Friday, May 27, 2016

How to build a great university

Many college students  have suggestions for improvement at their  schools and others enumerate changes including no grades below  a C.  Many students want free  classes; others prefer no classes at all.  Let me add a few ways to make students happier

     *No requirement to attend class and no grade below a C

     *Food prepared by top chefs at no cost to student

     *When a student gets tired of class he or she can ask for a diploma with honors

     *A federal job requiring no work will be provided

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Remembering Memorial Day

Most holidays may have begun for various purposes but most become weekends of shopping bargains. Let's not allow Memorial Day to fade away from the noble purpose of recognizing those who gave their lives for their country.

We observe Veterans Day when all veterans are recognized, but it is not the same.  Let me once again tell of one observance in Homer.   After the conclusion of a short speech and music several World War widows and other family members approached me and asked that we never stop  the service.  I don't know if the service was continued after I left Homer, but every Memorial Day I remember that service.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Shown is Col. J. W. Berry and wife Camilla Hadley Berry. He is our great grandfather.


The Berry Plantation
The purpose of this column today is to discus the historical significance of the property; or rather what is probably the greatest historical significance of the property. It is one that has somewhat escaped attention in this matter as the focus has been on the historic Stewart Home and on the contributions of the Stewart family to Minden. Those are both very important elements of our history. But the event that had the deepest and the longest lasting impact related to that property took place nearly half a century before the Stewart Home was built in the waning days of the Civil War, when, according to local tradition and some written sources the land in question was part of the Berry Plantation; home of pioneer settler J. W. Berry.
*Photo Above: Col Berry and Camilia Hadley Berry

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Harvesting Irish potatoes

When my grandson received his fifth grade diploma my memory of spring activities were brought to life.  We did not graduate kids in lower grades but we did receive report cards.  As I remember, we would vacation one day while teachers completed their reports,  For us who lived on farms summer work began.

An early job was harvesting Irish potatoes.  Are potatoes being dug now?  We would plow up the potatoes and store them in a cool dark place. One summer we were harvesting the potatoes and it seemed  that the first day of June was hotter than the last day of May.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Summer arrives

May and June give way to the official beginning of summer  June 21. Weather and politics have dominated the past two months.  We can look toward hot weather for at least 90 days. If only  we were not subjected to hot air from politicians.


Twins Matthew and Jason will observe their birthdays May 20. Kyle graduates  from fifth grade today. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pickens rests during June

The battle for Okinawa would continue through June  21 but the early summer was vacation time for the Pickens.  We  left Saipan, traveled through the Solomon Islands, completed shelback initiation, and went on to New Caledonia.  We returned to Saipan, began preparations to invade Japan, and headed for California.

Shellback initiation on USS Pickens

Initiation began having a fire house turned on you.  By the end of that you were cold and wet.  The you had to "kiss the babe", which was the hairy rear-end of a sailor and yell shellback.  Then you were given a "haircut".

This is Captain getting control of the ship from a "pirate" 

At the end of the initiation, polliwogs were forced to slide down while being beaten by shellbacks.  They would put pieces of canvas over manila cable, soaked in water and hit sailors as they slid down the board.

Polliwogs were put in stocks and had their behinds beaten.

 They were held down in a tank of water until they yelled "shellback!"

Friday, May 13, 2016

Visitors enjoy summer

NO, I have not  abandoned my  blog although I can understand why my  son  asked me.   Mark  along  with his children are visiting this summer.

For several weeks I have found it difficult to type and all I have   to write is stale except some comments about Okinawa.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Okinawa veterans shoul be considered

"Mr. Truman saved my  life." How many times have    I heard a fellow veteran of Okinawa  make that  remark in a determined tone of voice.

Of course, if you are a survivor you fully appreciate that remark and its praise to President Truman for dropping atom bombs  and saving many American lives.   Now President Obama is  planning to visit Hiroshima, the site    of one of the bombings..

I will have more to say during and after the visit

Alumni speakers are wrong

I do not appreciate graduation speeches that are little more than propaganda for one political party or the other.  I hit the computer a couple days past and was subjected to John Curry leading Northeast University in an attack on Trump.  Curry has a job to do and he does it poorly.  Consider the deadly attacks being made by  Isis while this country does nothing.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Jessica is welcomed home

Mission work  in Israel by Jessica Lowe could be described as ending in expressions of love by dozens of supporters Wednesday night.   Many people were available to tell Jessica how happy to see her, while Jessica could thank in person the many financial supporters who helped make here work possible.

Jessica preached Sunday morning at Christ  Methodist Church

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Settle something with vote today

I am disappointed, disillusioned,  and disgusted,by the  candidates seeking to compete  for  president.The votes today, in  Indiana,  will go a long way towards making some kind of decision, either Trump will win the vote or the primary will move the conflict to a convention fight.  That will be fun to watch,       but most are like me -- let's get it over and begin a love match with Mrs. Clinton.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Jessica is home!

Jessica is  home!  She came in Friday afternoon, a day earlier than expected.  She came a day early probably to tale care of her dog.  Jessica was on hand to assist with a church program.  Plans are for her to preach this coming Sunday.