Oh, That Buddy Houts - And Response

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

To Jim Ashley:

I loved reading about Buddy Houts. I worked at the Free Press for seven years from 1974-81 (only barely overlapping  your arrival)  in what was originally known as the Society Department. Then it became Features, but it was still all women.  Buddy came in our big room to see us often.  One day he had on a beautiful new suit, which his mother, an accomplished seamstress, had made.  We oohed and aahed over it, but Buddy said, “I will never have her make me another suit with two pairs of trousers.”   Why, we asked Buddy?  “Too hot,” he replied.

Still, another time was on a hot summer day when one of our staff had sent up a filler to be used when there was a little spot left over on a page.  We got these off the wire service but had to put a title or headline on each story.  The one she had sent up to the composing room was about taking care of your dogs while it was so hot – provide water, shade, etc.  Her headline was, “Watch Dogs in Heat.”  Buddy came in our room with a big grin on his face, holding up that page with the headline circled in red. “Well,” he said, “I guess if you’ve got nothing else to do.”

When it snowed, Mr. Roy, whose first priority was getting the paper out every day, came into our area and announced that he had reserved rooms at the Read House for any of us who wanted to stay there and not try to drive home and back.  Buddy, standing behind Mr. McDonald to see what was going on, said he believed he would go down to the Read House with us.  “That could be dangerous, Buddy,” Mr. Roy laughed.  “Well, if it kills them, it kills them,” Buddy answered.

 That was Buddy Houts.  Such fun.  Thanks for the memories, Jim.

Margaret Kelley

* * *

I have a Buddy Houts story for you. Back around1975, on a snowy winter day, Buddy decided to test -drive a Peterbilt Truck...those long-haul machines that have a gazillion gears. He invited me to join him.

I think we went east on East Eleventh Street and then got onto McCallie Avenue. At some point, he stopped and asked me if I wanted to drive. Well, of course.

Somehow,  I got us onto M.L King Boulevard headed for Riverfront Parkway. We stopped at the Chattanooga Housing Authority, where my husband Mark Rudisill worked. I started tooting the horn until people started coming outside to see what the ruckus was all about. When they recognized me, they went and got Mark. He about died when he saw me in the driver's seat. What a hoot.

Betsy Bramlett


Forgetting Our Presidents' Birthdays

Surely I'm not the only one who noticed today's date this morning and immediately thought, "Hey, it's Abraham Lincoln's birthday!"  Honest Abe was born 207 years ago today--as was Charles Darwin.  When I was a kid in school, Feb. 12 was an annual and much anticipated holiday, Abraham Lincoln's birthday, a no-school day, and we certainly knew and understood who it was ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: About Lions & Elephants

A family of lions is called a ‘pride’ and rightfully so. The boss of the pride is indeed the ‘King of the Jungle’ and he makes all the big decisions, like when they go hunting, who is going to be ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’ and is quick to settle any family quarrels. But, as with all in nature, there comes a day when the King gets too old to rule. His teeth are loose, his gait hampered ... (click for more)

Wintry Mix Possible For Chattanooga Area

A wintry mix is possible for the Chattanooga area beginning Sunday. However, there could be little or no snow and ice unless temperatures dip. Here is the latest forecast from the National Weather Service: MIXED WINTRY PRECIPITATION EXPECTED SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY MORNING... A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN FALLING ACROSS THE SOUTHERN CUMBERLAND PLATEAU...THE ... (click for more)

Man At Homeless Camp On Chestnut Street Charged With Trying To Set Fire To Another Man

A man at a homeless camp on Chestnut Street has been charged with trying to set fire to another man at the camp. Richard Warren "Trey" Erwin, 40, is charged with aggravated arson. Police were called to the 2200 block of Chestnut at 12:40 a.m. Earlier, Michael Nye and Alisa Buckels had called for an ambulance. They were checked out at Erlanger Hospital for inhalation injuries. ... (click for more)

Red Bank Rolls To Region 2-A/AA Mat Title With Ease

Shane Turner has been waiting a long time for this year's wrestling season to get here. He took over the head coaching job at Red Bank four years ago and his Lions have taken their share of whippings during that time. Turner kept preaching to his kids to stay faithful to the program and to keep working hard and that eventually, good things would come their way. They're ... (click for more)

Bradley Wrestlers Win Region 4-AAA With 7 Champions

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – There was never much doubt about which team would walk away from the Region 4-AAA wrestling tournament with the most individual champs and the overall team title. The Bradley Bears, ranked second in the state all year, have had a great season to this point and it just got a little bit better early Saturday evening at Cleveland Middle School. By claiming ... (click for more)