Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Get out of here!

We returning from visiting relatives in Waldo, Ark. and this time we were returning on US Highway 79.  Dad enjoyed trying new routes, some times getting lost, but we traveled from Minden through Homer, Haynesvville, and Magnolia on 78 and then on 82 to Waldo, returning the same way.

We stopped in Haynesville to visit Dad's cousin, Harry Camp, whose home was downtown on Highway 79. No one was at home but Dad wanted to wait a few minutes to see if anyone would soon return.  Despite Mama calling him back, he wandered into the garden.  I was with him when we heard a loud scream -- "Get out of here" and again even louder, "Get out of here!"  We wondered who was yelling at us, and then we saw -- it was a parrot and he yelled again until we left.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Obama's solution to gas prices -- run your car on algae

Can this guy get any crazier?  Gasoline prices have doubled at the pump since he became president and he continues the very actions that got us in this mess.  We have an abundance of oil and natural gas; we need to be allowed to drill and produce them to meet our energy needs.

Some day so-called green energy may be feasible; millions are being spent by the government in research, but now we must rely on our fossil fuels.  But think about what Obama says when asked for his solution to high gas prices -- use algae.  He has blocked the Keystone pipeline that could have brought petroleum to us from Canada. He has discouraged and blocked drilling in areas of the country and offshore. Yet, get this -- he is supporting drilling off of Mexico by an inexperienced company while discouraging drilling by capable companies in our gulf.

We have high oil and gasoline prices because we have refused to take the right actions and instead have made stupid choices because of Obama's sick philosophy or perceived political advantage.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hey, it is just not fair

To have May weather in February and I can't take advantage of it.  Walking is painful and near impossible for me right now so there is no way I can work outside and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Now is the time to get ground ready to plant vegetables and flowers.

A kind of ugly weed that spreads rapidly and that has taken over much of the backyard has moved to the front lawn and must be eradicated by hand, weedeater, mower, or a combination of all of them.  I have been hearing lawnmowers all day as people clean up weeds.  I cannot get the mower started and have been begging for months for some one to take it for repairs. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Son of former Pickens shipmate heard from

In early January  the son of Jose P. Ramirez commented on my blog.  I only recently checked for comments and have responded to him now.  I don't remember his father but that does not mean I didn't come in contact with him on board ship.  I remember very few names and faces.  Too late now, but I wish I had maintained some kind of contact but like most everyone I put all of that out of my mind when I was discharged.  We all had new lives to build.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Sunday we walked out of the church

If I walk out of church because I disagree with what is being said from the pulpit, it won't be the first time. This happened when I was a young kid and at Bethel  Methodist Church, a little church all alone in the area we called the flatwoods.

Obviously, my memory is not perfectly clear, but I remember a man who was not the pastor and not a member of the church took the pulpit and began talking.  He had got so far as to saying, "my wife took the low road and I took the high road,"  when Daddy got up, moved  to each child and said, "Let's go,:" and we went.  (Mama was not at church; probably at home with a new baby.)

That afternoon a cousin visiting from Waldo teased us by saying the entire congregation was talking about us.  

I never knew the whole story about the visitor, only that daddy said he was a crook.  I know that church is for sinners but that doesn't mean just anything should come from the pulpit.

Preachers must leave politics out of the pulpit

I am very much opposed to ministers using the pulpit to espouse partisan politics.  By rights, the church should use its tax exempt status.  Any minister or priest has the right to his political opinion.  He can even promote his viewpoint in the coffee shop but not in the church office.  I long ago committed if my pastor voices partisan views I will get up and walk out of the church.

Given my opinion it is understandable that I am uncomfortable with the laying of hands on Santorium a few days ago.  Those preachers are made to look foolish by Santorium's statement that Protestant churches are not Christian.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Still time to plant your Irish potatoes

Another Valentine's Day has come and gone without me planting Iris potatoes.  If you are worried that it is getting too late to plant potatoes, no it's not, although during my rural life that was our goal. 

I have planted Irish potatoes at least twice in the past decades since I left  the  farm, a few once in my little garden here and a sizeable patch once back on the farm while living here. 

If the ground is not too wet to be worked, vegetable gardening begins in January with setting out onion plants. We have not had a winter so far and sunshine most days makes me unhappy that I cannot spade some ground and prepare a garden spot.  Giving up gardening hurts me worse than giving up coffee would bother me. This will be only my second year without any garden at all but I'm already to the point that I would need to check a book to be sure of the right planting times for vegetables.

I won't forget the right time to plant cotton  -- that's when chinaberries bloom.  I doubt seriously I'll have a cotton crop this year.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Remembering One Marine at Iwo Jima

Most Marines of the Fourth Division that we were taking to Iwo Jima were veterans of island operations, including  the conquest of Saipan and Tinian.  Those island brought the war closer to Japan and provided the platform from which to bomb the Japanese mainland.  Most veterans I had conversations with were reluctant to discuss past battles or the one ahead.  A new member of the division was different.

This young Marine, about my age, would be taking part in his first military action, and he  was nervous about it. I'll never forget one thing he said, "They have given us five days to take the island, but the guys are real determined and I think we'll take the island in no more than two or three days."  We soon found out how wrong he was.

The USS Pickens became an auxiliary hospital ship and our boats that landed men on Iwo soon came back with wounded Marines.

I often wondered what happened to that young Marine.  Was he wounded or killed in the first days;  was he one of those kids who took a bag of grenades and made a suicide charge against the machine guns emplacements; or  did he survive the fierce fighting and return in sound mind and body and is even now enjoying his grandchildren and great grandchildren?

Valetine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day, Jen.  I love you.  Roy

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lowe family shown about 68-70 years ago

Click to enlarge
Geraldine Duffy, cousin, sent me this old photo about 15 years ago.  She had found it in some other pictures. I misplaced it for years.  It was made some 68-70 years ago. Eunice was out of high school; I was not, because I entered the Navy in spring of 1944.  The entire family is shown except for Carol, who was born in 1946. 

Left to right, the children in front are Louise, Ruth, Jon, Jesse, and in front of Daddy, JereLyn.  In back, again going left to right, are Eunice, Roy, Mama, and Daddy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pickens with Fourth Division Marines head for Iwo Jima

 A few days from now will be the 67th anniversary of the first day of the invasion of Iwo Jima.  The Pickens had spent weeks in amphibious training with the 98th Division and Fourth Marine Division and now, along with other ships, we left Pearl Harbor on January 27 carrying units of the Fourth Marine Division en route to Iwo.  We were routed by way of Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands  to take on fuel and supplies, and on to Saipan where we joined Transport Group Baker and headed for Iwo.

I don't know about others but in the radar shack we enjoyed listening to Tokyo Rose.  She told us we would have a real battle at Iwo Jima.  She gave us several dates, finally getting it right.  It was not a secret; the Navy had shelled the island for days and bombers had blasted it. I will comment further in a day or two.

Unemployment at least 17 per cent

Obama and Pelosi may kiss and giggle and celebrate an unemployment rate of 8.3 per cent, but the real story is quite different.  Congressional Budget Office has the unemployment rate at 15 per cent, much nearer the actual situation, but it is much worse than that.  Since Obama has been president his policies have caused the loss of 4.4 million jobs.   In addition to those who have exhausted their unemployment compensation or have given up looking for jobs, there are 10.5 million who have part-time jobs and want permanent employment.  That means that 28 mi8llion are unemployed or under-employed, for a real unemployment rate of 17 per cent.

Can we create jobs as long as Obama's policies are in force?  Not likely, as long as the EPA and other agencies have in effect rules that discourage business.  At least a million jobs could be created by fully developing our mineral resources.   Obama discourages deep sea drilling while other nations are moving ahead aggressively to acquire oil and natural gas.  China is threatening to get the oil from Canada that would have come to the United  States if Obama had not halted construction of the Keystone pipeline.

This nation is in great peril with its huge debt and unfunded obligations in social security and medicare and uncrontrolled spending.  I wish I could see at least a glimmer of hope but I can see nothing good ahead if Obama is re-elected.

Remembering James Carroll Farrar

I did a lot of thinking about old friendships this morning as I read a long article in  The Times about James Carroll Farrar, long-time and successful baseball, basketball and football coach at several high schools  and baseball coach at Centenary College.  He capped off his career as a major league baseball scout for many years.  In fact I thought he and Mel Didier, another friend of long ago, would be scouts forever.

My favorite memory of James Carroll took place long before he won state championships or became well known in sports circles.  He was the basketball and baseball coach at the small school of Sibley, a village just south of Minden when he decided to install football.  He and his team were in Homer at the Purple Cow eating cheeseburgers and drinking milk shakes when I ran into him and asked him how his game had turned out.  His team had lost by some astronomical score.   I said, "James Carroll, didn't they consider this was the Sibley's first year and substitute, taking out the first team some to ease up on you?"  He responded, "No, they never took out the first team.  They would run eleven, rest eleven, run eleven and rest eleven.

James went on to coach two state baseball championships at Fair Park.  He coached at Northwood and other schools before coaching baseball at at Centenary for a number of years. He is now in assisted living, a man who has many friends.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Should I Stay in Organiztions to which I Contribute Little

Jen and I attended the meeting of the Caddo 4-H Foundation Monday night, and while we were discussing programs and finances I began asking myself, "What am I doing here?"  Members are elected for three years and are then rotated off but members can be re-elected and in my case, as others, I seem to be a permanent member; yet, I contribute little value.

I'm not implying  at all that the organization is not worthy does not and make a significant contribution to our youth. On a personal note our family has benefited greatly from the 4-H program and I wish more youths would avail themselves of its offerings.  We have three family members who benefited greatly and also won awards, trips and scholarships. 

Presently the foundation has about $50,000, some of which is obligated to specific programs  and to scholarships.  A number of grants have been made to the state 4-H Foundation in recognition of 4-H leaders who have passed away.

Attendance at the meeting was excellent as could be expected when a delicious meal is served.  Since the selling of strawberries  every spring the foundation has had adequate funds for all its programs and for scholarships. This year berries will be available in March and should be large and sweet because of the warm weather.

This is away from the point I began to make -- should I remain a member of organizations if I am not making a significant contribution to it?  I never even attend an American Legion or Forty and Eight meeting although I would never quit paying my dues.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spring-like weather makes me want to grab the shovel and the hoe

Well, January is gone and February is here -- the absolute middle of winter.  Yet, I go outside and it feels like spring.  In fact, except for a few days in December and  January we have not had winter.  We have gone through a warm cycle and should expect the weather to begin turning colder, according to "experts."

This lovely weather turns my mind toward gardening -- both vegetable and flower, and that is depressing because I am not able to garden.  I gave up the vegetable garden last year but tried for a while to get some flowers going.  I had a little success but soon through in the hoe and shovel.  I haven't totally given up hope; if I can get some of the heavy work done I may still do some planting.  Wish me luck, won't you.