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Nashville: blame it on the weasels

fort nashborough

Nashville! It’s not a bad city, really. If you stay away from the touristy bits and avoid Summers, it’s a nice enough town.

great grandma

My great great great great great grandparents led the first wave of white families to settle along the Cumberland River around the stockade fort pictured above (the original, not that replica) in 1779. Fort Nashborough was named after Francis Nash, a brigadier general killed in the Revolutionary War two years earlier. He and my grandfather were both North Carolinians and veterans of the War of the Regulators. Otherwise, the place would probably be called Weaselville, and that would have made it really hard to market as a vacation spot.

The next few decades, the story is all about clashes between the settlers and the Chickamauga band of Cherokees, so we’re hopelessly unable to talk sense about it. But, hey, Thanksgiving is the time for injun stories.

So here’s my great great great great grandmother. One day, a Cherokee band fired a single musket volley at the fort and fled, luring the men out into an ambush. Two hundred Indians got between twenty settlers and the fort. The settlers dismounted, and the Indians chased after their horses. Grandma saw an opportunity, opened the gates and set the dogs on them, buying enough time for the men to get back inside.

As someone remarked later, “thank God indians love horses and hate dogs” or no-one would have come home that day. My great great great great grandfather was born in that fort some time later. So, on the whole, hooray.

Remote-control pre-posted last Thursday, November 15. Poking around the online geneology sites trying to figure out if my Grandpa Willie was born before the Battle of the Bluffs, I’ve just discovered that I am actually related to my stepmother. Blood kin! (On my mother’s side — none of those jokes, please). Well. I think I need a moment to compose myself.


Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: November 21, 2007, 12:51 pm

Ha! Stoaty’s so Southern she’s related to herself. 🙂

Comment from Lokki
Time: November 21, 2007, 2:13 pm


Part One – Brave enough to ask?

T’was the day before Thanksgiving, and Bert Cratchett was shivering. It was a cold and blustery day outside, with autumn leaves swirling in the wind, and the solar-heated office which was never very warm even on the sunniest of days was icy cold. Bert blew on his fingers, which protruded from his tip-less gloves and tried to get them warm enough to hold his pencil. He gazed wistfully at the 486 computer on his desk; it gave off some heat when he was allowed to turn it on. He must be the only programmer left in the United States who wrote code by hand, he thought. The computer was only to be used for testing so that no unnecessary electricity would be wasted.

He looked up at the motivational posters which covered the front wall of his workspace.
The one his boss had placed immediately in front of his desk was a blown-up photograph taken from the bed of a Red Cross truck distributing emergency aid to starving natives somewhere. All you could really see in the photo was a sea of up-stretched empty hands and desperate-looking starving faces. The caption across the bottom of the poster said:

“Thousands of starving Asian Programmers want YOUR job!”.

Cratchett heard a familiar noise in the other room; his boss was putting away his bicycle. He instinctively put his head down and started writing code again, but he couldn’t concentrate. He turned his head to look out the window, olny to find that his view was blocked by a handwritten notice that had been taped onto the glass.

“Saving Toilet Paper saves the Earth and Saves MONEY! Bring your own.” .

Bert remembered the promise he’d made to his wife that morning. He sighed involuntarily, and then sat straight up and squared his shoulders. “Mini-Timmy so wants to have a real Thanksgiving together,” she’d said. “The doctors say it might be his last chance since National Healthcare is starting in January. They don’t expect him to live after that.”

He stood up, took a deep breath and strode to the door of his boss’ office. He rapped on the door sharply, and then remembering his subordinate position, followed the intial rap with a series of gentle taps.
”Come in Crachett said his boss. Do you need a new pencil already? Pencils grow on trees, you know and we must protect the earth by using as few of them as possible. Plus their cost is going up, up, up! .

Cratchett entered the office and said, Mr. Scrooge, it’s not about pencils this time. It’s about tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, sir..

Scrooge looked up sharply over his reading glasses.

“Yes”, he said. ” A tragic day in history when the White Oppressors begin their rape and pillage of the North American continent and the wonderful Native Americans. When I think of the damage to the earth that has been caused since then – and the waste! – I want to cry. Well, what of it?

”Please sir, I’d like the day off. I understand that I won’t be paid for it but it’s the wife and the boy, sir. They want me there.” Cratchett said, as bravely as he could make himself.

“Thanksgiving, bah HUMBUG!” said Scrooge.

”I’m a full day ahead on the IRS programming rewrite, sir said Cratchett,” and I’d be willing to work Saturday for free to make up for being off. Please sir? I haven’t taken a day off since my mother died, sir.”

“Very well” said Scrooge.
”As long as you promise me that you won’t be eating any animal products, or endangered plants during your so-called feast. Not only are those things bad for you, they’re bad for the earth. Every breath a turkey exhales creates CO2 and CO2 creates global warming you know. Al Gore says so. It’s your stomach and your wallet that will suffer, but there’s only so much an honest employer can permit of his workers. ”

Cratchett gasped out his surprised thanks quickly, before Scrooge could change his mind.
Oh Thank you Sir! I promise – it’s only tofu and beans, and maybe a potato for dinner tomorrow. Thank you Sir! He hurried out of the office and back to his desk.

Part Two – Scrooge has a nightmare

It was a cold, cold night, cold even for November, and particularly cold for a skinny old man sleeping alone in the drafty bedroom of an old mansion. Scrooge shivered in his sleep and stirred uneasily. He knew he wasn’t going to get warm enough to sleep very well, but it was too cold to even consider getting out of bed to search for another blanket. His feet were like ice, even inside his socks, and his hat kept falling off his head. Suddenly he heard a noise in the dark – the creaking of floorboards as someone heavy walked towards the bed. Suddenly he smelled pumpkin pie! Out of the dark loomed a large jolly face with bushy eyebrows, plump round cheeks, and a stain of something dark – cranberry sauce? Turkey gravy? – on his shirt front.

” Ebeneezer, I am the ghost of Thanksgivings past. said the large figure, cheerfully. I’m here to take you over the river of memories and through the woods of the past to Grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving. ”

“Let’s go! I’m hungry again, and I hear that Auntie Louis is going to bring two of her famous applesauce cakes to go with the roast pork. Turkey, ham, and a pork roast! And all the fixings too! Sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, chestnut stuffing, candied carrots, nut bread, marshmallow jello salad, and too much more to talk about!”

“Time’s a wasting, boy! Let’s go!”

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 21, 2007, 3:13 pm

Oh, boy! Story time!

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 21, 2007, 4:45 pm


That phrase “she’s related to herself” sounds soooo perverted.

I like it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 21, 2007, 4:55 pm

I HAS A INNERNETS! But not for long.

I had to drive out to East Possumknuckle to deal with some bidness, and I stopped at the first place that advertised free wifi. Believe it or not, it was a Krystal!

Awwww…y’all probably don’t know Krystal. It specializes in little square hamburgers in boxes (I gather White Castle is something similar). They each have a little mound of diced fried onions and a pickle slice on them. They taste like…ummm…well, everybody called them “armpits” (I’ll never forget live TV footage of some local girl getting off a plane after a dreadful operation. They thrust the mic in her face and she blurted, “I’m dying for an armpit!”)

There was a Krystal ’round the corner from us when I was a kid. It was a magical place; all chrome and white tile. Armpits were fifteen cents each then.

Anyhow, the idea that Krystal is trying to attract customers with free wifi is…funny. Very, very funny. I thought about getting a bag of armpits, but I’m not sure my elderly constitution could take it. I opted for three little square chickenpits.

Ummm…and now I gotta go. I’m sure my Wicked has some pre-Thanksgiving things for me to do. This morning, she was trying a new yam recipe. It involved yams, olive oil, blue cheese and thyme. She decided against it, and I ate the remains of the experiment. I thought it was pretty good, but it gave me violent shits soon after.

I know what you’re thinking, Uncle B, but she didn’t make it up on purpose to poison me. I saw the recipe in the paper. It was from Nigella Lawson, so it’s pretty much your fault.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 21, 2007, 5:02 pm

I used to swear that anything with blue cheese in it couldn’t be bad, but…yams?

If I’d had a chunk of coal stuck up my ass, it’d be diamond now.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 21, 2007, 5:52 pm

Nigella Lawson?!

Oh, foolish weasel!

That’s the very hallmark of poison! She’s purveyor in chief of fucked-with food to the chattering classes.

I thought even Wicked wouldn’t stoop that low.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 21, 2007, 8:01 pm

Weasel, When I was young and had a cast-iron stomach I used to eat White Castle – and, yes, they’re like Krystals.

Recently I bought a sack of ’em (WC’s) and ate ’em just like old times.

Trust me. Don’t.

I was having “emergencies” every few hours, and was dribbling hershey’s on and off for days. I think I still have a couple pairs of emergency underwear out in the car glove box.

Ya can’t go back….

Comment from porknbean
Time: November 23, 2007, 3:26 pm

MMMmmmmm…White Castles, or belly bombers in your case McGoo. My secret of not having problems with them is to scrape all of the onions off. Not even gas. And I have a very touchy ‘system’.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 23, 2007, 3:35 pm

I’ll try your suggestion – when I work up the nerve to try them again. The last experience was truly uncomfortable.

Comment from Cuffy Meigs
Time: November 26, 2007, 12:07 pm

Nothing beats a bag of Krystals at the tail end of a 3am pub crawl. Delicious. You’re not thinking about tomorrow anyway, so why not?

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