All posts by Jerome Chapman

Paregoric

Paregoric

Like many other items from days gone by, paregoric is virtually non-existent in most homes today. But, back in Sandy Point Times, every house would have likely had this miracle drug, of sorts. Paregoric was everywhere. A cure all with a hidden secret.
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Castor Oil

Castor Oil

Spring Cleaning

 A few days back I was in conversation with with one of my sons who is a doctor. Somehow I was reminded of the days back in Sandy Point when an annual event took place: the annual dose of castor oil! He had not been taught about that in medical school, apparently. But, this annual event gave a whole new meaning to “Spring Cleaning”.
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Drafty Old Farmhouse

 

Drafty Old Farmhouse

 My mother’s parents lived in an old farmhouse on what we now call Sandy Point Circle. In the old days it did not have an official name although I am told the old people referred to it as Sandy Springs.

The farmhouse house was built, we believe, in 1860 by Alford Long although the county tax records show 1925. We believe that was the year the new back room and back porch were added as my mother as born in the house in 1924 bringing the total number of kids to four. Later to grow to six. It is still there today.

It is likely the front bedroom, now undetectable after the farmhouse was extensively remodeled, was added at or near the same time. The very small original kitchen became a sewing room at some point and the kitchen moved to the back.

The house had no central heat system, of course. The main heat for the bedrooms came from fireplaces and the wood stove in the kitchen was a major source. Later, the living room area was heated by a wood burning heater. Gas heaters were added in the 50’s and window air conditioning was to come. If you wanted to be warm, get near the heat source. A floor furnace fueled by propane was to come later.

My grandmother would put one of the smoothing irons in front of the fire and get it warm. When she got ready for bed, she would wrap the iron in a towel and put it under the cover at the foot to keep her feet warm.

The farmhouse had old windows with little or no sealing to keep in the heat or out the cold. The fireplaces were allowed to burn down at night for safety. It got cold inside if it was cold outside. I have seen ice on the inside of the windows! Yep, inside!

My father’s parent’s farmhouse was about the same. It had a wood stove and fireplace but they had to wait until the REA came to get electricity. No Delco plant was used there as it was at my mother’s family home. They did have the advantage of being on an ice truck route and could buy some for the icebox once or twice a week when the Heath Ice Company truck from Macon came by. They later moved to a big rambling farm house closer to Macon with huge porches and massive barns and outbuildings. It was all blown away in the early 1950’s by a tornado and fortunately they had moved by then.

The cover on the beds was multiple layers of very heavy quilts. So heavy that once you were in place, you were not likely to move. They kept you warm and you kept everything under the covers including your head. No heat in the room after dark except what could be gained from the coals in the fireplace. Pray you did not need to get up during the night!

Yes, these house were cold, drafty, old and without a lot of frills. But they had something that more than made up for it: a warmth that came in the form of love shown to everyone who walked the drafty rooms and hallways. There was plenty of that to go around and it more than made up for the other things that were in short supply.

My father’s parents left the farming business about 1951 or so and my grandfather became a civil servant with a small garden at his home in Macon.

My mother’s parents got married in 1915 and lived in that old house until they both died there. My grandfather died in 1960 and my grandmother in 1972. That drafty old house was never the same after they passed away. It was just an old and drafty place that had been made warm, cozy and welcoming by their generous supply of affection. A place of fried apple pies, fried chicken and dumplings and ambrosia so sweet it would take your breath away at Christmas. I would love to have a little bowl right now! There was always something under their tree for every grandchild.

I would love to hear Poppa say, “Come here sugar and kiss me bye before you go.” I wouldn’t even be embarrassed by it now!

JC © 2017

Bent Nails


Bent Nails

A while back my neighbor, who is near my age, stopped me on my walk. He was outside looking over some work being done on his house and had something in his hand.
He came over and held out his hand to show me what he was holding and asked if I knew what I was supposed to do with the items. I told him I did and he was surprised.
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Beginners Luck

Beginner’s Luck

 We’ve all heard of it and some of us have experienced it once or twice in our life: Beginner’s Luck. It is one of those things that can “make a Preacher Cuss” when it occurs and all the “old pros” are made to look foolish by some upstart.

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Deer Tracks


DEER  TRACKS

It’s that time again in Georgia and, I guess, most of the Southeast: its deer season! It’s that time when normally sane, rational thinking, hard working, and reliable men, women, and children are prone to do some things they normally would only do if someone was pointing a gun at them. For example, getting up at 4:30 in the morning when its 28 Degrees and going out to sit in a deer stand in the woods all day, freezing their butts off. Climbing up a slick, poorly constructed tree ladder to sit on a 2′ wide hard seat for hours without moving. Of course, today they have the store bought climbing stands and shooting houses with propane heaters. But you get the drift.
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The Drift Boat Detective

The Drift Boat Detective
A Novel By Jerome Chapman

          The first book in The Drift Boat Detective series is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com.,Kindle E BooksBooks A Million, Target and your local independent book sellers.

Paperback $16.99 **************Nook and Kindles  $3.99!!!

And all your local book sellers!

FIND THE BOOK AT:

The Book Exchange, Canton Rd. Marietta

The Book Shelf, Broad St., Thomasville, Ga.

Initial reviews have been good from both male and female readers.

Russell Baker is a happy man with a good job as a Detective on the Cobb County Police Department. But when his wife dies, he loses his way and moves to Bozeman, Montana, the place he met his wife Sarah. He sets out to find himself again.

After discovering a murder victim on the Madison River, he is dragged back into police work. He finds murderers, crooked cops, drug dealers, and the beautiful Nancy and the lovely Miriam. And, he finds himself.

You will find love, murder, and redemption.
Please check us out at:
WWW.Driftboatdetective.com. And, like us on Facebook!

Subsurface: UNSEEN QUARRY

A New Drift Boat Detective Novel

Available Now!

A new challenge for Russell Baker, The Drift Boat Detective, as he takes clues in bits and pieces and hunts for the people who shot the Madison County Sheriff.

Sewing Machines

Sewing Machines

Do you remember sewing machines? Ever used one? Did they have them in your house growing up? In just about all the homes I went in as a kid down in Sandy Point you would find many common items; stoves, fireplaces, porches, wells, a home remedy stock pile, a family Bible, a steamer trunk, shotgun, and a box for stove wood and one for kindling. The list goes on and on. Most homes also had, set up in some prominent place, a sewing machine. If I went around my neighborhood today I doubt I would find a single one. I still see them in Walmart and Sears so I know some people still buy them and, of course, use them.

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Buzzards & A Well Don’t Mix

Buzzards

( Unintended Consequences )

Sometimes, things do not work out the way we planned. Or, more correctly, we do stuff without having any plan at all. And, certainly, with no thought as to the possible outcome or consequences. Stuff just happens, they say.
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2X Kinda Day

 

2X Kinda Day

 Something I never did in Sandy Point was fly fish. I did have a rod and reel that I guess may have come from Western Auto and it had a braided line that always seemed to be fouled up. I had never heard of 2X Tippets and Leaders. I Knew nothing about a fly rod or lines. More fish were caught with a cane pole, a cork bobber, and some night crawlers or crickets. You would see several members of a family headed to a pond, lake, creek or river with the long cane poles sticking out of pickup truck or tied to the top of the car and they would spend an afternoon fishing.

There were no Yeti Coolers and sometimes only a jug of water that was put in the water in the shade to keep from getting too hot. Bait was dug up out back near the chicken coop or cow pen and put in an old coffee can. Bait and tackle shops were for the rich people.

There was no “catch and release”. It was all catch, cook and eat. Sometimes the smallest fish was kept.

Most of the places that people now take for granted did not exist back in that time. Lake Tobesofkee near Macon was not around until about 1967. Lake Sinclair near Milledgeville was created in 1953. Lake Sinclair was where I rode in my first power boat as far as I can remember. Lake Lanier was still filling up when I moved to Gainesville in 1963. We had a small farm pond built in about 1954 on some farm program and we stocked it with fish. Mostly bream. The springs that fed that small pond have long since dried up and so has the pond.

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