Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Will Obama make the country into Detroit?

Birmingham, Mi. is an attractive city, with beautiful lawns, lovely homes, flowers and clean streets. I understand that is relatively true for all the cities around Detroit, which has declared bankruptcy.   As we traveled to downtown Detroit we passed from well-kept buildings into areas that were in poor condition, some little more than wrecks. 

There is activity in the city.  We saw crowds of people on all streets leading to the stadium; the Detroit
Tigers were playing.

Detroit's population of around 700,000 is the lowest it has been since 1914, when the population was at that number but was growing.  The city reached its peak in 1950, a population of 1.8 million.

We should not confuse the City of Detroit with the government of Detroit, although they are entwined. For decades the city has been afflicted with  corrupt and ineffective governing officials; they have damaged or destroyed much of what the city has to offer. including education.

Basically, there are only three ways jobs are created -- agriculture, mining and manufacturing.  At its highest employment the city offered more than 250,000 manufacturing jobs, compared with some 27,000 at present.
Detroit is responsible for much of that, being throttled by unions and taxes.  Much more can be blamed on the policies of the federal government -- unions again, unfair taxation and a crazy import-export policy. 

If Obama has his way much longer, the entire country will be Detroit, with millions out of work and much of the country a disaster.


Pickens, APA 190, nears San Francisco

July 31, 1945.  The USS Pickens had been traveling for weeks from Saipan, destination San Francisco.  We had learned that we were to pick up troops to take part in an invasion of Japan, hopefully to end the war with victory.  In our briefings we were told that the US Navy expected 50 per cent casualties, but after 11 months in the South Pacific, our thoughts were on liberty and hopefully a few days of leave.

(For several decades after my discharge from the navy, I gave little if any thought to my service.  After beginning this blog several years ago, I have managed to locate a few others who served on the Pickens, plus family members of others.  I would like to hear from any former shipmate or their family members.)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A report on our visit to Michigan

Well, Jen I have returned home from Michigan, arriving around 11 Monday night.  The purpose of our trip was to hear Jessica preach and to support her.  Jessica did an outstanding job at the 8:30 service and was   even better at the 10 o'clock service before some 800 church attendees.

Members of the church were not shy about praising Jessica and kept telling us how proud of her we must be. Jessica spoke on one of the Beatitudes -- "Blessed be those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled."  She said blessing carries with it responsibility -- that with the blessing comes a task. Among examples she gave was Abraham, whom God blessed to father a nation but with that to spread God's message to the world.

After the service we were guests of the pastor for lunch.   Saturday night we  accepted an invitation from a member to join them and others at a dinner of grilled steaks and ribs.

We found, as Jessica had told us, that the church people are friendly, very impressed with Jessica, and proud  that the church has so many service projects, including several overseas missionaries.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

We fly to Michigan

Jen and I are leaving this afternoon for that great city of Detroit.  That is not our real destination. Jessica will meet us and we will go to Birmingham, some five miles from Detroit.  While there, we will attend the Methodist church services and support Jessica as she delivers the sermon.  She preached in Detroit Wednesday to about 40 homeless people.

I visited the foot doctor yesterday and, as I had believed, the broken foot has healed enough and is no problem.  However, ligaments were strained when I turned the ankle so some soreness continues.  It should be cleared up when I see  the doctor in six weeks.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Reflections on a band calendar

"You've got the same birthday as Princess Margaret," Ulric said as I stopped by the store. "And I was born in the same year as Princess Elizabeth," I countered."

Ulric had a Homer High School Band calendar before him and was looking up birthdays. The calendar was being distributed  by band club members.  It was the main fund raiser for the band at that time. I wonder if the band continues to publish a calendar. Does Homer High even have a band?  That is not a stupid question; schools have been forced to drop classes to compensate for falling revenues.

At that time, decades ago, by paying  a penny a name, you could list the birth days of all family members (including pets), enemies and anybody else.  Calendars had a picture of the entire band in uniform and sold for 50 cents each.  If the band doesn't raise funds this way it might consider it, of course, with prices  much higher.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Just a few facts Obama needs to hear

Yes, let's have a talk about race, Patrick Buchanan agrees with President Obama, but let the Whites be heard from not just lectured to. I am not going to repeat Buchanan's remarks but I wish Obama and those civil rights agitators would take note of a few facts about interracial violent crime:

White criminals make  Blacks their victims 3 per cent of the time while Blacks commit 45 per cent of their crimes on Whites.

Black on White rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse.

Black robberies of Whites is about 130 times as often as  White robberies of  Blacks.

     Instead of blaming Whites for all of the problems, Black leaders should devote their efforts to curing  such Black problems as 73 per cent of mothers raising their children without the father, which in turn  leads to a 50 per cent drop out rate in schools.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Heavenly Sunlight floods our soul

The choir sang the old hymn "Heavenly Sunlight" at church services this morning; I enjoyed it but I would have been much happier had the congregation been allowed to  join in.

When I was in the navy in San Diego a fellow seaman asked me to attend a service with him that was broadcast each week. His family enjoyed the program and prevailed upon him to take the opportunity of attending.  I'll never forget the enthusiasm, the joy of those attending as they sang the refrain over and over again, shook hands, and hugged.  A wonderful experience I've longed to share again.

Heavenly Sunlight

Friday, July 19, 2013

Goodbye, JereLyn

The seventh of eight children, JereLyn passed away Thursday, July 18, after a long illness.  She was the second youngest of five girls and for several years was the youngest and carried the nickname of "Bacy."

Jere was a sweet girl but was shy and lacking in confidence.  She was upset when her poem  was picked as the one to appear in some collection, but that was nothing to the embarrassment she suffered when, as the principal handed the diploma to her, he announced that she had attended 12 years of school without missing a single day.

I remember how she would laugh out loud as she read the comics, and how she enjoyed playing with the cats and dog.  She would tease them with a string and run, making them chase her.  She was in the group who would rush from the house to greet Dad as  he came with watermelons early in the morning before breakfast.

She will be missed.

Gallup and I may be in trouble

I've just completed a Gallup survey, and this was one I enjoyed doing as it allowed me to vent my anger and register my dissatisfaction with Obama and the harm he is doing to our country.

Most of the questions were to be answered favorable or unfavorable.  If you have read my blog you know what  answer I checked on nearly everything.  I was delighted to  reveal how I feel about Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Christie, Boehner,  Democrats, Republicans and the tea party.  I got to give my feelings about local officials (they didn't come off so well either,)

Yes, I said, the economy is getting worse and now is a bad time to find a quality job.  Sadly, I had to say the new generations may not fare better than their parents.  This would reverse what had happened for many decades -- each generation had been better off than the preceding one.)

I gave my assessment of how badly Obama and his cohorts are doing on the economy, job creation, foreign affairs, Syria, the deficit, terrorism, immigration, health care, education, fuel/energy, social security, environment, gun control, and international trade.

There was more, but that is enough to anger the Obama administration, which had fined Gallup several million dollars.  Will I be fined along with Gallup?  Surely, Obama will wait until results are published.  In the meantime I'll enjoy having had the opportunity to express my feelings.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dad would have been 132 yesterday

As I've mentioned several times. I have a difficult time remembering birthdays and anniversaries. Earlier this month I said my dad claimed July to be the best month of the year because fruits and vegetables were plentiful -- and that he was born this month.  He was born July 17, 1881.

Times, they have changed

A couple of days ago I ran across the program for the Minden High School baccalaureate service held May 20, 1956.  Tried to figure out who of my siblings was being graduated that year; probably Ruth.

Times have certainly changed; are schools allowed to have such services now?  Four ministers had places on the program and hymns were sung. The high school choir sang "Send forth thy Spirit," and "Thanks be to God."

The audience (or should I say congregation) sang  "Come thou almighty King," and  "Onward, Christian Soldiers."                '

A program like that could get someone thrown into jail today.  Radical change is not always good.  Maybe, violent crime would be less if we were closer to God in our activities.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A friend of mine was fond of saying "Homer is full of odd balls, misfits and malfunctions."  (He included himself and me in that group.)  Good times or bad, many of us found humor in almost anything.

One  who would most definitely fit into that group was my  friend Ulric Fomby of Fomby Hardware. I was surprised when I learned that Ulric was a graduate of West Point.  One of his classmates was famed general Albert Wedemeyer.  While visiting Ulric one day, he mentioned that he was writing the general as follows: "I hear you wrote a book; send me a copy."

The book was "Wedemeyer Reports,"  a book I was anxious to read, knowing something about Wedemeyer's experience with China and his role in World War II.  I told Ulric to ask him to send me one but, of course, I would pay for it.  Soon I received an autographed copy.

If you find time,  read a little about his career, especially his battle against communism.  President Ronald Reagan awarded Wedemeyer the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985.

( Talk about coincidence.  I write about General Wedemeyer, go back to my computer several hours later and see that a book has just been published, entitled "General Albert C. Wedemeyer.)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is destruction of the United States his goal?

A blundering, misguided foreign policy; an economy suffering and sick; Obamacare shattered and hopeless; 47 per cent of all employed adults working part-time; 100 million persons on food stamps; an administration stained with scandal after scandal; the nation's debt growing while Obama continues wasteful spending--

Those of just some of our problems; and how does Obama seek to solve them?  He makes a speech threatening to eliminate the coal industry and destroy millions of jobs.  How stupid can one man be?  While we have been penalizing coal industries, the world has increased its use of coal and will continue to use it  to generate electricity.

Is Obama determined to destroy our United States?  His actions can be explained no other way.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pickens heads for San Francisco

I have many memories of July  -- most of those when I was growing up were  of hard work in the hot sun. As I mentioned earlier, July was also the month of great food, if one liked fresh vegetables and fruits, which I relished.

One memory that I have refreshed many times is of the Pickens journey to San Francisco.  We had spent weeks at Saipan after Okinawa, visited New Caledonia, returned to Saipan and left for San Francisco.

We were certainly looking forward to visiting that city from which we had departed almost a year previously. Maybe we would get leaves and get a few days at home to see our families.  There was something else ahead of  us, we knew, although I don't think many of us were  concerned.

We were to spend our time in that city preparing the ship and loading on troops to be a part of the first group to invade Japan.   During briefings we were told the navy expected 50 per cent casualties.  After having been attacked by suicide planes at Okinawa, we could understand this assessment.    

Doctor, oh doctor

If I post on my blog the dates and times of my doctor appointments  this month, maybe I'll remember them. One was added today and the date for another was changed. Here they are, so far:

Heart doctor -- Friday, July 12, at 10 a.m.

Pain doctor -- Monday, July 15, at 10 a.m.

Foot doctor -- Wednesday, July 24, at 2:15 p.m.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

No help from Humana rep

A Humana representative (doctor?) visited me Monday morning.  The appointment was at 1 p.m. but he called early that morning and said he would be by in 15 minutes.

When I was called and told a doctor would visit me, I looked forward to getting answers on why I am short of breath, why my back tightens and doesn't allow me to stand or walk,why my blood pressure is low,  and other medical problems. That did not happen.  He had a list of questions  and ran through them quickly.  I asked him the purpose of his visit and he said it was to clean up files, eliminating old data. No help for me.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Gardens supply vegetables in summer

We are in the middle of summer and typically it is hot and dry, but these first days of July are not as hot as this time last year.  Jen and I were in Branson this time a year ago and had to suffer though l00 degree weather every day.  I came close to passing out several times as the heat caused my blood pressure to drop.

One thing about this summer I really miss is gathering fruits and vegetables from the garden.  While the summer weather is unpleasant, the garden rewards you for all the work done earlier.  That is, if you have a garden, which I was unable to manage this year.

My dad was born in July and always claimed this to be the best month of the year, with not only a wide variety of vegetables but plenty of water melons, cantaloupes and figs. While many people consider cantaloupe a breakfast fruit, we ate them with our peas.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thoughts on a Sunday

Attended Sunday School (I taught the lesson) and church this morning after missing two Sundays with a broken ankle.  Heard AnnaKate Rawles, new associate pastor, preach.  It was a short sermon because of communion, but I believe she will do fine.

While on the subject of sermons by young girls, Jessica will be preaching at the Methodist Church in Birmingham, Mi., July 28. Jen (and maybe I) will travel there to support her.  Jessica is strongly supported by members of Christ UMC, many who feel very close to her because they worked on missions together. The church membership took up an offering to help her financially.  The Vision Class made a special donation for which Jessica sent the following note of thanks:

     Dear Vision Sunday Class, Thank you for the card and money.  It has truly been a blessing having all of you in my life.  You have loved me, cared for me, and supported me throughout my education, and have now continued it as I move forward on the path to ordained ministry.  I appreciate it more than I can say. Thank you again,

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy July Fourth, everyone

Take time to re-read the Declaration of Independence as adopted July fourth, 1776.  It is a fairly long read, but I promise it will inspire you.  We need high-minded, courageous leaders today.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"" would have borrowed the money from my wife."

Thinking of all the forms I had to complete to see the doctor Monday, I remember when there was a time that this was not necessary. Those simpler times will not return.

I remember a friend of mind going to the bank to borrow some money.  Fred, a long-time good friend of mind but a generation older, was a contractor in all kinds of construction.  Most small town banks were friendly and informal, but the Homer National Bank was very formal.  Fred walked in and  asked for a loan.  He was seated and quizzed,  Fred losing his patience more and more.

Finally Fred jumped up and headed for the door, saying, "If I wanted to answer all those questions, I would have borrowed the money from my wife."

Later the bank official decided he had enough information, called Fred back, and approved the loan.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Anniversary of Gettysburgh being observed

Observance of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg is being re-enacted near the site in Pennsylvania.  Today is the second of the three days of the battle, highlighted by Pickett's Charge.

 General Robert E. Lee decided that the South could not win  the war fighting only defensively.  He wanted the North to feel the effects of a war.  The North could have ended the war at anytime since it was the aggressor and had invaded the South.

My five sisters, two brothers and I have the unusual distinction of having a grandfather and a great grandfather fighting for the Confederacy.  Little is known of our great grandfather's experience, but our grandfather T. T. Lowe fought in a number of battles, including Chickamauga (where he was wounded) Atlanta, Nashville, and Bentonville.  I have visited only one of those sites --Bentonville  in North Carolina.

Monday, July 1, 2013

No ballroom dancing for me

Spending 90 minutes in a doctor's waiting room is not most people's idea of fun -- and that includes me -- but the last 30 minutes was enjoyable as I visited with a 92-year-old World War II veteran and his young friend, only 81. We talked about some of the changes we have seen, especially in technology.  They described the first televisions that they had seen, including a nine-inch black and white.  Like me, they never expected to use a computer but now find it a source of information on any and every thing.

I was there to have the doctor look at my broken foot.   The first 30 minutes I spent filling our forms, being called back three times to fill in a form or question I had missed.  When my name was finally called, the affair went quickly, first assembling the information I had provided on the forms and adding to it. Then about nine X-rays in various positions of the foot and the ankle were taken .

The visit with the doctor lasted only a few minutes, long enough for him to tell me to take care and to come back immediately if problems develop.  Otherwise, I will return in three weeks.