Ram's Ramblings

Note from the Author: I may have edited the following Ramblings slightly to avoid giving anything away that is important to the book.

Ram's Rambling on The story of SweetWater  (From Book 1)
Even though most poeple hereabouts know the legend of Sweetwater, I have been asked to use my blog to relate the story for those of you who don't.

In the late 1800’s sugar was extremely expensive because it had to be brougt in from so far away (mostly Minnesota), so a lady named Marion Berguns in the town of Taproot started growing her own sugar beets for sugar production. One day a wagonload of sugar beets was being brought from the fields to where the sugar was being produced. The wagon was being drawn by two horses and a snake startled one of the horses who then reared up causing the wagon to tip over and the beats from the wagon to roll down hill. Several of the beats rolled into the mineral spring that was there. This spring was not only mineral water but very hot mineral water. So hot, in fact, that the water boiled the sugar beets causing them to release their sweetness into the water.

The water from the spring had always been popular because of its mineral content even though it didn't taste very good. But, after a few weeks, someone braved a taste of the water with its new sweetness. He liked the new taste and spread the word. Then, because of its new taste, the water became even more popular. After a year or so the town fathers decided that the town of Taproot would become the town of Sweetwater. Thus, the town of Sweetwater was born. Since that time, two sugar beets have been added to the spring each month to keep the Sweetwater flowing. Sweetwater is still manufactured and distributed under the Burguns name.

Respectfully submitted for your reading pleasure and edification by Robert Adam Madigan.

Ram's Rambling Restaurant Review (From Book 1)

I have eaten at the Mason Jar three times and, each time, have found the food superb.
The first time I ate there I had what no doubt what a lot of you have had, a Mason Sandwich. I wasn't disappointed. The generous portions of four meats, ham, roast beef, turkey, and bacon, along with the Mason Jar's own special sauce makes a taste sensation to satisfy virtually any size hunger. In addition, the crispy, skin-on, home fries are far above the average French fries served at the typical fast food restaurant.
If a sandwich is not your style, the Mason Jar has a wide variety of other selections on their menu. If seafood is your desire, I can, without reservation, recommend the shrimp platter. The shrimp comes to the table fried to perfection using a batter that is nothing short of epicurean heaven. The coleslaw that accompanies the shrimp is the best this humble reporter has ever had, bar none.
If fare from south of the Rio Grande is more to your liking, you should definitely try the fajitas. They come with all the garnishments you could imagine and the taste is not to be believed. I have had fajitas from Chicago to New York as well as in Mexico and the fajitas at the Mason Jar push all the rest to no more that a weak second on my culinary scale.
I haven't had the opportunity to sample every entre on the menu, but I can easily assume that the rest of the dishes served at the Mason Jar would be nothing short of excellent. Thus, if you haven't already figured it out, I whole-heartedly recommend the Mason Jar for your next meal out. I give it 5 out of 5 Rams.
Respectively submitted for reading pleasure and edification by Robert Adam Madigan.


Ram’s Ramblings on an Old Gold Miner (From Book 2)
This reporter was recently privileged to witness the vast collection of gold nuggets and sculptures owned by Matthew Trimble. Mr. Trimble was owner of the Trimble Goldmine after his father, who died in a cave-in, left it to him. Eventually, the mine was purchased by Yallow Mining for $45 million. . Mr. Trimble not only got the $45 million, he also kept several million dollars worth of gold nuggets and sculptures that he had already collected from the mine and elsewhere. The pride and joy of Mr. Trimble's collection is the biggest nugget ever found in the 48 contiguous states (see the picture on the right). It weighs in at 15 pounds. It's not the largest nugget in existence, however, as there are several larger nuggets that were found in Alaska. The most interesting part of the story is that the 15-pound nugget was found purely by accident. It wasn't mined; it was tripped over while Mr. Trimble's father was walking at night. Mr. Trimble has two other large nuggets, one of 7 pounds and one that weighs 6 pounds. These nuggets were found in the remnants of the cave-in that killed Mr. Trimble's father.

Mr. Trimble has a large collection of sculptures and figurines made of solid gold as seen in the picture at the top. A number of them are intricately carved like the tree shown in the first picture at the bottom. Others are basically dioramas, such as the one of the miners pushing the ore cart also shown at the bottom. The third picture at the bottom is a figurine of which Mr. Trimble has approximately 100 similar ones. He even has some figurines that would appeal to those with more risqué tastes.

Respectively submitted for reading pleasure and edification by Robert Adam Madigan.



Ram's Ramblings on the Canary (House) that Ate the Cat (House) (From Book 2)
The following story was given to this reporter during interviews with Miss Livinia Blossom and Miss Dolly Leech. It was related to me that Miss Blossom’s father helped renovate and put three more stories on Canary House after it was sold to the present owner’s ancestors. You may have heard that Canary House was originally a bordello called the Cat House but the name was changed when the Canary (House) swallowed the Cat (House). To attract attention, the Cat House had a large sign on the roof that can be seen in the picture above. You may have also heard that three ghosts haunt Canary House. What you may not know is the history of the ghosts.
This reporter was told that two of the apparitions are considered to be ghosts of ladies-of-the-evening that plied their trade in the Cat House. One evening during a full moon, one of the patrons had been drinking more than he should have and got carried away and beat one of the ladies to death. Now, she apparently visits Canary House during a full moon. If you're wondering what happened to the killer, he reportedly jumped out of the second floor window breaking his leg. His body was found several days later out in the country. He apparently succumbed from an infection that had settled in his broken leg. One might say that justice was visited on the killer. He was buried near where he died and there is no record of where that grave may be found.
This reporter was also told that the second lady-of-the-evening’s ghost never shows herself. The story is that she was severely beaten by Samuel Yardin, owner of the Cat House, and locked in a third floor closet on New Year's Eve in 1885. Witnesses tell of hearing noises in the closet every New Year's Eve. Some have even opened the closet, but to no avail. No ghost has ever been seen. What happened to the Cat House owner? Research shows that Mr. Yardin was never arrested, much less brought to trial. He lived the life of a free man until he sold the Cat House. He died when he fell off his horse in a drunken celebration of the sale. Possibly lady justice took her revenge a second time. Mr. Yardin’s grave may be found in the old, abandoned Canary Corners’ graveyard outside of town.
 It’s been reported that numerous witnesses have seen a third ghost in Canary House lobby. According to Miss Leech, two men both wanted the affections of the same Cat House lady. An argument ensued and in the blink of an eye, Billy Bartel laid dead, a victim of the gun of Joseph Hargrove. According to ancient Tweet accounts, this happened in the year 1905 and, since it was considered a "fair fight," Mr. Hargrove was never arrested. The body of 19 year-old Billy Bartel was taken to Charleston and buried in the family plot by his distraught parents.
 Respectively submitted for your edification and reading pleasure by Robert Adam Madigan.

Ram's Ramblings on the Undress Inn (From Book 3)


The following story was given to this reporter during an interview with Miss Audrey Leech. It was related to me that the Inn that is currently known as the Undress Inn was originally known as the Snowbound Inn and its new name was coined by virtue of a rather unique event.
In a previous article written by this same reporter, the story was told of the Canary House that originally was the Cat House, a bordello. It was related to this reported that when business at the Cat House was slow, the owner asked two of his ladies to come up with some way to perk up the business. These two ladies, Ivy Leech, Miss Audrey Leech’s mother, and her friend Kitty Sheridan thought advertising their wares in a public forum might be just the thing to bring back business to the Cat House.
Thus, the two dressed up like waitresses and snuck their way into the Snowbound Inn during a men’s meeting one evening. The Inn did, and still does, have a small stage and much to the men’s surprise, amusement, and delight, suddenly they were being entertained by Ivy and Kitty taking off their waitress uniforms. Many of the men had been customers of the ladies in the past, so they might have been surprised by these antics, but were probably not shocked.
The owner of the Snowbound Inn enjoyed the show himself and invited the ladies back again and again until they had become a fixture at the Inn. Naturally, wives being what they are, they put pressure on their husbands to get the show stopped and eventually the city council proclaimed the either the show ceased its run or the Inn would be forced to close its doors. The owner of the Inn was enough of a business man to know you don’t fight city hall especially when the force behind the scenes is made up of wives.
The owner of the Snowbound Inn had been searching for a new name for the Inn because of the negative connotations the name evoked. Thus, during one of the last nights the show was still being performed, a man in the audience suggested the name be changed to the Undress Inn and from that day forward, the Snowbound Inn was no more and the Undress Inn was born.
Respectively submitted for your edification and reading pleasure by Robert Adam Madigan.
Ram’s Ramblings on Dogs and Chocolate  (From Book 3)
A few nights ago, this reporter was awakened by the sound of his dog, Butter, throwing up. Fortunately Dr. Maggie Ridley consented to go to her office and examine Butter. A quick examination told her that Butter had somehow gotten ahold of some white chocolate. We were thankful that it was white chocolate because white chocolate is less toxic than either milk or dark chocolate.
I know if you love your pet, it sometimes seems he is more a member of the family than just a pet, and it may be tempting to share your food with him. Although some people food may be alright for him given in moderation, this is definitely not the case for chocolate. Any chocolate, no matter how small an amount, can be toxic to your buddy.
Chocolate can sicken or even kill dogs and it is one of the most common forms of poisoning according to this reporter’s sources. One family thought they’d give their eight-pound poodle a treat on his birthday so they fed him a pound of chocolate. According to the veterinarian handling the case, they had to treat the dog with fluids and medication to prevent seizures for five days. If they stopped the medication, the dog’s seizures would begin again. When asked if they would feed a pound of chocolate to a child regardless of the age or weight of the child, as expected, the owner of the dog answered no, they wouldn’t. But, they let an eight-pound dog eat an entire pound of the deadly stuff.
The problem with chocolate is that once the dog gets a taste for it, they will ingest it any chance they get. Naturally dogs don’t associate getting sick with the eating of the chocolate. The unfortunate truth is that no amount of chocolate is okay for a dog and, as you might expect, chocolate affects some species more than others and, just like humans, some particular dogs are more susceptible to issues with chocolate.
As briefly mentioned before, the darker the chocolate, the higher the risk to the dog. Dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate are the worst while milk chocolate poses less of a threat and white chocolate poses the least risk of all.
Theobromine and caffeine are the elements in chocolate that cause issues though theobromine is the greater danger. The problem is that dogs digest theobromine much slower than we do. Most of the theobromine passes through our system in twenty or thirty minutes but can linger for up to 15 hours in a dogs digestive system. Even small amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Higher doses can prove truly toxic inducing high blood pressure, rapid heart rates, cardiac arrest, seizures, tremors, and hyperactivity.
Theobromine can also be toxic to other animal such as cats, but there have been very few reported cases of cars or other pets being sickened by chocolate because, apparently, they rarely eat chocolate. Dogs, on the other hand, will eat anything, and, again, once they get a taste for it, they will seek it out. So this reporters advice is keep chocolate away from your dogs but if they do accidently get hold of some, be sure to keep your chocolate under lock and key in the future or your dog may seek it out wherever it is hidden.

Respectfully submitted for your reading pleasure and edification by Robert Adam Madigan.

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