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Top Reads...this site Thanks folks for spending some time on the site reading our stories. The reason I say "our" is because I cannot take credit for some of the stories being read. The top stories so far this month are...

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Parkinson's....Boxing Helps...Part 2 Rock Steady Boxing Part II A personal statement on benefits of RSB Authored by Otis Vaughn February 28, 2019 Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) really works and greatly slows the progression of Parkinson’s...

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Apaches, Buffalo Soldiers, That Female Reporter, And... Chapter One       Returning to the Black Range and the land of the Warm Spring Apache Indians, I could not believe what I was seeing. The last time I was here the magical portal...

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Follow the Sun by E. V. Pete Hester Follow the Sun By E. V. Pete Hester Copyright Pending 2015     Foreword Butch Madison told this story to me several years ago and swore that everything he told was true and...

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Doodling Sawdust…..An Extinct Profession

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 31-08-2015


Where have the “good old days” gone. One of my first jobs, along with my cousin Cecil, was doodling sawdust. Uncle Dee, Cecil’s dad, had a portable sawmill….He would move the mill around from timber tract to timber tract. There was a drag chain that would take the sawdust out from under the saw and carriage area and deposit the dust at a location several feet away from the mill. The end of the chain was attached to a tall pole and as the dust pile grew the chain was located higher. After the chain reached a certain height, doodlers would be hired to throw the dust back away from the pole and hopefully far enough away to allow the base of the pile to grow. Now, in the case of Uncle Dee’s mill, when school was in session, some of his regular workers would take their turn in doodling. When school was out, we were hired and we were paid handsomely for this task. Two dollars a week…Now that was a lot of money, and, get this, as an additional perk, when we got the dust far enough away from the chain…we could roll down the sawdust pile or play….until the dust got close to the pulley and then we better have our little butts up there shoveling dust or we were in trouble…but we usually kept up….Uncle Dee was a good boss, and a fair boss…He never showed favoritism for Cecil over me..It may have been there, but if it was he never showed it. With my mom and dad both working, I had lots of time. Uncle Dee and Aunt Vera included me in lots of their activities. I never felt like an outsider. Doodling sawdust, stacking lumber, chopping cotton, poisoning cotton, picking figs or other fruit, weighing field hands cotton sacks, Cecil and I did it together and shared praise and pain equally….I think my favorite job was doodling sawdust…A doodler is just not needed anymore….(as far as I know) …..Pete Hester

Alabama Football….A Story by Otis Vaughn

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 30-08-2015


My friend Otis Vaughn has scored big again. This is a wonderful story about Alabama football. A must read story for any Alabama fan…..University of Pennsylvania fans may like it also…..Good job Otis


Timeless Win in 1922 by Otis Vaughn (Alabama Football)

2015 Football Season…Here we go again…

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 28-08-2015


My picks…Sept. 5, 2015

Alabama vs Wisconsin…I’ll be picking both schools this year..I have a son up in Madison, WS, however that will not help Wisconsin this year….Alabama by 14…so, Alabama won by 17 and for a while it looked like Alabama would score at will..

Arizona vs UTSA….Texas at San Antonio is a good school, just not good enough to beat Arizona…Arizona by 21..Ok, so 21 points was a little too much, Arizona won by 10, but UTSA is going to win a lot of games this year.

New Mexico vs Mississippi Valley State….Lobo’s break out year…winning six, maybe seven…New Mexico by 17….The Lobo’s won by 66 points but things will get tougher next week.

New Mexico State vs Florida….My upset special….New Mexico State beats the spread…..Well, they get a good pay check to get beat up on…..I lost, New Mexico State lost by a bunch, 61 – 13 and I don’t like to do big number math….know what I mean, Vern?…

Texas Tech vs Sam Houston St….Tx Tech by 17….This year I will be following Texas Tech for fun. Tech is a good school and gives a lot of New Mexico kids scholarships in all sports, so I’m adding them this year…Sam Houston St is a little better than I thought…Texas Tech won by 14…

Stony Brook vs Toledo.. I will not be following Stony Brook this year unless they beat Toledo. If they do beat them, then I will track them….stay tuned…this game was postponed by stormy weather….so I will go with a Stony Brook game this coming week..

My Property…..Riverfront…

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 28-08-2015


My property lies 21 feet below sea level. And it is surrounded by water, one is a major river that is navigable and  the other is a large lake of tremendous portions of water….water is very, very, plentiful all around me. And every few years we have major storms that break the dikes that is suppose to keep the lake water and river water out of my property. Every time that happens, and I get flooded,  I call on you folks to help me out, to help rescue me and my family and to help me rebuild by houses and barns….oh, and I have many, many buildings and a very large family. And you know what, every time I have a storm or I am inundated with rain or floods, you come to my rescue….I really appreciate you doing that and I am glad you do not get tired of making that sacrifice. You have not failed me yet….I am the City of New Orleans and “I ain’t moving”. (Does this make any sense?)….Yeah, I know…that is not how I should look at it….So, you please tell me, just how  should  I view this situation?

Confederates move to Brazil…John W. and Lisanna Brownlow Family by Otis Vaughn..

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 20-08-2015


Otis Vaughn is interested in locating members of the Brownlow (Vaughn descendants) family who relocated to Brazil after the Civil War. In the past, I have had several readers from Brazil and if any of you know some of the Brownlow’s family or belong to the Brownlow family I would like to put you in touch with Otis Vaughn. This is a nice and well written article and I hope to hear from you on it. Thanks to Otis for sharing and thanks to you readers for taking the time to read this interesting article. Click on the Lisanna the Confederado heading to open. Thank you, Pete Hester…


Lisanna the Confederado 2nd version

Engle, New Mexico…..Ghost Town…

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 19-08-2015


   Engle, New Mexico…. Now a ghost town, built in 1879 as a cattle shipping point on the Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, and was a thriving location until the Elephant Butte Damn was completed in 1916 and business dropped off as people moved away. Today it is headquarters for Ted Turner’s Armendaris ranch. An old school house still stands. Trains still pass through Engle, but the old train station has been torn down. Engle is located 17 miles east of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico on Highway 51.

A Tribute to Cecil Bonner by Otis Vaughn…

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 12-08-2015


Special thanks to Otis Vaughn for his article on my cousin and friend, Cecil Bonner…Yesterday I left out a page and it should be included today. Thanks to Otis for a nice article on his adventures with Cecil…..Pete Hester


August 10, 2015

Tribute to Cecil Bonner

By: Otis Vaughn



I have a lot of good memories of my friend Cecil Bonner, and his cousin and my friend Pete Hester. In his writings, Pete has mentioned Coalfire, Pickens County, Alabama, and the fact that many good folks still live there and many more lived there in the past. My family moved to Pickens County in 1950, and I lived on a farm several miles from Coalfire while Cecil and Pete lived more or less in “downtown” Coalfire. We became best friends in high school, and spent many hours together.

My close friendship with Cecil was in 1958-59 after I was discharged from the Air Force. We were friends in school at Pickens County High School (PCHS), however as I already mentioned, our close friendship was later.   As I get older I do have certain regrets, and one regret is that I did not stay in touch with Cecil for over the years we drifted apart. As I recall, Cecil’s car was an early 1950’s model Chevrolet sedan, and there is a special a story involving his car that Cecil told and I will share in a moment.

One day Cecil and I decided to go fishing. Cecil told me a story about a night he and his dad (Woodrow Cecil (Dee)) Bonner spent fishing on the Sipsey River. The night was a very stormy night with much thunder and lighting. The catfish really took to their bait that night and they caught a number of large channel cats. Cecil was convinced that the stormy weather that night along with the spot on the river where they were fishing, caused the fish to really bite.

The following Saturday, we gathered our fishing gear together and headed for the same spot where Cecil and his dad had built a campfire and spent the night. Cecil noted that it was a clear and cloudless night and we might not catch many fish. We built a small campfire, and put a bucket of water on some rocks in the fire so we could make coffee. While the coffee was brewing, we cut a number of 6’-8’ fishing poles, and before dark we had the poles with lines and baited hooks tied to them placed at intervals along about a 100 yard stretch of the river. Every hour all night long we checked the poles to see if we had caught any fish.

We used flashlights for light to walk along the river bank as we checked the poles always thinking we would have a fish on the next pole. Sometime before midnight, I accidently dropped my flashlight into the river, and I can still see that light pointing straight up from among the tree roots about 6’ down. All night long that flashlight was still shining every time we checked that pole. I thought about getting in the river to try to retrieve the flashlight from among the roots, but I was well aware that the river was infested with snakes. I gave up the idea of retrieving the light. Cecil’s prediction about this not being a good night to fish proved to be correct for we only caught a few fish.

The rest of the night was story time. I told stories about how life had been in the U.S. Air Force, and Cecil told a number of stories. We talked about playing football at PCHS, and how remarkable it was that we had won 90 games over 10 years and we had been state champions in our division several times. Most of these years the coach was Henry Curtis Elmore, and a great deal of the credit for the winning years goes to Coach Elmore. We worked hard but Coach was always fair, calm and focused on teaching us how to win.

Pete, Cecil, and I had been team mates on several of these teams. Cecil played halfback and he was very fast, and he was a very smooth runner. Cecil ran so smoothly and with such ease that it was fun to watch him run. One might say his running was poetry in motion. One day Coach Elmore took Cecil aside at practice and told him that he wished the entire team could run as fast and as easily as he ran.

Cecil was very proud of his dad. Dee was a very good athlete, and Cecil undoubtedly inherited some of his skill. Cecil told stories about his dad playing baseball when he was in the U.S. Army. Dee was on some very good baseball teams, and he was one of the stars. As I recall, Dee had a batting average of over 400.

There is the special story that I have thought about many times over these 56 years since Cecil told me the story that night. A story that made Cecil a hero in my mind. A story about getting a man whose arm was cut off to the hospital.

Highway 82 angles slightly northwest out of Tuscaloosa, AL and heads on west into Mississippi. Originally, Highway 82 was built over cow trails, and probably some Native American trails as well, and curved in many directions but always headed NW from Tuscaloosa.   It was paved. By 1959, the highway had been slightly improved with a few of the curves straightened and a few hills had passing lanes. By today’s standards, Highway 82 was still an unimproved two lane highway.

On this fateful day, (at a site 40 or more miles from Tuscaloosa) some men were working, perhaps farming, and a man’s arm was cut off. They were able to stop the bleeding to some extent, but the man needed to be taken quickly to the hospital in Tuscaloosa. In those days cell phones had not been invented and to find a house that had a telephone would take a lot of time, and an ambulance would have to come from Tuscaloosa which would take more time. Realistically, they knew they had to move quickly.

The man with the cutoff arm was placed in Cecil’s car and Cecil hit the gas pedal and headed east on Highway 82 for Tuscaloosa. Another man was riding in the front seat with Cecil with the window down, and he was waving a handkerchief out the window as fast as he could to indicate the extreme emergency of the situation. Cecil drove up and down hills and around curves passing all traffic and the “siren” the handkerchief was waving rigorously as a way of pleading with everyone to get out of the way. I don’t remember for sure but I believe a policeman sensed the nature of the emergency and escorted them part of the way to the hospital once they arrived in Tuscaloosa.

Cecil told me the amount of time it took to drive to the hospital, but after all these years, I don’t remember the exact time. I do remember exclaiming “you had to be driving 90-100 miles per hour”. He said something like, “I was”. Cecil was a real hero that day risking his life to get an injured man help in an extreme emergency. Whenever I think of this story, figuratively speaking, I tip my hat to Cecil – a real hero.

If anyone remembers this story, I am very interested in knowing how the injured man fared once he reached the hospital.

I did not know how to clean catfish so Cecil took our catfish catch home. We drank a lot of coffee that night. We told a lot stories. My back was covered with mosquito bites, and I am sure Cecil’s back was covered as well. A night that I will always remember.

President of the United States of America…..

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 09-08-2015


We need a good person in the White House, a strong leader of integrity and good morals, one with Christian values and a strong economic background. In looking through the candidates available in the Republican party there are 3 or 4 who could fit the bill and we are hopeful that the right one will be picked to lead the party back into power. In the democratic party there is not one, yet…They are the majority party in the U S of A and it will be very difficult for the republicans to come up with a person to unseat them…Yet we must…You talk about change, er, wasn’t that what Obama ran on the first time, change….wow, now we really need change….The “what can you do for me attitude” we have has got to be changed. We are already broke as a nation and I wonder where the next democratic government will come up with all the money they will need to “pay for the party” about to start with a new bunch coming in.  Oh well, we can print some more, can’t we? I don’t see any republicans available at present to change stuff. Wonder if Trump would give some of his 10 billion to the government……Is bankruptcy kind of like borrowing money? He declared it 4 times, so I hear…That may be kind of like, “our money”…..probably not….but he may owe a debt to the American people….I don’t think he fits the bill of my opening statement, however, since we don’t hob-nob with the same people, I don’t know him very well…so he might…you reckon?

My Mom…Otera Bonner Hester….Part of Her Story…

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 28-07-2015


From my Facebook page of July 28, 2015 ·

J. I. Bonner’s second wife, Genie House Bonner, died shortly after giving birth to Lenoit Bonner McCool, leaving J. I.’s oldest daughter, Otera, my mother, to be the mother of a new baby girl and a host of rough and tumble boys. It was a job that my mom often spoke to me about and oft times would show me her bicep indicating the means of keeping them in line. They came around to visit her on a regular basis and I know she loved them more as her children than she did as siblings…. What I wanted to tell you about was the oldest boy, Horace, left home and family during the depression and went out west, hoboing all over the west, rough necking or panhandling or what ever else he could find to do. He was gone for several years with no word getting back to my mom as to how he was doing. I don’t think he contacted his own family during that period. I was very young during this time and found out most of this later….But when I was about 5 years old, 1940 or so, we lived south of Reform, AL on the Carrollton Highway. I was out swinging on a tire swing one morning out in the front yard. All of a sudden from behind me my Mom let out one of the most blood curling screams I had ever heard, before or since. It scared me, almost to the point of crying. I turned to look at her and she was looking down the road. There was a tall man walking down our road and had to be coming to our house. Momma went to running as hard and fast as I had never seen before. What a time of rejoicing for her, and I guess for him. Uncle Horace had come home…I pieced all of this together over the years but I have come to understand just what she really experienced that day and just how much that scream meant…..This was more like one of her children coming home and she was so happy….I think Uncle Horace came home to stay. He never went back to his family and I have no idea of the story there, but he was home and over the following years I got to visit with him many times. Not like with my other Uncles, but I got to know him….One of my earliest childhood memories…… I don’t think of this story often, but it is with extreme clarity that morning lives in me….

Remember When?…Especially Football?

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 23-07-2015


Remember when college was about learning, getting an education, having fun, making lasting friends, getting a scholarship so the poorer people could attend……Tell me, where has that gone or where is it going. Some of the schools are wondering where they will get the money to pay the athlete  while he or she is attending….The budgets are so large, coaches are paid so much, now the professor is a lower paid staff member and is pushed to help keep the student athlete eligible so he can play and the team keep winning…I’m a big sports fan and love to see winning teams…used to boys came to certain schools because that is where they wanted to play and was not guided by “how much is it gonna pay me” or will it “get me looks from a professional team”. We see more and more of the “thugs” and less and less of the student athlete. Sad part is…..its gonna get worse….money is taking over the conferences….money buys the glory…Yeah, I’m caught up in it also…