Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Friend sends me history of USS Pickens

Christmas is over but I have just received a great gift. John White, son of a former shipmate, has sent me a copy of the history of the USS Pickens, APA 190.  John has sent me material several times that he received and saved  from his father, the late Mark White.  Mark was a pharmacist mate,  ship photographer and beach party member. He also became friends with Joe Rosenthal, who traveled to Iwo Jima on our ship. Joe, of course, took the famous picture of the flag raising.

I have been searching for the ship history for several years.  Somehow I have misplaced it along with two navy discharges (first from active duty in 1946 and second from naval reserves  in 1964) and  my notice of separation. Several years ago I gave  an oral history to the Norton Art Museum and sometime later the museum posted pictures and a summary on the internet. I found it by chance one day.  It can by accessed as roy lowe -- navy.

Thanks a lot, John. This means so much to me.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Like Medicare entitlement programs grow and grow

Everyone knows that if this nation has a chance of surviving spending must be reduced.  Obama made our situation much worse but excess spending on entitlements did not start with him.  Once a program begins it always grows out of control. Take for example medicare:

At its beginning in 19666 Medicare cost $3 billion with estimates that a quarter century later it would cost $12 billion. But in 1990 Medicare topped $107 billion.  Today's Medicare comes to $523 billion and shows no sign of leveling off.

We admit the program has much waste and fraud, but who is going to cut it?  What about social security and Medicaid?  We can talk about the dire necessity of making cuts, but who has the guts to do it?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy anniversary, Jen

Thanks for putting up with me for 39 years.  Only with God's help could you have done it.  Now, may God give us more years of love together.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pinewood Derby is not for the faint-hearted

Jason has been working in the time he has from work to complete Kyle's racer in time for the Pinewood Derby to be held Saturday.  Kyle selected the paint and applied it but it has always been the job of the dad to do most of the physical work.  For years I helped to make two cars; the boys had the responsibility of sanding and painting after I had cut out the car.  I did that by hand; today the boy picks a design he wants and it is sawed out at a den meeting.

The concept of a son and his dad building a car together has gone by the wayside if a real fast car is going to be entered.  Complete cars that meet the Boy Scout rules can be purchased at at fairly high cost.  Axles and wheels that come in the kit can be replaced by smoother axles and were perfectly round wheels.

I don't know how this race will be run.  Last year each car ran eight times, each race being time by computer, and the winner being the one which ran at the fastest speed.

And the rains came and they stay

Rain fell steadily yesterday, sometimes very heavy, and it is back with us today.  If this is any indication, the two years of below average rainfall could be at an end.  Some parts of the country, such as Texas, have really suffered from the drouth.  I know we need the rain but it is somewhat depressing.  However, we should be thankful for the sunny, spring-like weather we have enjoyed much of this month.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Driving from Homer without headlights

My 1997 Mercury and I were aging at about the same pace, I thought, until the brake and signal lights quit working, and then when taking the car to the mechanic I discovered the windshield wipers had conked out, also. Well, the problems have been corrected at a total cost amounting to what  a new car could be bought for when I was a child.,

This business of lights not working  brought to memory a time many years ago when our headlights didn't work and we were far from home.  We had visited relatives in Waldo, Ark., and had got as far as Homer when night came and the lights of our Model A Ford did not work.  Most  places in Homer were closed -- it was Sunday-- but we found one service station open.  While efforts  went on for hours to find the problem, we made supper out of coconut cake.  Finally, daddy and the service station attendant admitted defeat.  We borrowed a flashlight and taped it some how to the front of the car.  By the illumination from the flashlight we traveled from Homer to Minden and five miles more to home.  A miracle for which to be thankful.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Obama's veto of Keystone pipeline is part of his plan to kill energy

It is no surprise Obama has said no to the Keystone pipeline, a project  pursued for three years and which would have provided thousand of jobs and  made this nation more energy secure.  President Obama is consistent-- he opposes  any and everything  that would aid the economy and create jobs, that would benefit our energy situation, and that would help national security.

Since his election millions of people have lost their jobs; gasoline has doubled in price and is on the way to his expressed goal of seven dollars a gallon. Steve Chu, his energy secretary, explained that they want gasoline priced as it is in Europe, and that higher energy prices are the centerpiece to leftists' energy overhaul.  In 2008
Obama said his policies will  bankrupt the coal industry and his cap and trade will see electricity rates go sky-high. 

His goal is to destroy the domestic oil and gas industry.  While Obama handicaps our oil and gas development, China is getting ready to take the oil Canada had for us and also oil from Brazil.

The hurt to our nation that Obama has inflicted is minor compared to the damage he will do if he is re-elected.
Our beloved nation is in great damage and many persons fail to recognize it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy birthday, Mark Reagan Lowe

Jen and  I will be happy to take care of  Lily and Oliver while you and Julie go out and celebrate.  Just drop the kids off.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Congratulations to Jessica

Jessica has returned to Baton Rouge and is back in classes after a trip to Chicago to be interviewed and to visit a Methodist seminary.  She has narrowed her choices to three seminaries and has received full scholarship offers from all three.  She will make her decision in February after visiting a seminary in Boston.  Congratulations.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Oh no, not another presidential candidate debate

Another debate for presidential candidates tonight and we can only hope it will be more informative than most of those already held.  Hopefully, moderators will ask sensible questions and candidates will give us a better idea of what they would do to solve some of the nation's problems.  And boy, do we have problems -- high unemployment, debt out of sight, spending out of control, harmful regulations--just to start.

What, specifically, will a candidate do, if elected, to create jobs?  Acting alone the president can eliminate some of the regulations that discourage companies from hiring and banks from lending.  With the cooperation of  Congress the president can cut spending and start paying down the national debt.  What about health, energy and other problems? Let us have some serious discussions.

Am I asking for too much if I want the moderators to avoid trying to cause a conflict and name calling and for the candidates to leave  behind negative comments and give us some ideas as to how they would best solve the nation's ills?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I sometimes complain about the hymn selection for our church services so it is only fair that I praise the song service we had today.  We opened with "To God  Be the Glory," with "In the Garden" coming later.  The choir anthem was "Near to the Heart of God," and we later sang "Rescue the Perishing" and closed with "Blessed Assurance."

The only hymn to challenge "In the Garden" for popularity is "The Old Rugged Cross"  so it is surprising that some groups have tried to get it out of hymnals.  The Methodist committee that selected the songs for the most recent hymnal battled over keeping this loved hymn.   The late Lewis Grizzard  said the most mail if ever received was in response to his defense of this song.  Let's hope it is never lost to and for us.

                         And He walks with me and He talks with me,
                         And He tells me I am his own;
                         And the joy we share as we tarry there,
                         None other has ever knoown.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Just another cat story

We almost always had cats; I can remember only once we were catless, and we cured that by returning from a visit in Waldo, Ark. with two baby kittens.  Cats are useful on the farm and are expected to earn their own food by catching mice and gophers.  They would sometimes capture a Purple Martin, a criminal action according  to my dad.

Cats might  climb up on the screen door at the back porch but Mama never let one in the house.  There were other buildings on the place they could reside in when weather was bad.  That was before a big male cat showed up and decided he had found a home.  Mama bought him canned cat food and never fussed when he opened the door and walked in the house.

One Sunday afternoon we were visiting and I was sitting in a rocking chair.  The cat walked in, charged up to me and jumped into my lap, his sharp claws pricking me.  As I tried to get him off of me, Mama said "You're sitting in his chair."  I was the one who had to move.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Increase domestic oil drilling for national security

I have written numerous times about the need for this nation to become self sufficient in energy.  In reviewing my blog I found that in January a year ago I was calling for more drilling to enhance our national security. That has been true for many years but it is especially relevant today with Iran threatening to close the straits of Hormuz. One sixth of the petroleum consumed in the world passes through that strait.  Iran may not be able to totally stop oil from flowing there but could certainly reduce the amount available to the world.  We have the energy resources in our country; we must  pressure Obama to lessen restrictions and let more drilling go forward. Think of the economic benefits that would benefit us. As many as a million jobs would be created, and the 500 billion dollars we pay for imported oil would remain in the United States.

Monday, January 9, 2012

We attend both services to support Jessica

Jessica gave the sermon at the 8:30 and 11  services at University  Methodist Church Sunday.  George, Lynne and Bobby Beaird showed up for the 11 o'clock service/

As expected, Jessica did well and she was applauded by an ovation.  People at the church really like her, which is quite a change from when she first attended and thought the congregation was cold and unfriendly.

She was to leave Monday for Chicago to check out a seminary there and to be interviewed.   She has been offered scholarships at three seminaries and expects to hear from two more before making a choice.

Friday, January 6, 2012

We go to Baton Rouge to hear Jessica give sermon

We head for Baton Rouge this evening after Jen completes work in order to support  Jessica when she gives the sermon at the 11 a.m. service at University  United  Methodist Church. 

Jessica has given sermons before, several years ago at Christ Church.   The occasions were Scout Sunday and youth week.  I am sure she will do fine this Sunday.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A salute to the late Joe Michael.

Joe Michael, a long-time friend and a former mayor of Homer, died this week at 88 years of age.  I met Joe only hours after I went to Homer as editor of the Guardian-Journal.  He operated a men's clothing store and also officiated at football and basketball games.  I was friends with his four sister and his brothers, especially Edd and James Robert.

Joe served 20 years as Homer mayor.  I had served the town eight years, two as mayor pro-tem and six as mayor.  Although I had presented an ambitious program for the next four years, I decided I could not commit to that much more time and did not seek re-election.  Dr. Tatum ran unopposed but died soon after taking office; Joe served out that term and was elected on his own. I haven't seen Joe in years; I used to see him when I was in economic development and took clients to Homer.  Another good man has left us.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Grandkids leave -- Holidays are over

The holidays are over -- the grandkids returned to North Carolina this morning. We've had a long visit with Julie and Mark and the grandchildren.  Lily at two and a half knows us well  but it was our first chance to become acquainted with Oliver, although we were there a day after he was born this past August.

You can't avoid a let-down feeling when the holidays end, but don't worry, the bills will begin to pour in and any trace of holiday spirit will disappear.