Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Our own ‘bird lady’

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Our own ‘bird lady’


I AM IMPRESSED. City of Nashville street crews put up Old Glory on downtown lightpoles very efficiently and quick for the Fourth. Lots of red, white & blue flying from homes and businesses, too.

Remember, if you leave a flag out at night it’s supposed to be illuminated.

I do not think the abundance of Main Street flags have deterred J-Turn criminals, though. At least, not as good as if our city had a deputized, uniformed and armed J-Turn Enforcement Officer. But that’s another story and I’m sure you’re not interested.

I AM IMPRESSED. And so are a lot of other people with the way the city park looked and how well the chamber of commerce had organized for the Stand Up gala.

Somehow a baseball tournament got scheduled on the same night, and the park sure was busy. On my walk at 6 a.m. Sunday, I could hear ‘them’ going at it already over on the park baseball diamonds. I meet people all over the state who compliment Nashville on the park.

I AM IMPRESSED. Met a nice couple who were attending their first Stand Up. Hobert and Reasel Thurgood of Rison (you’ve got to give them credit for having unique names) came down from their campsite at Blue Ridge Recreational Area in the ‘north end’ and sat with their friends, Don and Dana Newburg.

I discovered that Hobert and I served on the USS Yorktown CVS 10 at the same time in the early to mid 1960s (I can’t give you precise dates because it’s still classified information). He was an electrician working down in the bowels of our old WWII aircraft carrier, and I was an aircrewman in a helicopter squadron. And Don is an old Marine.

Cheers for ‘The Fighting Lady!’

I AM IMPRESSED. At the Tyson two million manhour safety award celebration last week, plant manager Mike Hanson called out names of winners of television sets and deluxe grills. He called out the name of an obvious Latino. The woman came forward to where Mike was standing. Like any ethics-challenged newspaper guy, I shamelessly eavesdropped on their conversation.

Mike said something to her in Spanish. She replied in Spanish. He replied to that.

That means that not only did he understand her; she understood him.

What an asset to be fluent in another language!

He told me later that when he worked for Tyson at a plant in north Arkansas he decided he needed to learn to speak Spanish.

I’ve tried and tried, but I’m too dumb to learn another language. All I can say is “Mas margaritas, por favor.”

I’M IMPRESSED. Dale and Susan Wingrove had a passel of visitors over the weekend. I don’t think it was just for the patriotic holiday. I don’t think it was for the Stand Up for America Gala. I don’t think it was to buy peaches.

No, I believe they were here to witness big Dale gettting into his tiny red car. You can’t believe your eyes.


A CLOSER LOOK. On Monday night, after a five-year flight, a NASA spacecraft the size of a gymnasium screeched nearly to a halt and began orbiting our solar system’s biggest planet, Jupiter.

The NASA perfessers fired the rockets for a half-hour to slow the spacecraft down enough so that it wouldn’t just shoot past the planet.

The craft will take pictures from about 2,600 miles above the tops of Jupiter’s clouds. That’s about the distance of El Paso to Bangor, Maine.

A pretty impressive feat, if you ask me. I’m disgusted at the way our politicians fight in D.C., and I’m glad that none of those Neanderthals have made our space program screech to a halt.


ANIMAL CRACKERS. In my driveway on Independence Day, a baby brown thrush chick cheeping and hopping about, escaped out of the nest far too early. Its mom (or dad) flying about feverishly to distract that fat old gringo.

I was unable to catch the chick, but don’t know what I would’ve done if I’d caught it.

A few decades ago I would have taken the baby thrush to ‘The Bird Lady,’ Miss Jamie McConnell, a lovely silver-haired woman who lived on West Hempstead St. in Nashville.

Miss Jamie knew how to feed and take care of injured or baby birds. She had a knack, and the birds weren’t afraid of her.

You did not want to get caught shooting your BB gun at birds anywhere near Miss Jamie’s yard. That sweet, silver-haired little ole lady could make you real, real sorry.


THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: If all is not lost, then where in the heck is it?


HE SAID: “True happiness is … to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman philosopher


SHE SAID: “My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.” Indira Gandhi, statesman



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