Thursday, May 28, 2015

The storyteller, Eddie Hunter

I met Eddie Hunter, of Marietta, Georgia, through the old Prodigy message boards in the early '90s. We both shared a love for the old Mad comic books. We also swapped anecdotes about our lives. I found Eddie had an advanced sense of humor and a genuine ability to tell a personal story.

Since Eddie has sometimes used artwork from my blog on his own, Chicken Fat, I thought it only fair to use some of Eddie’s stories on mine.

Eddie is, in the best sense of the word, a reporter. He watches people and listens to what they have to say. This comes through in his word-sketches. Everyone has a story. You just have to be receptive to it, and that is my friend Eddie. He and his wife, Anna, are constant companions, and have a wide circle of acquaintances. Eddie has an interest in family history, and in the history of his community and its fellow citizens.

I went back to some 2005 entries from Eddie’s blog for four short stories, each a few paragraphs. Eddie’s droll observations and comments are in the best tradition of storytelling. My only contributions are occasionally capitalizing a proper noun or providing a comma where I thought it was needed. I hope Eddie will forgive me. Other than those minor touches every word is Eddie’s.
Savannah, a Ghost, and the Unattached Hand

I went with Anna this past February to Savannah. She had four days of business meetings to attend.

The first or second evening we met the others of the working staff along and had dinner at The Olde Pink House in the historic district.

The Olde Pink House was first owned by James Habersham. James Habersham was a Georgia representative and was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Now, it is said The Olde Pink House is haunted by Habersham’s ghost. The Travel Channel did a bit about Hancock’s ghost there and so did PBS. The waiters claim that he would walk around in his clothing of the period and socialize with the guests and sometimes even play a trick on them, like hiding one’s fork before he or she reached for it, and the list is endless.

We had reservations. Two big tables held ten of us. Our table was round and was in a corner of the a room. Anna's co-staffers' table were within arm’s reach. One of the men sitting across from me I will call Tony. Behind Tony, high up on the wall, was a portrait of James Habersham, the original owner and maybe part-time ghost.

As we made polite conversation Tony, who struck me as a loud mouth braggart, with lack of anything else to say, brought up the subject of somebody that worked in his office, a handicapped person, a person that was challenged in controlling his body movements and his face movements. Tony said if he got excited talking he would lose control of his facial muscles and spit all over all you as he talked. Tony said he learned long ago to keep his distance or step aside when this guy was about to tell something.


One quiet person, lets call him John, between 55 and 60 years of age said, “Tony I think you deserve a hand for that.”

WHAM!!! A big unattached hand landed onto Tony’s empty plate.

Everything got deathly quiet. John reached over and picked up his rubber artificial hand and reattached it. Everybody at the table broke into laughter and some even were having hysterical laughter. I looked up at the portrait of James Habersham and he seemed to be frowning and not amused at all.

The rest of the evening Tony was mostly quiet. The hand was an inspiration to many to use some one-ones… like, “John can’t keep his hand to himself" — and more. — December 15, 2005

 Eddie Hunter and his sons, Rockwell (Rocky, left) and Adam (right), 2014.

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

Thirty years ago we named our first son Rockwell Tyson Hunter. From time to time some one will ask why did we pick such a name.

Well, my middle name is Tyson, and so it is my father's, and it is also his mother's maiden name.

Now for the name Rockwell. Back in 1957 when I was in high school, one day a new kid came to class. I forgot his first name but his last name was Crane. He was tall and lanky. He sat next to me in class and I asked him was he related to Ichabod Crane. He gave me a hateful look.

Then, that same day, at lunch several of us were up around the baseball field hanging out. Crane walked up near and stood at a distance. Trying to be friendly and to welcome him as one of us, I said, "There is old Whooping Crane!'

He came at me swinging his fists like a lopsided windmill with broken blades. He had no fighting sense about him. He only knew when you are in a rage you attack giving it all you have by swinging your fists.

I am not much of a fighter either. But I do know how to dodge something coming at me, especially when the route of the oncoming fist is so predictable. So, I merely danced around dodging his fists, and from time to time hit him in the face with no problem at all; he knew nothing about blocking oncoming blows either.

I won the fight. I had no damaged look about me at all, no blood, no body scratches or marks, where Crane on the other hand had a bloody nose, and puffed up swelling around the eye, and his clothes were torn and dirty.

There was a movie playing at downtown Marietta's Strand Theater at the time, starring Jayne Mansfield and Tony Randall. The name of the movie was "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" And not many months before the movie "Somebody Up There Likes Me", the story of Rocky Graziano, prize fighter starring Paul Newman. Both movies plus Crane and my actions caused somebody who witnessed the fight to say, "Will Success Spoil Rocky Hunter?"

My new nickname caught on and spread quickly. I was christened "Rock Hunter" by my peers. I went by the name Rock for the next ten to fifteen years, and still when and even now when I happen to run into a long lost friend, chances are he/she knew me as Rock.

So, it was only fitting that I named Rocky Rockwell.

And some place else in this blog world Crane may be at this very moment posting his blog which ends by saying "... and that is why we named our first son Ichabod." — December 18, 2005

Christmas Eve Story or Me the Party Pooper

Last year on December the 24th my sister had us over to her house for a Christmas Eve dinner. The guests included our other sister, my two sons, my son's girlfriend, Tiffany, and my sister's boyfriend, Mark.

We got there a little early to hang some pictures in her newly remodeled bedroom, which I promised I would do. I brought all my tools I thought I would need.

I just got started good and dinner was ready. We sat down, somebody said the blessing and we started passing things. Then, while passing something I suddenly felt dizzy.

I remember I had the same feeling at Kroger's less than two weeks ago in the Deli department. They had free samples of something sweet with a whipped creamy topping and I couldn't resist myself, and within a minute after I did it I went into a dizzy spell. I walked around pushing a cart, thinking if I walked around I could shake the dizziness that was in my head. I walked around and around pushing that cart — I would have fallen over if I didn't have the cart to keep my balance. I was right, I walked right out of the dizzy spell.

It looks like I might be a diabetic I thought, so I guess I better go to the doctor and and check that out — which I promptly forgot in a day or so.

Then, at the dinner table I was having the same feeling. My eyes locked looking at a right angle. I could not look in any other direction, and I was still dizzy, my head was going around and around.

I told them I was going to sit in the living room a few minutes but I would be back soon to join them. When I got up and walked sideways they knew something had happened to me.

I told them not to worry about it, the same feeling came across me at Krogers and it left me soon. But they kept looking at my eyes. Then they rushed me to the hospital.

I had a stroke. Talking about being a party pooper!

I stayed in the hospital for three days with an I.V. that was marinating me with blood thinner.

Now, I think I am OK. (knock on wood — or my head). And ready for a rematch! — December 22, 2005

Eddie’s stories are often an ongoing narrative. In the posting just before this final entry, Eddie and Anna had gone to see Peter Jackson’s King Kong, for which he gave a review. This is the followup post:

Ted's Grill

After we left the King Kong movie we went to Ted's Grill. We had a gift card to use there.

Ted's Grill is partially owned by Ted Turner. The restaurant has a decor of Montana saloon. As you may know, among Ted's vast holdings is a huge ranch in Montana where buffaloes are raised.

And of course the main items on the menu are bison and beef. They also have salmon which I normally order, but hey, when in a Montana make-believe grill, you make believe you are in Montana — I ordered bison. Anna, the traditionalist, ordered beef.

To me, the bison tasted like beef. I remember the last time I ate bison it tasted wild and like the blood had not yet been drained. This time it tasted better — or less wild, which means better to me.

On the other hand, when the manager saw me making my entrance, bumping into chairs and tables, and knocking condiments off tables, he could have informed our waitress to "don't waste the bison on him, give him beef, he won't know the difference."

One time in the nearby town of Roswell, which is near where Ted Turner lives or did live at one time, we stumbled upon a restaurant called "Mouth of the South" which is Ted Turner's unofficial nick name. We thought maybe he took advantage of the nickname and turned it into money, which Ted can do so well. So, we went there to eat, only to learn the Mouth of the South is catfish. — December 27, 2005

I reproduced one other story of Eddie’s, from his days in the U.S. Navy, in this posting from November 3, 2013, “Three examples of telling a personal story successfully”.

1 comment:

Eddie said...

Wow! Thanks Par!
My first thought was "Now, I can I get the most out of this?" ... to get more attention or to make a buck.
I think an ego inflation will be work fine!
again, Thanks!