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The PO's Last Gasp? Or Is There Hope After All?

Updated on July 18, 2017
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin is a true southern male who enjoys writing about the past in his part of the world. I hope you enjoy my Tales of the South.

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Seven Years A Grave?

I've been writing on HubPages for almost 7 years now, and it has been quite an experience for me. Some good, some bad, but mostly confusing for an old dirt farmer/ freelance writer. It isn't the same place I first joined, not by a long shot

You should have seen some of the crap HP allowed on here at the time. Indian Auntie hubs—mostly unattractive women in diaphanous garb one wouldn't want to see anyway—and pure spam, some of which received millions of views pretending to be actual complaint departments of well known companies. Yes, we honest authors complained.

Anyhow, I've gone from making dollars a day to now earning pennies. I feel like a ball because I've been bounced from the main HP domain to sub-domains and back to the main domain again. Figure for yourself if they know what they're doing.....I sure as hell don't know and doubt they do either.

HP staff have never been too good at dealing with their writers. I suppose they'll never change until it's too late... like the other now extinct writing sites. Cut me some slack will ya, I'm prohibited from posting in the forums you know. I ask too many hard questions and upset their tea service, I suppose.

At any rate, I felt like a good spring story would possibly raise the hopes of the faithful—and the others of us of a more cynical bent—for the coming year. Yeah right! So, the tale.....

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My True Garden Story

I've come to a conclusion concerning gardening. It is an inherited genetic trait. Not that you can't be a good gardener without the gene, it's just harder to not garden if you do have it. I practically grew up in a garden, a vegetable garden for the most part, but my mom made sure there were also some flowers to grace the table with.

Everyone I knew had a vegetable plot of some size or another, even the town folk. Here in southern Georgia not growing your own produce was as unthinkable as not attending church on Sundays. Besides, you had to have something to give the preacher when he came calling, which he did frequently during the two garden seasons we enjoy down here.

Like almost everyone else around here, my parents were farming people, as were their parents, and so on back down the line. Mom and Dad were both born and raised during the Great Depression and knew how times could be tough. They didn't have much money during most of their younger years, but they always had plenty to eat. Perhaps you've heard the song "A Country Boy Will Survive," well everyone ate good out in the country, even in those terrible times

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Shortly after my parents married the U.S. became involved in World War II. Despite the fact of my father being in the middle of growing his first tobacco and corn crops, he and two of his brothers were drafted into the army. The younger of my uncles never saw action during his service, the older went to the South Pacific with all of it's many Japanese held islands.

My father , a simple country boy who had never been far from home, was suddenly sent to Fort Benning and from there to Texas for his basic training. "They weren't nothin' to basic training" he would say, "us farm boys was used to following a mule's rear end from dawn to dark and a twenty mile hike weren't anythang." Then he would tell how he and another Georgia farm boy carried this yankee friend of theirs, a city boy, almost half way back to keep him from having to repeat the hike.

Dad, and thousands of other equally disoriented young Americans, were then placed on transport ships to England. He would tell about the nightly bombing raids in London and the people seeking shelter in the subways. He was witness to a V-1 buzz bomb dropping through the clouds and causing devastation to the ancient city. As a young man used to hot sunshine and blue skies, he would say this of England, "I was in England for six weeks and never did see the sun shine.

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D-Day was on and my father's company were among a group heading to Normandy for a section designated by the name Omaha beach. I never wanted my father to see "Saving Private Ryan" and he wouldn't anyway. He just wasn't the movie watching type. He went on from Normandy with Patton's army to Paris for the liberation of France. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, entered into Germany, and helped free some of the remaining Jewish prison camps.

What kept my father going through all of this terrible ordeal? This was one of the few questions he would respond to concerning the war. Like many of his fellow warriors, he chose not to talk about some aspects of being a soldier during this war. But when he did respond to the question you knew how serious he was about the ordeal.

His answer was always the same. "Wherever I was at night, foxhole, tent shelter, or curled up beside a stone wall, whether it was raining, snowing, or sleeting I would think about the garden I would have when I got home. I would imagine how warm it would be and how green everything would look, the taste of familiar foods grown by my own hands, and this would help me relax and drift off to sleep."

The horror of the Holocaust camps.
The horror of the Holocaust camps. | Source

He told about having to eat green apples and horse meat when their supplies were cut off and about the struggles of the native population trying to cope themselves. He had to think about something fresh and growing instead of the death and destruction reality offered. I guess you could call it country boy therapy. Whatever, it seemed to work for him.

Dad said sometimes when they were tired and hungry with the snow falling heavily outside the shelter, one of the men would say "hey Georgia boy, tell us some more about your garden." Dad would go into great detail about how good the tomatoes would taste and how mom would fry a chicken better than they had ever tasted. "They didn't seem to understand about turnip greens and boiled peanuts" he said.

"I made my self hungry by describing the food and they were too, but it seemed to make us content for a while and this was the best we could hope for" Dad said. Having grown up in the deep south, he had heard about the "damn yankees" most of his life but he found out they were just people too. He would remain friends with many of his war buddies until he died.

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Every year they would have a reunion at one or the other's home town and I had the privilige to meet them and become friends with their children. He was, in many ways, closer to these men than his own brothers. Many would stop on the way to or from Florida and had the chance to eat some of the food Dad had described. Mom couldn't fry the chicken fast enough. I will always cherish those memories.

Well, he finally made it back home and indeed grew fabulous gardens. Some of my very first memories are of being there and helping plant the many vegetables we grew. It was work to me then and I really didn't care for it. My father however, always whistled and hummed as he worked in the garden. But sometimes he would get a faraway look in his eyes for a moment and I knew he was remembering something which happened during the war.

But he wasn't just good at growing garden food, he excelled at any crop he tried to produce. Although he, nor my mother, ever used tobacco in any form, he was famous for his beautiful golden harvest. Whatever you may think of tobacco, it was king then. He and my mom bought a farm and paid for it in two years growing tobacco. This was hard labor people. Tobacco takes most of a year to produce and the process is intricate

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Growing up and working on the farm with Dad I learned a lot from him. The older I got the more I appreciated gardening and growing things. In my case it was more exotic plants such as orchids and bonsai trees. I grew vegetables also as you can't buy a decent tomato anymore. But before long it was the whole shebang or nothing. Like my Dad, I needed a little country boy therapy myself and so do most of us.

My dad died while out working in the field one spring evening. He was almost 85 years old and as happy a person as I have ever known. When my mother and I found him lying on the ground beside the tractor, I thought he was asleep. He had been in much pain lately but would never stay inside the house. We knew we would find him dead on the farm someday but this was what he wanted. As he lay there he looked so peaceful and contented.

My father was not a rich man, nor was he famous, but he was loved by everyone. It seemed like he knew everyone in this area. He had given most of the local kids jobs in the summer and they never forgot this when they grew up. They would ask if their own children could learn how to work on Dad's farm like they did. For such a simple man my father had the largest attendance at the wake and funeral than any well-to-do person ever had around here.

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Although my father had fine clothes, he wished to be buried in his overalls. I slipped a pair of pliers in the side pocket and a small writing tablet and a two inch long pencil into the bib. A new John Deer cap was placed at his side, (one he had been saving) and he was ready to go. He was a truly religious man and had no doubts as to what lay ahead after death. I think for him heaven would be a garden.

After the funeral and the out of town visitors had left,(many were sons and daughters of former war buddies from all over the U.S.) I hung up my suit and headed out to the garden, only to discover my Mom and brother already there planting potatoes. It was spring and the garden needed planting and certainly dad would approve.

Planting the potatoes and making sure the eyes were pointed up made me think of dad when he would say "don't bend over in the garden granny, you know them tater's got eyes." This line was, of course, purloined by another Georgian, Louis Grizzard, for the title of one of his very funny books. For the most part though, we worked in silence because we were busy thinking about Dad.

Once I thought I heard him humming a tune, like he always did when working in the garden. But then I realized it was just me. I was also thinking about the pleasant look on his face when we found him. I wondered if he was dreaming about gardens. I think I now understand his contentment. It's in the genes I tell you.


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  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 17 hours ago from USA

    Well, HP is back to making me sign in at least twice a day. First time was this morning, second time was just now. Pests.

    Meanwhile, this is the second day in a row where I've had a deep sleep nap, I guess there's some sort of major maintenance or repair work going on I don't know about. Feel fine.

    WWNN traffic doing amazingly well for a Friday.

    A stay-at-home, uneventful weekend planned. Still waiting for Randy's biped pictures. The same telephone solicitor keeps calling me every other day, what is wrong with these people??? Might get a whole lot of writing done this weekend, all depends on how inspired I feel.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 22 hours ago from USA

    Randy, here's a barnburner, dated a couple months ago. The last half of the last paragraph of the first post you might find especially interesting. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/online/hubpages.ht...

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 22 hours ago from USA

    re: scooter

    A. It would be cheaper to fix the car.

    B. In this town, it would be stolen or I'd be run over within a week.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 22 hours ago from USA

    I've got some clicks where I know the earnings are dead wrong. What, if anything, can we do about that?

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 23 hours ago from Southern Georgia

    Get a scooter, Para.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 23 hours ago from Southern Georgia

    Yep Para, my AdSense earnings are down 34% compared to last year at this time. Strangely enough, Amazon sales are up. Plenty of AdSense clicks but they don't pay what they normally would.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 23 hours ago from USA

    Well, got two errands done and nary a criminal or law enforcement vehicle in sight. I almost alerted the media.

    I've realized I really don't like driving anymore. I might actually put the car in "storage" (free, in front part of driveway). The problem is that no car turns simple errands into major projects.

    I'd save one heck of a lot of money, but a large part would be given right back due to alternate transportation costs.

    The not-like-driving part though just might tip the scales. Plus, I always have the option to attempt resurrection of the Camaro at some future date.

    Gonna need to do more research.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 28 hours ago from USA

    Liz, I've already written over 50 of those, except I call them flash fiction. I'd post them on FB, but I am sick and tired of being ignored there.

    Meanwhile, looks like my referral link adventure has finally ended. Proliferation to the mirror sites has stopped and traffic for that hub has returned to its usual level. Fun while it lasted.

    Randy, AdSense does indeed have reporting issues. You mentioned the reduced CPC, but are your payments significantly less this year than last year? Just curious.

    Friday, around 5:45 am. Trying to decide how to spend this day.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 35 hours ago from Oakley, CA

    Well, there, POI, you certainly have the adventures! Have you considered screenwriting for soap operas? :D

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 36 hours ago from Southern Georgia

    Good to go!

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 40 hours ago from USA

    Hark! Just got HP scarfed.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 40 hours ago from USA

    I'm surprised nobody commented about my store adventure. If it wasn't for that extra cup of coffee, I'd have shown up before the sheriff's car, while the meth guy was still doing his thing. This town is going to turn me into a statistic yet.

    As for the free money, yep. This current adventure is courtesy of an article I wrote over 6 years ago. Well, that and the 8,267 edits and updates I've done since then. LOL Meanwhile, AdSense still perking right along. I so hope I can make WWNN a consistent, reliable money earner. As things stand now, we are too vulnerable to HP's whims. Speaking of whims, has your AdSense CPC improved at all? That was grim news.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 40 hours ago from Southern Georgia

    Yep, I appreciate every cent earned by my intellectual property. It's like free money....

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 42 hours ago from USA

    I have not been near flipboard in months, got inspired and made 7 WWNN entries.

    Meanwhile, AdSense is contradicting itself all over the place. This is due to different panels updating at different times, thus the numbers aren't reconciling with each other. Guess I'll have to wait until the dust settles.

    Too bad the link is about an arcane subject. Viral or making a big score is not going to happen, but not complaining. I am indeed getting a few extra bucks. Happy Camper.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 44 hours ago from USA

    Well, now... Woke up from an excellent nap and discovered that referral link has been spreading to mirror sites in other countries. And this time AdSense is not a corpse. Looking forward to a pleasant afternoon of house chores, WWNN work, and repeated visits to AdSense.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 2 days ago from USA

    I'm noticing that HP is no longer putting my hubs in the "Related" or "Popular" sections anymore. The writing is on the wall, guess I better really start throwing major effort into making WWNN a decent earnings site. I'm beginning to think it will soon be all that I have left.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 2 days ago from USA

    Happy Thursday, around 6:30 am.

    Well, according to AdSense, I did not get one single click out of that surge. In other words, I got robbed blind. Oh,well. Moving on.

    What with all my excitement about the traffic surge from such a major site, I never got around to mentioning my other adventure from yesterday. This has to do with the beloved town I live in.

    Ran some errands yesterday. First store I went to, there was a sheriff's car parked out front; tinted windows, couldn't see inside the car. I went inside the store. Three minutes later, in walks the sheriff. I've known the store owner for years. Between the two of them, I found out the following...

    Some guy, blasted on meth, had come into the store and started threatening everybody. When he wandered back out, the owner locked the door. At which point the meth guy started banging on the door trying to get back in. Then he went to the back door and tried again. Then the front door again, etc. This went on for over an hour (yep, that's how long it took for law enforcement to respond to the 911 call). Turns out I missed the finale by less than five minutes where he was put in back of the sheriff's car. Glad I had had that extra cup of coffee.

    Oh, and naturally I was panhandled as usual as I left the second store. Truly a lovely town I live in.

    This is a stay-at-home day.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 2 days ago from Southern Georgia

    Yep Liz, we've all been up that well know creek without the proverbial paddle I suppose.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 2 days ago from Oakley, CA

    Yes, entropy happens; or as a friend of ours put it, "Doo-doo occurs." ;)

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 2 days ago from USA

    As a side note, the surge was due to a short-term referral on the front page of a major site that continually updates. That's how I knew the surge was going to be very temporary.

    Sure enough, now that my surge has come and gone, the missing ads are back. To be both that incredibly lucky and that incredibly unlucky at the same time, I really don't know what to think. To have the ads disappear like that, just when they are wanted the most, really is disturbing to say the least.

    It won't be until tomorrow morning before being able to see the final AdSense totals for today. So I'll have to wait until then before deciding whether to implode or explode.

    Entropy happens.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 2 days ago from Southern Georgia

    I believe Google is simply getting greedier as this is my prime time of the year. I'm suddenly down by a large percentage compared to last year at this time.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 2 days ago from USA

    My subconscious just served up a horrible thought. What if G is running out of advertisers?

    In other words, what if there are now more AdSense websites than there are advertisers to advertise on them?

    The reason this is a horrible thought is because I'm pretty sure what G will start doing if this is indeed the case.

    A. Start killing off AdSense accounts they no longer deem worthy of their time.

    B. Start disqualifying websites they no longer deem worthy of their time.

    Guess which accounts and sites will be the ones to get the axe? Us little guys of course.

    If my advertiser-shortage hypothesis is correct, lets hope the ending of summer will solve the problem on its own. Though even then, that will only just buy us some time; the number of new websites that keep popping up I am pretty sure is exponential, whereas the number of new advertisers is not.

    Gosh. And here I was feeling cheerful today.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 2 days ago from Southern Georgia

    Yep, AdSense is playing around with the ads lately. Usually I receive a high CPC this time of year but suddenly near the July 4th holidays the CPC dropped nearly half. Apparently they're taking a larger piece of the pie than in earlier years. Greedy bastards!

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 2 days ago from USA

    What a world... One of my hubs got and is getting a very temporary surge in traffic. So what happens? Two-thirds of the ads suddenly disappear and just show blank spots. Needless to say, my thoughts concerning HP hit new lows. But then I discovered that suddenly the exact same thing is happening on certain pages of my website, i.e., two-thirds of the ads have also disappeared with only blank spots remaining where they used to be. So it is not HP, it is AdSense itself. The timing could not have been more destructively perfect. Oddly, I decided to just not care. I feel a nap coming on.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 3 days ago from USA

    Time and Space. Can't live with it. Can't live without it.

    Getting things done, but nothing really exciting to report.

    Glad to see that the GOP stopped Trump dead in his tracks.

    I see that the forums have gone from just being boring to people being repeatedly mean to each other. And that no hub is safe around here anymore. The character of this town has truly changed. I am glad to have been weaned from the place, though no plans to delete my remaining niche hubs yet. Working on WWNN daily; it's actually fun like the good old days used to be around here. Looking forward to the fall-winter-spring traffic influx, I need the earnings to throw at the Camaro vs. State of California problem.

    It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 3 days ago from Oakley, CA

    He will pop in unexpectedly at some point, I'm sure, just to startle you! :lol:

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 3 days ago from Southern Georgia

    A clean slate for the remaining PO's to desecrate. We like doing that sort of thing. Para! Para? Just like him, bitchin' about the loading time and when I give him a virgin....er....piece of immaculate space he goes missing. I am depressed...

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