Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Life and Times of Jasper Lee Anderson

Imagine this for a moment.

Pretend you have a twenty-five year old son or brother and you just received news that he was in a motorcycle wreck. The report indicates that his left arm was completely severed between the shoulder and elbow at the wreck scene and his left leg is badly broken.

This is the shocking news received by Jasper and Elvira Anderson, the parents of 25 year old J. Lee Anderson.

The year was 1941 and Lee was in route from Dozier, NC to Fort Bragg, NC where he worked as a Licensed Chauffeur for defense-work underway there. Lee's father Jasper, his brother Jim, and his brother-in-law Jack Bodenhamer, also worked there as carpenters who helped to build barracks for war preparation. All of them lived in a large white boarding house in Sanford which was owned by a family with the last name Coe.

As Lee reached Sanford, an oncoming car and his motorcycle got too close and side-swiped each other. The motorcycle crashed all over the road spilling Lee and his passenger. The unknown passenger was killed. Lee was lying in the road with a badly broken leg and his left arm completely severed.

The car driver stopped and ran back to the scene to see the bodies. He returned to his car and drove away-never to be heard from to help explain the accident.

A patrolman arrived at the scene and said to Lee, "I'll get you some help!" Lee responded "No, let me die because I can't live without my arm." The officer proceeded to get help from a doctor who lived along side the road where the accident happened. Lee was hurried to the hospital where it was determined that his arm could not be re-attached.

As news about Lee spread among his siblings: John, Leota, Jim, Della, Nettie, Buford, Bess, Ann, Worth, Pat, and Beatrice, an overwhelming sadness and fear settled over this family. In an instant, Lee's life was changed forever. Prior to this tragic accident, he was single and popular, vocationally skilled, and strong.

During the coming days and weeks, I'm going to show pictures and write about the life of my Uncle Lee. The next fifty-two years of Lee's life was nothing less than courageous and heroic.

Return here Thursday to see pictures and learn about this special man.

Have a good day!


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Memorial Day, observe it

I Pledge Allegiance

to the flag,

of the United States of America,

and to the republic,

for which it stands,

one nation,

under God,


with liberty and justice,

for all

We recite this pledge at the beginning of each school day. Sometimes when we finish, I will say something like this to the class:

"What we just did was show respect to our mother and father, our grandparents and to all our ancestors. All those people who worked hard, made sacrifices, and devoted themselves to their families and this country. You and I are beneficiaries of their efforts.

You did not construct this school building or pave the road you traveled to get here. The collective efforts of our society and its governance provide all that surrounds us. You are now participants with obligations to learn and build on a foundation so you can contribute to the future.

Even if your ancestors were "sharecroppers", as some of mine were, or even if they were slaves, we especially need to respect their sacrifices for the good we enjoy today."

Now, our class assignment today is .............

The next time you have the opportunity to recite the pledge, I urge you to stand straight, place hand over heart, and say it without timidity.

Have a good week!

The next post will be Tuesday, May 30 when I begin showing pictures and writing about the life and times of J. Lee Anderson.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Persimmon is a fruit bearing tree that usually doesn't grow to be large. Persimmon grows slowly and is characterized by bark with deep crevices. The wood is extremely hard and was used to make golf club heads before light weight metals were developed.

The fruit from the tree is eaten by raccoon and other animals. Some people make pies from this fruit after it ripens following fall frosts.

A good friend of mine harvested this tree from a homeowner who no longer wanted this persimmon tree near his house. We milled these four logs into boards for furniture building plans. Previously, this friend built a "chimney bookcase" from persimmon and it sold for a handsome price.

The wood is yellow with random black spots or streaks when freshly sawed. After curing the yellow turns to a dull brown while the black spots remain. Hand-crafted, custom-made furniture pieces made from unusual wood is desirable to some people who like unique, high quality furniture.

The pictures here show the logs, the process of milling, and my friend's trailer loaded with lumber and slabs.

Have a good day!


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"A Man in Full"

I invested about 15 hours reading A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe. This 742 page, 1998 novel is about the culture and lifestyle of a rich and powerful industry tycoon, a bank that extended loans to his company, and a rising basketball star who was accused of raping the daughter of a prominent family in Atlanta. The setting is in and around the city of Atlanta with interplay between lawyers, bankers, politicians, and the poor and upper classes.

One of the most notable memories I'll have of this book is the workout session between Charlie Croker, founder and CEO of Croker Global Foods, and Roger Peepgass, senior loan officer of PlannersBanc. As I read those pages, I laughed so long and hard that I paused to wipe my flooded eyes.

I've never read another book that brought me to laughter like some pages of this book.

Another amazement about this book is the extensive word usage by Mr. Wolfe and his knowledge to describe in infinite detail culture, history, personal characteristics, architecture, geography, and anything else you might suggest.

I've got to go now to return this book to the public library because it's five days past due.

Have a good day!


Monday, May 15, 2006


I almost always collect grass clippings when I mow my lawn. I combine these clippings with leaves I piled in one spot during the fall. The pile grows big throughout the year as I add watermelon rinds, tomato peel, etc to this compost.

In an effort to speed the decay process, I use my tractor and front-end loader to stir the pile two or three times per year. I also haul water from the spring in 55 gallon barrels and pour onto the pile. Water accelerates decomposition.

After about three years, I move the material onto my garden and till it into the existing dirt. The garden spot you've seen in previous pictures is the result of over twenty years of the above described process. I add lime and chemical fertilizer to grow our favorite garden plants.

Have a good day!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother's Day 2006

Dear Mom:

When I was in elementary school and you were a grade-mother, you came to school to help with parties for our class. I was so proud when my classmates could see your beauty. I thought," Wow, my mom sure is pretty."

As I grew, I noticed other characteristics in you like patience, your calm manner, and your devotion to Dad and us children. You seemed unflappable when faced with stresses of teenage children and demands of motherhood and marriage.

And then, you returned to school to get a nursing license which led to hospital employment to help Daddy with family expenses. You set a good example with the pursuit of continuing education to help your family get ahead.

You always kept calm as males in our family tooted the car horn to rush you along to go somewhere.

You probably know this already, but, you were a good example for me back then and the same is true today as we engage life and its challenges. I like hearing your perspective when we talk. I admire your attitude and manner. You always steer away from talking negatively about other people and you avoid gossip.

Thank you for the confidence you've had in me throughout the years and the continual encouragement you extend to me.

Because you don't have Internet access, I'll hard copy this message and deliver it to you today.

Happy Mother's Day



Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ever Seen This Done?

This is a maple log about 16" in diameter and 10' long. The ends have been painted to retard "checking".

I sawed this log into boards 5/4 and 8/4 thick, then put it together again.

The customer plans to build two beds from this lumber.

Have a good day!

This post has been corrected from the original where I reported it as cherry. I was mistaken, it's was maple.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Medal of Honor

My wife and I toured Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, NC on April 2nd of this year. It was a beautiful Sunday morning with many flowers, like azaleas, approaching their peak. While walking the trails and taking it all in, we ventured into the cemetery on these same grounds. One grave marker got my attention as the picture above shows. Most anything military gets my attention, especially, a grave indicating the person received this highest congressional medal awarded for heroism in war. Fewer than 3500 soldiers from all wars have received such an honor and I was interested in learning about John Edward George. I took this picture to remember the information to perform a search on the Internet when I returned home. There was a foot marker indicating his date of death which I failed to record, but it really didn't matter.

When I returned home, I searched the national registry of medal of honor recipients. My Internet search for John Edward George turned up Charles George born in Cherokee, NC in August 23, 1932. He earned the MOH when he was a Pfc in Korea. These two names are probably one in the same person. I was glad to come upon his grave and wonder about the person and his heroic actions.

Later I began to recall my readings about impostors who claim to be a war hero and tell folks about their military service and the medals they earned. Some stories, claims, and medals of men and women have been shown to be bogus. Many didn't even serve in the military.

There is a book titled Stolen Valor by B. G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley who wrote about well known persons who've made such false claims and display unearned medals.

There was an article in the Washington Post on April 30, 2006 titled Medal of Honor Among Thieves by Bill Poovey which reports that impostors far outnumber true heroes. There is one FBI agent in the bureau assigned to track suspected impostors.

Look back at the picture of Mr. George's grave marker and imagine the person who put himself in harms way to save those around him.

Have a good day!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Home Grown________

Most gardeners in my area have already planted their beans, corn, tomatoes, cabbage and so forth. As for me, I've decided to wait three or four weeks later to plant mine. Most years we rush to plant early in order to get home grown vegetables as soon as possible. However, this year, my wife and I are planning an extended vacation trip in the middle of the normal harvest period. My thinking is that by planting later the ripening of the mature tomatoes might start after we return. The above picture is the freshly plowed space I tilled with the Bush Hog tiller attachment to my Case International tractor. This will help keep the weed growth under control until planting time. Two passes with this wide tiller is all it takes to cover this space of 14 feet X 30 feet.

Have a good day!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Morning Walk

Many mornings I walk for exercise at C. G. Hill Memorial Park on Balsom Road. This park has two circular paved loops joined by a connecting trail. One complete pass around both loops and two passes along the connecting trail equals 0.98 miles as measured by my GPS device. A couple other regular walkers and I follow the gatekeeper as he opens the park at 7:00 AM during winter months and 6:30 AM during summer months.

One trail loops around the lake where we see Canada geese and other ducks every day. Last week we started to see a new brood of mallard baby ducks . The mother started with twelve and is now down to seven as you can see from the pictures here.

We often see deer near the upper loop and less frequently see or hear wild turkeys.

After a week of seeing the baby ducks, the number is down to five from twelve. I suppose predators or survival of the fittest may explain this.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


This picture is a rear view of our house one morning. The birch tree next to the deck is where my wife hangs three bird feeders. One containing suet, another with thistle, and the third with a supply of sunflower seed. We can reach these feeders from the deck to keep them re-filled with seeds.

Over the years we've seen many different species of birds, but last Saturday evening we saw a Rose- breasted Grosbeak. He stayed in the area long enough for us to get the camera and take the below photo.

Have you seen this species around your feeders?

Have a good day!

Monday, May 01, 2006

PO is Paul Orfalea

Kinko's is the nickname given to Paul Orfalea (OR-fah-la) and the name of the copy store he started in Santa Barbara, California in 1970.

Copy This!, by Paul Orfalea and coauthored by Ann Marsh, is the book where I learned the information I wrote in the previous postings.

Don't feel alone if you didn't know about Kinko's and its history. Before reading this book, I didn't know any of this and had never been inside a Kinko's copy store. My son-in-law's father worked at one Kinko's in Cincinnati for six years after he retired from another company and confirmed it was exciting and a great place to work.

A good friend, Tim Browder, sent me an email with the correct person's name the next day after my first posting. I was surprised. On a hunch he connected the nicknames and Kinko's store; he conducted Internet searches to arrive at the person for whom I was writing.
He did further reading about this man and decided to donate the $15.00 to a charity for dyslexic persons. Congratulations to Tim. My thanks to all of you who submitted guesses throughout the series.

Thank you for following this blog series. I hope you found Paul Orfalea's experiences enlightening. I urge you to read his book for much more insight. He is a good example of how someone with low test scores and near the bottom in class rank can still succeed in our country.

Have a good day!