To all my friends and family near and far.
And, to all my Jewish friends,
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.
Christmas Eve at my niece’s last night!
“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.
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.
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 is a childhood memory.
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.
I’m glad they are together now.
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, 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.
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.
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!)
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
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:
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!
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!
(More from Ammoland Gun News.)
From my January post:
In his memory, and to assist Rosey:
Paypal to email@example.com*
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…
I hold out that someone, somewhere will eventually grok honor…
It does seem as though it is missing from the national character, though…