Rhoades Family Blog

The Rhoades Family Blog is a way for the members of the Wm. W. Rhoades, Jr. family to stay in touch. This website is exclusively for family and friends.

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Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States

I am a writer of great songs that you can hear on MySpace.com/eddierhoades and that's only a sampling of what I do live. I hope you delve into the archived blogs

Friday, June 22, 2012


                                                  A BIT OF HISTORY

My Aunt Jewel LaVerne Boatright died on June 5th 2012. She was always a sweet person. I had always assumed my mother and daddy got married then moved in with dad's family. Jewel said "No, after your mother's mother kicked her out she moved in with the Rhoades family." My great grandmother Cora Smith had lived with a Union soldier during the Civil war (she wasn't the only one) because soldiers drew a regular paycheck and there were no other men around. When his unit went back north, Cora was left pregnant. She wrote the Department Of The Army trying to find him but they said they couldn't locate him. The Army offered to pay a stipend for the child until she reached the age of 18. When the baby girl was born she was named Nora but it didn't look good in society for an unwed mother to have a child. So, Cora went to a lawyer and had papers drawn up where she adopted her own child. My older cousin Frank showed me both of the documents: The letter from the Army and the adoption papers. I guess that makes me 1/8th yankee. Nothing I can do about that. There's worse news than that in our family but I'm not ready to talk about it. Aunt Jewel was my daddy's youngest sister and there are less and less of the Rhoades family surviving. My uncle Jack is still around. He's had so many stents put in he has lost count. He doesn't smoke or drink and he is not the least bit overweight. When I got out of the Army in 1961 I worked in printing with my dad in Utah for 3 months. Then we came back to Georgia - home at last. I signed up for unemployment which was $25 per week. It wasn't much but it was more like an allowance. Then my daddy got me a job working in printing with his brother Jack at Hall Printing Company in Marietta.
I learned quite a lot while I was there. Not so much that I wanted to be in printing for the rest of my life Although my daddy was a printer and his daddy was too. You can imagine what most of the conversations centered around.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm In Trouble

I'm In Trouble
Do you know the three words you hate to hear when you are having sex? They are: "Honey I'm home."
That just happened to me and I am in deep trouble. My wife came home and caught me in bed with a little midget woman. She started screaming and crying and pitching a fit and said "You promised me you wouldn't run around on me anymore." To which I replied "Well, you can see I've cut down."
By the way, I finally figured out why my eyes burn so much during sex: It's the mace.

Remembering Mico Acuna & John Tecumseh

I am going to quote this from memory:
"My way of life has fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf and that which should accompany old age such as honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have but in their stead, mouth-honor, breath which the poor heart would fain deny but dare not." MACBETH

I have been searching the Internet for two guys who were my best friends while I was in the Army. The first is John Tecumseh. He was a few years older than me but accepted a green recruit as a friend. He was the same height as me, 5'6" but I weighed 123 lbs and he weighed 215 lbs. He had no neck. His massive shoulders seemed to join his head. I didn't realize the Tecumseh name was famous. He said he was a full-blooded Creek Indian. Because of his build everyone called him Bull. Once in a bar the barmaid clutched his huge bicep and said "I see why they call you Bull." and he replied "That aint it." That's the first time I ever saw one of those barmaids blush. We corresponded a little after I left the Army and he told me he had a son and named him Eddie Tecumseh. I have searched the Internet looking for Eddie also as I feel he was named in my honor.
The second friend was a Spanish-American named Mico Acuna' We called him Mike. He was a young, muscular guy that, when I first saw him, I thought he was Indian also but his heritage was Mexican. He was incredibly strong and brave and just lots of fun to be around. I remember one Saturday morning for no reason he did 200 situps. I said I could do that and did. Later I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach I was so sore. This guy cut his own hair - even in the back. He taught me the words to the Ritchie Valens song La Bamba which I still perform. I guess the point is those guys had a positive influence on me and were good friends and great Americans and I wish I could tell them that I think about them often and will never forget them.

Driving Is Driving Me Crazy

Driving Is Driving Me Crazy
I saw a bumper sticker that said "I drive like you do." Aside from the dangling participle, it brings out a valid point. We all drive a little crazy at times. Of course we think we are good drivers but ask yourself the following questions:
Does it upset you when someone tailgates you?
Have you ever been in a hurry and tailgated the person ahead of you?
The realization that I did both of these things has caused me to become a better driver. I am beginning to respect the right of the other driver to drive at whatever speed they are comfortable with. If I need to be somewhere in a hurry then I should make a decision to leave the house five minutes sooner so I won't have to rush and most of all won't have to be upset with others for "holding me up" Lots of times in our rush to get around someone we don't even think of the fact that when we pass them it's only going to be fifty feet before we are on someone elses bumper. Then what?
Based on the fact that I hate to be honked at I have made a decision not to honk at others even though I have the advantage of driving a car with a "real" horn (it sounds like a Mack truck) and not one of those wimpy, high-pitched modern horns. They shouldn't even call those things horns, they should call them whiney beepers. Underlying all this is the fact we need to relax and enjoy driving as much as possible. Everyone knows driving too fast is dangerous but my slow-poke sister has made me aware that driving too slow can be equally dangerous. The too fast crowd is out there on the expressways driving like maniacs, jockeying for position, leaping in front of each other and switching lanes like some motorized version of salmon swimming upstream. Me? I'm retired now so I tend to take things at a more relaxed pace. It doesn't bother me but it sure does bother the salmon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Poem To My Mother

Poem for Edna Mary Blackstone Rhoades 1921 to 2008
by Eddie Rhoades

I’m so sad now that you’re gone
cause you’ve always been such fun
Who’s going to call me at odd hours?
Who’s going to mail me gum?
We’ll no longer go out to eat.
that was always such a treat:
“The coffee’s too cold, I’m sorry, I’m old
I can’t help it you know, if I eat so slow
Take this water back
and bring me some with no ice
Plus a glass with with a stem
would really be nice”
“I’ll tell you a story again and again
from the middle to the middle,
with no beginning and no end”
And now that you’re gone
I have no place to go
to see someone
who always loved me so
and when I talk to a sister or a brother,
who are we going to talk about
if not our mother?
Who else collects, bells that don’t ring
cardboard boxes, full of all sorts of things
like dolls with no heads
and rusty old stuff
that doesn’t even work,
but it’s good enough
to keep and to save, cause someone might use it
but now that you’re gone, we’ll manage to lose it
That’s my Mema, different from all others
and no matter what, you were still our mother

Monday, August 20, 2007

About Edwin Thurmond Rhoades

When I was born mother said the doctor told her to pinch my head off, flush me down the commode and try again. Years later she said she never said any such thing but it was not unlike her to recant things. She said I was so small they could have carried me home in a coffee pot. I can remember being the smallest kid in the first grade and I can remember years later when we were living in Florida the teacher wanted to hold me back and not promote me to the next grade because I was so small. She thought it would be a good idea for me to be in a class with children closer to my size. I remember my mother agreeing to this logic but dad was indignant. He said that if I made passing grades, which I had, that I should be promoted. Later I remember being 15 in the tenth grade and weighing something like 83 pounds. Because mother had moved us from a school we all liked to a school in Atlanta we all hated we were all miserable and failing. Since I was failing anyway mother said I should stay home and tend to my 5 year old brother while she worked. Never mind that the law said you had to go to school till age 16. It sounded like a good idea to a 15 year old kid. The first day at home I turned on the TV and watched a program and kept waiting and waiting for something to happen but all they did was talk and talk and talk some more. Welcome to the world of soap operas. The following year I repeated the tenth grade and was failing again. When the school year ended I weighed 96 pounds, that’s 2 pounds less than the commercial “98 pound weakling.” I would like to say I was really strong for my size and though I had failed the same grade twice I knew I was pretty smart about some things. My reading and comprehension was good but I was weak in math (It’s strange how math played a bigger and bigger part in all the occupations of my working career) so when my older brother, Odell, said he was going to join the Army and did I want to join with him? I thought about how I sure didn’t want to go to the tenth grade for the third time and told him yes. Problem was, I only weighed 96 pounds. Two weeks before my 17th birthday I went to a doctor who gave me a horse shot of vitamin b-12. I went home and went to bed and mother brought me food. I got up to 106 pounds and went and signed up for the Army on the buddy plan with my brother. My brother, being 18, could join on his own but me being only 17, had to have my parents consent. My mother signed with the belief that they would never take me but it turned out the minimum weight limit was 105 and I weighed 106 so I was in. In the Army I was in a survey group that worked with trigonometry and triangulation and transits and theodolites. Gone for three years I returned home a hefty 123 pounds. I worked mostly in the printing industry while attending night school from place to place for a year or more till mother said she had talked to the principal at Manchester High School and he would test me and let me return to school. I passed the test and went in to the 12th grade. They put me in an advanced English class and I loved it. I passed that course withan A plus I was voted most talented for the yearbook. The entire senior class was required to take a spelling test and I blew them away on that with several teachers stopping me in the hall to tell me I did excellent on that test. And when I graduated I was still the smallest guy in my senior class. Armed with a diploma and being a veteran I landed a job at Lockheed Aircraft Company. I worked in the machine shop for 13 years while I attended a Trade scool for classes at night. After taking a myriad of courses I was promoted to Tool Designer. We started on drafting boards, graduated to black and white two-dimensional computers and finally went to three dimensional color computers. All these technical classifications required a lot of math, plus a bit of creativity. I came along ways from the skinny, barefoot kid to a more educated person with a white-collar job. Fate had smiled on me.

The before and after photo of me are so you can see for yourself how I went from a poster child for starved looking children to a person who now looks like they never miss a meal.

Eddie Rhoades
Garden Till You Turn Green

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Elvis, Paul Newman and Dad

When my Mother first brought Dad home to meet her family of 13 brothers and sisters they all said that Bill Rhoades was the most handsome man they had ever seen. My uncle Jimmy said " Why that man will never have to hit a lick of work in his life, he can stand on any street corner of Broad street in downtown Augusta and make a living just by selling autographed pictures of himself for $25 dollars apiece."
When I was just a little boy I would lean my head way back and look up at my Dad who was the tallest man in his family and think "Wow, is that what I'm going to look like when I grow up?" Evidently not, as I favor my Mother more. So much for hoping. At one time Paul Newman was considered one of the most handsome men on the planet, then along came Elvis who was a very good looking young young man but my Daddy could have held his own with either of them as you can see by the picture on this Blog Page. He probably wouldn't appreciate being compared to Elvis but wouldn't mind as much being compared to Hollywood stars like Gary Cooper or Clark Gable. When Dad's hair turned silver he and Mother used to go to a breakfast buffet in downtown Covington. When he would pass through the line he would tell this one lady server that "I'll take a bowl of those grits"...."I said I'll take a bowl of those grits." Then he'd look up at her with her serving spoon dangling in her hand and she would be staring at him like a love-sick teenager in a trance. He had this effect on women.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Peeling And All

My daddy said his daddy, who we called Poppa, and his sister, aunt Mae, would eat peanuts hull and all. They said they were not talking about boiled peanuts,that eating raw peanut hulls would prevent ulcers. He also said his daddy would eat oranges peeling and all. Back during the depression my dad and a couple of other boys stole a box of oranges off a delivery truck. They divided them up and took them home. When dad got home with his sack of oranges his dad was sitting in front of the fireplace drunk. He said "What you got there Bud?"
A sack of oranges.
Oranges? What's that?
It's a fruit dad, you eat it.
Well give me one.
Bill tossed him an orange and his dad bit into it like you would an apple.
Juice ran down his mouth and chin and dripped off his arm and got all over his shirt but he just kept on eating.
When Bill told this story to his children he said a truck went over the railroad tracks and a crate of oranges bounced off.
After dad passed away his younger brother Jack said the truth was they pulled the crate off a truck.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

A Tribute Of Sorts

This may not seem much of a story to anyone else but while we were living in Utah where Dad was foreman of Long Banknote Company West, a man came in one day and asked dad for a job. The guy said "I am not going to lie to you, I spent the last two years in prison but I've paid my debt to society and now I need a job." Dad, to his great credit wanted to give the guy a second chance and hire him but his boss Sid, said "no." I think this little story as much as anything points out what a compassionate person my Dad could be toward his fellow man.

More Boat Tales

I remember Daddy telling me about the time he borrowed Uncle Jack's motor and put it on his boat so that he would have two 5 horsepower motors at the same time. He said that they could outrun boats with 30 hp. motors! The only problem with that boat was that because of the flat bottom, it had the tendency to catch the wind and try to flip! Someone with substantial weight had to sit in the front to hold it down.
Once, during their teenage years, Odell was playing with the boat by turning the motor to the full right with the full throttle. The boat would spin around and the nose would come way up out of the water. As it would happen, the unpredictable wind caught the flat, light boat and flipped it completely over. Eddie was watching from the shore as Odell somehow managed to right the boat and bail enough water out to ride it back to shore. Odell made Eddie swear to "never tell Daddy" about this incident.
Some thirty-something years later, while Pop-pop (as our daddy was affectionately called by his grandchildren), Odell, Eddie and I (Bobby) were sitting around reminicing about old times, Eddie exclaimed, "Hey Odell, you remember the time you turned the boat over?"
Odell, with a look of shock on his face exclaimed, "You said you weren't going to tell daddy!"
The next day as Daddy and I were talking at work, he chuckled out loud thinking of Odell's reaction to Eddie's revelation. "What did Odell think I was going to do? Spank him?"