This tag is associated with 57 posts

Which Is The Correct Direction?

For some reason, my elders saw fit to pass trinkets from their lives onto me.  Some, I understand, like my Dad passing his Dad’s NY, NH & H railroad police badge to me. 🙂

And my Dad, his railroad pocket watch (complete with fob and Grand Central Station locker key)!

But others aren’t so straight forward.

My maternal grandfather (Gramp), took me aside one day and gave me a compass.  He didn’t explain where he acquired it, or who it was from.  Gramp passed in 1977 with this information.

I still have the police badge.  I gifted the pocket watch to my long-time friend Jim, as he has always been obsessed with trains, on his 50th birthday.  (He and my Father talked about trains for hours, when I wasn’t all that interested.)

I still have the compass.  Compasses of the same manufacture can be found on Ebay for $55.00.  Of course, they don’t have the personalization on the inside of the cover!







The inscriptions read as though they might be of military origin, including a 1917 date.  The Great War?  I’ve no way of knowing.  Internet searches of the initials and dates haven’t provided any further information.

As it is with so many things originating with my family, like what happened to my twin brother, I guess the answers are lost forever.


Rose Mofford RIP

roseRose Mofford, the last ‘beloved’ politician in Arizona (per Arizona Republic columnist Ed Montini), passed yesterday at age 94.

A Democrat, she spent her life in public service.  Born in Globe, a mining town to the East of Phoenix, she was an All-American softball player in high school, and turned down an offer to play professional basketball with The All-American Red Heads.  She married (and subsequently divorced) a Phoenix Police Captain.  They remained friends.

She became a secretary to the State Treasurer, then secretary to the Secretary of State.  Ultimately, she was elected to that office, then became Governor upon impeachment of embattled Governor Evan Mecham.

She chose not to run for office at the end of her term, and retired to private life. (above via Wikipedia)

She was famous for being professional, personable, and answering her own telephone.  And that ubiquitous beehive hairdo!

I had a run-in with her one day.  Or rather she with me. 🙂

I was at the Arizona Department of Transportation (this was during my career as a private investigator) and opted to cross Jefferson St. (a very busy thoroughfare @ 19th Ave. and Jefferson), by jaywalking!

Just before I reached the other side of the street, a car turned East onto Jefferson and began accelerating.

Into me!

I clapped my hands onto the hood to get the driver’s attention (and to pretend I could actually stop the car) and looked up in fear.

The driver was Rose Mofford!  She was Arizona’s Secretary of State at the time.  She smiled broadly at me, and mouthed ‘I’m sorry’.  I mouthed back,‘that’s okay’, and she drove on.

I understand she supported reasonable gun control (whatever that is).  Being a Democrat, I’m not surprised.

She remains a symbol for a kinder, gentler time in Arizona politics.

She will be missed.

RIP, Rosie!

Hugh O’Brian RIP

Okay, 2016, enough already!

Another one of my childhood icons, Hugh O’Brian, passed yesterday…

He was 91.

For those too young to be baby-boomers, he was Wyatt Earp in the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp 1955-1961.

When the Western was King.

(Yeah, he didn’t sport a mustache, and didn’t truck with hookers on the show, I know!)

(from Wikipedia)

O’Brian first attended school at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, then the (now defunct) Kemper Military School in Booneville, Missouri. He lettered in football, basketball, wrestling, and track. O’Brian dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after one semester to enlist in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. At seventeen, he became the youngest Marine drill instructor.


Hugh O’Brian dedicated much of his life to the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), a non-profit youth leadership development program for high school scholars. HOBY sponsors 10,000 high school sophomores annually through its over 70 leadership programs in all 50 states and 20 countries. Since its inception in 1958, over 435,000 young people have participated in HOBY-related programs.

One high school sophomore from every high school in the United States, referred to as an “ambassador,” is welcome to attend a state or regional HOBY seminar. From each of those seminars, students (number based on population) are offered the opportunity to attend the World Leadership Congress (WLC). In 2008, over 500 ambassadors attended from all 50 states and 20 countries. The concept for HOBY was inspired in 1958 by a nine-day visit O’Brian had with famed humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa. Dr. Schweitzer believed “the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves.”

O’Brian’s message to young people is “Freedom to Choose” as explained in an essay on the topic:

I do NOT believe we are all born equal. Created equal in the eyes of God, yes, but physical and emotional differences, parental guidelines, varying environments, being in the right place at the right time, all play a role in enhancing or limiting an individual’s development. But I DO believe every man and woman, if given the opportunity and encouragement to recognize their potential, regardless of background, has the freedom to choose in our world. Will an individual be a taker or a giver in life? Will that person be satisfied merely to exist or seek a meaningful purpose? Will he or she dare to dream the impossible dream? I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose, to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.

— Hugh O’Brian, The Freedom to Choose[10]
When I get depressed, and think the Hollywood crowd consists primarily of self-centered leftist morons, I remember there are folks out there who have dedicated their lives not only to entertainment, but the betterment of others.
Hugh O’Brien is one of those folks.
And now he’s gone.
RIP, Sir!  And thank you!

Mr. Crayola

I’m no artist.  Cannot draw/paint/sculpt to save my life.  Lucky to be able to sketch a short straight line if needed, usually crooked.  (I can sing (moderately) – but, is my singing ART?)

Because of this, I’ve a great appreciation for true artists, people like my college roommate Dave – who has been making art since he could walk.  And the classical artists – Leonardo, Michaelangelo and such.  Modern folks not-so-much.  An exploration of random color splotches doesn’t move me as does La Giocanda.

And my understanding of art is it is to make one feel something…

My friend Doc In Yuma sent me a collection of art (via email) which did move me.  Not just because of the skill of the artist, but, because of the media used.


A few examples, and his story:

Mr. Crayola Don Marco
Don Marco, the Master Crayola Artist

Don Marco was born in Northern Minnesota in the late 1920’s. His interest in art was evident even before starting school. As a young adult in the Army Air Corp, he began his life’s career in Air Traffic Control, which continued until his retirement from Honolulu International Airport in 1973. Much of his spare time was spent as a professional artist.
Before retirement, Don started developing a technique to create fine art, using Crayola Crayons. Shortly after retiring, he published his first print. Living in Southern California, his work was in demand, including commissions from Burt Reynolds and a one-man show at his Dinner Theater in Florida …

It’s hard to imagine these are done with crayons!
Burt Reynolds

Mr. Crayola | LETVENT.COM

Mr. Crayola | LETVENT.COM

Mr. Crayola | LETVENT.COM


Story Don Marco..... The Master Crayola Artist

Mike, I Salute You! RIP Sir!


Michael Brian Vanderboegh: July 23, 1952 – August 10, 2016

I didn’t ever meet the man, or here him speak.  But, when I became disabled and began blog surfing, I would occasionally stop by Sipsey Street Irregulars to see what he had to say.

At first, I was a bit shocked by his bluntness.  By the time I had begun my own humble blog eighteen months later, I had joined his ranks, at least philosophically.

I don’t think it was Mike who moved.

Here was a man who stood up for that which many of us believe.  Individual Liberty.  Not only stood up for it, but openly spoke of it.

Often to the confoundment of many controlling statists.

Even is his past few years, while illness ravaged his body.

Mike, I salute you!  RIP Sir!

3% Movement Flag

3% Movement Flag

(More from Ammoland Gun News.)

From my January post:

In his memory, and to assist Rosey:

Paypal to*
Check, money order, cash, etc. to Mike Vanderboegh, PO Box 926, Pinson, AL 35126.**

Thank you for them.



I don’t pretend to even understand it.

Historical examples include Socrates, who took poison voluntarily; Numerous Samurai, who committed seppuku because they violated The Bushido Code.

It’s not always about suicide, though.

And sadly, the antithetical, so-called ‘honor’ killings…


There are select folks in service to the United States, who have it.  Like this example given us by my friend Old NFO.

As compared to a certain Presidential candidate.

By The Book

Phillip Jennings is an investment banker and entrepreneur, former Marine Corps Captain who flew missions  in Vietnam and, after leaving the Marine Corps, flew for Air America in Laos. He won the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society short fiction award in 1998. He has a degree in business administration and is the CEO of Mayfair Capital Partners.  He is the author of two novels and one non-fiction book.

He authored the following article which appeared in the May 26, 2016 edition of USA Today.  It is short and should be required reading for everyone.

Secretary without honor

When I hear people say Clinton emails don’t matter, I remember a young Marine captain who owned up to his career-ruining mistake.

Apologists for Hillary Clinton’s alleged criminal mishandling of classified documents say that it doesn’t matter, that she really did nothing wrong, or nothing significant. But the real question is not so much what she did as how she has responded to being found out.

Once during the mid-1960s when I was on active duty in the Marine Corps, I was the air liaison officer for a battalion of Marines aboard 11 ships in the Mediterranean. As the air officer and a senior captain, I had a rotating responsibility for the nuclear code book, kept in the safe in the operations room of the lead amphibious squadron command ship. I shared that duty with another captain, a squared away young man, liked by all he commanded and the son of a very high-ranking Marine.

On the day our ships were leaving the Mediterranean, we met the new amphibious squadron near Gibraltar and made preparations to transfer security codes and other sensitive material to the incoming Marine battalion. The young captain was on duty and went to the operations office to pick up the code book. He was alone in the office. He removed the code book and placed it on the desk while closing the safe. In a rushed moment, he stepped across the passageway to retrieve something he needed from his quarters. Seconds later, he stepped back into the operations office and found the operations sergeant having just entered, looking down at the code book.

Against all regulations, the code book had been out of the safe and unattended. It mattered not that it was unattended for only seconds, that the ship was 5 miles at sea, or that it was certain no one unauthorized had seen the code. The captain could have explained this to the operations sergeant. He could have told the sergeant that he “would take care of it.” He could have hinted that his high-ranking dad could smooth it over.

But the Marine Corps’ values are honor, courage and commitment. Honor is the bedrock of our character. The young captain could not ask the sergeant to betray his duty to report the infraction, no matter how small. Instead, the captain simply said, “Let’s go see the colonel.”

That captain had wanted to be a Marine officer all of his life. It was the only career he ever wanted. When he reported the incident to the colonel, he knew he was jeopardizing his life’s dream. But he did it.

The results went by the book. The amphibious squadron stood down. Military couriers flew in from NATO. The codes were changed all over Europe. The battalion was a day late in leaving the Mediterranean. The captain, Leonard F. Chapman III, received a letter of reprimand, damaging his career. He stayed in the corps and died in a tragic accident aboard another ship.

I saw some heroic acts in combat in Vietnam, things that made me proud to be an American and a Marine. But that young captain stood for what makes our corps and our country great.

Clinton is the antithesis of that young captain, someone with no honor, little courage and commitment only to her endless ambition. This has nothing to do with gender, party affiliation, ideology or policy. It is a question of character — not just hers, but ours. Electing Clinton would mean abandoning holding people accountable for grievous errors of integrity and responsibility. What we already know about her security infractions should disqualify her for any government position that deals in information critical to mission success, domestic or foreign. But beyond that, her responses to being found out — dismissing its importance, claiming ignorance, blaming others — indict her beyond anything the investigation can reveal. Those elements reveal her character. And the saddest thing is that so many in America seem not to care.

And I cannot understand why people are letting this slide… NONE of the veterans I know are, that’s for sure…

h/t JP

I hold out that someone, somewhere will eventually grok honor…

It does seem as though it is missing from the national character, though…


Mike Vanderboegh (A Post Script and a Bleg From Guffaw)

Yes, my friends, he is still here.  Hanging on.

My blogfriend Wirecutter posted the following:

Skype interview with Mike Vanderboegh

by Wirecutter

USA – -( Liberty advocate, citizen journalist and self-described “smuggler” Mike Vanderboegh talked about his health, his blog and the principles of the “Three Percent” movement in an exclusive interview with this correspondent, recorded in late May. The audio file, converted to a YouTube video, is presented at the end of this introduction.

The file is a bit rough, and I need to take responsibility for that. I make no pretenses of being a videographer, and had never tried to record a Skype call before, which is how we did the interview. Since that doesn’t have a recording feature, free software was used which did not record video. Due to inexperience and lack of proper equipment, I was getting a reverberation loop or whatever you call it whenever Mike spoke — his voice going into his laptop microphone and then coming back out from his speakers after a fraction-of-a-second lag made the whole interview seem like a wasted effort. Fortunately, my son and his friend have both the software and skills to take the repetition out, so there are only a few instances of garbling. And in this case, it’s the message, not the presentation, that’s significant, and that comes through loud and clear.

Below is the video on youtube. Please share this everywhere. Send it to your friends, share it on facebook, share it on your firearms forums and tell them to start paying serious attention around the 9 minute mark.

Here is a man who is giving (has given?) his life for the American Principles on which he stands.  He has traveled the Nation, at great personal expense, to debate issues of civil rights and liberties now largely lost to the American electorate.

My past couple of posts have asked you to take action.  One was about letting BIGGOV know we won’t stand for them blocking rights of Social Security recipients.  The second was asking you to send a message to the Troops, of thanks, via the USO.

Today, I have a third request.  I asked this once before, back in January.  Mike Vanderboegh has given so much to the cause of Liberty.  Please help his family to deal with the many hits to their finances because of his declining health.

Paypal to*
Check, money order, cash, etc. to Mike Vanderboegh, PO Box 926, Pinson, AL 35126.**

Thank you for your kindness.


(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to


Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #10 of 22)

Unsung Heroes

There is a prevalent attitude to laud our own heroes, and minimize others.  I suspect this has to do with patriotism and nationalism.  And as far as it goes, there is nothing wrong in so doing.

However, it is also good to acknowledge others from other cultures who did what is right, rather than as they were ordered.

The many Germans who hid and smuggled out Jews; the North African Arabs who protected Jews and Christians.  There are many others unsung.

And then there’s THIS GUY (from Brock Townsend):

The Man who Saved the World

“A guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world.” –  Thomas Blanton in 2002 (then director of the National Security Archive)

Last month, October 27, 1962 marked the 50th anniversary of an event too important in world history for it to get lost amid the Halloween and other “trivial” holiday-related notifications. I therefore chose to wait until they were over to pay due honor to this truly great and heroic gentleman who is sadly almost unknown outside his mother country: Vasili Arkhipov.

At the nail-biting height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, second-in-command Vasili Arkhipov of the Soviet submarine B-59 adamantly refused to follow his commanding officers’ order to launch nuclear torpedoes against USA warships which had been dropping depth charges near his submarine in a attempt to force it to surface.

I’ve never been a fan of communism, the Soviet system or their minions.  But doing the right thing against orders is indeed brave – especially in such a system!

На Здоровье!

(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to


Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #4 of 22)

Today In History, Recent and A Few Years Ago…

Muhammad-Ali-quote-on-courageMuhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) is one of my childhood heroes.  Not so much because of specifics (being a great athlete/boxer – which he was), but because he stood for something.  And if his goals were boasts, he surpassed them.

By taking risks.

In spite of being a member of a controversial religious sect, he gave millions to charities for all races.

One of his biggest supporters was broadcaster Howard Cosell, who was unashamedly Jewish.

Hardly following the party line of radical Islam there, Mr. Ali.  Good for you!

He passed yesterday from complications due to Parkinson’s disease.  Not a serene way to go.  Just short miles from a hospital wing bearing he and his wife’s name.  For treatment of Parkinson’s.

“I AM THE GREATEST!” he used to boast.

He was.


Today is the 27th Anniversary of the ending to the protests in Tianamen Square, Peking, P.R.C.  We all remember that famous photo of the guy and the tank.

Here it is, in a wider view:

a everyone-knows-the-photo-of-tankman-stopping-tanks-but-this-the-real-photo-s800x571-437607-1020

Makes me think of the force of unfettered government versus the individual.

I wonder if he had heard of Muhammad Ali?

(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to


Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #2 of 22)


And, in case you forgot…


Nothing more need be said.

Except perhaps a silent prayer of thanks.


"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…