Sunday, May 11, 2008


Pete's Tattoo Parlor and Storm Door Company

A neighbor 4 doors east of us has had signs in their yard for more than a week. The first sign appeared by their mailbox almost two weeks ago. It was hard to read driving by because it was yellow printing on a red background. However, they soon had two additional signs in their yard that clearly read "Massage Therapy, Call Tony (XXX) XXX-XXXX. I was discussing this with another neighbor, who like myself, has had more that his share of letters from the community association deed restrictions committee. His letters, like mine, had been for the most trivial things. A couple of weeds growing in our driveway, a tree branch hanging, in their opinion, too low, mailbox had some rust spots......etc.

I told Dan that when my yard swing broke, I had a letter in three days telling me to fix the swing or face legal proceedings. We looked up the street and saw the signs were still all over his yard. This was a clear violation on two counts. No yard signs except political signs, not more than 30 days before an election and not more than 1 day after an election. The second was you cannot run a business from your residence.

I had an idea. I was going to make me a yard sign at the risk of getting a deed restriction letter the next day. This morning I made a sign. "Tattoos and Storm Doors, Call Pete, (281) Tatoos". The phone number does not have enough digits so I would not be bothering anyone.

Sure enough, the "Massage Therapy" signs were down this afternoon. I just took my sign down. Pete's Tattoo Parlor and Storm Door Company is now closed.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Ode to Sarah

I have been trying to call my Aunt Sarah for about a week. I usually call her about two times a year, but it's been over a year since I talked to her. She would be about 93 now, I recall she was about a year younger than Mom. The number didn't work, just a busy signal. Sarah didn't get or receive many calls. She had moved out of her house a little over a year ago and moved into an apartment....I didn't ask her if it was assisted living or not.

I sensed that something was wrong. I looked up my cousin Grant's wife, Erma, on the Internet. I have never called them before or after Grant's death. I asked Erma about Sarah. She said Sarah died about two weeks ago. She told me Sarah had moved to an apartment and that one of her nieces had moved into Sarah's house. I told her that was not right. Sarah had sold her house to her neighbor and that her neighbor's daughter's family had moved into the house. Erma then started asking me about the various things Sarah had in her house, pieces of furniture etc. I responded that I thought that Grant had taken those things years ago.

Sarah was the hardest working person I have ever know. On Sarah and Claude's farm, Sarah did all the work. I am talking totally running the dairy farm and getting the workers needed to plant and harvest the tobacco. You could see her every morning and evening going out to the barn to do the milking...first by hand than by machine. She wore high rubber wading boots for the cow manure. Sarah was a very nice loving person. Mom and the other Martin's, except Claude, never liked Sarah. Didn't think she was good enough to marry a Martin. If I had my say, there was not a Martin good enough to marry Sarah. Claude was like my old friend Hap, he never worked a day in his life. Claude was drafted into the Army in WW II. He was in North Africa when my Grandfather Martin got his congressman to get the Army to send Claude home to help on the farm. Think my Grandfather Martin didn't have some political pull in Greene county Tennessee.

Sarah was the last of my kin on my mother's side of the family. She had a niece that I am sure handled her final affairs. I have never met her thanks to the Martin's attitude toward Sarah. I would like to call her and tell her just how much I though of Sarah. I loved Sarah. It was a love that developed after my first return visit to Tennessee after Joey was born. I wish that I had gotten to know her earlier and without prejudice.

Sarah, May you rest in peace with God.

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