Dear Cousin Sam,
How ya doin' cuz? I know that it has been a long time since I contacted you. I'm sorry that it takes something like a death in the family to bring relatives together.
Your father and my Uncle was a great man. Do you still go by Junior, or is it Sam now?
It would seem strange to call you Sam. Your old man left some mighty big shoes to fill. I'll just keep calling you Jr., or maybe Sam Jr. That'll help me keep things straight, 'cause you know your dad and I were very close.
I remember as a teenager how much I looked up to him.......and he was always willing to reach out and give me guidance and wisdom, gleaned from a long life full of experiences, both good and bad. His falling out with his parents gave him a perspective that he was able to share with me when I disagreed with my father. Because they were later reconciled and able to recognize each other as equals and partners, he was able to get me to see the longer term picture.
His battles with his brothers taught me to work harder on patching up the disputes I had with my siblings. Standing up for freedom for everyone, even in foreign countries, motivated me to also fight for that in a place that most people would as soon forget. Thinking of him and Aunt Libby and the disagreements that they had with you and your brother and sisters taught me that sometimes we can learn from both those older and younger than ones self.
This being Thanksgiving, I just wanted to write and let you know that I believe your dad is still around.........maybe not as close as once he was, but his spirit still lives on, and I'm thankful for his example and for all the rest of my family, even as spread out as we are. Even though the times may be hard and unsettled, I have a confidence that as long as there are a remnant that remember him and all he stood for, there will be a brighter future to look forward to. We may have to exert ourselves a bit more to achieve it, but tried and true principals and commitment to them will bring us through.
Anyway Sam jr., I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you and look forward to communicating more in the future.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I seem to be out of the steam that keeps me chugging along here on the information highway.............well my little dirt road in Red Hill land......actually moved to the urban sprawl of the Classic City, home of the sometimes over rated and sometimes under, Georgia Bulldawgs. Kennel for Uga. My would have been alma mater, had I lasted more than 3 months away from my main squeeze (40 years ago, and still today). Well..
........maybe my grades might have been a small factor in the equation.
Still, I've come far, ("seems far", as Mr J. Johnson said). Can't say I've accumulated much moss on my down hill journey......mainly because I kept banging off bigger rocks and trees. In fact I seem to be like those river rocks as they wash downstream, getting worn more and more smoothly like those red sands you can find in the creeks of N. GA,......... unless you look at them with some magnification you wouldn't know that they were once Garnets of red and purple hue. Not worth anything, just a curiosity now........ something interesting to point out to the younger Grandchildren, who soon find shinier and more interesting things to oooh and aaaah about.
So I prop my wrists on the padding of the keyboard, in an effort to keep the blog from just showing a white page. Finding no motivation to rant at the latest antics of the inmates of the Asylum on the Potomac (AsPo)as they give away the store to the real Powers that Be (PB) the Money Manipulators of the World (MMW) who in their unhurried way, lured us all into more debt than we could pay, for things we mostly did not need, then went whining that we weren't paying them on time and, "OH Woe is Us", we're going to foreclose on the fools and get the government to bail us out at the same time. Does this seem a little bit like double dipping to you?
(well, I might get a little wound up yet)
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving............I'll work and loaf in alternate sequence here at home, since the Family will all get together on Sunday for our festivities. Got to give the hunters a chance to spend as much time in the woods as possible, although they have filled their freezers and are now working on filling the freezers of friends and neighbors. We just might be very, very thankful that they have these skills in the coming year or two.
I've really thankful that we are so blessed. It doesn't take much looking around to see people who have less material goods.......although I don't think we would make too many envious with our lack of marble mansions worth less than is owed on them, or our ten year old vehicles that aren't worth keeping collision on them since replacing a fender would cause the Insurance company to total them.
We're blessed that most everybody is healthy and have all their fingers and toes, although there are a few toenails missing here and there. Those with jobs are, at least for now, still employed. Gasoline is down to the point that I can fill the Dodge Ram for less than $40.00 most days.
So all-in-all we have every bit as much reason as the Pilgrims to celebrate and give thanks to The Creator that we are where we are, for there are some, like my redheaded nephew with the 10th Mountain Division, who might at times wish they were back in Maine.
Take a moment tomorrow, if you are so inclined, to give a little thanks for those who are not here, but wish they were, and petition whatever Deity you might prefer, that they return home, safely, soon.
Posted by kdzu at 8:13 PM
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I read on the Drudge Report tonight that New York City is trying to tell churches they can't take in the homeless at night. (Look it up, I'm too lazy to copy and paste and copy and paste)
One might be forgiven for thinking that a city the size of New Frooking York, New Your would have more important things to think about...........like how to keep some of those investment bankers from stealing the silver ware from the restaurants. (Th' Sumbitches...........or how to keep the billionaire who runs the place from screwing it up so bad that the subways begin to smell better than the garbage barges.
I've only been there one time for a very brief trip thru from the airport and then back to the airport. If the Jewish dairy farmer who was picking us up hadn't lived so close we'd have gone somewhere else. (although I really can't think of anyplace north of Virginia I'd want to live be anyway)
If I were a member of a church that would bow down to the Great God of Government (G3) I'd leave after shooting the board of deacons and all the Priests, Pastors, and Reverends. The Golden Rule doesn't say do unto others unless the G3 says you can't.
I surely hope that these Churches are extending the Fickle Finger of Fly Away (FFFA) to any of the minions of G3 which come around spouting that BS. Haven't they ever heard of Separation of Church and State. Oh yeah, I forgot the Bill of Rights is only in effect where permitted or prohibited by law.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Oh well, Just Damn Government. When they forget the true purpose of Law we descend into something that would sicken people like Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison and others. It's only by virtue of my strong gag reflex that I keep from painting my monitor.
Posted by kdzu at 7:42 PM
Friday, November 21, 2008
There are those among us who may have a negative opinion of anyone who joins the military, especially in these times. They may think that the only purpose of an army is to shot and blow up things and people. That is not, however, their only mission. Most of the time they have a higher purpose in mind, and the means of accomplishing their goal requires a little 'diplomacy by other means'.
I followed a link from LL and lifted a post from Soldiers Perspective. You can read it below. My sister and her husband currently have a son in Iraq. I know what kind of family he comes from. Service......not destruction...is his goal I'm sure.
Having once been in a similar situation......I know it.
Anyway read.......you won't regret it.
CJ Touching The Face of Grace (Tissue Alert)
November 20th, 2008 by CJ
I found this essay, written by the father of a deployed Soldier, on the American Legion website. It was introduced into the Congressional Record by Frank R. Wolf, R-Va, on September 16th. It's a very touching and inspirational story should be required reading by the defeatists in Congress. Here it is:
“Whatever your political take on the war in Iraq, nothing can alter it more than having a loved one in the midst of it. Nor is anyone’s current perspective balanced until they hear at least some things from a soldier’s point of view.
“My wife and I learned these truths when our son, a 2004 Handley graduate, decided to join the Army in 2006. His reasoning was simple: he wasn’t comfortable knowing that thousands of others his age were sacrificing their own freedoms to protect his. When he signed up to join those thousands, it changed our perspective as well.
“Up to that point, it had always been other people’s sons and daughters doing the fighting. Now it would be our own child. Naturally, no one wants their child to volunteer to go in harm’s way for freedom’s sake. It was something of a conviction, though, when my wife and I had to ask ourselves why it shouldn’t be our own son in the Middle East, why we should be spared the rituals of anxiety, prayer, hope and waiting that tens of thousands of other families over here have already endured.
“In early June, we flew to Fort Hood, Texas, to see our son deploy for a 15-month tour in Iraq. Again, one’s perspective is limited until one attends a deploying ceremony for a unit of soldiers. Spouses, children, parents, siblings and friends, all crowding a gym, all clinging closely to their treasures in uniform, accompanied by flags, prayers, cheers and tears. Our son had joined a ‘band of brothers.’ My wife and I had joined the ‘band of others’ who would be waiting at home. Both those going, and those left behind, carry the war on terror in a personal way.
“Still, those of us left behind need to see something of what our soldiers see, and not only what is offered us in the news. To that end, here is one story our son, Luke, shared with us by phone that must be shared with anyone who claims an interest in what our soldiers are doing in the Middle East.
“Stationed outside a city on the Tigris River, Luke had accompanied his colonel into town as part of a security team, while the colonel spoke with a local sheik. While standing guard, Luke noticed a woman approaching from behind and cautiously turned in her direction, his rifle at the ready.
“An interpreter told our son it was OK – the woman just wanted to touch a soldier. Still uneasy, Luke stood still while the woman reached out her hand and touched his face, tears in her eyes.
“Looking to the interpreter for meaning, our son was told that the woman simply ‘wanted to touch the face of grace.’ It seems this trembling woman, like most of the people in her town, looked upon our soldiers as angels of grace, sent by God to protect her from the violence and oppression her people had come to know up to then. Learning this, our son squeezed and kissed the woman’s hand, and she left, weeping.
“The ‘face of grace.’ How many of us, safe at home debating the politics of the war on terror, have ever seen our soldiers in such a light? How many of us have even read such an uplifting newspaper account of our soldiers?
“To be sure, our soldiers are not virtuous simply by being soldiers. At home in their ‘civvies’ they are as un-angelic as the rest of us. Yet when they voluntarily get into ‘full battle rattle’ (as they call their battle gear) in a hot and hostile land, their job is both protective and sacrificial – as angelic a purpose as humans can take on.
“People like this woman, having suffered years of oppression and fear, have eyes and a heart to see this, and the desire to “‘touch the face of grace.’ Do we have the ability to see our soldiers in the same way? And not merely our soldiers: Can we see the ‘face of grace’ in the police who protect us in every town, day and night? Or in the fire and rescue teams who are ‘soldiers’ in their own right?
“My wife and I obviously pray that our son and his ‘band of brothers’ will come safely home to their personal ‘band of others.’ After listening to our son’s experience, though, we have added the prayer that Americans in every community will be given the eyes and heart to see the ‘Face of Grace’ in all who protect our lives and freedoms – especially in soldiers like our son.”
Posted in Military Perspective
Posted by kdzu at 8:54 AM
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
the stupidity of people in large groups........and each of those individuals also, if you can.
Choices have consequences............even those of whom to associate with.
Kinda makes you want to have a short interview for intelligence before you talk seriously with them. Maybe a 10 question hand out that they have to score at least 70% on before you waste too much time............although now that I think of it, the entertainment value could be pretty high, so if you need a laugh, just jump right in.
Big chested blonds in the bar late at night might be exempt, but only until the next morning.
Posted by kdzu at 9:27 AM
Sunday, November 16, 2008
There's a new day a coming according to all those who want change in the world.
A day where there'll be no more war, no more hunger, no more hatred, all our wants and cares will be attended to..........a day where we'll drink free bubble up and eat that rainbow stew.
Of course there may be some who would ask, "Kudzu, who's gonna pay for all that fine ol' time"?
Now what kinda idjit would ax a stoopid question like that? Why the gubbermint will be taking care of all those sorts of things. All we gotta do is eat, drink, be happy and makin' more babies to be raised at the gubbermint tit, to grow fat, happy and voting the way they are told.
Our elected servants in the asylum on the potomac have just guaranteed the big banks that they have no worries, and will soon do the same for the big three automakers. After all they don't have to worry about the deficit between what they take in and what they shovel out. Why just crank up the printing presses boys.........well sign another couple hundred IOU's to the Central Bankers and money will float down from the sky.
I've been telling a few people (those that still come around. Few and far between nowadays) that the National Debt and Deficits don't matter. The powers that be will just keep on cranking out dollar bills by the bunches and all we have to do is hold our hands out and look up into the sky.
Now our new power that be says the same Thing.
Good times are coming boys, dig up yore Confederate money, they'll be redeeming that next.
Posted by kdzu at 8:10 PM
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I would really love to be able to speak and understand a foreign language.
Unfortunately I have never taken the time, or put enough effort into learning one except for a very few words of Vietnamese, German and Spanish. I really would like to speak Spanish since I'd love to travel around South and Central America. A friend leaving for a week in Spain seems to have sparked this wistful feeling in me.
However there are some things that you understand simply by watching them. Take this example from Youtube for example:
Just Damn! Who knew music could be so much fun?
Posted by kdzu at 9:56 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
As I came across the backyard toward the house this afternoon I noticed that today we jumped past the peak of our leaf season here near the Classic City. While the White Oak leaves are still mostly green, the Tulip Poplars are trading their brilliant yellow for brown, the Hickory leaves, also yellow and gold are beginning to fall more quickly, the Black Gums are still a brilliant red and falling fast, but the maples..
............oh, the Maples are the true stars of the forest. Red, and pink and subtle colors that only an artist could describe.
But the peak is past us, a heavy rain or combination of brisk wind and rain will carpet the lawn with reminders that we need to cut the grass one more time and mulch what leaves I can. I would normally rake and pile them to be placed on the compost pile, but this year I'm gonna leave them in place. The rocky red and yellow soil here can use as much help as it can get.
On another note.......thinking of the lateness of the year, I recently picked up an old clock I'd had in the shop to be tuned up and adjusted.
An Oriole model E. Ingraham, circa 1906, made in Bristol Connecticut. Part of the original label is still affixed to the back. It chimes on the half and top of each hour.
The steady 'tick tock, tick tock' and the chiming reminds one, as do the leaves falling and the grey in my hair, that time marches on, and waits for no man.
Posted by kdzu at 4:27 PM
Friday, November 07, 2008
Well, having finally regained my equilibrium after a couple weeks of sinus infection and bronchitis, I once more venture out to continue my yearly quest to drive one and a half times around the world at the equator.
It's a tough job, but someone must do it. Besides...........it gets me out of the house.
Visited a few of my more frequent haunts, up by Commerce, where whispering Bill Anderson penned the long ago hit "City Lights", to Lula, where there was nobody at home, and then down to Jefferson via Gainesville, where I found a temporary cure for my fever.
There was a wide range of emotions about the recent election, ranging from, Gloom & Despair, to mindless Euphoria, and a lot of people just trying to dig their way out from under a huge load of bullshit.
Me............I'm just glad that you can find gasoline @ around $2 bucks a gallon.
Besides............I've out run the devil that we don't know.
I was thinking that there ought to be better solutions for the current problems that polarize so many of us.
Maybe there is............
Posted by kdzu at 8:55 PM
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I've just finished reading this evenings post from SWG. A fine young man and a credit to his parents.
Go and read him.
He expressed many of the feeling I've felt today, and I had to comment on his post.
I'd been thinking of whether to post today or not. I can't think of anything else to say, so I'll post the comment here.
Eric, I'm not as old as the old man you remember, although my hair is becoming more and more grey, and my war was a little later, but still a jungle even though I flew over it. The feeling of loneliness comes to us all after we leave the company of men (and women) who are united in a commitment to freedom and duty to country on a daily basis, but rest assured that the same spirit still lives on today, and not just in the hearts of veterans, but in many good and decent people. They, and we, have a duty to speak of that spirit, to show by our actions that we will stand up for the freedoms, granted by God, protected by our Constitution.. ....sometimes forgotten by our fellows in their desire for safety or security.... never realizing that as ol' Ben Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Thomas Jefferson once said that "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
And might I add, "of traitors".
I'm not advocating Violence here, but we would do well commit ourselves to the destruction of thought and ideas that are contrary to the concept of Life, Liberty and Property. (Yes, I know the words used were 'pursuit of happiness') We can do that by living so as to show everyone we come in contact with, even those whose who might oppose us, the superiority of right principals over destructive ones. We must never let ourselves be defeated by the Mob of democracy. Rather we must commit ourselves to the rule of Law, which even despots must bow to.
It's easy to forget that while the results of the elections seem to speak ill for the majority of people today.......there were many who did not take advantage of the right to speak up for their rights to Liberty. We have not had in a long time, if ever, the total number of voters exercise their right to vote. If we ever do, we might be more pleasantly surprised.
Regardless, I will not surrender....tempting though it may be. And if it takes my blood to water the Liberty Tree....... so be it, they can have it, if they can take it.
I thank you for your service to our country..
....... not only in the Marines, but as a citizen exercising your franchise in the voting booth.
God Bless America (he will, but only if we do the work first)
Posted by kdzu on November 5, 2008 10:36 PM
Posted by kdzu at 10:38 PM
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Ol' Ben Franklin, a Founding Father of this once great Free Republic, an all round pretty good guy, considered wise by some (less now than then), now residing on the US $100 bill, and a personal favorite of mine, second only to Lady Liberty on St Guadians and American Eagle coins, had this to say:
"Those who would give us ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY, deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."
I wonder what he would think of this little statement made by the NEW MESSIAH?
With the new advantages in technology and surveillance, it may be time to change some of the way we do things.
Me?? I'm gonna start wearing a tinfoil hat and keep my ID, and money in a lead lined wallet.
Be Afraid........be very, very, very Afraid.
Posted by kdzu at 8:12 AM