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Mom found this empty 1942 UGA student football season ticket book in a batch of letters kept by my grandmother:

The University of Georgia Department of Athletics Student Ticket Season 1942-43

In 1942, UGA played only 3 home games in its home stadium

THIS BOOK IS VOID IF PICTURE IS DEFACED

Dink graduated in the class of 1943. Back in her day, students were sold these books of paper tickets (face value of 85¢) redeemable at the box office for a real ticket. Student tickets were only raised to $10 in the 2018 season. To the university's credit, that's less than the price of inflation. (Eighty-five cents in 1942 is over $13 today.) Sanford Stadium has been expanded eight times since 1942, when it only held 30,000 fans. It now seats over 93,000, so I suspect they're making up that lost value in volume.

If an empty ticket book seems like a strange keepsake, keep in mind that UGA won a national title in 1942 behind the incredible backfield tandem of Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi. For the record, this was the outcome of those games:

September 25 Jacksonville Naval Air Station, W 14–0,
October 3 Furman, W 40–7,
October 17 Tulane, W 40–0,
October 31 Alabama (ranked #3), W 21–10,
November 7 Florida, W 75–0,
November 21 Auburn, L 13–27,
November 28 Georgia Tech (ranked #2), W 34–0

I never knew that my grandmother attended every home game that season, and Dink died before I went to Athens, so she never knew I would one day have season tickets to our shared alma mater. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll eventually get to see a national championship season myself. I think she'd like that.

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We welcome the 13th Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month with the UGA home opener!

First things first, today's season opener was quite possibly the hottest game I've ever attended. Thermometer said 95°, but I'm positive that it was much hotter in the direct sun. Mom was particularly affected, and rather than tempt a case of heatstroke, we left halfway through the second quarter. That's by far the earliest I've ever departed the stadium. Of course, by then, UGA was up 24-0 on the helpless Austin Peay Governors, so it didn't fell like I was missing much. (Final score would be 45-0. The game was so lopsided and the heat so bad that the teams agreed to skip playing the last 5 minutes of the fourth quarter. Even the teams went home early.)

The game was notable for another reason: the debut of the offseason renovation to Sanford Stadium, complete with a new locker room, larger video monitor, and revision to the pregame ritual. Players now enter the field from the west endzone.

All that's nice, sure, but I personally found a more notable change to be that the television time-out official now holds up a large digital timer that lets fans know exactly how much longer the time out will last. That's an improvement, but given the weather conditions, it felt like I was looking at an oven timer telling me how much longer until I was done cooking.

Most of you reading this know that I spent the entire offseason debating whether I wanted to continue purchasing UGA season tickets. The school has capitalized on its SEC championship and national second-place finish by making a naked cash grab, including increasing ticket prices by 50%. With the season finally underway, I feel I need to get twice the enjoyment from my games to justify the price. Did I do that today? Yeah, I probably did. If nothing else, it was a unique experience I wouldn't have gotten on my couch.

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Mom woke me up at the crack of 11AM yesterday, and we went to watch a Civil War re-enactment. Specifically, we went to see "The Battle of the Woods" at historic Brown's Mill battlefield in Coweta County, Georgia.

I shore would like a bite of yore apple, ma'am.

The site is famous for a short battle that took place there in July 1864 between Federal forces led by Brigadier General McCook and Major General Wheeler's Confederate cavalry. Wheeler's ambush led to a rout, and over a thousand Union soldiers were captured at the cost of only 50 Confederate lives. The battle has been credited with forcing General Sherman to abandon his strategy of cavalry raids in favor of a more direct siege of Atlanta. Call it a slow-burning pyrrhic victory.

Not that I knew any of that before yesterday. The Civil War isn't exactly a particular interest of mine. It's not exactly in Mom's wheelhouse, either. She was just looking for an excuse to go for a walk in the woods in some unseasonably cool weather.

Anyway, describing what we saw yesterday as a "re-enactment" is not entirely accurate. There were men in period-appropriate clothing with era-appropriate weapons all right, but they weren't really re-enacting anything specifically, at least not while we were there. (We got there a little late.) They demonstrated their weapons, military drills, and medicine, and they answered a lot of questions from the crowd, so it was more like an interactive lecture.

Even though I was groggy from sleep deprivation, I admit it was interesting to see history in action. And it certainly makes you stop and wonder at how things have changed in the past 154 years.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some sleep to catch up on.

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"One of Superman's powers," read the crossword puzzle clue.

"That's too vague," I said. "Superman has, like, every power. That's why they call him Superman." Looking up from the paper, I asked my mother, "What power do you think of when I say 'Superman'?"

She thought about this for a minute then answered, "X-ray vision."

I was surprised. "That's the first power that comes to mind? He's stronger than a locomotive, faster than a bullet, and he can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He can fly. In addition to telescopic and microscopic vision, he also has super senses of hearing, touch, and smell. He has heat vision and cold breath. His brain processes information faster than a computer. He can throw his voice with super-ventriloquism. He has such incredible control of his muscles, he can change his physical appearance at will. He can vibrate through solid objects and travel through time. He can kiss you so hard, you forget stuff. And he is never, ever wrong. Despite all that, the first power that comes to your mind when you think of Superman is his ability to see through stuff?"

Mom nodded. "Yep."

I'll be damned if that wasn't the right answer for the crossword puzzle.

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Preparation H earned some notoriety in 2016 with an advertisement introducing America to the town of Keister, Minnesota. Their latest commercial features a town named Tookus.

Unlike Keister, Tookus is, as you can see in the screencap above, a "Fictional Town." Seeing that, I wondered to myself, if Tookus is fictional, where did they film it?

If you look closely, you'll see the street signs in the background reference U.S. 23 and Georgia Highway 42. Turns out, that's the intersection of Keys Ferry Street and Macon Street. Tookus is in downtown McDonough, Georgia!

My Mother's maternal family hails from just outside McDonough in a little place called Kelleytown (which has a surprisingly thorough Wikipedia entry). In fact, the family still owns some land out there. So if you're ever passing through Tookus, look us up.

UPDATE 2018-07-21: I'm watching Smokey and the Bandit, and what do I see but this intersection! About 15 minutes in, Bandit evades a state patrolman by hiding his Trans Am right where the camera would be placed for this commercial. McDonough looked pretty much the same in 1979, though that cafe behind the "officer" didn't exist yet. See the screenshot at atlantatimemachine.com.

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Mom and I watched these movies together in June:

111. (1340.) Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery (2015)
112. (1341.) Murder, She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery (2016)
116. (1345.) Murder, She Baked: A Deadly Recipe (2016)
117. (1346.) Murder, She Baked: Just Desserts (2017)

There are five Murder, She Baked movies, all based on the Hannah Swensen series of mystery novels by Joanne Fluke. Mom had read several of the novels, though none that were the basis for these movies.

The obvious "Murder, She Wrote" connection is intentional. These were made for the Hallmark family of television channels, and they do have a very "television" vibe to them. The first is the worst, as the template there feels like a daytime soap opera. However, the others all have a different director and feel much more movie-like. They reminded me of the directorial style Twilight series, which I would call competent if not showy (or especially noteworthy). Things like setting and continuity are almost afterthoughts.

Hannah isn't as good a detective as she is a baker, but she's not up against The Maltese Falcon. Most of these films tip their hands early, and none of the solutions came as a surprise. But solving the crimes isn't really the point. The movies spend most of their time focusing on Hannah, her family, and most importantly, her love life as she vacillates between Mike the policeman and Norman the dentist. (For the record, I rooted for the dentist.)

Recommended for those who enjoy the cozy mystery genre and spending a rainy evening with a mystery that won't tax the little gray cells.

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I think my mother might be trying to gaslight me.

She tells me that I eat too much white bread. Every day when I wake up and go to the refrigerator for milk, she warns me "you're almost out of bread." When I look, she's right. There are only a few pieces left.

How can that be? When last I went shopping, I bought a loaf of Sunbeam Giant, enough bread to choke a horse. I've had the occasional peanut butter and honey sandwich for dinner — most of you would call it a "midnight snack" — but that's only a couple of slices in the past week.

Where's my bread going? Am I sleep eating? Does bread evaporate overnight? Or, as I suspect, is my mother throwing the slices away one at a time in a devious plan to get me to eat multigrain?

I'm on to you, Mom. You'll not trick me. White bread for life!

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Walking through Oak Hill Cemetery last week with Mom and the girls, we passed the burial plot for J.W.A. and Zippora Rowland. As you can see, only one of them was buried there.

You'll note that there is no death date for Zippora, though the engraver presumed it would happen sometime in the 20th century. That marker visible on the bottom right isn't for her, it's J.W.A.'s. Why is his body on Zippora's side of the bed? That's just the tip of the iceberg of what I don't know about Zippora. Who was she, and why isn't she buried along with her name? Of course this made me curious, so I did a little Googling.

It seems J.W.A. Rowland lived most of his life not in Newnan but in Bowdon in neighboring Carroll County. I don't know what he did for a living, but the Carroll Free Press of the late 19th century reports that he was the initial vice president of the Carroll County Chorus Choir Association. (That meeting appears to have been in the Shiloh UMC building which still stands halfway between Carrollton and Bowdon.) Still in Bowdon in 1892, he was witness on a U.S. Patent application for Ocran D. Bunt's plow fender (patent #467853). "James W.A. Rowland" appears as a 72 year old man living in Newnan, GA by the time of the 1920 census. Nearer his death, he was a co-plaintiff in a 1921 lawsuit against the Central of Georgia Railway Company in which he won $250. (They were riding in a buggy "when the mule drawing it ran away and threw them out," causing injuries. It's not clear what role the railroad played, but the court said they were guilty.)

None of those references mention Zippora.

Zippora Rowland does show up in the 1930 census as a 62-year-old woman living in Newnan, GA. "Zippora" was never a popular name, but I don't find any reference to her in the local papers of the era.

So whatever happened to Zippora? Did she remarry? Did she die somewhere else, and no one knew to bring her back to Newnan where her marker was waiting for her? I like to think she's still alive somewhere, enjoying the good life on her sesquicentennial birthday. Here's to you, Zippora!

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No time like the present to get a jump on March movies watched, so let's get started!

39. (1268.) An American in Paris (1951)
Should I have seen this movie before now? Yes. Am I disappointed I waited so long? No. Music, set design, and choreography are great. But Gene Kelly plays his usual, self-centered asshole, and I just don't really like spending time with him.

40. (1269.) The Cisco Kid and the Lady (1939)
Not so long ago, Mom pointed out that the relationship between The Cisco Kid and his sidekick Pancho were the template for Hanna-Barbera's Quick Draw McGraw and his sidekick Baba Looey. That led me to this Caesar Romero western/comedy that was actually quite charming.

41. (1270.) Pixels (2015)
Frankly, it's not as bad as all the reviews make it out to be, but that could be partly because I wasted too much time (and too many quarters) in video arcades in the 1980s and am tolerant of many of the film's indulgences. Don't mistake that previous sentence as an endorsement. The editing is terrible and the movie-watching experience would be better if you walked out before the ridiculously stupid third act started. All I'm saying is it isn't The Worst Movie Ever™ as some critics have portrayed it. (I *still* say that's Armageddon.)

42. (1271.) Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
I loved, loved, loved the first half of this movie. The pace congeals somewhat in the second half, adding Rihanna's character is a huge mistake, and it really should have been called Valerian and Lauraline (Cara Delevingne is actually the best part of the entire movie), but the action-packed sci-fi of the first half is alone worth the whole price of admission.

43. (1272.) Darkest Hour (2017)
Damn, can Gary Oldman act! I had to remind myself it wasn't actually Churchill appearing in this biography. Totally worth a watch.

More to come.

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The 2018 Winter Olympic Games may have come and gone, but they didn't stop the movie watching. Here's batch 2 for February.

26. (1255.) The Foot Fist Way (2006)
The movie that made Danny McBride a star! Actually, I think that may have been Pineapple Express, but this was earlier. It's exactly the sense of humor you've come to expect from McBride, so if you generally think his movies/TV shows are funny, here's some more. (Personally, I waffle. I think McBride's persona is entertaining in ensemble casts, but I can only take so much of his signature self-absorbed abrasiveness in one sitting.)

27. (1256.) Inside Out (2015)
Mom loved this movie, but I was only lukewarm. Too much touchy-feely for Walter, I suspect. The only time I was really captivated was when we got a look inside other people's heads at their control crews. To clarify: good movie well made, just not to my tastes.

28. (1257.) Congratulations, It's a Boy! (1971)
Bill Bixby plays the antithesis of his usual, responsible adult as a spoiled playboy discovering a grown son he didn't know he had. (Mom named the boy after Bixby's character, but told the son that dad was dead. That's some great parenting.) There is a subplot involving Bixby's overbearing parents' mistakenly thinking that their son and their grandson are in a homosexual relationship, but that's too little too late to save an otherwise dull affair.

29. (1258.) Rapture-Palooza (2013)
I don't usually like end-of-the-world movies, but this slapstick comedy wasn't so bad, perhaps because darling Anna Kendrick was there cushion the blow that everyone's living in Hell on Earth.

30. (1259.) The Ultimate Warrior (1975)
This is not about the WWF superstar wrestler but Yul Brynner's rather boring attempt to save Max von Sydow's post-apocalyptic commune. Yawn. (It could have used some Anna Kendrick.)

31. (1260.) Meet Wally Sparks (1997)
Golly, I remember this movie getting a lot of bad press on initial release. I can understand why, although if you're attending a Rodney Dangerfield comedy, you shouldn't be expecting Citizen Kane. It's not worse than any Chris Farley or Adam Sandler movie of the same era. Plus, in part because the movie spends most of its time lampooning the Southern manners of the citizens of the Great State of Georgia, it's got Coke!

Drink Coke! (Wally Sparks)
None of these kids is Wally Sparks.

More to come.

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To be continued...

 

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