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Welcome to the "Expressions" page.

You may wonder what it is.  It is intended as a place for you to let loose (within reason and within the bounds of decorum of course).  Some of our classmates may have talents or thoughts they would like to share.  Well, here is the place.  Some guidelines are in order.  Classmate Poetry, Prose, and Philosophy should be of general interest.  Original short essays on Politics, Patriotism, Religion might be suitable as well.  If you have original art work in the form of drawings, paintings, pottery or sculpture, then photograph it and send the picture in.  Non original material that expresses strong feelings you have and that you think are of interest to or would be of benefit to other classmates will be considered.

What should be avoided? 

Jokes, unoriginal email content that has traveled pretty much across the internet, and profanity come to mind.  The webmasters reserve the right to accept or decline material.

How does the material get posted?

Well, if we were real talented web masters, you could just post it here yourself.  Absent those talents, we request you send the material by email to John Mullinax at  or Jimmy Knight at  If you prefer regular mail just send it to John at 4231 McClatchey Cir, Atlanta, GA 30342.

How is the material organized?

It will appear on this page on a first come first served basis in the form of a Table of Contents listing the Topic and identifying the contributor.  The topic will be a clickable link to the body of the material.  It is that simple; so, let's get started.


Table of Contents


Topic or Material


Date Submitted

01 "THE HEALING POWER OF POETRY" Carolyn (Murdock) Kolcz 11/07/2005
02 "The Ant and Grasshopper" John Mullinax 11/07/2005
03 "Barn on the Hill" John Mullinax 01/18/2006
04 Everything Old is New Again                     (a call to Rally) Diane Haddle Bridges 03/27/2006
05 Again We Meet                                             (a farewell to Rally) John Mullinax 06/03/2006
06 YesterYear Diane Haddle Bridges 06/26/2006
07 Roll Call Diane Haddle Bridges 2007
08 Forward To the Past or Back to the Future Reversed John Mullinax 2007

The Old Iron Pot

John Mullinax January, 2009
10 A Spark of Life John Mullinax January, 2009
11 A Camping Trip Remembered John Mullinax January, 2009
12 Spirit John Mullinax May, 2009
13 Star Fires John Mullinax May, 2009




Dear John and Jimmy,

Thank you for the great website for our class.  I love it.  I want to help with the next reunion whether with nametags, decorations, phone calls, emails, etc.  I can't believe we're old enough to be having a 50th class reunion.  Wanted to share this excerpt from a good book.  I read more now and just enjoy friends and family - do volunteering and want to help with the 50th or before

I would like to share this excerpt from a book entitled "THE HEALING POWER OF POETRY" by Blanton

If you have the right attitude, old age---or the years beyond sixty---can be a time of great joy. Youth, remember, is often a time of uncertainty. I have seen many young people beset with fears because they have not tried themselves out, and frequently don't know what they want to do or can do in life. Even if they have chosen their profession, they are not sure if they are going to be successful at it. They wonder if they will make a good marriage, if they will have children and if the children will be healthy and intelligent. They worry needlessly about the future.

But when you reach the sixties, all that is behind you. You have made your life, you have been married and your children are grown. Now you have grandchildren whom you can love and enjoy without the responsibility of guiding, training, and educating them.

Another thing is that at this time of life you no longer care so much about what people think of you. You can do as you please, talk as you please, dress as you please. And you have more leisure than when you were young. Even if you continue to work, there is now more time to relax and meditate. For you have learned the lesson of letting nonessential things go and of dealing only with the essentials. You don't even try to do too much; you realize your limitations and are no longer worried about them.

And you have your pleasant recollections, too, for we find as we grow older that the mind tends to retain the memories that give pleasure and to forget those which give pain or sorrow.


God keep my heart attuned to laughter

    When youth is done;

When all the days are gray days, coming after

    The warmth, the sun.

God keep me from bitterness, from grieving

    When life seems cold;

God keep me always loving and believing

    As I grow old.

Carolyn Murdock Kolez   October 30, 2005


Welfare State

Prelude: ran across the story below this morning in my files. Have no idea of it’s origin. It struck me as somehow relevant to recent TV scenes. The story follows:

The Ant and Grasshopper

CLASSIC VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

The Ant and Grasshopper

MODERN VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and Demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. CBS, NBC and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can it be that, in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Then a representative of the NAAGB (National Association of Green Bugs) shows up on Nightline and charges the ant with "green bias", and makes the case that the grasshopper is the victim of 30 million years of “greenism”. Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when he sings "It's Not Easy Being Green."

Bill and Hillary Clinton make a special guest appearance on the CBS Evening News to tell a concerned Dan Rather that they will do everything they can for the grasshopper who has been denied the prosperity he deserves by those who benefited unfairly during the Reagan summers, or as Bill refers to it, the "Temperatures of the 80's."

Jesse Jackson exclaims in an interview with Peter Jennings that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share." Finally, the EEOC drafts the "Economic Equity and Anti-Greenism Act" retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill appointed from a list of single-parent welfare moms who can only hear cases on Thursday's between 1:30 and 3pm when there are no talk shows scheduled. The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he's in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him since he doesn't know how to maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow. And on the TV, which the grasshopper bought by selling most of the ant's food, they are showing Hillary Clinton standing before a wildly applauding group of Democrats announcing that a new era of "fairness" has dawned in America.

Hello New Orleans








That old barn sat a’top the hill.

Through the years a sentry it stood,
against summer heat and winter chill.

Built with sweat and made of wood,
it sheltered hay from stormy rain
and stood barricade to the wind.

How it lasted a mystery to explain;
standing straight, it did not bend.


Below the house a hundred yards away,
the rooster crows and starts the day.

Out of bed, to the hearth, a fire to stoke;
uncovered coals finally lit begin to smoke. 

To the stove with kindling carefully laid,
a match is struck another fire is made.

Biscuit batter rolled and patted in the pan;
another day at Mullin’s farm they began.
Around Nora’s waist an apron was tied
and Luck stretched, then moved outside.


Out on the porch beside the well
a wash pan filled from the water pail;
a mirror hung where Luck took a glance.

Then to the sky – any rain by chance?

Back in the kitchen the biscuits baked;
the gravy warmed, the coffee makes.


East above the crib, the sun did burn.

Cows need milking and butter to churn.

Up the hill, pail in hand, Nora did go.

It mattered not - wind, rain or snow.

Scarf on head upon her stool she sat-
rhythm of milking. Splat, splat Splat.


Down the hill Nora carefully walked
all alone so no one talked.

Warm milk went from pail to jar
to go across the road a little far.

There in the spring house it did lay
cooled and kept throughout the day




Meanwhile chores called to old man Luck
mules to feed, fields to plow, corn to shuck,
winter wood and hay to cut, fences to mend
the tasks stood like soldiers end to end.
Constant was the toil; but now and then
a drink of water, a passing cloud of shade.
”Don’t be a fretting much less afraid.”


He wiped the sweat from neck and brow.
Another year to go only God knew how.
The sun was setting; to the house he trudged -
a prince of land and labor but not begrudged.


For Nora, the day’s chores not yet done
a whole lot of work and certainly not fun.

Supper to cook and socks to mend;
on top of that eleven children to tend.

By the kerosene lamp the only light
they studied hard and dared not fight.

Food on the table, on the bench their place;
heads bowed low while Luck said grace.


Food all eaten, they could talk and laugh,
not for long, twenty two feet needed a bath.
Gathered in by Luck as he was like to say,
”Best get on to bed; comin’ a brand new day.”

And while all through the night they slept
up on the hill where hay and mules were kept,
a wise old owl looked out over land of toil
and all was good till the rooster crowed,
”Get up, get up, up, up; got’a tend that soil.”









John Mullinax, 2006   







This poem is about an old barn
I remember from my youth.
It stood on a hill
above my Grandparent's house.

It was razed in 2005 as part of an exclusive community development.
The fine homes planned for the site, and will at some time have been built, are in stark contrast to the humble homestead that raised eleven children through the years of the Great Depression and World War II.

The house and sturdy barn were built by my grandfather, Ulysses Luck Mullins.  He with his wife, Nora Lorena (Watkins), and their eleven children, by sweat and determination, eked out a living in the red dirt hills outside the mountain town of Jasper, Georgia.





Everything old is new again--
when we get together and friend meets friend,

As we reminisce about good times and bad,
and talk of the things that were really the "fad",

Like Levis and bobby socks, ballerina shoes,
 alum on your hair and crying the blues.

Remember the time when he took you for a spin,
 and all that he wanted was your heart to win,

Out in his Chevy or old beat up Ford,
 usually somewhere he couldn't afford.

Well, those were the days when a coke was a dime,
 a hamburger a quarter, a milkshake twenty-nine.

When Elvis was king and "Earth Angel" was grand,
Pat Boone wore white shoes writing "Letters in the Sand".

Now those times have changed and, my, we have too,
Wish we could go back and all be made BRAND NEW,
Like "back to the future"--a younger me and you!

But since we can't we'll do something much better,
When we have an old-time 50's get-together! 

So make your plans now regardless of weather,
to be with your classmates like "birds of a feather"
As we spread our wings and all flock together!

 Diane Haddle Bridges 2006


A Call to Rally

This poem was written by Diane
to refresh our memories
and to encourage us to
attend the 2006 get together.



Again We Meet


Across the wide Oceans of time
Come we to this place to remind.

Remembered faintly all those places;
Oh! the strain to recognize those faces.
Stopped here for a moment to share;
Then back we go to who knows where.
It seems a shame it must eventually end.
Closed... For some, never opened again


an Acrostic self reference

John Mullinax 2006


The above Acrostic, titled A Good Name, was presented to Jimmy Knight at the 2006 Rally
The Idea and Message was the creation of Diane (Haddle) Bridges.
Production of the framed picture was the creation of Clyde Olvey, a '56 graduate.
Jimmy's name was written vertically down the left side in Bold type.  Each letter of his name began a word which reflected his character and attributes.


Intrigued upon learning the meaning of "Acrostic", John Mullinax created the poem to the left as a tribute and farewell to the Rally





Roll Call



Fifty years, now come and see,
What these years did to you and me!
Can't turn back the clock on what's happened to us,
Needless to say, we won't make a fuss.
If you know your address, your age and your name,
You're doing okay, keep playing the game.

For those of you who weren't at the rally,
You missed lots of fun, so please don't dally,
And skip the reunion on October sixth,
You could lose out on prizes and "pics",
Nostalgia, humor, trivia and tricks.
We'll make merry the moments with gladness and laughs,
And memories of 50 years so quickly passed.
To be reunited as old friends forever,
Sharing our dreams and our lifetime's endeavor.
We'll talk of the things we did way back then,
The time when you knew a friend was a friend.

So go ahead now--make your reservation,
To see your old friends, without hesitation,
Get your name in for the big ROLL CALL,
At our reunion-- so come one, come all!
For old times' sake, we'll have a blast,
While we've got the PRESENCE  to speak of the past!!


Diane Haddle Bridges 2007


Forward To the Past
Back to the Future Reversed


Some may be apt to say,
“What was the name of our senior play?”
Those of sound memory reply,
 “Our Hearts Were Young and Gay.”

  And that we were… back then.
Surely you agree and when,
you stop to think; it comes to mind
that now it’s a past long left behind.

 Back then we had no idea what “now” would be,
all the things that have become of you and me.
But the Play told a story of looking back
when white was white and black was black.
We did not swim in a sea of gray
It was a time to dream and a time to play.

 So, here we gather round, and talk drifts back
to a simpler time, with right and wrong still intact.
And some may wonder where we went wrong
forgetting our dreams and loosing our song.
But it has always been this way,
this looking back, on an earlier day.

  Others may feel with false sense of pride
that they’ve done well, this 50 year ride.
But in the end, what does it mean,
all these years gone between?

Clothed not, we started the same,
only made different by our name.
And so too we’ll share a common end
where what we did or might intend
counts for naught and is measured in
who we could count as our friend.


 John Mullinax 2007

This was inspired by our 50th Reunion, a time to look back to the way we were back then. And that reminded of the theme of our Senior play - looking back.


It was just an old iron pot
as though someone forgot,
turned up on its side to hide,
masking that in which it took pride,
silent as we kids nearby did play,
just waiting there for it's special day.

How to tell it was hard to say
but this was no ordinary day.
Begun with a bath the night before
then fresh clothes and on out the door.
And there was Gran righting the pot
for some reason I knew not what.
Kindling was laid 'round real tight
ready for the match struck to light.

Some kind of ritual it appeared to me.
it's unfolding I had stopped to see.
Peering over the pots edge to take a look
at first I thought what are we about to cook?
It sat full of water waiting to heat
with a pile of cloths near my feet.

The mystery only seemed to grow

as warming, the pot began to glow.

 Gran then scooped up that dirty pile;
looked over to me and began to smile.
She must have seen my puzzled face
and with her gentle charming grace
said, "Wunering what's up today?
"Yes ma'am" was all I could think to say.
And then with a paddle she churned
and stirred so's not them clothes to burn.

She chuckled as she said to me,
"This how's we get You’uns clothes so clean,
this here's my old warshin machine."

And so that day I learned about an old iron pot
a lesson from long ago, kept and never forgot. 

John Mullinax Mar., 2008

This was inspired by a story sent to John from Diane Haddle Bridges.  The story was about "Grandma's Old Apron."   That led John to remember "wash days" on his grandmother's farm.  Subsequent to the ensuing expression, she told an interesting story about her remembrances, as a child in the Haddle household, of "Monday Wash Days."  Those were busy days and dictated simple meals, so Monday in addition to being wash day was also Washday Beans Day.

I'm hoping she might get around to describing that special day for us.



A Spark of Life

The first breath is a begin
beyond which lies a last
to be applied to all men
a short play and we the cast.

 From nothing we came
and from where not known
and in the end also the same
to meet the seeds were sown.

 Almost as if were never here,
only those left to shed a tear.
Covered by a stone so cold
with short words a story told.

 As summers and winters pass
above the body grows the grass.
The snow does melt; time goes by,
until sadly there's no one left to cry.

 John Mullinax Jan., 2009

11 Smoky Mountain National Park, Fontana Lake - Eagle Creek, Lost Cove Campsite - Fall of 2005

We:  Upon arrival, Lester, the ferry captain, was asked to take us to Proctor camp site on Hazel Creek. 

Lester: "Cain't do that", he says. 

We:  "How come?", we say. 

Lester:  "That'd be aiding and abetting a felon", sez he. 

WE:  "How's that?", we ask. 

Lester:  "Cuz Hazel  Creek trail's closed all the way up to Bone Valley camp site." 

We:  "Why is that?", we ask thinking this is getting to be like pulling teeth. 

Lester:  "Got some bad Bars up air - a big ole sow and cubs and another big Bar.  That big'un jumped out on a feller on the trail and grabbed his back pack plumb offen 'is back!" sez Lester. 

We:  "Well, guess we'll just have to go up Eagle Creek then.", we say. 

Lester:  Without any expression, "Nope, cain't do that." sez Lester. 

We:  OK, here we go pulling teeth again.  "Why so?", we say.  With Lester, every question has an answer but nothing more. 

Lester:  "Cain't take em carts up Eagle Creek trail.  Only'est trail 'lowed fer carts is Hazel and it's closed cuz em'air bad Bars." he says. 

We:  Well, here we are with a ton of gear to be hauled in on carts and that isn't going to be allowed.  After using a pay phone and calling umpteen different numbers trying to get the district ranger, we were able to get a ranger who called the district ranger.  Said District Ranger simply said trail closed - no if's and's or but's.   Ok, a quick huddle settled it.  We would go to Eagle Creek trail and camp at the first camp site, Lost Cove.  It was a 300 yard multiple trip gear carry over a fairly steep ridge and narrow trail.  Two trips got all of our gear to camp.

Before being ferried over, Lester let it be known he was going home by 4:00 - a not too subtle hint for us to make up our mind what we were going to do.  While paying up for the ferry ride and getting license for those fishing, Lester asked when we wanted to be picked up. 

Lester:  He offered, "I come over at 10:00, 1:00 and 3:00 and I ain't a coming at three!" 

We:  Some of us thought, "make it three.", but seeing Lester was loosing patience with us, thought better of it.  We settled on a 10:00 pick up.

After pitching camp, all enjoyed the traditional blow out grilled supper - excepting John Arnold.  He sported some very good freeze dried food he spiked up with salmon or tuna or was it chicken?  All in all, Lost Cove camp site was excellent.  Leroy kept a warm and steady fire going.  Enough downed timber and some effort with saw and axe provided us with ample fire fuel.  All but John Mullinax and Leroy Moon day hiked over Lake Shore trail to an old cemetery near Proctor Camp site on Hazel Creek trail - about a 9 mile round trip over several high ridges.

Fishing was poor but we had plenty of good food, proper refreshments and good company.  As we struck camp Sunday morning, many were remarking what an enjoyable time we had and talked of returning some day to Lost Cove camp site.  So, a shaky start ended up with happy campers taking a shower at Fontana Dam and returning home.

Lost Cove camp site.

During the trip we beheld an unforgettable moment. 

We were settled in the camp, immersed in the quiet of the wood.  Smoke from our warming fire drifted up penetrating the jeweled fall leaf canopy.  Sun light filtered through with laser like rays mottling the leaf strewn forest floor with shadow and light. 

Then, with no advance signal, thousand upon thousand leaves of all colors, tenuously hanging and as though by some unknown common event, released their clutch and wafted down, raining in a continuous shimmering flow when all about, time stood still.  Looking up, the entire space from tree top to forest floor was occupied by these dancing delights, their color and motion amplified by the sun rays streaming through. 

And then as quickly as it had begun, abruptly it ceased and not another leaf fell leaving a motionless silence.  We campers looked at each other in speechless awe at what had just transpired.  

Then someone remarked, "What was that?"

John Mullinax




Grab a fast horse called Courage;
ride her up a mountain named Doubt.
Grab her by the mane and hold on tight
because you're on an uncharted route.

Do not fear where she goes;
it's to places you've never been.
Cast off those ordinary concerns.
Ride Excitement to the very end.

John Mullinax May 2009



Star Fires

Of all the stars away so far,
the brightest one you are.
Like the unending water of a river,
you are the giver.
Just as the morning bird sings,
 from you the joy springs
to lift the hearts all around 
while to this earth are bound.

You are the fire
that all who know you gather round
to seek from you
the warmth and love so rarely found
in a world
where so many search but never find
the waiting heart,
the hidden passion, peace of mind.

John Mullinax May 2009