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Uncle George Whitlow and Whitlow Enterprises Smoke School are trying to assist the librarian at Archbishop Chapelle High School Library in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans which was recently devastated by Hurricane Katrina. I never was much good at book reading. I took English 101 four times at Northeast Louisiana State College, in Monroe. Four years of college shot to hell. It is a little too late now, but I have learned the importance of book reading. I got pulled over one time near Richmond Virginia by an irate English teacher who swore that I spelled the word visible wrong. I had a sign painted on the back of the smoke school trailer, Big Bertha and the Phantom 309. The machine is a monster and weighs 8,000 pounds.

I searched for the word visible on the internet to be sure of how it was spelled. The sign painter disagreed with me and painted the sign to say EPA Visable Emissions. It is a thousand wonders why he did not spell it EPA Visable Emmissions. That is the way I would have spelled it and I had been conducting EPA Visable Emmissions training for 17 years.  Needless to say, I did not notice the sign was spelled wrong for a year until this irate English teacher pulled me over in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She got me to stop on the side of the interstate honking and yelling out the window, you spelled visible wrong. I pulled over and she handed me a Webster's Dictionary to prove I spelled visible wrong. She made me take out a magic marker and correct the spelling. She said it was driving her crazy having to follow me with that sign spelled wrong. That is a true story, that's right. The sign is still on the back of Big Bertha and it is still spelled wrong. Been that way now for five years. Only one other person has noticed and I think he was an engineer. Which is not quite as bad as an English major.

I had another sign that said Honk if You Love Jesus, but I had to take that off. I got too many honks. I always thought some of the parts had fallen off Big Bertha. So I did put another sign on the back that said Honk If Parts Fall Off. I put that sign on there more as a warning to stop tailgaters. Over the years several parts have fallen off, including a large shop jack in Jasper Indiana. That thing landed on all four wheels and rolled across the highway and stopped in the middle of the lane headed in the opposite direction. It was 5:00 rush hour traffic. One lady hit that jack with a new Toyota car and knocked the jack up the road for 50 yards. I was standing on the side of the road by Peoples Bank waiting to cross the traffic to retrieve the jack. I was waiting for her to come sue me, but she never came back. So I got the heck out of there.

EXTRA EXTRA This just in, an Email from West Virginia.

My husband and I were traveling yesterday and found ourselves behind your truck.  We chuckled at your bumper sticker, “Honk if anything falls off truck”.  We were heading westbound on Rt. 70 through West Virginia , around Exit 5.  We were still behind you – fortunately a ways behind you – when a fire extinguisher fell off your truck!  It bounced harmlessly past us and then we lost sight of it.  Just thought you would like to know.  

The trouble is that I had noticed the fire extinguisher and that it may fall off the trailer. I was going to move it but forgot. I was more concerned with the right blinker light on the trailer that refused to work. Well apparently the dang thing did fall off. Luckily I did not have to use my insurance. I might actually make some profit if it was not for all this insurance and taxes. Only in America. Actually I am proud to be an American. It is the only country where you can think of suffer from  pyromania- burn, smoke, blow smoke and make a living at it.

I lost several pipes before and a butane bottle that rolled across 4 lanes of traffic on the interstate in Dallas and never hit a single car. God must have been with me on that one. The worst thing I ever lost was a homemade throne. Yep you heard right. A throne. A friend of mine, the now departed Dean Roath came to smoke school one time back when I was conducting the smoke school for the Louisiana DEQ. He saw 500 people sitting around in yard chairs watching and listening to me conduct the training. He said it reminded him of a king. He said it reminded him of the story of Jesus and the fishes and the multitude. So he made me this throne. That thing was ugggly. But I had to use it. Dean worked with me at DEQ and later he took my place at Louisiana smoke school after I retired. The throne was ugly. It was 8-feet high, 3-feet wide, and 3-feet deep. He built it out of treated wood 2 X 4s and 2 X 6s so it would hold up my 300 pounds. I did feel kinda like a king in it.

The dang throne was heavy. It must have weighed a thousand pounds. To pick it up and load it in the picking up truck took a block-n-tackle, a mule, five boiler makers, and a crew of fighting tiger football linemen from Louisiana State University.

  Hold that TIGER , Hold that TIGER , Hold that TIGER - Does any one see that Tiger Roar, Roar, Roar

The darn throne fell out of the bed of the state picking up truck  on Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge, again at 5:00 rush hour traffic. I was trying to get back home so I could get out my football tailgating stuff ready for the LSU- Arkansas Raiser Back football game in Death Valley- now that is a rivalry. I don't like the other kind of tailgaters who makes me nervous when I look in the rearview mirror, but I don't want to kill nobody neither.  God was with me then too. In the rearview mirror, I saw the tailgaters and the throne falling out of the bed and instantly thought, dang, I just killed somebody. I pulled over to the side of the road to look back at the catastrophe. To my amazement, there were not any wrecked cars and I could not see the throne neither on the highway nor on the side of the road. I thought God must have zapped it, thus saving thousands of innocent lives in the process. Then I turned around and saw the throne attached to the trailer hitch jammed up between the truck and the state owned smoke school trailer. I used a crow bar and a prior bar and it took me 30 minutes to get the dang throne unhooked from the trailer hitch. That is a true story, that's right.  I put the throne in my back yard where it sat until we sold the house to move here to Indiana. Before we moved, Dean came by to extract his throne and all the tools I had confiscated from Louisiana DEQ over the years. I miss those chain saws, the electric saws and drills but, he can have that doggone throne. I hope he has to sit on it in Heaven. It wasn't very comfortable.

So it is in my gratitude for God saving me from all these jams out on the nations highways and byways, and out of respect to all the English majors of the world, that I am going to try to help this fine Cajun lady in replacing the library books destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. I need your help. All my good friends, please do your part in assisting MS Thibodaux in replacing the books destroyed by that Katrina. She will use any excess funds to replace books damaged in other areas of the Gulf Coast. The following letter is her plea for support. 

 

March 14, 2006

Books for Katrina Libraries

c/o Archbishop Chapelle High School Library

8800 Veterans Blvd.

Metairie, LA 70003

Dear Friend:

My name is Annette Thibodeaux and I am the librarian at Archbishop Chapelle High School Library in Metairie. God blessed Chapelle and our library during Hurricane Katrina…we were very fortunate to suffer minimal damage. We lost about 30 library books. In light of our good fortune, I am on a quest to assist my fellow librarians and libraries who were not so fortunate. I have been collecting new and gently used books from people and groups from around the country. I have about 200 boxes of books. I am trying to locate a site where I can store and sort these donations. I need electricity and air conditioning and can otherwise make do. If you can assist me in this matter, please call.

I have another ambitious pursuit. I am trying to raise $8000 by mid April. With a matching grant from the Literacy Empowerment Foundation, my $8000 will turn into $16,000 worth of new books. If you can help, any donation will be appreciated. All funds collected will be funneled through the account of the Greater New Orleans Catholic Library Association which is co-sponsoring this activity. Checks should be made out to GNO/CLA.

Books will be distributed to public, private, and parochial schools serving students in pre-kindergarten through high school. Putting books and kids together is the ultimate goal of this project.

God bless you as you consider ways that you might assist with this project.

Sincerely,

 

 

Annette Thibodeaux Work 712-2846

Librarian Fax 471-0167

Archbishop Chapelle High School Cell 458-5037

8800 Veterans Blvd. E-Mail -

Metairie, LA jthibod885@aol.com

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