I’ve NEVER thought of myself as cool.
I’ve always been dorky. Dorky thin, dorky fat, dorky thin again. Now dorky less fat. But never cool.
I get grief from my roomie about calling myself an iconoclast. When everyone had long hair – mine was short. When they all went yuppie short – I had a pony tail. All these groups of ‘individuals’, copying each other to find themselves. Sheesh.
But I was never cool.
Below, here’s a picture of me driving:
It was two years ago today…
Time flies (and all that)
I miss you, brother.
Take time today to hold those you love close, and tell them you love them! Because you never know…
Today is my Big Bro’s Birthday! Happy Birthday, Joe!
As he is 12 years my senior, we never bonded as siblings very much. My Dad married my Stepmother and we moved into her house with her almost grown children. (I’ve also a stepsister, Karen, who lives with her retired Army LTC in Alaska. I’ve written of him in these pages.)
He, much like my Father was, is a sports nut. I don’t think he’s as obsessed as my Father was, though. He’s always kept in shape, and looks great considering his age. I’m certain that’s because he still plays sports and is very active. He spends Summers back in Illinois at a relative’s place ‘working the farm’.
Not exactly a Summer a couch-potato like myself aspires to!
He followed his Mother into elementary education, and retired a few years ago after years of teaching the 6th Grade, predominately Math. Had to have been a labor of love, right?
I’ll always be grateful to him. When we moved into my Stepmother’s home, everyone had to double-up. My sister’s shared a room, and my brother and I shared a room. As a newly-minted Third Grader I liked it. I cannot image my college man brother appreciating it, though!
But, he never complained, at least to me. We spent many a Friday night watching TV together (Friday Night in 1960-61 was replete with Westerns!) and sharing a bag of potato chips.
And he spent many of the past twenty years caring for his mother in her declining years. I admire him for his selflessness.
Happy Birthday, Joe!
(thanks to Neatorama)
William Overstreet Jr. died in Roanoke, Virginia at the age of 92. During World War II, he flew a P-51 Mustang fighter plane. During the liberation of France, he performed one of the most daring fighter combat actions ever witnessed.
You can read an extensive wartime biography here. Mr. Overstreet was a daring and aggressive pilot. During training, he did loops around the Golden Gate Bridge. Later, in Europe, during the spring of 1944, he had escort duty on a bomber mission. He chased after a German fighter plane through central Paris:
The German’s engine was hit, and Bill stayed on his tail braving the intense enemy flak. His desperation undoubtedly growing, the German pilot aimed his plane at the Eiffel Tower and in a surprising maneuver, flew beneath it. Undeterred, Bill followed right behind him, scoring several more hits in the process. The German plane crashed and Bill escaped the heavy flak around Paris by flying low and full throttle over the river until he had cleared the city’s heavy anti-aircraft batteries.
(Len Krenzler/Action Art)
For his wartime record, the French ambassador to the United States presented Mr. Overstreet with the Legion of Honor in 2009.
-via Ace of Spades HQ
Tonight is New Year’s Eve! (for those who just crawled out from under a rock where there was no Wi-Fi.)
The traditional celebration of the passing of the previous year, and the birth of the new. Along with fond remembrance of times past. This usually involves food and sometimes libations.
Please be careful out there, and if you drink, don’t drive (or text or phone!) And watch out for those who have.
And take a moment to remember those who are no longer with you. And love those who remain.
Because you never know…
(courtesy of The Feral Irishman) I wish I had THIS Elf On The Shelf!
And lest we forget those who gave us the gift of their full measure of their devotion…
Per my daily almanac, today is the birthday in 1915 of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.
Whether or not you love or hate the guy, his music, his style, and his connections made him a force to reckon with in both the entertainment industry and politics. My high school choral teacher said he had the best phrasing, except for the whole “do be do be do” thing.
He came from nowhere, got ‘connected’, and the Mob allegedly paid girls to scream when he first performed live. He went to Hollywood, and it was thought his career had tanked. Then, he showed he could act. And he was renewed.
He was friends with mob guys like Sam Giancana, politicians like Jack Kennedy, and beauties like Marilyn Monroe. After Bogie passed away in 1957, he assumed chairmanship of The Rat Pack – a group of cool dudes including a black guy, Sammy Davis, Jr. This integration was unheard of in 50′s Hollywood.
He was a loyal friend. When Sammy got in trouble with the IRS, he didn’t tell the guys. Frank found out and called him, and asked, “How much are you in for?” $15 million was the reply. “I’ll write you a check.” said Frank.
He passed in 1998. Way too soon for my taste.
He did it his way.
I’ve a good, long-time friend named Jim. We met in 1960!
Jim is a former Marine, and has worked for the federal government for years. He is a good man, even though we differ politically and philosophically on many levels.
Jim LOVES trains. Especially train history and actually traveling in them. My father, who had worked on the railroad for a time (like his father before him) left me a gold-filled pocket watch, with a fob and locker key. The key was to his locker in Grand Central Station, NY!
Jim loves trains so much that for his 50th birthday, I gave him my father’s watch, fob and key. I knew he would appreciate it much more than me.
When we were in high school, Jim joined the National Association of Railroad Passengers. Got me to join, too. And Jim, his younger brother John and I took an overnight train trip from Flagstaff to L.A., and back (after spending a day @ Disneyland.)
Amtrak’s Auto Train from Virginia to Florida offers passengers complimentary wine and cheese, and three long-distance routes provide complimentary wine and champagne to sleeper-car passengers, Alves said, costing Amtrak $428,000 in 2012.…
“The Amtrak Inspector General has confirmed that Amtrak cooked the books to cover up food service losses that now approach $1 billion,” [John] Mica [R-Florida, chairman of the House Government Operations Subcommittee - DB] said.
The government running goods and services just isn’t healthy for the economy! (BTW – my ‘membership’ in the NARP only lasted one year. My heart wasn’t in it.)
Sorry Jim! And that government-run postal service for whom you work isn’t a bastion of efficiency and profit, either! Maybe they should increase the cost of their ad deliveries and get into the 21st Century offering Email and computer message services?
Just a suggestion.
OldNFO posted this yesterday (I’m certain with forethought of today).
His point was we might have won some battles, but may ultimately lose the war because of the lack of proper education of the young, who will eventually inherit this mess.
Regardless of the undertone of the message, I post it today to honor the memory of a great man, who grew in his lifetime from a proponent of gun control to become the President of the National Rifle Association.
Watch and listen. Remember and learn. Thank you, Mr. Heston, for all you did. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
OldNFO, NRA News
Brigid did a recent post about home cookin’ (who knew? :-)) with Mr. B and Midwest Chick, and included STEAK!
Geez, I miss steak… :-( (the image of Guffaw as Homer Simpson, reclining on the couch and drooling)
I’ve had a couple ‘home-cooked’ and a couple at ‘steakhouse’ versions in the past few years, but very few have met my very high standards. Even when prepared by me.
There’s one place that sticks out in my mind that gets it right, perhaps because I discovered it in adulthood and have only been 5 or 6 times. And not in recent years.
Founded in downtown Phoenix by Jack Durant (before 1953) this place embodies a time capsule for the late 50s, early 60s in terms of service, food and ambience. If The Rat Pack ever ate in Phoenix, this would have been their place.
The wait staff all wear tuxedo dress. The place is dark and cool, even in the Arizona Summers. The red flocked wallpaper is above the red leather booths. Think San Francisco’s Ernie’s in a smaller venue. The restrooms are well-appointed and the bar is fully stocked.
And the food. The best steaks and seafood on the planet. (I’ve taken the opinion of others on the seafood).
One parks in the rear (or uses the
varlet valet), and usually enters through the impeccably clean, organized KITCHEN (!), directly adjacent to the massive broiler.
Reservations are recommended for evening hours. The dress code, surprisingly, is as follows: NO SLEEVELESS SHIRTS ON MEN. I guess not surprising, as this IS Arizona. :-)
The desserts are to die for. The wait staff is always there, but never hovers.
Jack passed a few years ago. Ernie’s no longer exists. But Jack’s restaurant continues!
The billboard above the restaurant used to say it all.
“Durant’s is the finest restaurant in the World! signed/Jack Durant”
Durant’s gave me nothing to write this. FTC, find your own steak place!