Tim Timmons | Crawfordsville, IN

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May 6, 2021

Bubba shares Halloween tale
This article first appeared on Halloween 2017

Got to admit, I'm not crazy about the recent turn to cold weather. As I get older I really like warm weather. I hate to admit that - the part about getting older, I mean.
I especially dislike cold temps at Halloween. It's fun to watch kids, young and old, get into the Halloween spirit (no pun intended). Cold and crappy weather tend to put a lid on the fun, know what I mean?
At least that's what I was thinking sitting here at the World Wide Headquarters of our little media empire when the phone snapped me back to attention.
"The Paper, Timmons."
"This here's the operator. Would you accept a ghoul to gobblin collect call from Sammy Terry?"
This here? Ghoul to gobblin? Sammy Terry? This could only be . . .
"Hello Bubba."

Bubba and lessons from elders
This article first appeared in August 2017

A wise older fellow once told me that a man is judged by the friends with who he surrounds himself. At the time, I was a lot younger and might've had a shady character or three among those I could tip a cold beverage with. While I wouldn't say I disagreed, I wasn't sure his insight thrilled me either.
Last week, I was walking to the Post Office when one of the eight or nine regulars who read my ramblings stopped me and said they thought I was pretty lucky. As a guy who's gotten by far more on luck than any sort of talent, I couldn't agree more. Even so, I asked why, and was told that I have some great friends and they are a pleasure to read - Honest Hoosier, Bubba Castiron, John Hammer, the Bubbling Caldron, John Marlowe, Bill Boone, Karen Zach, Scott Smith, Neil Burk, Lori Poteet and others.
Like I said, I couldn't agree more.
That afternoon when my phone rang and I heard Bubba's distinctive twang on the other end I started thinking maybe I had jumped to too quick of a conclusion.

Bubba on writing gooder
This article first appeared in June 2017

As you may know, we've moved the world-wide HQ from the Elston building to the historic structure that used to house Crawfordsville High School. As with most moves, some things went well and some . . . not so well. One was the phones. Normally reliable, the service has been a mess the past week.
I was just wondering if we were ever going to get them fixed when the darn thing rang and nearly gave me a heart attack.
"The Paper, Timmons," I managed. Hey, us professional newspaper types know how to recover quickly.
"This here's the International Newspaper Federation calling to let you know you have won that Pullzer thingy?"
The voice had a distinctive twang to it. It also said "this here's" and obviously didn't know it's actually called a Pulitzer Prize. That could only mean . . .
"Hello, Bubba."

Bubba wants to run with the Bulls
This column first appeared in April 2017

I try to be cheerful and professional when answering the phone. After all, customer service is one of the cornerstones of our company and we want to treat our patrons wonderfully well, whether in person or on the phone.
But sometimes the phone seems to ring at just exactly the worst possible moment. You've been there, right? You are in the middle of something and don't have a spare hand . . . and at that precise moment, rrriiiinnnnggg.

Turns out Bubba IS a salesman
This column first appeared in January 2017

I don't know why it's tough to find good sales people these days, but it sure feels like it. Whether it's here at the world-wide HQ of the media empire that houses the little newspaper that could or at some of the many fine businesses around us, hiring managers tell me it's a lot harder than it used to be.
Of course we are currently looking for really good sales staff (Know of someone? Call me!) and I was deeply lost in thought on where to look when the phone suddenly rang and startled me out of a mound of resumes.
"The Paper. Timmons," I answered. (Yes, we professional news types are men of few words.)
"This here's Mr. Trump's executive administrative supervisory director of media," the voice on the other end said.
This here's?

Ladies & gents, meet Bubba Castiron
This column first appeared in late 2011

I was standing outside the office, getting ready to grab a bite to eat and trying to decide where to go. There are so many great choices and you really can't go wrong in Noblesville. Eddie's, The Hamilton, Jim Dandy . . . it's a tough decision.
After driving in, through and around the proverbial traffic jam downtown, I got even more frustrated when I realized that in my normal absent-minded state I forgot to bring a copy of The Times with me. Oh well, sometimes you can find an extra copy at our local eateries.
When I finally parked and went inside, I looked around for a paper. Only one I could find was occupied by a bear of a man with hands that told the world he worked for a living.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bubba and boys understand right to work
This column first appeared in late 2011

I'd almost forgot about my new friend Bubba Castiron, the bear of a man who makes new friends in strange ways. Almost, until I picked up the phone.
The accent and voice were unmistakable.
"Hello Bubba, how have you been?"
"Jes' hanging out," he said. "Hey, you remember that I told you you ought to hang out with us sometime?"
How could I forget?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bubba calls from the Crawl-On-Inn
This column first appeared in April, 2012

"Hey Timmons, did'ja hear, it's Bubba Day all over the world!"
I opted not to point out the fact that there probably isn't any other civilized country on the planet that allows their children to be named Bubba. You see, my redneck friend who proudly points out he wears a blue collar was on the other end of the phone. It was Monday, a day after a golfer named Bubba Watson won the biggest golf tournament in the country, the Masters.
"Didn't take you for a golf fan," I replied.
"Oh hell yeah," he said. "You've got to love a man named Bubba who owns the one and only General Lee."

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bubba doesn't like 4th without fireworks
This column first appeared in July 2012

The voice on the other end of the phone sounded like a bad imitation of a redneck Ernestine. You remember Ernestine, the operator Lilly Tomlin portrayed on Laugh-In? You remember Laugh-In, right?
"This here's the long distance operator calling person to person for Mr. Tim Timmons."
Long distance operator? Person to person? Who uses that anymore?
"Hello Bubba, long time no talk to."

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bubba was ready to walk on water
This column first appeared in August 2012

"This here's the White House operator calling. Hang on there for a second for Hiz Honor President Obama."
"This here?" "Hiz honor?" Only one person could be on the other end of the phone.
"How you doing, Bubba?"
"Dang Timmons! How'd you know it was me?"
"Lucky guess. So what can I do for you, Bubba?"

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bubba gets lesson in economics
This column first appeared in October 2012

"This here's the Mitch Daniels for President campaign calling. Is the newspaper man in?"
The voice on the other end of the phone could only belong to one person.
"Hey Bubba."
He sounded sad. "How'd you know?"
"Well, your voice is kind of . . . let's say, unique."

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bubba has a message for everyone
This column first appeared in late 2012

"Timmons, Bubba here."
What, no fake operator? No funny voice? No corny joke?
"Bubba, you OK? Did something happen to Tater or somebody?"
"Timmons, I ain't got time for fooling around today. I think we got us a serious problem."
Bubba Castiron is a self-professed redneck in a blue collar. We met just about a year ago when I was reading the paper while eating lunch at Jim Dandy. Since then, he calls every once in a while, usually from a little hole in the wall out near . . . well, not really near anything.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bubba captures spirit of the season
This column first appeared around Christmas 2012

"This here's the North Pole calling person to person for a Mister Tim Timmons."
I sighed. How in the world Bubba Castiron can possibly know the worst time to call is beyond me. But it's a talent he's blessed with.
"How you doing, Bubba?"
"I knew the North Pole thing would give me away. I'm good Timmons. Just wanted to call and wish you a Merry Christmas."

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bubba and Elvis save the day
This column first appeared in February 2013

"I got a person to person telephone call for a Mister Timmons from Gov. Mitch Daniels."
Really? Seriously?
"Hey Bubba, how you doing?"
"As much as you write about Daniels, I knew you'd know that wasn't his voice!"
I started to explain to my friend Bubba Castiron that he has a pretty unique voice himself. Kind of redneck mixed in with dim-witted. I didn't. It wouldn't matter.
"So Bubba, it's been a while, what have you been up to?"
"Not much, just wanted to say that I was sorry to hear you got canned."

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bubba has helpful solution
This column first appeared in March 2013

"Hey Timmons, did you hear the governor's mansion in Kentucky burned down?"
What, no hokey operator line? No fake voice? Bubba's starting out with a question, although clearly a loaded one.
"No Bubba, I'll play your silly game. I did not hear the governor's mansion in Kentucky burned down. What happened?"
"Dunno, but it damn near took out the whole trailer park!"

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bubba and boys have a plan -- Part One
This is the first of two parts. It first appeared in May 2013

"This here's the long-distance operator calling person to person for a Mr. Tim Timmons."
I groaned. The twang and outdated gobbledygook on the other end of the phone could only be my pal Bubba Castiron. Staring at me from my desk were about six reports I had to complete and it was already mid-afternoon. It was also my turn to make dinner tonight (which meant I was going to hit a drive-through on the way home). On today of all days, I just didn't have time.
"Bubba, I'd like to talk but - "
"Aw Timmons, you know you love talking to me. Shoot-fire, everyone loves talking to Bubba."

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bubba and boys have a plan -- Part Duh
This is the second of two parts. It first appeared in May 2013

It dawned on me that I did not have a phone number for Bubba Castiron, my redneck buddy living in a pastel world. Not that I really wanted one, but Bubba had piqued my curiosity about a plan he said would solve unemployment and welfare. So despite my best judgment, I decided to drive to the Crawl-On-Inn, a hole-in-the-wall bar out in the netherlands of Hamilton County, somewhere between Boxley, Omega and Elwood.
I'd only been there a couple of times and still struggled with directions. Three gravel roads and a ton of dust later, I eased past the tractor-sized chuckholes into the parking lot.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bambi steals show from Bubba
This column first appeared in June 2013

"Hey, this here's the social media operator trying to reach a Mr. Tim Timmons."
Oh, Lord. Social media operator? Really? Despite myself, I had to play along to see where this was going.
"This is him."
I heard a hand cover the mouthpiece of the phone and then a muffled, "Hey, he bought it. Shhhhh."
Why do I bother?
"Uh, we was just checking to see if you twitted today?"

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bubba tackles mass transit
This column first appeared in August 2013

I picked up the phone and could hear the irritating sound of someone smacking their gum. Loudly.
"Is this Tim Timmons?" a raspy, twangy female voice asked.
There was a heavy sigh. "Hold please for the CEO." The voice had gone from raspy to just plain disinterested.
I had a bad feeling I knew where this was going. "Bambi, is that you?"
She didn't answer, but I could hear her from a distance as she handed the phone off. "Forget it Bubba. He knows who it is."
Didn't phase him at all.
"Timmons, this here's the high-ranking chief executive officer of BBCGET Overland Stage and Transit Co. We want to invite you to a press conference wheres we'll announce our non-religious solution to Hamilton County's transportation problem."

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bubba & pals solve government woes
This column first appeared in September 2013

It was the worst Russian accent I had ever heard.
"This here's Vladymar Puddin' and you put Tim Timmons on the phone right now . . . comrade!"
I sighed. Bubba Castiron was on the other end of the phone. Whatever it was, it was going to take time.
"What can I do for you, Bubba?"
"Dang-nab it, Timmons. How do you always know it's me?"
I wanted to tell him I have a keen ear for dialect or maybe that I was clairvoyant. I decided on honesty.
"Caller ID."

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bubba and pals looking for Moose?
This column first appeared in October 2013

When the phone rings, you don't really think about it. You just reach out and pick it up. Maybe I ought to start thinking first.
"Timmons, want to know who's a great American?"
I sighed. The voice on the other end belonged to Bubba Castiron, an acquaintance who calls on occasion, usually with a harebrain idea.
"OK Bubba, I'll play your silly game. Who's a great American?"
"Ever heard tell of Bill Scott?"

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bubba slows things down for holidays
This column first appeared in December 2013

"So, you're too busy for us now, is that the deal?"
I sighed. Bubba Castiron was on the other end of the phone and it was a call I really didn't have time for.
"No, Bubba. I-"
"Then what, Timmons? We kind of enjoyed reading what you wrote each week and now you say you're not going to do it anymore. What's up with that?"
I had to admit that it's always a bit pleasing on the ego to hear someone say they like the fruits of our labor.
"Well thanks, Bubba," I said. "I'm glad to hear that you found pleasure in my little offerings."
"Yeah, they were great. We used to have a pool and whoever found the first mistake would win a quarter from everyone."
So much for ego.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bubba gets or gives legal lesson?
This column first appeared in March 2014

I don't get the pleasure of getting over to Noblesville as often anymore. Call it the demands of the job, call it being busy, call it the price of things going too well . . . ultimately, I call it my loss. Most readers of my wanderings might remember that this is my hometown and it's a joy to own a business here. So when I do get back, I really enjoy it.
Most of it.
I had 12 messages to return a phone call to a Mr. Bubba Castiron. My first thought was to not do it. However, I just can't not return messages. I can't not answer a phone, a trait that stinks when it comes to telemarketers.

Friday, March 7, 2014

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