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This tag is associated with 33 posts

A Triumph of the Human Spirit

Sometimes, I need a lift.  Not just a ‘good time’, but something to remind me of others trials and tribulations in Life. And how they overcame them.

Life – It’s not just a board game or a cereal, anymore.

Being a fan of movies, I look to them as a source.  (We’re not talking Pauly Shore, here, people.)

I watched one last night.  The Great Escape.  A fine film in it’s own right, based on a true and sad story about men fighting for freedom.  What they endured, how they overcame, and sometimes were killed.

If you’ve not seen it, you should.  Or read the book.  (You Tube gives me nothing FTC!)

Hard To Believe – It’s Been NINETEEN YEARS…

Yesterday was the anniversary of the accident.

2014-03-19 07.32.29Nineteen years ago, today, her life support was turned off.

Had she lived, she would be 31.  Instead, she is permanently 12.

She was a terrific kid, blossoming into a terrific young woman.  Smart, funny, aware, and a good citizen.

I love you and miss you Molly.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .

IF YOU TAKE NOTHING ELSE FROM TODAY’S POST, GO AND HUG AND KISS THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE, AND TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM.

BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW…

(and no place for comments today – you’ve all been kind enough, thank you! - Guffaw)

COOL!

Cool!

I’ve NEVER thought of myself as cool.

joe cool(Even when I was ‘Joe Cool’ hanging around the student union.  “What classes are you taking, Joe?”  “Classes?”)

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:

cool dude

Remembering…

It was two years ago today…

Time flies (and all that)

I miss you, brother.

markabell2

Mark Bell – click to remember

Take time today to hold those you love close, and tell them you love them!  Because you never know…

Happy Birthday, Joe!

Today is my Big Bro’s Birthday!  Happy Birthday, Joe!

joeAs 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!

RIP William Overstreet

(thanks to Neatorama)

RIP William Overstreet, A World War II Fighter Ace Who Flew Through the Eiffel Tower

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

Auld Lang Syne

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…

About Today’s Holiday…

(courtesy of The Feral Irishman)  I wish I had THIS Elf On The Shelf!

christmas_by_jace_wallace-elfMERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!  Peace on Earth – Good Will Toward Men

And lest we forget those who gave us the gift of their full measure of their devotion…

arlington xmas

REMEMBER

Celebrate Ol’ Blue Eyes Today!

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.

sinatra

Sorry, Jim!

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, the U.S. taxpayer-supported passenger railroad, is losing tens of millions of dollars a year on food and beverage service even after years of cost cutting, its inspector general said.

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.

(Hattip: Virginia Postrel, by way of the Popehat Twitter.)  Whipped Cream Difficulties

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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