Sunday, September 30, 2012

It is well with my soul

This hymn, sung at church today, has a poignant story about why and when it was written. Horace G.
Spafford had lost his four-year-old son and his property had been destroyed in the Chicago fire, leaving him poor financially.  He sent his wife and four daughters on a ship to Europe, planning to follow when some business was completed.  The ship was in a collision and his four daughters drowned, his wife surviving. He left for Europe and when his ship reached the spot where his daughters drowned, he wrote this  poem, which was set to music by Phillip Bliss.
               IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
    • Refrain:
      It is well, with my soul,
      It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Not NO, but hell no

No to more money for Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood.  That guy Obama insists on giving Egypt 450 million dollars immediately, with more to follow.  This comes after  riots and attacks on our embassy and after  president and member of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Morsi  has warned the United States to change if we are to get along with Arabs.

While Obama wants to give money to Egypt, the United States is  giving American  tourists a terror warning. Terror and a bribe, they go together.  Christians, the few still alive, are fleeing Egypt  for their lives. How many times have you heard Obama speak up for them and condemn the Egyptian powers for religious persecution? To Obama only Islam has rights as a religion.

If  Obama persists in giving Egypt money, let him take it from the l.4 billion he and Michelle  cost taxpayers in less than four years.  No other presidential family has been so costly,  personally and in government.

Jessica takes on more duties

It is not as if Jessica doesn't have sufficient time-consuming academic studies at Duke, she has taken on two additional responsibilities.  She is training to assist at an animal shelter and also training to tutor students who need guidance  and assistance to meet their academic  requirements.

The old adage is still true -- if you want something done call on a busy person. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spending the night with Sophia Loren

Came across some negatives in a box in the garage, glanced at a few and concluded they were made at a luncheon and reception I had for industrialists in the Chicago area some 30-plus years ago. I can remember the photographer complaining about  "campaign contributions" he was forced to make in order to operate. He talked  about corruption in Illinois government and especially Chicago. His office was across the street from the small but fancy hotel where  my event was to be held.

Later the photographer's wife mentioned that Sophia Loren was staying at the hotel, asking me if I had seen her. She then said that if her husband slept with Sophia she would "give him that."  I remarked that I didn't think my wife would be that forgiving.

Remodeling was in progress and the large restaurant was closed, but the manager promised all work would be completed before our event was to be held.  She invited me to have dinner that night with some special guests, including Sophia Loren. I thanked her but said no. 

The reception and lunch a couple of weeks later was co-hosted by Senator Russell Long and was well attended by company executives.

But back to the earlier trip  to make the arrangements for the lunch and reception. I was telling Jen, my wife, about being invited to have dinner with Sophia Loren. "Did you?" she asked. I told her, "No, but  we spent the night  together."   Jen wasn't shocked for a second. (Doesn't it count -- we were at the same hotel at the same time?)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Listen to the Mockingbird

Birds were chirping in the pear tree this morning, a cheerful sound that I don't hear often.  I began thinking that what small ability I once  had to identify birds by sight and/or sound has left me.  We see few birds around, not like it once was on the farm when among others one could hear the killdeer across the field.

My favorite birds were the mockingbird, blue bird, cardinal and robin.  Blue birds built a nest and laid four eggs in our mailbox once (we didn't get much mail) but the birds abandoned the nest after humans had touched the eggs.  Among the birds that we saw often in addition to those already named included red headed woodpecker,  sparrows, black birds, crows, blue jays, purple martins, hummingbirds, quail, and wrens. We heard the owls at night but seldom saw them. 

For several years seven crows stayed in this neighborhood, often being seen at Albertson's. One year there was only six and then they disappeared.  We enjoy the visits by robins each spring; they stay late some years before heading north.  When we had two apple trees in bloom one year, a group of finches paid us a visit and then moved on.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone about their experiences with birds, the ones they see, how to attract and care for them, etc.

Just the facts, maam.

Will the Obama administration stop its lying about Libya and give us the facts?  We are adults and can handle the truth if we ever get it from Obama or Hillary. The president yesterday at the UN stuck to apologizing and blaming a movie for the murder of our ambassador and three other Americans.

However, the Libyan president  has said repeatedly that the  anti-Islam film  had "nothing to do with the attack." United States officials knew within 24 hours after the attack that it was the work of Al Qaeda.

Among the questions Americans want answered  is with 9-11 approaching, why was security not beefed up?  We are left with the only explanation being that Obama does not want Americans to know the truth.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I complete a survey on nation's condition

I hope this is the last survey I am called on to do for Gallup. Questions were on such matters as is the economy getting better or worse; is medicare in danger; what should be done about social security; is Obama doing a good or poor job in foreign affairs; what about the economy; and what about Congress. Do I consider myself a Republican, Democrat or Independent and whom am I going to vote for president?

I gave poor ratings in response to nearly every question.  I added comments such as   regulations and uncertainty about taxes are obstacles for companies that would hire and create jobs.

Who elected Michelle?

Who gave her the authority to decide what children should eat at school?

I don't know how many school districts are allowing Michelle Obama to regulate meals served at schools, but enough schools following her guidelines that protests from students and parents are coming loud and clear; they don't like such meals as hummus, bean salad and lettuce leaves for breakfast.  Some students complain that they are hungry all day.

Michelle and the federal government should stop interfering with schools.  This is just more of the federal government saying only the government has the ability to make decisions for us, not only in education and health but in every facet of our lives.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Coal burning plants to be shut down

Obama can be faulted for not keeping his commitments to improve the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs, but he is well on his way to his promise -- or threat -- to eliminate coal fired electric  generating plants. Recently, it was projected that 200 coal fired plants will be eliminated within three to five years.  Causes are more and tougher EPA regulations and the recent abundance and comparative low cost of natural gas.

Several coal mines are being shut down, throwing thousands of   miners out of work, and if Obama has his way our large deposits of coal will become worthless.  The president's apparent distaste (read that hate) of fossil fuels and love affair with windmills and sun panels will cost  home owners and industries painfully in higher utility bills.  That is another promise by Obama.

Through taxes, penalties and regulations, the government can not only make a company non-competitive, it can take jobs from millions of people.  Folks, this country is facing more than a few dangers. Let's do all we can to meet them.

Picking a scripture as base for sermon

Mr. Matthews became linotype operator for The Guardian-Journal  a few months after I became editor and he was still working there when I left, leaving only after the newspaper changed its method of printing from letterpress to offset.

He was a private person and had been working at the newspaper and printing plant for some time before we knew anything about his past.  He had been a Church of Christ minister, leaving the church after his wife left him because, he said, of his small income.  He got into printing to publish a book he had written and over a period of time had become proficient enough with the linotype to hold a job.

We did printing for the churches so we were comfortable with ministers hanging around in the shop as was the Presbyterian pastor at this particular time.  Mr. Matthews asked the preacher, Mr. Swinney, if  he ever entered the pulpit, opened  the bible randomly, read the scripture, and preached a sermon with no further preparation.  Mr. Swinney said no, he never did that.

Mr. Matthews responded, " I knew the bible so well and had preached so many sermons, I often threw open the bible, read the scripture, and preached an entire sermon.  You say you never did that?"

Mr. Swinney  countered,  "No, maybe that's why I'm still preaching and you aren't."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Please -- don't increase junk mail

More junk mail?  Please tell me this is not going to happen, but  Drudge reports that the U.S. Postal Service will deliver more junk mail as a way to increase revenue.

I have two questions -- where will they go to get more junk mail, and  is there not a limit to how many magazines, advertisements, tote bags, calendars and other such mail a carrier can stuff in his vehicle?

My mail box has just been relieved of Saturday's mail and I have already opened most of it and assigned all of it to be recycled.  My name is on the lists of nearly all charitable and fund raising organizations.  Many of them send gifts; I wrote one time about the volume and variety of gifts I had received, which finally included 14 2012 calendars.  I began receiving 2013 calendars  in March.

Please, postal service, find some ways to be more efficient.  If I get more junk mail than I'm already getting, I will have to add another mail box.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Goodbye to two Homerites

Even though it has been 41 years since I edited the Homer newspaper, the Guardian-Journal, I receive the newspaper as a gift subscription.  Since many of the people in the news are unknown to me, I spend only a few minutes reading it. One section I always check is  the obituaries.  This week the deaths of two people were of special interest to me.

Glen Bays, former administrator of the Homer Memorial Hospital, began at the hospital as an X-ray and lab technician just one month after I began at the newspaper.  He  served for a number of years as the administrator, and  he was the administrator during the time the board resigned and I, as mayor, had to make decisions  for the hospital until I could appoint a new board.

I knew Patsy Cook Lynch, but I was much more involved with her brothers Bob and Bill, both of whom preceded her in death.  Bobby worked at the Guardian-Journal for about 15 years during my time there.  He once wrote a highly complimentary article about me.  Billy was one of my "running buddies," and worked as storekeeper for the Town of Homer.

DeSoto schools improve ACT scores

DeSoto parish schools improved its ACT scores  from last year --that's good.  DeSoto continues to lag the state average and also scores lower than Caddo and Bossier -- that's not good.

A great advantage DeSoto has is the income from natural gas production, allowing the parish school board to pay teachers well and attract applications from excellent teachers. That has no doubt been at least part of the reason for the improvement, but the board can't just fire all poor or mediocre teachers and replace them with others expected to be better.

Teachers are important but there are several reasons why students do well or poorly.  Some students are more capable and some have parents who are more supportive than others. Still, we are always pleased to see any improvement in our schools.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Pickens celebration I don't remember

I've mentioned in an earlier post that while the Pickens made several trips to the Philippines, I have no memory at all of  the Philippines.  Something else mentioned in the "Story of the Pickens" which I do not remember is the celebration of us bringing home to San Pedro troops from Guam.  We were diverted from our home port of San Francisco, the story said.  At San Pedro we were welcomed by the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, U.S, Navy and representatives from Hollywood.  

Telegrams were sent free of charge and thousands of bottles of  fresh milk were given out  I remember drinking glass after glass of milk, so much that I became ill and vomited. That's the only memory I have of that occasion.  We left shortly after for the Philippines to bring other war weary troops home.  We were occupied this way for months as part of the "magic carpet."

Autumn is on its way

Rains have ended a summer of drouth and this morning was pleasantly cool.  We have more hot days ahead, but hopefully the extremely hot weather is over. 

This morning my thoughts go back to September on the farm and harvesting of crops -- hard work but never boring and enjoyable as a reward for all of the hours of laboring in the heat all summer.  Cotton picking began in August but was mostly a September job.  We harvested sweet potatoes, pulled up the peanuts,  gathered the corn, and completed haying.  Sugar cane would come  later and syrup making would be in November.  Harvesting would continue into October. usually along with May our most pleasant month.

Vegetables would be gathered from the garden until frost and canning of excess tomatoes, beans and beets would occupy the kitchen.  One year we had not had a killing frost until late in November and were eating fresh beets on Thanksgiving Day.

Yes, autumn is a great time not only for watching football games, but there is one great problem -- winter follows.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A word about Chicago teacher strike

I would not suggest that most of our school systems are as poor as that serving Chicago, but I am saying what I have said before --many school systems and other governmental bodies are going to have a rude awakening when they understand the condition of their retirement plans.

Some Louisiana parish school boards recognize this and  have made changes in their retirement systems.  No matter how generous  retirement benefits have been promised, they can not be paid if the money does not exist.  Mistakes were made years ago when it was popular for politicians to commit taxpayers to fund the future benefits.

The strike by Chicago school teachers, still on as I write this, is about more than salaries and retirement plans.  Above all, they want to be protected from dismissal no matter how poor they are as teachers.  Thus, they can keep the Chicago system to continue as one of the worst in the nation (and the nation as a whole is not doing well enough to brag about.)

How's this for real education?

With the sorry state of education in this country as exemplified by the teacher strike in Chicago, I began to remember how difficult the seventh grade was academically.  Subjects included English, mathematics, reading, spelling, American history, geography, current events, music, crafts, and others.  Still, our teacher, Mr. Trout, found time to tell wild tales, spend a week building bird houses, and get us embroiled in all manner of discussions.

Like most tellers of tales, he told his stories in the first person; it all happened to him.  For example, he said that his talent for solving problems got him punished.  They had a big tom cat that one day could not make a sound, although he would mouth "meow."  While everyone else was at a loss, he suggested that maybe someone had put a rubber band around the cat's neck, which turned out to be the problem. Another time they were visiting a family that had a water well with a pump.  It quit working but, being a person who could solve problems, he had suggested that maybe someone had dumped rocks down the well. Problem located; punishment followed.

The teacher even took it upon himself to give advice on romance.  This included having three girl friends, A, B and C.  If problems arose with A, the problem was solved by moving B to A, C to B, and finding a girl to become C.

I could never profit from that advice; I found myself always trying to find A.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

How ignorant do they think we are?

Jay Carney, speaking for the administration said the demonstrations and attacks by Muslims  "are not directed at US policy," the administration or the American people but are " the response to a video."
That's the Obama administration for you; blame a film maker and excuse the terrorists and others for the violence.

All was supposed to be  lovey-dovey with the Muslims when Obama took office.  When he was seeking the office he said that "the day I'm inaugurated Muslim hostility will be over."  He added that he was raised in a Muslim country and had visited the area many times, and he had a sister who was Muslim.

All of those excuses and apologies to Muslims ignore that the United States was warned 48 hours before the attacks in Libya and Egypt, and they came on the anniversary of the 9-ll attacks on the US.  And if a film is the reason, what about Bill Maher's film?  Sure, he primarily attacked Christianity, but he also had bad words about  Islam. He also gave Obama's pac one million dollars.

Bernanke buying bonds hurts nation but may help Obama

No universities are clamoring to award me a doctorate in economics but even I know that Bernanke's action of having the fed spend 40 billion dollars a month to buy mortgage bonds is a bad move at this time. Oh, I know this or a similar move was expected and it may provide some short-lived stimulation to the economy and gain Obama some votes.  Supposedly, it will result in the hiring of teachers, firemen and policemen. The stock market will go up as will the price of gold and silver, oil and other commodities, all because the value of the dollar falls.

The firm of Egan-Jones has down graded its credit rating on debt to AA- from AA, explaining that Bernanke's action will  hurt the economy.  In four years this administration has badly damaged the economy and managed the loss of millions of jobs.  Some job-creating action could be taken immediately, including more oil drilling to make us self-sufficient in energy, lowering the corporate income tax from its global high of 35 per cent, doing away with Obamacare, eliminating some harmful and needless regulations, and renewing the Bush tax cuts.

Possibly the greatest deterrence to companies expanding and adding jobs is the uncertainty of  taxation and regulation.  They must know what to expect in the future in order to make plans.  As on now, the future is scary.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Would a student give a teacher a gum shower today?

Whether this practice lasted more than one year, I don't recall, but the year I was in seventh grade some brave students begin giving teachers gum showers.  As the teacher entered the class room to begin the morning, students who could afford to buy gum pelted the teacher with single sticks or full packs of Wrigley's gum. If I had the money to buy gum I would have purchased six pieces of bubble gum for a nickel and would have been armed with something like a rock.

Our regular teacher was startled at the beginning but quickly treated it in good humor.  The singing teacher, who visited once a week, was very angry and soon threatened the students if they persisted.

What would happen if students did something like that today?  Considering that a first grader was suspended for a drawing that "looked something like a gun," I fear for the life of the student who would throw gum at a teacher today.

No more apologies to Muslims

No more apologies to Muslims. Call attacks by terrorists what they are -- terrorist attacks!  This administration began with Obama visiting Muslim countries and apologizing for past actions of this country.I see nothing to gain by finding fault or making fun of any religion, but we have freedom of speech. What we should do is oppose the persecution, including killing, of persons because of their religion.  I am not holding all Muslims responsible for this but it takes place under Muslim governments.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

US reputation bad worldwide

Just days before our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered, Gallup panelists (of which I am one) received the results of a survey reflecting their belief that the United States has a bad reputation globally.  The panel members were four times as likely to rate the country's global reputation bad as to say it is good.

In addition, panelists are much more likely to say that, compared with a year ago the reputation has gotten worse instead of better.  As expected, Democrats are more likely to claim the reputation is better. Will they continue to maintain this minority viewpoint after what has happened in Lybia?

We are sadly lacking in leadership.  The economy is not the only way Obama has damaged this nation.  His habit of apologizing rather than speaking from a position of strength is sickening.  How can anyone continue to offer Obama any support?  He and Hilary Clinton are incapable of properly representing  this nation. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our country, worth saving, worth serving

"A day that will live in infamy." To steal the words of President Roosevelt after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, and apply them to the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon September 11, 2001.  Let this day not only be for mourning our losses but also for celebrating the freedom from similar terrorist attacks these past 11 years.  Let us all realize that in spite of our problems, this great nation is worth saving and serving. In the words of President Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Vists to Philippines forgotten

According to the booklet  "The Story of the Pickens," we visited several Philippine islands two or maybe three times; yet, I have no memory whatsoever of any of the visits. Of course, I know that we took the Blackhawk Division  there to occupy the islands, and took the troops that had been stationed there to go to Japan and occupy that country.

I have a packet of kodak pictures of  Philippine scenes but I am not in any of the pictures and they do not scratch up any memories.  I don't know where the snapshots came from or who gave them to me.  What bothers me more is that we visited San Pedro three times and I have no memory of  any of the visits. On the other hand, I think I have pretty clear memories of San Francisco, including being on the radar as we arrived
at dawn in the fog.

Like many veterans, when I left the navy I had no interest in recalling the experience. Now when family members of veterans become interested in their father's or other relative's service on the Pickens, we crew members left don't have much to offer them.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Male day care attendants?

At the expensive but competent day care my grandchildren attend in North Carolina, some of the teachers, caretakers, attendants, what ever they are called, are male.  At first this surprised me, then I thought, why not?  Women have been taking over jobs once dominated by men, and jobs once entirely filled by females are now gender neutral.

Remember when stewardesses served the peanuts?  No longer, peanuts and soft drinks are handed out by flight attendants.  Last week, on the plane from Shreveport to Atlanta, we had a male attendant who could only mumble instructions. From  Atlanta to Raleigh Durham the attendant was female, but returning to Atlanta two men pitched peanuts and offered water.  The female attendant on the plane from Atlanta to Shreveport was an attractive female and looked the way stewardesses used to look.

When I went to school the only male teacher in elementary was the seventh grade teacher, the one who told so many tales and is the subject of some of my stories.  The high school had two male coaches who sort of taught classes.

There was a time before teaching became almost entirely a field for women that men dominated the profession. Now, you have male teachers in all grades.  It is only right that all professions be open to both genders.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My thoughts on Dem convention

First, let me be honest; I didn't watch much of the convention doings because they made me sick to my stomach.  In addition to expected personal attacks on Romney and Ryan. the Democrats defended their failures by claiming Obama created 4.5 million jobs.  Did those delegates really swallow that?

Bill Clinton was their cheerleader, boasting about jobs created during his eight years; somehow that was to be pasted over  Obama's administration.  Clinton has never acknowledged that some of the favorable economic measures passed during his service were passed by a Republican congress over his objection.

Let's be honest and knowledgeable.  Under our socio-capitalistic system, there will be recessions and inflation. Conditions over which we have  no control, including 9-11, have an enormous impact. While Jimmy Carter was a weak president,  he had to deal with Americans being captured and an oil embargo.

The Democrats were fortunate that the job report did not come out a day earlier.  Look how dismal it is, with only 96,000 jobs added while  368,000 workers gave up looking for a job and are not counted in the labor force. Think about it -- 99 million are not in the labor force.  Who feeds and clothes them?  Workers who are still employed although many of whom are in minimum jobs.

(I know my readers have been anxious for my take on Obama's speech. Several, liberal and conservative, have called it  "empty."  That's good enough for me.  He offered nothing about solving the economic problems. As one commentator observed, he sounded as if his re-election  is certain, or that defeat is certain.)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Another Memory of the Pickens

Fellow shipmates on the Pickens, it was in September, 1944, that the Pickens was commissioned. I remember that we traveled from Bremerton, Wash., to Astoria, Oregon, to board the ship. Some of you will have clearer memories of this time.  I had joined the crew only days earlier, having been in the hospital in
San Diego.  The train broke down and we had to wait hours for repairs or another train to continue our journey.  The people near the town where the train failed supplied us with cheese.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No place for name calling

We neither demand nor expect political conventions to be love affairs for the opposing political party, but name calling and vicious personal attacks are out of place.  Calling Paul Ryan a Nazi and comparing Gov. Nikki Haley to Hitler's mistress is disgraceful.  Criticize and find fault with opposing candidates is fine, but be civil and courteous.  That is what Americans deserve.

Where are those millions of jobs?

When you have no real accomplishments to run on, make some up.  Obama claims he had created 4.3 million new jobs, but  the real situation is unemployment is above 8 per cent and some 23 million are out of work. Actually, the administration has not created jobs.and does not need to.  What the administration is called on to do is make it easier for the private sector to expand and add jobs.  The Obama administration has imposed regulations, passed a health bill that no one yet knows how much it will cost, and holds a probable tax increase over the heads of business.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We made TSA's day

Travel -- I hate it; you can have it. Because I have a steel ball in my right shoulder, I am subjected to more inconvenience than most people have to put up with, including full body pat down.  Yesterday we had to go through security inspection twice.  We set off alarms that sounded throughout the terminal and were terrified by a loud voice ordering us to "Turn around. Go back right now."  Jen kept pushing my wheelchair  from the insecure area against the flow of traffic back into the secure area.  Let me start from the beginning.

Mark let us out at Delta and at curb side we checked our bag, received boarding passes and got me a wheelchair.  The attendant pushed me into the terminal and promised some one would appear soon to take us to security and to our gate. Jen was impatient and pushed the chair to security.  I was singled out for a complete body pat-down and other checks, but we got through and headed for  the elevator to go to the concourse and gate from where we would board our plane

Jen got directions twice for the elevator location but pushed me out of the secure area to an elevator that went to baggage claim.  She headed  back  to the secure area to find the right elevator, and, of course, all hell broke loose with alarms going off and a voice of doom telling us to go back. Security claimed us and took as back to go through a second time. While I was being searched again, Jen was informed my nine containers of pills should have been placed in a tray.  My hands  were swabbed in a check for explosives, but they  finding none, we were finally through.  Taking the correct elevator this time, we were soon at our gate.

Our flight was uneventful, but our troubles were not over.  We had only a few minutes to connect with the plane to Shreveport, and Delta had not supplied a wheelchair.  We asked for and got one and only because the driver of the wheelchair knew the way did we make it to the  gate by the time the plane  was supposed to leave.  After our stressful rush, we find that while the plane was at the gate, the crew was in Greenville. We did get to Shreveport about 9:15.  Travel -- I hate it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

To the market and the Bentonville museum

We went to that huge Farmers Market in Durham this morning. When I say we I mean all of us -- Jen, Mark and Julie, Jessica, Lily, Oliver and me.  And we didn't waste our time; we picked up pink eye Purple Hull peas, Silver Queen corn, turnip greens, tomatoes, squash, and okra.  Fresh vegetable supper is on the way.

While the others were otherwise occupied, Mark and I went to Bentonville to visit the museum there.The museum is state supported and commemorates the last big battle of the Civil War. We also toured the battleground which has markers for various battles.  While a  draw, the battle was a strategic victory for the North because it failed to stop Sherman's march of destruction through South Carolina and Georgia.

My grandfather, Thomas T. Lowe, fought for the South throughout the war, ending at Bentonville. I asked if he was on the list of those who fought, and the hostess quickly found his name and company. He was in the 12th Louisiana Infantry, Conpany G. (found on page 231 of link)