I Feel Sorry for Magnolia Cottage

Yesterday, as I was out for a run, I found myself running in front of The Magnolia Cottage on North Bridge Street. I wondered to myself why I had never had occasion to go inside of this beautiful, restored Victorian cottage for dinner with anyone. Then I remembered that most people don’t like me and it made perfect sense. I typically get invitations when someone is raising money for a cause of some sort or they are expecting a gift. When that is the case I take full advantage of it. Any old port in a storm I always say. Anyway, my route would normally take me on down the sidewalk on North Bridge toward the city cemetery, but instead I decided to take a left onto Tuskeena Street. I’ve never paid much attention to the four or five houses that are directly across the street from The Magnolia Cottage. I always knew they were run-down but for whatever reason they never made it out of my peripheral vision as I passed them. On this day, as I slowly ran by(that really goes without saying), I took a glance into the back yards(I use that term loosely) of these homes and realized that the whole place is a dump!

It is a shame that so many of the beautiful, old homes, including Magnolia Cottage, in that part of town that so many people have put so much work into to restore have to sit so near these horrible eyesores. In fact, it’s embarrassing for our whole city. I don’t know who owns these places or even who lives in any of them. What I do know is that whoever does own these dilapidated domiciles ought to be ashamed of themselves. I suppose that the city has exhausted all of its resources and is at the mercy of whoever the owner is and if they haven’t, I sure wish they would. Maybe someone can fill the rest of us in on who owns these dumps and why he/she/they refuse to take care of them.
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I thought this was very interesting…

Elizabeth Spiers, who grew up here in Wetumpka and now lives in NYC, wrote a piece about her life after being adopted. She is a very talented writer and, among many other endeavors, is working on her first novel(at least according to her bio). Some of you may know her parents, Terry and Alice Spiers. Anyway, it is a fascinating read. Click here to read it. It is entitled Alien Baby: Genetics, Adoption, and How I Became Myself.

He Called Me a Peckerwood

Here where I work, we have a help-wanted sign in the window. I have several inquiries a day about hours and pay and that sort of thing. Yesterday, for whatever reason, I found myself waxing nostalgic about my younger days and the many jobs I held and applied for. Some I worked at for only a day. I suppose my work ethic wasn’t quite what it should have been.

I have done landscape and maintenance(quite ironic since I can do neither of those things with any degree of skill today), worked in a college bookstore, at a cotton gin(for a day), pulled weeds in a cotton field(for half a day), been the maintenance guy at a mini-golf course(refer to the first item in this list), worked in a Christian bookstore, worked in the warehouse at a Caterpillar place, and held various jobs at two different financial institutions. I was technically not fired from any of those jobs, difficult as that may be to believe, but my position at the college bookstore was eliminated for “austerity.” I think that is Latin for “spent too much time at the pool table in the student center” but I wouldn’t swear to it.
I always hated filling out applications. I always felt like they were laughing at me and making snide comments when I left. “Did you see his tie? Who tied that thing, Ronnie Milsap?” Of course that would be assuming that I wore a tie. I often didn’t wear one on my job hunting adventures. It just seemed sort of silly to wear a tie to a place where I would likely be assigned to do some unskilled, menial task which would probably require steel-toe boots and moving heavy things from one place to another. Not that there’s anything wrong with those jobs, I’ve done plenty of them. I’ve just never done one while wearing a tie and my Sunday shoes.
I went to a place to fill out an application once that I’d never been to. It was a large building that was visible from a major highway but you had to go in through an access road in the back to get to it. The whole front of the building was glass which afforded a wonderful, unobstructed view of the large, green front lawn and the highway in the distance. I know this because when I parked and walked around the building and went through the front doors to find the person I’d need to talk to, I found that the whole front of the building was abandoned. I walked to every door on all three floors only to find them locked. When I went to leave, not sure where I needed to go, I found the doors I had entered through were locked also. I was trapped. Trapped with a spacious view! I was finally rescued but when I finally got to the place I needed to be, the guy who gave me the job application asked, “Are you the peckerwood who broke into my building.” I told him that I was, scribbled some on the application, and left. I figured that if the guy in charge of job applications thought I was a peckerwood then I probably didn’t have much chance of getting hired there anyway. I’ve never known there to be a big demand in the workforce for peckerwoods. I can remember two times in my life when I was called that and neither time did it seem to be any sort of a compliment.
Good luck to all of you who are on the job-hunting trail. I hope you find the job of your dreams today. Thank goodness I’ve already got a job and don’t have to look anymore. I’m not sure this peckerwood could stomach it anymore.

Coming Monday: He Called Me a Peckerwood

I Googled various definitions of peckerwood and I didn’t seem to really fit into any of them, at least in my own estimation. Some of you may feel differently. Maybe the guy who called me that meant something else. I don’t know. What I do know is that I can remember two occasions in my life that I’ve been called a peckerwood and neither time was among my prouder moments. Maybe the West Side Wizard can enlighten me on the etymology of the word peckerwood.