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.

The Kentucky Rain Story

Kentucky Rain's home for over a week
Kentucky Rain’s home for over a week

“There are six times that I can recall fearing for my life and two of them occurred when driving over the mountains in Tennessee.”  Mustang Dave, June 19, 2011

 

On June 9th, 2011, we were contacted by Ashley Clark of the Daviess County Animal Control in Owensboro KY. (Daviess is pronounced “Davis”), who said they had rescued a mustang mare from the flooding Ohio River. It took four volunteer firemen and two Animal Control Officers over four hours to bring her into safety. Below is what Ashley told us:

“Well…I wish I could say that she was friendly but from what I have seen of her she has never been handled.
We initially became involved due to the flood we had here back in April/May.  Her owner had her in a makeshift pen for at least a couple of years.  He was not home and when the water rose she was left with no food and forced to stand in chest high river water for days.  I am really surprised she made it.  She was underweight and very weak when we were notified of her.  It took four hours to get her to dry land due to the amount of flood water we had to take her through. We actually had to push her to deeper water so we could get the boat up next to her to put a halter on to hold her head above water.
She is now in a temporary home as a favor to me.  The people keeping her just provided her a place to go after the flood water went down because we had no way to catch her.  She actually found them and jumped into their field with their other horse. She has been there about a month.  They called this week and said she had to go.  I am very fortunate they helped her this long.
I thought originally she was older but according to her brand if I read it right she is only about nine.”

We replied stating that we would try to find a home for this horse. We had been talking to David Herrin, Director of Heavens Happy Hooves, a horse rescue in Cartersville Georgia. He mentioned that they were looking for a wild mustang to work on gentling and I told him about the one in Owensboro Kentucky. David said they would take it if we could arrange for transportation to get her down to Cartersville. We put out the word and many people responded generously to make the trip possible.
So, my wife, Jacqui, and I hooked up the horse trailer and headed north to Owensboro Kentucky. Owensboro is the largest city in Daviess County, with approximately 95,000 residents, and is known for its’ International Barbeque Festival, held every second week in May, and the home of the International Bluegrass Music Museum. It is a farming community whose main crops are soybeans and corn, with a little tobacco thrown in as well. Its major employers are Owensboro Milling Company, which processes the corn and soybeans, and Barton Distillery, which, I assume, uses the corn to make its bourbon. We were told that Ezra Brooks Distillery was about to reopen again as well.
After we sent out an email about going to pick up the mustang mare, we received some responses to our request for suggestions as to what to name her. We thought the name High Tide was pretty good and we were leaning toward that name over others such as Esther Williams. Needless to say, the guy who suggested this name is older than dirt and we immediately dismissed it as the younger folks would have no clue who she was. The next suggestion was Stuck In The Mud, which was cute, kinda, but just didn’t seem to rise to the occasion. Please pardon the pun. Finally, as we were fighting to keep the truck on the road when a gust of wind picked up during a rain storm, a suggestion came in via email from Greg Dorfmeier that resonated as the perfect name. He said she should be named after Elvis Presley’s song, Kentucky Rain. we liked it immediately. So that’s it. The contest is closed. Greg wins the prize which is to be the first to ride Kentucky Rain. Congratulations Greg.
Well, by the time we got our affairs in order and pulled out of Roswell it was already 11 a.m. We made pretty good time driving straight through, only stopping for gas. The exit off I 65 for Owensboro is twenty miles north of the Tennessee/Kentucky border. After driving over three hours through the Tennessee Mountains, it was a relief to get onto the William H Natcher Highway in Kentucky. The Natcher, as it is referred to by the locals, is a flat four-lane highway with very little traffic; in fact, very little of anything. After awhile we were concerned about running out of gas before we saw anything besides the miles and miles of soybean and corn fields.
We called the Daviess County Animal Control office to let Ashley Clark know we were close and to find out what time we were going to meet in the morning. We were told Ashley took the day off, but they gave us her cell phone number. We called and got her voicemail and left her a message to call us back when she got our message.
As we approached Owensboro, it started to rain and the wind picked up blowing the rain horizontally across the road. It was a fight to keep the truck on the road as the wind was gusting pretty hard. Ahead of us, we noticed plumes of light gray smoke drifting across the highway in front of the black sky. Something was burning and whatever it was, it appeared to cover a large area. It turned out that farmers were burning their fields clean of debris left from the flooding of the Ohio River in May. We were told that all the farmers’ crops were ruined and that all the roads, except one, were underwater. It was the worst flood they experienced since the flood of 1997.
The Natcher came to a dead end and emptied into Highway 60 on the outskirts of Owensboro. Highway 60 turned into West 2nd Avenue, which is where our motel was located. We picked a good motel to stay in as it is about five miles from the farm where Kentucky Rain was being kept in a stock trailer inside a tobacco barn. She had been in that trailer for a week as they were unable to find anyone who would allow this mustang in their pasture. She had jumped the fence where she was temporarily being held and got into the farmers’ soybeans. They wanted animal control to take her off their property immediately, which they did.
Ashley Clark returned our call around 4:30 p.m. and said she had to pick up a prison work detail tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. and that she would meet us at the motel at 8:30 a.m.
We woke at 5:00 a.m. to the sound of thunder and rain slapping against the motel room window. It had been raining hard for thirteen hours and it didn’t appear that it would be letting up anytime soon.
Around 8:30, Ashley called to say she was going to drive out to the barn to make sure it wasn’t too muddy to drive in to get the horse. By this time, it had been raining for sixteen hours straight and we were more than a little concerned about getting stuck out in the middle of a tobacco field.
Ashley called and said it appeared safe and that she was on her way to meet us.
We followed her south out of town and turned onto a small rutted road that stretched for close to a half mile through the middle of two tobacco and cornfields before we came to a dilapidated old tobacco barn. Water was standing close to knee deep along the side of the barn and the muddy cornfield ended about thirty feet from the front doors where we would be backing the trailer to load Kentucky Rain. We opened the doors to the barn and we were surprised at how dark it was inside. At the back of the barn was parked a stock trailer with a canvas top and inside the trailer was a terrified little mare. She had been kept in that trailer in the dark for a week and we could only surmise the fear she must have been experiencing as she wondered what her fate would be.
We backed our truck up as close as we could get to her trailer. We then opened our trailer door and went and secured two fence panels, one on each side of each trailer. We did this to keep her from getting loose when we opened the door to transfer her over to our trailer. We closed the doors to the barn just in case she spooked and knocked over the fence panels and got loose.
I entered her trailer through the escape door in the front and gently tapped on the floor with my carrot stick to get her to move out. We didn’t want to get her too excited as that would increase the possibility of her knocking over the side panels. Just my presence in the trailer was enough to raise her excitement level and she started to snort and prance around before stepping down on the ramp and out on the ground. She snorted a few times and put one foot in our trailer before spooking and running back into the trailer she knew as home. She turned her haunches toward me and pinned me against the front of the trailer. A place you don’t want to be. I decided to ease out the escape door and let her calm down for a few minutes before trying to move her again.
This time when I entered the trailer she moved out right away and decided to step up into our trailer. Jacqui pushed our trailer door shut from outside the panel where she was standing and we secured it and that was that. What we anticipated to be the most difficult part of our trip actually turned out to be the easiest.
We opened the barn doors and drove to the Daviess County Animal Control office to pick up the Coggins papers.
When they first rescued Kentucky Rain from the raging waters of the Ohio River, they took her to Dream Riders, a hippotherapy riding stables. They allowed the Daviess County Animal Control to use one of their stalls. They were able to find a veterinarian who sedated Kentucky Rain with a dart gun. They put on a lead rope and pulled a Coggins on her. As she started to come out of her stupor, she wouldn’t let them get close enough to remove the lead rope so she is still wearing it. They rushed through the paperwork and got it back within forty-eight hours. Now we didn’t have to worry about being stopped driving back to Georgia without proof of her being up to date on her Coggins. As it turned out, that would be the least of our worries.
We left Owensboro around 11:00 a.m. and were hoping to get out of the rain, which had been falling for eighteen hours straight. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case. Not only did we drive all the way back to Atlanta in rain, but in severe thunderstorm conditions with winds gusting between fifty and sixty miles per hour. At one point, about thirty miles north of Chattanooga, we pulled into a McDonald’s to eat, when thunder and lightning struck, causing them to lose power. The manager yelled out “Lock the doors, lock the doors”, but there was no way I was going to be locked in that place with Jacqui and Kentucky Rain stranded in the trailer outside. So I ran out and was hit by a gale force wind and rain that nearly knocked me off my feet. I could see poor Kentucky Rain nervously pacing back and forth in the trailer as the wind and rain blew through the slats, soaking her to the bone. I couldn’t help thinking about everything this little horse had been through the past two years and how brave she is.
The truck was only about thirty feet from the door of the restaurant but I was soaked by the time I reached it. Since we were parked facing the direction the wind was blowing, we decided to stay in the parking lot and wait until it let up.
After about ten minutes, we left and headed south on I 65 toward Chattanooga. It wasn’t long before we were in another severe weather pattern. This time we could feel the wind lifting the trailer off the road so we pulled behind some eighteen wheelers that were parked under an overpass. We waited for about fifteen minutes before we pulled onto the highway again hoping that the rain wouldn’t be with us all the way home. It was a good thing we did, as we encountered numerous trees blown over along the side of the interstate and one actually fell across the right lane forcing traffic to merge into the left lane in order to get around it.
We called David Herrin when we crossed into Georgia to let him know we had been delayed by the storms and to ask him if it was raining in Cartersville. He said it wasn’t yet, but they were expecting it to be there soon. We could only hope we would beat the rain there. David assured us that we would be able to drive the truck and trailer into the round pen he had set up for Kentucky Rain even if it was raining. Again, our concern was getting stuck in the pasture trying to unload the horse.
We finally pulled into the Heavens Happy Hooves pasture around 6:30 p.m. which was close to the time we originally expected to arrive. David was there along with his four burros, Annabelle, Buttercup, Earl and Eeyor and one mini horse, Dancer, a quarter horse, Storm and Chaslie, a mustang mare he had adopted from us the prior year. The horses noisily greeted one another as we pulled in and all the burros came out to see what the commotion was about. As promised, the round pen was situated on high ground, so we had no problem driving in and unloading Kentucky Rain.
She didn’t say anything, but we are sure Kentucky Rain was happy to finally be on dry ground as she lazily grazed on the clover and grass. Three of the burros followed us around the pasture like big dogs and stood with us gazing in at Kentucky Rain, their new pasture mate. Her eyes are so soft and gentle that I am convinced that eventually, she will make someone a great horse, hopefully before Greg gets on her.
The condition of her hooves caused us some concern as she was standing in water for quite a long time. We hope that she won’t have hoof problems as she has been through more than her share of trials and tribulations.
She has a bold face and appears to be a Paint. It is rare to find a Paint mustang east of the Mississippi as most of them are adopted as soon as they are rounded up.
Again, the MWHR of Georgia would like to thank everyone who assisted in the rescue of this mustang. Believe us when we say she is very happy to be where she is today and it wouldn’t have been possible without the love and support from people like you.
America’s Living Legends, the mustang horse!
Let ‘Em Run!

David Herrin called to say that the next day Kentucky Rain busted out of the round pen to frolic with the donkeys. They have been staying in the barn to get out of the heat and all seems to be going well.

Auburn War Eagle? I don’t think so. University of Georgia War Eagle? Hardly.

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For over 100 years now a battle has raged between these two schools as to which school originated the war eagle cry. But they are both out in left field because it was in Wisconsin where the true War Eagle originated. One that actually saw combat, albeit, he showed some of his chicken heritage as he feared artillery fire and took off whenever the big guns began to fire. But then, who doesn’t? In fact, he was actually wounded in battle, well, maybe not in battle, but he did injure his leg during a hurricane.

My Auburn University friends say they are the originators of the “war eagle” yell, but I know this isn’t true. I have read that there are three or four different theories on how the Auburn Tigers seized the War Eagle sobriquet and a couple of them have ties to football games against the University of Georgia. My favorite one is when the bird takes off in flight and screams, igniting the fans to scream, ‘war eagle,’ and the Auburn offense to score the winning touchdown. Immediately after the score, the eagle performs a kamikaze act, taking a nose dive onto the football field where it dies. Can you believe that? I can’t. In fact, some of the stories claim Auburn actually stole the war eagle cry from Georgia. Another one claims a Carlisle player was named War Eagle and they would call out his name during a game. But, listen, I’m here to put this silly argument to rest. Whatever side you support on the War Eagle debate, you are wrong. The cry “War Eagle” originated in Wisconsin. In fact, many cries originate in Wisconsin it’s so damn cold up there, plus Lutefisk and bratwurst both produce a case of indigestion that can cause any man to whimper in pain.

The true story of War Eagle began many years ago, a Wisconsin Ojibwe, Chief Sky, one of five sons of Thunder of Bees, Chief of the Flambeau band of Chippewa Indians, part of the Anishinaabe tribe, called the first people, during sugar making time about 125 miles outside the city of Eau Claire, chopped down a pine tree containing an eagle’s nest with two eaglet’s nestled inside. One died. Chief Sky, gathered up the other one and, evidently, not learning from the 1626 bead transaction his brothers conducted with the Dutch for selling Manhattan, sold the eaglet to a Dan McCann from Eagle Point, Wisconsin, for a bushel of corn. Actually, the bead transaction story is also a farce. The Canarsie Indians sold Manhattan to Dutch settlers, but not for some worthless glass beads, but for iron kettles, axes, knives, and cloth. The kicker to the story is that the land that they took payment for didn’t even belong to them. But, I don’t think all the kettles and other gadgets involved in that transaction come close to the $2100.00 per square foot that vacant land is currently selling for in Manhattan.

Now back to Wisconsin’s War Eagle. Dan McCann eventually sold the little eaglet to the commanding officer of the Eau Claire Badgers militia company. Typical of Wisconsin, a tavern was involved in this purchase when tavern owner, S.M. Jeffers, pitched in to help defray the exorbitant selling price of $2.50.

When the eagle was sworn into service, he was adorned with a breast rosette (rose shaped ornament) and a red, white and blue ribbon around his neck. They named him Old Abe.

While in Madison, a dog joined the regiment. Abe and the dog, Frank, tolerated one another because Frank provided rabbits and other small mammals for Abe to eat. Unfortunately for Frank, one day he ventured a bit too close to Abe’s meal, bringing an end of their relationship.

During “Old Abe’s” service, the 8th Wisconsin militia participated in many battles, expeditions, and pursuits of Confederate forces during his namesake’s Mr. Abe Lincoln’s war. Among these were the battles of  Corinth; Island Number 10; Big Black; Champion’s Hill; the Red River and Meridian expeditions; and the Battle of Nashville. “Old Abe” was there every step of the way. In many battles, he would circle the smoky battlefield as the enemy would be closing in and the bullets flew. He would rise high in the sky, all the while screaming at his assailants. After the battle, upon seeing his bearer, he would descend like a shot and fly into his arms. “Go War Eagle!”

Old Abe so infuriated Confederate General Sterling Price he was said to declare that he would rather “capture that bird than a whole brigade.”

Old Abe entered his last battle in the Great Rebellion, also referred to as the Civil War, as well as with many other names, at Hurricane Creek, MS. The war eagle’s shrieks could be heard clearly and distinctly above the victorious shouts of the Eau Claire Badgers militia. Abe seemed to have protected his bearers and dodged the bullets of rebel sharpshooters who had failed to kill them.

Old Abe died on March 26, 1881, of smoke inhalation in the loving arms of his handler when, it has been said, he was reminiscing with his old militia pals while smoking a fine cigar and sipping a brandy. I might be distorting the truth here a bit but it was reported that one time he did get drunk on some peach brandy that was left unattended in his presence. “Go War Eagle!”

Today, a likeness of Old Abe, the original War Eagle, can be found at the main entrance to University of Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium.

And that my friend, is the true story of the one and only War Eagle!

Go Badgers!