Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Remembering Rosemary

 Rosemary Hill grew up across the street from me in a little mill town called Startex. It’s the kind of place that no longer exists today… a time of innocence… a time of community… a time of days gone by.  The textile mill there is gone now and Startex Elementary is no longer a school.  

Rosemary and I were quite good friends during our elementary school days even through the strange age when it was no longer cool to like girls. Rosemary was an only child but she would sometimes  come over to play during the day when we were still quite young. Both of her parents worked and my mother seemed to be one of the few on the mill hill there that did not work… and so I reckon her mother must have thought it was ok for her spend time with us.  

Rosemary was both smart and motivated to excel in school. Funny... the things you remember…  round about the sixth grade... due to her being in the top of the class.... she and a few others were helping the teacher somehow with the results of IQ tests we had taken.  They dont normally tell you the results of these tests but somehow she was privy to the results and shared with some of us that had done well. I had done well but I was the type of person who really never applied myself to normal schooling but I had a great curiosity with how things worked and studied and experimented with things in my dads shop.  In the fourth grade I made a primitive electric motor for a science fair project. I had seen a picture of one in a science book. It  actually ran and was powered by a toy train transformer that I had.  Hard to imagine growing up without access to all the things my dad had in the shop.

But this is about Rosemary and I have had two dreams about her recently… one several years ago and one last night which motivated me to commit this to words. Rosemary excelled in high school and graduated at the top of the class and went on to do the same in college. She went on to marry a dentist here in Spartanburg and became fairly active politically and was even head of the Spartanburg republican party for a time.  I reached out to her and chatted with her by phone a couple of times but really never saw her again.  

The first dream was sort of odd... we ran into each other at some sort of event and we were both very well dressed… which is a bit odd for I’m rarely well dressed these days.  We were reminiscing and wondering around trying to figure out where we were and where we were going. It soon became apparent that we were at the Republican National Convention.  For a time shortly after that I wanted to reach out to her and tell her about the dream but I never really got around to it.

Sadly not too long ago I learned that Rosemary had passed away and I regretted not having reached out to her.

My most recent dream was just last night and it too was a political event of some kind but more on a high school level .  It was a bit of a raucous affair and for some reason I seemed to be the target of some animosity and was not faring so well.  It was about that time I spotted Rosemary and approached her and told her how glad I was that  she was still with us as I had heard that was no longer the case.  Our reunion was cut short as my tormentors were still on my trail.

Not sure what it means when you dream that someone is after you and you can't seem to get away. Thankfully I woke up about that time and was relieved to learn it was all a dream.

Rest in Peace Rosemary for you live on in our memories and our dreams.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Another Road Trip

 I made another road trip shortly after the one to Bath to buy this beauty. It also serves to remind me just how old I'm getting. Stitch and glue type boats like this one used to be kind of new... 30 or more years ago... I've always been of bit of a boat nut and followed Phil Bolger and Dynamite Payson and a bunch of other folks that were designing boats made using this technique. One that I always admired was the Whisp by Steve Redmond. I found one last fall that was again on the NC Coast near Wilmington, NC.  It was late in the season when I bought it and just put it in the water for the first time this year.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Road Trip to the Home of Blackbeard

I have always been a little crazy about boats and boating. My folks had a place on the lake when I was growing up and helped my dad build two boats. The destination for this trip was to Bath NC which was the home of Blackbeard. It is a very small town on the Pamlico River which is part of the Pamlico sound... a huge area protected by the outer banks. Lots of farmland once you get away from the coast. There was one plant in abundance that was in bloom that I did not recognize. Turns out it was cotton. The Upstate of SC was once dominated by cotton mills and yet I had never seen a cotton plant.

The ghost of Blackbeard is reported to wonder about the area in search of his long lost head. I went to look at the boat below which is a crab skiff built on Harkers Island. you could sail it, row it, or use the motor. It is well suited to the area and sorry to say that I was not able to complete a deal on this boat. 

But I am planning a return trip to the area.

Another reason for the trip was to visit the River Rat Yacht club over on the Pungo River side of the peninsula that is also the home of Bath. 

I had connected with a guy who lives aboard a sailboat there and has quite an extensive cruising background... was lucky enough to get a few hours out on the water in one of his boats. 

The famed River Rat Yacht Club... It's in the sticks for sure.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

2020... One for the record books

I went to Myrtle Beach... Ocean Lakes to be exact... thanks to a freebie place to stay for a few days. My first time there and the first time to Myrtle Beach this century. I really don't remember the last time I was there but most of my coastal adventures in recent years have been to the NC Coast. Beaufort, Oriental, New Bern and a few others. There is a huge procession of golf carts of all kinds each evening. Here are a few pics from this trip that I call

 Ocean Lakes After Dark.

Sunday, February 9, 2020


2020 has a bit of a futuristic tone to it and I'm a little surprised I have made it this far... it's no longer a futuristic dream but now a reality. I've been watching some of Ken Burns Country Music episodes... and one that particularly resonates with me covers the 68 to 72 time frame. It covers my high school days and just after and is now over 50 years ago. It covers part of the Vietnam era... it covers Kris Kristofferson's early days, Bob Dylan in Nashville playing with Johnny Cash. Early days of  Willie Nelson when he wore suits and had funny hair. It winds up with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Will the Circle be Unbroken. It seems so long ago and it seems like only yesterday. A time when I knew it all and thought I would live forever.... and now when I realize how little I know and wonder where the time went and just how much longer I'll be around.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Horse Power Plow Day

Went up to Warren Wilson  college a few days ago to check out Plow Day. It was a little on the toasty side and the ground was a bit too hard for a lot of the teams including the team owned by the school. It was supposed to be their last event but they stayed in the barn I reckon. There were a few teams that did a little clod busting for the folks who showed up.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Its Alive

Just needed a new spark plug to get this engine running... with no load on them... they are coasting most of the time until it slows down enough to release the latch holding the exhaust valve open and allowing it to fire after which it goes back to coasting. Thats why they call them hit and miss engines. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Hit and Miss

The latest project here under the Shadetree is this old hit and miss engine. It's on what's left of an old Economy Tractor. We'll have this thing popping and hopping real soon. These things are a blast to hear run. They are quite primitive with nothing mechanical operating the intake valve. The only thing that opens it is the vacuum created by the intake stroke thats sucks the valve open and draws in air and gasoline.

It has a governor that controls the speed of the engine by holding the exhaust valve open and the engine freewheels until it slows down enough to let the exhaust valve operate. It will then fire once or twice and go back to coasting. That's where the hit and miss moniker comes from.

Monday, January 7, 2019

A Ride Back in Time

My friend Clarence recently acquired this very cool truck… which I actually found on facebook ads. It was ready to roll right from the gitgo πŸ˜‰ has a few minor issues but has taken us around Little Mountain a few times now. Working on the ahooogah horn…amazing that you can get new brushes for that right online. Didn’t need brushes though… it has an ungrounded motor inside and requires two leads to make it work… it was missing one but still had the original connectors inside… quite amazing.

Monday, December 17, 2018

2018 in Review

2018 has been a bit hectic... and my blog a bit neglected... I'm going to end 2018 about the same way I started this year with a return to the handyman proa. It been taking up space in a shop that belongs to my good friend Clarence Gibbs. The shop now has heat and air and a pretty good start on the tools needed to become the center of  handyman festivities. I need to make a call on the proa project to either get it on the water or get it out of the way and move on to something else. I'm moving my home automation related posts to  Electrick Handyman. I recently discovered upython that can be installed on ESP 32 and the 8266. I also finally broke down and got a Raspberry Pi... it's a full blown computer on a card with a linux variant operating system and it can run a program called Node-Red which is a cool tool for allowing the ESP 32 and other devices to communicate with each other using the mosquito or msqtt protocol. I will be posting updates on that undertaking on Electrick Handyman as well.