Saturday, July 09, 2005

State Park

--Thomas and Joretta Speelman offer the necessities for visitors at Chattahoochee State Park - drinks, hot dogs, chips, cane poles and bug spray.

They set up a concession tent each weekend on the far side of the park’s lake. The couple plan to camp at the park during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

"This is actually our second home down here," Thomas Speelman said.

Since it opened as a county-run facility, Chattahoochee State Park has seen a steady business for fishing and camping. Houston County signed a lease with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to take over operation of the park, located in the southeast corner of Houston County on State Highway 95. The state closed the park in October 2004 because it was losing roughly $50,000 a year on the park. The county has added two sandy-white beaches and has plans to install hookups for recreational vehicles and parking for horse trailers, designating certain trails for horse riding.

Houston County Engineer Mark Pool said the RV hookups and horse trails should be ready by fall. Pool said future plans also include a small pond for children.

"I think it’s a success," Pool said of the park. "We’ve got a lot of improvements still to make on it. So, it’s going to get better. I’m real excited about the way the public has utilized the park."

Chattahoochee State Park reopened on April 16 with the first weekend giving visitors free admittance. In April, the park generated $1,699 in entrance and other fees. For the month of May, the park took in $2,890. Entrance for adults is $2, and for children age 12 and under, it’s $1. Fishing costs $2 but is free for those age 12 and under. Primitive camping costs $6 per night.

"If we generate $24,000 to $25,000 a year, we’re going to be tickled," Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver said.

Park Manager Larry Weaver said park attendance has been good with the exception of rainy days. Two families - one with 100 members and another with about 40 - have rented the park’s picnic pavilion for use this weekend.

"I would say it’s been pretty dog-gone good," Weaver said. "This weekend is really a tell-tale weekend."

Chattahoochee State Park was developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps - a Depression-era program designed to put young men from low-income families to work. The park is located on 596 acres and features foot trails, a 500-foot earthen dam and a 23-acre lake.

"I had no idea how many people would use it because it was so underused before," Culver said. "... The park really had not been promoted. We’ve created some excitement and put it in the public’s eye. And, quite honestly, the public has responded."

For Weaver, he and his wife, Debra, are enjoying their life as managers of Chattahoochee State Park.

"The right word is ‘awesome,’" Weaver said. "That’s the feeling you get in the park - an awesome feeling."

(Dothan Eagle)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Monday, July 04, 2005

This morning I pulled into the parking lot
Of my ancient office inside Archie's Whorehouse

And saw a dust devil swirling around a smashed ICEE cup
Right in the center of my space.
I took it as an omen,
Like the time a painted bunting
perched right next to my head
When I was blue
And looked me in eye like God.
I thought about tomorrow,
July The Fourth.
Yes, the sun will come up tomorrow,
Jesus will roll away the stone
And if he sees his shadow tomorrow morning,
We'll have six more weeks of summer!
Let's shoot off some firecrackers for Jesus!
Let's do some fireworks to uphold the Kingdom of God
Or maybe even just to destroy it.
And I...
then I thought about those 4 original heads.
Each one from my Daddy's generation,
Not a draftee in the bunch.
The original dropouts
Who discovered that there was a little organized crime
In every organization.
And I thought about my Daddy,
Working his ass off on top of a mountain of bennies,
And I thought about Kesey
and Grogan
[that's grogan on the left]
playing imaginary football
As they ran down Haight Street,
And as soon as I got out of my truck
I looked up into the clouds of my Alabama SKY
And thanked the Good Lord for all the times
He let me get high with some nooky.
Then I knew it was time to go to work.
Ain't love grand?!!!!!
Is this not a great country or what?!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Robert Register

Sunday, July 03, 2005


from a review of the Carnegie Hall concert[remember that Dothan's Buddie Buie, Blakely's Robert Nix & Kinston's Dean Daughtry wrote "So Into You"]
Stanley Jordan's brilliant reading of a classical piece highlighted his extraordinary contrapuntal abilities with his patented two-handed tapping technique. Journey guitar slinger Neal Schon flaunted some searing bent-string prowess on an earthy blues but was nearly upstaged by Broadway singing star Lillas White, who belted with toe-curling, Aretha-esque authority. And Peter Frampton, playing a black Gibson Les Paul Custom, turned in spirited performances of the Atlanta Rhythm Section's "So Into You" and his own instrumental, "Off the Hook."


"It was amazing to watch people come forward because they loved Les so much," says Robert Cutarella, who co-produced the new album with Fran Cathcart. Frampton, who sings and plays with Paul on the 1976 Atlanta Rhythm Section hit "So Into You," seconds that emotion: "We're all there for him because he gave so much to us." And Frampton feels the album will "introduce Les to people who know the name but not what it means. Young guitarists will go, 'I thought the Les Paul was just a guitar. I didn't know he could play.'"

Paul is a rare living link to a bygone era in popular music: He can talk about trading laughs one morning on a Harlem street with Wes Montgomery and George Benson, then start a story with "Nat ['King'] Cole comes into my backyard. . . ." Paul retired from recording after two mid-Seventies LPs with Chet Atkins but continued to work in his New Jersey home studio and, in 1984, started his famous run of Monday-night shows in New York.

Despite hearing problems and encroaching arthritis, Paul decided last December that he was ready to record again and that he wanted to do "something 'today,'" he says. "I wanted to show these artists that I enjoyed their music. I was never one of those who said, 'Rock & roll is garbage.' But I never thought, until this project, that I could do it."

[this stuff is cool]
Lance from Happy Trailers details the work he did for the History Channel's documentary on the counter culture in '66, '67 & '68!

On the Magic Bus with Hippies and the History Channel
posted on 24 Jun 2005
On June 2nd Happy Trailers HD went on the road in a 15 passenger bus across the Northern Pacific Coast doing interviews for the HISTORY CHANNEL about the counter culture movement from 66 to 68 , starting with the gifted satirist PAUL KRASSNER
one of the original yippies , Paul was credited with scaring the bejezus out of Chicago city officals during the Festival of Life . He also is the founder of "The REALIST " . When PEOPLE MAGAZINE called him the father of the underground press , he instantly demanded a paternity suit. Paul has a new book coming out this fall called "ONE HAND JERKING".After the interveiw we hit the Joshua tree to trip on the trees . Next stop LA , two days later the next stop was PETER COYOTE actor, author of "SLEEPING WHERE I FALL" and voice over talent.
Peter also stars in Fox's The Inside . He is a righteous ,far out, up front kinda guy , we dug him .From there to Venice where we hit SPONTO (Thanks MARK) formerly Venice West the beat hang out featured in The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton.

We talked to Music Producer JAMES COHEN and Screenwriter Leary God son MICHAEL SEGEL
both are way cool cats . Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel were next .The talented and generous AMI MAGILL
and then to San Jose DON ANGUS the squared away comedic Bus driver of the Hippy Hop. In Sonoma our man with the big brain MARTIN LEE author "ACID DREAMS" then to San Francisco for the NY Times Bureau director JOHN MORKOFF author "WHAT THE DOOR MOUSE SAID" for his insight .The next day to the yacht club behind Giant Stadium for the SF Police Inspector BIG JACK BALLENTINE and his crew of coppers gave us their perspective on the SUMMER OF LOVE in 67 . The lovely white witch , poet author Lenore Kandell
who wrote THE LOVE BOOK which was made famous by the censorship of it and trial that followed was naughty and nice ! What was in the Cookie? Afterwards we hit the brilliant eco leader of PLANET DRUM - our Poppy PETER BERG and JUDY they did us and they were off getting ready for the Solstice on the beach , we brought our drums and headed for the ocean and the summer Solstice Drum Circle .The Haight street festival was on the way , we vistited the HAIGHT ASHBURY FREE CLINIC , we spoke with the cool volunteers and Its founder DR DAVID SMITH and his compadre and the author of COMPOST COLLEGE- RICHARD SEYMOUR,and then off to Oakland for artist ELSA MARLEY
, for a dose of sexual liberation and commune life , thanks Elsa ! GOD'S COUNTRY and onto the big clown in the mountain comedian, artist ,Camp WINNARAINBOW organizer , do gooder and once roomate of DYLAN and friend of LENNY BRUCE, KEN KESEY and EINSTIEN amonst others the fantastic WAVY GRAVY in Trinity Shasta northern California.

Then the Cap'n was calling the highly energized CAP'N SKYPILOT , in good old green Eugene Oregon yes MERRY PRANKSTER and KESEY comrade , the one and only KEN BABBS !!!

You ain't lived until you hung with Babb's and his family his wife the merry Senior English teacher who teaches Slaughter House 5 , Electric Kool aid acid test ... to her students... Then off to KESEY RANCH visit FURTHUR the MAGIC BUS Itself in all it's natural glory.
Thanks ZANE KESEY and thanks to all of you who helped preserve history .Stay tuned for the Hippie piece on the History Channel this fall.Special thanks to Lou & Scott Reda ,Dennis Klienman , Joel Schechetr , Reno ,Gallo , Andrew and Jamie dedicated to Rusty James the cat who did it all.

[B Y O B(bag)]