In the 1960’s there was a popular television series called TheBeverly Hillbillies. In it Uncle Jed, a poor mountaineer, lived a peaceful, mediocre life in the mountains before striking it rich one day. That day was when “Texas Tea” bubbled up from his ground when he was shootin’ at some food. On moving to “Californy”, he and his family found a whole new world of swimmin’ pools and movie stars.
Similar to the Hillbillies, my good friend “Coconut Pete” moved to Florida where he found a whole new life in which he could go back in time to a simpler way of living the way Florida used to be.
One of his favorite hangouts is “Bert’s Bar and Grill” in Matlacha where every Saturday evening turtle races are held. This is my story about Coconut Pete’s favorite saying “enjoying mediocrity” and the turtle races at Bert’s.
Several months ago I began my ongoing tale about the exploits of my brother and several of his neighbors to grow giant pumpkins in their North Carolina neighborhood. This blog story is the final one in the series about the adventures of the pumpkin growers and their gourds.
During the past five years I have blogged about my adventures and observations of places, people and their cultures. To my surprise, my stories have been read by people in 73 countries around the world!
The worker statue in Mijas Pueblo in Spain reminds me that most of my stories sprang from adventures and explorations. These adventures began on the side of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Southern Spain.
This story, my 100th, is like a fireworks display… lighting up the sky with brilliant flashes with loud blasts! It commemorates those stories that I find most enjoyable.
This story is dedicated to those who have encouraged and inspired me to write and to those who read what I have written.
If you asked me, there are interesting happenings going on in Loretta Buettner’s garden in Flat Rock, North Carolina. In Part I of this ongoing saga, I told you about my brother growing giant pumpkins in his front yard. He is not alone in his community.
It turns out that growing these behemoths is a really big deal! Take a look at this video!
One of the characteristics I see in Loretta and Terry Buettner’s giant pumpkin “Hope” is the symmetry of the gourd. If this baby continues to grow at the rate it has been, I think that the next Cinderella’s carriage pumpkin could be in the works!
My brother Dave is a bit eccentric like Doc Emmett Brown from Back to the Future. Like Doc Brown, Dave is an intelligent inventor. Dave has several ambitious, ongoing projects like bouncing radio signals off the moon, developing radio communications using lightbulbs as antennae, and communicating with the International Space Station.
When Dave is involved in a project he does the research and becomes very knowledgeable. Often he pushes boundaries of “the envelope.” Growing giant pumpkins is one of his intense projects. This story is Part I about this 2019 adventure.
Years ago I was intrigued watching an historic church’s cemetery being removed. Although I knew nobody buried in this particular cemetery, it saddened me to think that a parcel of land deemed to be sacred as a “final resting place” for an earthly body had been identified as being more useful to those above ground.
It was even more striking to me when it became apparent later that the need to reuse the cemetery plot was for a parking lot for a Burger King.
I had long forgotten about this particular occurrence in my life until recently I learned of an even more dramatic (at least to me it is dramatic) similar event which occurred in Hendersonville, North Carolina, where I now reside.
Having moved to Laurel Park near Hendersonville in Western North Carolina’s “Blue Ridge Mountains,” I shouldn’t be surprised by the number of places given names for “rocks” such as “Flat Rock,” “Jump Off Rock” and “Chimney Rock.”
But I have been surprised; each has an interesting history connected with it. This blog story is about these rock formations and the stories about them… stories which have been passed between generations of Native Americans and others living in these beautiful mountains.
In the past several years I have traveled throughout several European countries and grew fond of really great coffee. I believe that most people have not experienced the aroma and smooth taste of truly great coffee.
It isn’t that I think of myself as a connoisseur or an advocate of beans from specific places throughout the world. I also don’t believe I am a snob because I rather enjoy a cappuccino or a latte than a cup of black Americano.
This story is about exceptionally great coffee with a particular emphasis on cafes and coffee in Europe. Like the one in this photo inside Cafe Konditorei in Vienna, Austria, many European cafes sell delicious pastries along with exceptional coffee. Fantastic coffee, pastries and food are also found at the famous Cafe Central, also in Vienna
As a recent Yankee transplant to North Carolina, I have learned about the loyalty people of the “Tar Heel State” have for their preferred brand of slow cooked pork barbecue.
There are two primary variations of North Carolina barbecue. “Lexington Style” (sometimes referred to as “Piedmont Style”) claims to be the best barbecue in the world.
North Carolinians living along the Atlantic coastal areas eat more “Eastern Style” pork barbecue. And they have a different point of view about this “world’s best” claim.
My story, however, is not to draw distinction to barbecue preferences but rather is about my recent visit to the 35th Annual Barbecue Festival held in Lexington, NC… the legendary world capital of slow cooked barbecue.