Aug 10 2009
06:42 am
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collett

Hello Readers, What a hot day today is...I just got back from Big Ridge State Park in Union County, I am "picking and grinning" there with Ron Collin's band Aug. 22 and wanted to make sure I could find the place okay. We have a couple of busy months with a couple of Church appearances, Tn. Fall Homecoming at the "Museum of Appalachia," Townsend "Ole Timer Days" , Sam Houston Festival in Maryville, Kingston's Country Fair, and the "Ciderville Farm and Home Show on Channel 12. Come around and hear us sometime.
Chester Taylor, (Class of 1960) sent me a real amusing email. Chester and Virginia have had a great life and can really tell some funny experiences. This is just ONE of them....Chester writes, ...........
" Ray

Here is a funny story that happened to me a long time ago. Virginia and I still laugh about it when we think about it. Hope you enjoy.
While serving with the Marine I was stationed at Camp Lejeune N.C. Virginia and I had gotten married and moved to the base. We had made friends with several other married couples that lived in the base housing project. It was really a huge trailer park. After living there for a little over a year I was assigned to Puerto Rico for six months.
While stationed there on a small training island one night I started having really bad pains in my side and back. I went to sick bay (like a ready-med) and they thought my appendix was going to rupture. So they called the Naval hospital at Roosevelt Rhodes because they were not capable of dealing with something the serious and figured I needed to be in a hospital. Really I was having a kidney stone attack. So they shot me full of pain killer and flew me to the Naval hospital at Roosevelt Roads. Sometime during the chopper and ambulance ride I must have passed the kidney stone. I do not remember a lot that happened on the way to the hospital.
They checked me in at the hospital and gave me my papers and told me where to report to. I thought they said the 2nd floor, 3rd door. They really said 3rd floor, 2nd door. Well I went to where I thought I was told to. I went in, found a bed with the curtains pulled back and got into bed. All the other beds that were occupied had curtains around them. I could hear a lot of screaming and moaning but being all doped up I did not pay a lot of attention. I had my own problems. I fell asleep and the first thing I know the curtains were jerked back and a nurse went “BERSERK”. She ordered me out of the ward and put me on the elevator for the 3rd floor. When I reported to the nurse there, the first thing she asked was WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL NIGHT!!!!! You checked in at around mid-night and it is 6:00 am.
When I told her I had been one floor down she accused me of lying. Finally she picked up the phone and called the ward on the 2nd floor. After talking to the nurse on duty there. She put the phone down and announced to anyone within ear shot. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT, HE SPENT THE NIGHT IN THE MATURNITY WARD!!!!!!
Anyway, somehow the word got back to part of my company at the Marine base at Camp Lejeune that I had died. I did not know this at the time. When I returned from my tour of duty in Puerto Rico I arranged for base housing for Virginia and I. I came home on leave and to take Virginia back to N.C. After getting settled in and all we decided to go visit one of our friends. We still did not know that part of the outfit I was with had mistakenly gotten the word that I had died. Virginia and the lady had stayed in touch by mail. We found out that the lady did not want to mention my death, she was waiting on Virginia to say something. Which of course she never did because she did not know about any of this. When we got to their place, I had Virginia stand beside the door where they could not see her because we wanted to surprise her friend. When the lady opened the door and saw me standing there she almost screamed. She called her husband to the door and he gave me a look like I had never seen before. Now you need to realize they are thinking I had died in Puerto Rico and here I am standing on their steps. They just stood and stared at me. Finally Virginia stepped forward and asked if they were going to have us stand outside all night or ask us in.
After we were inside and finally figured out what had taken place we all had a really good laugh. The lady said she could not understand why Virginia never said any thing in any of her letters about my death, and she did not want to be the one to bring up the subject so nothing was ever said until we showed up at their door.
As someone once said----Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated!!!!!

Thanks a lot Chester, a really good one. Life is sure full of surprises. I need to you about the time my Mom went to the wrong funeral. That one is hilarious too...
Please keep your emails coming in, without you guys, I could never keep this column going. City Councilman Stan Wassom Councilman Dudley Evans, Parks and Recreation Dept. Head Tom Pierce, Roane County News Reporter Jennifer Raymond, and myself went to the Mike Miller Sports Complex last Wed. and showed Jennifer an old graveyard there consisting of a few graves among which is a Civil War veteran who died in 1862. Jennifer will publish the story in the Roane County News hopefully this week as her last story. It should be interesting, keep an eye out for it............Until next week, Ray

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