ARCHIVE: Shuffletown
Dullards and Oafs harassing Hooter’s

A Senator and a hate-monger walk in to Hooters. I do not know if the article about Ted Cruz having his government credit card refused after lunch at Hooter’s is true. But…this is one of those stories you sincerely hope is true. For this one story shows the truth behind the illusion that is Ted Cruz and it is not pretty.

According to the article, the two dark Dementers had finished an interview in West Palm Beach and decided to dine at Hooter’s Restaurant. Decisions are more interesting when made while staring at a pair of 38-sized boobs. Didn’t you know that?

While they were seated guests, Ted Cruz spoke loudly so that one and all could Sen. Ted Cruz, a cowboy yahoo from TexaCanda, tell how he had single-handedly shut down the Government of the United States. After two pitchers of beer and sandwiches, Cruz put forth his government credit card to pay for lunch. It was refused by management.

Duh, when you tell a crowd that you just shut down your company…well, why would it be a surprise when your company’s credit card is refused?

It was not surprising that Sen. Ted Cruz then lost his temper and screamed at in a squeaky voice at his waitress and the owner. That is what Ted Cruz does. Like the spoiled brat in the sand box. When he doesn’t have his way, he throws sand on everyone. The Senator was so enraged he was besieged by a case of the hiccups. A Fox employee paid the $53 tab and they left without tipping the waitress.

So, I do not know if the website is satire or truth. Either way, it is a wonderful description of the new McCarthy in Washington, DC. I love this article and I have my fingers crossed, hoping the event happened. Reading it made me laugh loudly.

Join me in a chorus of laughter and knee-slapping in the hopes that this oafish; ego-driven, weasel by the name of Sen. Ted Cruz has gotten his comeuppense from the rank and file.

Let’s all mail a thank you and a belated tip to our brave citizen-waitress at Hooter’s… God Bless America!


North Carolina skids into the Dark Ages
Monument commemorating the Battle of Kings Mountain

Monument commemorating the Battle of Kings Mountain

There is a North Carolina warning sign for drivers approaching icy or treacherous roads. The sign consists of skid marks and the back of a car out of control. Thanks to our 74th Governor, Patrick McCrory, North Carolina is skidding backwards along treacherous roads into the Dark Ages. It will be a great backwards skid through the centuries.

You’ve heard of the Dark Ages when the black plague wiped out half of the world’s population, women and men were burned as witches in order for the greedy to steal their property. Thousands of libraries were burned to the ground. Rivers were polluted and everyone worked as soon as they could walk. Homeless families walked the land and lived in the streets begging.

However, the pious, and the royals thrived during the Dark Ages. There was no government assistance. The sick and dying were cared for by families or left on the streets to die. Cholera and diphtheria claimed victims each day of the week. Other than the burden of taxes, the only requirement of the peasant was absolute devotion to the Catholic Church.

If you ask history teachers they will say that the fall of Rome caused civilization to retreat into the Dark Ages. Rome fell because of social decline, runaway inflation, crime, and a discouraged middle class taxed into poverty trying to support the wealthy. But, I give credit for the Dark Ages to the Catholic Church, also. Instead, of leading civilization forward, the church embarked upon a total religious dictatorship.

Pope Gregory the Great declared that all secular education was folly and evil. The Pope went so far as to decree that laymen were not allowed to even read the Bible, unless a Bishop or Priest was present. The pious Catholic Church decided that knowledge was truly evil. Millions and millions of books were burned by priests and their rabid followers. Teachers, philosophers, and the pagan priestesses known as the Alma Maters were killed or escaped to the Arabian countries. Ignorance kept the people subjugated to the teachings of the church.*

Author Bertram Russell wrote that St. Jerome was more concerned with the preservation of virginity than victory over the Huns, Vandals and Goths. “Never once did St. Jerome turn his thoughts to any possible measure of practical statesmanship; never once does he point out the evils of the fiscal system or of an alliance on an army of barbarians. The same is true of Ambrose and Augustine, no wonder the empire fell into ruin.” *

The church crippled Europe by encouraging superstition, ignorance, and spoke only of the God’s wrath. The ignorant citizens believed that if you buried a crab; it would become a scorpion. Ducks had it pretty hard also…it was believed that if you buried a duck. It would become a nest of frogs.

Darkness descended across Europe. An esteemed 20th century scholar, Gilbert Murray, referred to the Dark Ages as a time caused by the “failure of nerves.”* An understatement, if I have ever heard one.

Which brings me back to the skid marks warning that our state is sliding on treacherous roads. As in the Dark Ages, the war on women continues in North Carolina and many other states battle to regulate women’s bodies and health rights. In committees of men, they dispense laws to force women to succumb to invasive, guilt riddled examinations and in the case of rape…it is always the female’s fault. Women are still considered basically evil…unless controlled.

Our tradition of public and higher education is being slaughtered. Our honored University system is being destroyed by limiting their budgets. Teacher’s pay has been reduced to the poverty level. Tea Bag Governor Pat McCrory has reduced teacher’s pay while lowering the standards for teacher certification. He says he is teaching us to support ourselves or…are they trying to subjugate us until we are illiterate and cannot spell our own name?

Governor Pat McCrory appears to not care whether his citizens have health insurance. Nor, does it seem that he would care if our children die from lack of health insurance or starve in our streets.

Thousands will be denied their right to vote in the next elections. We have allowed our rights to confiscated. The Republican wing of the Tea Bag party wants to return to a simpler time, the Dark Ages.

Will we allow our rights to be chopped away due to a “lack of nerves?” Our historic and heroic ancestors would not allow their lives to be governed by George III and pay taxes to his greedy list of royals who received the bounty of our taxes.

The Piedmont was known as the back-water country in the 1700s. The coastal society considered the German peasants and the Scots-Irish too crude, too dirty, too lazy and worthless to live among polite society. They sent our forefathers into the frontier to fight the Cherokee and tame the primal forests.

There are many families in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Lincolnton to the port of Wilmington blessed with the proud names of these rugged, independent ancestors. Our forefathers were uneducated peasants who could make a life from rock soup and slept in lean-to’s and log cabins. They not only survived, but turned the Revolutionary War in the favor of the Colonies by defeating Major Patrick Ferguson at the Battle of Kings Mountain.

I am not. I am not proposing revolution. I am proposing that in the spirit of our ancestors that we protest every day of the week. Laymen, elders, religious leaders, and our youth must stand together against the loss of our rights. Petitions, sit-ins, letters to the editor and moral Mondays are our weapons. Those who can still vote…must vote against Republican Tea Party domination. No effort to oppose the Governor and his legislature is too small. We must demand a fair and equal government. We must stand against those who hope to take America back to an earlier period when the old and the young worked twelve to fifteen hours a day, seven days a week.

Republican Governor McCrory, in his nine months in office, has systematically taken away our rights and if we let him continue without a loud hue and cry…we will skid into darkness.

* Source: The Woman’s Encyclopedia by Barbara G. Walker, 1983

Class of 1959

The 1959 senior classmates of North Mecklenburg celebrated their 50th reunion at Pine Island Country Club during the Thanksgiving Holiday. Every one in attendance had a great time. There were no damages to the property other than two small fires inadvertently set by a speaker, and the club owner. And a very sincere thank-you to Charles Barton and Johnny Bailey for taking control of the situation when I set my speech on fire.

I hope we meet again, soon, the seniors of 1959…for obvious reasons. Maybe next time, we should gather in the summer…near water? The planning committee did a great job…thank you, Shirley Thrower Casper, Jeff Jones, Kay Broome Jenkins, Martha Fortner McInnis, Charles Barton, and Tommy Watkins. A very special thanks to Larry and Sherri Griffin, Miriam Moore and Midgie Wilson Brawley, they are the glue that has held us all together for so many years. I am posting my comments for the classmates who missed being with us for the occasion. I hope they will join us next time.

“I was talked into speaking tonight by Midgie Wilson Brawley. Midgie felt that if I told a little about myself…everyone should feel pretty good about themselves and then you will step forward and share a little about your life journey.

Let’s begin with acquired names: my tombstone will have to be cross-referenced. Judy Rozzelle became Judy Rozzelle Coffin Somers Coffin Savranakis, a Greek last name that took me three days to learn how to spell. After that foray into failed foreign relations, I returned to my original name, Judy Rozzelle.

I moved back home to Shuffletown and through no fault of my own, I was celibate for thirteen years. I shared my ancestral home in Shuffletown with my 19 year old nephew who departed and returned through the second floor bedroom window. I was robbed seven times, and sought psychiatric help. In 1992, while heavily medicated; I graduated from college, even passed the GMAT to enroll in the graduate program.

And the man who brought me here tonight, and to our reunion five years ago, is Lee Ryan. We met at Cousin Phyllis Rozzelle Henline’s funeral; I chased him until I exhausted him. We do not feel the need to marry since Lee is my third cousin and in some states it might be illegal. There will be no children from the union. After seven years together, we plan on living happily ever after.

I’m telling you all this as a testament to the human spirit. In our senior annual, there is a printed slogan….”Seniors’ face an ending and a beginning.”
And that is what life is, change. Life takes hold of everyone and tests all. No one escapes.

It is not what happens to you in life, but how you handle it.”

Cancer Saved My Life…

At the time I wrote the words below, I was recovering from breast cancer and depression. Now I read them with joy and gratitude.

It is good, I believe, to pause to look back at the road to see how far we have traveled. Today, I share this with you because I had a mammogram last week…and I am entering my fourteenth year as a cancer survivor. Enjoy.

Cancer saved my life. Life began anew, in May 1996, when I woke from a single, simple mastectomy. The option of dying was handily available. For the past six years, in a fog of depression, I had stood at the edge of hell, and even, now, lying on a hospital bed, I could still hear them calling my name, but I finally turned away. The madness stopped on this day. Odd, but true, I did not consciously know I had made this decision. As it turned out, death was not my choice.

I bent the page here, marked the place; wrote the day in stone. In the evening of May 31, 1996, I began to chart the road home. As it turned out, death was not my choice. I did not consciously know I had made this decision.

I have often looked back to this day to wonder what core I tapped into, what it is inside me that caused me to decide to live, to recover, to begin the long stumbling walk back. What spark, ember, leapt to life strengthening me to reach for the light and to face the embarrassment, the mess of being me and to bravely claim it.

I did not decide to live because times were good. Or even, because I had just run out of drugs. I had cancer. I had lost a boob. I did not, even, have health insurance. I was, fortunately, surrounded by sympathetic nurses and morphine was being dripped into my veins. For a drug addict, things were going pretty good. For a person in recovery…it was subterranean bottom. A place to begin.

I recovered alone. Looking back, I see that it was by choice. No one was holding my hand, or promising to care for me. No one was offering rewards.

The last friend had pulled out long time ago. Family had turned away, but in leaving my daughter’s eyes told me of the legacy of me that would be left to tell among future generations and the present. To die of addiction, or suicide, could give an excuse to dear ones to follow my trail.

Truths lie within a child’s eyes. In that moment, my journey home and beyond began, but for others it could be something else, a stranger’s kindness, God, love, hope.

Recovery is customer made to fit our soul. Like faith, it is a flame that burns untended, until it is discovered. Recovery is a script we write in unison with spirit. I am so grateful.

Daydreams Do Not Age

Great Aunt Ella once told me a secret that I believe she had kept to herself for a life-time. Late on a summer afternoon during a visit in which we were recalling old times, she leaned towards me and said, “I do not recall the year, but it was when they were building a new Rozzelles Ferry bridge by my grandparents inn. I was young and the war was a long time past. I was the first generation born after the Civil War.

We keep our daydreams inside a Cupid’s heart shaped porcelain box in the gables of our minds.

The bridge the government was replacing was burned by Stoneman’s Raiders in April 1865. After the bridge was burned; my poppa and grandfather began to ferry people across the Catawba River like our family had done since the mid-1700s. It was good to work, again, at the family trade. We were ferrymen.

“In that mess of Reconstruction,” she continued, “it was years before a new bridge was erected across the Catawba River. At noon, we rang the bell for them to come to dinner. It took a bunch of carpenters and laborers to build the bridge. They were all from different places. There were tall men, skinny men, laughing men, fat men, men who scared me on sight, foreigners, grumblers, and Yankees. Two young men wore their Yankee fathers’ blue uniforms. They expected us to bow and whine before them. I disliked them most. All those men from every where in the world could do some talking. Those men could do sure eat. I heard my first cuss words that summer.

“It took all of us to feed them in the time allotted. Polly, Cousin Ella, Grandmother Anne, my mom, Great Grandmother Elizabeth and me; we fed them as fast as we could. I have never forgotten that summer. I made a painting of the new bridge when it was finished. It is hanging in the dining room.”

Great Aunt Ella sat back in her embroidered chair; her grey hair rested upon a hand-crocheted doily across the back of the chair. Then, she took a deep breath, leaned forward, and, quickly said, “During that time, there was a good-looking Greek man. He liked to tease me and to make me laugh. Once, he touched my hair. When the bridge was finished, he asked me to marry him.”

In that moment, Great Aunt Ella was well into her eighth decade, but her eyes sparkled like someone’s sweetheart. Her blue eyes reflected a kaleidoscope of fantasies and daydreams where an exotic stranger dwells.

Like an unrequited love, daydreams do not age. Daydreams are never bruised by reality. We keep our daydreams inside a Cupid’s heart shaped porcelain box in the gables of our minds. Daydreams are our own personal, shiny ornaments. Daydreams often spring from paths not taken. That moment of youth, laughter remembered, and boys.
“How exciting,” I said, as I took her small hand, “what did he look like?” Great Aunt Ella blushed. Then, we laughed at it all…as women do.

In that moment, it was easy to imagine her in a long dress with a ruffled hem; she is wearing long white stockings beneath her dress and petticoats. Her long blonde hair is tied back with a ribbon; she is sitting in one of the many white rocking chairs that lined the Inn’s front porch. An exotic stranger, a golden-tanned Greek approaches. He wears a necklace around his neck. It is an orthodox cross stung on a coarse string. He winks at her when he passes and she drops her gaze towards the ground. I know she was blushing for she is still blushing these many years later. But she is pleased…like all young, pretty, and unwed sweethearts. But, she was a proper lady and her parents would never have tolerated such thoughts.

Life was good to Great Aunt Ella. She married a wonderful hard-working man and lived happily and, as far as I know, happily ever after. During her lifetime she nurtured a loving family. She lived to know her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. But, Great Aunt Ella died before I married a Greek.

Maybe it is better that way, for I would have brought disillusion. I would have harmed her and her daydreams. On that afternoon, I wish I had made arrangements for the two of us to sail to Greece. The beauty would have swept her away. Sometimes, it is better to only daydream about temptations. We all need our day-dreams.