CREATIONS BY MARIE ANTOINETTE & EDIE MARIE

Welcome to our Team Blog! Marie Antoinette & Edie Marie have joined together to create a fun place to share our ideas and lives with all of you. We know that our teaming up has been confusing for some of you and we apologize. We will refer to ourselves as Marie Antoinette (the Doll Creator & maker of fabulous items) who lives in Peacock Paradise and Edie Marie (the creator of the posts and story telling on this blog & amateur crafter of many things in my "attic") who lives on Golden Pond. What great fun we have combining our forces!!

Thank you for stopping by to see what's happening in our studios in Peacock Paradise and on Golden Pond!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bartending, Redneck Style

First let me say, nobody calles me Marie around here except a few friends and family. They call me Toni, short for Antionette, as they've called me since I was a preteen. Now!!! I can't tell you the more colorful stories about my bartending days, because it would offend some folks, but I will tell you about a couple of chararters that I know.

I started bartending, or "barmaiding" as the local rednecks say, about 1984. (Around here, you're not a bartender unless you're a man. You're a barmaid.) The bar I worked in was called "Clydes", named after Clyde, my boss. Clyde is a local WW2 hero who faught close with Audie Murphy (a world famous actor and later country music composer)- so the story goes. This is Clyde. He's holding a sign that says, "Will Work for Sex". He's such a card. The tiny christmas tree with dollars to the right is where we would hang our tips during the holiday season- a gentle hint.

I've known Clyde since 1965, when I first moved here to Picayune MS. from New Orleans. When I arrived here I thought I was in an alien world. Where the hell am I? This town only had 2 red lights. OMG!!! Clyde had the only car garage that I knew of. I dated and went to prom with Clyde's son, Little John. (Yes 2 names. Everybody has two names here.) Anyway , I digress. Clyde's garage, in the years to come, became Clydes Bar- one of the most notorious bars in this part of MS. I wish I had a picture of the bar itself: It was a plain square, blue cinderblock building- except that on the front was a huge mural of Clyde's face morphed into a frothy beer mug, with the froth being the beard and mustache. It was sooo tacky, but a landmark nonetheless. I will add a picture of this when I find it, it's a must-see-to-appreciate thing.


He kept asking me to work for him, but I refused because I never in my life did anything like that. I could not even run a register! Well something tragic happened in my life: I lost my younger brother in Germany on that damn Autobahn. Enough of that part. When Clyde asked me to work one night again. I said no, but my husband said: why not, it may take your mind off your brother for awhile. Well that awhile became 18 years. I started working when I was about 33, working till I was about 51.
At that time, when our town was still tiny, I was different looking than most women around here, maybe somewhat exotic looking. I'm Spanish, French, & Scotch-Irish decent, of course some Native American thrown in. I Also dressed differently than the other barmaids. I would wear dresses instead of the ragged T-shirts and holey jeans. Of course I wore the raggedy stuff at home, but... I figured Men like a woman in a dress and thats who really does the tipping- men! I never cursed or smoked. In fact, I never smoked in my life. I learned most men don't like that either. Everyone came to see me, when word got out.


Would you believe I became a very good barmaid. Clyde's being the neighborhood bar and knowing most of the people cause I went to school or the local dance center as a teen, where I was a GoGo dancer, white boots and all. I made alot of tips- More than any of the other barmaids. My daughter Alexia use to stay up and wait for me so she could count them. She got a kick out of that and it funded our trips to the mall or water parks. I learned how to play pool pretty good, so I won a few tournaments, that was fun. I still could dance. I also became known for that. Not a hoochie mama dancer- I mean the same dancing I did when I was a teen gogo dancer. I had a blast. I loved going to work. Barmaids came and went, but I was a fixture, became known as the top barmaid around.

I learned right off to keep my mouth closed and not reveal certain things. I could write a book, on some of the things I saw and heard. I had dirt on local bigwigs who were supposed to be "pillars of the community" that would make a rockstar blush. Trust me, that dirt will go to my grave with me. That discretion got me respect and protection. The other thing that got me respect was the fact that everyone knew I didn't put up with shenanigans. If someone got too rowdy and bothered me or the other customers, or was doing something illegal, I'd give them one warning, and then I'd call the police. Period. This kept them in line. It also got me notoriety on the local police dept, and kept the police from hanging around outside as much as they did other bars- they knew i'd call them if anything was out of the way! And I think being on good terms with officers may have kept me from being pulled over a few times when I had a lead foot.
Below is a picture of Mr. Joe Dollar. He is no longer with us, May God bless his poor tormented soul. He is about 88 here in this picture. Living in a shack on a lake with no electricity, He never changed with the times as most people do. He tried to dicatate my life at work, when some man or someone he did not like became too familiar. First he started with little notes, or newpaper clippings, he'd say, "You should not talk to so and so, stay away from so and so" things like that. Then he started sending me little gifts, like bottle openers or Mardi Gras beads, just little things like that.

I knew things were getting out of hand, but I did not want to hurt the old man's feelings. My husband said I would have to put a stop to it. Finally I had to tell him he could not come in unless he stopped what he was doing. I hated that. He started out at first like a sweet old man. But he eventually showed that he was such a bigot and said the most hateful things about people. So enough was enough. To be a good female bartender, you have to put a certain distance between yourself and the customers, no matter how friendly.

Below is a picture of Mr. Paul. He is about 67 here. But let me tell you- If I was older and single. I would have snapped him up. He was the most fun to be around. He told me stories and jokes, making me laugh so hard, I really did wet my pants one time. I'm not kidding. He is from N.O. too. He told me things he did in the French Quarters, that would turn you purple. I wish I could tell you a couple of stories, but I can't remember them- only the WAY he told them. He would start every story with, "...This is a true story..." or sometimes he'd pause in the middle and say, "you know, this is a true story..." and then go on. The thing is some of the tales were unbeliveable, but you knew they were true somehow!!! I think I was a little in love with him. He's not doing so well right now. He should be in his late 70's. What a good looking man for his age. He is the one who cut out my plaques for me on some of the older dolls I made. But his hands started shaking too badly, so now I just cut them myself. Note the sign on the pole that says, "NO ONE ON THE BAR AT ANY TIME." Heehee!
Let me tell you about Alice. She was the barmaid who opened with Clydes. I've known Alice since I first moved to Picayune. She was one of the first girls I met there. She just died a couple of weeks ago. Alice was, well, Alice. She never changed except she did find the Lord in her last year. She had a very rough life. I can't find a picture of her- but when you picture a redneck barmaid, you see her. The song "White Rabbit"... by Jefferson Airplane, that was her... "Go ask Alice, when she's 10 ft tall..." She was into everything that was bad for her. As soon as she taught me the basics of bartending, she just didn't want to work anymore. Even the local police never stopped her when she was acting out.They didn't want to cope with her! I've always loved Alice and it brings tears to my eyes, when I know the kind of life she had. But for all of her roughness, Alice had a very deep soul. She was very kind hearted, would give you her last penny.
I could go on and on. There are so many who came into my life while working. Some are gems, some are the scum of the earth. I will tell you this: NEVER judge a book by its cover. Because some who came in looking like bums turned out to be the most decent hard working people, who today I call friends. And some of the best dressed and smooth of tongue were the lowest form of humanity I ever had the misfortune to meet.

Hail, Hail the Gang's all here.This is most of my diehard, never want to leave customers. All in all, a bunch of good people who just want to have a few drinks after work and a good time. The guy in the camo jacket is my husband of 37 years, Bill.

Eventually, Clyde least the bar out to a very young uppity girl, who thought she was going to change it all... make it more for "her crowd". She certainly did that! She got rid of me and some of the older paying customers, so that she could turn Clyde's into a yuppie bar- with the under 25 set who nursed their drinks all night, didn't tip, and were there to have a different kind of good time. The bar shut down in less than a year. Clyde never reopened due to his wife's illness. That was that. The End. There were alot of in betweens... But Isn't there always? Hugs, Marie Antionette

Note from Alexia (Genteel Poverty): I also tended bar for several years at an equally rough but not as notorious local bar. It used to irk me so bad, my customers would refer to me in third person as "Toni's daughter" and sometimes when addressing me directly, "Toni Junior". LOL! I never quite was able to garner the respect she got, but I know why. She enjoyed her job so much that she was just a natural at any situation that cropped up, playing things off lighthearted while getting things done right. One day I will tell you about the time when she broke a pool stick over a (very disrespectful) young man's head without getting a hair out of place or a wrinkle in her shirt. It's a local legend.


Other stories from Marie's Barmaid Memoirs

#2 BARMAID'S STORY  Click Here

#3 THE LEGEND OF THE POOL STICK INCIDENT  Click Here

#4 A FUNNY BAR STORY  Click Here

58 comments:

  1. Hi Toni,

    What an amazing post. You need to write a book because I would sure buy it! The pictures are marvelous and the stories... you seriously need to write your story because you do have one.

    Have a great week and I hope the storms pass you by.

    hugs,
    Barb

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  2. Toni, you wild woman, you! LOL! That made for a great story! You could make some moolah off of that one! Glad you are safe and sounds as the storms rain down.
    Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog!
    ~TattingChic

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  3. Thank you so much for coming by my blog and saying hello. I hope you come back again to say hi!

    And, I am sure that I am not the first to tell you that you look like Betty Page. Smart of you to wear dresses to work. I am sure your tips went up as a result, clever girl.;-)

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  4. Great post! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  5. Yes I have been told that,First few times,I didn;t even know who Bette Page was.I kept saying ,who was she.Now I know!!! LOL.Marie Antionette

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  6. What a story!!!!! amazing. and you are too beautiful.

    thanks for the comment, much appreciated.

    Joni

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  7. Toni,I enjoyed reading your story.Hope you have more stories to share with us.Have a great day!

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  8. Oh my......what...a...post!!! This is utterly, utterly, fascinating. I have to print this off and read it to my daughter...there is more in here about life lessons than you can shake a stick at. I am so glad to know more about you, Toni! (If I may be so bold as to call you that!).

    I always suspected from your photo, with your lovely high cheekbones, that there was some Native American in you, but I knew there had to be something else too, and now I know. I am fascinated by the appearance of those with multiple ethnicities. I even did a post on a man I found intrigueing for that reason...I would like you to read it when you have a moment, its here:

    http://birdbathchronicles.blogspot.com/2008/06/intriguing-people-part-i.html

    So anyway, I really enjoyed readinga bout Clydes and all the interesting things that went on there. You had a front row seat to it all...I can only imagine the stories you could tell, as you say, some would turn us purple blue or curl our chest hair probablly! (the men I mean, tee hee, not us ladies!).

    You are really beautiful, as all these photos show. I admire how you handled every situatioin that arose, with aplomb and style. Isn't it sad when a local landmark is bought up and totally changed. That happened in our neighborhood, a wonderful greasy spoon was sold after many years ownership by the same family. Since then, three restaurants have opened their doors---and closed them soon after, at the same location. Again, all were trying for that 'upscale' sort of place and all failed.

    Anyway, thanks again for this excellent post. I spent a summer working at remote summer hotel and I think I know *what you mean* about what goes on and how anyone on the outside could not possibly imagine.

    I also like what you wrote about not judging a book by its cover. Absolutely, a suit and tie and respectable exterior quite often masks 'the wolf within'. Thank you and Bless You!!

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  9. oops, the link in my last comment is incomplete. Here is the correct link:

    http://birdbathchronicles.blogspot.com/2008/06/intriguing-people-part-i.html

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  10. What amazing stories you have to tell Toni! I love this post and the pictures! And I love your lessons of life. As some before me suggested already I think you should write a book too! To me it's so interesting, some things are totally different at your place, but some things are exactly the same. I think we can learn so much from one and other. Only if people would listen or read. Before I go I thank you for this great post, and your information about khoi and goldfish and before I forget I wanted to tell you that I think that you send some great stuff to Nancy (fête et fleur). Thanks!!

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  11. hi toni,,well I now have a blog,,for now it is empty,,but its a start,,
    Love your bartending stories,,you are quite a writer,,Judyk aka norway doll

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  12. What a fun post. You should write a book. That was so much fun thank you. I have a friend from NO who taught me to make red beans and rice. I was talking to her last week making sure she was OK and I said I needed to make some now that the weather was getting cooler. I live in Denver and now she is back in NO. We met while we were working for Mobil Oil and we both transferred to KS. Have a great day Toni and thanks again for such a fun post.

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  13. What a fascinating life, Toni! So very different from my own in many ways. I have Scotch Irish, German and a little Native American blood thrown in for good measure, too. We do have that part in common! This was a very entertaining post! :)

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  14. WOW! You are gorgeous!!! I loved this post, I cant even imagine!! Talk about amazing stories! Thank you so much for sharing :)

    Hugs,
    Amy

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  15. Wow, Toni! What a cast of amazing characters! This would definitely make for the groundwork of a good book...You could always change the names to protect the not-so innocent!;-) LOL!!!...Thanks for sharing this and letting us get a glimpse into your very interesting life...

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  16. I loved reading that Marie. And you are so right about "not judging a book by it's cover". Is your name really Marie Antoinette? I thought you were using a pseudonym. :) Lynn

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  17. Hello Ms. Toni,

    I enjoyed you story. You are so cute and you look so happy in your photos. I am glad you are doing well.

    I got your message about your subscription. Shoot me an e-mail at kreynolds@papercatdesigns.com and let me know which e-mail address you would like me to use and I'll manually add you to the list.

    You are such a doll! Thanks so much for your visits and comments.

    Hugs! =D
    ~Kellie

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  18. Wow Toni! That was such a great post. I love to read things about people who do things that are considered "out of the ordinary". I'll bet that was such a fun time for you. You're the kinda girl we'd all like for a best friend becuase yo know how to keep a secret! I also like the fact that you took no BS from anyone. Very very cool!

    Hey, I'm having a little give away on my blog so stop by and leave a comment!

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  19. Toni,
    You are such a sweet heart, and a good person. I really enjoyed this post. Through your story I felt I made new friends, and I was sad when one was lost. Thank you for sharing this.
    Hugs,
    La Donna

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  20. Love those stories!!!!
    Your personality just comes right out in your story telling.
    I bet you could still keep them in line and keep your pocket full of tips too :0)

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  21. Hi Marie (Toni) Your story reads like a book and you really should think about writing one from your experiences.
    Love all the pictures. Your heart comes through your words. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself. Stay safe through the storms!
    Love ya, Celestina
    la rea rose

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  22. Wow what a story! I agree you should write a book! And my gosh you are so photogenic too!

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  23. Thanks for stopping by again at my site. I appreciate your comment. Even though "you don't go to church and aren't very religious"....you have a depth of understanding that many a church goer lacks. You wrote: "God is with us 24 hrs so you would not need to put aside time to spend with him,also as you walk your prayer can just be may you bless us all.You need not set aside anything." Very wise my Toni. BTW - loved your bartending story. I was a "bar-Keep" in college at the local Moose Club! What a hoot!

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  24. Hi Marie Antionette (Toni!) ~

    What a fun post!! I loved reading about some of your adventures. Now when are you going to come out with a book? "Toni's Tales From A Tavern?" I'm sure it would be a great success! Take care over your way with Ike-maybe he won't cause ya'll too much trouble!! My thoughts are with you!

    Lots of hugs, Bebe :)

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  25. Thanks for visiting me! You have some interesting stories and your dolls you make are AMAZING! I wish I had a grand-daughter too! Someday, I hope!

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  26. Pop over to the birdbath, I've given you an award...

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  27. thank you so much for stopping by my blog! take care!

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  28. Hi, I really enjoyed reading your post. Sounds like there was a lot of fun going on in there. Typical when somebody else comes in, why change what has been successful for so many years? I hate it when new people change things into soul less places because they want a better image, its tosh! Im sorry to hear about your brother and Alice and your 'very good looking' friend. Please do tell more stories about your bartender days, Mandy

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  29. Hi Toni,

    I really do think you need to seriously think about writing your story. I am not the only one who feels this way. I'm not a writer- didn't pay much attention in English class. When it comes from the heart-it is ok. Your words come from the heart and would make a great book.

    I am still praying for you all as it looks like the storm may be headed in your direction.

    hugs,
    Barb

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  30. Very nice and interesting post!
    It is a pleasure to go through here and visit.
    loved reading that Marie
    A kiss


    Muy lindo e interesante post!!!
    Es una grato pasar por aqui a visitarte.
    Un beso enorme

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  31. Hi Toni, I agree with Barb, you should write a book. I loved reading your post! Thanks so much for visiting me, glad you liked my black toes!!! Rachaelxo

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  32. Hello everyone.I have been so thrilled with all the nice things being said.I didn't want to post this,for I just knew it might offend.But I would like you to know that it was with the great help of my beautiful daughter Alexia, of Genteel Poverty,that I was able to do this.Yes,it is my words,but Alexia is the one to correct my spelling and grammer when needed the most.Not all.After all it came from the real me.I could never write a book,would not know where to begin.Also I want to thank you for thinking I'm pretty.Remember,I'm 57 now.A good looking 57,but 57 all the same LOL.Some of you want more stories,but its hard to tell a story without the adult content.The stories would not be the same.Would loose something in the telling.Also i wanted to let you know that I was raised in a house of 4 brothers and right next door, 5 male cousins.I've been around males all my life ,without girls,very few.I just didn't relate.Anyway I wanted ya'll to know this.Hugs Marie Antionette PS if you would like to ask me anything,email me.

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  33. Hi Toni,
    After reading that, I can't find much to say ;) and that's a first!

    You could do a Lifetime Movie and we'd all be watching.

    I see someone's said you look like Bette Page - you really do!
    xo~Tracie

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  34. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog; and... thank you sooo much for sharing this amazing story. What a wonderful read it is.

    Huggs,
    Tonya

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  35. I love your barmaid stories and admit to being a little envious. Always wanted to do that... sort of like working at Cheers! You're much cuter and nicer than Carla.

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  36. Well, a very interesting read. Sometime you should tell us more about the town (I can't spell it!!). If you do, then let me know.

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  37. You sure have "lived"!

    And what a wonderful and interesting life you had in your barmaid years!
    They will be lovely stories to pass on to your loved ones... specially grandchildren, and us too!
    By the way... I would love to spend an afternoon with you... listenning to more of your amazing life stories!
    What would you say... are you free tomorrow afternoon!
    Tea and biscuits served in pretty Vintage china, at mine! LOL

    Kisses

    Debbie Moss

    (FROM ENGLAND)

    P.S- Thanks for your lovely comment, as usual, my dear FRIEND!

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  38. What an interesting post. I agree that you should consider a book! I love your Christmas ideas, very original. Thank you for visiting my blog and good luck my give away contest.

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  39. Dear Marie A.
    This was really interesting to read.
    My favorite line is: NEVER judge a book by its cover. Because some who came in looking like bums turned out to be the most decent hard working people, who today I call friends. And some of the best dressed and smooth of tongue were the lowest form of humanity I ever had the misfortune to meet.

    Yes indeed. I do believe this is true!!

    Well, You'll always be Marie Antoinette to me ;-)!

    Happy Weekend!!

    xox
    Constance

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  40. Hey girl, what a cool post! I know what you mean about needing to add 'adult' content to some stories...afterall, I did not tend bar, but I sure ATTENDED plenty of them when young! :}
    Thanks for posting on my blog.
    Gloria

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  41. Hi Toni!
    Just thought I'd come over and check on you ~ that old Ike looked like he did a lot of damage out your way. I saw some of the pictures of the water and wanted to know if you were alright. In MS, ya'll would have been on the bad side of that thing.

    Be safe, my friend, and my good wishes and thoughts are being sent your way!!

    Lots of Hugs, Bebe :)

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  42. Hi missy,

    I just stopped by to say "hi". I hope all is well.

    hugs,
    Barb

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  43. Hi Toni!

    I TOTALLY enjoyed this post...albeit LATE!!!

    Thanks 4 sharing this fascinating personal history with us & ***SO*** GLAD you are OK after the storm.

    BTW: This is my busiest time of the year SO if I am late on posting back I am truly sorry!

    YOU are SO FUN!!!

    LOVE IT!!!

    Spooky CK '-p)

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  44. Hi Toni!

    Thanks for sharing such great stories of who you are and have been! You have had an interesting life girl and a fun job, more than alot of people can say!
    I love coming to visit you Toni. Stay safe in the stormy weather!!
    Big hugs, Sherry

    Check out my post 9-16 to see my other side!

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  45. Such a great post, love the photos especially the first one, its amazing!
    Magic and Joy!
    Lisa!

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  46. Beautiful storey Toni!

    Love the pics of you!!! :)

    Siobhan

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  47. Hi again! Thankyou so much for your support and lovely comment left on Debbies blog. Everyone has been so kind and it was so nice of you to take the time to leave a message. Im sorry to here Im not the only one, Im sure this person will get bored soon. Heres hoping! Take Care Mandy X

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  48. Toni,

    What a story! Maybe you ought to consider that book after all. Of course, change the names to protect the guilty... You certainly have a gift for telling it. And the experience to go along!

    I love your blog, by the way!

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  49. Hi Miss Toni,

    Just checking in on you. I'm such a grandma-hehe.

    I hope all is well.

    hugs,
    Barb

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  50. Hi Toni,
    It's been a long time... Hope all is okay with you.
    xo~Tracie

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  51. Hi Marie! Wow, what a following you have! You definitely have a gift for blogging. Thanks for visiting my blog again. It was nice to hear from you. I loved reading your last post and I loved the music because it is what I grew up on with my dad. I also wanted to let you know very soon I will be having prints available so check back and see! Have a great day!!
    Nichole

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  52. Hi Toni,
    Here's Lori's blog link for the Japanese Sweet Cherry Blossom tea. I hope you're feeling better soon. Take it easy and rest!
    xo~Tracie
    http://theivyleaftea.blogspot.com/

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  53. Now I love you two ladies even more !!!! You gals are beautiful inside and out and I just adore this post. Such wonderful tales of true life.
    smiles my deaires
    DarLy*~

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  54. u are so pretty! And u look like so much fun!!!! We would have a blast if you were closer!!: )

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  55. Wow, what stories you can tell, sugar! I loved them all. You have lived a very full life and sounds like you and your hubby are happy. I'll be back, honey.
    xoxo,
    Connie

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  56. Hi Toni (may I?),
    I finished reading your story on the punk and your beating and came here as directed by you. I know you preface by saying you are no writer but I can tell you love telling stories. Like how you love your bartending days. You have a really simple and yet genuine way of telling your stories which make them very appealing and heartfelt. I can read on and on. :)

    Yes, I am the one who mistook you for someone leaving a comment on my blog. No, I haven't figured out how I ended up on your other blog.

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