Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Chickasaw Trail

Sometime prior to the first contact with white people, the Chickasaw migrated from western regions and moved east of the, Mississippi River, where they settled mostly in the Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. The United States considered the Chickasaw a civilized tribe. Resisting European-American settlers encroaching on their territory, they were forced by the U.S. to move to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The Chickasaw are related to the Choctaw and share a common history with them.

My 5th great grandparents, Charles Matlock (1770-1819) and Elizabeth Lynch Matlock (1773-1822), lived at Monroe in Overton County. Minerva Hill lived less than a half mile from them. In a deposition given on March 22, 1897 in AB Hill et al vs Chickasaw Nation, she said Old Aunt Giney, a slave woman who lived with the Matlock's, told her that Charles was a quarter breed indian by blood from the Chickasaw tribe. She said he had "black hair, tolerable course, stood straight and dark skin and black eyes." She said Charles' father, Moore "Obediha" Matlock, was a white man, but his mother, Emma Kane Powell Matlock, was a half breed Chickasaw Indian by blood. says Charles was a Colonel. says he was with the Overton County, Tennessee Militia during the the war of 1812 and was commisioned a Lieutenant on June 26, 1812. Charles was murdered in April of 1819. Three years later, Elizabeth hung herself. Old Aunt Giney helped raise their five children. The youngest, Elizabeth or "Betsy," was born four months after her father's death, on Aug. 26, 1819. Betsy married Benjamin Ledbetter. They were the great-grandparents of Josie Ledbetter Speck, my great-grandmother. Charles and Elizabeth are buried at Speck Cemetery in Overton County.

Another daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Matlock was Mary, aka "Polly." She married Thomas Hill, the oldest son of John and Catherine Means Hill, the daughter of my 5th great-grandparents, Andrew and Nancy Gray Means.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Faces of Faith: Faith Sustains A Father's Lament

This video by Faces of Faith is about a father who recalls a terrible tragedy that occured in his family. It is a story, not only of tragedy, but of love and faith.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

70's Slang Words/Phrases

When I think of the 70's, I think of the greatest rock and roll music ever. It is now included in a music genre that is known today as 'classic rock.' Besides being the best decade for rock and roll, the 70's also held its own in terms of slang words and/or phrases.

I grew up in the 60's and 70's. For sure, the best slang words/phrases came from the 60's...

"Can you dig it?"
"Far Out!"
"Right On!"
"Outta sight!"
"Heavy man!"
"Hey Man!"
"What a drag!"

...and many of those terms carried on into the 70's.

"Groovy," a favorite word for anything fun, cool, or interesting. “Far out!”, “Outta sight!” and "Right on" were phrases you could use to respond to something that was beyond groovy.

While those words/phrases covered a lot of ground, it certainly didn't end there in the 70's. The hippest smooth talkers of the 70's had a lingo all their own -- all our own. Like the African-American jazz musicians of the day, we were “cool cats, baby!” Hahaha.

"Can you dig it?"
"Right on, man!"

The 70's were my teenage years. Many slang terms came from TV shows and movies:

"Looking Good" (Chico and the Man)
"Dy-no-mite!" (J.J. on Good Times)
"Up Your Nose With A Rubber Hose!" (Welcome Back, Kotter)
“Well Excuuuuse me!” (Saturday Night Live/Steve Martin)
“May the force be with you” (Star Wars, 1977)

The 70's CB radio craze gave us...
"10-4, Good Buddy" and "What's your 20?"

Slang sarcasm replies were the rage in the 70's...

"Your Mother," which became "Your Mama," which became "Joe Mama."

Other slang sarcasm replies were:
"Buzz off!"
"Smooth move, Ex Lax!"
"Take a chill pill!
or, "Chill out!"
and one that I used quite often

..."NO DUH!"

Greetings and taking your leave in the 70's were never as simple as hello and goodbye. You greeted someone with "What it is?" or "What's up blood?" or "Slap me some skin" or "Gimme some skin, man!" or "Gimme me five, man!" or "What it is!" or "What's happenin' man?" or "What's up, dude?"

On your way out the door you might say “Peace out” or "Catch You On The Flip-side!" or "Check You Later!" or "I'm Audie!" or "Let's Boogie!" or "Let's book it!" or "Pardy, Hardy!" or "Rock On!"

If you liked something, you said "Cool" or "Stellular" or "Tubular!" or "That's wicked" or "Cool Beans" or "Dude!" or "Tough" or my favorite


Speaking of 'Dude,' the opposite was 'Dudette.' We also called her "Foxy Mama!"

If you liked something, you said: "Outta Sight!" or "Neato!" or "Killer," which meant "COOL!"

Invitations ended with, "Be there or be square!"

"Bad" meant "very good," as in "The new Foghat album is BAD!"

Everything ended with the word 'City.'

"Keep On Truckin'" meant "Move that lunch line along!"

In the latter half of the 70s, disco ruled the clubs and launched some famous slang into the popular vocabulary. If someone you know started to dance, you gave them encouragement with a hearty, "Get Down" or "Boogie!" or "Let It All Hang Out!" or “Shake your groove thing or, thang.”

One of the biggest songs that came out of the 70's is "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry (1976). While the term “Funky” evolved out of the music scene, it came to mean something cool and different, rather than its original musical connotation.

Marijuana users said "Hey man, don't "Bogart" that joint," which meant don't hog it, pass it along. Marijuana users always had their "Stash," which was their personal supply of contraband.

Speaking of...if I were real hungry, I would 'scarf' down an entire bag of chips.

To be cool or hip in the 50's and 60's meant you were "the Bomb." To be 'otherwise' but to think you might be cool in the 70's meant you were a "Jive Turkey."

Speaking of jive, the term “Jive Talking” encompassed the entire subset of slang, but within the jive vocabulary, it meant you were spouting nonsense or speaking in a way that was difficult to understand (Airplane, 1980).

A favorite slang term in the hallways at my high school was "Sike." It was said if someone faked you put (pulled your leg) in some way.

A Scandinavian origin for the word 'Slang' suggests the same root as that of 'Sling,' which means "to throw" and notes that 'Slang' is a thrown language, a quick, honest way to make your point.

When he was in elementary school, my oldest son one day described something as being "tight." Although I didn't understand it, he was using a slang word for 'cool.' While slang words/phrases change with time, I am hoping that many of the words/phrases I used in the 60's and 70's will at least hang around for a while longer. I am doing my part to keep them going.

Well, it's time to "split the scene." "Y'all keep it real!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Rescued By An Angel

At age 9, myself and all of my siblings, plus two cousins and a childhood friend, eight of us total, contracted red german measles, or Rubella. We were all hospitalized for about a week, at which time everyone except my brother, Ronnie, and I had successfully gotten rid of the Rubella and were able to go home. We were kept longer because just as the Rubella was going away, we contracted Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain most commonly caused by a viral infection. One of the problems Encephalitis can cause is seizures, which we both experienced a lot of, occasionally at the same exact moment there in the hospital room that we shared. When we were not alert and having seizures, we were unconscious and that went on for several days. Encephalitis, while relatively rare, can be life-threatening and we were at that level. I can remember waking up and seeing most of my relatives had gathered in our room. I was told later that we were so sick our family did not know what to expect. One relative was my grandfather's niece. We called her, "Tootsie," but her real name was Marie. I would later learn that, at the bequest of my grandfather, she came and stayed in our room for days, turning us every twenty minutes or so as we lay in a sleep, and constantly wiping away the perspiration from our bodies. It wasn't long after she came and began doing those things that we were able to overcome that illness. I always credited our survival to the extra special love and care Tootsie gave my brother and I, but I also suspect she did her share of talking to the Lord on our behalf. I would grow up feeling closer to Tootsie because of what she had done. To me, she was my angel. Whenever I would see her, my mind would wander back to that time in my life when she cared for my brother and I. I thought about it this past Saturday as I sat in Tootsie's own hospital room, where she lay during her last few hours on this earth. The doctor came and said the sweetest prayer over her, thanking the Lord for all that she had meant to those who had been blessed to know her, and asking the Lord to be with us as she prepared to pass from this life to the next, which happened around midnight that night. Rest in peace, my sweet nurse, rest in peace.

Long may our Land be Bright with Freedom's Holy Light

Officially, the Continental Congress declared its freedom from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, but after voting to approve it, a draft do...