Archive for the ‘The Paines’ Category

Islands and Interstates

I’m going to Valdosta today.  To the lake.  I’ll let y’all know if the islands are still there.  I’m hoping to get to stand on one tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll even take a picture.  If I’m feeling crazy. 

Hopefully I’ll be back in augusta by tomorrow night.  Happy St. Patricks Day! Fun holiday, even if green really is most definitely, NOT my color. 


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My dad sent me this story of the  murder of a 15 year old boy that took place in Lowndes County in 1843.  Download troupville_trial_1848.pdf

The boy was shot when some men were horsing around with an old rusty rifle they thought was broken.  The shooter was "moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil."  Troupville was the county seat at the time of the murder – and not far from Wildwood Plantation.  Valdosta is the current county seat.  The story originally appeared in the 1931 issue of The Georgia Lawyer.  This will probably only be really interesting people who love the law – like me (hehe).

My favorite part of the story is at the end – the author explains the importance of court week in the small town. 

Court week always attracted a great concourse of people.  Some attended from necessity or compulsion, some to enjoy the feast of erudition and eloquence; others to trade, traffic or electioneer, but to many it was an occasion for much drinking and horseswapping, and for indulgence in cock fighting, horse racing, gaming, and other "worldly amusements" for which Troupville became somewhat notorious.  Indeed, among the Godly, it was regarded as a wild town – almost as wicked as Hawkinsville. 

And I love this –

A Vanished Town

Now Beneath a spreading oak that shades the old stage road, a granite marker points out to passers-by the place where once stood Troupville – the far famed capital of Lowndes. 

Only the rivers there remain, eternally the same –

black waters, musically slipping,

Whose ripples sway the gray moss dipping

From hoary overhanging trees

That murmur to the whispering breeze –

Old tales of ancient memories. 

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Gather round, let me tell you children a story.  Over a hundred years ago, in a land far far away called Valdosta, my great great grandfather, Charles Paine, and his first cousin, M. Smith (I can’t remember his first name right now) married two sisters, Ada and Rachel Jones, respectively.  Ada and Rachel’s father had a plantation called Wildwood along the banks of the Withlacoochee river which encompassed a great deal of land.  He left Wildwood to his two daughters.   (On a side note, the land originally came from Ada and Dsc00853 Rachel’s mother’s family, not the Jones family.  Apparently giving land to your daughter is cool in Georgia. We are so progressive.) This is a camellia I captured this weekend from a bush in my great grandmother’s yard – apparently the bush came from Wildwood, which I think is cool.  Heirloom plants is what  you call them I believe.

Each couple had six children.  Then tragedy struck and Charles and Ada both died within a year of each other.  So the Smith couple adopted the six orphaned Paine children and raised all twelve kids.  The kids were all double cousins at the least, basically siblings.  They lived part of the time in Valdosta but also at Wildwood Plantation where the cantaloupes were grown –  Dsc00901_3

It is unclear to me whether or not the twelve children were used on the plantation, but it says – grown, picked and packed by Paine and Smith, so I would assume that they were.   Twelve kids would come in handy on the plantation.  My great grandfather, the first Travers, was one of the twelve children.   Dsc00862

Before Charles died, he and M and four of their other friends bought a piece of property with a lake on it called Loch Laurel.  The lake is about three miles around and a mile across, spring fed, about five miles from the Florida line.  Charles and M bought out the other partners.  Loch Laurel is very pretty.  (here are some pictures I posted last spring).

So the Paine’s and the Smith’s, although two different last names, are virtually one big family.  But everyone is aware of the different branches.  Over the years Wildwood has been split into many different pieces and sold off little by little.  Loch Laurel is owned by a privately held corporation – with family members holding  shares. 

On the morning of Friday October 13, 2006, it was discovered that islands had appeared in one corner of the lake.  Overnight.  Loch Laurel is assumed to be a limestone sinkhole lake, and we believe the islands to be some sort of limestone plate that has shifted.  Actually, let’s get real, we have no idea what happened and it is totally freaky and weird.  But regardless, this is what they look like – Img_0705

I’m not sure if you can see from the pictures, but one of the islands is much larger than the restImg_0707. My cousin (first, once removed) Helen and her husband Jim and I decided that it would be really funny, if under the cover of darkness, we claimed the big island for the Paine family.  Hence the need for the family back story.  Because, obviously we deserve the big island.   Luckily – there was an almost full moon this weekend as we made our way across the lake in Helen’s john boat at dusk.  Dsc00866_1 Dsc00874

The pictures are dark because we were being sneaky, but I think we made our point –

Dsc00888 Of course, we couldn’t just leave it at that.  Because there were all these other little islands that needed signs.  Signs that said something like – Smith.  The only problem was that we didn’t have any paper or a pen to write with.  All we had was a beer bottle, a beer can, and a box of cheez-its.  Never leave home without them.  Fortunately – the islands themselves are essentially black mud rock.  So we ripped up the cheez-it box, broke off a piece of rock to use as a pen, and stuck the beer bottle into one of the smaller islands.  Hahaha, we are so funny and resourceful.    


Unfortunately it rained Saturday night, so our dark twilight photos might be the only evidence of the Smith sign.  The Paine sign was laminated and should last for a while.   This has been a very long post and I hope you enjoyed the photo journey.  I want to leave you with a couple more creepy nighttime photos.  They were taken with the long exposure nighttime setting of my digital camera, so they are a bit blurry, which makes them all the more creepy. 

Good luck to everyone who is taking exams, Jessica – I will try to be diligent in my posting. 

Dsc00884 Dsc00897 Dsc00898Dsc00879

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Sometimes I think the books and songs from my childhood are no longer acceptable.  Which is sad.  Like Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby.  I loved Brer Rabbit.  Or some of the nursery rhymes we used to sing – that still go round in circles in my head.  I mean – I understand why such stories are not politically correct, but they are a part of the culture of the south.    I don’t know.  It is just a thought. 

Have I ever told y’all how much I love my job?  I love my job.  I have a great job.  I don’t know what I’m going to do when I have a more stress filled job.  My job is great.  I love the people and everything. 

And my dog is great too.  She is so stinkin cute I can barely take it.  So cute.  She can be bad, but she is cute.  She is getting really tall.  And blond. 

The weather has been unseasonably warm lately.  Like – even warm at night.  It was 60 degrees at 10 last night.  Weird.  But it hasn’t been too hot – just warm. 

Thanksgiving was awesome – we finished the half marathon in two hours and a minute or two – which I thought was very respectable and my calf muscles did not appreciate.  I was literally sore until yesterday. 

Georgia stomped all over the yellow jackets on saturday – which was sweet.  I know I haven’t had much to say about my little bulldogs this season, but I think they have done a great job turning the year around and I am proud of them.  I’d rather lose to Vandy and Kentucky and beat Auburn and Tech – especially if it ruins Auburn and Tech’s dreams.  I’m a sweet girl. 

I have been watching a few Ally McBeal episodes on dvd – and let’s just say I’m sad I don’t have all the seasons because I think it is hilarious.  On that note – the new show 30 Rock – I was crying laughing when I watched the free episode I downloaded from iTunes.  Go get it.  It is like the Office but making fun of NBC with Tina Fey and Alec Balwin.  Awesome. 

Love y’all. 

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So I’m going to the ATL tomorrow.  We are having thanksgiving with the Cherry’s.  And tomorrow morning Elizabeth, her sister Emily, me, Libby, Steve, Steve’s dad, and a host of other folks are all running in the turkey trot half marathon.  13.1 miles.  Yay.  I hope I don’t die. 

It is still raining here.  I’m ready for some pretty weather. 

Last night, after I iced the precious little turkey cookies my mom made,  Jennifer Blanchard and I went out for a little bit – hung out with Travers and a host of other kids.  It was a lot of fun.  There really were some young kids at the bar though.  Made me feel very old. 

Betsy and I discussed this morning how fast time passes these days.  We can’t believe another year is over.  We are a touch worried we are going to wake up one day and be 35 and have no idea where our twenties went, much less our early 30s.  I’m in my mid to late 20s.  That is nuts.  I feel like I should be 19.  Of course then I see 19 year olds at the bar and I realize I’m not 19. 

I have very festive mittens that make me happy.  And I’m eating a now and later that is probably ten years old.  Eww. 

Let me just say for the record that Happiness is an egg and cheese biscuit from bojangles.  Pure and utter joy. 

I am very thankful for so many things in my life.  And I appreciate all of you who read my blog.  I feel like it has given me the opportunity to interact with a lot of really cool people in many different places. 

I want one of these for christmas (in person, please)- Tas20060623135941496

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Complements of F. James:

Football is a dangerous sport.  Even on playstation.   

Apparently, two men were playing playstation football and the game got so heated one man stabbed the other man.  Guess which two teams they were "coaching?"  Tennessee and Auburn.  And this wasn’t like a steak knife to the thigh stabbing.  This was a butcher knife to the back stabbing.  A punctured lung, airlifted, emergency surgery kind of stabbing.  Read the whole story here

Complements of JL Blanchard:

Why are Tennessee’s colors orange?

So they can wear orange to the game on saturday, hunting on sunday, and to pick up trash on the highway on monday.

In other news, Bella has fallen in love with a deer.  A dead deer.  A deer that has been dead for a long time.  I’m worried she is going to get her heart broken.   My parents took down the mounted deer head that has been hanging on the wall in my brother’s room for years.  They had plans to take it to the river house.  But before they took it to the river they set it downstairs on floor on the back porch.
And Bella adopted it.  Seriously.  She won’t let Bo near it – tries to eat him alive if he gets too close.  She sniffs and licks all over the deer every time we let her out of the kitchen and she has started taking naps next to it.  I mean, if we would let her, she would never be more than two feet away from the deer.  Also, apparently she doesn’t appreciate the fact that the deer ignores her – so she will occasionally bark at him.  We have decided to name him Blitzen.  Bella and Blitzen, sitting in a tree.  I’ve never seen such in my life.  Our dog has problems.  Shocker. I’ll try to take a picture of her and post it because it is really hilarious. 

P.S.  Crazy dreams again last night.  I’m going to blame it on the impending full moon. 

Tonight Elizabeth and I are going to try out a new exercise.  Boot Camp.  Sounds like a blast, huh? We are on a serious exercise kick.  I’m going to start swimming when it gets colder and dark.  Yay endorphines. 

Oh, and I really love my video iPod.  And I hate mosquitoes and roaches. 

Who is coming to play with me on north campus Saturday?  I’ll be the girl with the big clock around her neck.  Let me know where to find you.   

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Erk Russell died yesterday morning.  Here is what my father had to say in an email yesterday about the legend:

My old football
coach, Erk Russell, died today in Statesboro and will be greatly missed.
As the defensive coordinator and special teams coach for Georgia in the 60’s, he groomed me with a
lot of special attention for my initial playing duty at Georgia, which
was to be a suicide spear on the special teams.  He always had lots of
funny nicknames and called the kick-off team the “KKK” –
Krazy Kickoff Koverers.  Several times I lucky enough to be awarded Erk’s
“KKK Award” for the game week, which in those days entitled you to
a gift certificate at Dick Ferguson’s Mens Store downtown (and which
would certainly violate NCAA rules today).    

Erk was a man’s
man who loved to smoke a cigar and drink beer.   He was a classical
larger-than-life guy who nobody ever thought would die.  Tough as hell, he
used to butt his head with our helmets when we first ran on the field at
Sanford Stadium before a game, and he would end up at kick-off with blood
streaming down his face, standing on the sidelines and glaring across the field
at the enemy.  He was a master joke-teller and although he liked to laugh,
he would only occasionally laugh at his own jokes.   Quick-witted and
sharp, he was never a bully and was truly loved by his players.  Many, many
Erk memories will remain with our teammates for the rest of their lives, as he
made a lasting impression on anyone who knew him.  For example, in our
training room in the Coliseum was a steam bath that was popular with all the
players and coaches.  After practices Coach Russell used to regularly strut
across the training room butt naked into the steam bath, with a cigar and holding
only a towel and razor.  He would then enjoy the steam bath, while shaving
his bald head and talking to players with his cigar hanging out of his mouth.  What
a man!  <!–


Coach Erk\nRussell was a master when it came to teamwork. He told us lots of great\njokes and football stories, but always emphasized the teamwork theme. Coach\nRussell liked to emphasize the “team” over the “individual”\nconcept. The team relies on everyone\’s working together; that\’s what\nleads to national championships. You not only have to have good players,\nyou have to have players that "play good" together. Coach Russell\nsaid that he could not overemphasize the value of working together, nor the\nvalue of having a sense of humor and being lucky. He often said that he\nwould rather be lucky than good. He believed that luck plays a\nrole, but that the harder you work, the luckier you were.


Coach Russell\’s\ntraining rules were simple and uncomplicated: work hard on the field and keep\nup good communications off the field. For a team to perform well, every\nmember has to work hard and rely on every other member of the team. He\nalso respected that fact that the help and support of others not on the team is\nvery important to success.


Still sounds\nlike a good template for the success of any endeavor, particularly business. \nGod Bless Erk\nand his family.


Trav Paine




Coach Erk
Russell was a master when it came to teamwork.  He told us lots of great
jokes and football stories, but always emphasized the teamwork theme.  Coach
Russell liked to emphasize the “team” over the “individual”
concept.  The team relies on everyone’s working together; that’s what
leads to national championships.  You not only have to have good players,
you have to have players that "play good" together.  Coach Russell
said that he could not overemphasize the value of working together, nor the
value of having a sense of humor and being lucky.  He often said that he
would rather be lucky than good.   He believed that luck plays a
role, but that the harder you work, the luckier you were.

Coach Russell’s
training rules were simple and uncomplicated: work hard on the field and keep
up good communications off the field.  For a team to perform well, every
member has to work hard and rely on every other member of the team.  He
also respected that fact that the help and support of others not on the team is
very important to success.

Still sounds
like a good template for the success of any endeavor, particularly business.
God Bless Erk
and his family.

Daddy also sent me a bunch of great Erk quotes – here are my favorites:

wouldn’t allow them to put names on the back of our jerseys. We had to sell

recruiting budget at Georgia
Southern was $200 our first year. I had just left Georgia, whose recruiting budget
was a quarter of a million dollars. And as I drove down the Woodpecker Trail,
trying to touch base with people in Claxton and Alma and Jesup and Ludowici,
sometimes I wondered, "What have you done?"

brotherhood of football … is the strongest brotherhood known to man as far as
I’m concerned.

South, to me, is fried chicken and catfish caviar — that’s grits — and
good-looking women.

We had a
group of about eight boys in the Navy, all from the South — South
Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi. In the
barracks we took the corner, drew a line, said, "No Yankees" across
this. We didn’t really mean it, but they thought we did.

You know
what a consultant is, don’t you? A consultant is a guy that knows 100 different
sex positions but doesn’t know a woman.

My dad
always had a job that he really didn’t relish getting up and going to every
day. He said, "Boy" — that’s all he ever called me — he said,
"Boy, you do something that you enjoy doing."

I was
taught better at home than to be disrespectful to anybody.

The Bulldawg nation and the football world at large mourns the loss of this amazing coach and man.  Here is the AJC articleA lot of people in the blog world have their own memories and thoughtsThoughts, and more thoughts on ole Erk.  It breaks my heart.

Update:  My family went to the funeral in Statesboro last Sunday.  It was amazing.  I’ve never seen so many grown men in tears in my life.  The attendance was impressive.  Tons of his old players, Mark Richt, Damien Evans, Vince Dooley, Sonny Perdue, Billy Payne, the list went on and on.  It was a true testament to an amazing person. 

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