Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ode to Aphids

You've come here to do battle
my little aphid fiends,
but in the end I'll getcha
by any mortal means.

In pow'dry fine white armies
you chew my plants to shreds.
Where are the winged predators
you nasty critters dread?

Those ladybugs have flown away
their plant-lice meal untouched.
I'm forced to fight with chemicals
and other toxic stuff.

I march out to my garden
with several cans of DEET
But then I stop. Consid'ring,
that all bugs gotta eat.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Food, Friends and a Fire Truck

Imagine the look of wonder and surprise on the faces of the neighborhood kids when they saw a big red fire truck roll up the street on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The children dropped their cans of silly string and Super Soakers long enough to watch the giant vehicle stop and park alongside a gathering of their parents and friends at the mid-May Ivey Chase Spring Block Party in Stone Creek.

Soon, three representatives of the LCFR (Lowndes County Fire Rescue) opened the truck's shiny red doors and hopped out to join the folks, as special guests at the neighborhood picnic.While the grown-ups wandered over to admire the array of high-tech equipment, children climbed aboard to get a good view of the dials, hoses, jump seats, and gear.

Tommy Crump, Sergeant on Duty, stacked his bunker gear on the tarmac in the at-the-ready position for everyone to see. When not in use, these clothes are turned inside out so a firefighter can quickly step into them and pull them on. Did you know that a firefighter must be able to get into his or her gear--including air tank and mask--in two minutes, in order to be certified?

"We love to meet and greet the community and let the people get a glimpse of our world. This way we can show them what we do in different situations," said Sgt. Crump.

"Often times we visit to educate and impress the children, but it's the adults who seem to enjoy it even more." Over the next hour, the firemen fielded lots of questions from the crowd and enjoyed discussing how they use specialized training and equipment to help the community.

"Being a firefighter involves a personal commitment to service that comes from the heart," said Joe Brown. Often, these teams are your first line of defense. They will even respond to EMS calls if no ambulance is available. "Sometimes, the action is non-stop. Whether it's putting out a fire or just helping grandpa back into bed, we do whatever we can to be of assistance," added Jeff Fitch. "Thank you for allowing us to come out to serve our customers."

After the getting a close-up look at the fire truck, everyone gathered to enjoy burgers and hot dogs hot off the grill and an assortment of homemade appetizers and desserts.

Making new friends with Lowndes County Firemen and checking out their mighty red truck was the highlight of the day.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Milltown Murals of Lakeland, GA

Once a year on the first Saturday in April, Lakeland,Georgia (formerly known as Milltown c. 1925) holds the Milltown Murals Motorcade. Here, vintage vehicles line up on Main Street for a dazzling two-hour parade through the streets of town. Drivers and spectators alike enjoy the old cars, refreshments, music, and games for the children.

After the crowd disperses and the last of the antique cars chug out of town, the dust settles and visitors are free to browse more than thirty murals painted on the walls of its historic downtown buildings. These images, with their life-size characters, depict the activities and actual people who lived in rural Georgia during the 1920s.

Artwork, like the gathering of folks in front of the Post Office, and the steam locomotive, cover the entire broadside of a building. Smaller ones, like the sepia-toned women, are only several feet square.
Outside of the doctor's office a man comforts a young fellow with a skinned knee.

Is that George Burns standing in front of the white chapel?

Children's facial expressions are well represented in the paintings; frowns, boredom, happy smiles.

Ralph Waldrop and Billy Love of Columbia, South Carolina began painting the murals in 1998. Each one is accompanied by a plaque describing the scene and the characters. Look for the display with a QR code so you can scan it with a QR reader to take the audio tour.

Stop by the Visitors Center located at 8 South Valdosta Road, for a map to learn more about the location of the individual paintings. Lakeland is the county seat of Lanier County in Southeast Georgia. Set your GPS and c'mon down. This community loves company, and the outdoor show never closes.