Saturday, November 17, 2012

Jones Grocery Store, Lewisville NC, Forsyth County

This is Jones Grocery Store (1875) just outside of Clemmons NC on the  Shallowford Road. It was originally in the Little Yadkin Township also known as the West Bend named after the West Bend of the Yadkin River. This store was built after 1926 because of a disastrous robbery. It was built by Will Jones and also had a residence inside the store.

Photography by Keith Hall

Thursday, October 4, 2012

PICKLED EGGS, a Form of Survival

One day I was in the local grocery store and I began to look for a hard to find item. It was pickled eggs preserved in beet juice and vinegar. Most grocery stores here in the south still have them but they stick them in unusual places so that you really have to look hard for them. As a young boy when you would visit a bar, tavern or pool hall, (beer joint) you would find these for sell in big jars on the counter along with a big jar of large pickled cucumbers. I could find small jars of them in the produce sections but they were pickled in a clear vinegar unlike the ones in the beet juice and vinegar which gives the egg white a purple color. I thought these would be easy to fix. You just need a large empty jar and lid, then boil some eggs, a can of beets from the store, and apple cider vinegar or clear distilled vinegar, enough to fill the jar and cover up the eggs. Be sure to peel the shells from the eggs after you boil them. Place all of this in the jar and seal tightly. Whenever you need one just go and eat one for a snack because eggs are very healthy especially the boiled ones. The real reason I wanted to blog this was because back in our forefathers days people had large families to help them farm and one would be blessed to have a lot of children. In order to feed them they needed to store up food and preserve it. They would have a few barn yard hens and the hens would lay eggs and they would gather them to feed their families. If they have many hens the eggs would get old before they could cook them all and would have to throw them away. The refrigerator hadn't been invented at this time. They could take these eggs and fix them just as I described above and they would store a long time in the vinegar. If you owned a lot of hens you could do this and sell them to your neighbor or barter for something that they had. If your children had grown up and were married and had their own kids, then you could give some to them. This was a matter of survival. The next time you are in a bar, tavern,pool hall, (beer joint) or even the grocery store look for this unusual delicacy and try one. If you are inventive make you own.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Davis Arcade, Mt Airy NC, 1971-72, Surry County

It was back in 1971-72 I played in a band called The Caboose Show and Dance Band. We were all from Yadkin County which is the next county over from Surry. What a thrill it was for a young teen to play at a place that was packed with young teens. Our manager Roy Crissman of Crissman Talent Agency met us in Mt Airy with all of our band equipment and we met in the ally behind The Davis Arcade. What a neat place! We loaded all of our band equipment on a big freight elevator which was on the outside of the building and we rode up to the top floor to the back stage area. It seemed like we were in the big time and in a big city, Mt Airy to perform. We set up our equipment and performed for a packed house. In the Caboose Show and Dance Band was Robbie Hall on guitar, Chris Shore on drums, Kim Pardue lead vocals, Kathy Fleming lead vocals, Keith Hall on bass guitar, and Dick Steelman on keyboards. We had a couple of other vocalist Bobbie Jane Moxley and Diane Graham but I am not sure if they were there that night. One event that stands out in my mind was that a fight broke out between two girls fighting over a guy. It seems there was a lot of fighting going on the farther north that we went. We performed at places like Fairview Ruritan outside of Galax Va and Hillsville VFW in Hillsville Va during that time period. Maybe you can remember going there. What a neat place for kids to go. It is a shame there is not anything like that today.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Richard Petty, Level Cross NC, Shotgun Band, Governor Jim Martin 1984

It was the summer of 84 and The Shotgun Band was booked to play at Level Cross NC, south of Greensboro at the home the famous race car driver Richard Petty. Richard Petty was the winner of over 200 races in his career. We were performing for a political fundraiser for Jim Martin for governor. In 1985 Jim actually won the gubernatorial race in North Carolina. North Carolina with its long line of Democratic governors and Jim Martin was a Republican was one of the first republican to win in a while. We arrived at Richard Petty’s home in the mid afternoon and what a nice peaceable place to live. It wasn’t a real large home like some that you see today but was real nice. There were tennis courts and of course a large garage connected to the house. Richard greeted us as we arrived and showed us where the band was to set up and perform. We went behind the house next to the pool where a nice tent was set up for a shade. The event was to take place in his back yard and there were bales of hay scattered all over the yard for people to sit on and eat their barbecue. It was of course a fundraiser and kind of like an outdoor pig picking. The plates were catered with barbecue, baked beans, slaw and rolls. Richard’s #43 car was in the yard and he was available for people to have their picture made with him. Once we set up the band equipment Richard invited us into his house and he told us to make ourselves at home while he showered and got dressed for the fundraiser. Making ourselves at home is exactly what we did. We made pictures all over and around the house. Some of the details that I remember were Richard’s game room. There was a pool table with a stained glass lamp hanging over it with his race car #43 embedded in the lamp, a photo of Richard and Ronald Reagan shaking hands, an old antique showcase with his #43 car from various toy manufacturers and all types of memorably. One of the bedrooms had a porcelain doll collection on the bed leaning them up against the pillow shams. His wife is a real nice person too. Her kitchen was decorated with everything strawberries. There was strawberry wallpaper, strawberry canisters, and I remember in the middle of the table was a strawberry pedestal cake plate. When the people arrived for the dinner they stayed outside and sat on the bales of hay while they enjoyed their meal. Richard’s patio had a bathroom open to the public outside so there was not any reason to go in his house. The Shotgun Band performed and the party was a success and as a result Jim Martin became governor thanks to his supporters and people like Richard Petty. Richard and his wife Lynda are really down to earth people and made us feel at home while we had the opportunity to perform at his home in Level Cross. Thanks for the memory Richard.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Nasal Cycle

Did you know that the nose has a nasal cycle? Several times during the day one nostril will partially close while the other one opens up totally and then the other one will close and the opposite one will open up. Try this experiment at various times throughout the day. You will notice that you can breathe better out of different nostrils at various times of the day. Most people that I talked too even my doctor have never heard of such a thing. The nasal cycle was first described by the German physician Richard Kayser in 1895. Yogi’s have known about the nasal cycle hundreds of years ago. The human body in its perfect creation by our creator keeps the cycle going all throughout the day to keep a balance of oxygen between the right side of the brain and the left side of the brain. Throughout the night while we are asleep you will notice that we changed the side that we are lying on too. This is to balance the cycles between the nostrils and we do it involuntarily. Our subconscious mind does this for us just like it controls the other involuntary functions of our body. Never of heard of such? It seems new to me too but just check it out on numerous search engines and you will find article after article on the subject. I wonder why they didn’t teach this in anatomy.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Beginning,Elkin NC, Old Elkin Water Plant

Back in 1971 in Elkin NC there was a man who had a vision. His name was Ab Crater and he was over the Elkin Parks and Recreation. He wanted a place for the young people and teens to go to and have a good time and hang out. He took the old Elkin water plant and made a place called “The Beginning” or the coffeehouse as it was also called. Back in the 1970’s I was playing in a band called “The Caboose.” All of The Caboose members went to Starmount High School and consisted of Robbie Hall, Kim Pardue, Dick Steelman, Chris Shore, Kathy Fleming, Bobbie Jane Moxley, Diane Graham and myself Keith Hall. Most of the people who came to The Beginning went to Elkin High School and we made a lot of friends from that school. The bands would set up on the top floor to perform and the walls in the water plant were painted many different colors with sayings from that era. Slogans of Earth Day which began in 1970, War, Peace Symbols, Chicago, Three Dog Night, Sly and the Family Stone, Lobo, The Beatles were painted on the walls. The Vietnam War was going on and the rock festival Woodstock had taken place in 1969 so the paintings and drawings were centered on the events of that era. The paint used on some of the walls was fluorescent and glowed when placed under a black light. Some of the rooms had blacklight bulbs in them and glowed in the dark especially where the bands would perform. Parents could trust leaving their kids there for a while and later come back to get them. Ab Crater would make sure they were safe. We also lived in a different era back then and a lot of things we worry about today didn’t happen too much back then. There was a small admission charged to get in to help pay for the bands and it was up to each band to take up their own admission. My mom would sit there at the door with a cigar box and take up the money. I believe we performed all of the songs of the drawings on the wall. We would play Joy to the World by Three Dog Night, Dance to the Music by Sly and the Family Stone, some Joe Cocker and Grand Funk Railroad to name a few. About a year ago I was wondering if those old paintings still exist. I contacted Adam McComb of the Elkin Park and Recreation Dept and he said that they were still there. The rest is history. Here are a few of them and I hope you will enjoy. We had some real good times back then with some good friends, time to reminisce.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sacketts Night Club, Radford Va, The Shotgun Band

Back in the mid 1980's I played electric bass in a band called the Shotgun Band. We were based out of North Wilkesboro NC. The members of the band were Bruce Evans, Mike Beeson, Keith Hamlin and my self Keith Hall. One of the many interesting places that we performed at was called Sacketts in Radford Virginia. Its motto was the New River Valley's #1 Hotspot and truly it was. Radford was a college town and Sacketts was the place where many would go to hear some of the area's top bands perform. There was bands like Streetfeet, January Rose, Cimmaron, Blackwater, Southern Cross and of course Shotgun. I have performed a lot in my day and I have never saw so much beer consumed in one place in my life. When the night was over I never saw so many long neck Budweiser's lined around the dance floor one right after the other and in the restrooms there were about 50 or more in each stall on the tanks of the toilets. We would leave from North Carolina and travel our two hour drive to Radford Va and from the first time that we went there they fed the band member's real well. There was a restaurant attached to the night club called the Stationhouse Restaurant serving Mexican Food and

some of the best shrimp and prime rib that I have ever tasted. I had to stop eating the shrimp however because after peeling all of those shrimp and playing the bass the smell got kind of fishy on those strings. We opened one weekend with the national recording artist Ozark Mountain Daredevils. They brought their instruments and sound man and used our sound system. What I can remember was that while Ozark was playing some drunk was trying to give their sound man a beer and he ended up spilling it into our sound board and the sound kept going on and off the rest of the night. The sound system worked good on Saturday night after it had dried up and never gave any more problems. One weekend we left North Carolina for Radford in the Shotgun mobile which was a Charles Chip panel truck converted to carrying our sound system and all of the band and that particular weekend we hit a terrible snowstorm going up Interstate 81. The Shotgun mobile at first didn't have a good heater so with Bruce's ingenuity he used a kerosene heater inside that moving vehicle and I don't know why it didn't catch on fire or turn over but it didn't. You have to know Bruce not only was a lead singer and guitarist he was also a good mechanic. Later he solved the heater problem and hooked up a heater that was used under a school bus seat and we then had plenty of heat. We had a pretty good crowd that night with all of the snow but we were forced to get a room in Christiansburg Va and stayed there to perform again on Saturday night. In between the band's sets they had a DJ and one of the most liked songs at that particular club was Mony Mony, Billy Idol's version. Shotgun decided to learn Mony Mony and perform it at all the other clubs that we performed at. It was a good choice to get the crowd hopping. It seemed that every other band in the Carolina's began to perform Mony Mony and to think it was Shotgun who brought it back to the Carolina's from Sacketts. We got our foot in the door at performing at Sacketts because the owner's fired a band for a New Year's performance and they ask us to come at the last minute and that was our start in Virginia. They didn't mind giving you a fair pay at Sacketts because they had the place full every time the doors were opened. I am writing this hoping some of you can remember Sacketts in Radford Virginia even though it was 27 years ago to me it seems just a few years ago.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Martin's Bake Shop, Jonesville NC, Yadkin County

As a young boy growing up in Jonesville NC in the early 1960's I lived over on Bridge Street and we would walk to Jonesville School which was about half a mile. There were two treats that we would have on our walk and one was the Martin's Bake Shop. They always had fresh Hot N Now doughnuts in the window when we would walk by. Krispy Kreme didn't have any thing on Martin's fresh doughnuts. They were five cents a piece when I was growing up and other's have said they can remember when they were two for five cents. Martin's was a very successful business in Jonesville at that time and even there after. I can remember in later years they made some of the best Fried Pies that I have ever tasted. Every country store around sold Martin's Fried Pies. They did real well evidently in the distribution of the fried pies. I will have to hand it to Thad and Leon Martin they had a good product. There is nothing like it today. Today we have preservatives and corn syrup in every thing we buy. That is where the real taste has disappeared. I wished someone had their old recipes laying around somewhere. Jonesville misses you Martin's Bake Shop.