Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fire Department Stories

There is one writing project I have been wanting to start for years now but without success. I have thought about getting down some of the funny stories and perhaps serious too, of the fire department days. We have gotten only so far and just fizzeled out. My daughter suggested inviting some of our old fire fighters over and just allow conversations to start while they tape recorded the whole thing That is probably not a bad idea because my memory would only account for a tiny percentage of the calls we all answered . I say calls but , of course, we are not limited to calls. I'm thinking of numerous funny stories around the station as well.

The only problem with the get together is that it seems to never happen so I'm just throwing out this email to invite others to send in details and ideas they may remember from their experience. I left the FD in 91, so most of my old friends stayed for many years longer than I did (some still at it now). My experience was only with the now Defunct Conyers Fire Department but my thinking is to certainly not limit it to Conyers or even Rockdale, for that matter. Good stories; funny, inspiring, factual and not so factual all have possibilities. Here are some other things I thought about in compiling information:

It will not need to be an accurate history book...............guess at dates or no date at all

I don't really intend to use full names of people as much as first names and or made up names.

No axe to griind. I have been putting thing s on a blog just to save ideas and as a place to organize them. I've written some about the old 'osterich' underground newspaper, for instance, without any current anger or agenda. No thoughts of stiring up anything with the current department. It seems they are doing that well enough on their own.

I'm sixty years old now and have worked in a number of different environments in all kinds of settings as varied as a college classroom, bar, probation office and church but I've never experienced one to compare with the fire service. It is something special, a place where you have opportunity for a real brotherhood (used inclusive of women), excitement and fun, along with all the work. I'd like to capture some of the flavor of the service , especially in our experience of a smaller department and most likely in the humor .

Just a thought.......If you are interested send me some stuff.

tom hudgens

Friday, September 26, 2008

Old Friends

The cruelness of Life
which lets old friends drift apart;
never to be together again.

The voices of old friends which
once shared straines of music
and blended in conversation.

Now they are filled with excuses
and insincerity- with nothing in
common, they choose not to speak-

Now they would rather that
each and the other go away
to whatever it was they were doing

before the cruelness of life
brought them together and
forced them to meet as old friends.

Tommy Hudgens, 1972

Two Short Thoughts


Without memories all of us would be seasonal creatures,
with so many dreams that have yet to become reality and
far too many realities which could have been left for dreaming.

Would you believe I see June
in that cold January rain?
Remember the rain in June
and the house we called our own?

Ode to a contented husband
(or the happy and speechless poet)

Why is it uninspiring to be happy?
Does a contented mind always have to be so dull?
Was it so much better in my misery
when my greatest pleasure was to sulk.

Tom Hudgens

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Queen's Gambit Declined

Queens Gambit Declined

To King's rook three the Bishop went
one sunny day in May-
and on the run, armed with a gun
the Queen stopped by to say;

The empire sir, I fear we've lost,
our troops arrived too late-
At Queen's Knight six, we took our licks,
if I may firmly state.

Dear man, said she, with honesty and
more than solomn face,
I have a plan to save us both
and never leave a trace.

And what , my Queen, the Bishop said,
is in your gracious mind;
what kind of plan, to call your hand,
can free us from this bind?

I'll leave tonight to Castle's square
and there secure a boat;
You stay around and if your found
just hand them this small note-

In my own hand as plainly seen,
I offer them a bribe,
the booty waits, the letter states,
in the office of my scribe;

and as for you, most noble sir
I ask they set you free,
we'll meet at four on yonder shore
then both of us will flee-

I like your scheme, your on the beam
the Bishop slowly said,
but if I fail, I'll sure be flailed-
the King will have my head.........................

The king, my liege, has run away
as if he saw a ghost!
He drained the bank then stole a tank
and headed for the coast.

His bearings lost, his crown was tossed,

the cliff he met in death.

The Queen and Bishop made their way,

with only pause for breath.

tom hudgens and David Rhodes

more old poems

I keep finding more of these poems from years ago. Let me know if you like any of them.

Spiritual Divorce (actually written in the late 80's I believe)

Scratch my back--
don't give me no Flac,
said she to he
who silently
was dreaming dreams of sailing ships
and sun-kist seas
and freedom's song
came roaring in like a
freight train!

tom hudgens

OLD Friends

The cruelness of life
which lets old friends drift apart;
never to be merged again.

The voices of old friends which
once shared straines of music
and blended in conversation;

Now they are filled with excuses and insincerity-
with nothing in common they
choose not to speak.

Now they would rather that
each and the other go away
to whatever it was they were doing

before the cruelness of life
brought them back together, and
forced them to meet as old friends

Tom Hudgens Jan., 72

Another attempt to be sarcastic about some of my cohorts in college who were trying to 'look the part' of anti war, protester, anti, anti........

Title: Combination ruthless, killer-of-man, healthy animal, green beret, jungle jim, hippy and cool-head and guaranteed intellectual outfit.

"I feel like nothing can stop me now with all my new cloths,
I'm just so damned charming and smart that I know,
I can solve all our problems and
get us all straight-
O man that's a word that I really do hate."

Back soon with more.
Tom Hudgens

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Advice to Counselors

I think this is such good advice for all of us, not just counselors. Words of a seventeenth century French theologian named Fenelon.

Speak little; listen much; think far more of understanding hearts and of adapting yourself to their needs than of saying clever things to them. Show that you have an open mind and let everyone see by experience that there is safety and consolation in opening his mind to you. Avoid extreme severity, and reprove, where necessary, with caution and gentleness. Never say more than is needed, but let whatever you say be said with entire frankness. Let no one fear to be deceived by trusting you.........you should become all things to all the children of God, for the sake of gaining every one of them. And correct yourself for the sake of correcting others.

see ya/ tom hudgens

The Creeping Crawling Ivy by Day

I remember these lines. I was sitting on the front steps of the building where I had most of my business classes in that quarter .It was a nice place to sit, right on the quad , big shade trees, no place to go for a while. I was just sitting there listening to tiny little pieces of conversations as people walked by, writing them down as fast as I could before another one started. The creeping, crawling ivy by day

Sitting on the front steps- but I was there
in spirit not in mind-- and these
problems would be solved-
If he would only ask me out,
and, after all, she wouldn't go
so why ask?
Let's shake away the leaves
and get some sun- That girl's
sure tough and I'm not blind,
when my wife's not around.

'Star Spangled Girl plays in
three days- I think I'll go,
but no I can't- I saw it once
and someone said it sure
was bad, but who can tell.
Got a test on Monday, mine's
on Friday- then the one
on Thursday, not to mention
Wednesday; why I'm here I'll
never know.

Think I'll leave this drag on Friday,
there's nothing to do but
I'm going to have a ball this weekend;
wonder why everyone goes home?

You had this teach before--
I sure have and he's real coolk
but if he is so groovy and interesting
why don't we cut and get a beer
at John's Place?

Tom Hudgens, 1970

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

old Poems

It really is humerous reading some of the old poems I wrote in the late sixties and early seventies. I think it was just assumed that if you were a college student in the sixties and tried to write poems, there should be a good number of them that were political protest. I hope I don't offend anyone but I am just writing down what i wrote then. Of course not all are protest poems either.

The Sales Meeting
I gaze into the room with unbeceeching, vacant eyes,
Searching for nothing; hoping to find no one
Looking back at me-
This is the game , I say, of the uncommitted,
Unthinking, unbeautiful, un- un
Important people
Fatally, framing the mold for the rest
Of their days.

Ode to the Vending Machines (Lithonia Lighting, 1973)
Alas, uncola’s song still sings
Amid the disaray,
Where once there stood an army
Of machines that took our pay.
It sings of rows of handles
In a gleaming charactry;
When kicked with loving kindness
All their treasures they would free.
A tale is told of Hersey and of
Strudel soft and light
And of their evanescent reign
Before they both gave up the fight.
Sing on candy corner chorus-
Sing your dirge from wall to wall,
And return ye, vended spirit
To the factory recall.
What’s left in life when dawn’s
First light reveals an erie scene,
Of cancroid shells and Dixie cups
And vapid coffee beans.
Yes uncola’s song still sings
Somewhere beyond those hills,
And we, in homage, come to work
With change instead of bills.
tom (in protest of the vending machines at Lithonia)

Metro, Public, Suburb, Wall Street Blues.
I think I’m missing some of this one, so I’ll come back and add to it if I find another sheet.

Blast the trumpet
Clear and cold
Les’t we die
Before we’re old-
Lease your wisdom
Bought and sold,
Watch dark corners,
Don’t get rolled-

Rule the world
And all get fat,
In the church
the pious sat
Sticky fingers
Pass the hat-

Car, truck,
loco plane
Modern travel
Damn, wrong lane;
Stocks are up
And what a gain
People laugh,
The’re all insane-\

tom h.

Untitled (written in 1971 when we (Andy,Sam and I) lived in Nashville)

I'm basically liberal
but more important, anti conservative.
I never met a politician I trusted,
but more important, I feel that the
government is too important to be
left with the law makers.
I am under 25 and never
plan to grow up, and
what's more I don't
like old people.
I love dirt and grime and always
wear sloopy clothes, better yet,
I hate with a passion those pigs
who pollute our air.
I try to fill my mind with
intellectual thoughts and
I'm even a college drop out-
Can I join your groovy, cool person club?
tom hudgens

Friday, September 12, 2008

More added to "Echos post'

I revisited the earlier post echos........................just so you don't skip it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Early Poems

I think I posted one love poem but I really had several that I am finding now. I know that more free verse and style is popular now and most of mine sound rather old but as I said before, it was the emotion of love for Andy that opened me up . When it did out came these poems!

What more but her Love

What can I do when I'm so much in love
that to all the world's riches I place her above-
How can I live when the sound of her name
is music I treasure above Hayden's fame
and where in a painting of splendor untold
can one mortal artist her beauty unfold.
Why should the poet, in vain, try to write
a poem that in beauty means more than her sight-
When can I sleep and have peace with my mind
when I know that another like her I won't find-
and how can I ponder my fate as a man
when all of my future is held in her hand.
Tom Hudgens 11-25-68

[these are really bad but the emotion was and is real]

If at first you don't succeed

I can love you, if you let me
and I'll try to make you love me two-
I can make the world much better
if that world is for we two.
I can make your life much brighter
if our love can be the sun.
I can give you joy forever
if , forever, I'm with you
I can also write my poems
til my pencil lead is gone
but if I still can not convince you
guess I will have to try again.
tom Hudgens, 1968

Words of Love

The words of love seem short and simple
when there's no one there to hear,
yet to say them, and to mean them
brings a strangeness close to fear.

To say, "I love you" makes me wonder
what this spell is all about-
but this seems my heart's own business
so the thought to think is out!

tom hudgens, 1968

What is Love

Love is a hidden treasure
with no map for reference-
Love is life's greatest mystery
which no one seems to question-
Love is constant uncertainty
without which no one seems certain-
Love is unending sacrifice
for nothing but love in return-
Love is a sleepless slumber
with one and only one dream-
Love is man's only necessity
his life, his purpose, his breath.
tom hudgens, 1968

"I have known love, and tried to crystallize its essence
into forms of line and ink,
and searched my soul,, but found emotions
that would rather feel than think." Tom Hudgens

Well, that's just a sample of them; more later. I move from moody love poems to dark, depressed, O woe is me poems next, if I can stand it. it didn't help much that I was either listening to 'Knights in White Satin or 'dock of the bay, while I wrote

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I remember when I was a kid standing out in the fields around our farmhouse, shouting and listening for the echo to come bounding back to me; then, assured that I had the hang of it, I got creative and made
all manner of shouts, and chirps, and barks just for fun. We lived out in the country so I suppose you're thinking it didn't take much to entertain us!
You might be right but I did learn some things out there in the sticks. I learned that if I was in the right place, shouting in the right direction, at the right volume, I could expect that echo to return to me. My words didn't return void or empty. Even though there really wasn't any deep meaning or purpose behind them they came back to me.
You probably know where I am going. Or do you?

There sure are a lot of words bouncing around planet earth these days. One voice sounds better then the other one, then a louder one comes and drowns out the first two just in time for a new,' more- true' word to settle into it's mantel as the ultimate truth! We even seem to believe that in the church. The new and improved word, this year's edition will finally get us on the right track. Everyone has a better idea and so we reinvent ourselves again and follow one or two echoes who seem to have it down pat. Some of us are all into tightening the 'noose' around our parishioners neck and get them on the straight and narrow so that we can save them from themselves. Another echo or two can't conceive of a God who would have written some of the stuff we now attribute to Him, so they reinvent God and make him a little more tame and in our image! Trouble is, we don't recognise God's voice anymore or trust that it is really Him speaking to us unless a new prophet comes along to explain.( Every generation run's a hero up the pop charts......Paul Simon)...........but I'm sounding like all the other echos.

What if God is really speaking? Yield, Pray, Listen, and Obey (YPLO.. well it's not as catchy as 'Prayer of Jabez but you know......) Is anybody out there? The Word says that it will not return void without accomplishing what HE pleases(Isaiah 55:11; . It also says that God is right and true, even if all of us men and women are lying (Romans 3:4) so that sort of narrows the search doesn't it. I don't know about you but I am trying to hear God speak in His Word more than I have been. It's sometimes still and small but that just means we must listen even closer. It occurs to me that what we are discussing or debating is our opinion about God. Its just my view versus yours because , perhaps, we really do not know for sure! God is God no matter who wins this weeks debate . I want to know more of God but I know that will require burning some spiritual bridges leaving myself nowhere else to go but God!
I guess this post won't leave me alone so I'm back with it. So much of how we attempt to relate to God is dependent upon what and how we are taught. Its always a little disconcerting talking about what you believe with someone who has a different point of view. Cognitive dissonace in practice. Some of the things I take as 'given' are not even in the other person's beliefs at all. Unless you love to argue it seems easier to just file this information in your brain somewhere and go on without resolving it. For me though, it sometimes leaves me feeling a little uncertain with all the unfinished business always there. It really makes you appreciate being around people who either believe like you do or who you have already agreed to disagree with.. So many versions and interpretations of the truth. I suppose much of it is just man taking various lines in explaining what the Bible says and what we believe. It occurs to me though that all of these doctrines and beliefs and interpretations could not be true. Perhaps not until heaven will we really know. Its funny though, I've heard parents say that they are not teaching their children any religious or spiritual things so that they can decide for themself when they are older. That's strange; seems like I recall hearing we should 'train up ' a child in the way that he should go..................Think about it; if they aren't taught anything then the choice they will probably make is not to believe at all! I know that first hand.

The thing is, the Bible says that when Jesus was ascended to the Father that He said we should take heart because he wasn't leaving us alone. He was sending the Holy Spirit who would be a teacher, coach, counselor, etc and remind us and teach everything we would need to know.
Do we really believe that ? I'm sure that many of us don't; I'm sure that many of us can't settle for themselves that they can trust that statement of Jesus as it is written in the Bible. If you don't believe the source book you don't really believe the message.You can end up thinking in circles and your faith really ends up being situational. If everything lines up correctly I will file this proposition in the temporaily true basket.There is too much room in that position for unbelief to settle in. Again, mistrust and unbelief is my natural bent but a funny thing is happening the older I get. I am deciding to believe what the Spirit says as it is given to me in Scripture and also preaching, prayer, dreams, etc as long as it lines up with scripture. If I say that can't happen; that God can't speak like that then I am really questioning that I can trust anything as being from God. Then I get into taking everything and holding it in the provisional truth file until "I" can decide whether to believe it or not. That makes me God doesn't it? I don't know, if I want to polish up my capacity for scepticism and disbelief I can do it. After all, in graduate school we are taught to be sceptics and those who prove everything by the sceintific method When I first believed , apologetics was important to my faith. It's still valuable for giving some of us a reason for the hope that is in us........ We are all at different places in this journey. Not better or worse; it doesn't work that way. I've seen some new Christains who were miles ahead of me in some places in their journey. I've got all kinds of strains of sin still competing for space on my shelf and it shouldn't be that way. .......like the Bible says,,,,,,,,by now some of you should be teachers but you keep starting all over again in the faith (because you refuse to believe God is really real! I said earlier in this thing that we are to burn our spiritual bridges and I think that is true. Rather impulsive and radical but true.

So where am I going with this? I'm just waiting for it to come around on the guitar now..................here it comes..........A preacher was relating the story of how he ended up in a service where someone came to the altar for healing. This was outside his comfort zone but with several others he prayed for a healing . Long story........after a few years he ran into the person they had prayed for and God had healed him. The preacher was relating the story to some of his denominational paster friends and one of them said that his 'theology/doctrine didn't allow for healing" I know what he meant and yet that is really funny. It sounds like the AA story of the elephant in the living room........In their denial, family members refuse to see it (the alcoholic)......in this case, maybe this preacher should reevaluate his theology to see if there is some kind of room for healing since it clearly happened. We all have different beliefs but we really ought to make sure that our beliefs are operational or that they have batteries included. Especially if we are Christians because we need hands on , blue collar doctrines in our faith. We really neeed to get beyond a 'Mars Hill' kind of faith where the whole purpose for gahtering is to try on new ideas and decide which we'll take. There is definitely room for different visions of ministry and different work from one church to the next; different styles, etc but the family resemblence should be in the fact that we all are walking out a growing faith in Christ.............pure and simple devotion to Him , Paul said............... He Has all the answers!
Tom Hudgens

Monday, September 8, 2008

the two poems, Real Kill and To an umbrella......... were both written in 1968 and were among several written in the library at Tennessee Tech . They were written while waiting on Andy to finish her studying so we could leave. I know that impressing her was more important then studying on that particular day!
Tom Hudgens
Don’t step on me, blue-suede shoes

Blood and
Legs and
On the living room floor,
This bug will bother mankind no more-
We kill in the name of God and
‘No bugs my Lady’-
It’s a ‘real kill.’
Mangle and
Mutilate and
One misguided step is all it takes,
The shoe is on your foot, for goodness sakes.
We kill in the name of God and Florseim,
It’s very soul satisfying.

To an umbrella on a sunny day
To shield from snow or hail and rain
Or hide the brain from rays of sun;
To shed with ease a force of God
And let you walk instead of run.
Here stands one small device of mankind
Which through years has made the grade
But on this day in folded reverence
In it’s corner it has stayed.

More Quotes

Thomas Jefferson:
I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. – Herm Albright

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something.PlatoWit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.Dorothy Parker

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

letter from God

I have made you a people who need ME to be anything at all. Your needs have all been met but you do not see that.
Your heart is open to ME but I will have a people who walk by My precepts and trust in My leadership.......who have removed from themselves 'self rule' and man's wisdom.

Seek ME while you are still called a people and have a little strength. You will find your strength in ME (and as you recognize your weaknesses)

Only trust ME......seek ME above knowledge of ME......Know me because I love you.

I'll give you direction because MY heart is directed to MY people. I don't need to be coerced or manipulated: indeed I can not be coerced or manipulated. Understand that I want to speak to you and listen to you. I do it by choice, My sovereign choice. Yours is a life I created and have sustained all along,

Recognize ME in your next breath! I am the pneuma, the breath that you breath. You are mine! Try to love me and I will show you how, Seek my truth and live by my direction,

In your work recognize MY hand. Ask for MY help, I can do that....

words after prayer, 5- 28-2000

I don't claim to be a prophet or the son of a prophet and I am a little (OK, a lot) fearful in claiming, ...thus saith the Lord........ I often told people in counselling, however, to do prayer journals and further, that if they just had a conversation with the God of the Universe and asked him something, it might be a distinct possibility that he might answer. If you have a pencil handy, wouldn't it be wise to write it down jus t in case? Any way, that is what I was doing here and I understood this to be direction and encouragement for my church. When I came across it today though it seemed to apply not just to that church but any one.'
tom hudgens

Around the World in Eighty thoughts

Out of the deepest, darkest, wildest color of blue, sea
we go- Hi De Ho
Rub a dub dub
we go-
Out to the sea to see
that man can live on a wave,
love on a swell
and say to land, to hell.

Up, Up, Up to the boundless, endless, cloudless sky we go
Hi De ho
Chirp, Chirp, Chirp
we go
up to the sky to spy
on the helpless creatures left behind
we also were but are no more,
we laugh and on we soar,

Round, Round , Round on the helpless, tragic, miserable world
world we go-
Hi De Ho,
gripe, gripe, Gripe we go,
out of the deepest sea,
down from the boundless sky,
Living on earth , or within,
and feeling its bitter chagrin.

Into a beautiful,, nameless, endless, slumbering
sleep we go-
Hi De Ho
dream, dream, dream
we go
away from the world we have made
a gift and a chance to appeal-
a pardon from failures too real.

Tom Hudgens, 1971

honest, there no drugs or alcohol involved in this, even though it sounds like a 'trip'! May be an attempt to escape reality, however./ th