(Salute/Poem) A Rainy Day In The Bluegrass

A Rainy Day In The Bluegrass

 

(This poem is dedicated to my Father-in-Law Glenn Wright who

is very, very close to saying goodbye to us this evening. Dad is at

the stage where if you are merciful, please pray for Dad to let go,

to go to sleep. He told me his wishes several times, to let Him go.)

 

 

I was graced to be born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

One of Yahweh’s beautiful landscapes for the human eye to see

Lived many a year on the land where Mr. Crockett called home

All are lands where the Fiddle and the Banjo still sing their songs

Too lay down in the ground where Mr. Boone once had a Fort

Blessed to have been born in one of God’s beautiful Mountain Resort

We all must face that rainy day, as for me I wish to be lain, under Bluegrass

 

(Writing this piece this evening as I was working on the sections I realized even more things that we two had in common. Either way, I salute you Sir, you are a very good Father-in-Law, thank you for giving me such a wonderful Lady and Son.)

(Philosophy/Poem) High On A Mountain Top

High On A Mountain Top

 

Driving a truck for a living you see a lot of sights

The North East big cities and give you thrills or chills

Corn, grain or hay the flat grounds will depress the insane

Cast your sight into the Western Sun let your eyes fill

Snow caps in June enough to get an old heart a pumping

With an 80 thousand pound sled from Peak to dead

 

 

Because of your sense of duty you will race a storm at times

3 Hours over on the Book can save you 3 days buried in Butte

Yet sitting in a Truck Stop Parking lot in Butte is its own thrill

The land around Missoula Montana must be Hollowed Ground

High up on the Mountain Top in the Blue Ridge I was born

On this Mountain Top in Kentucky you can see Heavens Gates above

 

 

(Humor/Poem) Moonshine Nights And Satin Sheets

Moonshine Nights And Satin Sheets

 

I’m a hillbilly by birth and I am proud to say it and every day I live it

Blue Ridge Mountains, Twin County, South West Virginia Southern pride

Iron Ridge, Galax are the deep roots of our un-branching ancestral trees

Overalls, chewing tabackee, furniture factories, our sweat, blood and tears

Every day life is always the same for us poor folk living here in the bottom

 

 

Not much excitement can a person afford with these wages that starve ya

Find a pretty girl who likes to skinny dip after drinking your corn liquor

Hillbilly Juice, Mountain Dew, Shine, it’s got a lot of names of grandeur

Don’t matter what you call it, drink it when it’s cloudy and it will kill ya

Drink it, you be real soon seeing all your ancestors of the years gone by

 

 

Poor man’s life is working your back and fingers to the bloody bones

Always breaking your neck for a check that is already gone before you get it

If you got the guts drive by the big boss mens mansions on Country Club Lane

Fine houses, fine ladies, but just like some Preachers daughters kids rebel anyway

Some rich kids go wild and slumming, after drinking the shine, were all just the same

 

 

Crooked Creek, skinny dipping, is it her or the Shine that has got my heart a pumping

Another quart of Granny’s Elixir and we both got that light of lust shining in our eyes

Off to her home on Country Club Lane after swimming, in the back door we’re creeping

Never been in a Mansion, right now I don’t care cause on her satin sheets we’re a sliding

Sweet Corn Liquor and a pretty girl makes a poor boy feel alive and forget his Caste place

Two in the morning her Daddy walks in, now from a barn rafter this Hillbilly is swinging

(Humor/Poem) Wagons West

Wagons West

 

Wagons west from Virginia’s foothills

Six kids and the wife packed in the rig

Four wheels of wood and banded steel

Got four mules a straining at the whip

Blue Ridge Appalachia we have left behind

 

 

Ohio river first then the mighty Mississippi

Cherokee arrows, thankful Lord, they all missed

Camping under the arch, evening sun pointing west

Wagon master hollering, everyone to get in line

If the weather holds, and no injuns attack we’ll be fine

 

 

We should all be at our new home real soon

Spearfish Dakota, in about three week’s time

Mr. Custer says is no need to worry about Sioux

Says their running scared of the bugle and the blue

The train, we got six injuns a riding our point

You can see the hate of us in their faces and eyes

 

 

Mr. Custer, on your word, the promises you made

Thirty families and mine have risked our lives

We had not yet cleared Fort Cody Nebraska

Then came the news, Yellow Hair and the 7th

Would ride these plains and hills no more

 

 

One more week we made the Black Hills

The Promised Land of gold, coal, and lumber

O yes, and several thousand Sioux on every side

Now my family and I are all planted six feet under

In this cold ground we had hoped one day to plow

Belvidere

Belvidere

 

Belvidere, the name sounds so peaceful

Is it not a place for our children to grow

Swinging bridge and waterfall

Two scenic parks in which to spend our time

My youth from the time of ten years old

This is the hometown in which I was grown

 

No coal fields, nor mines nor stinky paper mills

Mostly factories are the place people mark their time

From the Blue Ridge of Virginia to Dakota’s Black Hills

Beautiful places we have pitched our tents

Chrysler Corporation, in Belvidere built an assembly plant

 

Chasing a good job trying to escape starvation wages

Belvidere Illinois is where our family went

Belvidere turned out to be a great place to live

Except their winters too much cold and snow

The people good honest hard working folks

But their winters I don’t miss

Mom, dad, and brother Larry

They do sleep in peace there now

 

Sister Jackie who is a wearer of the cloth

With husband Wayne there they do remain

Belvidere, you’re always in my prayers

Your beauty, kindness and your friendliness

Like fresh spring roses, a great place to rest your cares

 

Belvidere, still such a pretty word to me

You always bring a special smile upon my face

My memories of you brings light to my heart

I pray that all the people of the earth

Could have such fond recall

Of the places they were grown

 

After life’s last breath is gone

It is there I wish they plant my bones

In loving memory of the place that I was grown

Such wonderful people upon God’s earth

Belvidere, the place that I called my home

Wagons West

 

 

Wagons West

Wagon west from Virginia’s foothills

Six kids in the family

Four wheels of wood and steel

Two mules a straining at the whip

Bluegrass Appalachian foothills

Ohio river first then the mighty Mississippi

Cherokee arrows, thankful Lord, they all missed

Camping under the arch, evening sun pointing west

Wagon master hollering, everyone get in line

If the weather holds, and no injuns attack

We should all be at our new home soon

Spearfish Dakota, in about three week’s time

Mr. Custer says is no need to worry about Sioux

Says their running scared of the bugle and the blue

The train, we got six injuns riding point

You can see the hate of us in their eyes

Mr. Custer, on your words

Thirty families risk their lives

We had not yet cleared Nebraska

News came, yellow hair and the 7th

Would ride these plains no more

One more week we made the Black Hills

Land of gold, coal, and lumber

O yes and several thousand Sioux on every side

Now my family and I are all six feet under

In this cold ground we had hoped one day to plow

What I Have Seen: In My Time

In My Time

 

O Lord the things I have seen

O Lord the things you have shown me

South West Virginia, Blue Ridge mountains

Iron Ridge culture, poor white, 1950’s

“I’m going to start remembering now”

The first words I ever remembering hearing

Spoken aloud from within my own soul

Placing all the room’s within our little house

Counting the concrete steps around the outside

From front porch to the back yard I count

In the back yard both parents working

How did I know those steps were concrete

Better yet, how did I know how to count

I know plainly I was just two years old

Setting on the front porch my two siblings by my side

Walking across the dirt drive to the wood gate

Sunny day watching the cattle on the other side

Mom gave us each a nickel, for each a coke to buy

Down the hill to the Shell station just below

O how hard it was on Mom to be so poor

Minimum wage factory workers

The people just chafe on the rich man’s floor

I guess it’s easier on the children

As long as they do not know just how poor you are

Once the school bell rings your innocence dies

Each day reality is something from which you can not hide

Mid 1960’s migrate to the west hoping for a better life

Traded the Blue Ridge for the Black Hills

The things a nine-year old’s eyes ingest

Big Rigs in the moonlight first time for me to see

Mid August rattlesnakes in the hot sand

Chest high snow in September, O what a strange land

Being so poor it’s so hard to escape it

Just a year later we up and move again

Just west of Windy, this time with a plan

Each place so much pain the eyes intake

Cursed with an alcohol disease riddled parent, no escape

Knowing you are hated as he beats you with glee

Knowing that other adults know and see

But no one ever comes to your aid, they just let it be

Life’s early hardships makes you grow solvent inside

About the age of four in the cloud I found you Lord

My life long rock you are always by my side

Without you Lord many times I would have died

Growing up in the midwest, with a hillbilly state of mind

With some knowledge of the Black Hills

These memories always placed deep in my mind

Now my mirror finds me aged

I see the beard of gray, through store-bought eyes

At this age my heart has seen lot’s of memories

I see some of the good I have done in my life

Though I try to forget all of those pictures

I hope to give ego no quarters to hide

In my time Lord you have shown me many things

Through Your Spirit you have given me sight

Through these windows You have given me

I now see the world’s plight and it’s demise

So easy for depression to crush you from inside

Our leaders so filled with deceit Your truths they deny

With enough dollars their power you can buy

I know that by the time the trumpet sounds

I will long since be dust once again

But for my children and theirs I pray each night

The battle of the Nations against the return of God

Poor souls not knowing that this is Armageddon

The Nations fighting against the world’s creator

The Demons that are and that control the world’s leaders

Having been prejudged now into Hell they’re thrown

Leaving the deceived humans to fight God’s Holy Angels alone

They are now like grapes in the winepress of their Creator

Confused, disillusioned, dead, from the face of the earth their gone

Dear Lord I thank you that this is one thing You are holding off

Please give the world’s people more time to find you and repent

I wish that no humans would ever be to Hell’s fire sent

Lord there are many things I would like to thank you for

Like Armageddon, that I will not have to see in my time

Under A Mountain Range In Virginia, An Old Nuclear Bunker Now Houses Explosive Cinematic History

 

Nov 2, 2016 George Winston

The building perched in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, designed to protect the president and $4 billion dollars in gold in case of a nuclear fallout during the Cold War, is put to new use: archiving old films with explosive properties.

A video, recently released by Great Big Story, tours the facility that houses 6.3 million items of cinematic history ranging from Adam Sandler movies to Frankenstein.

A substantial number of the films were made on nitrate film which has the same chemical footprint as gunpowder: extremely flammable and hazardous. They are kept in thick-walled vaults to not only protect the building but also other nitrate films.

Walking down a corridor takes a person past many vaults. There are 124 of them, part of the complex which is the Library of Congress’s film headquarters.

George Willeman’s job is to work with the most volatile films in the storage facility, including the nitrate-based films.

Willeman describes a nitrate fire as being similar to a controlled explosion or a rocket taking off. Willeman works with more than 140,000 films.

The center also has a room dedicated to conserving old films in various conditions from around the country discovered in basements, attics, and barns.

A large number of them have no value, but they are part of the historical record with some 100-years-old. The building also has a viewing room with 206 seats for screening films, Digital Trends reported.

The purpose of the Packard Campus is to preserve the TV, movies, and sound that help to preserve a large portion of what life was like at different time periods throughout the past, as well as how recording technology changed over the decades.

‘People were basically running for their lives’: At least 3 dead as fires engulf Tennessee towns

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST NEWS PAPER)

‘People were basically running for their lives’: At least 3 dead as fires engulf Tennessee towns

November 29 at 7:14 PM

Wildfires force evacuations in two Tenn. resort towns

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Wildfires raging in the Tennessee resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, north of the Great Smoky Mountains have forced residents and visitors to evacuate. (Reuters)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A calamitous and deadly wildfire engulfed two tourist towns near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, along with much of the surrounding timberlands, destroying more than 150 homes and businesses, displacing thousands of residents and visitors and shutting down one of the nation’s most popular natural attractions.

The fire has killed at least three people and injured at least 14 others, officials said Tuesday. The victims have not yet been identified.

Search and rescue efforts were underway throughout Sevier County as dusk arrived in the charred, smoke-choked mountains, but certain areas remained unreachable, authorities said late Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze forced more than 14,000 people to flee the area and left “in excess of 150″ buildings in ruin, officials said.

“People were basically running for their lives,” Gatlinburg mayor Mike Werner said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

The “unprecedented” fire — which started on the Chimney Tops mountain, one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Smokies — was still burning Tuesday afternoon, emergency officials said. Strong winds and dry ground had carried the flames into the resort cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, moving too fast and too far to contain.

“This is a fire for the history books,” Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said at a news conference Tuesday.

Miller said that the Chimney Tops fire, which was reported Sunday, started to rage Monday night when winds climbed to 87 mph, carrying away fiery embers and knocking trees and power lines to the ground.

Officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park said Tuesday morning that the extensive fire and fallen trees had forced the temporary closure of the most visited national park in America. In the surrounding towns, the sky was smoky and the ground wet with rain. Officials said the wind had died down, but a handful of buildings continued to burn.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) said Tuesday afternoon that the state was sending resources, including the National Guard, to help those who had been affected by the fires.

“We will do all we can to help these communities rebuild & recover,” Haslam wrote on Twitter.

Residents evacuated the area as trees caught fire on the low slope of the hills and mountains on either side of the road — the flames’ orange tendrils licking at the asphalt and black smoke obscuring the sky.

“Fire was coming over the mountains, and the smoke was so bad we could barely breathe as we were trying to pack up,” Mike Gill, who was evacuating with his wife, Betty, told NBC News.

Katie Brittain, manager at the Dress Barn in Pigeon Forge, told The Washington Post that when she arrived at work Monday, the sky was brown and ash was raining down. Despite the ominous conditions, store employees weren’t sure whether they were supposed to evacuate from their location, not far from Dolly Parton’s theme park, Dollywood.

She said employees stayed put, but grew increasingly nervous as the smoke thickened and the wind increased that afternoon. By the end of the day, she said, the inside of the store “smelled like a bonfire.”

“The smell was really, really bad,” she said. “My eyes were burning and our throats were getting scratchy.”

“Everyone was kind of in a state of disbelief,” she added.

At least 14 people were transported from Gatlinburg for treatment, mostly for injuries that were not life-threatening, officials said Tuesday.

In Gatlinburg, flames began engulfing private structures, including the 300-room Park Vista hotel. Inside the hotel, dozens of guests were trapped Monday by a wall of flames around the building.

Logan Baker told NBC affiliate WBIR that the firefighters initially told guests that they would be safe inside the building, but a short time later, “they saw flames coming down the hill.” By the time guests had packed their cars with luggage, however, it was too late to escape, Baker told the station, noting that the only road out was covered in flames.

“When you opened the doors, it just blew you back,” he said. “Embers started flying into the hotel.”

Baker told WBIR he helped bring people back inside the hotel; once inside, firefighters told them to remain in the lobby while they fought the fire outside.

Video taken from inside the hotel lobby shows massive flames licking at the windows. Guests can be overheard discussing a plan to “dive into the pool.”

“Well, they locked the pool up,” one woman said.

 Carol Lilleaas, a Gatlinburg resident, said she fled her home with only her animals and her husband’s ashes. She does not know what has happened to her house, or what she might be returning to.

“It will be there or it won’t,” she said.

Another resident, Jeff Barker, said that he did know the extent of the fire’s destruction in his life. When he was returning from work on Monday, people were being stopped from entering Gatlinburg, he said. So Barker said he set off on foot.

“By the time I arrived at my apartment, apartment’s gone, car’s gone, pets are gone,” he said.

The fire also forced employees at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to evacuate, leaving behind more than 10,500 animals, Ripley Attractions General Manager Ryan DeSear told WBIR.

DeSear said the blaze was about 50 yards from the building when employees had to evacuate.

“To them, every animal has a name,” he said. “You don’t give that up.” But he added: “Nothing is more important than human life. Fish can be replaced. It sucks.”

Late Tuesday morning, Ripley announced that the animals were “safe and under care.”

The town of Gatlinburg, with a population of about 4,000 about 43 miles south of Knoxville, is surrounded on three sides by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Smokies, part of the Appalachian mountain range, straddle the border between eastern Tennessee and North Carolina.

Considered the gateway city to the Tennessee side of the park, Gatlinburg draws more than 11 million visitors a year, according to tourism officials. It is known for its mountain chalets and ski lodge — drawing honeymooners and other visitors all year long.

Gatlinburg’s neighbor, Pigeon Forge, is home to Dollywood, country-themed music venues and attractions, and popular outlet malls.

According to the park officials, Great Smoky Mountains National Park logged more than 9.4 million visitors in 2013 — by far the most of any of the 59 national parks that year. “The second most heavily visited national park is Grand Canyon with 4.6 million visits,” according to the National Park Service.

On Tuesday, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and other officials urged residents in Sevier County to stay clear of roadways to make way for first responders and to stay off wireless devices, unless it was to make an emergency call, to keep systems clear for vital communication. The agency also announced a temporary flight restriction in the area “to prevent aircraft from complicating the response.”

“This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint,” Michelle Hankes, executive director of the American Red Cross of East Tennessee, said about the response effort.

Hankes, who recorded a video statement at an emergency shelter in Pigeon Forge, said that about 130 people, including children and pets, have turned up there while fleeing their homes. Hundreds of others were sheltered elsewhere.

“This fire is unpredictable,” Hankes said, crying. “We still have wind gusts — the rain has helped, but it’s still a devastating, devastating loss for the people here.”

Officials said the towns and surrounding area sustained widespread property damage.

“The center of Gatlinburg looks good for now,” Newmansville Volunteer Fire Department Lt. Bobby Balding told the Knoxville News Sentinel. But he added: “It’s the apocalypse on both sides.”

TEMA said Tuesday that “very preliminary surveys of damaged areas” suggested that “hundreds of structures are lost.”

“Westgate Resorts is likely entirely gone (more than 100 buildings),” TEMA said in a statement, “Black Bear Falls has likely lost every single cabin.” The agency initially said that Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park “reportedly is entirely destroyed.” However, the mountain resort posted a video Tuesday morning showing the facility intact.

A curfew was in place for the city of Gatlinburg, which was expected to last from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to the TEMA.

Officials said in a statement that Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge — the largest theme park in the area — had sustained no real damage by late Monday, but that 50 rooms in the park’s DreamMore Resort and 19 of its cabins were still evacuated.

“Dollywood crews and firefighters are working to protect the park areas adjacent to a fire burning on Upper Middle Ridge,” according to the statement.

Officials in Pigeon Forge estimated that about 500 people were evacuated on Monday night, according to TEMA. About 125 people were still displaced and in shelters, TEMA said in a statement.

“Local officials in Pigeon Forge [have] lifted the mandatory evacuation order,” it said in the statement. “Gatlinburg still remains under a mandatory evacuation order.”

 

National park officials explained that the severe wind gusts of more than 80 mph, combined with “unprecedented low relative humidity, and extended drought conditions,” caused the fire “to spread rapidly and unpredictably.”

“Wind gusts carried burning embers long distances causing new spot fires to ignite across the north-central area of the park and into Gatlinburg,” Great Smoky Mountains National Park wrote on its Facebook pageTuesday morning. “In addition, high winds caused numerous trees to fall throughout the evening on Monday bringing down power lines across the area that ignited additional new fires that spread rapidly due to sustained winds of over 40 mph.”

The conditions made it difficult — if not impossible — for firefighters to contain the flames.

“The wind is not helping, and the rain is not here yet,” Miller, the Gatlinburg Fire Department chief, said in a news conference on Monday night. “These are the worst possible conditions imaginable.”

A severe drought — a key competent to the devastating blaze — is ongoing in eastern Tennessee. All of Sevier County is in an “exceptional drought,” which is the worst on the U.S. Drought Monitor Scale. That means there are widespread crop and pasture losses, shortages in water reservoirs, streams and wells.

Weather Underground’s Bob Henson reports that this has been the hottest and driest fall in the city of Gatlinburg’s history. In normal years, the Tennessee city averages 56 inches of rain, “so it doesn’t take much time for a drought to hit this normally moist landscape hard,” Henson wrote.

This was just sent to us by a friend in Gatlinburg. This is on Airport Road up by Sidney James Lodge.

Just sent to me Wedding Chapel in Gatlinburg

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Fire threatens beloved Arrowmont School of Arts/Crafts in downtown Gatlinburg.http://on.wbir.com/2gCI6zV 
(Photos: Bill May)@wbir

The Southeast has spent much of the past few weeks battling forest fires, which began after one of its worst droughts on record. Several states have been affected.

As The Washington Post reported Nov. 16, when there were 17 active fires in the southern Appalachians, “The entire state of South Carolina is covered in an unhealthy haze from fires burning in the Blue Ridge Mountains.”

At that time, more than 80,000 acres had been burned.

Terrapin Girl

There once was a little Terrapin girl, she was born smiling, burping, and farting. With her little legs she did stumble as she was learning to waddle. Many times she fell on her bum, she was in such a hurry to grow up she thought it to be no fun.

At an early age she was bright and witty, much smarter than all the rugrats in her fair city. By the age of three she had taught herself how to read. If not for the laws saying she had to attend, of school she would have no need. By first grade she was already smarter than most of the old farts and bitties.

A young lady she was, a young lady she is, this Angel was in the state of Ozark when I met her, to my heart she has been like a fresh morning sun. I brought her to the east to be near her pappy, but these hills of the Smokies have made her allergies do nothing but run.

This bright little woman is still a spring breeze to my heart. As age dims my eyes my lady and I have western Colorado in our thoughts. Though I can’t help but wonder if you Lord will grant me the time for my lady and I to walk and live for awhile in this old dinosaur park.

Either way these years have been a great ride with my lady and son by my side. Lord, I do have to say that through your grace you have given this old Blue Ridge Mountain boy’s heart more love and joy than I could have ever deserved. Thank you lord for giving me my bride, this sweet little Terrapin girl.

This blog, trouthtroubles.com is owned, written, and operated by oldpoet56. All articles, posts, and materials found here, except for those that I have pressed here from someone else’s blog for the purpose of showing off their work, are under copyright and this website must be credited if my articles are re-blogged, pressed, or shared.

—Thank You, oldpoet56, T.R.S.

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