Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hey y'all:

It's been exciting and just a bit disgusting listening the last two afternoons
to the Partlow Gang on Finebaum
defending the actions of three of Shula's bullet-proof-football player-gangstuh-to-the-bone
thugs Satiddee morning at the Legacy on the Strip. http://www.myspace.com/thelegacyonthestrip

Got a good story for the Confessions of a Section 8 Maintenance Man.

Pulled over to the curb on Short 25th Avenue East off of Paper Mill Road this afternoon, parked & hopped out of the Exploder.

These kids were playing basketball across the street and this boy about 16 or 17 yelled, "Hey, Robert!"

"Hey man, what up?!" , I yelled back.

"Hey, you don't remember me do you?
I used to stay over at 200 41st Street 'till you wouldn't fix it up and we had to move.
Man, I left a lot ladies over on 41st."

"Nair nuttin' but a thang," I replied.

The boy balled up his fists and started strutting toward me yelling, "What you mean 'nuttin' but a thang'."

I walked straight toward him with my head out in front of me & my fists clenched,
making two steps for his every one yelling,

He stopped dead in his tracks so I stopped too.
I looked him straight in the eye and just nodded my head up & down.
He stood frozen not saying a thing.
I smiled at him & went on about my business.
He didn't say anything else.
He could of had a gun and it wouldn't have mattered to me until he stuck the barrel in my face & even then I'd a been plotting how to take it away from him before OR AFTER
he tried to shoot me.

That boy came within the diameter of a red hair of shedding his own blood on the hot pavement of Short 25 Avenue East this afternoon.

That's how quick the tables can turn in the ghetto and
that's how quickly you have to react to disrespect.

This post has two more great stories.
Check 'em out plus see how the myspace sites are growing.
My personal page http://myspace.com/robertoreg
now has almost 800 friends and is approaching 4000 views.

The Coach Bryant page
is pushing 10,000 views we hope to have over 3000 friends when it gets time
to give the song the BIG PUSH this fall as we approach the 25th anniversary of Coach's last season.

Please take a few and let me hear from ya!

rr http://cottonkingdom.blogspot.com


by Buddy Henry

January of 99,myself and a few friends were planting pines on a
piece of property that Phillip Newman had recently purchased.
I received a cell call from my wife, Becky.


She said "Cha-ching!"

Our female Boykin Spaniel was in the process of delivering a litter
of pups.

It was exciting to know that,
first,we were going to have some new pups to raise and also
we knew they would be marketable.The pups were fun to raise,but,
at six weeks of age we were going to have to sell the pups
which we were growing attached to.
There were plenty of buyers who quickly picked out a
puppy,except one,
and this will be what the rest of this story will be

Hank,actually his registered name is "Herniated Hank Henry" was the
puppy everyone rejected because he had a small umbilical hernia.
Becky and I would point this out to everyone,so this was probably
the reason he was rejected.
But except for this small hernia,Hank would turn out to
be exceptional in every way.

When it was time to feed the pups after they were about four weeks
old,Hank would be the first to meet you at the gate.
He was just plain excited to see you.
We dubbed him a "Bonkin" because he would be bouncing
up and down when you came to the pups pen.
At the time I thought it was because he wanted to be the first
to eat,in retrospect I know it was
because he wanted to show his love.

All the pups got sold,except Hank.
We got a call from a prospective buyer.
They were ready to buy Hank.

Becky looked at me and said,
ain't for sale!!!"

When Hank was nine weeks old, he and I walked out to the end of the
driveway to get the newspaper.
That had been Abby's job,Hank's Mama, up
until that morning.
I put the newspaper in his mouth and ran back to the
house with Hank right behind me.
After that morning all I had to do was
open the door and say ,"Hank,Fetch it up!"
For the next Eight years, Hank
acted like it was as exciting to him as it was for me to see him
retrieve the paper.

The paper was just the beginning of Hanks retrieving ability.

When Hank was nine months old I took him to his first dove hunt.
I had never fired a gun around Hank.
I was a little scared to shoot because his mom was

The birds started coming in.
With Hank by my side, I fired my
gun and luckily downed a bird.
I ran to the bird with Hank right beside
me and was saying "Hank, fetch it up!".
I put the bird in Hanks mouth and
ran back to my shooting blind with Hank beside me.
I gave him a lot of praise,poured some water in my hand
and let him drink from my hand.

That first day shooting I shot nine birds
and except for the first bird that
I put in his mouth he picked up the rest of the birds
and would hurry
back to the blind and graciously accept my praise.

As the years continued Hank became an excellent retriever.

We hunted together for the next eight years.

When in the dove field,Hank would sit
right beside me and help me watch the sky for birds.
He would be so
excited he would wimper when I was missing birds,almost showing
disappointment in me for missing.
I would talk to him and it seemed as if
he understood me.

I consider a couple of times in the field as "great family
moments"in my life.

My two daughters got to go hunting with Hank.

Leslie & Buddy- two nurse anesthetists in the same family!

My oldest daughter, Leslie, took her video camera on one shoot.
She shot some footage of Hank in the "field".
His enthusiasm is very evident on film.

Buddy & Lana

My youngest daughter,Lana (who at the age of sixteen had never shot
a gun) and I were invited to my neighbors just a few hours
before the shoot.Lana and I went out in the yard and I showed
her how to shoot a 20 gauge shotgun.
We went to the hunt and Lana shot many times.
Hank was very patient with her.Lana finally shot down a bird.

I don't know who was
Lana,Hank or Me!!!.

Lana shot down two birds that day.
Like I
said,"A great family moment".
Even though retrieving was my intent for
having a dog, a Boykin Spaniel,
retrieving was
a minor part of the
happiness Hank brought to our family.

He was truly a "companion".

His loyalty to Becky,my children and I is something that is
difficult to
You would have to own,or maybe I should say, be blessed to have
an animal such as Hank,to understand one's feelings toward a family

Hank was "Homeschooled".
He was never a problem student.
His only
limitation were my limits to teach.

I could say,"Truck," and over the
tailgate he would go.
He would stay in the truck until I said "Out.".
I could say "Kennel" and point to the direction I wanted him to go
and he would "kennel-up".
"Sit","Stay",anything I asked ,he was happy to

Water.He loved it.He would swim for pleasure like an eight year
old child.

Time to relax,Hank would jump up on the front porch swing with
me and lay his soft,beautiful head on me and nap while I napped.

Until Hank, I didn't really understand the bond one could have with
an animal.

Now I understand when people say,"like a member of the family."

We had Hank for eight years.

Today, due to a sudden illness,liver and kidney
failure, we had to"put him down".

Becky and I were with him as the young
veterinarian administered a euthinizing dose of a barbiturate.
We were able to pet him as he went out.

Pain,sorrow,memories streamed through our

I'll never say as I used to,"He's 'just a dog'."

He was much more.

Becky and I have a small piece of property with an artesian spring
on it.We spend time on the property nearly everyday.
When I would open the
tailgate to my truck Hank would sit until I said"Out."
Most of the time
he would run to the spring for a "dip".

We buried Hank down by the spring
today,we poured some "spring water" on him and covered him with

If you ever need someone to define "Love" ask me about
"Happy Herniated
Hank Henry".


I woke up Sunday morning July 8 a little hurt from my Sattiddee nite at the Pelican Pub but a cup of coffee and a walk out on the deck to look at the Gulf restored my strength.

Super weather with a constant breeze and an immaculate clear blue Alabama sky.
It promised to be a terrific day at the beach.

Jumped in the Exploder and headed back north across the bridge to the mainland to see Greg & Collette in Coden.
Some church groups from up north had come down and for the first time since August of '05, the nasty ass wallboard had been torn down revealing the beaded board walls of the old Wintzell house at the foot of the bridge on Bayou Coden.
These church folks sure made me appreciate the magnificence of our Christian faith.

I left Greg & Collette's to perform one of my many coastal traditions.
I like to drive out to the bait shop at the mouth of Bayou La Batre and get some lunch. Sometimes they sell tamales. Sometimes they got crawfish. Crawfish had gone out of season back in June so that Sunday they had hot dogs.

I fixed me two hot dogs and headed over to the boat landing at the opening of the bayou to eat my lunch. Saw two smaller shrimp boats leave the bayou flying Confederate flags.

I returned to the island on the back roads. I took Shellbank Road over to Coden then I took Coden Belt Road and after crossing Fowl River, I went out to the cord grass marsh of Delta Port.
Since I was on Mon Luis Island, I went ahead and took the Heron Bay Loop Road over to Alabama Port.

I cut Archie's grass when I got back to the duplex & then I prepared for my walk to the shore.
I brought a couple of beers so when I got to the top of the primary dune, I found an old log and sat down to look at the water and get a little stoned.

Sitting there I thought about an old retired Coast Guard enlisted man I met on Dauphin Island in the summer of '77.
I had found this old salt's sitting spot before I ever met him. I found this big log I liked to sit on down by the Audubon Preserve west of the Sea Lab. I noticed that the ground was covered with cigarette butts and I found out later that that was the place where The Old Salt watched the sun come up each morning.

The Old Salt was a nice old guy but he was one of the most miserable people I'd ever met.
He'd spent most of his career fishing corpses out of the Atlantic off New York City & New Jersey so he really had a warped view of life.
He always told me, "Never have kids. All they'll do is break your heart."

Well the Old Salt told me a story about seeing a Black Skimmer break it's neck while feeding and I flashed on that story while watching Asian families play in the Gulf.
Right about that time a black skimmer flew down the berm.
That memory from the summer of '77 was a foreshadowing of the "once in a lifetime" experiences I'd have on Dauphin Island thirty years later in the summer of '07.

I walked way down the beach. I got buzzed by a guy and a girl on an ultra-light airplane and watched them land on the beach of the sandbar which now extends from the end of the Dauphin Island fishing pier all the way to the Sand Island Lighthouse.

As I walked off the beach toward the path through dunes which led to the duplex I saw a couple sitting on the sand & the guy had a tattoo in the shape of an Eagle covered by the St. Andrews Cross of the Confederate flag.

"Nice tattoo," I told him.

"THANKS!" he replied.

I got back to the duplex, showered and headed for the pub.
Before going to Happy Hour, I decided to drive to the end of the Bienville on the west end of the island.

They've built a berm up to protect the houses and they've planted sea oats.
Some people have installed sand fences & planted more sea oats which I thought was kewl.
Saw one of the strangest things driving out to the west end:
six fish crows sitting on a powerline together. I don't think I've ever seen that many crows perched on a power line together.
The drought had taken the brown out of the water so both the Gulf and the Sound were about as blue & green as I've ever seen them.
Heading back east I admired all the colorful roofs which had replaced the ones destroyed by Katrina.
Lots of bright colored tin: blue, crimson, rust, green & turquoise.

Before going to the pub I decided to check out the airport to see whether that couple in the ultra-light had landed.

There's a nice cord grass slough you drive by before you get to the Dauphin Island Airport.
A big blue heron was feeding so when I got to the parking lot I turned around, drove back to the slough and pulled over on the shoulder to watch the heron.

That's when the black skimmer showed up &
Did he not ever put on a show for me!!!!

image courtesy of http://search.abaa.org/dbp2/books1700_10.html

to be continued...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hey y'all:

Look's like I'm heading for Auburn on Sattiddee the 21st

[the AUBIES are gonna rag my ass good 'cause one mo big turd of a CRIMSON TIDE scandal should hit the presses tomorrow.
The Apes Shula recruited are starting to rattle their cages]

& I'll be staying at Gellerstedt's estate on the rim of the meteor crater near Wetumpka that night so let me hear from all you cats in the vicinity who might wanna hang out wid the notorious ROBERTOREG
dis weekend.

If I get an offer I can't refuse, I might consider busting outta here on Friday!

Christopher and one of his buddies canoed down Blue Creek above Deerlick today and they saw an otter that stuck it's head up and then swam underneath the canoe in clear water. It was the first time Christopher had ever observed an otter and he remembered all my stories about my encounters with otters.
He's a true believer now.
The otter is right at the top of Alabama's MOST SPECTACULAR animals.
Right up there with
the porpoise, the alligator, the snapping turtle, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the bobcat, giant catfish, alligator gar and the coral snake.

So here's the neck

Luckily Saturday July 7 found me waking up in my room at 403 Mortgage Avenue in Dothan feeling superb & rarein' to explore THE PANHANDLE on my quest to reach Archie's duplex on Dauphin Island.


After going out to Buddy and Becky's farm down on Fowler Road to get some frozen fish Buddy had promised me,

Buddy & his daughter Lana

I headed down the highway to the Circle Grill in Graceville for some fried shrimp for lunch.

Saw one of those "air mail" mailboxes perched about 20 feet above the regular mailbox but it didn't have a birdhouse like some of the others I've seen. I am an absolute fool about yard art, mail boxes & martin gourds. (I rilly think there are fewer mailboxes between Centerville & Maplesville than anywhere else I travel regularly)
I can try to identify every plant I pass no matter how fast I'm going & combine that with some bikinis riding a bicycle down the sidewalk at the beach talking on a cell phone and I am one distracted accident waiting to happen.

Before I got to Graceville, I saw a gigantic live oak split into about five pieces right from the center of the trunk. Looked like it got hit by lightning at the perfect spot for a short trunk and low hanging limbs of the live oak to totally dismember.

Had a terrific meal at the Circle Grill.

Turned south toward Chipley contentedly rolling down the asphalt picking my teeth as I admired the
in front of the gringo owned stores.

Chipley looks to be the picture of progress. My sister Beck told me a lot of people have been driven off the coast by the storms and are settling in Marianna, Chipley, Bonifay & Crestview.
I saw a beautiful old house right downtown trimmed in gingerbread woodwork where I moved a magician when I worked for Loftin's during the summer of '71.
In '71 that place was a rat infested wreck.
The old house is gorgeous now.
In the historic district south of Highway 90 I saw all kinds of remodeling going on & it so grand to preserve these old houses with their yards filled with cycads and palms and their porches built from native limestone and hard pan.

Below Vernon, I started looking for a detour and found it when I saw the sign for Hightower Springs.
Talking about a paradise!

This was the moment that John James Audubon knocked me in the damn head!
Down by the springs, I heard this animal call near me & it sounded like a cow grunting "HUHHH!"
It was a solitary white ibis. Every other time I'd ever seen an ibis in my life it was in a flock.
This one was alone patrolling the banks of stream just a few feet from me. It was a peak experience.

image courtesy of http://www.minniesland.com/print_room_octavo_birds_later_editions.html

This encounter with the ibis was an epiphany for me. I'd just read where during Castro's first speech in Havana after the revolution on January 6, 1959, a group of white doves were released as a symbol of peace while Fidel spewed his lies to his adoring chumps.
One of the doves landed and perched on Fidel's shoulders & those superstitious peons saw it as a sign that the Yoruba gods of Santeria had blessed Fidel.
Well, in some ways I'm just like that Fidel's crowd.
Birds seem to appear near me at auspicious times in my life.

The park on the bank of Holmes Creek was immaculate and the drought had cleared the spring so not only could you see the white, bluish sand boil up from over 20 springs but you could even observe the fish with binoculars in the crystal clear waters of Holmes Creek.
I thought about how much fun my niece Lana was having this summer lifeguarding at beautiful Blue Spring at the head of Merritt's Mill Pond.

image of Blue Spring courtesy of http://www.tfn.net/Springs/MariannaBlue.htm

I observed mosquito fish, suckers, bream, big schools of mullet in the creek, bass and one spotted gar.
First time I can remember in my life seeing a big shellcracker pick a snail up off the bottom and crack it sending a cloud of sand & shell that completely covered the front of its body.
Hightower Spings has 5 foot high cyprus knees!
Any uv you cats need a down home music video location,
check out Hightower Springs on Holmes Creek between Vernon and Ebro!

I drove down to the Y and headed west down 98 to look at the demolition of the Nauticus, Inlet Beach and the new Deer Lake State Park.http://www.floridastateparks.org/deerlake/default.cfm
on 30A.

Well, by 3 P.M. I was sitting in the Red Bar in Grayton Beach drinking my first beer of the day and steadily studying devilment.

Met this cat who had a taxi service and we talked about putting ORBISON or SOME BEACH MUSIC in his vehicles.
He's already using good music as an most excellent way to attract wealthy customers.

Man, I was in the Red Bar http://www.theredbar.com/
gazing at all those French movie posters ("Simeon et Josephine" complete with the skirt made out of bananas- "L'inevitable Catastrophe" complete with a burning skyscraper)
& started flashing on all those old Dothan pictures I'd seen in the library the day before.
The one that came to mind was the one of old Troy Lewis & his partner standing in front of his store back in The Stone Age.

I remember Mr. Troy real well and seeing him as a young man made a lasting impression upon me.

After three it were time to book,
so I headed for the bridge to Freeport and I-10 in Bonifay.
Crossing the Alabama line I saw a family posing for pictures in front of the Welcome to Alabama sign.
Made me think about the Texas tourism slogan:

A thunderstorm covered Mobile Bay as I crossed the causeway but by the time I got off I10 at Tillman's Corner, I was greeted by a RAINBOW!
Superb omen.
It gets better...
I noticed all the purple martins feeding over the cord grass as I left Mon Luis Island at Alabama Port but by the time I got to Cedar Point the martins were black as a cloud.
I've never seen anything like it my life.
The cats down at the Pelican Pub hypothesized that the drought had killed all the skeeters inland so all the purple martins in South Alabama had been attracted to the cord grass shores of the Mississippi Sound to feed on the salt marsh skeeters.
It was rilly something to see.

Paula was bartending at the Pub so it was nice to see her crazy ass once more.
I met an 81 year old retired medical doctor at the bar who grew up in Mobile and had been medical director of the asylum at Mount Vernon up until four years ago.
We talked about so many interesting things but the things that stick with me were his opinions about the gill net controversy http://www.bangillnets.com/cca/message_thread/show/23
& his description of the fear he felt when he recently realized that many of the imported Moslem doctors he'd worked with in this country may be terrorists who may need to be taken care of down by the wall at sunup.

The storm finally came in & the lights flickered so Paula got the kerosene lamps out.

Paula gave me a good hug before I left and I proceeded to Archie's duplex on Pequeno Street to munch on some blackened shellcracker courtesy of Buddy & Becky Henry of Cottonwood, Alabama.

Mo' later gator & tater...

rr http://myspace.com/robertoreg