Off Topic Messages

someone I knew via email passed away 4/21

Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:27 am

Although I never spoke with him or met him personally, I sort of gotten to know him via email. I'll explain.

On Sirius XM's Outlaw Country channel 60 there's a weekly show called "Hillbilly Jim's Moonshine Matinee": hosted by former wrestler Hillbilly Jim. Every week he had his friend come on the show & he told stories about hunting & fishing as well as stories about what's happening nationwide & worldwide. His real name was James Brent Travelsted but he went by the name of
Uncle Percy Mandoberg on the show. Here is [or was] his website: .

He once had an email newsletter called the "Grits & Gravy Newsletter", then for a year or so he gave it up for personal reason but recently brought it back for fans to enjoy. In the newsletter he spoke about various topics & even threw in a recipe for those that wanted to cook something interesting [I'll copy & paste his last edition for those interested to read it]

Ever since he debuted on the show years ago I'd email him various stuff such as holiday greetings, questions about various stuff related to the show & other things like that. He would always respond back
to me in a very nice, pleasant & respectful manner. Even though the cause of death's unknown at this time, here's his obituary. RIP my friend: ... 5c1eb.html

James Brent Travelsted

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2013 11:21 am

James Brent Travelsted, 51, of Bowling Green, passed away April 21, 2013, at his residence.

Brent was born Jan. 8, 1962, to the late James Kelley Travelsted and Carroll Perkins Travelsted, who survives. As a Bowling Green native, he was an attorney at law and a graduate of Bowling Green High School, the University of Kentucky and the UK Law School.

He was preceded in death by his father, James Kelley Travelsted, and his sister, Penny Travelsted.

He is survived by his mother, Carroll Perkins Travelsted; his brother, Joe Kelley Travelsted and his wife, Missy; two nephews, James Kelly Coleman and Patrick Neal Coleman and his wife Michelle; and one niece, Raegan Kelley Travelsted, along with many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

A private memorial service will be held for family, followed by a public visitation to begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Christ Episcopal Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Christ Episcopal Church, 1215 State St., Bowling Green, KY 42101.

Now in his memory, I'll include his last email newsletter:

"Uncle Percy Mandoberg (

Grits & Gravy Newsletter – April 21, 2013


I chose not to turkey hunt this morning so that I could finish this newsletter and spend some time drinking in what God’s garden has to offer. Some rain came through toward the end of this week which cleared the air and brightened everything considerably. I am sitting beneath a blooming dogwood tree watching four deer, two rabbits, and one hen turkey bask in the dawn. Quail are whistling all around. The crimson clover I planted with my fall wheat plots should bloom within the next ten days or so. Spring arrived late this year but it is no less wondrous than in years past.

I need to say a most humble thank you to the many readers who sent me e-mails last week. I received e-mails from as far south as Argentina; as far north as Alaska; as far east as Rhode Island; and as far west as California. Each e-mail was supportive and kind. I guess that means that all of the people I made mad chose to remain quiet.

I don’t have enough information to comment intelligently about the Boston terrorist attack. Accordingly, I will withhold comment until the facts are better known. I find it interesting that the Boston attack delayed consideration of proposed gun control measures. Why would we choose to disarm ourselves as the world becomes more dangerous? I understand that the United States is now a bifurcated nation. If I were a single mother in an urban area and the only time I heard the sound of a gunshot one of my children was at risk, I would certainly have a different outlook on firearms than I presently hold. I respect the rights of all people to hold individual opinions. That right is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. The right to keep and bear arms as individual citizens is similarly guaranteed. I do not personally own any semi-automatic weapons and really don’t understand the fascination with AR-15s and other “black guns”. Yet I will stand in solidarity with other gun owners opposing infringement on Second Amendment rights. Each of us as citizens has the duty to protect ourselves, not just from criminals but also from a tyrannical government.

John Kerry made an especially dumb remark about guns. He said that brilliant foreign exchange students do not come to the United States because they are afraid of private gun ownership. If John Kerry is the best man we have to put in the international theater representing American interests, we’ve got some serious issues with which to contend.

I am very proud of the Texas legislature on one issue. Recently a law was passed which preempted subdivision regulations etc. by authorizing landscape designs which foster water conservation even if those designs are inconsistent with recorded plats, etc. I can’t imagine what school of thought thinks that a chemical laden and artificially irrigated lawn is preferable to a configuration that conserves water and is self-sustaining. Of course, I also don’t understand why anyone cares what maternity clothes Kim Kardashian chooses to wear.

My current lot in life requires me to consider the two distinct and disparate methods of approaching a blank canvas. The first is easy and expedient. Don’t worry about the past; don’t worry about the future. Simply grasp the nearest and most easily obtainable materials and fill your canvas with contemporary and frivolous designs and patterns. To be sure, such an approach will win fleeting approbation and superficial affection. In reality, a canvas painted in this method is no less empty than the blank canvas that was originally presented. The second method of addressing a blank canvas is that employed by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and other great artists. These people approach a blank canvas with knowledge and recognition of whence they came. Rather than forsaking the best parts of their pasts, brilliant artists draw on the intense and lasting emotions they have experienced. Even when it hurts, they incorporate worthy parts of the past in a new picture for the future. This second approach isn’t easy and it isn’t fast. That’s why most people never paint a masterpiece. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: If you fill up your life with frivolous bullshit, that’s exactly what your life will become. The approval of fair-weather friends and popularity are as fleeting as physical beauty. If you want to create something that’s worth having in the long term, you’ve got to commit to seizing the parts of life that really make it worth living and you must be willing to stay the course.

Pam Dickerson is one of two wonderful ladies that has helped take care of me in an office setting for many years. She corrects my grammar and punctuation. She tells me when my sentences don’t make sense, and she also makes wonderful strawberry cupcakes. Since I’m not much of a baker myself, I am going to steal Pam’s strawberry cupcake recipe and share it with you. Here goes:

1 box strawberry cake mix (Pillsbury)

Substitute cup of strawberries with juice

(sweetened) for 1 cup of water

1/3 cup oil

3 eggs

Beat with mixer on medium speed for two minutes.

Fill cupcake liners and bake at 350 deg. for 20 minutes.


1 block cream cheese (room temperature)

½ stick butter (NOT margarine)

[beat these two ingredients for 3-5 minutes)

Add 1 lb powdered sugar and strawberry juice to flavor-approx. 2 t.

***Pam says this is not much of a “recipe”, just created with TLC. I say that you can taste that TLC and I hope that Pam keeps baking.

Have a great week! Put a few extra dollars in the offering cup when you go to church this morning. And, keep listening to Hillbilly Jim’s Moonshine Matinee on Sirius/XM Channel 60!

Uncle Percy

P.S. If you ever want to send me an e-mail, my address is

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