Blood Pressure versus Coffee

I have high Blood Pressure!

It’s just a fact of life for me I guess, considering I have been on Beta-Blockers for over three decades now.

My Reasoning;

Even if I were able to isolate myself from the growing number of idiots who dominate the news networks,

and even if the government lowered my taxes

and if we started making all of the freeloaders in our country get jobs and pay their own way,

I would still be one of those people with High Blood Pressure who loves to spout a good rant every now and then.

The Effects of the Pills;

So, after having my Butt chewed out by one of my Doctors back then; I got on board with them and I have dutifully taken my prescribed BP pills each day, over all of these years now,

And that’s OK, too. It seems my body wants to run at 80 miles per hour, but within a half an hour or so of taking these pills my body shifts down at least one gear and keeps me loping along at 55 miles per hour for the next 6-8 hours.

So I Cheat;

My Doctor rolls his eyes when i tell him this, but I cheat. In fact, I have cheated for all of those long years I have taken the Pills.

You see, every morning I drink Coffee. I mean I drink real coffee, not some chemically altered concoction that they call decaffeinated; and I Love It!

Sure, I know I’m not supposed to do things that will raise my blood pressure, but I’m addicted to my morning Coffee. And, I have found that if I take my required dosage of meds, and then drink my morning coffee, my brain can then absorb and react to what I see on the news, or the web, or in meetings with others and not just sit there with my chemically numbed brain lagging behind everyone else.

I know! I know! This  insane habit of mine is not a good one, but it works for me.

I take my meds to protect myself from the side effects of potential high blood pressure situations, and then once I am out and about, I have my morning Coffee. This combination of letting my meds kick in, but at the same time having a couple of Coffees seems to be working for me.

I do take my own BP readings every couple of days, and when I am visiting my Doctor, my BP readings  are always a little high but within the acceptable range for people my age. My Doctors  continually tell me that; “at your age, you need to be reasonable about how much Coffee you drink”, so I do try to manage my Coffee intake.

I’m down to only one pot of Coffee, each morning!

by Don Bobbitt, All Rights Reserved

Bamboo_01

 

Why is it? Flowers and Palms


I was just wondering!

Why is it that;

When a flower dies, we cast it aside.

But when a Palm Frond dies we make a roof of it?

This is one of those things I often wonder about.

By Don Bobbitt, April, 2017

Copyright, Don Bobbitt, April 2017, All Rights Reserved.

Remember the Dreamsicle? Probable the best frozen concoction ever.

 

I had a Dreamsicle the other day.

And it was good.

You know what a Dreamsicle is of course, but what I’m talking about is the Dreamsicle of my youth.

When I was a kid, I would walk up to the local family store called Deb’s Place on many a hot summer afternoon and lay my dime on the big glass-top counter. .

The owner, Mister Trent, would stand on his side of the counter and he would look across the counter at me and ask. ‘OK Don what do you want for that shiny dime of yours today?” Mister Trent was always nice to me and sometimes, when I was getting some groceries for my Mom, he would hand me a free peppermint candy.

It was in the fifties ,and back then he owned what was probably the most frequented “grocery store” on Campbell Avenue in Lynchburg.

It was just another locally owned family run store in most people’s mind; but to us, the families living in the Fairview Heights section of town, it was our main source of food. You see, It was the nicest store nearby where we could  purchase those food essentials every family needs regularly. Back then, Lynchburg was a relatively small city, Fairview Heights was a small middle class neighborhood, and the giant supermarket chains were not pushing their way into our area.

Anyway, Mister trent was always nice to me, as I assume he was to the rest of the neighborhood; but to me, he was someone who “owned a business” and this impressed me and my young mind immensely. Don’t get me wrong, my Dad worked for the Railroad, which was a pretty good job back then, but Mister Trent owned his own business and that seemed amazing to me. .

Anyway, it’s a lifelong secret of mine, but, as far as Ice Cream treats go, I love the Dreamsicle.

I thought it was the closest a kid  could get to a “taste bud heaven”. It had that wonderful combination of Vanilla and Orange swirled together and frozen on a wooden stick and t was, as they say, “heavenly”.

In the Summer, I would  save some of my “errand cash” and walk the four blocks up to his store and go straight to the counter. After I pushed my dime across the counter to Mister Trent, I said; “I want a Dreamsicle”.

Of course, he already knew that’s what I would order; because honestly, it’s the only thing I would spend my money on in his store; it was always a hard ,frozen, Dreamsicle that pulled me up to the store.

Mister Trent would smile at me and then walk over to the big white chest-type freezer behind him and dig around in the bottom for a minute or so. And finally, seemingly an eternity later, he would stand up and turn to me holding my favorite sweet; a wonderful, ice cold, frozen concoction in his hand.

He would bend over the counter to me, lay the Dreamsicle down in front of me, take the dime up in his hand and smiling crookedly at me and ask me,  as if I was a  grown-up and not just one of the neighborhood kids; “Will there be anything else, Sir?”

Already tearing the paper wrapper off of my prize, I would answer him; “No, that will be all, thank you!” as I walked out of his store with my tasty prize in hand.

Yes, I remember Dreamsicles.

And sure, they were just a frozen combination of Vanilla and Orange flavors, but I would be smiling as I walked down the hot summer sidewalk trying my best to eat every drop of this delight, before it melted and ran down my hand; or, even worse, gave me a case of “brain Freeze”.

Yeah! Dreamsicles were good back then; wait, no, they were great. And, I was just an innocent young boy with something special in my life, for those few moments, on that day.

Eating my Dreamsicle.

Bamboo_01

by Don Bobbitt, All Rights Reserved

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My Best Cheeseburger! Ever!

 

Go Back in Time.

Go Back in Time to the days when you stopped at a roadhouse restaurant rather than a fast food chain outlet for a meal.
Do you remember Your Best Cheeseburger, Ever?
OK, that question, by itself, should have brought a smile to your face, and sent your brain scrambling back through your personal memory bank to one great time or another in your life.

Continue reading

Riding a Diabetic High.

A Diabetic HIGH!

I am a Type-2 Diabetic and there are many of us going through our daily lives trying to control the vagaries if this insidious disease.

We’re right there , probably sitting in that cubicle beside you, trying to get through our day, as our pancreas/Liver/ whatever else swing through their daily jobs and swing my Insulin level (Blood Sugar) up and down, as they see fit.

You may think I’m just a strange co-worker; maybe I act grumpy for a while and then a few hours later, I’m leaning over your cubicle wall telling you a stupid joke, and then maybe an hour or so later you may walk by my cubicle and you notice I’m just staring out into space.

Well, guess what? I’m a Diabetic and these actions are common symptoms of being Diabetic.

Below is a short rant of mine that I wrote a few months ago after I heard a supposed friend talking about how crazy I acted at times.

So here’s a little Crazy Diabetics Story about Living with this disease.

There’s nothing like a Diabetes HIGH!

One minute I’m working away on a project on my computer,

and the next, I realize that I’ve stopped writing

and I find that I’m staring out the window,

my MIND is BLANK,

there’s nothing churning in the gray matter at all.

Then, realizing what my problem may be,

I make a quick check of my blood sugar

and there it is, a reading of

167 and that’s fifty points higher than my normal level!

I quickly stand up and walk somewhere, anywhere,

hoping to make my body react to the change in my actions

and function differently for me.

I need this change to occur so I that will not be forced to eat a snack,

just to kick my organs into action as it processes the food..

I’m experienced at this, you see,, and I know that,

for the moment and until something changes;

All I can do is ride the High like it’s a Wild Horse until it drops.

DON, 2019

Scoville Ratings for Hot Peppers

Frog_01-1

I was in a conversation a few days ago and someone asked me which pepper was hotter than another.

There is a definitive comparison chart available called the Scoville Rating which lists hot peppers from around the world in comparative BTU strengths.

I remembered that I had written a post a while back about this and I grabbed my smartphone and after a few clicks there was my Post.

So, for posterity’s sake (and having a good storage place for the information) I decided to store the data here for future reference.

The SCOVILLE rating of HOT PEPPERS

1.5 to 2.0 MILLION

– Law enforcement Pepper Spray, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

850 Thousand to 1.5 Million

– Naga Viper Pepper, Infinity Chili,Bhut Jolokia chili pepper, Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper, Bedfordshire Super Naga, 7 Pod’s Chili

350 to 580 Thousand

– Red Savina Habanero

100 to 350 Thousand

–  Habanero chili, Scoth bonnet pepper, Datil Pepper, Rocoto,Piri Piri Nudungu, Madame Jeanette,Peruvian White Abanero, Jamacian hot pepper, Guyana Wiri Wiri, Fatalii,

50 to 100 Thousand

– Byadgi chilli, Bird’s eye chili (aka. Thai Chili Pepper), Malagueta pepper, Chiltepin pepper, Piri piri (African bird’s eye), Pequin pepper

30 to 50 Thousand

– Guntur chilli,Cayenne pepper, Ají pepper,Tabasco pepper, Cumari pepper (Capsicum Chinese), Katara (spicy)

10 to 23 Thousand

– Serrano pepper,Peter pepper, Aleppo pepper

3.5 to  8 Thousand

– Espelette pepper, Jalapeño pepper, Chipotle, Guajillo pepper, New Mexican varieties of Anaheim pepper, Hungarian wax pepper, Tabasco sauce

1 to 2.5 Thousand

– Anaheim pepper, Poblano pepper, Rocotillo pepper, Peppadew, Sriracha sauce

100 to 900

– Pimento, Peperoncini, Banana pepper

No significant heat

– Bell pepper,Cubanelle, Aji dulce

by Don Bobbitt, 2016

All I Need is a Glass of Wine and a Breeze

Busy! Busy! Busy! We’re all so darned Busy!

Or so it seems some days. I’m not talking about a person’s job, nine-to-five or whatever hours they are dedicating to making a living and paying the bills we all end up with.

No, I’m talking about how some of us seem to fill any idle time we may have with things that end up keeping us Busy to the point that the only real rest we get is when we drop into our beds each night, exhausted.

You see, what a lot of people don’t realize is that even such, what we call “fun things” like; charity work, or crafts, or sports and exercise, or whatever we commit our free time to, can stress and exhaust our bodies and even our minds if we are not careful.

The old saying for everyone to “Stop and Smell the Roses” has been around for ages, but it’s telling us that we all need to take the time and relax our minds at one time or another.

I know that these special moments of relaxation are so necessary for me to keep my mind on a level plane.

And as I grow older, I make sure that I take these special moments more often and that I do something that cannot in any way be construed as work.

One of my favorite ways to relax is to pour myself a glass of Wine and go outside my home. There, I take a chair in the shade of a large tree and then I do two things;

I sip on my glass of Wine and I just gaze around my yard and watch the trees as the winds blow through and move the tree limbs and leaves around.

At times, it seems to me that these movements resemble what a dancer might be doing while alone on a stage.

A Gust of wind will bend a leaf covered limb and it will submit and bend in one direction, and when this Wind has passed, the limb returns to its original position, seemingly waiting for another random gust of Wind to force them to dance, one more time.

Eventually, what I have watched will have cleared my mind to the degree that I am truly enjoying these simple and natural things nature is giving me.

And I find that my Heart is full and my mind has been cleared of all of those leftover toxic things that seem to stay there for far too long.

And Yes, Sometimes, all I need is a Glass of Wind and a Breeze!

by DON BOBBITT, 2019, All Rights Reserved

In case You’re interested, I have a T-Shirt store on Shopify where I list my personal customized T-Shirts.

I designed this custom T-Shirt for others who also know how to relax when their bodies tell them they need a few special moment.

Click on the label below to go to my T-Shirt store and you will find this T-Shirt liste there for purchase.

 

ALL I Need is a Glass of Wine and a Breeze!

This is a Fruit of the Loom brand product that is designed for both Men and Women. You can select from the multiple COLOR offerings and then pick your size.

Our T-Shirt Prices are LOW and you can order multiple Tees from our wide selection to save on our great combined Shipping charges.

 

 

Thoughts from Songs – Different Drum

tn_DeadendI listen to a lot of my old MP3’s as I go through my days as a Retiree. And, unlike some of what I now hear being played on some systems and sites, I prefer songs that are poetic. By that I mean; the words mean something and usually they rhyme.

So, here is what the song Different Drum originally written and sung by Michael Nesmith.

My favorite lyrics are;

You and I travel to the beat of a diff’rent drum.

…..

Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m knockin’.
It’s just that I’m not in the market
For a girl who wants to love only me.
Yes, and I ain’t sayin’ you ain’t pretty.
All I’m sayin’s I’m not ready for any person,
Place or thing to try and pull the reins in on me.

There are more lyrics to this great song, but these are the ones that my brain still retains, even to this day. A number of other artists also recorded this classic, but it’s not the great artists renditions that move me, but rather that iconic first line;

You and I travel to the beat of a diff’rent drum.

These simple lyrics say something to me each time I listen to them, and I’ll use them to generate a comment on something I see going on in our country.

My Thought:

Why have we changed from a nation of Diversity to one of Confrontation?

Let me explain; From the time of our Independence as a nation, we Americans were Rich and we were a Diverse collection of races, religions, and political ideals.

We were rich, not in monetary terms, but in land.

America had accumulated, from its infancy, vast amounts of land that needed to be settled and tamed that we accepted anyone who wanted to come here from anywhere in the world and then settle on a piece of America.

They could turn their land into a home and live their lives without any interference from others.

And as people came to America, we became a nation of very diverse views on just what the words in our nation’s Constitution really meant.

And our diversity drove us to a Civil War. There’s no need for me, a common citizen to speak on the politics of this tragic war, other than to say that, the people of America had split into two intractable, unmoveable political groups that were so polarized from each other’s views that the leaders of each group were beyond continued conversations and compromises.

This my friends is historically, how Wars start. And it did. It really doesn’t matter, from my perspective, who was wrong or who was right on which point. The lines had been drawn and a War resulted.

You can pretty much pick a major War and make the same conclusions; people formed into opposition groups who could, or would, not negotiate or compromise and a War was the result.

I know, mine is a simplistic view, but then I’m no politician, just a simple man with a simplistic view of politics.

So, back to my song and the key words that I love to hum under my breath when I turn on the local or national news.

You and I travel to the beat of a diff’rent drum.

You see, I am old enough to have seen enough, and opinionated enough myself to know that we, the people of America, will never totally agree on pretty much any issue before us as a nation.

But if we can keep the lies and deceits out of the negotiations, we can I believe, come up with compromises that when looked at over time, will hopefully show a movement towards our nation being a better place for ALL of its citizens!

Yeah, I like this old song, and I enjoy singing it often these days as I go through my life just watching as we and our drummers end up marching together.

by Donald Bobbitt, July, 2019, All Rights Reserved.

Click and play this great song as recorded by Linda Ronstadt:

Different Drum

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Where are we NOW? #1 Corporations are Watching!

from: The MAN in a BOX: 

to: the Remains of the Public who CARE!

Subject:

Where are we NOW? #1 – CORPORATIONS are WATCHING YOU!

Just in case you didn’t notice it; there was a tidbit on the news yesterday that the media flipped through quickly.

You see, many of the companies that you buy from and trustingly loaded their App onto your Smart Phone and then used it to buy products from them are now watching everything you look at, including reviewing videos you watch.

They say you should trust them because they are only watching what you watch so they can better serve you with products that you are really interested in.

Here is the CNN link to their story;

CNN says they are watching us all.

Here is the NBC News link to their story;

NBC says we need a Do Not Track

Have a Nice Day!

a MAN in a BOX info-fact by Don Bobbitt, All Rights Reserved

 

Man in a Box – 1 – Just an Old Man who doesn’t fit any mold.

MAN in a BOX – 1 – Commentary from an aged perspective.

First of all, let me say this; I am not a Conservative, nor am I a Liberal, and I damned well have not committed to any political party …. so far!

But each day, as I drink my morning Coffee and watch the news channels, I am finding myself wanting to occasionally express my opinions on some the things that I see happening in this great nation of ours.

When you see my tattered flag at the header of one of my commentaries then please read it, or  Not!

It really is your choice, but perhaps you could at least glance at what I have to say. You just might agree with some of my opinions and maybe, just maybe you may even see an opinion that you don’t agree with, but at the same time you just may understand a different perspective.

An OLD MAN IN A BOX and his TATTERED FLAG

I selected the picture you see because I can relate to this tattered old flag.  I can definitely relate to it’s condition in that I too have been around for a while, almost three-quarters of a century of voting and watching the state of our nation as it changes.

You see, I too am a little tattered around the edges but I am a survivor with many experiences and scars of my own.

So, I ask you to Follow Me, and maybe even Comment back to me with your own perspective on what I write.

by Don Bobbitt, August, 10, 2018

Copyright Don Bobbitt, 2018, All Rights Reserved

You have the author’s permission to enjoy and even share this article with your friends, but if you wish to use it commercially, then you must have the permission of the author, in writing, before you use it.

Comment back to me here:

Content with the NOW!

I was  reading something this morning that struck me a meaningful; and as I worked on a manuscript through the day my mind kept coming back to it. Finally, after mulling it over for a few hours, I thought I should share my feelings here.
 
Like so many people I know and have known over my life, I was once an avid “JOINER”; you know; Clubs, teams, social groups, etcetera.
 
But these days I have a developed a much better perspective on how to spend my time on this planet.
 
I don’t chase after people anymore. If they really want to see me then they will find me.
If they really want to meet, sit and stare at a Sunset, or just walk along a wooded path, with me tagging along, I will certainly go.
f they I am someone who they want to sit with, whether over a Coffee or a Beer, and talk over something that they feel a need to discuss with someone, I will provide a willing ear.
If they just want to get something that has been torturing their mind or soul, off of their chest; again, I will hold their hand and listen.
And if they just want my opinion? Well, if they really know me, then they already know that I have plenty of those!
 
You see, after spending so much of my life, racing after so many people and things, I find I am now content with who and what I am.
 
It took a lot of time and much heart-rending thought, over what I felt were the many dark periods of my life, for me to reach this point.
But finally, I am content with the bad things and the good things that I have done and thought, over my years as well as with what has been done to me by others.
Revenge and Malice lie as ashes at the feet of my contented mind!
Besides, I find that my wife’s company and the company of the few people who we do see and talk with, all keep me wonderfully entertained.
by Don Bobbitt, 2018

Copyright, Don Bobbitt, May 2018, All Rights Reserved

Shadows of a Couple, together.

The picture you see with this story is one I took last year while my wife Helen and I were standing on a bridge overlooking a Park in Florida where there were Manatees swimming in the warm waters.

I glanced down at the shallows and I saw our shadows on the waters and I laughed. There we were, two old people standing on a bridge and casting our shadows onto the shoreline on this beautiful day.

Helen asked me what was so funny, and I pointed to our shadows on the water and I told her.

Girl! Look! Those shadows are reflections of us now; two old people on a bridge. It’s obvious even in these shadows that we’re not what we once were, physically.

I was just imagining the two of us coming back here each year and staring closely at our shadows wondering if these images of us will be as robust and sharp and they are today?”

Helen looked at me and I figured she would laugh at my imaginings and we would on, but instead, she smiled at me and took my hand. We stood there for a while, on that bridge, hand-in-hand, staring at our shadows as we both thought on our lives and our aging bodies and eventually the end of our days.

Anyway, we moved on and I’m sure she forgot all about that moment of ours, standing together on that rickety wooden bridge.

Well time moved on for us and last week, we made a Holiday of our 50th anniversary together. We stayed for a week in an apartment in the old part of Savannah and we made no set touristy plans; rather we just just roamed around Savannah over that week, soaking in the history, the weather, and the beauty of this old city.

Of course I would be a fool if I didn’t say we enjoyed the city itself, but the best part of the say was that we enjoyed seeing, eating and walking our way around Savannah, together; just the two of us.

We soaked in the history of the place and we laughed a lot; sometimes just at things we saw or read and at other times at some of the people walking by us as we sat sat around in so many of the sidewalk cafes.

That’s the kind of thing we often do at our age. We laugh at other younger people who are working, struggling even, on their own lifestyle and life goals. We’re not malicious you see, its just that we see so many people doing and saying things that make Helen and I say to ourselves; “Been There, Done That”.

You see, we may be old but our experiences together should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that we are a couple, a pair, actually I like to say, a single life-force, neither half of which would probably function very long, without the other being there without the other’s support.

After fifty years together, we know what the word commitment means. We started our life together as individuals with so many differences, bad habits and idiosyncrasies  that most people would never have given our marriage a chance for survival.

But one day, long ago, we made a commitment, to each other and to God!

We stood there and we both swore that we would walk through life together, taking the Good with the Bad, and working things out as we went along.

Sure, there have been arguments, and disagreements, but there have been many more days of Love and affection, and we used these differences to build an eternal partnership.

And as partners, we have marched through the years of our life together over this past half-century, growing older and yet, growing stronger as a couple.

Reflecting on what I have just written so far, I can say that we are no longer that pair of vibrant, physical animals we were when we eloped so long ago and walked into that office in Reidsville, NC, held each other’s hand, and made our promises to each other.

But I can also say that, just like those two people in the picture whose bodies are now shadows of what they once were, our real strength resides in the support and Love we give each other.

Inevitably we will both leave this planet, when our bodies give up the fight for that next breath, in it’s need to stay alive; moving on to that promised afterlife; and our shadows on the waters will be gone, forever.

One of us will probably go before the other leaving the one remaining to exist alone and without their life-mate. The one left here, must bide its time until their body gives up so their souls can also departure from this Earth.

But considering the hope of an eternity together, this wait will only be for a short while before the two of us can be together again for our next great adventure; traveling and living yet another life together.

And when we do see each other again, I’ll just grab her hand, look into her eyes and say; “OK, Let’s Go Punk! We Got Things to Do!

Oh what an adventure that next life time together will be for my wife and I.  Oh what an Adventure!

by DON BOBBITT, MAY, 13, 2018

Copyright, Don Bobbitt, May 13,2018, All Rights Reserved.

You are free to enjoy this article, and share it with friends, but if you wish to use it commercially then you must have the permission of the author, in writing.

Lynchburg Virginia, A short Walk on Main Street

Lynchburg, is it just another Southern university town?

Lynchburg Virginia is actually just another small town in the South that is searching for an identity and a path for it’s future growth.

It’s even a little funny, when you think about it, but many of the local residents have kept their head in the sand over just what Lynchburg is today.

You see Lynchburg is the home of one of the major universities in the country; Liberty University.

I really don’t need to get into this fact too far other than to say that this popular university has tens of thousands of students, that attend the school on site, along with probably just as many that study through the school’s excellent online study and degree programs.

So, if you stand back and take an unbiased view of Lynchburg today, it’s a “College Town”, pure and simple. It’s quite noticeable that the town’s population, is split essentially into two factions; the locals, and the young university students residing most of the year around the town.

This phenomenal growth of Liberty University over the past several decades has sparked a lot of growth in construction; of roads, of apartments, of homes, of restaurants, and all of the other support industries that a young and active population demands.

This growth has sparked changes that, although good for the immediate economy, can be destructive to some of those things that make a small town an enchanting place to live.

And, lest I forget, Lynchburg is home to a number of higher eduction facilities including, a thriving Community College (CVCC), Lynchburg College, Randolph Macon College along with several small specialty colleges, So, if you live in Lynchburg the options to further your education are abundant.

Lynchburg Academy of Arts

Absence does make the Heart grow Fonder

Lynchburg is also my hometown.

I haven’t actually lived here, in Lynchburg Virginia, for over twenty years now, but I do have family there and a few remaining friends who are still kicking around.

So naturally, I end up traveling back to town a couple of times each year to; see my family, recharge my batteries as a Southern boy, and honestly, to just go see the remaining memories of my childhood.

The interesting thing is that over the past twenty-plus years, and after moving further and further away from these roots of mine, I have found that my personal perspective on the town, it’s history and it’s people has evolved.

This evolution has been more obvious to me, I guess, because I am rarely here and the changes are so visible to me, when I do make a return trip.

Old Bank Building on 9th and Main, Circa 1865

Planned Change versus Change for the sake of Change

Because I only visit once or twice a year, I am see some things which I always felt were unique and even beautiful jewels unique to my old hometown that are disappearing with almost every visit I make.

Sure, in the eyes of the casual observer, some of these, what I would call jewels, are just seen as old buildings, or expensive facades, or cobblestone streets that require too much money to maintain.

I understand that the once vibrant parks, statues and other such attractions need to be cleaned up but they are often just eliminated to allow for the future commercial growth of the area.

Also, sad as it is to say, some of the now missing sights, in this hometown of mine, are, or were, in their own way, very unique and you would have thought they were also important enough to the area’s history to be worth preserving for posterity.

Oh, I’m sure there are some dedicated preservation committees and other groups who work very hard to preserve what is left of Lynchburg’s architectural uniqueness. And we should not only applaud them but give them our support, in their endeavors.

Of course, the problem with too many of the local residents who are going about their daily lives, is they are heedless of the changes and just don’t seem to pay a lot of attention to the subtle losses of their historic inheritance.

That is, unless the changes are harmful to them, personally.

Period buildings along Main Street

Things I love about my small Hometown

One old habit of mine is, whenever I come back to town, I will often take a day or two to explore sections of the old downtown area and some of the surrounding neighborhoods, just looking to see what is new, what has disappeared and what is being repaired.

I may not be a resident, but I spent the first thirty or so years of my life growing up here and I do have a fondness for so many of the small things I feel should be around for others to enjoy, years from now.

I love the things that were built to last.

I love special architecture that someone took the time to design and build just for it’s uniqueness.

I love hand laid stones and walls of handmade bricks, built to do a job and also stand the test of time against the elements.

i love buildings, the beautiful and the ugly, that have stood against the vagaries of time, weather and politics and still stand on their firm foundations and say; “look at me”.

As a kid I loved riding the city bus to downtown theaters for the Saturday Matinees, where old Westerns and Tarzan movies were my favorites. There were three theaters that I remember going to and they were; the Warner, The Paramount, and the Icies just on Main Street. Today, they are all gone.

I loved it when Dad would take all of us on a Sunday drive through the rich sections of town and my Dad telling us, “If you work hard, you can own a home like these, yourself!”.

I love knowing that the streets I drive on today still have the tracks of a once vibrant city’s trolly cars.

I love knowing that there was once a corduroy highway built between Lynchburg and Bedford, that was called corduroy because it was a highway of tree trunks laid down for a road bed.

I love that during the Civil War, Lynchburg had a hospital that treated the wounded of both the Confederate and Union armies. And there is a beautiful Confederate Cemetery within the Old City Cemetery off of 5th Street, that contains the graves of hundreds of soldiers.

i love that my city was once famous for it’s parks, like Miller Park; with exotic flower beds, with picnic areas and fancy gazebos , with manicured paths put there simply for the joy of the walk through the park and even with the occasional rare animals displayed for the families of the town to walk past and show their children.

I just love such things that are still in Lynchburg as well as those that are long gone, not for any reason other than because they are or were unique and special to others, now long gone.

And I not only have my personal memories but I have the stories of my family, parents, aunts and uncles, who remembered the great things that were already gone when I was a child, but they were so proud of showing me, while they existed.

Old Irish Pub remodeled and re-opened by Kegney family on Main Street

If you slow down and look you will see many great facades on the buildings along Main Street

A short walk on Main Street

So, I’ll end my ramble right here and because I am in town, and it being a really nice day, my wife and I took a walk on Main Street.

Oh, we didn’t walk the full length of what is officially labeled as Main Street.

No, we walked along a short length of Main Street, between 5th and 12th streets, which was once considered the heart of old Lynchburg and really the whole Central Virginia area.

You see, when I was a child, back in the late fifties; the city blocks from Twelfth Street all the way to Fifth Street were the commercial center where everyone went to shop.

I know this doesn’t sound like much of a walk, eight short city blocks, but I did spend a couple of hours on this little excursion of mine.

And, you might ask what was my purpose? Why did I take this walk, anyway?

You see, when I was a child, Lynchburg had no giant indoor malls, no short strip-malls along the streets filled with cheap shops, no restaurant row, no giant supermarkets or especially enormous gas stations with a dozen or more gas pumps.

Back then, Lynchburg had Main Street, and Main Street had; the department stores, the furniture stores, the jewelry stores, the movie theaters, the pawn shops, the pool halls, the banks and the Doctor’s offices, that if you needed such things, you went downtown to use.

Well, I had my handy Nikon and I wanted to take some pictures of what was left of my memories.

So you ask again? What was left? Well, as a town changes, a lot of the architectural uniqueness changes with it.

The whole purpose of my walk was to just get some shots of anything visibly interesting left of the buildings, the doorways, the windows, the stained glass, the wrought iron, just anything unique that has survived so far.

I’m no historian, of course, and especially not any kind of architectural historian, but I can tell when something seems to be grand and has the look of craftsmanship that is hard to find in very many places today.

So, again, my wife and I took a walk, and along the way, I saw a few things I believe someone might think are worth a walk to see for themselves, while these things are still around to enjoy.

Along the way, I took some pictures and here they are for you to enjoy, or not.

A view of Monument Terrace from Main Street

The popular City Market right on Main Street and 12th.

Old Wrought Iron remnants can be found throughout the downtown area.

Original Cobblestone street between Church and Court Streets

The Piano’s on Main Street

One of the more entertaining things you will find when you do go downtown in Lynchburg is the number of decorated Pianos along your walk.

Yes, I said Pianos!

I don’t have the details, but a number of the local schools took some old upright piano’s, painted them with some relatively unique artwork and placed them in front of some of the business’.

They are kept functional, and if you go downtown on a busy day you can often find someone who has just stopped and started playing one of these beauties.

Now, that’s what I call an attempt at rejuvenation of a town; artistic displays of local school student art that is also a tool for musicians to exercise their skills, all for the entertainment of anyone who is walking by.

SO, below you will find pictures of a few of the pianos I found, just standing there waiting for someone to enjoy.

 

 

 

Who am I to do this?

Hopefully, this little sampling of the pictures I took on my walk that day are entertaining and of some interest to you.

So, I’m just another person who took a walk on Main Street and attempted to capture a few of my own old memories through a small piece of the pictorial history of Lynchburg.

by Don Bobbitt, 2016

Copyright, Don Bobbitt, 2016, All Rights Reserved

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Some Days You Just Don’t Give a Damn!

Some Days, You Just Don’t Give a Damn!

One of the first signs to me that I am in a bad mood is when I find myself staring through my TV screen or newspaper, and not at it.

You know what I mean, when you have the daily world news playing on the TV and you realize that even what the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES has to say, at the moment, seems boring, in fact you realize it’s irritating you to just hear his voice.

You go to your kitchen and pour yourself a cup of Coffee, sit down in your favorite chair and pick up your local newspaper. But as you scan the front page, you think to yourself that the pictures and the headlines on the front page are drawing yawns from you, both physically and mentally. You throw the newspaper in your trash and think to yourself; has the whole damned world gone mad?

So you give up and grab your precious Smartphone to see what’s going on with your digital fiends. But, once you open your favorite social media app, you begin to think to yourself that maybe, just maybe, you need new digital friends, because at the moment these people really don’t seem to have a life at all.

The first conversations you see are on ridiculous subjects like;

1- Here’s my Granny’s recipe for biscuits, or

2- Today is my Dog, Tippy’s second birthday, or

3- Here’s a picture of my second cousin, Susan’s sister-in-law, Betty’s newborn baby,

ad nauseam!

I frowned to myself thinking; I know how to make a biscuit, that dog Tippy is just plain ugly and shouldn’t be seen in public, and finally, I don’t know Susan, much less her sister-in-law.

Frustrated, I put my Smartphone down and that’s when it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I’m my own problem, and my problem is that I’m just having a bad day.

You know what I’m taking about; when you’re having one of those days that you really don’t give a damn, about pretty much anything?

So, accepting that it was going to be such a day for me, I poured myself another cup of Coffee, and decided that; if I’m going to have a “I don’t Give a Damn” day, I should protect the rest of humanity from my sour attitude and maybe just prop up my feet and read a book?

“Because, honestly, I just don’t give a Damn, today!”

By Don Bobbitt, March, 2018

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Sure, It’s COLD up NORTH, but ……

Cold means something different to a Floridian.
OK, don’t get mad …… yet. You haven’t even read my opening sentence!

Let me explain.

I now live in Florida, south of Tampa and in a normal Winter, we just don’t get cold.

Not Cold like it was in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia where I grew up and spent the first thirty or so years of my life.

And we don’t get anywhere like the Cold weather you people in the northern states have to suffer through.

To us, our winter consists of sporadic spurts of uncomfortable weather that is driven down to us by strange happenings with cold fronts and such other winter weather things that you people who live “up there” know more about that us Floridians.

If you noticed, I said “uncomfortable” weather. To us, uncomfortable means we had to play golf with a pull-over on instead of just in a golf shirt.

Uncomfortable means rooting through your closet for a pair of long pants to wear that day instead of the year-round wardrobe of shorts.

Uncomfortable is putting the convertibles top UP for the trip to the supermarket.

Uncomfortable means wearing a pair of shoes and socks instead of your favorite flip-flops.

Hopefully you get the point. We Floridians are just not exposed to such horrendous weather as you people UP there accept as the winter norm.

Winter is tough on pretty much everyone.
No, Really! Some Winters are hard on everyone in the country depending on Mother Nature. And honestly, we Floridians aren’t so isolated that we don’t see how hard the weather has been on other people.

We might be Southerners, but we also have TV, just like you people who live up North. We watch the same “news-less” news shows that you do.

And we get just as bored as you do when they spend hours showing the same news people standing in front of enormous snow banks explaining to us all, for the umpteenth time, how much snow has fallen on some in the far reaches of the North.

And, when we go to our favorite Tiki Bar, we have the same conversations as you do. You will hear such things as;

  • Damn, I need to go on a diet. I haven’t had these jeans on for three years and I could barely button them.
  • Did you notice the traffic on I-75? It looks like a parade cars with license plates from up North. I hear you can’t find an empty hotel room anywhere around here.

No offense to Canadians but I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much French being spoken around me wherever I go. I mean really, after a few days of hearing so much French being spoken, you wonder “is there anyone left in Canada to take care of things?”

I even hear that all of the cheap Airlines are losing their Butts. Every plane coming down is packed, and no one is flying back. Once they get here, they end up flying back with partial loads.

The other night, in my favorite Tiki Bar, someone even told me that if this keeps up the whole state of Florida could be put on rationing for Vodka and Tequila.

The SnowBirds are drinking so much of the stuff that the Distilleries are having trouble keeping up with demand.

Anyway, the funny rumors you hear down here go on and on, just because of the weather we see repeatedly blasting the Northern reaches of the continent.

But, you should all look at the positive side of being Snowed in.

Really. There is an old adage that says something pithy about taking the bad and making something good from it.

You know, try to be positive and maintain a good attitude, and all of that. You know, let’s make lemonade from all of these lemons thrown at us.

So ….. just to help those SnowBirds who went glassy-eyed over the continually sorry weather here are a few things you can do to improve your mood.

  • Having your car, sitting at the curb, covered with several feet of Snow is admittedly bad. But, look at the positive side. You haven’t had to buy gas for over a week now.
  • Having the roof of your house covered with a foot of Snow is bad when ever it starts to melt. But, right now it provides an extra layer of insulation for your whole house and eases the load on your furnace slightly.
  • Spending several hours a day shoveling the new snow in your driveway and on your sidewalk is bad. But, look at the Calories you have burned doing this instead of sitting in front of your TV for endless hours.
  • Not being able to get to work is Bad. But, the Boss can’t get to work either so you just need to took at the time off as a surprise unpaid holiday.
  • It may be punishing for you to get out and walk your dog. But, your Dog can now Poop and Pee in less than ten seconds before he drags you back into the house. No more sniffing everything in sight, making you miss part of your favorite game.
  • It may not be easy to get out for more. But, you are now digging out cans and boxes of foods from your pantry that have been sitting there for months. And by now, you have become very creative in making meals from all of those strange packaged foods you never touched before.
  • And sure, you may have run out of Beer two days ago, and thats really bad. But, you have found enough tea bags for at least two more days. And your Liver probably needed a few days of rest.

These are just a few examples of things that might seem bad about the continually sever winter you are experiencing, but as I have shown, you should look at the positive side of each of these and other set backs Mother Nature has thrown at you this winter.

And, there is one more thing you can try.

All of the major North/South Interstate highways are typically kept clear throughout the Winter.

So, Get in your car and COME ON DOWN! It might be Winter down here, but it’s a Tropical Winter.

by Don Bobbitt, 2015

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Copyright Don Bobbitt, 2015, All Rights Reserved

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