Jeffrey B Kelly Oct 2017

Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly

107 E. 5th Ave., Rome, GA 30161

(678) 568-2276

October 2017


Have you heard of Mike Ragland? If not, you’re in for a treat from this master storyteller. Ragland is a retired major from the Rome City Police Department, and lucky for us, he now spends his time writing and documenting our local history. This month, I wanted to share a piece of lore from Ragland. You can practically hear the Southern drawl in his writing. His new book is also a testament to that style. Based on the true story of a series of murders and the woman found at the heart of it all, “Bertha” is a compelling read, especially to those of us living right where it all happened. If you like what you see here, check out his books and stories at

“To make this sound right, I got to start somewhere close to the beginning,” he said. “My real name is James Harrison Cunningham. I grew up with everybody calling me Jim. And then, in the army, everybody calls you by your last name.”

I stopped him here and asked. “You’re Jug’s dad aren’t you?”

“Uncle,” he replied. “Jug’s dad was my older brother. But we were raised on the same land Jug now owns, and so was our father and grandfather. But I left in 1944 when I got drafted. I got to England just in time to hit Omaha Beach. After we made the beach head we spent the next nine months or so crawling on our bellies all the way to Germany. The Germans were good fighters, but they were a lot like Americans and British. You could pretty much tell what they were going to do next. “Now, I told you that to let you know I liked the army all right and decided to just stay and do 20. It seemed like a pretty good deal to me. However, six years later, we were in another war, and I found myself in Korea. Way up in North Korea, nearly freezing to death, and then the Chinese came. They were nothing like the Germans. They were crazy. If you killed one, 10 would take their place.” “Hang on. You said you weren’t in a hurry,” he replied as he lit another smoke from the first one. “I had a reputation of being the fastest man in the unit. I had always been able to out run anything that walked on 2 or 4 feet. I had never been beat. “Our company captain called for me and told me we had no communication. He said that we were surrounded, and he wanted me to go for some help — and that the closest American forces that he knew about were 25 miles away. I waited ‘til it was good and dark, then slipped through the enemy lines. I covered that distance in about five hours. But I had to stop about halfway and take my boots off. I couldn’t run as fast as I wanted to with them on. Even as a kid, we ran the mountain barefooted. I got them help, and I got my feet partially froze. They gave me a medal and a little pension and discharged me. My army career was over.” “Not for a few years. Probably closer to 10,” he said. ”You guys almost caught us a few times — pure luck that you didn’t. “I stayed in the nation’s capitol for years just living on the street and feeling sorry for myself. Spent everything I had on booze. I broke the first rule of a whiskey man. You don’t drink the stuff you’re selling or get hooked on your product. But that’s what I did.” “What’s this got to do with the name Mumbles?” I asked. “Is that when you come back here and returned to the whiskey trade?” I asked.

Below you’ll find one of Ragland’s tales. I’d suggest reading it with a blanket and cup of coffee in hand, because it might just give you the chills. Mumbles and the Haint About 10 years ago I visited an aunt who was, at that time, residing in a nursing home. She was only there for a few months going through rehab. It wasn’t a permanent stay. While there, I saw an old bootlegger, “Mumbles Cunningham.”We had tried to catch Mumbles for years, but to no avail. He, too, was going through some treatment for recent back surgery. Mumbles, like most of the old line of Southern bootleggers, was very friendly to the police — well, really to everybody. It was a society that is almost completely gone. Oh, there are some people still making moonshine, but it ain’t fit to drink. They take no pride in their work. They’ll strain it through car radiators and put all kind of additives in it. Most people won’t touch it. I told Mumbles that I was proud to see him and asked how he was doing. We talked for a few minutes, and curiosity got the best of me. “How did you get the name of Mumbles?” I asked. He didn’t have any teeth and was definitely hard to understand. “I tell you what Captain,” he said. “Let’s go outside and sit on the bench where I can smoke, and I’ll tell you how it came about.” I went outside and found a good seat while he went to his room to retrieve his smokes. When he came back, he lit up a non-filtered Old Gold, took a deep drag, and let the smoke escape slowly through mouth and nose. “You in a hurry?” he asked. “These ladies won’t let me smoke inside, and they don’t like for me to come out here. But they won’t say nothing as long as I’m talking to the law.” – Jeff Kelly

“And then you came home, right?”

“Not at all,” I replied. Even if I had been, I wasn’t anymore.

Continued on page 2 ...

Break Free From Your Debt • (678) 568-2276 • 1


Maybe your decades-old car finally bit the dust. Maybe your ride got totaled by a teenager on a smartphone. Or maybe you just want a new set of wheels. There are a lot of reasons why you may find yourself looking to buy a car, and there are a lot of questions to answer before you do. The first question is, did you plan for this expense? The average American buys a new car every seven to 10 years, so if you plan on 20 years of retirement, you need to factor in at least two car purchases during that time — and possibly more. The second question is the biggest one: Where’s the money going to come from? Most people, including most retired people, will finance their new car and trade in the old one. This is a good option for people with steady retirement income, such as those drawing a pension. But it might be harder to get a loan

if your income is less consistent, say, if you liquidate investment assets every month to pay the bills. Third, could you just pay cash? Most of us don’t have buckets of the stuff lying around, but you can always tap into an IRA or other account for the money to buy a car. Try to do half in December and half in January to split the tax penalty between two years. You could also sell off two cars` and use the money they generate to buy one, which will cut down on other car-related expenses as well. The last question is, what are the hidden costs? Maintenance and repairs are just par for the course, but they don’t tell you that as you age, your insurance premiums could go up, especially after that texting teenager T-boned you.Your retirement planner should have a big-picture idea of what you should plan and watch out for when you buy a car.

Continued from the cover ...

“I nearly did. I made it to Atlanta and did the same thing for a couple more years, and then one morning, I woke up in Rome. I still don’t know how I got here. But I was walking down the main street when Jug’s wife, Sadie Jane, saw me. She said she recognized me from some old photos at the house where she and Jug now lived. I can’t see how, but sure am glad she did.”

It was big, grey, and about 10 feet tall. It had short things where legs and arms are supposed to be and one for the head. Also, I couldn’t see any recognizable features. It kind of looked like a cloud, except it was coming right at me.”

“What was it, and what did you do?” I asked.

“I don’t rightly know what it was exactly,” he said. ”But it was some kind of a Haint. You remember me telling you how fast I was? Well, sir, I started down that mountain wide open with that thing not too far behind me. It was screaming like a banshee, and I was scared to death. Nah, I was terrified. No German or Chinaman ever scared me that bad. I kicked my shoes off while I was running and put it in passing gear. I caught the first dog about a third of the way down the mountain and passed the second one shortly after. I was afraid to look back, ‘cause I knew it was gaining. Don’t ask me how; I just knew it. I was chattering so bad from fear that I chattered my new government teeth out on the ground. “When I got home, everybody, including me, thought I was about to have a heart attack. I finally got calmed down and was able to tell the story. Both dogs were home by now and had run up under the house, and even Sadie couldn’t get them to come out. “The next morning, we went back up the mountain. We found my shoes, light, and the .22 rifle I carried, but no teeth. We looked for several days but never found them teeth. So, I figured that was what that thing wanted, and although Sadie has tried to get me to get some more, I ain’t gonna do it. I’d be afraid that Haint would want them too.” “Yep, without my teeth, I can’t talk plain, and folks got to calling me ‘Mumbles’ because of it.” As I drove back to the police department, I wondered if I had just been had. Has another old-timey slick bootlegger just led me on another wild goose chase. Or was he just lonely and wanted somebody to talk with. “So that’s why you mumble when you talk,” I said.

“So, what did she do?” I asked.

“She took me home with her. Sadie, I found out a little later, is big on taking in strays — me included. She and Jug cleaned me up and fixed me a place in the back of the tool shed, along with Slippy Larue.”

“Who is that? “ I asked. “That the guy you see all the time with Jug?”

“That’s him,” Mumbles replied. “He fell from a freight train years ago and thinks he’s a butterfly. He really is about one taco short of a combo, but he don’t know it. Anyway, he took good care of me. “After a couple of years, I was almost as good as new. I started helping Jug and Slippy at the still. I pretty much got my health back. “Oh, I forgot. Sadie got me an appointment with the VA, and they got me some new teeth after they pulled the bad ones I had. “I started climbing that old mountain again that I loved so much as a kid. By the end of summer, I was back to running up and down that thing and it sure felt good. I couldn’t wait for fall and coon season to open. “We started going pretty much every night when it did. Jug and Slippy went a lot, but there were lots of nights when I was by myself. That’s when it happened.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“I was several miles from the house following Jet and Brownie, our dogs. They were hot on the trail of what I hoped was a great big one. It was a pretty easy trail. We had been on a fire break for the past two miles. It was a full moon, and I didn’t really even need my light. Then I saw it, coming over the top of the mountain.

Couldn’t have been the truth, could it?

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On our cover, we mention a couple spooky stories. But many people are even afraid of meeting with an attorney. The truth is, we are the easiest people on the planet to come talk to. There are a number of reasons why it is so important to get past your fear and talk to an attorney if you are in a bankruptcy situation. Free Consultation We offer everyone a free consultation. Even if you are unsure if you want to use a lawyer, it’s worthwhile to take advantage of your free consultation. The cost to file will vary based on the facts of your case. Knowledge Is Power In any case, the more you know, the more you can advocate for yourself. Especially when it comes to bankruptcy, the complicated laws make talking to a lawyer helpful. Determine Your Filing Options When it comes to bankruptcy law, you have choices about which chapter to file. We can advise you about which will best fit your case and cost you the least, both in money and stress. Save Money in the Long Run While using an attorney for your case will cost money, so will making unnecessary interest payments. An attorney can help you

determine if you can file for a chapter that will stop interest from accruing. For example, with Chapter 13, if you owe $10,000 in credit card debt and have an interest rate of 25 percent, you could save $2,500 per year in credit card interest alone. Find Out What’s at Stake Talking with an attorney will help you determine what is at stake. Are you concerned that you could lose your belongings? That your car or house could be taken away? Before panicking, contact us to find out what is really at stake. To start your new lease on life, consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Rome from the Law Office of Jeff Kelly.


This vegetarian meal comes together in less than 15 minutes. It’s the perfect way to avoid takeout on a busy weeknight.

Ingredients • 4 medium poblano chilies, halved and seeded

Recipe courtesy of

1 (8.8-ounce) pouch microwaveable cooked long- grain rice

1 cup (4 ounces) pre-shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend

1 (16-ounce) can fat- free refried beans

½ cup picante sauce

Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions 1. Place chili halves, cut sides up, on a round microwave-safe

and picante sauce in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spoon bean mixture into chili halves. Cover with wax paper; microwave on high 2 minutes.

3. Uncover chilies,

sprinkle each half with 2 tablespoons cheese, and

plate. Cover with wax paper; microwave on high 3 minutes.

microwave on high 1–2 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Break Free From Your Debt • (678) 568-2276 • 3

2. While chilies cook, combine beans, rice,


25 Atlanta Street Suite E. Marietta GA 30060 (678) 568-2276

This Issue

1 2 3 4

A Tale of Lost Teeth From Georgia’s Own Mike Ragland

Buying a Car During Retirement October Testimonial

The Importance of Talking to an Attorney About Bankruptcy Refried Bean Poblanos With Cheese

The Benefits of Essential Oils

Use Diffusers to Reap the Benefits of Essential Oils

If you’ve stopped by a health store recently, you’ve no doubt seen a huge selection of essential oils. These liquids, which contain concentrated, natural aroma compounds found in plants, are the basis of aromatherapy, one of the most popular trends in holistic health. Aromatherapy involves applying these oils to the skin or spraying them into the air. Skin application requires that you use diluted oils, because aromatic compounds are strong and can cause irritation. As a result of these concerns, many essential oil acolytes have turned to diffusers to get the benefits of aromatherapy in a safe, wonderful-smelling manner. In addition to filling your house with an all-natural, appealing perfume, aromatherapy has been touted as a way to help with everything from stress and insomnia to cognitive function and mood enhancement. To receive these benefits, you’ll need to pick up a diffuser and some oils. With so many options, though, how do you know which one is right for you?

extremely effective, but they are also large and expensive. Ultrasonic diffusers are similarly heatless, preserving the oils. This type of diffuser can also work as a humidifier, making it a valuable multitasker. Heat and evaporative diffusers are cheaper options, but they tend to alter oils or separate particles according to size. Once you decide on the best diffuser for your home, you need to select a few essential oils and put your new toy to use. Lemon oil is antibacterial and antiseptic, and will freshen your environment. Cinnamon oil can clear congestion and has a homey, autumnal scent. Eucalyptus oil is an air purifier, but its scent is strong and not for everybody. If you want to de-stress, try rosemary oil, which decreases your cortisol levels. Take note that you should alert your doctor before partaking in aromatherapy if you’re pregnant, nursing, or on any medication. While most essential oils are perfectly safe to diffuse, the compounds in certain oils can combine with medication and trigger adverse side effects. Once you begin diffusing, you’ll never go back to commercial, chemical scent sprays. The benefits are evident, and the results smell sweet.

There is no shortage of methods for diffusing essential oils. Nebulizing diffusers don’t require any heat source, instead atomizing the essential oils. They are

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