Coon Dogs and Corn Pone…

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OK. I know that I’m at terrific risk here of reinforcing some stereotypes of southerners. But I’m gonna do it anyway because this is just too good not to share.

While driving around on the weekend, we were tooling along some back roads here in Georgia when we came across the place in today’s photo. I saw it when we drove by the first time but wasn’t sure I’d caught the sign correctly. So when we were coming home, I stopped and sure enough, my impression of what the sign said was correct.

This, my friends, is the headquarters of the Gold City Coon Hunters Association. Out front was a sign (not in the picture) of a faded tree with a raccoon in it and two coon dogs (or should I say, dawgs) baying up at the treed animal.

The front door to this place was nothing more than a screen door – no inner door, no lock – just a screen door. I reckon there must not have been anything inside worth stealin’, but then again, folk around here tend to be of the honest, trustin’ sort. The 2×4’s on the deck suggest that someone in plannin’ some improvements!

The front porch has roller chairs that you can see in the photo I took and a beat up old couch. I could just picture the members of the Gold City Coon Hunters Association holding a meetin’ on the front porch, talkin’ about their coon dogs and drinkin’ beer. There is a certain kind of charm to it, I reckon. What do all y’all think?

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1778, at 8 a.m. in the morning, John Paul Jones, with 30 volunteers from his ship, the USS Ranger, launched a surprise attack on the two harbor forts at Whitehaven, England. Jones’ boat successfully took the southern fort, but a second boat, assigned to attack to the northern fort, returned to the Ranger without having done so, claiming to have been scared off by a strange noise. To compensate, Jones decided to burn the southern fort; the blaze ultimately consumed the entire town. It was the only American raid on English shores during the American Revolution (did you know that there even WAS a raid Americans made on English soil during the revolution?!?!?!?!)

Later the same day, Jones continued from Whitehaven, where he began his sailing career, to his home territory of Kirkcudbright Bay, Scotland. There he intended to abduct the earl of Selkirk, and then exchange him for American sailors held captive by Britain. Although he did not find the earl at home, Jones’ crew was able to steal all his silver, including his wife’s teapot, still containing her breakfast tea. From Scotland, Jones sailed across the Irish Sea to Carrickfergus, where the Ranger captured the HMS Drake after delivering fatal wounds to the British ship’s captain and lieutenant.

In September 1779, Jones fought one of the fiercest battles in naval history when he led the USS Bonhomme Richard frigate, named for Benjamin Franklin, in an engagement with the 50-gun British warship HMS Serapis. The USS Bonhomme Richard was struck; it began taking on water and caught fire. When the British captain of the Serapis ordered Jones to surrender, Jones famously replied, “I have not yet begun to fight!” A few hours later, the British captain and crew of the Serapis admitted defeat and Jones took command of their ship.

Jones went on to establish himself as one of the greatest naval commanders in history; he is remembered, along with John Barry, as a Father of the American Navy. He is buried in a crypt in the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel at Annapolis, Maryland, where a Marine honor guard stands at attention in his honor whenever the crypt is open to the public.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: people love the beach. In California alone, ocean-seeking tourists spend 75 billion dollars annually.

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