Ardent defenders of the First Amendment and the Separation of Church and State

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Why The Bushy Tree?

Due to the overwhelming number of requests from commentators on my previous post, I'll try to get back on topic and explain why this blog is rather like that Bushy Tree of 47 years ago.

First off, pronunciation is crucial to the vernacular context of the story. When saying Bushy Tree, the emphasis is on Bushy, IE, BUSHY-tree, not Bushy-TREE. BUSHY-tree, got it? OK.


I was raised on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest up here in northwestern PA. Our home was about four miles from the edge of the closest town. That side of town was known as the "Southside." As a kid I roamed the hills and spent many days taking advantage of the offerings of the beautiful Allegheny River. The reason I did that is because I was stuck out there with no transportation and I had to learn how to entertain myself. I remain very happy for that experience.
When I was eleven, I had saved up eleven dollars and change and my grandmother chipped in twenty bucks so I was able to buy my first brand new bicycle. She was a Western Flyer, purchased at the local Western Auto store. She was a thing of sheer beauty and delight and now I had transportation. The known world was mine to travel.

So, that summer I'd jump on the Flyer and ride down the four miles of dirt roads to the Southside where most of my cronies lived. That loosely defined group was a rather inquisitive bunch, scientifically speaking, and we were always dissecting something or other, and tinkering with whatever types of chemicals/ ingredients that we could get our hands on, including the famous Black Powder Experiment where four of us lost our eyebrows and the front half of the hair on our heads simultaneously while proving that black powder is, in fact, quite explosive in nature.

We were also masters at attaching rope swings to the tallest trees we could find. In those days there was a market or confectionery store on every other corner, and our preferred hangout was Johnny's Market where we could buy a double Cola for a nickel and we'd sit on the stoop out front and drink our soda and spit and stuff. One day, Timmy "Tink" Albaugh, "Fuzzy" McMillan, his brother, "Mickey," and I were sitting there spitting and stuff when Johnny barges out with a bucket of water, and in one deft move, rinsed the spit and us right off that stoop. He said something along the lines of, "Go somewhere else and spit." Since we could take a hint, we were just getting ready to leave for a more hospitable environment when, as if by divine intervention, Denny "Duppa" Rogers (The U is long and he didn't actually have the nickname "Duppa" yet but I'm getting to that part) came riding up and announced that we should put up a rope swing on that big Sycamore tree over by the railroad tracks. "What Sycamore tree?" says we, since there were more than one over that way, "the one by that "BUSHY- tree," said he.

So we did. Attaching a one inch dia. Sisal rope to the limb of a one hundred and twenty foot tall Sycamore tree is relatively easy. Take a fishing pole with a lead sinker the size of a golf ball tied to the end of it and cast it up over the highest limb it could reach, sometimes eighty to ninety feet. Then tie the fishing line to the rope, reel 'er up over the limb, tie a loop in the rope, tag end through the loop and cinch it up. Presto- instant adventure.

Then we cut out all the brush around the Bushy Tree and made benches, brought in old car seats, an old coffee table from Mickey's grandmother's garage, and etc, and it became our official meeting place with no restrictions on spitting and with our handy dandy rope swing right next door. Many a devious plot were hatched out in that place.

Then there were "the accidents," most note worthy of which was the one where I had just rode the "Flyer" up the path to the Bushy Tree and Denny Rogers was just getting ready to launch from the take off point, which was the limb of a tree behind the Sycamore.. He launched, but lost his grip and hit the ground like a ton of shit and we all knew that had to really really hurt...bad. Before we got to him he was yelling, "my duppa, my duppa!" What had happened was that he landed on his butt right on a little stick that was a sapling we had cut down and it went up his butt, which is quite an egregious and painful injury as we were soon to find out.

"Duppa" spent about four days in the hospital having his rectum repaired, but he got over it and if he ever reads this he will know exactly and precisely who I am referring to, as will all of the other characters I mentioned. They're real, and it would be great if one of them would see this and respond. But that would be a lot to ask.
So there you have it.

I'll meet you at the Bushy Tree!
dale

34 comments:

child of universe said...

Welcome back, Dale!

I was a tad worried about you.

YAHWEH

dale said...

Yahweh!

No0 need to worry. Just going through some changes in interest/ work load, etc.

I decided to try out this venue rather than typepad.

I have missed your commentaries on the matters of the courts.

I still miss the old cronies from Defcon.

Hopefully we'll see some of em around here.

See you later, ol friend!

Don Rettmann said...

Hi Dale,

Thanks for starting The Bushy Tree!

I took great delight in your telling of the history of the term. And in reading about your little buddy Duppa.

I haven't seen or heard the word duppa since my own family moved from western PA to Connecticut way back in 1957. I'm happy to see that yunce are still using the word.

All my best,

Don

Don Rettmann said...

Here's a political item that should be of concern to those of us who are in favor of separation of church and state.

John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate to appeal to the christian conservatives. She is a fundie christian, and favors including creationism in science curricula in schools.

When she was announced as his choice, I suspected a christian conservative connection, and sure enough, that's the reason.

Here's a link to a news article.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/po/20080829/co_po/whoisthissarahpalin


I hope choosing Palin backfires on McCain. If he wins in November, the country is in deep poo.

Don

Don Rettmann said...

My attempt at posting that link didn't seem to work. I'll try again.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/po/20080829/co_po/whoisthissarahpalin

Don Rettmann said...

Rats! Still didn't work. I hate computers.

nonmagic said...

Dale,

That is a fantastic story!! I'll meet ya at the Bushy Tree so long as I don't have to have any rectum repairs done!

Albatross said...

Woo hoo! Welcome back, Dale. Good to see you. Ha Yahweh, Don. Where's the rest of the DefConites?

Albatross said...

Hey, that should say hi to Yahweh and Don! Not ha! Dale, I'd never jump ship on you, but please, let's only dedicate a small amount of time to the fruitcake, Ray, k??

Don, I'm with you on the hopes for a major backfire for McCain. I had a huge argument with my brother, who seems to equate patriotism with republicanism. He asked, "When China tries to take over, who would you rather have defending your country, McCain or (as he said it) Baaahrack?" I told him that since McCain will drop dead before China attempts a takeover and won't be handling that problem, I'd much prefer an intelligent diplomat like Obama than a no-name fundie governor from Alaska. Good Lord! Romney would have been a better choice, but we all know fundies can't stomach a Mormon. Oyyyy!!!

My brother seems to think GW saved him from financial ruin by freezing ARMs. My opinion is that GW caused the crisis we see now.

Don Rettmann said...

Hi Albatross. Tell your brother that China may indeed try starting a war with the US, because soon, China will be doing the engineering and manufacturing of all our military equipment, and they will be selling that equipment to us so we can fight them off.

I think George Orwell is running the world!

I wonder if McInsane might soon ask Palin to step aside, and he will try another running mate, because of the increasing heat he's getting from picking Palin.

He should stick to picking his nose.

Albatross said...

Palin opposes comprehensive sex ed, and has a teenage daughter who is pregnant. She is a fave with Phyllis Schaffley's Eagle Forum.

Check out this survey, and note how many people actually participated.
This question made me laugh:

"11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
JB: No.
SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance."

Bright bulb.

Albatross said...

survey

dale said...

Albatross?

Albatross is here?

I can't believe my eyes!

Stephanie said...

"Palin opposes comprehensive sex ed, and has a teenage daughter who is pregnant."

I know my irony meter nearly blew a gasket when I heard about that. AND the poor girl is going to marry the father. Is that her choice, do you think? I feel a bit more that she's being forced to, or she's just taking it for granted that she has to.

dale said...

Alba,

You begged of me, "Dale, I'd never jump ship on you, but please, let's only dedicate a small amount of time to the fruitcake, Ray, k??"

Indeed, Alba, that is the intention of this initiative. I do want to highlight fundie, and especially, anti first amendment (See, LJB, I can pell "it") stuff.

I would love to have you as a guest Author here at least for the run-up to the election, if you have the time. ? I hope!

dale said...

Don,
I' happy to hear that yun's are doin good too!

There are a reare few who did not grow up around the Burgh that would have any idea about that perfectly acceptable pronaun!

Don Rettmann said...

Dale, I feel honored to be among the good folks who recognize "yun's" to be a valid pronoun.

I also tend to use "you all" quite a bit. I'm not sure, though, that "you all" is a western PA phenomenon. Maybe I should use "yun's all" instead.

Don Rettmann said...

Do you suppose Palin will claim her daughter's pregnancy will be a virgin birth?

Will it be the second coming of The Baby Jesus?

Or merely the second coming of her daughter's boyfriend?

Don Rettmann said...

Have any of the mainstream news pundits picked up on the irony of Sarah Palin's being against comprehensive sex ed while her own daughter is knocked up?

dale said...

Uh OH! Run for cover! Stephanie is here!

This is great!

Stephanie and old John McGinn were the first two folks I ever conversed with at DefCon.

They had to be one of the first ten or so originals.

Good to see you Steph!

Albatross said...

Hi Stephanie!! Good to see you. Here's another for the irony meter. I just watched an interview with a woman who was a Hillary supporter every inch of the way. Whose getting her vote now? McCain/Palin. Why? She feels good to know "women's issues" will be addressed because of Sarah Palin on the ticket. AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGG!

I don't want to be a sucker for Nat'l Enquirer tales, but have
"youse" all heard the rumors that Palin's fifth child was actually that of her daughter?? The Obama camp is taking heat for spreading such nasty rumors, but there's a bunch of funny circumstances surrounding it all:

1. Palin, a 44-45 yr old women pregnant with her fifth child, announced her pregnanancy at 7 1/2 months, and people were surprised, floored. Even her staff claims they were surprised to hear it/see it. No shit, not a belly bump in sight for 7 months.

2. All Palin family photos, and most of the governor herself, have been taken down from the internet. The few that remain show Palin in bulky clothing behind a podium.

3. Palin's eldest daughter(the one who is pregnant now) had been removed from school for the last 4 - 5 months of Palin's pregnancy with an extended case of mono.

4. Governor Palin flew to Texas in her eighth month of a high-risk pregnancy (she is 44 or 45 and knew she was having a Down's baby), had her water break or begin leaking, left the speech in Texas (after giving it) with her water breaking, hopped back on a plane, where not a soul reports distress of any kind, and flew back to the high altitudes of Alaska, where, instead of going to a major city hospital with a NICU, she delivered her baby at a local regional hospital 1 month early.

There's also the trooper-gate scandal, where the governor used the power of her office to get rid of her ex-brother-in-law, and when she couldn't get him fired, she fired the public safety commissioner.

McCain did noooo vetting. I feel safer with my "women's rights" in the hands of Obama/Biden, than McCain/Palin. Maybe if things get "pretty" enough, McCain will drop Palin. It was a pathetic choice.

Albatross said...

Hi Stephanie!! Good to see you. Here's another for the irony meter. I just watched an interview with a woman who was a Hillary supporter every inch of the way. Whose getting her vote now? McCain/Palin. Why? She feels good to know "women's issues" will be addressed because of Sarah Palin on the ticket. AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGG!

I don't want to be a sucker for Nat'l Enquirer tales, but have
"youse" all heard the rumors that Palin's fifth child was actually that of her daughter?? The Obama camp is taking heat for spreading such nasty rumors, but there's a bunch of funny circumstances surrounding it all:

1. Palin, a 44-45 yr old women pregnant with her fifth child, announced her pregnanancy at 7 1/2 months, and people were surprised, floored. Even her staff claims they were surprised to hear it/see it. No shit, not a belly bump in sight for 7 months.

2. All Palin family photos, and most of the governor herself, have been taken down from the internet. The few that remain show Palin in bulky clothing behind a podium.

3. Palin's eldest daughter(the one who is pregnant now) had been removed from school for the last 4 - 5 months of Palin's pregnancy with an extended case of mono.

4. Governor Palin flew to Texas in her eighth month of a high-risk pregnancy (she is 44 or 45 and knew she was having a Down's baby), had her water break or begin leaking, left the speech in Texas (after giving it) with her water breaking, hopped back on a plane, where not a soul reports distress of any kind, and flew back to the high altitudes of Alaska, where, instead of going to a major city hospital with a NICU, she delivered her baby at a local regional hospital 1 month early.

There's also the trooper-gate scandal, where the governor used the power of her office to get rid of her ex-brother-in-law, and when she couldn't get him fired, she fired the public safety commissioner.

McCain did noooo vetting. I feel safer with my "women's rights" in the hands of Obama/Biden, than McCain/Palin. Maybe if things get "pretty" enough, McCain will drop Palin. It was a pathetic choice.

Albatross said...

Sorry for the double-post.

Palin is also against abortion and EC, even in the case of incest or rape. The only abortion she could bring herself to support is one who has certifiable MD proof that the woman would die if she gave birth.

Don Rettmann said...

It's truly spectacular how the wingnuts are trying to turn the Palin daughter underage unwed pregnancy into an example of their high morals.

I hope that the stories about Sarah Palin's 5th child actually being the child of her daughter gets legs.

Albatross said...

Pro-life Sarah

Albatross said...

Pro-life Sarah

Albatross said...

OK, why am I double posting?

Albatross said...

Comments on the repub convention? Appeal to the base, and no substance. I heard not a single word about where McCain would take this country (I only saw Palin speak, Ghosthunters was more intriguing to me!), or what would be done to break away from BuchCo policies. In other words, I heard a vote for McCain = 4 more years.

In other new, it seems that the US crossed over the borders of Pakistan, in an attack against Al Quada (sp?) and Pakistan is more pissed than they wore before at their own troubles. US has no comments.

Don Rettmann said...

Regarding the Repug convention, Albatross, it sickens me how the mainstream news pundits like Blitzer fell in love with Palin.

Either they fell in love with her, or they're afraid of her, they are kissing up to her.

The fundie "christians" will all vote for her, and the fundies are at least 25% of all voters. McCain/Palin will carry any state that has a lot of fundies...states like Ohio.

McCain/Palin will win easily. This election will be a bigger disaster than the elections of 2000 and 2004. The hold that the fundies will have on the US government will lock in.

Don Rettmann said...

Palin is in fact a dominionist. Here's an article on DailyKos, referring to an article on Huffington Post.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/8/32927/34819/187/590700

Don Rettmann said...

Why can I not post the full URL when I paste here? It's nuts.

nermal071 said...

On a completely unrelated aside... who among you has found the wonder that is Mr. Deity?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzuxyq3ltls

Stephanie said...

oops... that's me, btw... my google acct is acting up

Lenora said...

People should read this.