Home Page Schedule Fees Contact us Private Smoke Schools Other links to information about our training
Smoke School Stories
Hi -how are you? Oh I’m doing fine. Let’s go fishing. April 26, 2009
Got -a –few
What kind –are dey?
Bass and perch
Any size to-em?
What u-using 4 bait?
Gob o worms
Yawl come back now – ya here.
Have you ever been fishing with worms or crickets and then ate a peanut butter sandwich? I have, more than enough- and it ain’t never got me sick- Yet- knock on wood. But the sandwich tastes bitter. Kind a like the time on the road from California to Oklahoma one dark night when I stopped off at the vending machine in the road side park for a pack of peanut butter and crackers. I felt something crawling on my cheeks and noticed the crackers tasted bitter. I reached over and turned on the dome light and discovered I was eating black ants. They weren’t bad either.
The bitter truth is that the fish always bite the day before you fish or the day after. Last week I went to the drug store and checked out with some hemorrhoid ointment, hemorrhoid cream, and Boudreaux Butt Paste- works well for that. Butt paste Works on anything that itches, and is more fun if someone else rubs it on for you. I got a donut to sit on and a hot water bottle for relief. The young girl with the braces at the check out smiled and asked,” Hi -how are you this fine morning?”-------------------
I just looked at her and asked, “Exactly where you got your high school diploma- Wal-Mart or something. I am doing fine considering it was standing up trough the sun roof on the Toyota driving in here. “
I reached deep into my pocket and handed her a million dollar bill. “Oh we can’t make change for that, you will need to go to the cigarette department for that.”
The truth is that how are you doing is just a greeting and nothing more unless you are a doctor. My doctor, Doctor Dollar in West Monroe is a pretty good doctor for a young buck. He aggravates me by stating that I should quit smoking and quit drinking Jack Daniels, and stop chasing woman. I just tell him that there are only 4 things in life worth living for and that is faster horses, older whiskey, younger women, and more money. That is my philosophy on life and I am sticking to it. Angie has taken care of the younger women part of it, but I just tell the doctor that there are a lot more old drunks than they are old doctors.
Doctor Dollar has a sign by the scales- I hate the scales- I know before I step on them that I weigh 275 pounds soaking wet. I had a girl friend one time that had to jump around in the shower to get wet. Then she took a hormone pill and gained 275 pounds over night, PUFF! but I still loved her. My weight sounds less in English measurements. I liked living there because I weighed less. 14 pounds equals 1 stone so get you calculator out. 14 goes into 275 about 21 times so in England I weigh 21 stones- and that is just a stone throw away from being fat as a pig. Now settle down- that ain’t no prejudiced joke. Besides that fat people can tell fat jokes.
I actually had to go to a lawyer office last week because a former employee filed a sexual harassment suit against me. For a couple of months I was wondering what I said or did to harass her. I have been to tons of sexual harassment classes working in the Air Force and for the State of Louisiana. Did she see me in my fat underwear? Did she see me taking a leak out by the backdoor? Did she smell me fart under the table? Did she overhear a fat joke or a blond joke? Then I found out that she alleged that another employee, whom she interviewed and hired, had made statements that involved sex and being as fat as a cow. When I did find out about it, I fired the employee- I never liked him anyways. Then I offered her job back- she had quit. She refused the job back and just wanted to sue me. So we went to mediation last week and we settled for an additional 500 bucks and I slept a lot easier.
Doctor Dollar has a sign by the scales that say only 3 complaints per visit. So I waltzes in there sits down and he comes in. “Hi -how are you?”
I slowly stand up and answer, “I have the falling hands syndrome.” I put my hands at the top of my head and slowly work my way down the old body, ears, throat, neck, back, hips, legs, knees, toes, and feet. I have more joints than Carter has Liver Pills. I have a bone in my back. I need some old age pills and some medical Marianna. I need the fountain of youth and I need a handicap sticker. I am ready for them to legalize Marianna, I have a pasture. It is the number one crop in California and Mexico. LetZ make it legal and tax the heck out of it. They done tried prohibition of Jack Daniels and that did not work. People died drinking the bath tub brew. Just exactly like they are dying on the methane gas or what ever they are making in the bathtub now a day- might as well eat peanut butter crackers and ants.
Last year in a boat, I watched my future son in law Nathan, eat a cricket slowly and hear it crunch in his teeth. Now that is about too weird. Last week we were in Chatom Alabama conducting smoke school. We had about 19 people taking the certification test. They all passed by the second run, just like always. We cooked and ate some chili dogs my favorite food. Then I did the classroom for one person. Alabama requires the classroom every 3 years. The person had the classroom before and not much had changed. I got to about the 3rd page and he said that this was boring- give me my certificate and lets go fishing. He said that the Alabama DEQ always came to inspect his 3 plants at 10:30 and he showed them his smoke school certificates, his classroom book, and his opacity readings, then asked them if they wanted to go to lunch. If the shoe fits wear it. This was my exact method of inspector operations when I was an air quality inspector 30 years ago. My momma always said you catch more flies with honey than with sour cream. The Alabama inspectors treated him exactly like I treated my plants 30 years ago. Sometimes you get more accomplished towards clean air, the motive, with a verbal suggestion rather than a pen. If you develop a good relationship, the plant E H S will even call the inspector for advice and assistance.
He said that he asked the inspectors if they would like to go fishing after the work day ended. Give a man a fish and you make a friend. Take a man fishing and earn a friend for life. Now don’t get all bent out of shape. Going fishing is a gesture of friendship. It is not a bribe. Getting a fifth of Jack Daniels for Christmas is not a bribe. When that state senator offered me a five million dollar superfund cleanup contract a few years back in exchange for a 2 million dollar kickback- now that is a bribe. But fishing ain’t one and it is that simple. Jesus was a fisherman and he took Peter fishing because he loved him, and fishing is fun. It don’t do no harm to have fun once in a while, do it?
After the classroom we went out to his private pond behind his house in the woods and we caught plenty fish. Angie and I fish as much as we can but we are just on the road too much. That day under the shade of some pine trees, we had fun. We laughed, drank ice cold Papst Blue Ribbon Beer, told stories, told fishing lies, and caught a ton of brim and perch on edible crickets and light tackle.
The scene was so beautiful and peaceful. The purple martin birds nesting in the hanging gourds and the butterflies. The alligator turtles coming up for air.
Many many thanks to Tonya and Steve Anderson, We had a blast and we loved it. For just a little wile I forgot about my aching bones. And that is the way it is. After we cleaned the fish, their two sons took us riding on his 4-wheeler down to his uncle's lake. Then I watched one of them till the garden- now for a 12 year old, which is a miracle. Aaron spends all of his time on TV and Video Games.
Then the boys showed my their snake collection.
Tonya cooked up some vitals like
my grandma Roe used to make- grilled chicken, creamed home grown sweet corn-
ain’t nuttin’ like sweet corn- sweet corn is better than sex, home grown
tomatoes-.HOME GROWN TOMATOES, HOME GROWN TOMATOES, NOTHING IN THE WORLD
LIKE HOME GROWN TOMATOES!!!
home canned bread and butter pickles, garden raised green onions, home picked English Peas, rice and gravy, corn bread, cream butter from a churn, and sweet tea- the traditional southern drink. It was larruping mouth watering good. I noticed an old empty 2 story cypress house on the back side of the pond. I was thinking- summer home- always wanted to hang a hat in Alabama- what a beautiful state- Stars fell on Alabama. Either there or on the Warrior River would be nice.
Then there is Dauphin Island where we are going to conduct smoke school starting in October. Come and watch the birdies fly- both kinds. Dauphin Island is a bird sanctuary, the main resting place to and from South America. See all kinds. There also is the beach, like Florida before Disney World and the condos ruined it.
I remember when Orlando was a sleepy little village with a giant milk carton on top of one of the buildings there. I was stationed at McCoy Air Force Base in the Early 70s. I met my first wife Glenda there where she lived in the YWCA. My room mate, Monty from Shreveport and I strolled into the Day Room at the YWCA and saw 30 beautiful girls watching TV. I kindly asked for Cathy and 6 girls stood up. Monty dated Cathy Ladney and I married her roommate, Glenda. We strolled hand and hand along the banks of Lake Eola. We kissed under the stars. She said she would love me until the cows came home. We married in a church that looked like a witches hat in Titusville and moved to her daddy’s house and all I heard the next day were cowbells. He was a dairy farmer and the cows were home. It lasted 7 bitter years, but we had a beautiful daughter. We named Erin Olivia after the Walton’s TV show, and Erin is Irish for peace. All we are saying is give peace a chance. I still wear my hippie jeans with the bell bottom flowers today. I wanted it to be like Cinderella and Prince Charles, Together forever. But it was not written in the cards. All things work together for good for those who love the lord. I keep saying that.
I lost track of Erin when she was 5. The Air Force on the road is not good for maintaining contact. I received an email from her when she was 21 and needed a place to live and a job. This is one of the main reasons why I took my early retirement and started this business, to support my long lost daughter and her husband. We moved them to Baton Rouge but it did not work out. They went back to live with his mother in Titusville. Then I lost her again. I do not know if she is alive or dead. Maybe you have seen her; Erin Thomas is her name last time I checked. And now history repeats itself. My other daughter Heather decided to live with her momma in Indiana. I hardly ever see her and she hardly ever calls. I try to laugh and I try to have fun, but my heart aches like these old bones. It is like déjà vu all over again. Only this time I don’t have 20 years left for a come back. I have had cancer. Each day is living on borrowed time. Any day now I might go to sleep and never wake up- now that would be a peaceful way to go.
Now I lay me
down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
Should I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Epilog: Tonya and Steve said we could conduct smoke school by their pond in October. We just might do the Chatom School there. Maybe have a small fishing rodeo the night before or early the morning before smoke school -what do you think? Tonya and Steve- Yawl is real folks and we love yawl-AMEN.
It ain't over until the fat cat sings
smoke school stories and family stories
What to bring
EPA Method 9 Visible