HIGH LIFE ON THE TOWN SQUARE

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There is a chemical compound called carbon disulfide– commonly known as “High Life.”  Its vapors are very poisonous, which is why the bottle has a skull and crossbones on the label.  It is also very flammable, and the gas formed by burning is even more deadly than the natural fumes.

It was kept on most farms in days past for many purposes.  A big bed of fire ants could be exterminated with only two treatments. Just dig a small hole in the bed area and pour a couple of tablespoonfuls inside and cover it up. It was used more widely to keep weevils and insects out of grain that was stored in a barn. A small hole in the cork of the bottle let enough fumes out to keep insects out for a long time.

Perhaps it was called “High Life” because when it was squirted on any animal, the poor victim came to life. A few drops into a hollow tree would bring a rabbit or possum out instantly. Some knew it by the name, “Dog Disabler.” More than a few mail carriers from yesteryear kept handy a water gun loaded with High Life.

The following is another “true story” excerpt from my upcoming book about my late father, Calvin Coolidge Sims.  I hope to have it released by September.  Enjoy.

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MAMA SIMS’ HOUSE

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We called my dad’s mother Mama Sims. She was not just a grandmother, she was the grand matriarch of the family.  Certain things about the house she called home are forever embedded in my mind– there are things about a house that little kids never forget.  My ten first cousins and two siblings who share memories of Mama Sims’ house  will certainly remember them all, but it’s time to share them with the world.  Let’s take a tour of Mama Sims’ house through the eyes of me as a child. Read the rest of this entry »

MINT TO BE

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Charleston, South Carolina  August 23, 1947

The wedding was at set for 5 pm at the Citadel Square Baptist Church.  The Lawrence family and the Skinner family were thrilled that Frances and Bill were about to tie the knot. There were no finer young people in the land than those two. Bill was finishing medical school and about to receive his honorable discharge from the Navy.  Francis was working as the church secretary for the Citadel Square Baptist Church.  Each of them had previously professed a call to the mission field, and were now making plans to follow their call together.

But the important thing at hand on the morning of August 23 was to complete the detailed preparations for the five o’clock wedding ceremony.  It was nine o’clock and there was still more to do.  Frances was in a race against the clock.

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A SIGN FROM GOD

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It was in the middle of December in 1862, just west of the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia when a sign from God appeared, suddenly and without warning.  The fighting men of both the Union and Confederate armies witnessed it, and the survivors of the bloody battle told their children and grandchildren about it. They swear that they witnessed the appearance of an angel.

Modern history books, bent on revisionist history have all but forgotten it– but it cannot be erased.  The historical record is intact.  A sign from God appeared on the battlefield during one of the bloodiest days in the American Civil War.  It all began after just before midnight on December 13, 1862.

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THREE SHAKES, AND MORE THINGS SOUTHERN

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This if my final installment on southern phrases I grew up hearing. Let me know if you have heard them.

“In three shakes of a sheep’s tail.”  [fast, quick, like how a lamb wags it’s tail.]  When I call, you better be home in three shakes of a sheep’s tail!”   Read the rest of this entry »

JIMMY AKA “JESUS”

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Don’t let this blog post title offend you.  It’s not blasphemy, I promise.  It’s more like a “divine comedy” which less than a hundred people can actually remember witnessing.  It all happened in 1979 at a small church in Decatur, Alabama.  It could have been a disaster, but ended up being a blessing– and a hilarious one at that.

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THE MEDICINE MAN

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Five years ago about this time, my father, Coolidge Sims, learned that he had cancer– a health difficulty far beyond the heart condition he had dealt with for years.  It took him by surprise, as it did all of us.

My 88 year old Dad was in the hospital for an overnight stay to investigate the source of pain and discomfort he was feeling when the tests came back with a malignant tumor diagnosis.

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DRIVING LESSONS

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It’s a rite of passage in our country– learning how to drive.  From the time I first became a teenager, I lived for getting my permit at age 15 and my license at 16.  It was the longest wait of my life. 

All my childhood I loved playing with little toy cars– the cheap ones made out of five inches of molded plastic.  My neighbor Cathy and I would play for hours with them, making roads in the dirt with our hands until our hands were raw and caked with red dirt.  It only took one summer rain shower to  obliterate our little homemade town of highways, streets, and driveways, but we were always eager to get back out there the next day and make new ones. When I was playing cars, I was driving those cars in my mind.

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GASP

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Mark & Mike Sims enjoying an Auburn football game in 2015.

My brother, Dr. Mike Sims, has served as a family practice physician in Columbus, Georgia since the mid-1970’s.  For many years his practice included obstetrics– the delivery of babies.  Mike often expressed to me how much he enjoyed participating with God in the divine miracle of birth.  Mike has always been pro-life and has never wavered.  Obstetrics only strengthened his conviction that life begins at conception.

Sadly, sometimes even the best of care and the most effective medicines cannot prevent miscarriages.  In the early 1980’s my brother was in the midst of a one of those crisis moments with a young expectant mother, when something absolutely unexpected occurred.     Here is the incredible story.

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WHAT CHARLOTTE DISCOVERED IN CALIFORNIA

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Charlotte Denson

Family stories are the best. Aunt Charlotte, my mother’s only sister and my granddaughter’s namesake, loves family stories as much as I do. Sometimes we laugh and carry-on during a phone call like nobody’s business!  I can seem to get Charlotte to laugh at almost anything, and we enjoy every moment of it.  When we’re not discussing politics, religion, or Auburn football, we are recalling and re-telling our family stories.  Aunt Charlotte and I are truly oral history junkies.

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