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This tag is associated with 67 posts

Perspective

If you’ve not noticed, I’ve been doing a lot of whining recently.  (And how could you NOT?)

Health issues, money issues, issues with insurance, maintenance and repair of the residence, yatta, yatta, yatta…

Sometimes it’s all on which I focus.

I’m human.

But, recent events have come to pass involving others, which puts things in perspective.

My friend and former boss, John, with whom I recently re-connected on FB, has had it rough.  When I knew him back in college, he had it ‘all’.  Former Marine, married to a beautiful woman, a nice house.  I had none of these things.  During the subsequent years, he lost his marriage, his home, his livelihood.

Sometime in the interim, he rejoined the Service, the second time the Navy!

After his discharge he lived on the streets for eleven years!

He is now on VA-related disability, and helps homeless vets with his own funds when he is able (!)

Sadly, he is battling a slow leukemia.  And just found out that his heart is failing, AND, he has lung cancer!!!

In another part of the Republic, Brigid’s father may be on his way out.  He is a WWII AAC veteran, and still lives in Brigid’s childhood home.  He recently contracted pneumonia, often deadly for older folks.  His next birthday he will be 97.  If he makes it.

Here are two fine men.  They have served their country.  Raised decent and proper children.  One of whom is a dear friend.

And here I am whining.

I am currently in an undisclosed location (paid for by J’s homeowner’s insurance).  A hotel, enabling us to get a hot shower and stay out of the repair zone while the insurance adjuster, contractors, plumbers, et al  fight it out for repair of the one bath in the house with a shower.  Because of a ceiling leak.

I worry about the minutiae.  Having to use part of the deductible funds to ‘secure the room’, for example.

But, while I am ill, it doesn’t appear lethal.

Perspective, I’m tellin’ ya!

Be grateful for that which you have.

I’m still learning this lesson…

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Rifleman Babylon?

When I was growing up, there were numerous Westerns on television.  Being raised by TV, I was familiar with most.  One of them was The Rifleman (1958-1963).

The Rifleman, aka Lucas McCain, was played to his macho hilt by Chuck Connors, a 6’5″ athlete (from Wikipedia, in part):

Kevin Joseph Aloysius “Chuck” Connors (April 10, 1921 – November 10, 1992) was an American actor, writer and professional basketball and baseball player. He is one of only 12 athletes in the history of American professional sports to have played both Major League Baseball and in the National Basketball Association. With a 40-year film and television career, he is best known for his five-year role as Lucas McCain in the highly rated ABC series The Rifleman (1958–63).[1]

There was a book, first published in 1965, entitled Hollywood Babylon.  There have been two subsequent printings.  The book went out of it’s way to defame the famous in Hollywood, mentioning the scandals, the rumors, the crime, the ‘dirt’ for which the public was so hungry.  Sal Mineo, Sharon Tate, Jayne Mansfield et al.

I don’t believe Chuck was mentioned in any of them.

The theme of the TV show was almost always (TV violence aside), a lesson which Lucas (a widower) would impart to his young son, Mark.  I remember one particular episode wherein the lecture was (at the end of the show after much gunfighting) regarding people who are differentAnd just because they are different, doesn’t automatically make them BAD.  And how we, as honest human beings should strive to be accepting of such folk.

Of course, I was a kid, so this message went over my head.  When I saw the show again years later, some additional context was added.

An acquaintance, who has been a professional gun writer for many years, happened to see Chuck Connors at a large California gun show.  IN FULL DRAG! – complete with a wig and makeup!  This was a short time before he passed away.

This is not to defame Mr. Connors, but to suggest perhaps he and the TV show writers had a meeting-of-the-minds (?)

There are further rumors regarding Mr. Connors behavior all over the Internet.  As there are with pretty much anyone regarded as ‘famous’.

Just because it says so on the Internet doesn’t make it true! – Abraham Lincoln

I remember sharing this tale with a collections manager @ TMCCC* (my last workplace).  He ran away from me, covering his ears as though he were five years old!  Obviously, I had been messing with a macho hero of his!

Be judicious with whom you share this tale.

*That Major Credit Card Company

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 

Most of you know this is a bad time of year for me.

I’ve not happily celebrated this holiday for years.  I remember prepping my daughter on Friday for school, making certain she had something green on.

Then, the weekend occurred. (1995)

But, I saw a cartoon on FB recently, that made me chuckle. Guess that means I am healing (?)

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, on a Friday, just as it was 22 years ago.  Most Fridays (in recent memory) I wear a red shirt, as I am a member of the Red Shirt Society.  (NO, not the Italian militia, Southern white supremacist group, or an expendable Star Trek guy!)

It would be awesome if everyone wore RED Shirts every Friday in honor of our military who are deployed. WE as American citizen’s need to keep our Veterans and Military close to our heart and in our prayers.

R – Remember
E – Everyone
D – Deployed

But today, in deference to my celebrating the holiday for the first time in 22 years, I am wearing the GREEN!  (Orangemen, of course, are acceptable, too – this IS The United States!)  🙂

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY, EVERYONE! – O’Guffaw

 

The Whole Cloth Of History

(from Free North Carolina)

Save the Robert E. Lee Statue

Via Billy

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In an article entitled “Historic Preservation Still Unites Us” First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe touts the worthiness of historic preservation: “May we Virginians, and all Americans, continue to enjoy history through preservation and never take for granted that its lessons are the guideposts to a better future.”

We could not agree more with this statement but recognize that in the Commonwealth of Virginia there exists a hypocritical double-standard regarding historic preservation. Confederate monuments and memorials are currently the lowest hanging fruit – ripe and easy targets for those who view history with tunnel vision. It should not be this way – we as Americans should protect our past instead of shunning it. Existing memorials in our public spaces should not be banished from their long-standing locations based on emotion and divisive politics. The poet John Donne famously wrote “no man is an island,” and these monuments are not islands either – they are connected to the communities in which they reside. And they tell a story, not just about the events and people they depict, but about those who commissioned and sculpted them to vivid life. If historic preservation matters, it should matter for all Registered Historic Landmarks, and not just those deemed “acceptable” by the powers that be.

The attorneys retained to fight Charlottesville City Council’s vote to remove the Robert E. Lee Monument from Lee Park are diligently preparing their case. Rest assured that they do not take this charge lightly and will proceed with filing at the precise and practicable moment.

We appreciate your patience, support and contributions as this issue moves forward. If you have donated, Thank You. We have been touched by the messages we have received and the willingness of people across the country and even overseas to contribute to save history. If you haven’t donated and feel this issue is important, please consider a contribution – no amount is too small to help us win this battle:

Online
Checks payable to: The Monument Fund, Inc., P.O. Box 483, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902. All contributions are tax deductible.

The idea such actions to save historical monuments are even necessary is horrific! 
First, I’m a believer in this Nation’s history, warts and all.
Second, didn’t the United States Congress pass legislation almost 100 years ago stating that ALL military participants in the Civil War (or the War Between the States, or the recent unpleasantness, if you prefer!) were VETERANS as such deserving of remembrance and monuments as much as the Union soldiers?
And that desecration or removal of military monuments was against federal law?

Confederate Soldiers are American Veterans by Act of Congress

Sadly, this is not the only location or action taken against Confederate monuments.  Politically correct forces are continuing to try to erase American History (and by extension free speech), lest the young learn about the whole cloth of history!
It’s disgusting!
Please help if you can.

Bittersweet

It’s February 8th.

Regular readers might remember this is my daughter Molly’s birthday.  In this case her 34th.  Sadly, she only made it to her 12th.  😦

(The twenty-second anniversary of the accident that took her from us is in about five weeks.)

Molly 1986 2

I try to remember happier birthdays.

Last year, another element was added to this date.

Bob Hall, my dear friend whom I met when were worked as private investigators together, who before had attended junior high and high school with my then wife-to-be, and later managed the Legendary Gun gun store (where I worked part time, for a while) in 2016 passed into eternity.  Complications from cancer.

See, I told you this time of year sucked for me.

People we care about love, passing way before their time is a travesty!

Please take the opportunity today to hug those close to you, and tell them you love them.

You never know…

 

It’s The Beginning Of That Time Again…

…Actually, the beginning was last Halloween.

Yeah, I know, I can be a bit maudlin.

Time marches on, things change, people pass away.

It’s one thing when it’s an aged relative – that’s unpleasant, but expected.

But when it’s a child or a dear friend in their prime.

THAT’S when it gets me.

Recent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas aside, now it gets more personal.

For the next six weeks, or so.

Today is Ground Hog Day.  I hear tell he saw his shadow – six more weeks of winter.  Perfect!

Yesterday was, by my recollection, Ground Hog Eve.  Marked on my calendar to remember a dear friend.

MARK BELL

As previously recounted in these pages, Mark passed in 2012 a from a sudden, unanticipated heart attack.  We had gone shooting together the previous Sunday.  His passing happened on Ground Hog Eve.

I have had many friends over the years.  Mark was one of the best, the most kind, giving, and funny.  A USN veteran.

His definition of guffaw remains at the top of this page in his honor.

I love you and miss you, my dear friend.

Mark Bell, R.I.P.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

To all my friends and family near and far.

And, to all my Jewish friends,

HAPPY HANUKKAH!

And to my ‘other’ friends,

Joyous Solstice (belatedly)

And Best Wishes for a Safe and Healthy return for those in service to this Great Republic!

And to everyone, regardless,

PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TO MEN

Let’s hope 2017 is a better year for everyone.

Guffaw

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Christmas Eve at my niece’s last night!

Where Were YOU When…?

“December 7th, 1941.  A date which will live in INFAMY!”

I wasn’t yet born.  But I remember it was a touchstone for persons of my Father’s generation.

Where were YOU when Pearl Harbor happened?

I’m certain each generation has their historical event…

(Going back before Pearl Harbor)

The beginning of The Spanish-American War.

The sinking of the Titanic.

WWI

The Lusitania

The End of the War to End All Wars

But, Pearl Harbor sticks in my mind, because I’ve met folks who were there.  It’s not just from the history books, like the Civil War, the Indian Wars, “Remember the Maine!”

As the JFK assassination is for MY generation.

And the first World Trade Center bombing, Khobar Towers, the U.S.S. Cole and the second World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.  And Flight 93 are for subsequent generations.

Each generation has it’s historic marker.  Some, sadly, more than one.

It’s up to US to keep the memories alive, with politically-correct history textbooks barely mentioning such events.  If they mention them at all.

Does this make us warmongers?  Hardly.

This is the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.  If you were 17 at the time (and got permission, or lied) you could have been there.  You would now be 92, if still alive.  Veterans are passing daily into history.

Thank you for your service.

It is important to remember from whence we came, lest history repeat.  We must learn from our mistakes, and others.

And remain vigilant.

pearl

 

Veterans Day

vet-day-2016

I always tried to make it a practice at TMCCC to stop by the desks of veterans with whom I worked and thank them for their service.

As I can no longer do that…
Lonnie, Glenn, Glenn, John, Stan, Jim, Jodie, Ardith, John, and Gloria.

Thank you for your service!

Helen Rawls RIP

Tempus Fugit

Helen Rawls is a childhood memory.               Helen Rawls Obituary

Jim (about who was written here previously) is my oldest continuous friend.  I’ve known him since August 1960, when he was in First Grade and I in Third.  She was his mother.

Helen passed on Halloween at 97.

from her Arizona Republic obituary (in part):

…She spent the remaining years of her childhood in Indianapolis, graduated from Short Ridge High School, became a stenographer, and joined the Army. She was one of the first women (other than nurses), to be a member of the armed forces.

… Helen was active in the Community Christian Church, as a member of the ASU Faculty Wives and the League of Women Voters. She was also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, tutored at local schools, and worked with various other charities. She lived the last 29 years of her life at Friendship Village Tempe.

Services are at Friendship Village Health Care Center – 2525 E. Southern Ave. Tempe, on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm. Contributions can be made to a charity of your choice , in Helen’s name.

Until I read the above, I’d not known she had been in the Army.  She was my friend’s mom.  And a fine woman.  She was pre-deceased by her husband Bill, who had been a physics professor at A.S.U. in 1996.

Bill had served in the Navy.  My thanks to you both for your service.

Helen and Bill were the most functional family on the block.  (Obviously, an improvement over my dysfunctional family!)  Raised quality kids, participated in church and civic affairs, recycled before it was cool.  I knew Helen as just one of the housewives on the block.

Hardly just!

I’m glad they are together now.

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…