Friday, June 29, 2007

Age 8 is great

My ace Shreveport Little League correspondent, Frederick "Slap" Maxwell, shot me this info and since the July Fourth week is traditionally a Little League All-Star tournaments week, I will post the news here. This is a fine looking group of boys and, as you will see from the numbers below, no machine in either Bossier or Shreveport or the surrounding environs was able to contain them as they ran roughshod to the title. Hope at the state tournament they get dirty and have fun.

The Southeast Shreveport Blue All Stars outscored four opponents 50-2 to win the District 4 Little League Baseball Championship. The team, which plays in the 7/8 Machine Pitch Division will represent the district at the State Tournament in Lake Charles, July 20 – July 26. Pictured from left, front row: Colton Moore, Landon Guerrero, Michael Schmidt, Hunter Self, Kayne Lynn. Second row: Hunter Beatty, Christian Gulledge, Hunter Gaston, Brewer Hendrix, Cameron Parikh, Steele Neterville. Back row: Lance Beatty, Kevin Netterville, Chad Gulledge, Kevin Guerrero. (not pictured: Harrsion Lawrence). For more information about the team go to:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Let's play...

Offer the best explanation for today's button, sent in my Old Man Kelsey from his ocean -- (or maybe it was from his woods?) -- and win a prize. It's a line from The Andy Griffith Show. Tell us who said it, when and where and why and so on and so forth...

We've got people on vacation around here and I've got to do some other stuff now so go at it. Good luck!, and Gomer says hey.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Celebration of Purple Hull Peas Week

The PurpleHull Pea Festival and World Championship Rotary Tiller Races are Friday and Saturday in Emerson, Ark.-- which, of course, you already knew.

If you didn't, check the past few posts on this blog or go to

If you don't race, there is more competition for you to get involved in, including cooking with peas and, as evidenced by these pictures, shelling them.

The competition, as you note here, is hot. The photos can't really capture it. But again, you can compete Saturday if you wish or just go meet the athletes. Check the Tuesday Teddy column in the Conversations sections at for yet MORE info.

Happy peain'!

Friday, June 22, 2007

"Ben, you're always running here and there..."

Listen...they're playing our song...

The above art from my friend and co-worker David Wright (he took this with a cartoon camera in my garage a few weeks ago) told the story that went with the story I wrote, about a battle with rodents at the Allen Estate, which is not very big but how much room do a dozen or so rats need, right?

Anyway, there is no trouble in paradise now, thanks to patience, a quick trigger finger, peanut butter and the T-Rex Snap Rat Trap. I received much mail from those of you how have fought the similar good fight. One letter I print below: it's long, but I've read it three times, just for the pure enjoyment of the words. I share it with you to carry you through what I hope will be a wonderful weekend. The author, "Sarah/Old Highland," gave me her blessings. "Yes," she wrote to me, "put it on your blog. It may help someone else."

Next week is Pea Week, don't forget! So save some energy. And Mayberry After Midnight returns too...

From the mailbag, Sarah's effort...

Hi Teddy

I had been meaning to write about the T-Rex but of course, meaning to and doing so do not often align. After reading Sunday's Taking Time off.......with your reference to the fact that the R-Rex actually exists, here you go.

I relate so well to your two biggest fears, rats and snakes. I think it is not consequential that one often finds snakes where one finds rats, the result of the "food chain." That alone is disgusting enough to contemplate, so let's move away from it.

I live in Highland, which has wonderful architecture, diverse and eclectic neighbors, virgin timber, and rats that have raised generation upon generation of city vermin who have evolved into what we call, Super Rat. My next door neighbor is a divorced energetic lady in her 60's, will not mention names because of the age thing, and she lives in what we call a Grand Dame, an old plantation home, two stories, really three because in her attic you can move around at will in a totally upright position. She has about as much business living in this old, drafty, high maintenance home as a hog has wearing a side saddle. That is one of my Mother's favorite sayings. For a moment, just put a visual on that, okay?

Anyway, this neighbor practices yoga, goes on binges of different things, like all soy for food, then, no night shades for food, then, no carbs, then nauseum. One never knows what she will be doing or thinking next. She would be charming if she were not so dogmatic, all or nothing, and if she would mow her yard on a regular basis during the warm months.

One morning, I am on the side of my house that shares her property, and I hear the sound of people speaking, and I mean so loudly that I can hear what they are saying easily, through her walls and over the natural air space of the outside. I am thinking to myself, "What the heck.....? This goes on for a few days. My husband indicates that he can hear the same from the sidewalk, and it is definitely coming from her house. Finally, after a week, she picks up her phone. She, of course, had turned the tele on and promptly left for a yoga retreat. I ask, why the tele? She responds, and I am not kidding, "I have rats in my attic, so I took the tele, elevated it as high as I could to the ceiling on tables, books, whatever, and turned it up as loud as it would go so while I was gone it would run the rats out." She has 12 foot ceilings, so, for a moment, just put a visual on that, okay?

Just writing this makes my mouth fall open again. The only rats it ran off were the human kind who could not stand the volume of the tele from the sidewalk in front of her house, about 30 feet from her front door. Of course, it did not work, as the dreaded Highland roof rat has seen and heard it all. This is the same woman, who having an Internet date over for dinner, had to listen to him calmly ask her if she knew she had rats. She asked him why the question and he replied, because I just saw one ambling in your kitchen. Swoon, now.

After another week slid by while she purchased sonic devices, held incantation and dance, as well as chanted, screamed and beat the ceiling with poles. She finally contacted the pest control people, who advised that trees growing next to her house was the main reason the rats moved upstairs. They cut a few trees and put out the obligatory potion, and the roof rats were no more.

Now, I don't want you to think that she is the only one to have rats. When we first moved in our bungalow, I and my husband personally witnessed a rat who, no kidding, was marked up like a paint horse, one like Little Joe rode in Bonanza. He had some well defined trails from our free standing garage along the fence line and under it to the neighbor behind us, where he apparently did a lot of business. We nicknamed him "Old Paint" because he became a regular, and each time I saw him, I screamed and swooned. Gawd, sometimes I hate being so predictable.

We began a rat eradication program in earnest at that time, nearly 8 years ago, with a certified, licensed and bonded pest control company. One would think, with all the poison they have put out over the years, there would be no more rats in Highland. One would think that you would eventually interrupt the breeding chain at some point in time. One would be wrong.

We built a small deck in our back yard to enjoy, and we do, unless one of Old Paint's offspring has decided to cash in the chips under it. What were we thinking? A deck for a rat is like an open invitation to move in and stay awhile, a very long while. One summer, about three years ago, while paging through Home Improvement's catalogue, I found for sale, a Rat Electric Chair. I bought it for $49.00 plus shipping and could hardly wait to get it. When it arrived, I took it out of the box and put in the 8 D cell batteries ( not included with the purchase) and baited it with peanut butter. I have checked it everyday for the last three years and still no electrocuted rat. I noticed recently, in the same catalogue, these same rat electric chairs were in the close out section for nothing, they pay you to just take them. What was I thinking? The box stated to be very careful inserting the batteries and engaging the on button to make it "set." The shock could apparently disrupt pacemakers, but the Highland rats, perhaps having seen it before or just reading the side lingo warnings, decided the peanut butter was not worth the risk. It has been in my garage so long now that I am afraid to pick it up. Not that I have a pacemaker, just that I don't want one anytime soon either.

We continue to make a dent in the rodent population as our small contribution to mankind. At least for now, I can say we have never had a rat in our attic, nor one in our house, but it brings me no pleasure to know that they are as close as next door, doing their ratly thing. As for our neighbor, she is mad at me for lopping the head off a snake in her yard, stating it would bring bad luck because of the way Chinese feel about snakes, etc. And I thought you had to break mirrors to have bad luck. Perhaps bad luck is better than having the dreaded roof snakes......Gawd, get a visual on that for a moment, okay?

Your column made me laugh out loud, and swoon, which is darned excellent by any standards.

Old Highland

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Summer!, and Happy Pea Week Eve...

This week we salute The Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival and World Championship Rotary Tiller Race, set for June 29-30. It's a beautiful thing.

For all the info, go to

Below is a report from Emerson from Festival Pea-R magnate Bill Dailey...

The top picture is Shane Waller of Junction City, Arkansas, current men's world record holder (200 feet in 5.72 seconds - an average speed just shy of 24 miles-per-hour.) Shane has won it the past three years. This photo was taken in '04, when he set the record. (Photo by Rhoda Wallace.) TEDDY NOTE: Please note the gentleman standing to the left as you look at the pic; he's got his fingers in his ears. And the girl sitting over his right shoulder has her hands on her cheeks as if to say, "What the...?"

The bottom picture is the venerable Wayne Waller of Three Creeks, Arkansas, former world champ and former world record holder. Wayne is well remembered for showing up one year in a racing uniform consisting of boxer shorts with hearts on it. (Photo by Hal Miller.)

Have you noticed a trend? The Wallers are the Andretti's of tiller racing.


Monday, June 18, 2007

It's almost time to Pea!...

This week we salute The Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival and World Championship Rotary Tiller Race, set for June 29-30. It's a beautiful thing.

For all the info, go to

Because we have written about the festival and the tiller races since long before the national media got on board, we feel a kinship with the event and its people, one that deepens with time and was born out of love and respect and passion for the simple purplehull and for the not-so-simple soupled-up tiller, a machine that might be the best friend a pea ever had.

This week we'll share some photographs taken by Hal Miller, Rhoda Wallace and festival Pea-R man magnifico Bill Dailey, who wrote most of the words that follow...

First, there's Erica Butler of Springhill, Louisiana. She's the current ladies champ and world record holder. Has won it the past two years. In 2005, the then 18-year-old stunned the tiller racing world with a time almost as good as the guys', 200 feet in 6.19 seconds. (Photo by Bill Dailey.)

Then there's Lauri Waller of Parkers Chapel, Arkansas. She won the ladies division the first three years it was in existence, and was renown for her tiller control, though being just a tiny slip of a lady. (Photo by Hal Miller.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Four-day vacay


I am out of the loop for a couple of days, vacationing in beautiful Broadmoor. Nice work if you can get it. I feel like a friend of mine who skipped work last month and called to tell me it was because he had "anal glaucoma -- I just can't see my butt going to work today."

In the meanwhile, Ernest T. is our most recent contest winner (see previous post and comments). While his wasn't the only correct answer, it was prompt, thorough, and he vowed to throw a rock through my window if he didn't win soon. So congrats to him and if he sends me an address I will mail him his prize, which won't be money even though I am fully aware that he's saving up for a new gold tooth.

To hold you over, and in keeping with the vacation theme, here's A LETTER FROM BARNEY TO ANDY...

Dear Andy:

It certainly is exciting up here in Raleigh. Really having a ball. My head hasn't hit the pillow before 11:15 since I got here. Catching all the shows. Saw that Italian picture that we read about in the paper, "Bread, Love and Beans," and it was plenty risque, let me tell you.

The food here in the cafeteria is teriffic, and I've been eating up a storm. The breakfast special is unbelievable: three hot cakes, two strips of bacon, one egg -- any style -- juice, and coffee, all for 35 cents. It's served only between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m., but I can't sleep anyway.

I ran into a fellow on the street the other day who tried to sell me an iron deer for my front lawn, but I don't know.

Well, it's almost 5:00, so I better get down to breakfast. Love to Aunt Bee, Opie, Floyd, Goober, and all the boys.

10-4, Over and Out,

P.S. I'm not saying anything, but there's an awful lot of pretty women up here. Ha ha.

Monday, June 4, 2007

On vacation, you've got to suck it up

Milk it!:
The man pictured here was almost named Teddy but instead his parents named him Brendan (which is almost the same as Teddy) and I met him this weekend. He and his family -- mom, dad, big brother and big sister -- visited from St. Louis. Here he tackles a milkshake at CheeburgerCheeburger. I thought the veins were going to pop out of his head. His dad is also a milkshake lover, proving again that the apple seldom falls far from the tree.

An email from Stan:
A baby seal walks into a bar.
"What can I get you?" asks the bartender.
The seal says, "Anything but a Canadian Club."

A Bridge Too Far:
Late last week a local couple was stranded overnight in Cross Lake on their overturned boat but, thank goodness, rescued. Not so lucky were their bottom dental plates, lost along with their cell phones and fish they'd caught and everything else.
That was uncomfortable information for many readers, including this one. But look at it this way: now Cross Lake has two more bridges.

Irony Sheriff Alert!:
I have given a battlefield promotion of Deputy Directory, Irony Division, East Coast Bureau, to Donnie Golfgame, a former Shreveporter and Irony Deputy now living in Florida, who mails with this thoughty information.

"Is the fact that the guy creating the national TB scare has a father-in-law who works as a TB specialist for the CDC a coincidence? Or is it irony?...
"The debate goes on.
"I guess if his father-in-law had TB, that would be a coincidence. I think this is clearly a case of irony.
"But that's just me talking."

I consider it a deliciously rich coincidence, but I applaud the effort and bravery of Deputy Director Donnie G. for tackling something of national significance. Also, most people would side with Donnie and this other guy, as Donnie G. relates in this later note...

"Funny thing. I watched Good Morning America this morning. The father-in-law was on. He, himself, called it "the Height of Irony." I'm like, well, maybe that man knows what he's talking about. And right then, someone said, "What a coincidence."

HA!...I love it when the best of both the ironic and coincidental worlds some together.

Our most recent Mayberry After Midnight winner will be announced tomorrow. Until then, good night, and don't step in anything...