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It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by ghostsniper

Our neighbor across the road had the traditional broken down tractor in the front yard of his 10 acre property, several junk vehicles too, a chainlink kennel with 9 yappin’ hunting dogs of various breeds, mostly a variety of curs. He also has a sprint car (was rated third in the state) several horses, and is a top rated *coon hunter*, and has lived here all of his life. All of his immediate family live within 3 miles.

This place is hillbilly land and about 2 miles from our house is the Blue Grass capital of the world and each summer there are fests there every weekend. We can hear the music from out front porch on warm summer nights.

Everybody wears camo all year round and in the season everyone and everything turns *hunting*, an amazing phenom to witness. Long term gunner myself, I found out right away how gun friendly the state is – simply pay the money (I think $30), get fingerprinted, and 10 days later your concealed carry permit comes in the mail. The process was arduous in FL, lots of money, lots of proving (my so called *constitutional right*), and 6 months waiting. Pshwew!

Most people around here like what they like and mind their own business and that’s exactly as it should be. Part of the old suburban me wishes the neighbor to the south would clean up their act but the new rural me tries to stay focused on my own stuff and ignore the others. As I age that becomes easier. Not really interested in changing anybody as that can only come in time and individual desire and will.

Did anyone else notice the hummingbirds left 2 days ago?

The same day the blue jays showed up.

Seasons – take the time to notice them, they are nature’s clock and calendar, and magnificent.

ghostsniper in Swimming Laps in the Labyrinth – American Digest

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  • Snakepit Kansas September 25, 2017, 10:10 AM

    Fall is coming, but not fast enough for this guy. Setting up a deer stand last week left me with two ticks I found on my hip a few days later. Chiggers are still biting. Poison ivy has yet to go dormant. Sunsets are coming quicker, but still beautiful as ever on the high plains.

  • Sam L. September 25, 2017, 10:52 AM

    Don’t irritate your neighbors; you’ll need their help some day.

  • ghostsniper September 25, 2017, 11:02 AM

    Bean Blossom bridge, you did that one right Gerard!
    Been across it many times, most recently to test the 4×4 capabilities on my Blazer.
    The road to the rear of the picture taker is pretty arduous and shouldn’t be undertaken by anything lesser.

    This picture is facing north and I live about 1 mile to the west of that bridge. It spans Bean Blossom Creek which meanders around like a snake and comes close to our house. A stream across the rear of our property feeds into that creek.

    That road, that goes thru that bridge, was once the mainline from Indy to Louis many years ago. The northen most end of that road terminated at what was the longest same-family continuously run business in the state, McDonald’s Shopworth. The original owner was what was called a Huckster back in the late 1800’s, brung his wares by horse drawn wagon from the big city to sell and later established the store. Then in the 50’s his son aligned with the IGA chain and built a brand spanking new building, leaving the old dilapidated red wooden structure standing right out on the corner, sort of a landmark over the years. In the 70’s Jack, the grandson took over and was running the place with 3 of his grown kids when we moved here almost 12 years ago.

    60 years later the IGA building looked very dated but like an old pair of shoes, was very comfortable. 3 cash registers but I never seen more than 2 open at 1 time. Along all the perimeter walls on the inside, up above the shelves and coolers, were momento’s collected over the years. One of them was a large, maybe 4′ long, wooden model of the Bean Blossom covered bridge. Bottles, cans, a large Singer thread display, many old products I had never heard of. There was a small deli at the rear and we would often get a 12″ pizza there on Fri evenings and while waiting for it to get done I’d wander the store looking at all the thousands of items up high on display. A veritable trip back in time, all times back to the 19th century, all at one time.

    Going to “Jack’s”, as everyone called it, was not just a place to go to spend money. As the community is small and there is no other business venture close by, everybody went there. I always seen somebody I knew when I went there. It wasn’t unusual to see someone and start yappin and someone else would jump in, then someone else, and soon 10 or more people are standing around running their jibber, jokes, etc. It was a place to “connect” with others in the real sense. “News” was transmitted, like when the bridge construction at Morgantown would be completed, or Jim Bond was bringing 200 blue watermellons back from Vincennes, Dr Brester (the vet) was doing better with his ailing foot, or Jr Cody bragging about his new tractor and all the stuff he could hook up to it.

    Jack’s shut down about 3 years ago and I felt it in my bones, and still. Jack was in his mid 80’s and started suffering from alzheimers and it was painful to try to communicate with him, though I always did try. I knew Jack before the disease and he was a fun guy to talk to. Every year the store would hold a birthday party for Jack in the store with cake and ice cream for everyone and hundreds showed up. I remember the last one, Jack was out of it most of the time, sitting there with ice cream all over himself. Jack’s funeral was like nothing I had ever seen before. The line for the viewing was unbelieveable. My wife and I stood in that line for over 3 hours til we got up to the casket. The family members coming back thru the line shaking hands and conversing with everyone. Amazing.

    A year later the kids decided they wanted out and shut the store down and put it up for sale. A year later “Dollar General” bought the place, and re-did the whole thing in their style – just opened a few months ago. It looks out of place. Many people seem to like it but I don’t. I have been in it and can see the convenience but what I really see is what has been lost. Funny, last week I stopped in there and lo and behold, Jack’s daughter was there and I hadn’t seen her since the old store shut down. I asked her how she liked this new dollar store and she said she did like it. I told her I didn’t and that I wanted the old comfortable store back. She looked at me and I could see the wispfulness in her eyes. Or was it regret? I know she seen regret in my eyes. Then without another word we both sort of walked off in different directions.

    Yes, that shiny new store with all it’s thousands of items is a convenience to many and like a mushroom it will most likely cause other such things to spring up close by and little by little the meaning of life will be replaced by things that are easier. I’m not happy about this stuff but realize that there is little I can do about it. Back in 2006 I had a conversation with my FIL about my disappointment with the same thing occurring where we lived in Florida. I had spent a lifetime and a fortune procuring what I thought was my own personal paradise and the last place I would ever live. A home I had designed and built myself in a place 2 miles from the closet neighbor and the last people to live there were the Calusa indians a millenia before. A year after we moved in the largest builder in the state bought all of the property around us and started erecting cheap pieces of junk and inserting all the misfits of society into them thanks to free gov’t money. I told my FIL I was very disappointed and my wife (his daughter) and I were searching for another place to live, a place where we can find peace of mind. He asked me, “Where are you gonna go? Where ever you go they are gonna find you and in time you will be right back where you were. You can’t outrun change.”

    My FIL is now dead and I can’t tell him he was right. I see the changes going on around here and again I am not happy. My wife and I are looking at property to purchase in distant lands though still in the US. But we’re not spring chickens any more so staking a claim on the northside of the rockies is probably not in the picture though that is what I want more than anything. More though than for my own sanity, I am thinking for my wife. She loves her woods and her wild animals and can’t imagine living anywhere else, and never back in society. But I won’t be around for ever doing the heavy lifting that she cannot. So I have to find a balance between peace of mind for us, and a path that is struggle free for her in the future. Can this be done without having neighbors with long noses right up against you on all 4 sides? I don’t know but if it’s possible I will figure it out and I’ll not stop trying, until I no longer can.

  • Callmelennie September 25, 2017, 2:18 PM

    So is that you in the video, Ghostsniper? You come across as a little more mild mannered in the flesh

  • indyjonesouthere September 25, 2017, 4:55 PM

    Yup, let the neighbors be. Its pretty dusty downwind of the combines bringing in the beans. A local bike shop a 1/2 mile down the road has a noisy clientele but as we all live several miles down from the main departure runway of wide body jets, I am rather happy they never complained about the aircraft I worked on for a living.

  • Gnawbonejack September 26, 2017, 2:39 AM

    In our neck of the woods the hummingbirds are still around and the local hardware store supplies their nectar every day. This is Bird country where the fishing never stops; not even for deer season.

  • arcs September 26, 2017, 6:56 AM

    What in hell is a “top rated *coon hunter*?”

  • ghostsniper September 26, 2017, 7:44 AM

    There’s more to it than you might imagine. Not all hillbillies are backwards, ripped overall wearin’, corn skweenin’ swillin’, bakka chewin’ behemoths, though there’s nothing wrong with any of that. Nope, high tech has infiltrated everywhere it seems.

    There are national championships on everything these days and coon hunting is no exception.
    A good coon dog, say a climbing cur or a mountain cur, can cost $3k or more. The guy across the roads studs out a couple of his males each year and makes a good return on it. He also does interstate trading/selling of the dogs.

    He also has several rifles specially formatted for coon hunting, low velocity .22’s with FLIR’s, etc.

    The dogs have specially fitted collars with GPS tracking and radio equipment. The hunter wears the corresponding equipment. There is a learning curve to all of this stuff.

    The amazing part is, and I’ve seen this with my own eyes, are the dogs themselves. They have built-in systems they were mostly born with, and then developed through training. Ever heard the word “baying”? It’s a sound the dog makes when it has the coons scent and is close to it, maybe has it tree’d. Baying can be heard over long distances and with the right conditions and equipment the hunter is led right to the source. The dogs emit a variety of sounds depending on conditions. It’s not unusual for the hunters to cover several miles, in the dark, in the woods, in the fall, during a hunt. Basically, the dogs are hardwired for this stuff and some person long ago discovered it in them. I’ve been around all kinds of dogs all of my life and I never seen these curs like this til I moved here.

    I don’t do coon hunting, don’t care for the whole notion and especially don’t like the exploitation of the animals involved, mostly for entertainment, because the coons are not eaten. It’s not my kinda fun.

  • Jewel September 26, 2017, 8:00 AM

    I wanted a Coon Hound for ages after reading Where the Red Fern Grows.

  • Vanderleun September 26, 2017, 10:02 AM

    Oh yes excellent tale.

  • BroKen September 26, 2017, 10:19 AM

    Folks around here would argue that we are closer to the capital of Bluegrass. It is “Blue Moon of Kentucky” after all.

  • ghostsniper September 26, 2017, 2:27 PM

    @BroKen, I’ll not argue that, I have no dog in this fight. Just fact. My understanding is that bluegrass is from the bluegrass of KY. For reasons I’ll never know Bill Monroe was chosen king of bluegrass and he chose Bean Blossom for his place to claim which it remains still. Not a big fan of bluegrass, it all sorta sounds the same, but I’ll definitely take it over several other kinds out there. My first knowledge of bluegrass was through a friend, 35 years ago, that played guitar with a BG band named Seldom Seen.

  • Rob De Witt September 26, 2017, 3:09 PM

    Ghost –

    And Bean Blossom, FWIW, is in Indiana, not Kentucky…..

    Bill Monroe developed a distinctive kind of music from the sounds in his mind. Since he was from Rosine, he called his band The Bluegrass Boys. In those days it was simply called Bill Monroe’s music, but as more and more musicians got fascinated by it and went out on their own to carry on the same style, it became known a recognized genre known as “Bluegrass music” sometime in the early ’50s. If you don’t feel it, that’s all there is to it; I don’t feel rocknroll, (which coincidentally owes as much to Bill Monroe as it does to black blues.) Real Bluegrass is rightly reckoned to be “soul music for white people.”

    “The King of Bluegrass,” on the other hand, was self-dubbed Jimmy Martin, a one-time singer/guitarist with Monroe’s band – and there were dozens; Monroe had a touring band from 1939 until his death in 1996- who went on to front a band called The Sunny Mountain Boys.

    Was your friend with the Seldom Scene John Starling or Phil Rosenthal, mayhap?

  • ghostsniper September 26, 2017, 7:46 PM

    @Rob, yes I know, I live in Bean Blossom.
    The friend was John Via from Blacksburg, Virginia.
    Haven’t seen him since about 1985.
    Believe it or not, the Bill Monroe museum is about a mile north of that bridge and about 2 miles from my house but I have never been to it. Go past it all the time and think about going in but never do.

  • Rob De Witt September 26, 2017, 8:22 PM

    Back home in Indiana, huh. I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash….

    I was born in Springfield, Ill., and gone since 1 was 17. No family, pretty much been on the loose my whole life despite fitful attempts at marriage. I envy you having roots.

  • edaddy September 28, 2017, 8:46 PM

    Uh, ghost, I live outside Bloomington and you just confirmed that you are totally full of sh#t. But I always knew that. You can’t even spell it right … it’s Beanblossom, not Bean Blossom.

    Beanblossom is outside Bloomington, IN, which is a mecca for local and Indiana University hippies. If ghost had done more than rudimentary research on the web, he’d know that. There are hillbillies in Indiana, but they sure as h#ll aren’t anywhere near Beanblossom or that stupid covered bridge in Nashville, IN. Nashville is a da#mn artists colony that extracts money from weekend travelers, mostly moneyed folk from Indianapolis, Bloomington and Columbus who are looking for weekend getawa.

    Bill Monroe chose Beanblossom not because there were hillbillies, but because there were so many hippies. For those who think bluegrass music is Deliverance and Dueling Banjos, you need to do better research on the genre, especially as it relates to the influence of the Newport Folk Festival and post-war 1950’s intellectuals. (While you’re at it, check out some dude named Bob Dylan who played at Newport in the early 1960’s). The bluegrass resurgence was driven by eastern intellectuals who were interested in getting back to the roots of popular music. Hillbillies might have played bluegrass, but what made bluegrass “big” wasn’t hillbillies … it was intellectuals.

    I will give you this, ghost, you are an entertaining writer … even when you make things up.

  • ghostsniper October 7, 2017, 6:29 PM

    What’s the sign on the bridge say?
    Talk about full of shit.

  • Rob De Witt October 7, 2017, 9:55 PM


    That’s not bad, actually, with the caveat that “eastern intellectuals” would be better phrased “Cultural Marxist culture-vultures.” No question that once Ralph Rinzler became associated with Bill Monroe and started booking the Blue Grass Boys into college concerts the die was cast. Rinzler was a Swarthmore graduate who ended up working for the Smithsonian, and like most lefties Revered The Holy Primitive. Due largely to his efforts bluegrass became, in the public mind, indistinguishable from Folk Music, which has itself been virtually indistinguishable from Marxism since the ’30s. I can tell you from long personal experience that real bluegrass players have never felt any warmth toward folk musicians.

    Like almost every interest of those types it was never about “getting back to the roots of popular music” and always about posing and signalling to their supposed peers. Bluegrass, which I’ve been playing for over 50 years, has at one and the same time become an enormously sophisticated artistic expression, on the one hand, and an acceptably social hobby for lefties on the other. The Bay Area bluegrass scene in the ’60s and ’70s was a direct conduit to Nashville (that would be Tennessee) and ultimately a terrific influence on the bigtime country music scene, as evidenced by the huge splash made by the Coen Brothers’ movie 15 years ago. Now the Bay Area bluegrass scene is largely driven by the Politically Correct, and bluegrass is the favorite music of ladies in lumberjack shirts. Put another way, the real bluegrass comes from people who sing gospel quartets because they mean it; their hobbyist imitators sing gospel music because the harmonies are pretty and they can (and do) pass off the message as camp.

    One more thing – your contention that “Bill Monroe chose Beanblossom because there were so many hippies” is ludicrous, and betrays your deep lack of knowledge about the enigma that was Bill Monroe. The college crowd loves having a new obscurity to celebrate, but one listen to Monroe or the Stanleys or Flatt and Scruggs or Jimmy Martin on radio in the ’50s will leave no confusion regarding their appeal to hillbillies. I’ve heard shows where men in overalls erupted in screams at an Earl Scruggs banjo break, just like bobbysoxers at a Frank Sinatra concert.