a terrible accident on Cecil Ashburn Drive and 2 young girls were killed when the driver of the car lost control coming down the mountain into Jones Valley. The twin sister of one of the girls was severely injured and is now in Neurological Intensive Care at Huntsville Hospital. The mother was recently laid off from her job at the Marshall Space Flight Center and had taken a job at the Lowe's in Hampton Cove.

Tomorrow afternoon and evening Lowe's will have a tent set up outside their store where they will be accepting donations for the family in order to help them through this terrible time. Donations can also be made to Cadence Bank along with Redstone Federal Credit Union.

I plan to stop by Lowe's on my way home tomorrow and donate a few dollars and I hope that everyone will. Besides the grief of losing a daughter and having another in NICU, the costs will be astronomical. I have no idea what Lowe's insurance is like, but I'll bet I can safely say that it will not come close to covering the expenses for this family!

Please, help if you can.

(update) I just found out that there will also be a benefit show for the Morrow family at The Lone Goose saloon at 108 Cleveland Ave. Thursday evening starting at around 8pm. Come out and listen to some great music and make a donation to a great cause.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Madison County Commission District 3 ::

I was sad to hear the news that Jerry Craig, our current commissioner, will be retiring at the end of this term. Jerry has never failed to be of help with me when I've called his office with a concern or a problem and I have always had the utmost in respect for him and his office and I've been concerned about his replacement, but lately I've been seeing signs such as this and as well as yard signs:

For those who may not know, Jeff Cooper owns Cooper Small Engine Repair in downtown New Hope, Alabama. For the past several years he has done most of my lawn mower repairs and has always been fair, open and honest with me in our dealings and he will have my support in the upcoming election!

Oh yeah, I won't hold it against him, but Jamie Cooper is his brother!

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Survey From Mo ::

I meant to post this a few days ago, but I got busy with other things and had to put it off. This is a survey I got in my in-box from Mo Brooks:

I know that I'll never hear from Brooks because I checked the "no" box and returned the survey. The tea partiers don't seem to understand, or care for that matter, that regulations are in place in order to protect real people from corporate greed. I don't understand those who seem to think that "the market" will self-police itself when a company produces an unsafe or dangerous product. Recent history is replete with companies supplying food products that have been tainted by the e-coli bacteria resulting in hospitalization and, in some cases, death. Chinese companies may have supplied drywall with properties that sickened people, but American distributors and retailers sold it until the outcry became too loud and they were forced to supply a safe product.

I am a firm supporter of increased regulation just as I am a disbeliever in the concept of a self regulating marketplace!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Opposition For Mo Brooks ::

Just yesterday Charlie Holley tossed his hat into the ring as Democratic opposition to my Alabama 5th district tea party congressman Mo Brooks. I've been waiting for someone to jump into this race on the Democratic side and was about to give up hope 'til now. Even though it's a bit late in the year I'm hoping that Mr. Holley will be a viable candidate who can muster some grassroots support.

I'll be posting more as I learn more about Mr. Holley's positions, but, for now, I'm just happy to see someone coming out to run against the odious Mo Brooks!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Garden ::

I've again been remiss in my postings, but I thought I would share a bit about my fall garden. A few weeks ago I planted carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, onions, collards, and a variety of fall squash plants. So far everything is sprouting nicely and my squash plants have just begun to flower. The brussels sprouts, carrots, and collards are coming along nicely and the rest of the crop is just beginning to peek out of the ground.

Luckily I haven't had a deer problem this year although I have seen some tracks where several have walked through the garden. I used some deer repellant spray that I got at Lowe's a while back and that seems to work well. I'll try to post some photographs sometime this weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ernest Nunley ::

I got sad news about Ernest just a few minutes ago:

NUNLEY, JAMES, ERNEST, age 52, of Tracy City, Tennessee, AKA "One Fat Cowboy," passed away Tuesday, July 26, 2011, in Lubbock, Texas. He had worked in construction for most of his life and had begun a cross-country trip by horse and wagon when he was injured in a mishap with his horses. He was preceded in death by his father James Edward Nunley and stepfather Brad Sweeton. Survivors include his son, Wittle James (Amanda) Nunley, Stillwell, Oklahoma; mother, Roberta Sweeton, Tracy City; brother, James Edward Nunley, California; sister, Josephine Sweeton, Tracy City; grandchild, Addison McKenzie Nunley. Funeral services were held Tuesday, August 2 in the funeral home chapel with Reverend Mike Rigsby officiating. Burial will be in Plainview Cemetery with pallbearers Wittle Nunley, Earl Campbell, Jimmy Layne, Johnny Carter, James Edward Nunley and Robert Heck. Arrangements were made by Foster and Lay Funeral Home, Tracy City, TN.

I only met Ernest for a few minutes as he passed through my rural neighborhood in New Hope, Alabama, but I was hoping for the best for him in his quest to get to California. I'm truly saddened by the news of his passing!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fresh Produce ::

I stopped by Sparks Farm yesterday morning to see what they had to offer this early in the season and, unfortunately, it's still a week or two early. They had a few different varieties of squash, some cucumbers, and a few tomatoes. Apparently the okra should be ready in the next couple of weeks, but the silver queen corn crop was almost totally lost to the drought conditions earlier in the year. I hope that all growers did not suffer the same fate with their corn since I usually put about 15 dozen ears in the freezer each year. I should be picking up a bushel of okra next week from another grower that I deal with each year. That will pretty much kill an entire day getting it ready for the freezer.

I'll leave you with a recipe:

Canteloupe Cream Pie

1 cup sugar
2 t. flour
3 eggs‐beaten
2 cup pureed cantaloupe
1 teasp vanilla
2 t. butter
1 baked 8” pieshell
1 cup whipped cream
Combine sugar and flour in saucepan. Cook over medium heat. Add eggs, mix well. Stir in pureed
cantaloupe. Cook 8‐10 minutes stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat,
stir in vanilla and butter. Cool. Pour into pie shell and spread with whipped cream.
Chill and serve.

Having given you this recipe, let me say that there are few things I refuse to eat and canteloupe is one of them. Beets, I'm not gonna eat a beet! And liver, unless it's in Rumaki! I don't eat eggplant not because I don't like it, I do, but eggplant does a serious number on my stomach! We'll leave that at that.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kathryn Tucker Windham ::

I just read the news that Mrs. Windham has passed away. I always loved listening to her stories on the local NPR station at 9:30 am each Monday morning and I can't imagine anyone ever being able to fill her shoes!

Kathryn Tucker Windham, a journalist and historian whose later-in-life storytelling career turned her into an Alabama legend, died today. She was 93.
Mrs. Windham died in her Selma home surrounded by family and friends after a year of health problems, said her daughter, Dilcy Windham Hilley.
Mrs. Windham shared that home with a ghost named Jeffrey, she said, a spirit that in the late 1950s made his presence known and launched her on a storied path.
She and folklore teacher Margaret Gillis Figh published "13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey" in 1969. It was the first of a number of books about Southern ghosts, and it led to an acclaimed career as a storyteller on stages around the country.
"She was an absolute legend," Wayne Flynt, an Alabama historian and professor emeritus at Auburn University, said today. "She was certainly the premiere storyteller in Alabama, and maybe one of the premiere storytellers in the South ... And, of course, she was a bang-up good journalist."

The entire obit can be read here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Planting Time ::

This is the time of year when I get the itch to plant seeds in my garden. I tilled yesterday, but today's rain has spoiled my plans for a few more days 'til the ground dries again. In anticipation I ran over to D&D Greenhouses earlier this afternoon and picked up 8 tomato plants along with 4 pepper plants so that I'll be ready when the ground is right. I'll wait a few minutes to pick up okra and corn seeds, but they have a good supply.

Oh yeah, all of those tomato and pepper plants cost me a total of $6.98.

Getting Back To Normal ::

We were lucky not to have any damage from last week's tornadoes. I was at work when the really damaging storms went through and apparently at least 2 and possibly 3 passed near the house raining debris from the sky. We were without power until late Sunday afternoon, but that was the least of the problems. At least one family that I know well lost their entire home down around Arab and another had at least major damage to his home over in Limestone County. Part of his house collapsed on his car which is a total loss.

I'm afraid that the damage will take months, at least, to be cleared and for the recovery to be fully realized. Hear are some photographs of what Richard and Ginger's place in the Hogjaw section of Arab looks:

Richard, Ginger and my godson, Tre are living in the tent and travel trailer for right now. Here's a photo of that:

Their church, relatives, and friends are helping them out with labor, food, and water right now and I will make the trip back down there in a couple of days to help replenish their supplies. Their spirits are high and they're handling the situation very well!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Springtime, Flowers, And Seeds ::

I imagine that everyone has spring fever right now even with all of the rain that we've been having and this is the time of year that I stop in plant nurseries to see what sort of goodies are available. For the past few years my first stop has been D&D Nursery on Oak Grove Road in New Hope. The selection is not huge, but it is very nice and very attractively priced. Hanging baskets generally start at around $12.95 and vegetable plants are similarly attractively priced. I'll probably be stopping by later this morning to check out the selection.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Representative Paul Sanford ::

I guess he believes in lining his own pockets at the expense of teachers, policemen and firemen!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

An Update On Ernest Nunley ::

And I'm afraid the news is bad! I got this in an e-mail just a short time ago:

Journey across America on horseback ends in tragedy
Posted: Mar 25, 2011 4:34 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 25, 2011 8:08 PM EDT

Click image to enlarge Click Image to enlarge
By Christie Post - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A journey across America on horseback turns one man's dream into his worst nightmare.

Ernest Nunley, 52, a native Tennessean set out in 2008 on a journey from Savannah, GA to San Francisco, CA to visit his brother who he had not seen in 17 years.

"He was not out there for a hand out. He was out there to try and make the world better one little piece at a time. However his crazy way was," said Wittel Nunley, Ernest Nunley's son.

He dedicated his ride across America to children suffering from catastrophic diseases. Four of his family members died from such diseases before reaching adulthood.

Nunley traveled through open land and city streets, during sunny days and in harsh weather. This past winter, a stranger in Clovis, NM gave Nunley a place to stay when the weather became just too unbearable. Nunley raised money to continue his journey by selling firewood in Clovis.

"His horses are his life and they always have been. Ever since I can remember, he's been a cowboy," said Nunley.

A week ago when the sun finally came out, he packed up his wagon, gathered his horses and set out on the mission he had begun long before.

"Like he always said, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans," said Nunley.

On his way out of town tragedy struck. One of Nunley's horses spooked as the wagon was leaving Clovis, and Nunley fell.

"He hit his face and head on the wagon railing that connects the horses to the wagon," said Wittel Nunley, Ernest Nunley's son. "And that caused the spinal cord injury to his neck. And then the wagon was pulled over his leg and then broke his leg.

Since the accident, Nunley has been paralyzed from the chest down. He is currently in the ICU at University Medical Center in Lubbock.

"He is going to do his part to fight through this and we've got do our part to be there to take care of him. But there are other things that he can't take care of right now, he's fighting his own fight and it's a hard fight," said Nunley.

Nunley always knew there was a possibility for something like this to happen, but he wants to be remembered for doing something great.

"Sometimes we forget what's in our own backyard and sometimes we forget that our neighbors are suffering," said Nunley.

If you would like to send letters or donations to the family, you can mail them to Rte. 6, Box 790, Stillwell, OK, 74960. Or call 918-507-0510 anytime.

If you want to read more about Nunley's journey, you can visit his website at http://onefatcowboy.com

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Those Greedy Schoolteachers ::

in Alabama:

Wow, Rep. Lynn Greer blames underpaid teachers for a good portion of Alabama's fiscal crisis. The above video is a production of the Alabama Democratic Party based on the following speech by Rep. Greer:

I don't have any children in school in Alabama anymore, but I do have one very smart granddaughter attending class here and I want the very best possible education for her and I want her to have teachers who inspire her to reach for more and I want those teachers to be adequately compensated for their dedication!

Huntsville city schools has recently announced the lay-off of principals in hopes of alleviating their budget shortfalls, but I have to wonder how a school can operate without leadership! Who steps in to fill that void?

Next up will be consolidation of schools with some being closed and I am looking forward to the fights this will engender in different parts of Huntsville.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Keebler Elf ::

Jeff (Beau) Sessions, one of our senate embarrassments, will be on Meet The Press this morning. I hope someone else TiVo's and shares this as I cannot bring myself to listen to his bile!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where'd My Header Go?

I had a photograph up there! Well, let me run off to another server somewhere and see if I can find it.

[update] As you can see, I found my header! I re-did one of my web sites without thinking that that this photograph was hosted on that server, but, luckily, I found my back-up files and restored it. Now I can sleep in peace tonight!

Been Away Too Long ::

I can't believe that it's been so long since I posted here, but since I'm about the only one who ever looks at the site I guess that's ok.

Not much in the way of news, but I will say that the county sheriff's deputies have been having a field day here in New Hope for the past couple of weeks. I've seen quite a few people in handcuffs, but I have no reason for what although I would presume that the arrests are drug related. It's often hard to get local news around here!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Party Switch In Marshall County ::

And the hilarity that followed. Seems that Judge Howard Hawk made the decision back in December to switch from the Democratic party to the Republican party. Now, this would hardly be the only such party switch after the November elections, but the aftermath has been very interesting. It seems as though Judge Hawk's attempted change of political affiliation was met with a less than enthusiastic welcome from the local Republican party. From al.com:

In a special meeting Monday, the 27 members present of the 29-member Marshall County Republican Executive Committee voted unanimously to ask Hawk to "reconsider switching parties and remain as a member of the Marshall County Democratic Party."

Jean Brewer, chairwoman of the county Republican Party, said Hawk made the party switch without consent of the local party and that he turned down an offer to meet with them prior to the switch.

Do you see what I mean? Here's just a bit more:

In a prepared statement, Brewer said several members of the executive committee cited Hawk's strong opposition to Republican candidates and work against them in the 2010 election as the reason they were against the party switch.

Interestingly, Judge Hawk's wife, Kathy, is still listed as a member of the Alabama Democratic party executive committee from house district 27. Sounds like conflicts of interest for both the Democratic and Republican sides!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! ::

I wish I could be as optimistic as apparently the majority is!