Private Impressions

Whether or not we will admit it; human nature leads us to form opinions that are not necessarily based on fact, but rather on our personal concepts of what constitutes competence.

I am reminded of a friend who was an avid NASCAR fan. Very few races were held that did not find her in attendance and rooting for, not one, but two favorite drivers. Her explanation was, “I pull for Richard Petty because of his driving ability and for Buddy Baker because he is better looking.”

Getting closer to home is my wife’s perception of politicians. “I could never vote for, (name withheld), because of the way his mouth curls when he speaks.” The person’s stand on the issues was obliterated by a mere twist of the lips.

One of the ‘first black,’ entertainers in the field of country music; Charlie Pride: Tells of a lady who had been a fan for many years. At one particular concert she was invited backstage to meet her idol.

After a few moments of polite chit-chat, Mr. Pride asked the fan if she had any questions. “Yes,” she replied. “Why don’t you talk like you’re supposed to?”

Recently I called for an appointment at a doctor’s office and was immediately, very much impressed with the answer; “Dr. Jones’ office: This is Marcia; how may I help you?” 

I informed Marcia; (a petite blonde, 5 ft. 1 in., 110 lb. candidate for, at least, the runner-up in the Miss America pageant); that I needed to see Dr. Jones.

Imagine my surprise when I entered the waiting room and the receptionist greeted me with, “Hi, I’m Marcia:   Dr. Jones will see you shortly.”  

Hopefully, she could not read my thoughts; that she would conceivably weigh in at around 260 and was, (I guessed), 6 ft. 4 in. tall and two years older than me.

Apparently Dr. Jones had relied on her capabilities when choosing her for the position of receptionist. Thankfully she knew nothing about my first impression when I spoke with her on the telephone.

While we are on the subject; What is your impression of the lady that asked if your home needed vinyl siding?  Would you be surprised to know that she was 72 years old, and weighed 322 pounds:  She also had blue hair?

“She did have a beautiful telephone voice, didn’t she?”  By the way: Has your siding been installed yet?”   “They finished my house yesterday.”

Accepting people for what they are rather than what we would like them to be is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks that we, as humans, face. When we have corrected this deficiency, we will have no reason to wonder about all the others first impressions of US.

Did Marcia really give us the old, ‘head to toe’ inspection; to decide if we were “Sick;” or was our visit routine?   Did she think that I was HER Knight in shining armor?  “We’ll NEVER KNOW!”


“I’ve seen it all:  Done it all:  Gotten the tee shirt:  but I don’t remember any of it.”    DJ.


We have all received them. The telephone call at the precise time we sit down for the evening meal. A breathless voice saying—;

“How are you this evening. This is Sandy with Pot-O-Gold; and I am calling to advise you that you could be next in line to win $1,000,000.00. All you have to do is apply for our Pot-O-Gold charge card and you may become our next millionaire.”

“The fee is only $59.95 per month with a low interest rate of 47%; for any late payments:”  “Isn’t that great?  “To qualify, just send your SS number along with your bank account number; and any spare change from the Jelly Jar;  to us at;  P.O. Box XXX, and we’ll do the rest.” —              Sound familiar?”    “It gets worse”.

Whenever we purchase a new appliance, there is a registration form enclosed in the package that must be returned to validate our warranty. These forms seek all kinds of information about us. “Things like how much our income is and what we plan to buy next:”  “Do we pay cash for purchases, etc.”?   This is apparently, the source of big revenue for some. folks.

Even the Department of Motor Vehicles has gotten into the act by selling names and addresses from their lists of automobile registrations. They have, however; offered a form that when filled out and returned to the D.M.V.  it will remove our names from the list to be sold. Why should we be the ones to go to this trouble? They initiated the form, right?

As irritating as telemarketing calls are, there are other unsolicited calls that are nothing more than malicious attempts to dig into our wallets.  These calls are made by unscrupulous individuals who prey on our compassion for the sole purpose of lining their own pockets. Several weeks ago my wife answered the telephone, (you guessed it, at dinner time).

The speaker identified himself as a member of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. He inquired as to whether or not she believed in capital punishment; and would send literature in return for a donation to a fund established for the families of slain officers.

Fearing the worse, my wife asked the person to send the information and she would then make a decision as to whether, and how much, to donate. The caller became indignant and hung up.  A later call to the Highway Patrol revealed that they; Do NOT make telephone solicitations.

Shortly afterward, I received a call from a lady claiming to be a representative of  “Make a Wish Foundation.”  She requested that I make a donation of twenty dollars or more to fulfill the last wish of a terminally ill child.

Her tearful request fell on deaf ears; since I had recently read that the legitimate  “Make a Wish Foundation;”  (again) “DOES NOT;” solicit funds via the telephone.

While I am in favor of helping veritable charities:  It disturbs me, that there are people who make a career of targeting those of us who, on a regular basis, experience;  Too much MONTH left over at the end of the MONEY.

If you receive any of these calls;  Be sure to  ask for sufficient identification; and tell them you will return their call after verifying this I.D.. If they refuse:  Simply, hang up.

Please don’t become a victim.

MY Way….

I have been asked many times how I gained my superior intelligence, my fantastic demeanor, my good looks, pleasing personality and incomparable ability. My friends, all of this is due to hard work and perseverance.

There was a time when I was just like you; a dull, argumentative, plain, ignorant individual whose total skills amounted to nothing more than the mastery of sopping molasses with a portion of biscuit; A pitiful character indeed.

It was here that I vowed to remedy this predicament and began what has been described as the greatest innovation in the history of mankind with regard to total rejuvenation of the senses as well as the dexterity of the forces that drive the human body. Eventually, this became known as “HANDYMAN-ISM.” Simply put, this is the art of evaluating a problem and reaching a solution without the benefit of instruction manuals and/or supervision; Trial and error, so to speak.

It was certainly not an easy road that I followed. Rather, there were times when the stumbling blocks completely blocked the end of the tunnel but with persistence, enough were removed to wriggle free. Quite a lot was learned from these experiences.

For instance; I was once dispatched to replace a mini-blind in one window of a rental house. The house itself sat on pilings of around eight to ten feet above ground level. Struggling up the stairs was somewhat of a chore for my, (at that time) 65 year-old body, but I eventually succeeded in entering the house.

Upon completion of the repairs, I decided to exit the house from another door. Little did I realize that there were no steps leading to the ground from this exit until I was suddenly plummeted into thin air and landed with a thud on the hard packed sand at the base of the house.

Fortunately no major damage was done to my perfect body with the exception of several bruises and scrapes, however, my clothing did not fare so well. The accumulation of dirt, numerous rips and tears manifested that I had indeed experienced some mishap.

When I returned to the office, I rendered a lengthy explanation of leaving the house from a different door than the one I entered. The response to my tirade from the office manager brought the usual question, that of, “WHY in hell did you exit the house from that particular door?”

My answer was simple and to the point: “I do not remember the house being that far off the ground the last time I used that door OR the time before that!”

The several morals to be gleaned from this anecdote are; “When in Rome, go out the same way you came in;”  “Watch for falling handymen;”   OR;  “Some of us have it and the rest are trying to get it.”

“So, Now you know!”     Dj.


The Legacy

I suppose that the greatest thing that was passed down to me from my paternal grandfather would be a sense of humor.  He enjoyed life to the fullest and found humor in almost any situation.  Although he died when I was nine years old; I still remember his booming laughter and his outlook that earned him the reputation of searching for the fun in every occurrence.

Gram-pa had a serious side as well; but he only displayed this side of himself when necessary to teach the importance of something. Otherwise, being around him as a small child was all fun and games. Sitting in his lap and making an attempt at “Cussing” would bring on peals of laughter; as I desperately tried to impress on him just how “grown up” I was.

Allison Braddock was his name, and to most he was simply known as “Uncle Alse”. He was PA to my father and my uncles and aunts, and none would think of making any decision involving new ideas without first consulting PA.  Long before his death; he divided his modest holdings of land into smaller farms for all of his children, and he continued to live at the “home place” along with an uncle that would inherit this place upon his death.

Known far and wide for his love of practical jokes; he could expound for hours on the subject of playing tricks on different people.  He also had a knack for the telling of tall tales. Monsters of his own creation, were a source of wide-eyed fascination for any and all toddlers that usually were found in attendance.

He told of these monsters devouring children if they did not behave as they were supposed to; but was quick to assure the ones present that he would protect them if these monsters appeared while they were in his custody.

Since I was born during the great depression of the early 1930’s, having a Gram-pa that was not required to work so hard in order to survive was the only source of entertainment available to me, and his love of humor was instilled in me from an early age.

By practicing some of Gram-pa’s humorous outlooks, I have been better able to cope with most of the problems that have faced me; with an altogether different attitude than would have been possible if it had not been for this “training.”

I have Gram-pa to thank for this legacy.


Reasons Explained.

“NO.”   “We don’t speak a different language!”  “It’s just that “OUR” language and “YOURS,” don’t Jive!

“Car-jack” was the definition for a device used to elevate an Automobile; and the word “Hi-jack” was used to indicate elevating it further?

Screen doors at the Grocery were emblazoned with the words; “Merita is good bread.” and/or “Pepsi-Cola hits the spot.”

Shoeshine Stands were standard equipment in all Barbershops as well as a “Tonic” applied with every haircut?

“Lace Curtains;”  were washed, starched and dried, on “Curtain Stretchers.”

“Petcock” was a device; located underneath car radiators; that must be opened and water drained to prevent it from freezing during cold weather: and it was not a  “Rooster that you had trained.”

The building of houses were accomplished with, ‘Non/Electric’,  Hand Saws”, “Crosscut Saws”; and “Hammers”, and with “Galvanized Tin,” as the most popular Roofing material.

Radios and Heaters, were never included as standard equipment; on ‘any‘; but the most expensive Automobiles.

A family was considered “Riff-Raff;” if their yards was not kept free from all grass and, ‘swept at least once per week’.

The most important ‘Mail’ that the majority of families received were the Sears Roebuck Catalog” and “The Market Bulletin.”

The “Hoover Cart;” which was nothing more than an adaptation of an axle and two wheels, from an abandoned  Automobile.  Powered by a “Horse” or a  “Mule:”  This was, ‘at least;’ Transportation of a sort.

“Church Pews”, were strewn with “Hand-Held Fans”, advertising Funeral Homes on one side and ‘paintings’ of “Heaven” on the other.

“Warming-closets,” that were located above the cooking surface of “Wood-Fired Cook Stoves;” kept leftovers warm with built-up heat from the Stovepipe. 

‘Chicken-Wire’ enclosures for the ‘Garden Spot’,  were used as a deterrent from Rabbits and other Predators.

An abundance of “China-berry” Trees; in every yard that provided a ‘dense shade’ during the summer months, were the norm.

The Warm Breezes and the aroma of  “Freshly-Turned Earth,” announced the arrival of spring.

‘Winter’ and  ‘Summer,’ “Union Suits,” back then; were essential components of Men’s Underwear.

“Crinoline Petticoats”, were stylish as a part of all, “Young Ladies Wardrobe”.

Riding in a “Rumble Seat”, with the “Girl Of Your Dreams;”  was, ‘believe it or not;’  the ultimate enjoyment.

Every “Traveling Carnival,” included a tent, to house the “Hoochie-Koochie”  Shows.

These are “ONLY A FEW,” of the precious memories that I hold dear; and continue to savor as a part of my past..

It may be interesting for you “Young Folks;” to record a few of your favorites.  “You Know:”  “Just to explain to “YOUR CHILDREN;”  why; “YOU TALK SO FUNNY.”


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Answer, ?? or Ignore,??

Have you ever thought about your reply when meeting a friend, or for that matter a total stranger,  and they greet you with “How ya’ doing?”  As a general rule, our answer is “fine.”  Why do we hesitate to tell them that our back is killing us:  Our bunions wake us when the sheet touches them:  Our hair is falling out;, all of our clothing has recently gotten smaller:   The spring in our steps is now recognized as a shuffle; and what we used to do all night now takes all night to do;  (if we do at all). Do we really think that they care?

Suppose we convey to them all of the above problems in great detail.  Are we willing to listen to them while they relate all the gory details of their latest operation as well as the new aches and pains resulting from this procedure?  I think not.

Let’s face it, Ours is a ‘Sorry Lot.  Everyone can take one look at us and readily discern that life has done a number on us:  So why are we reluctant to reply with, “Thankfully, I’m alive,” and let it go at that. After all; they were just asking to be nice.

As I reminisce about my time on this planet after I became, “Two years older than dirt;”  there is one important lesson that has guided my behavior as well as my outlook on life in general.

Every day; when I awake, the first chore for me is to read the Obituary Column in our local Newspaper . If I can’t find my name, the next job is to “PUT ON THE COFFEE.”

Enough said.



1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more Refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead; if he would only get the lead out.

6) The Soldier decided to desert his dessert in the Desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present; I thought it was time to
present the Present.

8) A bass fish was painted on the head of the Bass Drum.

9) When shot at; the Dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the Object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the Invalid.

12) There was a row among the Oarsmen about how to row.

13) Bubba was not  close enough to the door; to close it.

14) The Buck does funny things; when the Does are present.

15) Both a Seamstress and a Sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with his planting; the Farmer taught his Sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind-up the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting; I shed a tear.

19) The Test was a test of his test– taking ability toward Test’s.

20) Should his personal Address be addressed; in his political address speech?

Gleaned from the Internet by; “Inter-Jon:”   (‘S’CUSE ME!);   Demijon.

I Really don’t know Ever-thing;  “Just most of it:”     Dj.


At the close of World War II; the automobile industry was hard pressed to retool from the production of war supplies and begin anew, the manufacture of vehicles demanded by the civilian populace. Thus began the procedure of supplying the need for reliable transportation to replace the worn out machines that in many cases did not survive the conflict.

The rural areas of the South had suffered to a greater degree than the large cities in the North, due primarily to the lack of a mass transit system. It was here that a few entrepreneurs devised a plan to provide dependable automobiles to the rank and file.

The discovery of many vehicles that had been stored in garages throughout these large cities during the war years, and the fact that our northern neighbors were no less enthusiastic about owning a new automobile, led to the establishment of many small commercial ventures into the business of used cars.

With a modest amount of cash, these “dealers” would gather several teenagers eager for the opportunity to drive a late model automobile; board a train and scour the cities and countryside of the northern states.

Their mission, to purchase as many cars as there were drivers or even more, if tow bars were available. Transporting them to their potential customers in the southern states was the basis of this lucrative enterprise.

Although the “dealer” paid expenses for the drivers, most of them gladly accompanied him simply for the privilege of visiting the distant cities and to be allowed to drive a 1936-40 DeSoto, Packard or Hudson, since many of them had never before ventured out of their home state. Many dealers had only to mention the fact that they were “going up north to buy cars” to be swamped with requests to “drive one back.” One such trip was recounted to me by one of my best friends.


“We boarded the train at around 11:00 a.m. at Cheraw, S.C. I had never ridden a train before; therefore, I did not know what to expect, so when I was seated I got myself braced for what I assumed would be a burst of speed. The engine revved up and I prepared for my ride into the unknown. I was somewhat disappointed when there was only a slight jolt as the train started and began to pick up speed. We rumbled through the countryside until I noticed that the sun had begun to set. I envisioned that we were somewhere in Virginia when the conductor came into our car and announced the next stop, shouting “Ham-LET, Ham-let!”  It had taken all afternoon to travel the approximately 30 miles to this border town in North Carolina.”


Many more tales of excitement came from these adventures before new automobiles became plentiful throughout the South, but it was usually the first trip up North that proved the most interesting to those immature adolescents.

I can still recall listening to the sales pitch as the dealer attempted to sell one of these outstanding values; or to work up a trade for a vehicle that had seen its better days.


“Now, this one is a “CREAM-PUFF!The lady who owned this little jewel kept it in a steam-heated garage. She only drove it to church on Sunday.  It don’t use any oil either.  It’s really a bargain at $695.00.  The new ones will not be made as well as this one.  And; just remember; We’ll ‘tote the note.”


I cannot visualize anything more exhilarating than a young man’s first trip “up north” and the thrill of returning at the wheel of a sleek, shiny 1940 Ford Deluxe or a 1936-37 Chevrolet with KNEE-ACTION suspension, each equipped with a radio and white sidewall tires.

Unlike today’s youth; it took so little to make us happy back inthe olden days”.


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Figure’s of Speech

Teddy’s: An item of underwear worn by ladies. Example: “Mavis was walking around outside with nothing but her Teddy’s on.”

Bodacious: A huge amount. Example: “I’ll bet that car cost Jim a bodacious pile of money.”

Coming up a cloud: An impending storm. Example: “You young’uns get in the house and wash your feet; they’s a’comin’ up a cloud.”

Tainted: Anything that has spoiled. Example: “Throw them hot dogs into the hog pen. They’s tainted.”

Parson: A preacher. Example: “Our Parson has went an’ moved; so we’s got to find us a ‘nother’n.”

That Way: Description of a pregnant lady. Example: “I’ve heard that Eunice is ‘that way’ and won’t let-on who the daddy is.”

Old bumb: Placing blame. Example: “The reason we’re having such bad weather is that; it’s caused by that ‘old bumb.”

Liquored-up: Inebriated. Example: “I saw Bob yesterday, in front of the dime store and he was all liquored-up.”

Pigeon-toed: Walking with the feet turned inward. Example: “That young’un of Miz. Hylton’s is as pigeon-toed as anybody I’ve ever seen.”

Croup: As having a bad cough. Example: “Jethro has got the croup and I can’t sleep ’cause he coughs all night;”

Gimp-legged: A person that walks with a limp. Example: “That gimp-legged boy of Miz. Starnes ain’t getting no better.”

Smart as a whip: Showing intelligence. “He might never get over his laziness; but he’s smart as a whip.”

Swimmey-headed: Unstable. Example: “That medicine old Doc. Pervis give Jethro, made him swimmey-headed.”

Blind staggers: Similar to above. Example: “You’re were so wobbly yesterday, I kinda thought you had a bad case of the blind staggers.”

Re-liners: Inserts for automobile tires. Example: “You had better put re-liners in your car’s tires ’cause the air is showing in two of ’em.”

Lumbago: Leg or back pain. Example: “I’ve got to get me some more pain pills, ’cause my lumbago is gettin’ worse.”

Slew-footed:  A person who walks with both feet dragging, and turned sideways.  Example: “Have you ever noticed that Bubba walks slew-footed?”

Uppity:  Someone who is getting ‘above their raising.’  Example:  Merlene has ‘got right uppity,’ since she married that Funeral Home man.”

Jus-rite:  Strange behavior.  Example:  That Bernie; he ain’t been actin’ ‘jus-rite,’ ever since he got run over by that log truck.”

Y’all-all:  Everyone assembled.  Example:  “Have Y’all-all seen that ‘hoochie-koochie’ show down there at that Carnival?”

Mom-an’em:  To include.  Example:  “If Y’all-all come up to our house for your vacation; be sure to bring Mom-an’em.”

Pla-lac:  To pretend.  Example:  “Juneya ain’t got no horse, nor no six-shooter, neither; so he’ll just have to ‘pla-lac’ being a Cowboy.”

Any more questions?


The real reason that them City Folks don’t use these figures of speech is; “Because they just don’t know no better.”  Dj.

Why is it???

That the telephone rings immediately after the first bite of your dinner?

That you think that everyone is looking; if you happen to slip and fall?

That you cannot find a parking space within two miles when it’s raining?

That the shortest ‘check-out’ line always has the most talkative and slowest checker?

And the lady behind is in such a hurry, she pushes her cart into your ankle?

That the waitress asks if everything is alright;  just when your mouth is full?

That the guy next door could have saved you hundreds on the new lawn mower?

And everyone he knows has had trouble with ‘Your’ particular brand?

That no one will suggest a place to dine, but all will complain about this one?

That “Nordie-Trac” turns everyone into muscle bound specimens, except you?

That the product which goes on sale today was ‘sold out’  when the doors opened?

That the appliance explodes ‘one day after the warranty expires’?

That all of your neighbors want to talk when you are trying to finish mowing?

That clothing stores have on sale, a size 38 which becomes 34 after you buy it?

That you get an itch in your crotch; just as soon as you stand before an audience?

That everyone can get better gas millage than you have ever been able to?

That the person behind you at a theater talks you through the action?

That the grocery puts your milk in a ripped bag and the Twinkies in a double one?

And the coupon for 50 cents off on the Twinkies expired yesterday?

That your telephone bill increases by 57% when you sign up to save 25%?

That there is nothing more interesting on television than the commercials?

That you mention to a friend that you’re reading a book and he relates the end?

That you have to spell a word in order for your computer to spell-check?

That after hours of hearing about other children; the subject changes when you mention some cute remark or action attributable to yours?

Finally you become disgusted.  You tell everyone to go to hell; assume an attitude of “I don’t give a tinkers damn;” move to the green swamp and become a hermit.

That will teach them all that you do not intend to be intimidated by a bunch of scalawags who have nothing better to do than to take the time to read junk like this.


The other day, I said to my wife; I sez,  “MY WIFE!”  “I’ve not always been as smart as I am today.  I used to be just like you; ‘Dumb’, ‘Fat’ & ‘Lazy’.”   That SMART-ALEC, then; had the audacity to say to me; she sez:  YOU!”   “I hope that dog don’t bite you when you try to go to bed in HIS HOUSE!”             Dj.