Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dear Folks, It Doesn't Seem Like Christmas Time, Dec. 16, 1957, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Pfc. Robert C. Patton

Dear Folks,                        16 Dec 57

  I guess Earl is sweating
out being a fireman. That
will be a pretty good job if
he can get it. If I were him
I would start saving that
paycheck because it's nice to
have something to fall back
to. It doesn't seem like
Christmas time to me.
Here in Korea all days are
just about the same.
  Our basketball team has
won 10 games so far and
lost only one. I don't think
we will go to Japan over
Christmas, but I do know
I will get to go on pass.
  I got the fruit cake, haven't
ate it yet. Guess I'll
wait until I'm in
the Christmas spirit.
  I guess I will go out for
the track team when
it starts, if I made the
basketball team I should
be able to run track. I
will just about try
anything to get off of
guard duty and stay out
of the field.
                     Love, Robert

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dear Folks, Our Basketball Team Has Won Eight Games And Lost None So Far, December 8, 1957, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Pfc. Robert C. Patton

Dear Folks,                     8 December 1957

  I got the ear plugs
and underwear. I don't
want you to subscribe
to the papers for me. I
get them all in a bunch
and they are a lot
of trouble. If you can
I wish you could fix
it up where I can
get only the Sunday paper.
  I am glad Ala finally
woke up and got a Coach,
maybe now they will
start to win. I might
not have been home for
this Thanksgiving but I'l
sure be home for the
next. I put my money
in the soldiers deposit this
month, and I didn't know
we might go to Japan.
If we go over there during
Christmas I want to
enjoy it. Is Earl
working or what?
  That tornado must have
really been tough. I wonder
if it hit Allamels house?
When does Johnnie Frank
go to college? I am sure
he will like Alabama,
but I hope he joins
a Fraternity because it
will help him a lot.
  Our basketball team has
won eight games and lost
none so far. All I
do now is play basketball
but one day I have to
go back to guard duty
but as long as I can
think, this is one boy
who is going to try his
best not to do anything
while in the army. We
had our 2nd snow this
week. That's enough to
last me for 5 years.
It sleeted first then
snowed. There was just
a layer of ice under
the snow. Do I still
have that big new 1950
Plymouth? There is only
one boy over here from
Birmingham, he is from
Woodlawn. He played football
for them and with Florida
State. His name is Don Powell.
We both go home
the same time just as
soon as papa san starts
planting his rice. All
his rice paddies are
frozen now.
  Well I hope that I am
not as old as I feel
and that 7 1/2 more months
will go by fast.

                        Love, Robert

Note: Johnny Frank and Earl are his Cousins.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Every Good Gift

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."    
                                                                     James 1:17

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cream Cheese And Crackers

  This is an appetizer that can be brought out and served on any occasion. Donald Robinson Robertson, My Cousin, especially likes snacking on this when we are waiting for My Mama's famous Cornbread Dressing to be taken out of the oven at Thanksgiving and Christmas time. He always complains that I don't put enough of "the stuff" on it- but then he's always complaining about something.

Cream Cheese And Crackers

1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
2 T hot pepper jelly
1 stack Ritz crackers

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dear Folks, The Last Letter Might Have Seemed A Little Bad, December 1957, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Pfc. Robert C. Patton

                                                  December, 1957
My Dear Family,
  The last letter might
have seemed a little bad,
but after one year of being
in the army things become
a little hateful, people (sargents) telling
you what you should do.
Living with all kinds of
people like our nice
Korean friends. I will
tell you, if you are paying
high taxes, you should check
into Korea because a hell
of a lot of American money
is spent into this country for
  Well a funny thing
happened last night. We
went to play a basketball
game, it's pretty cold now,
well the gym had no
heat. We won the game. I
played some, scored 4 points. Ha!
We came back to our
living quarters. It was
still early so a couple of
us decided to go get a beer.
As we went along I looked
up and said it was going
to snow. Sure damn enough
it snowed. The first time of
the year. It only snowed for
10 minutes, the ground was
covered. It's still on the
ground. The ear plug got
here and it's really great
have patience be home
soon in Aug.
  I think the basketball team
will go the Japan for the
Christmas holidays, so I
want you to send me
$75. I know it will make
a dent, but I will replace
              Love, Robert

Send the letter to
PFC Patton
Hq & Hq Company
1st Battle Group, 7th Cav
APO 24, S.F Calif

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dear Folks, It Seems A Little Colder, November 1957, 38th Parallel Korea, Love, Robert

Pfc. Robert C. Patton

Dear Folks,

So far our basketball
team has won four games
and lost none. I haven't
being playing much, but
that doesn't make too much
difference to me. A lot
of the boys have college
experience. We stay in
a hutch together and just
practice basketball.
  As each day goes by it
becomes it seems a little
colder. It hasn't snowed
yet, but it sure has
been cold enough. I know
that I don't write about
much, but I am not
in France or Europe. Korea
was just only a couple years
ago in a war. There is nothing
to this place. All town and
villages are off limits. Black
market, dope, theft exist in
great numbers over here. These
people have been occupied
the last 50 years. Their
civilization is 4000 years old
but hasn't progressed one
year. Its just one mountain
after another. There isn't
to much to write about
you try to make the day
pass quickly and quietly. Just
counting them until you get
the hell out of the army.
Let me tell you how a
village looks like. It would
be what you would call
Ensley. The houses are made
of mud and straw. The
floors are just plain dirt.
You walk down a dirt
street, where army trucks
pass by and stir up clouds
of dust. In front of the
house there are ditches
which serve as sewers, they
have slimy muddy water
in them. You see dirty kids
playing around in them. The
Koreans have no running water,
no bathroom, nothing except
what the army does for them.
They didn't have roads until
we built them. You might
say what poor unfortunate
people these are. The slumiest
part of Birmingham is great
compared to a Korean town.
When you first see the way
they live you feel sorry for
them. But you began to
realize these people have been
living the same way for
4,000 years and I doubt
if they will live different
in another 4,000 years. But
my problem is not Korea,
just the army. I just let
the days go by as quick as
possible. I received the underwear.
I hope you got my money
order. You should have $250, I
have $150 saved here. I am going
to try to save at least $500
that should be enough effort.
                           Love Robert

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bruce Abbott, Principal

Me and Mr. Abbott

  Bruce Abbott was my High School Principal. He let me drop high school Physics when I was a Senior. I was grateful for that but you don't get out of anything in this life. I signed up for Observational Astronomy later when I was in college thinking I could get to look through the big telescope on the roof of one the buildings on campus and there Physics was again and I was knee deep in it.

  I got to crown the new Homecoming Queen one year and Mr. Abbott was my escort. I got to crown her and he gave her the flowers or I gave her the flowers and he got to crown her. I don't remember which but I do remember Mr. Abbott spitting out a Rolaid before we went out onto the football field during the halftime activities on that crisp fall night.

  We were sweating it out, literally, on graduation night on "Old Winston's Eastern border, reared against the sky..."as the lyrics of our Alma Mater wafted through the open doors of our little High School gymnasium on that balmy Southern night in Northwest Alabama.  Mr. Abbott was about to hand us our diplomas and we would shake his hand, one by one, all 29 of us.

  I remember the words he spoke to us that night. " Don't ever be ashamed to say that you graduated from Meek School".  He knew what lay ahead of us, our parents and teachers loved us and were proud. We were barely one generation off of a dirt floor in a poor white county and had no idea that the rest of the world was about to cut our okra and see how tough we were.

  Our class had the highest percentage of college graduates in the history of the school to that date.

  Thanks Mr. Abbott, you did good. I heard that you won't be needing those Rolaids any more. God Bless you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dear Folks, Hands A Little Cold, Nov. 1957, 38th Parallel Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks, (hands a little cold)
  Well I made the
basketball team, that will
last to about January.
That is a little break
since I have been in
the army.
  I'm glad I took
my basic training
during the winter, because
I at least know what
to expect. The day time
is not to cold, but
when night comes it
gets real cold. I don't
expect I will play in
to many basketball games,
but this is one time I
am very happy to
sit on the bench and
just watch. I guess
Earl is getting discontented
because of not working
but he should get as
much schooling as
possible. I am trying
to build up a nest
egg with my money
first, because If you
don't start saving at
first it gets harder and
harder. I will sent it
to you time and time, and
also save it through the
                    Love Robert

Note: Earl was a 1st Cousin.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Honey Pumpkin Pie

  Honey is a naturally healthy unprocessed sweetener and gives baked goods a delicately sweet flavor and good keeping qualities, not to mention helping the Honey Bee.

Honey Pumpkin Pie

1 unbaked pastry shell
1 can (15 oz) Solid Pack Pumpkin
1/2 c Honey
1 t Ground Cinnamon
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Ground Ginger
1/4 t Ground Nutmeg
1/8 t Ground Cloves
3 Eggs
1 Can (5 oz.) Evaporated Milk
1/2 c Milk

1) Combine pumpkin, honey, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

2) Add egg, evaporated milk and milk.

3) Pour mixture into prepared crust and place on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees F on rack just below center for 1 hour 25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Honey Hint: Add a little vegetable oil to the measuring cup before adding the honey and the honey will pour out easily.

Note: Use naturally or organically grown ingredients for maximum nutrition.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dear Folks, Today Is Another Day, Nov. 1957, 38th Parallel, South Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks,

  Well today is another
day, but it is a day
less to spend on the rock.
When you send the ear
plug, see if you can't
get a couple of grammar
school English books. I
know that we have some
around the house.
  I am still playing basket-
ball, but I don't know
how long it will last.
  I have thought about
sending Christmas presents
home but until xmas
is over you can't buy
anything, because everybody
thinks along the same lines.
  You probably will have
a good Christmas, Thanksgiving,
New Years. Only thing I
remember about holidays
is that you had a couple
of days off. In the
army you just have one
day off for any kind of
holiday. Well hell I will
be through with the
army when I get out. I
am glad I didn't stay
in the states, because
if you are going into
the army, this is a place
where you can speak with
pride in serving your country.
                         Love, Robert

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Am Persuaded

  "For I am persuaded beyond doubt that neither death nor life,
    nor angels
        nor principalities,
              nor things impending and threatening
                    nor things to come,
                         nor powers,
                               nor height
                                     nor depth,
                                           nor anything else
                                               in all of creation
                                                     will be able to separate us
                                                          from the love of God
                                                                 which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

                                                                                      Romans 8:38,39                              

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dear Folks, It Was Just A Lot Of Nothing, November 3, 1957, 38th Parallel Korea, Love, Robert

                                3 Nov 57

Dear Folks,

  I hope Sam told you how
lovely Korea is. If the Air
Force ever sent him anywhere
it would be Miami, because after
Korea he deserves it.
  This weekend we changed companies
or new locations. It was just
lot of nothing but we had to
move. Well October is over and
that is another month less to
spend in this damn hole. I hope
you can send me the ear plug
to the radio because it helps
to save on the batteries. I
don't think I can buy any
over here. There is not much
to write about, because the
things you do and people you meet
in the army is just an experience
which would take a book to
write about just everyday life.
  Let me know how things are.

                    Love Robert

Note: Sam is Uncle Robert's 1st Cousin.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Adventures Of Me

Call it what you will -Dashboard Therapy, Windshield Therapy, Gypsy Fever -I get a case of it a couple of times a year and I look for a remedy down a white line...on a highway.

  My Dad, The Man Who Could Make It Better, used to threaten my Nieces when they were little that if they didn't start behaving he would "sell them to the Gypsies".

  Before my brother and I were born our parents as newlyweds lived in Hueytown Alabama. It turned out that a band of Gypsies that lived in an Airstream on an adjacent lot had tried to buy my Mother. Their Queen of the Gypsies had died recently and they were in need of a replacement and thought my Mama with her long, flowing blonde hair should fit the bill. All she remembers about the incident was that a couple of men came to the door and my Dad answered it because he was closest to it. He had built his workshop onto the little trailer that he and my Mom lived in so he could hear her play the piano when he worked on his hot rods and racers. Mama remembers the Gypsy men leaving about as fast as they got there. I asked my Dad about the incident. I asked him how much they were going to give him for her and he said the conversation didn't get that far. I told Mama that in spite of everything that she and my Dad had been through my Dad loved her because he didn't even entertain an offer for her.

  I told my brother Richard, A Human Being, that he could have been a Gypsy Prince and that I could have been a Gypsy Princess if our Dad had sold our Mother that day. We would probably be living out in an Airstream somewhere. Instead, I hang my hat in a  '68 Shasta Compact that is all of 12' long (if you count the hitch) every now and then.

  The then this time is the Black Pot Festival and Cook-Off in Lafayette Louisiana. I started out the trip with 9 people and lost them before I pulled out of my driveway. The festival was on a Friday and Saturday , 3 p.m.-Midnight. I normally don't stay up till midnight. I get up at midnight. I wanted to see The Pine Leaf Boys, Blues De Musicien. They sang in French and played blues you could dance to.

The trip began with a full tank of gas, a map and some Google-ings. I tried using a GPS unit once on a trip to Thomasville Georiga and ended up in a residential area in Montgomery Alabama. I turned it off.

  I left my driveway just as dawn was breaking over the Alabama sky. I was leaving with IBS and fever and a good dog- I try not to go anywhere without a good dog. My fever broke along about Meridian as the local classic rock station played "play that funky music white boy". I started to feel a little better. They don't call it the comfort zone for nothing.

  Four classic rock stations later, "Charity" and I were in our camping spot with pink flamingos in place, just in time for a Louisiana sunset that couldn't be seem over all the RV's and tents at the festival grounds at the Acadian Village but I could hear the music of the night.

  Rumpled haired young men without shirts playing fiddles and guitars around the camp sites as their hippy chicks wandered around with their short skirts and cowboy boots.

  The camps grew quiet before the sun came up again and found young couples waking up together on the ground, women wearing overalls and horned rimmed glasses walking round as others walked their dogs.

  I met some Human Beings on that trip. Sometimes you have to leave home to find them. From my camp site neighbor who brought over a portable air tank and aired up the flat tire on my bicycle that I had had to put back on the rack: How did he know that tire was flat? What about the girl from Texas who had a Mercedes and layer of dirt road and who showed me how to keep the coolers at the Artist Hospitality areas clean and neat? Or what about the girl who just grabbed me and tried to teach me how to do the two step to the music behind the Festival Merchandise counter until I was dizzy? I will never forget the kindness and friendship that was offered to me by that sweet little family from Connecticut who were traveling cross country and missed their dogs. What a bland life it would be if it didn't touch others.

So I go back sometimes, to the floor that I love the gypsy that remains...                                        

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dear Folks, Everybody Is Broke, October 27, 1957, 38th Parallel Korea, Love, Robert

Pfc. Robert C. Patton

Dear Folks,                                  27 Oct 57

  Well I hope everything
is ok at home. I am
still playing basketball.
I guess Sam is happy
to be at home. He probably
will make a career out of
ite Air Force. He should
have been in the army. There
is a lot of difference.
We have changed divisions.
The 34th Div is now
the 1st Calvary Division.
Well in a couple more
days it will be payday.
That means one less to
spend in Korea. I'll
be glad when I can
go back to Japan. If
I get enough money
I might go to Hong Kong.
Everything around here
is pretty quiet. End
of the month, everybody
is broke. Well I'll
close for now.

                Love, Robert

Note: Sam was a 1st Cousin.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

To Live Quietly And Peacefully

  "To make it your ambition and definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you,"
                                                      I Thessalonians 4:11

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dear Folks, Still On The Basketball Team, October 20, 1957, 38th Parallel Korea, Love, Robert

Pfc. Robert C. Patton

                       20 Oct 1957
Dear Folks;

 Well I am still on the
basketball team. I just hope
I can stay on it but you
never know about the army.
Yesterday I woke there was
ice on the ground. In Korea
you go outside it's cold,
you go inside you are still cold.
I received the package and
it was a nice present.
I wish you could send
me the ear plug attachment
if you can. They have people
leaving the company, going
back to the world everyday
but maybe my day will get
here pretty soon.
I don't know when I ever
will start on my course.
Right now I just can't
quite seem to get started.
If I stay on the basketball
team, maybe I will be able
to complete it. How is
Betty doing at Auburn?
How is Ensley doing? I know
that Alabama is sameo
sameo. Well pretty soon I will have
a change of address. We
have become the 1st Cav Division
but I don't know the new
address. I think when I
get out of the army I will
get out in Calif. and see part
of the country coming home.
Probably be my only chance
but I have seen enough of
the world to last me.
  Does Billy still work on
cars, hot rods? Well be
good and write.

                      Love Robert

Note: Betty was a 1st Cousin and Billy was my Dad. Uncle Robert still listened to a transistor radio with an ear plug attachment for many years after he got out of the Army. C.P.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tom Lester, The Man Who Made Me Laugh Again

Mrs. Sudduth, Addison Civitian President, and Guest Speaker Tom Lester

  It was a fine Autumn Day, the kind that makes a fuzzy sweater feel comfortable and that makes you wear shoes with your socks.

  I was walking around looking at the Arts And Crafts at Pat Buttram Day in Addison, the little rural town that has the only traffic signal in a 20 mile radius of here, gave birth to "Mr. Haney" of Green Acres fame.  As I browsed around a booth filled with hand sewn aprons, my little dog tugged at the end of her leash. The man of the hour, the events' most special guest that year was kneeling in front of me, the sun shining brightly upon him and his little green army hat and checkered shirt. "Dogs, I love dogs", he said as he stroked the head of my little "Ginger". Tom Lester was using the booth where I was browsing as a temporary table in order to autograph a photo of himself as the famous "Eb" of Green Acres.

  Throughout the course of the day I had kept a considerable "starstruck" distance until the couple that were assisting him, members of the local Civitans Club that hosted the event, wanted to go home and watch the Alabama game and had decided to have me (and my Mom) take their place. My star struckdedness quickly evaporated as the warmth of Tom's smile and considerate manner put me at ease.

Tom and I became friends after that day, exchanging phone calls and jokes, his jokes perfectly executed and mine, well, they got better after he had recycled them.

  Tom asked me a simple question once and I started laughing so hard I could barely breathe, you know that kind of laughter, the kind that heals your soul.

I was privileged to have his light shine on me for awhile, I giggled in the glow of it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dear Folks, My Luck Is Limited,1957, 38th Parallel Korea, Love, Robert

Pfc. Robert C. Patton

APO 24

Dear Folks,
 Well I have made the Regimental
basketball team so far. I am going
to be TDY from the company till
about the end of January. We
practice about 3 hours a day, and
that's all. I just hope I can stay
on it, but my luck so far
in the army is limited. The
weekend we are going to travel
and play a couple of practice
games. I believe it will snow
any day now because it sure
is cold over here. At night time
that temperature takes a damn big

Note: Uncle Robert had great athletic ability and was one slot away from being the high point man his Senior year at Ensley High School. He was also The State High Jump Champion that year. My Dad always said if Robert had had another year in High School he would have been able to quality for a scholarship.  Uncle Robert also played Intramural sports at The University of Alabama.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dear Folks, Lost In Japan, October 2, 1957, 38th Parallel Korea, Love, Robert

                        2 Oct 57
Dear Folks,

 I guess you were wondering
if I got lost in Japan! I
wish I could get lost for
about a year. Those people
live entirely different than
the Koreans. You almost
feel as if you are back
in the states. The army
has several hotels they
run. The are just
as good as any in the
state, you won't find
any better service. Rooms
cost $2 a day and food
runs about $1.50 per day.
You can get a steak
for $1.00. There is a lot
to Japan. I went to
Mt Fuji for a couple of
days then I came back
to Tokyo. I won't tell
you how much I spent
but it was worth
every penny. From time
to time I will try to
send money home if
I possibly can. It must
be pretty nice weather
at home, but over here
at night time it is in
the low forties. Tomorrow
I go out for the
basketball team. I
hope I make it.


Note: I have a pearl necklace that I wear on special occasions  My Grandmother gave it to me. I sat beside her on the bed and she gave them to me. She told me the story about how My Uncle Robert had brought them back from Korea and had gotten them when he was on leave in Japan. They were mine now. She explained to me how she had had them restrung with a knot in between each pearl so that if the necklace should break the delicate pearls would not scatter. Uncle Robert was in the next room and commented later about Grandmother's gesture and how he thought it was sweet of her to give them to me.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What Eye Has Not Seen

Mark Rikard Photography using Lensbaby Photography
 "What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man,
                                           God has prepared for those who love Him."  I Corinthians 2:9

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple Dumplings

  This is a great time of year to get out and support your local apple orchards. Chances are they are having fun Fall activities- not to mention some great apples.

Apple Dumplings

4 c thinly sliced apples, peeled and cored
1/3 c sugar
2/3 c water
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 c all purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbs butter (or 3 Tbs oil)
1/2 c milk

1)  Combine the 1/3 cup sugar, water and cinnamon and apples in a 2 quart sauce pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium and cover.  Cook apples 12-15 minutes until tender.

2)  Combine flour, 2 Tbs sugar, baking power and salt. Cut or rub in butter (or mix oil in with a fork). Add milk and stir just until a stiff batter forms.

3)  Drop batter by spoonfuls into boiling apple mixture and cover.

4)  Cook 12 minutes without raising lid.

Serve warm.

Note: Use organic or naturally grown ingredients for maximum nutrition.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Some Things I Have Learned Since I Was Born

Photo by my friend Meg McKinney using Lensbaby photography
1) When it comes to my will vs.God's- I need to step aside.

2) Pretty is as pretty does.

3) A soft bed beats a cold cot when camping.

4) Shopping is therapeutically, beneficially good.

5) Sitting on a couch with a good dog and a good movie is alright.

6) A night of good, restful sleep can beat a night on the town.

7) I wish I had taken my Mother's advice when I was 19, 24, etc., etc.

8) Drinking 6-8 ounce glasses of water per day is mandatory.

9) Friends are medicine.

10) Sometimes you don't need something that you really do need.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

This recipe was sent to me by a a very sweet, special lady who also loves all creatures great and small.

Liquid Laundry Soap

4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 Cup 20 Mule Team Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use (will gel)

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

Front Load Machines- 1/4 Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

Note: A little oxygen cleaner can be added to the wash load also to help brighten white clothes.

This is a great laundry soap formula that smells wonderful and is phosphate free.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012


  Molly Brown's Pa gave good advice when he said:

  "Learn to serve God and a hot breakfast, and in your search for that roof that don't leak rain, beware of men that offer you a roof and forget to mention marriage."

Well said.

Here's how to make the gravy for that hot breakfast. As for the other part-

you're on your own.


1 T Oil
2 T Flour
1/2 c Water

1) Heat oil in a small cast iron skillet on medium high heat.

2) Sprinkle in flour and stir for about 1 minute.

3) Gradually add water while continually stirring.

4) Stir until thickened and boiling.

5) Stir in 1/8 t salt and 1/8 t pepper remove from heat and serve.

Note: Choose ingredients that are naturally or organically grown for maximum nutrition.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Dad, The Man Who Could Make It Better

  There is a plaque on the wall at the Talladega Motorsports Museum, it's in the Alabama Racing Pioneers Room. My Dad's name is on it.

  William Frank "Bill" Patton always wanted to get us together for a Racing Pioneers event and he finally did. It was the Hall of Fame awards banquet. He was being inducted, posthumously, and my brother Richard, A Human Being, would receive the award on his behalf. This was only fitting because Richard was almost born in the floorboard of a '55 Chevy Bel Air Sports Coupe as our Dad raced our Mother to the hospital. He has been over and under cars ever since.

  Bill Patton could make things better. If it was a slow car, he could make it faster, if it was a radio, he could make it reach farther, if it was a heater, he could make it hotter.

  When my Dad was stationed in Texas when he was in the military he talked about how cold it was. The heaters for the soldiers' tents were built out of 55 gallon drums and my Dad had re-designed the one in his tent to burn hotter- by dripping avgas on it. His superiors saw it and reported it to their Commander. The Commander came into my Dad's tent- did a walk around inspection of the heater, looked at my Dad and said, "Could you build one like that for my tent?"

  My Dad was a life long learner.  He studied for and obtained his Blasters License at 70 years of age before copd started keeping him close to the house.

  He never got to blow anything up but if he did he could have done it legally.

 My Dad lived until the day he died. We buried him on his 74th birthday.

  The man who could make it better finally rests, as the rest of us, take our chance.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Garbage Men Need The Love Too

  I was in a conversation recently with a friend and made reference to "We" when I suddenly realized that there was an "I" in that "We". "I" had said, "We have got to quit using the planet for a garbage dump". "I" had recently been sending more that my fair share of refuse to the dump without giving much thought as to how my "fair share" was adding up in the world.  I re-purposed then and there to stop it. That was a challenge. I had to think about not buying garbage in the first place.

  By choosing products that are packaged in biodegradable or recyclable packaging, re-purposing or re-using existing materials helps reduce waste and gives the garbage man a break-
he could probably use one right about now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012


  Cornbread is a great staple item that is perfect for any meal, especially one with fresh vegetables.
And to quote a popular slogan, "Make Cornbread, Not War".


1 c cornmeal
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 c buttermilk
2 T Oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Put a small amount of oil into an 8-inch cast-iron skillet and place the skillet in the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk, oil, and egg, stirring just until moistened.  Pour batter into hot skillet. Bake at 425 degrees F for 18 minutes or until browned. Yield 4 servings.

Note: Choose organic or naturally grown ingredients for maximum nutrition.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shrimp Salad

  This is a great meal for summertime. I like to serve it with fresh sliced cucumbers and tomatoes on the side for a complete meal.

Shrimp Salad

8 ounces pasta shells of choice (boiled & drained)
1 pound boiled shrimp peeled and deveined
1/4 cup celery finely chopped
2 T mayonnaise
2 T sweet pickle relish
1 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
2 T green onions finely chopped
1/2 t black pepper

1) Boil pasta until tender, drain.
2) Boil shrimp for 5 minutes, drain.
3) In a large bowl mix all ingredients and add salt to preferred taste.
4) Chill for about 1 hour before serving.

Note: Choose organic or naturally grown ingredients for maximum nutrition. Enjoy.

Friday, June 29, 2012


  I don't drink wine but I like to make it.

  I like what C.S. Lewis had to say about it.

    "One great piece of mischief has been done by the modern restriction of the word Temperance to the question of drink. It helps people to forget that you can be just as intemperate about lots of other things. A man who makes his golf or his motor bicycle the centre of his life, or a woman who devotes all her thoughts to clothes or bridge or her dog, is being just as 'intemperate' as someone who gets drunk every evening. Of course, it does not show on the outside so easily: bridge-mania or golf-mania do not make you fall down in the middle of the road. But God is not deceived by externals."

Basic Wine

1 1/2 lb berries
10 c water
3 c sugar
1/4 t wine yeast

2 c sugar (added later)

1) Wash berries and and place in an enamel or stainless steel pot.

2) Add water and sugar and stir. Simmer 30 minutes on stove top.

3) Remove from heat and cool to 95 degrees F and add softened wine yeast. (Sprinkle wine yeast into a 1/2 c warm water and let stand for 15 minutes to soften).

4) Stir.

5) Cover pot loosely and wait 6 days.

6) Strain and add the 2 c. sugar and stir.

7) Pour into a clean 1 gallon jug and cap with a water lock. (This allows the wine to ferment naturally and let gases escape when water is placed into the lock.)

8) Wine is ready when the water lock stops "bobbing" up and down.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Salmon Patties

My Mama has been making these for as long as I can remember. They are a great staple item.

1 tall can salmon with liquid
1/4 c flour
1 egg, beaten
2 T chopped onion
1/4 oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Drop by spoonfuls into heated oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and flatten out a little (reduce heat if necessary). Fry until golden on both sides.

Serve with gravy, tartar sauce or ketchup. (Our family likes ketchup.)


Note: Choose ingredients that are grown naturally or organically produced for maximum nutrition.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dear Folks, Do Not Send Candy, May 1957, 38th Parallel, South Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks,
  Well this week has been
a funny one. Monday we
went to the field. We had
to walk out (10 miles). We built up
our gun positions . That
night I had to come back
and walk guard duty. That
is what is tonight. You either
have a 12 or 24 hour post.
These Koreans will steal anything
that you have got. The nights
are very funny. You begin
to realize how mysterious
the orient is. At first I didn't
think much of Korea, but now
it is better than I thought it would
be. Of course it is nothing
like paradise but after 16
months I will probably hate
this place.
 We went into
the field and stayed a week
it wasn't to bad. We came
back Saturday (walked) and
I had to pull guard that
night, but the greatest
surprise I got was Sam
called me Sun. Morning
and came down to see
me. He couldn't stay long
I was on guard duty but
it was great. Right now
I wish you could be here.
It is something else. We walk
guard with a loaded rifle and
our orders are to shoot to
kill, which is very possible.
  I think when I come back
I will be different, but not
to much. I won't do any
hard labor, wake up at 4 o'clock
or anything like that but
I will appreciate life more.
The only thing that I regret
is that I didn't go into
the army at an earlier age, I
can't explain it to you, you
would have to be in the army.
  I know that these two years
may be wasted as far as
I am concerned but I feel
sort of proud that my
obligation to my country was
spent in the infantry in Korea
with the only division in battle
line position.
  Do not sent candy, but
please send the newspapers.


(C Note: Sam was Uncle Robert's 1st Cousin and he was in the Air Force.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Because It's What We Do

  It's still there. Ivey's. The shop on the corner in Downtown Jasper, just off the courthouse square. It's owner, Evelyn opened it 60 years ago. A time when men came to town wearing Fedora style hats and the women wore girdles and if you needed either one of those items you could find them at Ivey's.

  A friend of mine had told me that Ivey's had vintage dresses in original stock for sale and I knew that it was a stop I had to make. Sure enough, the day came when my Mama and I were in Jasper and found ourselves Downtown looking for a parking space. As we went into the store, Evelyn, with her silver hair and smart appearance, rose to greet us from her chair by the window. "Is there something I can help you with?' "What size do you wear?" and she directed me to the section containing my size. My Mama had commented that she used to buy her underwear there and there it was, the same stock she wore in the 70's that fit so well.

  When it was my time to check out, I walked away with a mint green vintage formal that had sleeves that look like Angel wings when you wave your arms around and a leather purse made in Hialeah, Florida. "It's like a museum", my Mama said. That such a place exists in this day and time is almost beyond imagination. Why does Mrs. Evelyn at the age of 83 years old still keep shop after all these years? The city filled her best parking spaces out front with shrubs and the streets to the Atlanta market had become a wearisome maze that defied access.

  It's what she does.

  "Tell your friends about us"' she says as we walk out the door.

   "I will".

   And I'll be back...

     even if I do have to park around back.

Went back to Ivey's at a later date and found this cool shirt.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dear Folks, Far Across The Sea, April 20, 1957, 38th Parallel, Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks,                       20 April 57

 Today is Sunday and
I thought I would write
a few lines before I go
on guard duty. We go
out into the field
tomorrow for five
days. I decided not
to go out for track
because its to hard
to get into good shape
over here. I don't
know when I am
going on R & R, but
it will be during this
month or May.
 I will try to let
you know ahead of
time. I wrote a letter
home, but I forgot
to put the state
on it so it came back
on me. So Earl is
really getting married
well I hope he is
happy about it. It's
been raining all
day so I guess I'll
get a little wet tonight.
Well, I have got
to get ready for Guard
Mount, I got the money
order and paper.
               Love Robert

Dear Folks                      27 April 57
 This month we
have only spent 12 days
out of the month in
the field. I guess we
will spend a lot more
time out there, but I
don't mind it. The
time goes by fast
enough out there. I
got the paper this Sat.
and was very much
elated to receive it.
With the coming
of May I imagine that
Earl is ready for
 Well this time last
year I was in Fort
Lewis awaiting shipping
orders to carry me
far across the sea.
I understand that
you are going to elect
a new governor. In
one more month I
will be 24 years old
in this world damn
years sure don't
subtract. Well when
you receive this letter
the month of April will
be gone, then it will all
be old time spent over
here. Not much longer
but yet seems so
far, but I ain't
counting on a damn thing
until I hit 27th St.
 Well there ain't anything
else to write or at least
I can't think of anything
just keep sending the
              Love Robert

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Donald Robinson Robertson, My Cousin

I had to publish this goofy picture of my cousin because he insists on not taking a serious one. Here's his quote:

"Tears are a sign that we have loved-
they help us let go-
they help us grow
to repair."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cream Cheese Pie

  Since I was a kid, my Mama has always made this pie for special occasions.  My Beloved Uncle would make one also for our family visit. He seemed so proud of himself for it. It's a great pie.

1 prepared graham cracker pie crust
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4 c lemon juice (about 2 medium sized if using fresh)

Combine sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl.  With an electric mixer, mix on medium-high speed. Pour into graham cracker pie shell.  Cover and refrigerate 12 hours or overnight. Slice and serve. (This is delicious when served with Blueberry Pie Filling.) Keep remaining pie and filling refrigerated.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dear Folks, Quiet and Dead, South Korea, April 5, 1957, Love, Robert

Mortar Battery
1st Battle Group
7th Cavalry
APO 24

Dear Folks;                            5 April 57
 Well tomorrow is Easter and
I think that was the last time I was
at home. For the past 3 weeks
we have been to the field at
least 4 days per week. This past
week we went up to the 8th Cav
to replace the Mortar Battery for
about 4 days. The 8th Cav is above
the umjun river along the
DMZ. The DMZ seperates
South and North Korea. That
is where a lot of the fighting took
place. Everything is quiet and
dead up there.
  I got the $20 money order and
my usual papers. I get the papers
every Sat. which gives me time to
read them good. Monday I am
going out for track if I can.
I don't like this company.Well
when Earl gets married I guess that
leaves only me. Ha! One of the
papers you sent me had the Delta
Chi leadout in it. I still know
most of the people, but there are
some who are unfamiliar to
me. Well I guess I close, keep
sending the papers.
                             Love Robert
Note: Uncle Robert was a student athlete and on the track team at The University Of Alabama.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


  This recipe comes from My Bestest Friend and Blackberry Picker's Aunt Mc.  It's a seedless cobbler that can be made from any kind of fruit juice.  (Blackberry is pictured here.)

Aunt Mc's Seedless Blackberry Cobbler

1 qt. unsweetened juice (any)

Mix 1 c. sugar, 1/4  cornstarch and 1 c. juice in bowl.
Boil rest of juice (3 c.).
Stir in the sugar/juice/starch mixture.
Stirring constantly, cook until filling coats spoon.
Pour into a 9x13 dish.
Roll out biscuit dough & lay on top.
Put 1/2 stick butter on top of crust in patties.
Bake at 450 degrees F 8 minutes until crust is brown.

The biscuit recipe My Bestest Friend and Blackberry Picker taught us how to make is on an earlier blog.

Note: Choose naturally grown or organic ingredients for maximum nutrition.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Catherine Marshall, Something More

"Our God is the Divine alchemist. He can take junk from the rubbish heap of life, and melting this base refuse in the pure fire of His love, hand us back- gold."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jar Lid Plant Markers

  This is a great way to use previously used canning jar lids and is a quick project that adds a lot of interest in the home garden.


Used canning jar lids
Sharpie permanent marker
Heavy gauge wire, about 18 inches (Wire clothes hangers work well for this.)
Nail set (or nail for punching hole)

Place the pliers at the tip of the wire and bend around.
Take the pliers and place them at the back of the half loop that was formed and bend around again.
Place a small block of wood on a flat surface and place the lid on top.
Use the hammer and nail set or nail and punch a small hole near the top of the canning jar lid. (Smooth out any crimped metal on the back of the lid with the hammer.)
Write the name of your plant with the Sharpie marker.
Hang the lid on the wire and enjoy.

An additional hole can be punched near the bottom of the lid and a small bead can be hung at the bottom for added interest.

These little plant markers work great in the garden and have a nice little tinkling sound while swaying in the breeze.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

How Do You Get From Wine And Roses To Guns And Roses?

  It's really pretty easy. Just stop giving the other person what they need.

  If I decide to visit a foreign country and expect to have a pleasurable visit I need to know the language that is spoken in order to communicate and get along with the residents there.

  In the case of of a woman, the man learns to speak her language of love-and that means she needs to know she is loved every single day of the year, not for just a weekend now and then-but everyday.  For the man, it's submission to his leadership, showing him respect and loving him.

  No one becomes fluent in a foreign language in a day or even a year. It takes a lifetime. If you do it and speak it:   "Every day is like a Saturday".

  Oh yeah, and make sure when you are planning your trip-make sure its really where you want to be.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Southern Girls...

1)  ...accessorize to match their favorite sports team or vehicle.

2)  ...plan a menu around grits.

3)  ...think "grass" is something you cut with a lawn mower and "weed" is something you pull out of the garden.

4)  ...take in mules as pets.

5)  ...think that a Goo Goo Bar and a Moon Pie are like wine and roses.

6)  ...dislodge Christmas decorations from tree limbs with shotguns.

7)  ...count Tractor Supply and Home Depot as their favorite places to shop.

8)  ...know that times, they are a-changin'.

9)  ...think the sound of a Whip-O-Will on a warm Summer evening is like the music in the night.

10)  ...count their blessings.