Monday, August 18, 2014

Osprey Nest...

While at the lake we took the kids by to see this osprey nest that was located not to high off the water making it easy viewing. There are several nests in this area. If you consider a pair of birds per nest plus chicks and the fact that fish make up 99% of an osprey's diet you can bet there is some good fishing right around these parts. 

When I was a kid my dad would tie up and fish every stump that had some green growing out of it like this nest stump does. Not too many stumps on the lake are fertile enough to grow green anymore. 

Cathy spotted and zoomed up a a catfish skull that was dropped and hung in the sticks that make up the base of the nest.  

A little check on the internet says that ospreys eat fish 9 to 13 inches in length. That's about the size of this cat that Warren has on display. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I Answer all Kind of Questions...

You know the kind of questions you get from your granddaughter when out fishing. "What kind of fish, how deep, can we swim now, how many movements in the Brandenburg Concertos," and so on. 
Wait a minute there was one more. "Pop-Pop is my back going to be as hairy as yours?" 

I do better with questions like this. "How fast do I reel?" 

"How hard do I set the hook?" 

You do not set it so hard that you fall out of the boat. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

More Wiley Family Tree...

Last blog post where I left off my ancestor story I posted a photo of my grand parents Caleb and Pinky with son Clay. Clay Wiley passed away of spinal meningitis. He left behind a wife Vina and two children Rena and Raymond. As always I welcome any info from the family they may have but this is their story as best as I have pieced it together. 

Here is my mother's niece Rena. She was a few months older than my mom and they were often taken for  sisters. The 1930 census has the family (Clay had passed by this time) in Golden Lake Township near Wilson Arkansas. Rena is 6 and brother Raymond is 8. Parents Clay and Vina are listed as 26. The 1940 census lists Vina as widowed and living in Civil District 5 Tipton, Tn.  
With the war soon underway many women went to work. Rena  pitched into the war effort and went to work in the Chickasaw Ordinance Works at Millington, Tn. It was there she was killed in an explosion in the powder room. She was apparently the only employee killed. A date is unknown to me. 

A little internet research tells that this plant opened in 1941 making smokeless powder for small arms, artillery and TNT. The info I discovered said that by 1944 8000 women worked there and the plant was awarded for 2 million and later 3.6 million man hours without a major injury. It once operated day and night for 871 days round the clock. I guess it's pretty easy to rack up the hours with a large workforce and those kind of hours. Easy to miss one fatality. The plant was shuttered in 1946 after it was deemed too dangerous to operate anymore. The smoke stacks still stand and images of them are quite plentiful on the internet.The area is classified as a toxic waste site. 

The only mention I found on the internet about Rena's death came from a paranormal site researching reports of activity in the plant area. You can read their site by clicking HERE

Rena's brother Raymond joined the navy. I don't know what year but my mother recalls his death from a brain tumor. Other family members recall a fall from a mast on a ship and the death coming some time after this. Here's Raymond.
Another Raymond photo.
I think this is Raymond's dad Clay also in a Navy uniform. 


These are Raymond's children Jeannette, Dannie and Claudia. No info on them. If I have a photo of Raymond's wife I don't know which one it is. There are about 3000 photos I am taking these from so it's a bit of a job sifting through.  

Clay's wife Vina, the mother of Rena and Raymond. No info on her whereabouts or the date of this photo. 

I invite all relatives to add to these stories with anything they have. 



Sunday, August 10, 2014

An Anniversary...

I bought and moved into our house 31 years ago today. There's been a lot of things happen in those 31 years. To me and to the house and as time passed on to me, my wife, family and house. Not long after I had bought the house I was living there and still single a guy. A fellow stopped by with a photo of my house taken from the air. He wanted to sell me a painting done from the photo and he did. I liked the painting and still do but I guess Google Earth has made this kind of thing obsolete. 
There is a bit of camera flash but you get the idea. I don't remember exactly what year this was but I can offhand without going outside think of at least 15 trees, various shrubs and one outbuilding that have been added to the property. The front porch has been closed in.  That's a 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 parked in the garage. I don't own it anymore but sometimes wish I did. 

Now back to all those things that have changed. One of them was getting married which has been a good thing but for some reason my wife was never taken with the painting of the house. It now hangs behind the door in my bedroom out of sight. So if you come over and say "let's go somewhere," and I say "ok let me change clothes" and I shut the bedroom door and it seems like I am taking a long time I probably forgot about you and am looking at the painting. It will be ok to knock, come on in and look at the painting too. Just don't tell my wife I showed it to you. 

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Cigar Box Guitar #40...

I was in a hurry so these are not the greatest pictures but I have cigar box guitar #40 up for sale. It has a nice clean sound, three strings, a dual piezo pickup and sells for $75. 
Black cigar boxes are a good seller but red comes in second. 

 Romeo Y Julieta. It's a guitar for lovers. 

Just for you history buffs here is the earliest known recording of a cigar box guitar. 
"Beans" is a very obscure 78 record recorded by minstrel performers, "Beans" Hambone - El Morrow in 1927. The song was a staple in vaudeville and snake oil medicine shows and tells the story of prisoners forced to eat only beans. 

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

More Family History...

Here's a photo of my grandfather on your left Caleb Lester Wiley and his brother Jim. Lester is my mom's father. We do not know the date of this photo.
Looks like the boys may have been joking around. I think this is a posed photo. I have done similar things taking photos like this with my family on vacation. Maybe they are goofing around in Memphis on a school boy lark. Trying to guess their ages I checked out census records. The 1900 U.S. census of district 6 Obion Country Tennessee  has Lester and Jim Wiley still living with their parents.listed as Caleb Thomas and Rebecca. Best I can tell Caleb Thomas later had a wife name Catherine Denton. In 1900 Lester is 21 and Jim is 25. 

I don't know why the guns. I do know that Davy Crockett of Texas history fame had a hand in organizing Obion County, was their elected representative in congress and killed a 103 bears in Obion County. Later on Davy told everybody to go to Hell while he went to Texas. We know that turned into a bloody mess but the bear record still stands.   Maybe there were still bears in the woods at this time is why the guns. I cropped up the photo to see the guns better. I do know that there was some violence in the area around 1908 concerning land rights to who owned Reelfoot Lake. That should have been well after this photo was made..Reelfoot lake was created by a big earthquake in the early 1800s. Land that was deeded and granted was underwater. Some tried to settle it with a gun. Like you might suspect the gun thing did not work. Reelfoot is now a great state park fishing and hunting paradise. 

I am guessing late 1890s. I don't know what happened to Jim Wiley. I know that in 1901 Lester married Pinky Ledbetter and in this next photo holds my mother's oldest brother Clay born in 1905. Looks like Lester cleaned up pretty good. Clay passed away about the late 1920s from spinal meningitis. Lester passed in 1951 and Pinky passed in 1970. Both were living in Lufkin at the time of their deaths. 


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These Guitars Sold...

Thanks to local people supporting me my guitars are selling at a pace I like. I don't want to be too busy because I do still have that old day job and probably will for some years to come. These guitars are sold.

My guitars still hang in Sound Techs music store (I'll be rotating stock up there next week so look for new stuff) and Standpipe coffee house. I also plan on donating a guitar to The Joseph House Charity Auction Next month. 

Support local artists, businesses, take care of the sick, save the world. It's happening.  

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