The Three Amigo Cheeseheads Ride Again!

Sunday, June 25th was another exciting day for local Cheeseheads, Max Fly, Private Eye, and his main squeeze Jacqui and fellow cheesehead, Cynde Hesse-Prodgers. They fired up the ol’ Ford Tractor and headed north to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and of course Rocco’s Pub in Jasper, GA, home of the World’s Best Chili Pie, as well as the friendliest wait staff north of Tampa Bay. One of the pleasures of living in Georgia is the opportunity you get to meet people from all over the world and today we started out meeting a waitress who moved to Georgia from the Seattle, Washington area and she was friendly and a very efficient server!

Dancing Girls Now Performing at Rocco’s Pub, Jasper Georgia

We ordered some wine and a little brandy to put out the fire and wash down the Red Hot Chili Pie while listening to the Blackwell Country Jam Band play some of the Outlaw country songs of David Allen Coe, Merl Haggard, and George Straight (Is he an outlaw?) as well as tunes from other great country artists. We were able to enjoy this music with a local motorcycle club while a young dancing girl provided some lively entertainment, twirling as the music played.

Harley’s at Rocco’s Pub, Jasper GA

 

We then piled in the tractor, weaving our way around all the Harley’s scattered about Rocco’s parking lot and headed east to Ball Ground. They said I was driving. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Feather’s Edge Vineyards. Proprietor, David Boone was still there, pouring his magic nectar. It is obvious that David has done it right, setting up a comfortable porch and backyard area to taste his great wines while his guests engaged in a little “Toe Tapping” to the gentle sounds of Surrender Hill. There was even some cigar smokin’ going on in the back.

David Boone Proud Proprietor of Feather’s Edge Vineyards, Ball Ground Georgia is busy serving one of his satisfied customers, Cynde Hesse-Prodgers, one of the Three Amigo Cheeseheads

Now I have to tell you something, if you haven’t heard this duo, Surrender Hill, sing, you are missing out on a real treat.

Surrender Hill performing in the hills of North Georgia at Feather’s Edge Vineyard, Ball Ground Georgia

The couple, Robin Dean Salmon and Afton Seekins,  met in 2013 in Northern Arizona while performing music in many of the same clubs. Both are singer-songwriters.

Their paths crossed often and a friendship ensued which led to a collaboration not only in music but in life. In March of 2014, Robin and Afton started writing and performing together and figured they might as well get hitched. Find out more about them at www.surrenderhill.com. By the way, Max couldn’t leave without buying one of their CD’s which he now plays in the Ebony Pony while he is blowing down the highway, doing things his way.

It wasn’t long before Jacqui said, “Something is smoking behind us and it’s smelling mighty good, and, no Max, it’s not you.”

Smokin’ Tony’s BBQ. The best BBQ in the North Georgia Mountains.

Pretty soon we located what was causing all the smoke. It was none other than North Georgia’s Smokin’ Tony’s BBQ!!! Tony and wife, Brenda Sweatt, were putting together some mighty delicious fixin’s for the folks sittin’ around drinking the best wine in Georgia while tapping their toes to the mellow sounds of Surrender Hill. Tony said he’d be happy to cater your event no matter how small. Well, he did refuse to deliver two sandwiches to my house, but, anything a bit larger than that, and he can accommodate y’all! Go to their website at www.smokintonysbbqga.com. You’re gonna drool on your keyboard, I guarantee it!

Didn’t I say somewhere that one of the pleasures of living in Georgia is the opportunity you get to meet people from all over the world? Well, Mr. Robin Dean Salmon started his life’s journey in South Africa and Ms. Afton Seekins started kickin’ and squalling up yonder in Alaska. They are now splitting their time between Atlanta and Nashville. Of course Ol’ Tony and Brenda live right down the road in Ball Ground and, of course, the Three Cheesehead Amigos are from Wisconsin.

As usual, the Three Cheesehead Amigos had a superb time enjoying great wine, food, and entertainment in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in good ol’ Georgia, US of A! We plan on making this trip a bit more often now that we have the tractor up and running again. See y’all soon, your friend, Max Fly, Private Eye

Feather’s Edge Gift Shop 10061 Ball Ground Hwy, Ball Ground, GA 30107 (770) 735-6923

Federal Public Lands Under Assault

You may not be aware of this, but you own six hundred and forty million acres of land in the western United States, which is about one-fifth the land area of the U.S. It is managed by the Forest Service, The Bureau of Land Management and the National Parks Service, all part of the Department of Interior established in 1849, as the fourth cabinet of our federal government.
It has a spotted past of corruption dating back to the 1870’s when then Secretary Columbus Delano, a relative to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was forced to resign due to incompetence, nepotism and other shady deals, such as paying non-existent employees salaries. He was convicted of taking bribes for fraudulent land grants and was forced to resign from office. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Granted, for the most part, in my opinion, I feel the Department of Interior does a very poor job as many employees succumb to the temptation of wine, women and song and a lot, I mean a lot of corrupt money that is put in front of them by special interest groups, mainly, mining and forestry concerns, and of course the cattlemen’s association, but the Department is a necessary evil. It just needs fixing.
What is on this land you own is worth a great deal of money and the money grubbers are always trying to find ways to grab it and they are getting close to doing so unless every American voice their concern and stop what some are trying to accomplish.
There is a movement afoot in the swamp of Washington D. C. to transfer these federal lands to state and local government. At first blush, one might think this is a good idea but if you stop and think about it for a moment, you just might come to a different conclusion. Notice what is written above, this land is located in the western United States, where most of these special interest groups who have been lusting for a piece of our national treasure, thrive.
Recreational land users, such as hikers, bikers, campers and horsemen and women, are worried, and rightfully so. In the last issue of Back Country Horsemen of America, they dedicated two pages to the assault on Federal Public Lands and as an organization is pushing against selling off federal lands to the states.
If you aren’t aware of what has been going on in Washington regarding this, perhaps you might want to find out.
A group named, Federal Land Action Group, organized by two Utah congressmen, are identifying ways Congress could push a transfer of lands to state and local governments.
This past January, Jason Chaffetz, another one from Utah, introduced House Resolution, H.R.621, calling for the sale of 3.3 million acres of land in 10 western states. Luckily, conservation and sportsmen’s groups went ballistic and Mr. Chaffetz rescinded his bill in just over a week, proving that this type of outrage by the public is what is needed to keep the swamp in line.
But it isn’t over yet. Rob Bishop, another Utah Representative, requested that $50 million be set aside to account for the costs of transferring federal land to states or local governments. So far, there has been no response from the House Budget Committee, but I think you are beginning to get the picture.
Then there is H.R. 232, State and National Forest Management Act of 2017, introduced by Don Young of Alaska to both the House Committees on Natural Resources and on Agriculture to authorize States to select and acquire certain National Forest System lands to be managed and operated by the State for timber production and other purposes under the laws of the State.
Then in February, in the State House of Representatives in Oregon House Bill 2365 was introduced to establish a task force to study the feasibility of transferring federally managed lands to the State of Oregon.
As bad as the Department of Interior is, I think this transfer of lands that some are attempting is a terrible idea. I believe our federal public lands should remain federally owned and if you are like minded, you must tell your elected officials exactly how you feel. We may have won a battle or two but the war wages on and there are politicians whose palms are being greased with some serious money and we all know how politicians react to money.

 

 

 

 

Butterflies Everywhere But Your Stomach

Butterfly House $15.00

As told by He-Who -Sells

Nancy and Melvin Blahfy were ready to move. Their family was growing. Their little girl, Shania, just turned one year old and was beginning to walk.Their friendly and still growing dog, a Golden Retriever named Maxwell, was knocking things off the shelves with his constantly wagging tail as he romped through their small two bedroom apartment. Nancy and Melvin knew they needed a bigger place. It finally happened. They had outgrown their apartment.
They spoke with Nancy’s older sister, Mildred, and her husband, Carson, who had just moved into a new home about a year ago. Mildred told Nancy how accommodating and dedicated her real estate agent, Ashley Longfellow was, plus as a house warming gift, Ashley gave them a unique gift that they just loved. It was a custom made wooden Butterfly House. Ashley even had personalized the Butterfly House with “Mildred’s Garden” imprinted on the front of it. Mildred and Carson have been enjoying sitting on their screened-in porch watching all the Monarch Butterfly’s that are attracted to their backyard because of Mildred’s own personalized Butterfly House.
It wasn’t long before Ashley Longfellow, Real Estate Agent, received a call from Nancy and Melvin. Ashley immediately began researching for a nice house that matched the criteria Nancy and Melvin gave her, which included a nice backyard where their Golden Retriever, Maxwell, and their little girl, Shania, could safely romp around and where Nancy could grow a small flower garden, just like her older sister, Mildred.
Soon, Nancy and Melvin received a call from Ashley Longfellow, Real Estate Agent, saying she found the perfect house for them.
Well, Nancy and Melvin were ecstatic! It was everything they wanted and more. It had a beautiful fenced in backyard with more than enough room for Shania and Maxwell to run around and play in and still have room for Nancy’s beautiful flowers.
And thanks to iAdConcepts, Ashley Longfellow, Real Estate Agent, was able to present Nancy and Melvin Blahfy with their very own personalized Butterfly House. It wasn’t long until the Blahfy’s had their own swarm of butterflies fluttering around the flowers and their new Butterfly House…and everyone lived happily ever after.
To find out about more of iAdConcepts products go to our website at www.iadconcepts.com or give us a call at 770-913.510

How iAdConcepts Saved Bill And Mabel’s Cake

 

Bill & Mabel’s Award Winning Cake

As Told By He-Who-Sells
Bill and Mabel decided to start their own catering business. Bill spent 20 years in marketing for a major hotel chain where he was in charge of special events and catering nationwide. Mabel was a stay at home mom. During that time she perfected her cooking skills. In fact, family and friends went crazy over her cakes and petit fors. They saved enough money where Bill could leave his job and they set out on their own with their new business that they named Bill and Mabel’s Catering Service.
Things were going along very smoothly. They were bringing in a steady stream of new customers and they even won a local contest for having the prettiest wedding cake. But they still weren’t making the money they needed to do the things they felt they had to do.
So, Bill and Mabel sat down one night at the kitchen table after they put the kids to bed and decided that in order to keep their business going they needed to grow it. They determined they could scrape up $500.00 to advertise their catering business.
The next day they shopped around. They went to the local newspaper and asked about their advertising rates for a 1/2 page advertisement showing their prize winning cake along with their telephone number and website. They were stunned when they heard the cost. The local newspaper said for them to stay within their budget, the paper could give them a 1 inch advertisement, a special they were running, for a three-day weekend, and, no that would not include a picture of that prize-winning wedding cake they were so proud of, but they could put the name of the business along with their telephone number and website. For that price, the paper would let them put the name of their business in bold type.
Bill and Mabel were crushed as they knew that most people reading the local paper weren’t in the market for cakes and petit fors that week and they were afraid that by the time readers needed their product and services they would forget about Bill and Mabel’s Catering Service. They knew there was a lot of competition in the catering business. So what should they do?
Mabel thought they should place a half page ad showing her cake even though it was over what they had budgeted. She knew when people saw her beautiful cake it would sell itself and they would surely call them.
But what Bill knew, from being in the business world for over 20 years, was that Joe and Jill Executive have more important things to remember than the name of a catering service, a service they might not need until their son graduates from school if he even graduates.
So, the question is, where should Bill and Mabel put their limited amount of funds for advertising and growing their business?
Little did they know that the answer was just around the corner, or rather, on their email server. A marketing specialist from a leading advertising and marketing firm in the Atlanta area, iAdConcepts, showed them how they could target their advertising dollars so it would reach people that actually need their products and services and when they needed them. In the case of Bill and Mabel’s Catering Services, 500 wedding planners and event planners received a picture of that award winning wedding cake along with Bill and Mabel’s new logo they just developed, their website, telephone number, and address; they even added discount coupons all on a beautiful wall calendar and they got it for the $500.00 they had set aside to grow their business and the best thing about it, the wedding and event planners would have the picture of Mabel’s cake in front of them 365 days a year which comes out to an incredibly low $0.005 Cost Per View (CPV).
The answer to your advertising problem is iAdConcepts and our advertising products. The reason being, most people don’t throw them away because they serve a useful purpose.
Oh, Bill and Mabel’s Catering Service was so successful, they just opened their tenth franchise operation and iAdConcepts was able to drop their CPV down from the original $0.005 to $0.0005 due to a higher quantity purchase. IAdConcepts was able to drop in the local addresses of the franchisees. Now people in ten major metropolitan cities are getting to see Mabel’s prize winning wedding cake, thanks to iAdConcepts and those calendars with Mabel’s prize winning wedding cake.
Give us a call 404.913.5510 or visit our website at www.iadconcepts.com for more product ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

Devil’s Tower But The Sioux Know it By Another Name

 

Sioux Warrior

The two men sat their horses facing west. One was a white man who came from Sweden to the western states to hunt beaver pelts many years ago when beaver hats were all the rage in Europe. The other an Indian, an old Lakota Sioux warrior whose people had hunted the land for many years, ever since the Anishinabe, the First People, forced them from the Minnesota Territory. The two had been friends a long time. They met a few moons after the great victory of ’73, when the Sioux along with their brothers the Cheyenne, defeated Yellow Hair Custer and his men at the Little Big Horn. Neither man had liked General Custer. The white man had worked as a scout out of Fort Laramie under the command of General Crook when Custer was under Crooks command as well. He rode with Custer a few times and considered him incompetent as well as arrogant. He felt Custer got his due. The years since then had passed quickly and they saw many people arrive and a change come over the land. They knew people like them would soon be forced to flee or die.
They were watching the sun fade in the west behind a tall rock jutting out over the Wyoming plains.
“Do you see that rock?” The old warrior asked his friend.
“Of course I see that rock. I ain’t blind. It’s Devil’s Tower.”
“That is the white man’s name. We have no devil in our beliefs. We got along well all these many centuries without him. You people invented the devil and, as far as I am concerned, you can keep him. But everybody these days knows that towering rock by this name, so Devil’s Tower it is.”
“So, what about it?”
“My people have another name for it. We know it as Bear Rock and there is a story to that.”
“Ain’t there always with you Indians?”
“I suppose. When you get close you will see on its sides there are many, many streaks and gashes running straight up and down, like scratches made by giant claws, bear claws.
Well, long, long ago, two young Indian boys found themselves lost in the prairie. You know how it is. You Wasichas get lost all the time. The boys shot their toy bows out into the sagebrush and went to retrieve them. They heard a small animal make a noise and went to investigate.
They came to a stream with many colorful pebbles and followed that for a while. Then they came to a hill and wanted to see what was on the other side. You know how that is, you Wasichus are always curious. Well, on the other side they saw a herd of antelope and, of course, they had to track them for a while.”
“Is there a purpose to this story, or are you just having fun at my expense?”
“That too. When the boys got hungry they knew it was time to go home but found they did not know where they were. They started off in the direction they thought their village was but ended up farther away from it. At last, being very tired from all that walking, they curled up beneath a tree and went to sleep.
The next morning they rose and walked some more, still headed the wrong way. They ate some wild berries and dug up wild turnips, found some chokecherries, and drank water from streams. For three days they walked toward the west.
On the fourth day, the boys had a feeling that they were being followed. They looked around and in the distance saw Mato, the bear. This was no ordinary bear, but a giant grizzly so huge that the two boys would only make a small mouthful for him, but he had smelled the boys and wanted that mouthful. The earth trembled as he gathered speed and got closer to the boys.
The boys started running, looking for a place to hide, but there was no such place and Mato was much faster than they were. They stumbled, and the bear was about to pounce upon them. They could see his enormous, wicked teeth. They could smell his hot, evil breath. The boys were old enough to have learned to pray, and they called upon Wakan Tanka, the Creator:
“Tunkashila, Grandfather, have pity, save us,” they prayed.
“All at once the earth shook and began to rise. The boys rose with it. Out of the earth came a cone of rock going up, up until it was more than a thousand feet high. And the boys were on top of it. Mato the bear was disappointed to see his meal disappearing into the clouds.
Have I said he was a giant bear? This grizzly was so huge that he could almost reach to the top of the rock, trying to get up, trying to get those boys. As he did so, he made big scratches on the sides of the towering rock. But the stone was too slippery; Mato could not get up. He tried every side. He scratched up the rock all around, but it was no use. The boys watched him wearing himself out, getting tired and finally giving up. Soon Mato left, growling, and grunting as he disappeared over the horizon.
The boys were saved.”
“How did they get down, old man? They were not birds. They could not fly. I suppose you are going to tell me that father Coyote came to save the day again?”
“No, not this time, Washichus, it was Wanblee, the eagle, he has always been a friend to our people. So it must have been the eagle that let the boys grab hold of him and he carried them safely back to their village.”
“Yeah? So why are you telling me this?”
“To let you know that the Sioux have been to the top of that rock and back down again. Wakan Tanka made it so. No white man has been there.”

You Can Make A Difference

One Lady Who Made A Difference

Don’t ever think because you are only one person that you can’t make a difference because you can, and this lady did.
Her husband, Charlie, told her to forget about it. To let it go she would only be riling up the neighbors and nobody would do anything anyway. Nobody cares.
But she couldn’t let it go. It was too horrific; all the blood. It made her shudder just thinking about it. That was two years ago and since that day, she reached out to people of all economic and social strata of society.
She adroitly cultivated many contacts, from school children to businessmen and politicians gathering information to lead the fight. It was a lot of work but it was passionate work and now…
The sun was beginning to rise over the Nevada Mountains as the diminutive woman limped with determination out her front door in Reno. The limp was leftover from a bout with childhood polio that left her crippled. Her purse hung from her left shoulder and in her right hand was a briefcase filled with all the documents she had gathered over the past two years. Her job as an executive secretary gave her the skills needed to put together the multitude of facts and evidence into the organized presentation that she hoped would right a wrong, a wrong that, for years, nothing had been done about; but she was determined to change that today.
She was scheduled to give her presentation that morning in Storey County, Nevada. She had no idea that she was about to set off a firestorm of hatred, scorn, and threats against her that would last her lifetime by the very people she was about to speak to.
As she arrived at the meeting, she was greeted by her boss, Gordon Harris, a Reno insurance executive.
“Hi, Velma, I want you to meet someone, State Senator James Slattery. Senator, this is the lady I was telling you about, Velma Johnston. She’s an incredible young woman and I think you will find what she is about to say very interesting.”
“Pleased to me you, Velma. Aren’t you one of Joseph Bronn’s kids?”
“Yessir, I’m his oldest. I have lived here all my life. He and my mother brought me out here in a covered wagon. I crossed the desert as an infant and was kept alive on mustang mare milk. Many of the horses my father used in his freighting service were mustangs.”
“Well, I’ll be. Your daddy was a good man. I look forward to hearing what you have put together.”
As Velma walked down the aisle to the podium where she would give her presentation, the men in the audience began to jeer her and finally one redneck rancher who looked like he was chewing on a golf ball, rolled his chaw of chewing tobacco to the other cheek and spit into a cup, before yelling out to his friends and fellow ranchers, “Well look it here boys, here comes Wild Horse Annie.”
Catcalls and laughter echoed throughout the hall before the county commission chairman was able to call everyone to order.
What started out as a divisive sobriquet became a rallying cry for her supporters and she wore it with pride for the rest of her life.
As it turned out, she was forceful and compelling as a public speaker and was able to charm and inspire others as she delivered her message about the indiscriminate slaughter and brutalization of America’s living legends, the mustang horse.
She fought for years to preserve the wild horses on the public lands in Western states. They and the burros were threatened by ranchers or others wanting to kill them for pet food.
It all began in 1950, as she left her office she noticed something that didn’t seem right; blood pouring out of the back of a stock trailer as it drove down the highway. She got into her car and followed it and it wasn’t long before she realized it was crammed full of wild horses destined for a pet food slaughterhouse. When they opened the trailer door to let out all the horses, she saw a yearling being trampled to death There and then she decided to expose this to the public eye.
In the mid-1900’s, massive wild horse and burro roundups were taking place on the Western public lands. These roundups involved airplanes flown by WWII pilots. They operated in conjunction with truck drivers and were aided by cowboys with lassoes and heavy truck tires. The 1961 movie, “The Misfits,” directed by John Huston and starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Cliff, and Eli Wallach, who played a former World War II aviator named Guido Racanelli, depicted these brutal gatherings.
Velma Johnston led the drive in 1959 when Congress passed a bill to prohibit planes and trucks from rounding up the animals and it was through her hard work and dedication, that thousands of people of all ages became advocates for the wild horses. Congress received more letters on this issue than any other, save the Vietnam War.
Her testimony before Congress led to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (P.L. 92-195) which was unanimously passed and signed into law in 1971. This gave the wild horses and burros protection on BLM and Forest Service lands “where found” at the time of the passage of the Act in 303 areas.
She was president of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros and of Wild Horse Organized Assistance Inc. She also wrote her autobiography, “Mustang—Wild Spirit of the West.”

In 1973, she played herself in the Western, “Running Wild” starring alongside  Lloyd Bridges and Dina Merrill.
It was true that her efforts touched off controversy. Ranchers said that the wild horses were destroying grazing lands for domesticated animals. In 1974, she received a warning from an Idaho vigilante group, but she took the threat lightly and hung it on her wall of mementos, saying: “There aren’t too many people who have been threatened by vigilantes in the 1970’s.”
At the roundups of wild horses by the Bureau of Land Management, Wild Horse Annie was often present to assure that the horses were not harmed. And once captured, she led an adoption program to find homes for the animals.
Wild Horse Annie received a public service award in 1972 from Rogers C. B. Morton, Secretary of the Interior, for her fight on behalf of the horses. Her death was apparently caused by cancer.
So, when someone says to you, “You are only one person, you can’t make a difference.”
Just go out and show them, like little Wild Horse Annie did!

“They ran
 like they were running
 through the winds of time 
past the dry river gulch
 where the waters once 
ran swift and deep
 and many tribes camped
 along her banks
 and the children played
 and the deer and elk grazed
 they ran 
free and wild and 
with no idea that 
it would ever 
change.”
~ Michael Traveler, author of Postcards from the Past

Mother’s Day Gift

 

 

When it comes to giving gifts, I have no equal. Fancy trips, diamonds, and precious gems don’t cross my radar. Furs? Never, I’m an animal lover. New car? Don’t think so. Every week since we bought her car back in1973 she has run into the side and front of the garage, not to mention posts and various other objects that get in her way while she runs her daily errands to pick up my brandy and cigars.
Bee Traps! Now that’s something every delicate woman wants. So I searched far and wide to find one for the mother of my children and finally, after years of searching, I was successful.
So far, Jacqui has been speechless, which we all know is highly unusual, but it’s been a fantastic Mother’s Day for the world’s greatest mother EVAH.
This is a picture of the gift I gave her that knocked her socks off (I’ll work on the rest later).
This gift ranked right up there with the infamous horse blanket I gave her one Christmas that nearly cost me my permanent place in our marriage bed – but she was less forgiving back then. The bee trap has a bit more longevity value than an old horse blanket. I mean year after year we have carpenter bees drilling holes all over our deck and they have been just as invasive up at our ranch in Ball Ground. The barn has so many holes in it that It is beginning to look like a big gray piece of Swiss Cheese!
Unfortunately, this bee trap hasn’t trapped one carpenter bee in the week I’ve had it. I picked it up at a roadside stand off Hwy 140 in Canton Georgia. It came highly recommended from a friend of mine, an Irish lass, who said she had already trapped a couple of these pesky critters that drill holes in anything wooden(that’s why I always wear a cap while outside on my deck).
I should have been suspect from the beginning as it came with 4 dead bees already in it but the roadside stand was a nylon tent. There was no wood around. So where did those bees come from, I’m wondering?

In hindsight, I’m also questioning the exorbitant price of this French torture chamber I so prudently purchased for the mother of all mother’s, my Jacqui; $22.50 plus tax for a block of wood and a Ball jar?
Well, it does have four holes drilled in it.
Does anyone have a garage sale coming up in the near future? Just asking.

Feather’s Edge, A Perfect Spot To Celebrate Mother’s Day

The Ebony Pony

 

May’s Events At Feather’s Edge Winery

Yesterday, while I was loading up on meds, the Ebony Pony was assaulted by a cart return station, or whatever it’s called, at the Super Target Store in Roswell, Georgia, leaving a scrape along her entire passenger side. It sounded like I ran over a plastic soda bottle, a very large plastic soda bottle.

To make her feel better, I took her up to Ball Ground and made a stop at the Feather’s Edge Winery and spoke with my friend and top dog, David Boone, Daniel’s younger brother, maybe not, he’s not that old. I wanted to check in to see how his business is progressing since he started with live entertainment on his outside patio area overlooking the fire pit and one of the vineyards; also, I needed to get another bottle of his outstanding Fat Boy Red.
I was pleased to hear everything is going well. In fact, tomorrow, Saturday, May 13th, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. the beautiful Victoria Hall and David Ranes, will be performing a variety of classical, musical theatre, and Broadway favorites including Annie Get Your Gun, Into the Woods, Les Miserables, and Phantom of the Opera, to name a few.
Victoria Hill is an Opera Major at Reinhardt University and has yet to lose a competition in the world of opera. David Ranes, a very talented singer in his own right, has a gentle sound which reminds one of pop icon, David Bowie. When this duo joins together to perform these musicals, it sends chills down your spine.
To make the evening even better, they will be serving Smoked Wild Trout, caught in the clear, icy blue waters in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a simple salad, Artisan Bread, Pine Nut Couscous, Asparagus w/ Lemon Zest, Sauteed Portabella Mushrooms, and Peach & Blueberry Cobbler all topped off with a bottle of one of their excellent wines all for only $70.00 per person.
If you are looking for a special place to take your favorite momma for Mother’s Day, you might want to consider the Feather’s Edge Winery in Ball Ground Georgia. It would be time and money well spent.
Oh, as I was weaving my way down the mountain with the top down and my music blaring with me doing my best rendition of David Ranes, I decided to stop and talk to Travis Powell, a fantastic automobile detailer, and have him evaluate the damage done to the Ebony Pony. Travis assured me he could buff out the scratch so I decided to set up an appointment and have him give the little lady an entire makeover and remove all the little dings she had from her many trips to the tropics(Florida). After listening to Travis give her the good news, she purred all the way home. Later that evening, I enjoyed some Fat Boy Red, with my favorite momma, Jacqui.

Is It Too Late To Abort This Guy, Juniper Angelica?

REALLY???? This guy is a real bonehead. Most likely receiving government aid of some kind.

“…we cannot let free speech become a tactic that asks oppressed people to tolerate their oppressors in hopes of peaceful compromise. I guess I am just at the point where I’ve studied the genocide of my people and am tired of living it today. I do not understand how we can fill the streets demanding justice and then magically separate ourselves from the movement to protect conservative voices who want a soapbox and our death certificates. This has done nothing more than maintain the white supremacist, capitalistic and patriarchal nature that allowed colonizers to protect their power centuries ago and that has allowed their descendants to elect an openly racist, queerphobic, Islamophobic/xenophobic and anti-poverty adminstration.
I’m not here for free speech. I’m here for Black lives. I’m here for undocumented lives, queer and trans lives, femme lives, incarcerated lives and poor lives. I am here for the lives Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter want dead. I am here for the lives Donald Trump wants to ban. I am here for the lives BCR cannot fit in their “socially moderate, fiscally conservative”fantasy.”

At the University of California, Berkeley, we have this nose-ringed, dress wearing bearded Mexican boy who thinks he’s a girl, attempting to tell hard working tax paying Americans they don’t have a right to free speech, the free speech many of us have fought and died to protect so this pie hole can call us White Supremacists! Ya gotta love ‘em. Jerry Moonbeam Brown, keep ‘em in the land of nuts and ferries, please.

If you are into self-flagellation, you can go to www.dailycal.org and read more of what these pimply faced confused millennials think.

Paramilitary OPS – Ghost Walkers

PARAMILITARY OP OFFICERS – THE GHOST WALKERS
AMERICA’S INVISIBLE ARMY

“We had been operating a damned Murder Inc. in the Caribbean.” – LBJ 1963

…and it continued.

I was off DMZ barrier duty when I was hauled down to a small compound outside Camp Howze, the Second Infantry Division’s Headquarters. I wasn’t told why and I didn’t ask.
The man sitting across from me appeared to be in his mid-forties and in great condition. His boots were bloused and his heavily starched fatigues looked like they were tailor made. He was sporting a short flattop with white sidewalls where a little gray was beginning to show. Age lines were starting to develop around his eyes. His stare looked like it could pierce armor. He was sitting ramrod straight, as straight as he was when he was upright. There was no slouch in this man. There was also no rank insignia showing on his uniform.
He didn’t bother with introductions.
“When did you arrive in country?” He asked.
“August of ’69 during the big build-up.”
“What was it like when you arrived?”
“Just about everyone was being sent to Vietnam so most units were understaffed. We were down to 80 guys in our company.
When I arrived I was immediately sent on afternoon and nightly trips to the DMZ fence. I was sent on patrols to Guard Post (GP) Katie to introduce me to the “Z”. That winter was bitter, temperatures dropped to -38 degrees one night and the chill factor was -85 degrees. We measured exposure time in seconds, not minutes. Warm-up bunkers were few and far between and we only had enough firewood for three hours a night, if we were lucky; but we did have the Playboy Bunker where the inside walls were covered with Playboy Magazine centerfolds from past years. That was quite a bunker.
Because we were short-handed we worked 22 hours on with only two hours of sleep.When I thought it couldn’t get worse, I volunteered for the Imjin Scout program. Some crazy-ass dudes go through that training, I’ll tell you that much. When you finish that program, you know how to survive with nothing.”
“There’s worse, believe me,” the stranger said. “How long have you been on the “Z”?
“Eight months.”
“Tell me what’s it like, don’t parse your words by spitting out what your CO told you can and can’t say.”
“Well, it seemed like there were no days or nights, just one continuous march of time. The biggest inconvenience, I guess, was getting water while at GP Katie. We either brought it in by truck or we mostly brought it up the hill from the creek at the bottom of the hill. It was dangerous to do, and the North Korean (NK) snipers watched for us every time. Many times we went down at night if one of our patrols was not in the area. GP Katie had a radar and photo recon bunker, but we seldom saw the operators. They were like ghosts to us. We totally rebuilt the trench system and bunkers that summer. The older cloth sandbags had rotted and we replaced them with plastic.
We had ambush patrols in the DMZ every night. The patrols we went on usually lasted 24 to 36 hours, and the unidentified individuals, UI’s, were everywhere trying to penetrate the fence and ambush us. Everyone we saw was an UI. It made writing reports easier. If we’d identify them as NK’s, we’d spend the two hours they gave us to sleep writing reports to cover the CO’s butt. Sorry, but you told me to tell you like it is.”
“That’s okay, continue.”
“The NK’s sent down their Hunter-Killer 5 man units all the time. They would strike fast, one to two minutes, then take off across the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). More than once we could have struck back, but were not allowed to fire over the MDL, even if they were still shooting at us, which they did. It pissed us off that they restricted us like that.
The NK’s put American flags up at their positions across the MDL, trying to make us think they were American positions. They caught us once, NK 2 US 0…after that we were aware of that trick. We paid them back later.”
“What about fence duty on the “Z”?
“Fence duty was boring, man, and spooky all at the same time and in the winter it was, as I said, cold, I mean really cold. Damn, that wind was blowing in from Siberia and Manchuria. It froze the air before it hit your lungs, man. Anyway, if we had fence duty, we usually hit the positions by 4 PM and were picked up around 9 AM. We’d be responsible for 4 to 6 positions each night. We were never in one position very long. We kept moving constantly keeping everyone awake and alert. The cooks would send up hot coffee and hot potato soup on the really cold nights. Most of the time it was below zero. I remember many nights when it got below 10 degrees. By the time the coffee and soup reached us and we got back in our holes, the soup would be frozen solid.
So, if we heard something out in front of the fence, we’d throw the soup first, and then the hand grenade second! Surprised more than one UI with that trick. They would jump and run when the soup hit near them, then they got the real surprise. They usually didn’t make it home to tell their buddies the trick either. We called in the patrol we had out to sweep in and block their retreat if they were still alive. They weren’t; US 5 NK 0. It was payback for the Easter ambush where they took some of our guys out, but we aren’t allowed to talk about that either. Accidental discharge of a weapon or training accident was the cover words we used. Uncle Sam is watching us closer than them, I guess.
Trips North of the MDL were by volunteers only and usually lasted up to 7 days. I volunteered every chance I got. It sure beat the boredom of sitting at GP Katie waiting for an NK sniper to get lucky and blow your head off; or sitting in a bunker on the DMZ, freezing your ass off. We were told we couldn’t talk about going there either.
I pulled 45 days in a row on patrols in the DMZ with no days off.”
“Interesting time you spent up there, soldier. Maybe by now, you have guessed why I’m here. I am with a special group and I have to tell you, how you handled yourself on the “Z” is why we are talking now. We are putting together a team to counter all the BS we get from back home. This team will consist of U.S. Army Special Forces, Green Berets, Navy Seals, and Imjin Scouts. We will operate under the radar, so to speak.”
“What branch of the military would we be in?”
“Who said we would be part of the military? We will operate under what’s known as the Special Ops Group, SOG. Our function is to carry out tactical paramilitary operations for covert political action. We are like a strike force except you are never asked to hold back, on anything. Are you interested?”
“I don’t know, what does covert political action mean?”
“It means we do anything we deem is in the best interest of the United States government.”
“Isn’t that what we are doing in the US Army?”
“This is a bit more intense and highly secret.”
“Okay, then, count me in.”
“Good, we’ll muster at 0500 tomorrow morning in the meeting room behind my office. You’re dismissed.”
“Yessir.”
When I arrived the next morning most of the new recruits were already there, eager to get started. This was a different group of soldiers than what you would encounter in your usual basic training or advanced infantry training camps. These guys were tough, alert, dedicated, gung-ho soldiers who were eager to “get it on” with the enemy.
“Welcome, men, finish your coffee and put out your cigarettes,” the man with the heavily starched fatigues that I spoke with the day before said.
“We’ll get started. I am Colonel Sampson, I will be leading this group and I will be the only person you will be answering to and the only person you will fear. You are about to be involved in some clandestine missions that are highly sensitive and we will make sure you are ready, both physically and mentally.
The operations that you will carry out are known as high threat military ops which the U.S. government does not wish to be overtly associated; so, everything you do will be classified Top Secret.
As of today, you do not have a rank or a unit. When you leave this briefing, you will remove your dog tags and you will be issued new fatigues with no unit or name patches. There will be no record of you in the United States Military. As soon as you signed on to join SOG, your records were expunged. There is no longer any record of your military service.
You will now be known as Paramilitary Operations Officers, CIA Ops. If you are compromised during a mission, the United States government will deny all knowledge of you and your mission. You may never divulge sensitive information about any of the missions you will become involved in or any missions you have knowledge of. If you do, you will be tried for treason and you will spend the rest of your life at Fort Leavenworth Prison.
SOG is the most secretive special ops force in the United States. You will operate in small teams of six. You will be trained in clandestine skills to collect human intelligence and to recruit assets from among indigenous troops. You will operate in remote locations in North Korea, to carry out a direct action which will include raids and sabotage, and guerrilla and unconventional warfare. You will engage in counter-terrorism and hostage rescue missions when needed.
In addition to the training you already received, you will receive more extensive firearms training. You will be trained as a sniper. You will be trained in the use of explosive devices, hand to hand combat, not that namby-pamby shit you learned in basic training. We have the best Korean Tae Kwon Do professionals in the country. You will learn military free fall parachuting. SCUBA diving, extreme survival, evasion, resistance, and escape. If you are Airborne and/or Special Forces and think you are a hot shot parachute ranger, you are in for a surprise because we will make you better. If you are a Navy Seal and think you are one helluva SCUBA diver and water survivalist, you are in for a surprise because we will make you better. We are going to build on your skills. You WILL be the best of the best. Any questions? Okay, drop off your dog tags with officer Millen and he will issue you your new fatigues and gear and then destroy all your old uniforms.”
The next morning they provided us with a 128-page manual, similar to a military training manual, only this one was a guide on how to torture and assassinate your enemy.
The physical and mental training was brutal but the colonel was right, they made us better and when we finished we were proficient killers, just what they wanted us to be.
We learned how to survive in extreme conditions for days; what was safe to eat, to drink…military stuff, field strip our weapons with our eyes closed – ordinance stuff – sniper stuff
They worked us hard and then they worked us hard again until we developed arms like knotted ropes. We could run for days with a full pack in hundred degrees heat. We could kill with precision using our bare hands.
We were steely-eyed and as hard as kerosene. We were wired killing machines. Just like the North Korean Spooks.
We completed many missions into North Korea, infiltrating secret military installations, kidnapping and killing North Korean military officers after politely asking them confidential questions about the location of the many tunnels they dug beneath the DMZ and where they had their nuclear research and testing areas. When we permanently compromised a subject, we usually used cyanide because cyanide is 100% effective. It blocks messages from the brain to the muscles. It is done by changing the body chemistry in the central nervous system. Involuntary functions like breathing and heartbeat get mixed neural signals. The subject experiences a painful death muscle spasm in the limbs, with twisting facial muscles, drawing back into a deadly grin called cyanide rictus. Toward the end of my tour, they provided us with vials of Tetraethyl lead, a major ingredient in leaded gasoline, a drop of which on the skin would provide a quick death, a little more humane, I guess, leaving no local lesion and no specific evidence. We didn’t care about that. When we left, we buried what was left of their bodies.
As soon as we returned from one mission, they sent us out on another. After awhile I felt like I was hidden in somebody else’s body. I felt like my life was a practical joke the world was playing on me. Why was I here? Why was I born? To Kill and kill again? I felt like a mad dog chasing my tail.
Sometimes we felt like we were nothing more to the government than a package of condoms to be used whenever they wanted to fuck someone. The Company made the call and left the dirty work to us.
Were we a reflection of them? Did they see their past in us, their hopes, their failures, their sins, their future, or were we just something to be chewed up and spit out?
We didn’t know and we didn’t care. We had a job to do and we did it. Before we could give it much thought, we were back at it again.
This time we were working past the MDL north of the Second Infantry Division’s sector, trailing North Korean Infiltrators who crossed the Imjin River and were chased back by a Second Division Quick Reaction Strike Force.
Then we spotted them moving south again.
We tracked them to GP Katie where they were spotted in an area where two streams met. They crossed a dirt road and entered an old Korean War minefield. We expected them to hide in the mine field until nightfall before they tried to escape. We notified the Second Division that we were in their sector so they wouldn’t mistake us for the infiltrators and we’d end up being killed by friendly fire.
Not long after dark, a movement was detected in the stream bed. We popped a flare and the movement quickly stopped and then we noticed the tall grass that covered the minefield move.The Strike Force reported the possible location of the infiltrators and held in position until first light.The 2nd Division sent in an all Korean Counter Insurgency Force. They moved into position along the edge of the minefield, blocking access to the Imjin River. A squad from the 1/9 Second Division moved to the other side of the minefield in blocking positions. A fierce firefight broke out. Within 15 minutes the South Korean unit suffered multiple casualties, 5 dead and 7 wounded.
We spread out along the riverbank to prevent an escape by the infiltrators. Over the next several hours, numerous trips were made to evacuate wounded and dead South Koreans. During the entire period we were under intense enemy fire but lucky enough not to suffer any casualties.
We determined the South Koreans needed assistance so we moved into positions with them. From there, we were able to determine that several infiltrators had been wounded. At one point, one of them committed suicide by setting off one of his grenades. His right hand and most of his head ended up missing.
The North Koreans finally tired of hiding in the tall grass so they charged into the South Korean’s sector tossing grenades, using submachine guns, and finally engaging in a brief but savage hand-to-hand combat. The Communists fired 40 to 50 bullets into the bodies of the dead South Koreans and mutilated and bayoneted the corpses before we were able to end their killing frenzy.
The next day I returned to Camp Howze and turned in my paperwork and headed to Kimpo Air Force Base to catch a flight back to the states. I was leaving this life and none too soon.
I thought I would return a war hero but I wasn’t, I was a killer. Deep inside I knew the truth I was a fraud and I was forced to live with it. It made me bitter, sad and angry and a little bit mean.
Every day my mind brought me back to that time, my tour; it was pure snake venom spreading through my veins. It brought on panic attacks. I was messed up by the trench warfare that was going on inside my head.
I found out quickly that life was just a series of actions and reactions and you have to live with the things you do.

America’s Invisible Army, the Ghost Walkers, existed in Vietnam and Korea and they were under the control of the Central Intelligence Agency who has denied their existence causing many of the Ghost Walkers to be denied needed veterans benefits. That is, until they started to expose some of their missions at which time the CIA said they would release their paperwork; however, they said it would take time as millions of CIA records are stored in Vietnam, Korea and Thailand.
To date, many of these warriors are still waiting as some of their fellow warriors have died of service related illnesses.